Content Continues Below

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition for Nintendo Switch is a massive JRPG, and it can be rigidly traditional in its systems and menus. Even though the game ends up being pretty user-friendly once you’re used to it, it can take some time to get the hang of. Here are some tips on how to start your journey through Erdrea!


Dragon Quest XI S sparkly spots


You may notice plenty of shining spots on the ground while making your way through the world of Dragon Quest XI S. If you stop to investigate them, you’ll be rewarded with an item. The item can vary from healing items, to money, to crafting materials, so it’s always worth it to stop and pick these up. 

There’s an easier way to hunt for sparkly spots. If you open the map and press A, you’ll see an option that says “Sparkly Spots.” If you pick that, you’ll see where every sparkly spot is hidden in the area. The items regenerate after a time, so if you’re hunting for repeat items, this menu will tell you what item is in each spot. It’s extremely helpful if you’re looking for a specific material!



Talking to people in Dragon Quest XI S


The townsfolk in Dragon Quest XI S are always worth talking to, as they provide a variety of helpful tips, world-building, or funny lines that add to the charm of the game. If you’re having trouble figuring out who to talk to, take a look at the color of the exclamation bubble that appears above their heads.


There are three important colors to look for:


    • Purple: This character has a side quest they’d like to give you. Could involve saving a cat, hunting down an item, or taking out some enemies. Side quests have various important rewards, including rare materials and recipes to craft stronger items.


    • Pink: This character has something important to tell you about the main quest. Usually, guards at the front of towns have pink bubbles to remind you where to go next if it’s been a while since you’ve played. Always look for pink bubbles if you don’t know what to do.

  • Blue: This character just has something fun to say. Talk to them if you want to learn about their personal troubles, or something fun and inconsequential about Erdrea.

How to find recipes, equipment, and materials in Dragon Quest XI S towns

Like Link is known for in the Zelda series, you can roll into people’s homes in Dragon Quest XI S with no regard for their privacy. There are three important things to look for whenever you enter someone’s house:

    • Pots and barrels: Pick up pots and barrels and throw them on the ground to find items, money, and materials. A yellow arrow should appear above anything you can interact with if you stand close enough to it.


    • Cabinets: Open cabinets to find items, armor, and equipment. It’s a cheap way (free, in fact!) to find new armor for your party members, especially in the beginning of the game when you’re not swimming in cash.

  • Bookshelves with red books: If you see a bright red book in the middle of a bookshelf, be sure to take a look. Often, you’ll get some additional world-building on a place or a character, but sometimes your curiosity will be rewarded with new recipes for crafting. Some of the best equipment in the game comes from recipes that are up to you to find, so be a diligent snooper!


Basic Dragon Quest XI S battle tips

Dragon Quest XI S does a pretty good job explaining basic battle mechanics, but there are a few important details you should keep in mind.

There are no random encounters in Dragon Quest XI S, so you can choose your fights wisely. To start a fight right, hit the A button to do a little bit of damage and give yourself the advantage when the battle begins. 

Hit X to access the tactics, where you can set how every character should behave. If you want to speed battle up, you can tell each character how you want them to fight based on the situation. Or, you can set all characters to “follow orders” where you manually select each character’s move every turn. 

If you want to swap weapons during battle, you can do that under the “Equipment” option. Just make sure the weapon you want to swap to is in your character’s inventory before the battle begins, not in the generic item bag. You don’t have access to the large item bag during combat.

A large ring appears around the fighters during battle. If the ring is clear, it means you have a chance to flee the encounter. If it’s red, you’re stuck there, so don’t bother trying to run!

You may notice that some abilities for your characters are grayed out during combat. This is because some skills are tied to specific weapon types, and can’t be used unless that a weapon from that skill tree is equipped. Try swapping your weapon out, then using your favorite skill!

How to save in Dragon Quest XI S

You can’t save anywhere in Dragon Quest XI S, but there’s a handy autosave feature that will generally bail you out. To save, you need to either stop by a church or an angel statue somewhere in the world. Churches can be found in every major town, as well as in the overworld, such as the church in the southern part of the Heliodoran Foothills. You can find churches on the map by looking for the icon that resembles a Mercedes-Benz logo. Statues can be found at campsites, which are marked on the map with a small campfire icon.

Once at a statue or church, simply choose the top option, “Confession (Save)” to save your progress. The game will also give you the option to quit playing after you save.

If you fall during battle, the game will give you the option to begin from your latest save or your last autosave. If you choose to start from your last save, you’ll lose half of the gold you have on hand. But, if you choose to start from your last autosave, your money, EXP, and items will revert to what you had at the time of the autosave. You should always start from your last autosave, as you don’t lose anything substantial, and you rarely have to replay more than a few minutes to catch back up to where you died.


More Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition guides


Need more help with Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition (whew, that’s a mouthful!)? Check out one of our other helpful guides!


Leave a Comment

Written by Logan Plant

Logan loves voicing his opinions just as much as writing them. When he isn’t gaming or writing, Logan’s probably recording a podcast or chatting on the radio. Video game journalism is his passion, and he hopes to cover video games for years to come.