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  • Acceptable Targets: During the hacking attacks in the first months of official service, Japanese players were quick to blame western players, many clambering for an IP block of all players from outside of Japan.
    • In fairness, quite a few Japanese players spoke out against this idea as well. The opinion of Japanese players on their Western counterparts appears to be very much a YMMV as well.
  • Alt Itis: Some players purchase several alt characters beyond the three free characters. Each individual alt can do Time Attack Client Orders and Extreme Quest Client Orders per week, as well as get a free All Skill Tree Reset Pass when those are distributed, making multiple characters desirable for money farming and Reset Pass hoarding. There is also simply the fashion factor going for it.
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
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    • The Western playerbase is typically less partial towards the Stripperific stuff than the Japanese players are.
    • Summoner Pets , with many English-speaking fans complaining that the pets are "too cute" and that it would've made more sense if the pets were more "badass-looking". While in Japan, the pet designs were well-received by the audience.
    • In Japan, Matoi, Lisa and Gene are among the most popular characters in the game. Outside of Japan, Matoi verges on a Base-Breaking Character and Gene isn't given much of a thought other than people disliking her for being an egregious Ms. Fanservice; only Lisa is liked outside of Japan as well.
    • English players hate Kouri. Mainly because she's completely braindead half the time. The fact that her Face–Heel Turn was revealed to be the effect of being Brainwashed and Crazy and she ultimately gets rescued was a sour point among English fans.
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    • Basically Episode 4. English-speaking fans have emitted mixed-to-negative reactions concerning the story and new content. Japanese fans have also had these reactions, but in far fewer quantity; the general consensus in Japan is generally positive. This is helped by the influx of new players caused by the Playstation 4 release and the anime.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: The Profound Darkness is rather easy for an Episode final boss thanks to an overpowered gimmick mechanic. SEGA's response? Make a much tougher version that throws out said mechanic while becoming vastly more destructive.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Just the fact SEGA don't even care about the fact a large amount of the customer base is not Japanese, and they've never actively made an attempt to block non-Japanese IP ranges.
    • The item-based structure of the Matter Board gave the player free, sustainable gear as they progressed the game's plot, but it was little more than padding for players who had already obtained superior gear, save for the later Boards' rewards (i.e. consumables, Photon Spheres/Boosters, Affixing fodder, and ultra-rare exclusive weapons.) This was remedied with the introduction of the Story Board, which excises the Matter Board's original mechanics and is simply a branching cutscene map that simply lets you access every Story cutscene and Quest from a single hub, expediting the process while still gifting the player reasonable rewards simply for watching cutscenes, including the rare Star Gems.
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    • They also attempted to relieve the situation in an earlier state by both revising every single Board's drop tables, exponentially increasing the drop rate for Matter Board drops, and allowing players to outright skip the first two Episodes, and granting access to a plot summary and every single cutscene from Episodes 1 and 2 to catch players up on the story. Whether this actually made the Matter Board more bearable is debatable.
    • When part of the English community created a fan translation patch, using software which violates the Terms Of Service, due to modifying the client's files and/or running a macro, both synonymous with cheat utilities, SEGA... has shown great praise for the efforts of the fan translators, and has made absolutely no effort to check the game uses the official launcher on PC, or add a counter-patch to the mobile phone game to remove the english text, and actively seem to be encouraging them to continue as they are.
    • The Playstation 4 release, since it allowed the developers to push out a completely new client build, adding a even higher quality rendering level,note  and, as a useful aside for the Western fans, an additional way to play the game as it should be played.
    • New-Type was positively received worldwide for making the grind system require almost zero luck. NT weapons are fed other weapons to make them stronger; while this requires gathering fodder to be used to strengthen your weapon, it no longer requires praying to the Random Number God and hoping Dudu/Monica doesn't drop your Grind Level by six stages. To top it off, the only luck involved is a slight chance for an even better upgrade (that can be boosted with certain items.)
    • The fact that Collection Files are time-locked and expire once its time limit is passed is something of a Scrappy Mechanic. SEGA responded in turn by easing File requirements, lengthening their duration (outside of Seasonal EQs), and encoring Files. The most notable of the latter is Revolucio 2, an encore of the first Collect Files, which is set to expire March 3rd, 2018, over a year after their introduction. This is possibly done to assist players in getting the Title required to advance to Level 80, which requires getting a 13★ NT weapon to +35, something that isn't easily done with random drops when Collect Files expire.
    • Ever since release, Mesetan Shooter has been the least-liked Casino game due to the fact that it's so hard to make a profit that if you go into it solo, you'll more often than not lose money playing it, and the only way to turn a solid earning is to play with friends, which many people don't want to do. This was changed completely with the March 2017 Battle Arena update, which included an overhaul that makes Mesetan Shooter much easier to the point where you can reliably turn a profit almost all the time if you're halfway decent at it.
    • The EPISODE 5 Chapter 1 update added Story versions of Buster Quest, which were required to progress the story. It was... poorly received, to say the least. The following week, the Story format was changed so that at certain points, the story could be continued without having to play the Story Buster Quest, and a later update in October 2017 enabled starting Buster Quest by yourself, allowing players to continue the story solo.
    • Phantasy Star Online 2 Cloud for Nintendo Switch. Considering Phantasy Star Online was redeveloped almost exclusively for the Nintendo Gamecube, to see even a cloud-based version for Nintendo's newest system shows SEGA hasn't forgotten where Phantasy Star Online shone years before.
    • Following sentiments from the playerbase concerning Hero, many of the subsequent EPISODE 5 updates have been spent buffing older classes to put them in competition with Hero in an attempt to Win Back the Crowd. Whether this has worked or not depends on who you ask, but many agree that, ignoring Hero, many of the updates are welcome QoL improvements to the older classes.
    • Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode Oracle is yet another anime adaptation, but is confirmed to be a retelling of the first three episodes rather than an original story with Slice of Life elements. Fan reaction has, for the most part, been much warmer.
    • The Western localization announcement in 2019, putting an end to seven years of complaints from Western players about SEGA failing to live up to their promise of a localization back in 2012.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Matoi as a character tends to be a point of contention among the English players (and this overlaps with Americans Hate Tingle). Fans of her like her personality and the way the game handles her character development into someone with deep ties to the player. Detractors dislike the often needlessly Stripperific costumes she gets and feel like her status as the heroine is extremely forced.
    • Gene, outside of Japan. She's either hated because she's Ms. Fanservice, or liked because she's Ms. Fanservice. Her voice is also either considered cute or obnoxiously high pitched. Her story is almost never taken into consideration due to being in a spin-off and Play the Game, Skip the Story.
  • Best Boss Ever:
    • Big Vardha is a Colossus Climb atop a huge land-based warship armed to the teeth with defense turrets and missiles that hosts a Humongous Mecha torso at the top level with destroyable parts that don't just stun the boss, but actually strategically disable its defenses. It's also got Awesome Music. Fan reception to this boss has been overwhelmingly positive.
    • It gets even better. SEGA has really outdone themselves with Dark Falz Elder. Imagine a planet-sized, eight-armed Eldritch Abomination that sends massive amounts of its own hands at you while firing meteors and lasers at you from afar. After enough hands are destroyed, the (noticeably shrunken) Elder comes at you with everything a darkness-empowered tower of arms could have in its arsenal. All of this is done to Awesome Music.
    • Bal Rodos, the new Coast boss, was well-received by the playerbase. Partly because it's similar to De Rol Le, partly because the fight itself is really damn fun.
    • Dark Falz Loser recently competes for the title. In a stark contrast to Elder, who was eventually just plain outclassed by all the new player content, Loser is legitimately challenging with numerous and less predictable attack patterns, a massive HP pool with less weak points than his predecessornote , and he hits like a truck with several attacks able to kill you outright. Once again, this is done to Awesome Music, though this time it sounds less "heroic" and puts more emphasis on how screwed you are.
    • Another contender for the title came in December 2014 in the form of Magatsu, a gargantuan Kuronian boss with its own dedicated Emergency Quest where players must stop the massive monster from making its way into a Shironian city, leaping between rooftops and taking advantage of binding arrow ballistae to fell the foul creature. It's about as close as you can get to acting out Attack on Titan in the game!
    • Then came The Profound Darkness, A boss so awesome it requires not just your party of 12, but an army of ARKS just to fight him! You first fight Falz Double, after which the battlefield crumbles under you and you board an ARKS ship, which sends you into the Core of the Profound Darkness. Then you fight the cocoon form, which then unfurls into it's true form. Then, near the end of the fight, you end up fighting the Profound Darkness as a copy of yourself.
      • The advanced version introduced in the Late June 2016 update takes it a step further by transforming it from an Anti-Climax Boss into That One Boss, granting it a resistance to Ice and nerfing its Light weakness, cranking its aggressiveness Up to Eleven, adding extremely powerful attacks that can hit for 1200+ damage (which will One-Hit Kill most players), and radically adjusting its pattern and strategy to reduce its vulnerabilities and make it a far more offensive threat.
    • Train Ghidoran was well-received by the playerbase for being absurdly awesome, as well as possessing a rather unique concept and battle style.
  • Best Level Ever:
    • Mining Base: Despair. Three words: ARKS Interception Silhouette.
    • Better still: Annihilator's Apparition, Phase 2. AIS vs. Magatsu!
    • Players like the Bal Rodos Daily Order because it's extremely lucrative for comparatively minimal effortnote .
    • "Armada of Demise" is a three-stage Emergency Quest set in an epic Space Battle where ARKS face off against a fleet of villainous Photoners. Sector 1 tasks players with fighting off the Photoner forces attacking an ARKS ship, while Sector 2 is a Battleship Raid against a Photoner ship. There are two different stages that Sector 3 can take the form of: either a large-scale A.I.S. battle against the Humongous Mecha Nemes Agne, or a strike at the very heart of the Photoner fleet and a battle with Demoire Dominus. Either way, the boss theme "Battle Stars" brings helps to solidify this as one of the best and most warmly received EQ/s in the series' history, and a major Win Back the Crowd moment after the missteps in Episodes 4 and 5.
  • Broken Base:
    • The US release has two camps: Those who vehemently believe Sega of America will release it, and those who find the very idea of a US release a laughable lie. Not helping is that as of 2017, the English website was closed down. Also regarding the US release, there are those who believe it is a good idea for Sega to release it, and those who were burned by the subpar localization of Phantasy Star Universe who would rather the US release should just die.
    • The English-speaking playerbase in its entirety is a gigantic one of these, for one reason or another. Usually about EPISODE 4.
    • The October 10th (2012) update's attempt to "fix" the game's economy by making Vendor Trash sell for much less to vendors. This update intended to keep rare weapons rarer by making meseta farming less effective. However, they decided to save adjusting the price of weapon grinding for later. In addition, the 10-star rare items and level 11+ photon art discs were completely untradable. Depending on the player, this was either a great way to make rare weapons feel more special or an unnecessary hassle for newer players (Or ones without MyShop access) to cover the costs of healing items and grinding weapons. Even after the grinding prices were halved (or something to that effect, the exact cut in prices are hard to determine), upgrading weapons could still be very difficult.
    • The costume Luna Prophecy is a small example, and has become an incredibly polarizing outfit by just existing. Some players love the sexy "armor", other players are disgusted with it because of that very reason. It doesn't help the males' counterpart, the Sol Protector, is covered up properly and looks like real armor.
    • The aforementioned Tokyo problem.
    • Summoner is the most widely disputed class amongst the English-speaking playerbase. This is largely because it's very different from previously-established gameplay, as well as the power of its Pets. Some are okay with it due to being an easy class who has high effectiveness while being simple to play, while detractors claim that it's a bad class because it has high effectiveness while being simple to play.
    • The move of banning players using OverParsenote  has split the players cleanly into three: players who are upset because they used OverParse to improve their gameplay, players who are happy to see it gone because it made hating on weak players even stronger than before by showing their low damage output, creating a negative effect on the playerbase, and those who simply don't care.
    • The release version of Deus ESC-A Zephyros horribly split the playerbase in regards to the final phase. The final phase made Zephyros That One Boss because 30,000,000 HP in 5 minutes was an incredibly steep hill to climb for a good chunk of players, and according to statistics, the clear rate in Expert Blocks was four times higher than that of normal blocks on Extra Hard difficulty. Players who approved looked at it as a way to finally introduce a degree of difficulty after a long period of It's Easy, So It Sucks! and considered it a way to force weaker players to improve, while others were incredibly frustrated at the fact that if your MPA is too incompetent, the entire run can be wasted, and considering the Emergency Quest system, you can lose your shot at rewards entirely if you time out the EQ before you clear. The latter players happened to be vocal enough that the final phase was nerfed down to 20,000,000 HP, so it is now reasonably manageable by a much greater amount of players. This, unfortunately, upset the former players, as they perceived it as SEGA pandering to the Vocal Minority and dumbing down content to be "more accessible".
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • The Light element is overwhelmingly popular on weapons due to the game's emphasis on raid boss content and the fact that the vast majority of relevant raid bosses are Light weak (except Erythron Dragon/Dragon Atrum). Eventually, handout weapons like those buyable from trade shops and Collect File weapons started giving out Light weapons by default, and by July 2018 the Attribute Changer support item was phased out of normal AC Scratches completely because the devs realized that this trope was exactly what was driving up the cost of Light-element Attribute Changers.
    • There are exactly two Photon Blasts that are considered not useless: Ketos Proi (greatly accelerates PP regen) and Julius Nifta (summons an orb with an extremely powerful vacuum effect). Every other Photon Blast almost never sees use beyond casual play.
    • Some classes are considered to have only one viable Subclass. Fighter, for example, is almost always paired with a Hunter subclass. Running Bouncer with any Sub that isn't Hunter will draw incredulous looks.
    • On the other hand, Hunter is considered a "universal Subclass" for melee and (occasionally) ranged classes. While Ranger/Hunter and Gunner Hunter aren't especially common, the majority of people playing melee classes will use a Hunter subclass.
    • Lavis Cannon is the de facto Wand for Techers and is considered by and large to be their Infinity +1 Sword. Its Potential increases swing speed by roughly 33%, removes hitstop, and adds a powerful shockwave to combo finishers. Due to how this Wand accelerates Techer gameplay and its unique interaction with the Heavy Hammer PA, it's pretty much a must-have.
  • Contested Sequel: While the game is recognized for having very high points among the franchise, including a refined action gameplay system that is considered unique among MMOs and the best gameplay in the entire series, incredibly robust character creation system, a soundtrack that lives up to SEGA's standards, and incredibly generous Microtransaction system, the game has often been criticized for its weak story, questionable (and sometimes bizarre) balancing decisions, content (or lack thereof), and general lack of direction in later Episodes and incredibly experimental Genre Shifts.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Luda Sorcerers. High health, high damage, wide attack range, and frequent abusers of Teleport Spam.
    • A lot of Kuronians, to non-Bouncers, at least. Over half of them have weak points that are either difficult to reach without playing Ranged/Tech/Bouncer or are simply inconvenient/time-consuming to access. That particular half also happen to be the "damage dealers" of the lot, and can be pretty tanky if you aren't striking its weakpoint... which loops back into the first problem.
    • All Ultimate Enemies, ever. Absurd aggression, high damage, and lots of combo attacks that will reduce even the tankiest Hunter to a pile of mush in seconds.
    • Infected Campships. Their chainguns will rip apart most reckless characters in record time, and their missiles can be aggravating at best, death at worst. In Mining Base, you have AIS to deal with them, but in Darkers Den, cover is few and far between, and taking it down normally is not worth it, forcing you to find the crystal that will destroy it gated behind waves upon waves of Darkers.
  • Dork Age:
    • EPISODE 4 is oftentimes considered one. While it is praised for expanding the gameplay with new Photon Arts Customization and general improvements to mechanics and aesthetic, the expansion is notorious for introducing an extremely sudden Genre Shift and somewhat skimping on content compared to previous expansions, including only two new Free Fields that are not particularly well liked and only two new ARKS Quests. The actual game balance is also somewhat suspect, as some Classes got even further ahead while already being good while others were clearly falling behind. However, this pales in comparison to...
    • EPISODE 5, whose launch and subsequent five months after release are considered one of the worst periods for the game in recent memory and emblematic of SEGA becoming increasingly out of touch with its playerbase. Not only did it introduce yet another Genre Shift that bore resemblance to the overplayed "isekai" anime trope that many by then had started getting sick of, but the expansion threw out all forms of traditional content expansion in favor of introducing a single new gameplay mode that was expected to be the standard for the entire Episode with regular updates. Every Class in the game was re-balanced and overall nerfed come launch, except the new Class, Hero, completely obsoleted every other Class in the game, making it feel like the nine standard Classes were nerfed in order to make Hero even better. The months after launch didn't help matters, as it seemed as through that SEGA was intending to stick to its unpopular game plan, which lead to increasing amounts of Internet Backlash from both Western and Japanese players. SEGA didn't wise up until early 2018, when they announced that they had reworked most of their plans for the remainder of the Episode through early 2019 and scaled back their media presence in favor of doubling down on production efforts, and it seems to have paid off, as reception to later-release content and the then-upcoming EPISODE 6 reveal was much more positive.
  • Ear Worm:
    • Whenever the Sonic Lobby appears in mid-Spring to Summer, the lobby theme is always set to the Classic Sonic remix of Escape from the City from Sonic Generations. Since many players spend a lot of game time in the lobby, this song has a tendency to drill its way into their heads, regardless of whether they like it or not.
    • Rare Drop KOI Koi! is ridiculously catchy.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • For females:
      • Lisa, an NPC female Cast Ranger, who has become incredibly popular for being a Moe kind of insane and trigger happy. The annual NPC popularity polls reveal some additional examples:
      • While not as popular as other main female characters such as Matoi, Io, or Lisa, Franka is popular with fans due to being an abundant source of Easy EXP. She eventually hit Ascended Extra status when Franka's Cafe was introduced.
      • Phaleg, if Japanese fan reaction is of any indication. She's also popular with English-speaking fans due to providing a decently-challenging boss battle and being the first real threat to the player in Episode 4.
      • Sympathetic Anti-Villain Mother won the female's side of the 2017 Character General Election.
      • Hero Class Trainer Stratos quickly ascended to the ranks of one of the most beloved characters, combining both the eccentricity of her mentor, Huey, and Token Mini-Moe and Cute Bruiser qualities into one.
    • For males:
      • While Huey's Hot-Blooded hamminess isn't always appreciated in-universe, the players certainly enjoy it.
      • Klotho is well-liked for providing players with some of the most lucrative Client Orders in the game, all of which provide a healthy amount of meseta. This unfortunetly changed in the Episode 6 update when his client orders were nerfed.
      • Luther is one of the most popular male characters, due to his mannerisms and coming pretty damn close to being a Bishounen.
      • Aratron actually won the Male side of the 2017 Character General Election. Granted, his Moment of Awesome in Chapter 7 does help push things along for him.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • People seem to think Apprentice, Phaleg, and Kohri qualify.
    • Shiva is considered as such, which is largely attributed to her rather seductive voice acting.
  • Fanon: Because there's no given reason to doubt its canonicity, the EPISODE 0 manga is thought by fans to be the original timeline, before the time loops occur and before the player gets tangled up in the events of the story.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Attack on Titan. Certainly doesn't hurt that PSO2 did cross-promotion with the series, as well as the boss fight against Magatsu taking inspiration from the manga.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • For a time, the Katana Photon Art Shunka Shunran murdered the game balance in its sleep and threw its corpse out the second story; its release lead to a massive spike in Braver popularity due to how utterly broken it was. It received a series of nerfs in response throughout the following months, although it remains a decent damage dealing tool and the most efficient (in terms of damage-to-cost ratio) Katana Art.
    • Due to SEA version's busted damage system and early rebalancing, Sakura Endo on launch was essentially Shunka before Shunka was a thing, thanks to extremely quick execution and insane damage that could give alpha Shunka in JP a run for its money.
    • While not as bad as the Shunka fiasco, Guren Tessen is an extremely powerful, all-purpose Art that has high DPS, low cost, blistering speed, an astonishingly strong final hit that has absurd Hitbox Dissonance-grade range, and can be easily spammed until you run out of PP. It's so omnipresent in the Braver meta that a common joke is that Katana only needs Guren to be played well. It got even worse after the 3-button update, which buffs Guren in the sense that it can now be combined with other Katana Arts for maximum damage. For the record, in terms of DPS, it rivaled Sakura Endo, which is meant to be a super-strong single target attack that has lackluster range, cost, and execution speed, but has very high damage output compared to other attacks. While it has since been dethroned by Sakura Endo Type-0 (which, ironically, looks like a stationary Guren Tessen), Guren remains one of the strongest tools in Katana's kit.
    • In EPISODE 4, Summoner with a Gunner subclass was the most busted class in the game due to Gunner's Chain Trigger ability being able to affect Maron Strike, which boasts a massive 25500 Power rating. If done correctly, a Summoner can hit upwards of a whopping 15,000,000 damage or greater in one hit, utterly destroying most content. This tactic is almost singlehandedly responsible for nerfs toward Maron and Chain Trigger, as well as the implementation of the 999,999 damage cap that has become standard for all endgame content from Deus ESC-A onwards.
    • On its initial release, the Hero class was considered a "god" class due to its insane power compared to almost anything else in the game. It combined DPS rivaling Fighter (without the arbitrary Stance and Skill drawbacks) with incredible speed, versatility, and mobility. On top of that, their powerful Hero Time Finish can deal several hundred thousands of damage with the press of a button. Their only drawback is that they're a Glass Cannon that has little ways of healing itself in the midst of combat, which can lead to an unfortunate death if you get too greedy with attacking. Hero's output later became standard for the vast majority of classes, which puts Hero into a more Difficult, but Awesome territory due to its high potential output but necessity to play well to not lose damage.
    • When the Level 85 Cap for "standard classes" (ie, anything not Hero) was released, it brought with itself a unique skill for every affected class that was supposed to provide a game-changing or enabling enhancement for that class. Some classes got the short end of the stick here, while others...did not. At all. Such is the case with the Gunner class, which got "Another S-Roll Arts Mode" (henceforth "ASRAM" for short), which takes the basic S-Roll Arts, turns it into what is essentially a rapid-fire shotgun, and gives it an additional 60% power boost, all the while the Gunner is invincible during its use because it must be performed during a Stylish Roll. The result is that ASRAM not only covers Gunner's most glaring weakness, which was also its original balancing factor, ASRAM itself is so powerful it's actually perfectly possible for a Gunner to spend half its time using it to attack instead of its Photon Arts. This subsequently gave rise to GuFi as the most powerful class in the current meta of the game, as Fighter grants enormous damage multipliers to Gunner, and thus empowering ASRAM. A properly outfitted and played GuFi can do as much damage as several characters put together when facing a mob, and its Chain Triggers are nothing short of apocalyptic. The final datum cementing ASRAM and GuFi's place is that Sega themselves confirmed that as of November 2018, only one player has managed to attain the "Forever Loner" titlenote , and they did it using GuFi.
  • Genius Bonus: If you know anything about Judaisim, then you might be able to catch that "Zephyros" is essentially a close homonym to "sefirot". Not quite coincidentally, the upgraded Zeinesis weapons are known as "Qliphad", and are closely named to the term "qliphoth", which are the spiritual antithesis of the sefirot in Judaisim. Notably, the sefirot are generally depicted as divine while the qliphoth are depicted as evil, making this a rather obscure instance of Light Is Not Good and Dark Is Not Evil, respectively.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The game is well-liked in Japan, but also has such a large number of non-Japanese players that it surprised the development team.
    • There's a common misconception that the amount of non-Japanese players on the Japanese servers contributes to PSO 2 not getting an official Western release. That fails to put into account the amount of people who are actually (yes, really) still waiting on an official Western PSO 2 release or just don't know the game is out with English translations. In early 2015, media coverage, some of it vaguely worded, about seaPSO2 lifting an IP block to Western players lead to many new players flocking to Asiasoft's servers...because they thought it was the official SEGA English release that was originally announced in 2013. This was the cause of a lot of frustration on the part of jPSO2 players, frantically trying to educate newbies on the misunderstandings brought on by the press coverage as well as the differences between seaPSO2 and the fan translation for jPSO2.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • U.F.O.s are hated with a passion. They're essentially Vegas' counterpart to the Snake Heli, except much more annoying to fight; they're small and constantly zip around while flying high into the air, making them difficult to hit, and have a significant amount of damage resistance and an unusually high amount of HP. The only way to kill them quickly is to hope they do the alien attack and break the aliens, which will cause it to flip over and expose its weakpoint, but getting it to do this is a chore in and of itself due to A.I. Roulette. In short, they're a big middle-finger to Striking classes (sans Bouncer), of which many of the game's playerbase is comprised of.
    • Mr. Umblla in Mesetan Shooter. Much like on the field, you can't attack him, or else he'll punish you. However, if you let him be, he'll drop an assortment of goodies such as Gold Coins and Power Ups. However, Mr. Umbllas occasionally have a bad habit of infiltrating good stages and get in the way of valuables such as Gold Mini-Mesetans and Mesetans, preventing you from snagging good prizes lest you intend on avoiding a barrage of bombs.
  • Goddamned Boss:
    • Bal Rodos on SH and XH can turn into one if you execute improperly. At the beginning of the fight, you have a small window of opportunity to hook him with the Harpoon. If you miss, the fight will drag out for much longer, as his A.I. Roulette dictates that he gives you hooking opportunities far less often than on lower difficulties. Even if you get him, if you lack the DPS to kill him while he's down, he may get up and use his water bomb attack, up to twice in a row, which will drag it out even longer.
    • The solo version of Perennial Apocalypse brings solo Double. That 20 minute time limit looks a lot less forgiving when you add Double being a "Get Back Here!" Boss that over half the game's classes have a difficult time chasing. Also, cars.
    • Deus ESC-A is considered the prime example of "tedious raid boss" in the game. The fight makes heavy abuse of phases and HP gates and has a ridiculous number of unskippable, mid-battle cinematics that mess with your Skill timers for no reason. His third and final phases also involve doing battle against a core weak point that only draws close enough to be attacked at sporadic intervals and can't be hit by anyone other than casters and Summoners at any other time.
    • Erythron Dragon (and by extension, Dragon Atrum) is disliked by a large majority of the playerbase simply because he isn't fun to fight; he's mostly a Get Back Here Damage-Sponge Boss that abuses cheap Herd Hitting Attacks meant to take advantage of Hero being a Glass Cannon to make the fight "harder".
    • Golem minibosses in Omega content are obnoxiously anti-melee (which comprises half the game's Classes) and absurdly annoying due to having only one vulnerable spot on their body, which can make fights against them aggravatingly long. They're also unusually common in most of the content where they can spawn.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • There is a Darkers Den farming gimmick where, if a party manually forfeitsnote  in the middle of Darkers Den, the next Time Attack attempted will always be Darkers Den. The ARKS Clones in the boss room are known for dropping Units affixed with Modulator, so players abuse the gimmick by killing the Clones in the boss room for drops, then quitting before Elder dies to repeat the cycle. This is an excellent money-making process, but takes time to do.
    • Vol Graptor/Banishing Arrow + Gunner's Chain Finish. The former two Photon Arts fire a node into a target that collects damage dealt to the part, then re-deals that same total damage after several seconds. The latter Skill initiates a Chain combo that racks up when attacked with standard attacks, then amplifies the damage of the ending Photon Art based on the Chain count. Due to a bug in the game's programming, the effect of Chain Finish would cause Vol Graptor/Banishing Arrow's damage output to inflate exponentiallynote , allowing players to do absurd things such as kill Magatsu in 31 seconds, flat. While it was shortly fixed, it lead into the development of the strategy known as "Chain Banish", a gimmick Braver/Gunner build that functions equivalently to the bugged version, but doesn't auto-nuke (some) bosses.
    • Another one of mention is the Summoner's Sari and it's Sari Territory. Normally, you are supposed to hold down the button and it would constantly drain your PP so it can deal damage in an area, but if you press the arts' key for just a frame, it becomes a free targeted EMP field that can take down bosses like Big Vardha with ease. This was quickly patched out within days to prevent further game-breaking.
    • The color swap bug associated with the My Fashion menu. By wearing an article of clothing, then swapping to a different one and taking a screenshot during the few frames in which the new outfit is loading, you can capture images of costumes with unusual color schemes, and you can achieve some pretty cool results depending on the initial outfit and the target. Unfortunately, this was also patched out a few weeks after it first surfaced, disappointing many of the bug's fans.
    • The April 20th, 2016 update brought with it a major bug where there was a high chance for the Unit Shop to sell Sub Units with the Ability "Returner II" affixed to it. This is a decent Ability that grants +5 to all stats, +2 HP, and most importantly, +2 PP, and with multiple units with the same ability in the same Affix, the odds of moving it to a better Unit or evolving it to its higher forms greatly increased. In hours, Returner II Sub Units flooded the Player Shops, demolishing the price of Returner II on the market and making it easily accessible. Within a day, SEGA pushed out an emergency maintenance that hotfixed the bug, and later that week instigated a mass sweep that involved suspending numerous accounts to delete all of the Returner II units. However, it did not affect Units that had Returner II affixed to them via the bug.
    • A similar incident occurred after the mid-March 2017 Phantasy Star Online 2es story update, during which Ragne Units for the Dark Agrani EQ were accidentally given Gift Receptor. While this doesn't do anything on its own, when sent to PSO2, Gift Receptor can be used to transfer Lucky Rise from the Lucky Rise Units available from the Excube Shop onto regular Units. As with the Returner incident, SEGA hotfixed it shortly.
    • If you use Hero Time Finish to kill Deus ESC-A at the end of his second phase to start the DPS check, the phase transition preempts the deactivation of Hero Time, which allows you to open the DPS check with a second Hero Time Finish. This has been patched.
    • When "The Beckoning Woods" first released in early January 2018, the Quest was bugged in such a way that if you got the harder alternate route, if you get the Izanekazuchi E-Trial, the game will accidentally spawn a whopping four Izane at the same time. The bug was significant enough for SEGA to call an emergency maintenance the next day to patch it out.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In His Coool Seha Girls, Mega Drive proposes creating a version of PSO2 that replacing practically half of everything with puyos. Players can already do this in the actual game with an item that turns their MAG into a Puyo.
    • In March 2014, a collaboration for Attack on Titan was released. Spring forward nine months later, we get an Emergency Quest involving taking down the titanic Magatsu in Harukotan, who broke through the walls and is tearing down Shironia to nothing.
    • If you ever try to translate Dark Falz from it's kanji to english, usually it is translated as Phallus... Then came Mining Base Demise, which has Dark Falz Apprentice with a... Giant Penis Laser of Death.
    • EPISODE 4 wouldn't be the last time a SEGA villain's preferred weapons of choice are phantoms and cubes.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient:
    • Quna's "Cosmic Twinkle Star" concert is essentially an attempt to see how much increasingly intense action they can cram into a four minute song. Notably, SEGA found that the amount of things going on in that one concert literally BROKE THE GAME, and had them work on a hotfix, with people being told not to do the new concert on a heavily populated server.
    • The E3 2019 announcement. For years, it had been largely accepted that SEGA's indefinite delay of the localization was just another phrase meaning that it had been unofficially cancelled, and that all hope for it to ever release had been lost long ago. So of course, seeing the SEGA logo appear accompanied by the signature opening notes of "The whole new world", in E3, in a Microsoft conference no less, made the surprise all the more jaw-dropping.
  • Internet Backdraft: News that the game will be free to play has resulted in mixed feelings.
    • Veterans of the English release of Phantasy Star Universe were less than pleased to hear that the western release of the game would be on servers segregated from the Japanese server.
      • While the North American localization is slowly becoming Vaporware, the English-language Southeast Asian version is gaining momentum. Most English players would rather remain in the Japanese version, though, since it's being published by Asiasoft, who is reviled for their heavy monetization in games.
    • An update to the game's anti-cheating program, nProtect GameGuard, caused several game-breaking bugs on 64-bit machines, such as the game crashing at launch and Windows becoming no longer genuine unless you reboot the machine. Both US and JP players were not amused.
      • And for that matter, the use of GameGuard in general has been a source of hatred from the fanbase since day one. Not surprising since GameGuard is, at a technical level, a rootkit that shuts down any and all programs and processes that it so much as suspects will alter PSO2 at all. Stopping cheat programs and the like is okay, but when GameGuard starts messing with video-recording programs and your sound driver, one can see why it's so maligned.
      • Note that the GameGuard complaints were the one of the few complaints that were never fully addressed, releasing fixes that seem to do nothing to the majority of the players, and it appears Sega giving up on GameGuard is not an option.
    • The September 4, 2013 update, apparently due to the downloader being bugged somehow, wiped entire gigabytes worth of files from people's hard drives when they went to update PSO2. Sega immediately catching the issue and offering compensation for it didn't stop affected players from foaming at the mouth.
    • Japanese Media Watchdogs had a field day when the Phantom Battleship Yamato Emergency Quest was announced, due to the implications that you're literally destroying a hallmark of Japanese history and a national symbol. This wasn't helped by the fact that the crest on the ship's helm is a breakable part, which, prior to a revision, was the Imperial Seal of Japan, AKA a huge no-no. A statement concerning adjustments as a response was eventually releasednote , and any footage of the Yamato EQ bears a "work of fiction" disclaimer.
    • The SEA servers hosted by Asia Soft liberally changed a lot of the terms that were integral to PSO2's lore and background. It caused a big enough outrage that it made the hosting company reconsider their terminology. Some of the changes include...
      • Technic -> Magic (Which heavily contradicts Phantasy Star canon.)
      • Scape Doll -> Self Revival Kit
      • Lilipan -> Lagomite
    • While we're on the subject of seaPSO2's shoddily done localization, players from various Southeast Asian territories that now have the game are now IP banned from playing jPSO2. Most of these fans theorize, if not downright assume that Asiasoft had paid SEGA to block SEA IP addresses from this version in order to market their own.
      • No IP ban had been imposed on Taiwanese players by publisher Gamania, probably because money that may have been spent on a possible IP restriction of their own was instead spent on region-exclusive content for twPSO2. However, this does not seem to be the case with Asiasoft.
      • The DDoS attacks in summer 2014 forced Sega to implement new measures to prevent another such attack. This, unfortunately, had the unintended side-effect of blocking access to the game for most players outside of Japan. Eventually, Sega announced that the DDoS issue was resolved without having first fixed the issue with western players being unable to connect without having to jump through loopholes. Needless to say, western players were pissed. Since then, some western ISPs have regained access, but most outside of Japan were still reliant on external means to connect to PSO2. Thankfully, most foreign ISPs became able once more to play without the need of a proxy in November 2014.
    • In March 2017, SEGA implemented a measure to counter abandoning EQs by barring the first player who quits from a 12/12 EQ from playing the EQ again in the same instance. This isn't the bad part. The bad part is that SEGA also mentioned that if a player who disconnects/crashes from the EQ, this also qualifies for the penalty. In other words, you can be barred from participating in an EQ due to factors out of your control. Cue massive backlash from both Japanese and English players alike. The backlash got even worse when SEGA announced later on that you can actually get banned for multiple repeat disconnects within the same period, which drew even more backlash than before.
    • Similar measures were implemented for Battle Arena a week after release, in which people who disconnect from Battle Arena will lose ARP regardless of the battle's outcome, and repeat offenders will be put on a low-priority matching list and may receive a 72-hour temporary ban. Some players feel like these measures should have been implemented day one because of players already taking advantage of Arena ditching during the first few days, while others are discontent with the extreme measures SEGA is taking to punish players.
    • While not nearly as bad as other examples, the EPISODE 5 announcement had some players crying foul about SEGA going extremely overboard with the nerf bat, knocking a ton of popular stuff down several pegs, including Compound Techniques, Chain Trigger, and Zanverse, while barely changing or nerfing things that many feel need buffs, like Techer and Bouncer. Techer mains were especially upset, since the Zanverse nerf essentially shoots the entire class in the foot by removing one of the only niches it has without making up for the differencenote , making it nearly pointless to use the class in the first place.
    • The release of EPISODE 5 was met with widespread criticism on both sides of the Pacific; the Hero class, while fun, completely obsoletes the other nine classes in the game due to being a Purposefully Overpowered Game-Breaker, the existing classes didn't fare much better due to balance changes that were rendered moot by Hero, and Buster Quest, which many perceived as a stripped down Mining Base Defense that got repetitive quickly and didn't have nearly as good of a soundtrack. It got to the point where Sakai released a blog post recognizing all the backdraft and promising to change course with TGS 2017 announcements, but optimism hasn't been particularly high.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!: A major issue that has been the main complaint of fans since EPISODE 3 is problems concerning the game's difficulty; while player power has been consistently increasing with balance changes, the addition of new Photon Arts, Techniques and Skills, new Classes, and new abilities such as Dark Blast, enemy and raid difficulty has more or less stagnated since EPISODE 3, and the addition of "more difficult" content like Ultimate Quest and Solo XQ has been trivialized by the power curve. It says something when the Profound Darkness, which is still considered the most difficult raid boss in the game even going into EPISODE 5, can be pulverized in roughly 7 minutes or less with the average Multi-Party.
  • Junk Rare:
    • The majority of non-13★ gear can fall into this category for seasoned players. These kinds of equipment are generally good for newer players, but these weapons become mostly irrelevant after the player fully upgrades their first 13★. As a result, most 7-9★ weapons are used as MAG food and 10★ and 11★ weapons are turned into Excubes after that point. Alternatively, 10-12★ NT weapons are used as fodder for grinding NT weapons.
    • Weaker 10-11★ units are commonly used as fodder for Affixing or are turned in to the Recycle Shop for other items.
    • The Universe anniversary AC Scratch featured Support Items that gave the abilities GRM Boost, Yohmei Boost, and Tenora Boost, named after the manufacturers from Phantasy Star Universe. While novel, the actual abilities themselves are simply underpowered versions of Noble Power/Shoot/Tech respectively without the PP bonus, and were thus considered duds in the Scratch.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Many existing players have admitted expressing interest in PSO2 Cloud solely for acquiring the The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild cosmetics.
  • Love to Hate:
    • Dudu, the resident Memetic Troll. He'll undo your grinds, take your Affixes, and steal your money, but people still like him.
    • Luther, due to his personality which compels him to screw with everyone.
  • Misblamed: After the infamous DDoS incident locked many players out of the game, many Western fingers pointed to SEGA as the cause of an intentional IP block to keep foreigners out of the game as the attack had come from a foreign IP, despite the fact that not only was the block a completely unintentional side effect of implemented security measures, but it also had almost nothing to do with SEGA and more with an issue on Yahoo!'s end.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Male Newmans in general due to comprising a paltry 3% of the player character population (as of 2017) and for being slightly inferior to their female counterparts in terms of T-ATK. Fans joke that they don't actually exist or that they're an endangered species, among other things.
    • Hagito is seen as this, especially when he throws a tantrum over his plan failing.
    • Many joked that Klotho became broke following his client order nerfs following the Episode 6 update.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The Captcha boss. explanation 
    • Dark Falz Elder is a Quna fanboy.explanation 
    • YOU HAVE NO LUCK BRILLIANTLYexplanation 
    • It looks just like me.explanation 
    • Dudu is the true final boss.explanation 
    • PSO2 is finally coming to the West!explanation 
    • When Mining Base Defense: VR was revealed, the newly-added ESC-A Ragnus was revealed to have a special move where it jumps onto a Base and clings to its side while dealing damage. Jokes about ESC-A Ragnus humping the tower and mating instantly prevailed among the fans.
  • Memetic Troll: Dudu, due to his nasty tendency to drain players of their Meseta as the result of being aligned with the RNG deities. He's despised so much that even the game itself and various other official media recognizes it.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • The Baize sound effect when struck is a horribly high pitched, screeching wail. Do note that this sound plays every time it's hit.
    • Pretty much the entirety of Monica's sound clips.
    • For other players, the Guren Tessen "shing!" sound effect, because the move is spammed ridiculously often, so it's more or less the only thing you'll hear coming out of an allied Braver.
    • Erythron Dragon's "Jamada!" voice clip gets old really fast, since it typically indicates its usage of That One Attack that's used distressingly often.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: "PSE BURST!"
    • "ONE MORE!"
    • "CROSS BURST!"
    • The jingle that plays when a 13★ drops.
    • The "kashing!" sound whenever you strike a headshot or Weak Bullet spot.
  • Narm:
    • While such an attack would be expected from a Toy Darker, Falz Dourumble attacking you by spinning a hula hoop is a little too ridiculous.
    • Train Ghidoran. Three-headed train dragon, anyone?
  • Newbie Boom: Online 2 is responsible for increasing the Phantasy Star fanbase by a reasonable value, mostly due to its ease of accessibility and major draws (free to play, simple freeform action battle system, wide-ranged character creator, Fanservice Costumes), as well as advertising such as word of mouth and the anime (although the latter is debatable).
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Attack on Titan can be pretty scary, but the Colossal Titan's cameo in PSO2 in the lobby and player rooms with the appropriate scenery pass, in glorious 3D, is REALLY frightening.
    • Sachiko Kobayashi's realistic, giant face plastered on a huge setpiece is rather unnerving to look at.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • There was a massive outcry from English fans when Earth was revealed for Episode 4, largely with complaints about how Earth doesn't fit in a Phantasy Star game. ... Except it already has. The original tetraology featured Earth not only as a setting, but as an integral part of the plotnote . However, PSO2's Earth is very different from its depiction in the original tetraology; it is more thematically anime-esque than in past installments.
    • 12★ Units actually predate the Japanese version; they were originally introduced in the now-defunct SEA versions, but lacked their special Ring Skill effect and were simply straight upgrades from the 11★ Units.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: Many players could give less of a damn about the plot, since the game's major selling point besides fashion is its gameplay.
  • Porting Disaster: While not a disaster in the slightest, the Vita version is plagued with several problems that only keep adding on as more content is introduced.
    • Hypercompressed graphics. The Vita version looks terrible in comparison to its counterparts. This is a given, since you're trying to fit an MMORPG that, on PC, is over 40 GB in size, on a handheld console where most players have either 16 GB or 32 GB memory cards.
    • It is possible to encounter serious framerate stutters; this mostly occurs in the prerendered CGI cutscenes (Elder's death scene is notorious for this) and when there's simply way too much happening onscreen at once, which, if you're unlucky, can cause the game to freeze for a few seconds.
    • The game is a serious memory eater. It goes without saying that it is the largest game to exist on the Vita, being the only game on the console that requires a 32 GB memory card if you do not own a physical Game Card. Vita memory cards are notoriously expensive due to being proprietary, which, ironically, means that you have to cough up for an overpriced memory card to play a "free" MMORPG.
    • The Vita version is infamous for its rather spotty connectivity; it has a bad habit of 630'ing you at random, which can cause serious headaches if you were in the middle of an important Emergency Quest or Battle Arena match.
    • Segregated servers. Vita players cannot access all of the Blocks on a given Ship; they can only access any block whose numerical designation starts with "2XX", which is a cross-play Block that both PC and Vita players can access. These Blocks tend to be dead empty most of the time outside of Emergency Quests, and even then Vita Blocks barely fill.
    • No 3-button system, which was a major hit to Vita players. 3-button frees up melee classes to perform free-form combos instead of being limited to the old 2-button combo system; it was not implemented on Vita due to the Vita simply not having enough buttons to support it.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Launcher, as the result of a little ring called L/L Non Weak Bonus. For the longest time, Launcher was considered inferior to the Assault Rifle in terms of damage dealing; despite Launcher having higher theoretical damage output, its rather sluggish animations and ultimately mediocre overall damage left Launcher as little more than a PP charger when the player had stocked Weak Bullets on Rifle and needed to restore PP via Bullet Keep. SEGA's solution was to release the Skill Ring "L/Launcher Non Weak Bonus", which, at Level 20, applies the full combined effect of both of Ranger's Weak Hit Advance skills to all Launcher damage. That's a permanent +82.25% damage increase. This item singlehandedly helped Launcher get back off its feet and rise the ranks to being a powerful mobbing tool in levels that need it. The September 2017 balance patch powered it down indirectly by nerfing Weak Hit Advance to +15% damage for both Skills, which cuts its power bonus to only +32.25%, but Launcher as a whole was greatly buffed to compensate, and the Ring is still incredibly potent.
    • DEX MAGs. Prior to the October 2017 balance patch, DEX MAGs were basically seen as a noob trap; DEX is a Dump Stat and the two classes that have a Skill that converts DEX to ATK, Braver and Bouncer, can only do so at the rate of 50%, which makes it impractical to invest in compared to simply getting to Lv. 200 in the ATK stat of your choice. The aforementioned balance patch fixed this by making the above Skills default, so they don't need Skill Points to receive their effects, and doubled the conversion rate to 100%, so it is actually now more practical to have Lv. 200 DEX on your MAG for these classes specifically than it is to have a Lv. 200 ATK stat, as having Lv. 200 DEX now gives you an effective Lv. 600 MAG.
    • Cruel Throw was often seen as one of the worst Sword PAs in the game; if you use it on a target you can't throw, you'll only grab and throw a light ball that has a measly 300% potency and doesn't stack with certain Skills, making it utterly useless. The 10/17/17 balance patch changed this behavior by making the PA do the full damage of the throw even if you grab the light ball, which boosted Cruel Throw from bottom-tier to at least above-average.
  • Self-Fanservice: Shiva has a rather average body type due to sharing her physical appearance with Harriet. However, because she is considered Evil Is Sexy by the fans, she tends to get drawn with heavily accentuated "features".
  • The Scrappy: Monica was put into Dudu's position on even-numbered blocks for the purpose of being so Moe that you couldn't stay mad at her while failing your grinds. It hasn't worked so far; in fact her clumsiness in comparison to Dudu's competence laced with trolling has made some people hate her more.
  • Scrappy Level:
    • The Emergency Code: Rescue variant that involves a Lillipan caught in the arms of a volatile Gilnas torso. Players must protect the Gilnas from damage to prevent it from exploding so that the Lillipan's friend can pull his buddy out from the Gilnas' arms. Unfortunately, the Gilnas happens to be ludicrously fragile, and can be attacked by players. It's not uncommon to see players either fail the Code or just ignore it outright when it happens. In fact, completing it is somehow easier if you ignore it!
    • Changeover Code: Capture is even more likely to be ignored because the player/party is already halfway through beating down the target by the time the objective changes. It also requires making sure the boss stays within a very small space for a certain period of time, which means leading the boss around in effectively circles and hoping it doesn't run away, which forces you to lead it back to the circle. It's usually faster to just kill it.
    • The Lillipa Time Attack is often disliked for both being long and possessing a host of complicated gimmicks that screws new players and irritates experienced ones. It doesn't help that said shortcuts are almost required if players intend on finishing within a reasonable time frame, since the long way around involves killing a lot of stuff and doing a lot of unnecessary workarounds.
    • Story Buster Quest in EPISODE 5 drew fire pretty much immediately upon being released. Simply put, it's a Story Quest in the form of a Buster Quest. However, this quest forces you to matchmake in order to play it, and because the Story Buster Quest is considered different from a normal Buster Quest, you can only match with players also playing that Story Quest. You cannot do the Story Buster Quest solo either, since Buster Quest requires at least four players in the room to actually start the Quest. And if you want to help your friend out, tough luck; for some bizarre reason, a Story Buster Quest can only be cleared once per account, which blocks you from playing it ever again on the same account. This also effectively means that the number of players it's possible to match with will steadily dwindle as more players clear it, making it even harder for players who are slow on the uptake to ever get enough players to start the Quest. You can't skip it either, since you are forced to finish the Story Buster Quest to continue the story. On top of all that, to add insult to injury, it doesn't even reward any loot.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The Emergency Quest system is frequently cited as one of the weakest parts of the game. Not only does it mean that most of the best gear is restricted to time-sensitive content, but the best content is usually delegated to Emergency Quests, which means that most players don't get to play it outside of random occurrences and a scheduled timetable. This is a huge nuisance to players who enjoy content at their own pace and would like to play it whenever they feel like.
    • Affixing is often referred to by players as one of the most beginner-unfriendly equipment enhancement systems ever designed. In theory, the system allows you to customize your equipment with a set of Abilities tailored to your needs, allowing players virtually infinite freedom in equipment customization. In practice, however, the system is needlessly complex due to various arbitrary rules that vary from Ability to Ability based on what's being affixed, Affixing requires a certain degree of luck to execute properly, and due to how powerful it can make you in the long run, it's easily the biggest money sink in the game (in-game and real money) next to popular cosmetics.
    • The setup for the Excube menu is often criticized for being tedious; it only allows you to exchange one item at a time for an Excube, which can take forever if you have a lot of unwanted gear. A major update in March 2016 "fixed" this by replacing it with a new system that also drew fire for now requiring the player to memorize the exact number of items to be traded, or else the transaction won't go through. The complaints that arose when the latter appeared were loud enough for SEGA to fix it a week or two later to its current systemnote .
    • While not as criticized as the Excube problem, people have requested for mass Tekking since the release of the Tekking system; this is because prior to 2016, item Tekking worked exactly like Excubes, in that items could only be identified one at a time, which was also tedious.
    • Gathering has been panned by most players; many players feel that the fact that it's gated behind a very slow Stamina gauge is unnecessary padding, and some feel as though the concept simply doesn't belong in a Phantasy Star game. However, the area it's associated with, Franka's Cafe, has been well-received. Later updates to the Gathering system have improved it somewhat, but players still dislike it.
    • Star Gems were blasted by the English-speaking community for being Bribing Your Way to Victory. It doesn't help that the Star Gems Scratch is only available via Star Gems and contains exclusive content that cannot be traded away and sold unlike normal AC content, forcing players to accumulate Star Gems to have a shot at getting their item of choice. The stigma against Star Gems has slowly been dissipating due to the introduction of many, many, many ways to earn them in-game for free, which include doing the Magatsu Bonus Quest, Login Stamps, Casino Shop, ARKS Bingo, ARKS League, events, etc.
    • The SG Recycle Shop got off to a rocky start when it was initially implemented. The original system had it so that you needed to have 40 SG Items to trade in for an item in the SG Recycle Shop... except the Recycle Shop only had a portion of the items in the actual Scratch. If you wanted something that was in the Scratch but not in the Recycle Shop, tough luck. The system implemented with the "Darkness Conviction" SG Scratch had it so that scratching 40 times would yield a Bonus Ticket that would let you get any item on the prize list for free... but since acquisition of the Bonus Ticket was tied to the number of times scratched, and there were no "Darkness Conviction" items in the SG Recycle Shop, any junk you didn't want was basically useless in terms of counting towards anything you wanted from the Scratch, except to count as a pull for the Bonus Ticket. The "Ether Mother Hope" SG Scratch finally fixed it by consolidating the two systems, so you can now trade for a Bonus Ticket by using 40 SG items.
    • The "guided spawns" system used on Earth fields has drawn a lot of ire for being extremely slow. Prior to a stealth fix, there would often be a delay of a few seconds between clearing a spawn point and something else happening, be it a Trial or another spawn point appearing. This tends to add up in the long run, stretching out completion times by magnitudes of minutes, artificially inflating the time it took to finish fields. This problem was even more pronounced when Beach Wars 2016! was released, which was derided as the worst iteration of Beach Wars to date due to using the guided spawns, making the entire Emergency Quest move very slowly and denying players of repeat runs due to taking too long. This problem was quietly fixed in an update; it is now roughly as fast as doing regular fields with the gimmick movement options, but the stigma against the system still remains.
    • Scratch Bonus has been floating dangerously close to this barrier for a long time. Essentially, Scratch Bonus lets you earn special untradeable rewards for playing AC Scratch a lot, such as extra Lobby Actions and Costumes, or Bonus Keys. Players typically didn't mind this, since the rewards were either cosmetics they could live without or stuff that could be earned through the normal course of gameplay... With the sole exception of the "Slit Eyes" face variant. The reason why this particular cosmetic created so much flak for the Scratch Bonus system is because it's part of the Phaleg set, which is available through AC Scratch normally. This means that in order to complete a Phaleg set, you need to earn Scratch Bonus. This isn't helped by the fact that Scratch Bonus is only available for a limited time, so once the associated Scratch passes, it's gone for good. Players instantly got on SEGA's case for gating a highly-desired cosmetic behind a paywall and feared that they would lock future popular cosmetics the same waynote . However, Scratch Bonuses eventually started turning up as SG Scratch items a year down the line, which not only allows players who aren't willing to cough up the cash to acquire them to get them, but also allows them to (potentially) snag them for free.
    • Despite being pretty cool, the Rideroid is frequently cited as clumsy and hard to control by PC players. Part of the reason why the ESC-A Falz Mother raid is divisive is because this mechanic takes up the first half of the fight.
  • Scrappy Weapon:
    • Very few Gunslashes are considered useful. The Gunslash weapon category as a whole is infamous for essentially being an emergency backup weapon with its only claim to fame being good PP efficiency but lackluster statistics in pretty much every other category, including overall DPS and mobbing and bossing ability. There are exactly three Gunslashes that aren't considered useless: Atol Orbit (universal PP battery), any Gunslash with double-stacked "Spirited Response" and PP regen S-Class Special Abilities (same as Atol, but better), and the Bringer's Rifle 14★ (actually a good weapon).
    • The Demon series 13★ weapons quickly became notorious for being far more common than either Jutus or Val drops, and unlike Jutus or Val, don't really serve much more purpose than either being trade fodder for Lumiere or desynthesis fodder. They can also be sold, but are so ridiculously common that you generally won't make much money off of them unless you sell them en masse. The Bomber Golem Barn and Resta Golem Nacelle weapons in particular get much of the flak for being some of the most common Demon weapons.
    • The Phobos 14★ weapon series was pretty much dead on arrival when the Guides of Creation EQ added them. Their Potential gives 6% bonus, with an extra stacking 10% if you sheathe your weapon for 4 seconds (cumulative). However, upon dealing damage, you'll lose the 10% bonus in 14 seconds, forcing you to sheathe your weapon for another 4 seconds to get max damage again. It was heavily derided by the playerbase for being effectively useless for the vast majority of weapons in the game, and unoptimal on the handful of weapons that can use it. The backlash was bad enough that the series was overall buffed within four months.
    • Vante Weihen is a 14★ Rifle that is essentially the embodiment of a Useless Useful Spell. Its Potential powers up your End Attract PA by giving you Immune to Flinching, Just Attack status, and reducing its cost to 1 PP, in addition to a standard damage boost. This would be fine and dandy if the effect wasn't chained to firing Weak Bullet, a valuable Active Skill that has a lengthy cooldown and a limited stock per activation. Vante only boosts one End Attract per Weak Bullet fired. The end result is an otherwise great ability held back so severely by its trigger cost that it becomes next-to-useless. Even a buff that added accelerated charge speed and Standing Snipe 1/2 to the power up effect couldn't salvage it.
  • Sidetracked By The Golden Saucer: The Casino Lobby. Good luck pulling yourself away from Black Nyack...
  • So Bad, It's Good: Takenobu Mitsuyoshi's rendition of Ignite Infinity, thanks to Narm Charm.
  • Surprise Difficulty:
    • For several weeks after launch, Mining Base Defense: Despair rattled the playerbase to its core due to how difficult it was compared to pretty much every other existing Quest. As no other Quest required a strategy beyond "hit everything until they die", the fact that bumrushing the opposition became detrimental to success caused failures abound. Merely finishing the Quest was a miracle in and of itself. Even after the proper strategy was worked out, it's still the hardest Quest to complete consistently.
    • Yamato too easy? Bethor a complete pansy? Say hi to Phaleg, who wil stomp you if you don't take her at least a little bit seriously. While her HP is low, she has extremely high defensive stats and unmatched speed, which she pairs with annoying attack patterns that hit surprisingly hard. Unless you can nuke her quickly or possess speed to match hers, expect to be forced to learn her patterns to not get demolished by her high-speed antics.
    • Mining Base Defense: VR took by surprise several players who thought it would be just Mining Base: Invasion with a different enemies gimmick. A lot of the replacement enemies aren't as braindead as some Darkers are, and Ultimate enemies are actually more difficult to account for. The game also likes to send walls your way and then put AIS Exoda behind them, which tend to take out towers if you don't already have a player on the other side fighting them. Several other arbitrary restrictions are also in place to give players a hard time, including the removal of Turrets, preventing players from doing anything with nodes until late in the Quest, and Solza fields actually disabling nodes permanently due to the removal of purification.
  • Tainted by the Preview: Episode 4 got hit with this fairly hard, at least judging by the very vocal reactions some Western fans are giving it. First came the teaser for the new class, Summoner. Complaints about Summoner range from the designs of the pets being "Too cutesy for PSO," to claims that a pet-based class is unsuited for or "Too easy," for an action-oriented game like PSO2. Then came the reveal of Earth in the year 2028 as the next major planet, with many decrying it for feeling that it doesn't fit the tone of the game thus far, though opinions were more positive about the designs of the Phantom enemies. Then came the previews of the story cutscenes themselves, focusing on a pair of Japanese High School girls and a young boy in a normal home. Cue cries of fans immediately jumping to the conclusion that PSO2 had suddenly become a Japanese High School Slice of Life series.
  • Tear Jerker: Quna's Eternal Encore in the story of Episode 1 is a lot sadder when you have the context and translated lyrics together.
  • That One Achievement:
    • In true PSO tradition, getting the Rare Random Drop you want from rare enemies/bosses. The Dark Falz bosses in any of their forms are the worst offenders, since their high-level versions that have the best loot only show up in event missions.
    • Somehow averted for the actual Trophies themselves, since none of them are actually too difficult to achieve, they simply require the player to invest some time into the game.
    • There is an exclusive Title and potentially a very special Class Sticker waiting for you if you clear the Solo Extreme Quest. However, said Quest also happens to be That One Level.
    • In a more frustrating example, getting a +35 13★ weapon for your Main Class. If you don't play that often, it can be difficult to keep up with the game long enough to get this Title, and it's one of the two Titles required to extend the Level Cap from 75 to 80. In addition, if you want to unlock Level 80 on every Class, you have to get a +35 13★ for every classnote .
    • Some Titles are simply outright annoying to get.
      • Most of the Item Titles. Many of them are tied to old Weapons that existed prior to the NT update... that were removed from the drop pools after the NT update and replaced. No, the NT versions don't count. If Phantasy Star Online 2es didn't have the old weapons as drops, the associated Titles would practically be lost.
      • Crafting Titles are notoriously grindy, since they require you to repeat a specific Craft type or get a certain number of Great Successes. These are typically extremely resource-intensive to no actual benefit, and the Great Successes are a Luck-Based Mission.
      • A handful of the Casino Titles are 100% pure RNG. Each of the Casino games have one particular Title that is extremely difficult to get due to being a very rare occurrence, such as "Shooting Star", which requires you to trigger a NEO PSE Burst in Mesetan Shooter, "Rappy Star", which requires you to get a Jackpot in Rappy Slots, and "Elder Bonus Getter", which requires you to clear the Stage 30 Elder Bonus in Arkuma Slots.
      • Getting the title to acquire the last "free" Time Reversal Stone Chronos item, required to craft the Atlas 14★ series, and thus it's upgrade, the Atlas Ex 15★ series. It's a title obtained for having a certain number of total obtained titles. Specifically, 1 100 titles. This is an incredibly steep number and requires the player to perform an extraordinarily wide range of feats, including quite possibly several or all of the above aforementioned Those One Titles. Unless the player in question has been playing for a long time and tried out as much of the game as possible in that time, this single title alone will take several months or longer of dedicated effort to obtain, to say nothing of the required resources.
  • That One Attack:
    • While difficult to call an attack due to it being constantly active, Big Vardha's missile launchers can be a very annoying hazard if you're simply trying to take him out the quick way.
    • For newer players, Elder's laser beam. It pulls you in towards it, and sweeps the arena, dealing massive damage to unfortunate players and inflicting survivors with Freeze. However, if you pay attention to more experienced players, you'll discover that the laser's point of origin, where it pulls you towards before it fires, is actually its blind spot.
    • Knight Gear's shield. It will shoot the shield, which then flies around the arena before returning to it. The shield has a 100% chance of inflicting Stun on impact, and has an extremely uncanny ability to home in on players. The actual damage is nowhere near life-threatening, but don't be surprised if Knight Gear decides to follow up while you're recovering.
    • Decol Malluda has an attack where it rapidly fires bullets from the orbs in its torso. These bullets deal surprisingly high damage per hit, and if a player is too preoccupied with trying to break the orbs, they can take seven to ten bullets to the face and keel over in a mere second.
    • Falz Angel 's laser attack. The telegraph for it is extremely short, to the tune of a handful of milliseconds, and will most likely kill Forces or Techers in one go, and leave tougher characters within an inch of their lives.
    • When Loser slows time, he may perform a slowed-down version of his spin attack. This, alongside the time stop, is one of the deadliest moves in his arsenal. Despite going slow, it moves about as fast as a player running full tilt, which makes it difficult to outrun. Getting hit by a blade deals astoundingly high damage, and on squishier characters, it's very likely they'll get offed instantly. He also spawns mines that cause knockback and inflict Mirage if you touch them, and will most likely knock you into a blade if you're unfortunate enough to run into one.
    • Gal Gryphon occasionally likes to fly up and out, leaving a twister in its wake. Not only does it have a vacuum effect, it also deals continuous damage if you're near the point of origin. This is followed up by Gal Gryphon crashing down from the sky. If the twister didn't already kill you, the follow-up will.
    • Dark Falz Apprentice Zea's Phallus Laser that can only be stopped by destroying the source of the laser, which would not be hard if it weren't for Apprentice being That One Boss.
    • Train Ghidoran's red train "head" is really unfriendly to players without Mirage Escape once it Turns Red. It shoots out ice balls that deal huge damage on contact as before, but while enraged, it also gains a very powerful suction effect that draws you toward the mouth. The mouth contains a grinder inside that hits extremely hard on contact, and chances are you'll run into an ice ball at the same time and die.
    • Empe Rappy can roll on you. That doesn't sound threatening in and of itself, but even against properly geared players, being rolled on by an Empe Rappy can deal upwards of 800 damage.
    • Pray you aren't standing next to Dourumble when it rises into the air with a jack-in-the-box. A swarm of energy-based hands raining from the sky will almost definitely and immediately kill any player in close proximity.
    • The Profound Darkness's Over End in Solo XQ and on Extra Hard difficulty. One swing deals 1000+ damage, and between the energy orbs and Satellite Cannon spam, not getting whacked by it is extremely difficult. The majority of players do not have over 1000 HP, so one wrong dodge can end your Solo XQ crusade in an instant.
    • Double's cars are a good source of frustration in Perennial Apocalypse due to randomly targeting players and dealing high damage with stagger. Being targeted by multiple cars simultaneously is nearly guaranteed death if you can't get out of the way. Even worse in the solo version, in which all the cars always target you.
    • Deus Hunas has an attack where he summons bolts of lightning to stun players. He always follows this up with a powerful spikes attack that has a big area of effect in front of him and kills practically immediately via dealing high enough damage at fast enough intervals to hit through survival skills like Automate and Iron Will. Most players keel over instantly as soon as the spikes land. The unfortunate part is that even if you break Stun, another bolt is summoned on your position before you have a chance to react.
    • Deus Angelus has the infamous sweeping spikes attack. Deus Angelus waves his hand over the arena, and a big area-of-effect marker appears below you seconds before a wave of spikes appears and deals very high damage with knockback. The only way to avoid it without invulnerability frames is to find one of the blind spots, but due to the arena's size and the wide AOE of the attack, figuring out where the blind spots are is difficult. Players that can't find the blind spot and don't have Gran Wave typically eat the brunt of the attack with lethal results.
    • The Magisterial Onslaught version of Yamato possesses a souped up version of the missile phase. What makes this version different is that in addition to the normal XH version which spawns six missiles, then spawns an extra six farther away, this version spawns another six missiles close to Yamato. While the missiles can be destroyed in one Photon Saber hit, getting four players to cut down 18 missiles in 15 seconds without any player getting lasered in the process is extremely hard, but not impossible. The vast majority of Magisterial runs wind up in a Total Party Kill on this attack, but thankfully, it isn't a Quest failure when it occurs.
    • Erythron Dragon's backflip attack, otherwise known (affectionately) as "JAMADA" due to its associated voice clip, involves the Dragon jumping into the air and performing a backfilp while scraping its tail along the ground, which tosses up a bunch of rock clusters that target players. It has a rather annoying tendency to simply throw the attack without much warning, the attack itself has a fairly large AOE, and the rocks home in on players, which can knock you on your ass if you aren't actively on the move. In addition, because of the Dragon's gargantuan size and rapid movement, this attack has a habit of causing Camera Screw if you're locked on to it, which makes dodging the attack and the follow-up rocks that much more difficult. The worst part comes when its HP dips low enough, after which it tacks on a part after executing the attack in which it re-positions itself by flying halfway across the map, which can make fighting the Dragon an absolute exercise in frustration for Classes with poor mobility due to having to chase the stupid thing as it runs away from you.
  • That One Boss:
    • There's a boss tougher than any other in the game. It has a time limit, constantly shifts forms, and if you don't defeat it, you may never be able to play the game. It's name? The captcha boss.
    • Snow Banther and Snow Banshee manage to be these mostly by being extremely aggressive and extremely fast at a level that's unheard of from bosses in this franchise. They act more like something out of the Monster Hunter series (They get compared to Barioth a lot by fans of both series). Thankfully, you can take them down a notch by damaging and breaking their spike plates to increase their damage taken AND make them lose their grip and slide around when lunging at you.
    • And their Forest counterparts, the Fang Banther and Fang Banshee, are just as aggravating as the Glacier cats. The difference is that the Forest ones are not afraid to use the treetops in their battlefield as cover and stealth so they can ambush you.
      • But on the flip side, you can abuse the trees as cover, too. The Snow versions do not leave you with any such option.
    • Players do not like encountering collab bosses. They all share common annoying traits, which include being weak to Lightning, which, prior to UQ Amduscia, was a very uncommon weakness and has very few good Techniques, not having weak points to exploit, and being kinda tanky.
      • Knight Gear, in addition to that, has several That One Attacks, including the shield stun and just being high-damage in general. It also has a tendency to throw out attacks rather frequently, which gives players little breathing room to strike.
      • Odin just hits really hard. Despite having telegraphs that were brought over from FFXIV, it's still easy to accidentally wind up in the path of them. He also packs disruption attacks that can kill DPS streaks and force you to approach him again. Lastly, he's a huge kick in the pants for Ranged classes, due to having Weak Bullet Jammer active and resisting headshot damage.
    • Quartz Dragon and Dragon Ex are notable in that they combine attacks that will one or two-shot most same-level players with attacks that can cause Panic. If you're slow or unlucky enough to get hit, the time you take struggling to adapt to the wonky controls (let alone curing yourself) is usually all they need to line up a killing blow.
    • As of the update that implemented Super Hard difficulty, there is now a chance that the Falz Arms can ambush you randomly on said difficulty. Fighting them on the varying and uneven terrain of other worlds is a lot harder than fighting them in their regular, flat boss arena.
    • Falz Angel can be this. Annoyingly fast? Check. Hits like a freight train? Check. One-Hit Kill attacks? Check. Fast One Hit Kill attacks? Also check. Frickin' Laser Beams? Of course. Flunky Boss? That too.
    • Decol Malluda is this in Mining Base Defense: Despair. While it can be quickly dealt with with an AIS, a Decol Malluda that's left alone and allowed to approach a Tower will quickly chew through its HP with its bullet shower. The problem is, AIS typically have more important things to worry about when Decol Malluda spawn, such as Darker Particle Towers, so it's up to the grounded players to lead Malluda away from the Towers long enough for the AIS to kill it. Unfortunately, depending on your party, this can either be a simple task or a run-ending nightmare.
    • Dark Falz Loser is much, much harder than Elder. His HP pool is huge, he has less weak points, and he has at least three times as many attacks, many of which can kill you outright. Players still fail this fight frequently.
    • Dark Falz Apprentice Zea is definitely this as it happens to be the boss at the end of Mining Base Defence: Demise. Not only does Apprentice flood the field around the bases with dark fluid that damages you when you so much as put your toe in it, they also have a laser attack that can One Hit Decimate the entire field, Killing everyone that so much as gotten grazed by the beam AND destroy all the bases if you do not stop it in time. And to add on top of that, they can erect walls to stop you from reaching their weak point, forcing you to cut through them with your A.I.S. as they charge their One-Hit Kill Laser.
    • At the end of the Boss Bonanza Solo Extreme Quest, you get The Profound Darkness... in its Clipped-Wing Angel Duel Boss form. Simple, right? Wrong. In the regular final boss fight, you usually have an ARKS buff or three before you fight Profound Darkness!Persona as well as 11 or so other players to help lay on the smackdown; you don't get either in the Solo Extreme Quest, and with the wide array of fast attacks it does, it can easily two-shot you in a matter of seconds if you let your guard down.
    • Train Ghidoran is a tough customer, since the only way to deal any effective damage is to Attack Its Weakpoint. This is much harder than it sounds, because its weak points are only exposed for a very brief period after it uses certain attacks, and you must deal enough damage to break the passenger doors to expose the real weak points. At a certain health threshold or after two doors break, it Turns Red, granting all of its major attacks devastating new properties and a power boost, allowing it to easily One-Hit Kill more squishy characters. It can be stunned by damaging its feet or inflicting Mirage on it, but the feet have extremely high damage resistance, and as with most enemies, the more times you inflict Mirage, the more resistance it gains to it, which means you can only do this so many times.
    • Deus Hunas in EPISODE 4, Chapter 8 proves that Story Quests can be hard when they need to be. Not only is it stupidly tanky in comparison to most bosses you've fought up to this point, it also likes to hit rather hard with the majority of all of its attacks. Its attacks also happens to hit at both close and long ranged, making the fight that more difficult for melee players. This is coming straight off of the previous boss, Sir Ardem Sacred, who was already annoying enough and may have depleted you of healing items before this fight.
    • While Deus ESC-A has been more or less solved by the advent of Hero, for the most part, the 10/17/17 PSO2 STATION! livestream added a one-time boosted Deus ESC-A with 3x its normal ATK and 2x its normal HP to coincide with a +300% EXP and Rare Drop Rate bonus. Cue horror stories of people not being able to clear Deus ESC-A Gracia because of Hero parties getting swatted down like flies in the face of attacks that deal upwards of 1000+ damage per hit in combination with a five-death limit.
  • That One Level:
    • Matter Board 1-11 is one of the hardest Matter Boards to complete in the game; a lot of the end Nodes call for hunting rare enemies and bosses that you'd be hard-pressed to find naturally. Thankfully, it's not required to get a Creator's Emblem.
    • Episode 2, Chapter 5 represents a massive step up in difficulty as far as Story Quests are concerned. Abyssal ARKS swarm the player in spades, bosses and Elite Mooks are rampant, and there are also two very irritating bosses involved. However, much of the Quest was not designed with Bouncers in mind, so bringing one may relieve much of the stress, including Theodor.
    • Omnibus 2-5 isn't much better, especially since the maximum level limit of the enemies was bumped up to Lv. 75 and most of the enemies were made overall tankier. The only consolations are that this version of it is much more generous with the checkpoints, the Blu Ringahda at the end of Area 7 was replaced by a Decol Malluda, and that Hero makes the ordeal significantly easier, but not any less long.
    • Episode 3, Chapter EX may very well be one of the most annoying Story Quests ever designed. The Quest takes place in Destroyed World: Lillipa, which means Ultimate Enemies make up 90% of the spawns, and despite being nerfed, they still hit like trucks and are aggressive beyond belief. Furthermore, the game has a tendency to stuff you into relatively cramped spaces, then Zerg Rush you with said Demonic Spiders, which is a death sentence for players unable to control groups efficiently. Checkpoint Starvation is also in full play; despite the fact that they exist in this quest, the lone checkpoint doesn't appear until the very end, when the point is rather moot anyways. It says something when Anga Fundarge, the Quest's boss, is probably the easiest part of the Quest.
    • Clearing Omnibus 3-5 [Why Am I Here] is one thing. S Ranking it is something else. To get an S Rank, you need to clear the entire Quest from start to finish without using checkpoints, and you need to take less than 2000 damage total. Keep in mind that the Demonic Spiders from the original 3-EX are still here, but worse, and Anga was upgraded into a Goddamned Boss by virtue of becoming significantly tankier; a prolonged fight with Anga can spell doom for your ranking if you're bad at avoiding its constant projectile spam. Obvious Rule Patch is also in effect, as the enemy level is always Level 80 regardless of your own Level, and you can't continue with a Scape Doll or Half Doll. Frustratingly, not only is one of the ultra-rare Ability Affix Success Rate +45% locked behind an S Rank, a Campaign requires getting an S Rank without using Hero to get valuable Campaign rewards, which makes the ordeal that much more difficult.
    • EPISODE 4 Chapter 8. The quest is gruelingly long compared to other Story Quests, involves Extra Hard-grade enemies whose attacks largely consist of projectile spam and attacks that inflict stagger, knockback, and Panic, and has Ophiel as a mid-boss. Thankfully, unlike the other Marathon Level Story Quest EPISODE 2 Chapter 5, Checkpoint Starvation is averted, but if you want an S Rank on it, you need to take less than a certain amount of damage for the entire Quest and beat the entire thing in one sitting (which means no continuing), which is no small feat.
    • Mining Base Defense: Despair requires efficiency, cooperation, and proper prioritization to win. Of course, this being PSO2, this can be a huge challenge to large teams of players that aren't privy to the strategy required to beat the stage.
    • Woe to any solo player who attempts the Harukotan Time Attack field without any decent means of crowd control. A relentless Zerg Rush will make mincemeat out of any player who can't thin the numbers fast enough for it to be a non-issue.
    • You know how Mining Base Defense: Despair is hard? Meet it's final form; Mining Base Defense: Demise. Cooperation, efficiency, and prioritization wont just cut it here. You need damage to even clear the waves in a timely manner, let alone before time runs out for each wave. Additional pain comes in the form of the Darkers having their own A.I.S.s, which will use their own photon particle cannons to destroy the mining bases at almost the same time if not dealt with. And that's not even going into Dark Falz Apprentice themselves.
    • VR Training: Heaven and Hell, colloquially known as the "Solo Extreme Quest", is a ten-stage romp through some of the strongest content the game has to offer. Bosses will fly at you from all directions, attacks fly non-stop, everything can kill in one to two hits, and towards the end, the aggression of these enemies starts cranking up to rather mind-boggling levels, which, coupled with the insane damage buffs everything gets, equals an early grave to all but the most prepared of players. The only solace the Quest provides is that everything also has massively nerfed HP values, which brings up the deciding question: "Can you kill everything before it kills you?".
    • Try the Traces of Darkness Time Attack Quest on Extra Hard difficulty by yourself. If you aren't fully geared for endgame content, don't be surprised if the subsequent Boss Bonanzas (yes, multiple) grinds you into a pulp and spits you out onto the acid-coated floors of Darkers Den.
    • VR Training: Bounds of Corrpution manages to be even more difficult than the first Solo XQ, due in part to liberal use of Ultimate Amduscia bosses, all of which are dangerously aggressive and powerful, as well as more applied use of timed spawns that can turn stages into a literal Boss Bonanza if you're not strong enoughnote . Then there's Anga Fundarge, who is a Damage-Sponge Boss who comes with a healing nerf handicap that cuts all forms of healing to 1/5th. And if you didn't think regular Anga was threatening, it transforms into its wolf form upon respawning, which is far and out magnitudes more dangerous than the original.
    • VR Volcano in Battle Arena is considered the most difficult of the three maps; the area where Rainbow Emblems spawn is a very confined space in the center of the map that is only accessible via two ledges, one on both sides of the map, until the last 1:20 when the lava rises to bring the side platforms up to a level where you can access the center. These ledges effectively function as chokepoints that bottleneck anyone trying to access it, preventing players from running around the map to backstab the enemy team without first being spotted and mowed down by their opponents. This makes it very difficult to come back from a losing round unless your team suddenly musters the manpower to Total Party Kill the enemy team in a full-frontal assault and maintain control of the central zone for the rest of the match, which is hard to do in and of itself.
    • Mining Base Defense: VR, an upgraded form of the limited-time Necky's Challenge EQ, takes the otherwise rather mundane Mining Base Defense: Invasion and swaps out most of the Darkers with other enemy types. Those enemies tend to be much harder to deal with than just regular Darkers, and not being Light weak really hurts some classes, especially Bouncer. Several features such as turrets and purification are also removed just to make your life harder.
  • That One Player: Or rather, "Those Two Players". One player with a Tech weapon is fairly threatening. Two players with Tech weapons is downright terrifying. Two players who get Rod and coordinate effectively can practically lock down an entire region of the map, preventing access for the enemy team unless they like walking headfirst into danger and getting two-shotted by a Technique storm. The only effective counter to this is sneak attacks; anyone with Rod dies to a single Sword PA.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Challenge Quest (which is a Call-Back to the original PSO's Challenge Mode) is nowadays regarded as one of the best game modes in the game, but it has not received any form of update since 2015, leading players to believe that the mode has been abandoned.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Gunner is infamous for being subject to both ends of the scale for this trope. Gunner is meant to be a combo-oriented class with a focus on bossing by using their key Active "Chain Trigger" to inflict huge burst damage. This wasn't a problem on release, but in EPISODE 2, the skill "S-Roll JA Bonus" was introduced, which gave a 4x bonus for performing a Just Attack off a Stylish Roll, making Gunner a Game-Breaker due to its disproportionately massive burst power. Come EPISODE 3, the skill was nerfed, sending Gunner into bottom-tier territory due to its sudden lack of power, and it spent the next two Episodes climbing back to mid-tier territory. However, EPISODE 5 re-balanced Chain Trigger by making it much easier to handle and giving Gunner the power to fire Chain again if performed correctly, bumping it to top tier in bossing. Then the Skill "Another S-Roll Arts Mode" was released, which gives Gunner what effectively amounts to shotgun blasts that hit all mobs in a wide cone in front of them for heavy damage three times for practically free, launching Gunner back into Game-Breaker territory.
    • A massive case of this concerning the Hero class comprises most of the controversy surrounding EPISODE 5; Hero started out far better than most of the existing classes in the game, striking a major blow to class diversity. Much of EPISODE 5 has subsequently been spent trying to close the gap between Hero and the other nine classes.
    • EPISODE 5 sent Bullet Bow deep into "wheelchair" territory, and even balance patches have done little to fix it. Bow's claim to fame, Banish Arrow, was severely nerfed due to its overuse in the past, rendering it, in its current state, practically unusable and meaningless. While the rest of Bow's kit was greatly buffed to compensate, it still doesn't match up to the sheer boss-slaying power Bow once had before EPISODE 5, which resulted in a lot of players dropping the weapon.
  • Tough Act to Follow: EPISODE 3 is widely considered one of the most successful expansions for the game. This worked up a lot of expectations for EPISODE 4, but unfortunately, it proved to be very divisive at best.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: Crafting was added in EPISODE 2 as a way to put weaker equipment to use by allowing one to apply fixed stats to a piece of gear, enabling them to upgrade their gear to stats beyond their normal limits at the cost of damage variance limits on weapons and hidden stats on Units. The mechanic was mostly scrapped by EPISODE 4, which introduced New Type weapons and 12★ Units, neither of which are compatible with the existing Crafting mechanics, and Crafting was never updated to include 12★ weapons and stat tiers beyond 12★. The other Crafting-based mechanics (Tech/PA Customize, Timed Ability) still see usage, but the core Crafting system is essentially dead, save for a sidequest for a valuable item that requires it.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Huey isn't particularly liked in-universe, but the fans adore him.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: There are enough makeup items and feminine-looking outfits for men (as well as masculine-looking clothing for women) that this can be invoked by the players.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Phantasy Star Online 2 has a C Cero rating (Ages 15+) due to the fanservice outifts, a lot of which would make it a light M in an American game.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?:
    • The Phantoms that appear in Tokyo are extremely surreal, even by franchise standards, which says something when the field they appear in is supposed to be on Earth.
    • The plot of Episode 4 kicks off with several Mind Screw elements, such as Phantasy Star Online 2, the aforementioned Phantoms, PSO2 being used as a interdimensional gateway, Digital Avatars that aren't actually digital to begin with and are controlled by PSO2 players, etc. Many players are convinced that the writers must've been smoking something illegal when they came up with this.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • While not met with complete enthusiasm, the EPISODE 5 reveal had much better reception in the West, partly because it's coming off the heels of the very contentious EPISODE 4, partly because of the reveal of the very stylish Hero class.
    • After two Episodes of contentious design decisions and bizarre Genre Shifts, the reveal of EPISODE 6 was met with strong positive reactions from the playerbase due to the return to the iconic Science Fantasy elements of the series, as well as the new Phantom class, quality of life enhancements, and an explosive space battle-themed raid complete with space battleship fights and space mecha battles.
    • After being thought long forgotten or cancelled, the game's Western release was confirmed to be back on track by Microsoft at E3 2019. Furthermore, those who were concerned about the subpar localizations of the original PSO and Universe would have their concerns put to rest, as Microsoft also confirmed that all of the content in the Japanese version up to the North American version's release would be brought over. The announcement also proved popular with those who were previously burned by AsiaSoft's SEA localization.
  • Woolseyism:
    • The "Lillipa Race" is translated as "Lillipan" by the English fan translation.
    • The actual names for the Extreme Quests are fairly bland; it's usually a combination of two area names, such as "Forest and Sanctum". The English fan translation got creative with it and used fancier sounding titles, such as "Sylvan Wyverns".
    • Harukotan's "White Territory" and "Black Territory" (which are otherwise very mundane-sounding) are named the more civilization-established "Shironia" and "Kuron" respectively in the English fan translations. Western players have widely accepted these names.
    • Due to オフスティア having no directly-translatable English word, fan translators simply called it "Austere", a similar-sounding word.
    • Many Emergency Quest names are typically shortened down in the English translation by using more concise wording, due to the fact that the original names in Japanese tend to be very long.
    • The names of S-Class Special Abilities tend to be overly literal in the original Japanese; for example, the name of the Ability granted by the weapon Atra Farder translates exactly to "instant guard recover light", whose effect is Exactly What It Says on the Tin (recover PP when Just Guarding). The English translations of the S-Class Special Abilities opts for more flair while keeping true to the original meaning of the name to a certain degree (i.e. said Ability is called "Marvelous Aegis" in the English patch).
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