Puzzle & Dragons is a deep game with lots of content, and it is not always obvious how a new player should progress. This guide provides good goals for the first few weeks of play. For more in-depth information, browse the articles under the Game Info tab on the top navigation bar.
Starting the Game
At the start of the game, the player is asked to select one of three Starter Dragons, Tyrra, Plessie, or Brachy. It doesn't really matter which one you choose, and you have more opportunities to get all of them later on in the game. If you really can't decide, the Fire-type Tyrra is slightly more advantageous because useful Fire monsters are a little easier to come by.
Note that sometimes there are rotating daily events that only apply to accounts with a specific starter, so remember your choice in order to determine if the current day's event applies to you. If you forgot which starter you chose, look at the colored orb next to your name in-game. If you picked Tyrra, Plessie, or Brachy, your orb color will be red, blue or green, respectively.
Your "starting pull" is the monster you pulled from the golden Rare Egg Machine (REM) during the tutorial. Because Magic Stones are easy to spend and hard to save up, this first free pull is paramount for determining how smoothly your game will progress. If you do not pull a good monster from this list, it is generally recommended to "reroll" (clear your data or uninstall P&D and start again). Starting with a weak pull won't necessarily doom your game, but you will have a much easier time (and potentially save ) in your early- to mid-game with a good starter.
- To reroll: Use a tool to delete or rename the game file data048.bin, or clear your game data, or delete and reinstall the game. For more info, see Game Save Data.
- Repeatedly rerolling is a boring and soul-crushing task because most pulls from the REM are not ideal starters. Depending on how much patience you have, you may want to just jump into the game to get a taste for it, then reroll later if you feel it is necessary.
- The starting pull will be influenced by any Egg Machine Events currently going on. Please reference the Egg Machine section on the Front Page to see what monsters you're more likely to get. Keep an eye out for "Godfests" in particular.
Below is a recommended list of starting pulls, current and comprehensive as of game version 7.2. Higher-evolved versions of these monsters are as good or better, but less-evolved versions that aren't on the list are not worth the effort. Please look up the "Guide" section on a monster's individual page or see Valuable Monsters for more info.
- Top tier ★★★★ (Hands-down best combination of power, ease of activation, and easy team-building.)
- Challenge tier ★★★★ (Extremely powerful, but may be challenging for new players.)
- Whale tier ★★★★ (Very powerful, but needs many REM monsters to reach max potential.)
- Solid tier ★★★ (Solid monster overall, useful throughout the whole game.)
- Patience tier ★★ (You’ll have a slower start with this monster, but it’ll eventually become very powerful.)
- Acceptable tier ★★ (Strong enough for early-to-mid game, but may get left behind in the late game.)
- Maybe tier ★ (Not recommended as a starter, but may be worth keeping if you get something strong in your next few pulls.)
IF YOU ARE A NEW PLAYER AND YOUR FIRST PULL IS NOT LISTED ABOVE, WE RECOMMEND YOU REROLL.
Many monsters are useful later on in the game but poor as a starting pull, so you may see experienced players talk about monsters not on this list. If you aren't sure whether to keep your first roll, you can beat the first few dungeons and see if you get something good with your next 5 or 10 .
Holy Heart Failure, Batman!
If you happen to start during a Batman Collab, your second Rare Egg pull can be from the Batmachine! Unless there is a very good upcoming Godfest, this is highly recommended for new players.
- BAO Batman+Batarang is a Solid-Tier leader, and he appears on about 30% of pulls. He's quite good both as a leader and as a sub for his relatively-rare Dark delay Active.
- BAO Batman+S. Gloves and BAO Batman+Batwing are Acceptable Tier due to their HP thresholds, but highly desirable as subs. However, they are quite rare.
- BAO Robin is not a good generalized Leader, but he is an excellent sub for Balance teams. He is maybe Challenge Tier, but a bit more challenging than even that, frankly, on most dungeons. He shines, however, as a powerhouse leader in tricolor, color-limited, and No-RCV dungeons.
- BAO Catwoman ...is Catwoman. She has niche uses as a leader, and her active skill is unreliable. She can be a strong Healer team sub, and can be useful on Red teams due to her Awoken skills and high RCV, but she won't help you too much as a starting roll. Once you start digging into Coin Dungeons, however, her Leader skill will help on the Weekend Dungeon.
Are you lucky enough to start during a Christmas REM event? Roll that machine without hesitation! All of the "mini" monsters are mostly the same as their full-size counterparts, but with the benefit of not needing to be evolved, and generally better Awoken Skills as well. There's about a 15% chance of pulling the best leaders, but even the “trap” pulls from the machine are useful for new players.
- The ultra-rare Holy Night Divine Elemental, Genie and Holy Night Kirin Princess, Sakuya are in the easier end of Challenge Tier.
- moonbeam fang witch, lilith, warrior rose, graceful valkyrie, and war deity of the night, tsukuyomi are in Solid Tier. They have good Leader Skills, weak-to-okay Active Skills, and excellent Awoken Skills.
- keeper of the sacred texts, metatron and extant red dragon caller, sonia are close to Top Tier, though not quite as good as their “real” versions. Note that they have very high Team Costs that will require some patience for new players.
- rebel seraph lucifer is in Acceptable Tier like his full-grown counterpart, because he is powerful but painfully slow to play with.
- The Chinese Celestials are all in the list of solid starters above.
- are slightly inferior versions of the Chinese Celestials. They have weaker stats and lack the subtypes that make their “adult” versions so valuable. However, they have the same powerful Active and Leader Skills, so they can still carry a new player pretty far.
- The Wizards are the weakest pulls from this REM. They aren't very reliable leaders, but do make decent subs.
Mini Three Kingdoms!
Alright, so the Mini Three Kingdoms machine actually uses PAL points instead of Stones, so it's not really a 'starting pull' as such. However, if you're a new player and the machine is active, there is seriously no better deal in all of PAD.
The Three Kingdoms gods are generally top-notch, and the chibi versions that pop out of this machine can substitute for them very well. Their Awoken Skills aren't nearly as good, and their stats are a bit lower, but (critically), they have their big versions' Active and Leader skills.
If you pull from the Three Kingdoms PAL machine, you can look at the chart above to see which tier they fall in. They may not take you all the way to the endgame, but if your starting pull was lackluster, they will be a massive benefit to your collection.
- Immediately "Favorite" all of your important monsters! This will keep you from accidentally selling or fusing them.
- In particular, do not throw away any monsters you can only get from the Rare Egg Machine. GungHo is constantly updating old monsters with buffs and evolutions, so something that is trash one day may become top-tier the next. If you have any duplicate REM monsters you are sure you don't need, save them for "2x Skill Up" bonus events and/or Awoken Skills.
- Your awesome God might cost too much to use in a team right away. Be patient; your starter dragon will serve as a fine leader until you build up enough Team Cost by ranking up.
- If you have time, it is strongly recommended to browse the various articles in the "Game Info" and "Guides" sections on the wiki's top bar, particularly the Frequently Asked Questions page, the section on Damage Calculation in the Game Mechanics page, and the Making Combos page.
- If your s are burning a hole in your pocket, spend them on increasing your monster box capacity, not Stamina refills or Continues. See Magic Stones for more details.
- Make some friends! A friend with a leader from the good starter list is nearly as helpful as owning that monster yourself, and you don't want to get stuck with a friend list full of starter dragons. You can post your info in the Friend Search section of the forums.
- Confused about some terminology or abbreviations veterans are throwing around? Check out the PAD Verbiage page for a quick glossary.
- Finally, do not spend stones on the REM outside of Godfests. A Godfest occurs approximately every two weeks, and there will be yellow text on the Egg Machine button saying that one is active. Keep an eye on this Wiki's front page for upcoming Godfest news. And don't get distracted by "Carnivals." Most of the time, there's nothing special about them; there is always a carnival going on. It's the default state of the REM.
New Player Goals
The following are things you should shoot for in your first few weeks of play because they can significantly advance your progress.
- Reach Player Rank 20 so that you can roll the present egg machine for a useful dragon (See "Lv. 20 Gift" section below). It's common practice to "exchange" this present with another new player so that both of you get to roll twice. Try the Friend Search forum if you need to find a buddy, or send an in-game message to your friend of choice.
- Beat Castle of Satan to open up the Technical Dungeons and gain access to Pengdra farming.
- Evolve your starter. Some of the monsters in the recommended starter list, such as or , don't become the truly great leader they could be until they are evolved, so you should prioritize them for feeding EXP. Furthermore, unevolved monsters don't have access to Awoken Skills. If you need help getting the required evolution materials, check the "Sample Teams" section on the appropriate Daily Dungeon page for strategies.
- Reach Player Rank 66, so that you get 50 stamina and are able to enter more advanced dungeons - most notably, the Super Metal/Jewel Dragon dungeons. See the Raising Player Rank section for how to get here as quickly as possible.
- Beat Castle of Satan in the Abyss to unlock Challenge Mode, a source for another big batch of easy Magic Stones. If you haven't gotten a great REM pull yet, this is your chance to save up!
Where to Get Good Monsters
Unless your money grows on trees, the REM is a poor/risky source of good monsters. Thankfully, there are many valuable monsters that can be obtained elsewhere.
Unless you're about to hit the limit of 50 pulls, save your Pal Points until there is an event going on with Rare Evo Materials in the Pal Machine. Most monsters from the Pal Machine are junk, but there are some rare rolls that are worth keeping:
|Heart Breaker||These monsters change Heart orbs to attacking orbs of their colors. Very powerful when leveled up and evolved.|
|Healer Girl||High RCV monsters with support skills. Naga is extremely valuable, followed by Mermaid. The others are helpful, but not must-haves.|
|Resist Dragon||Evolves into 50% resist leads with solid AOE+Orb changing Active Skills. Depending on your other monsters, you may not need to bother with these guys.|
|Mythical Beast||Offensive monsters that can enhance orbs to deal more damage.|
|Golem||Defensive monsters with huge HP.|
|Tamadra||Feed these to your valuable monsters for Awoken Skills.|
|Rare Evo Materials||Available during special Events. These Evo Mats are meant for end-game players, and are very hard to earn normally. They can give you a jumpstart into some powerful Ultimate Evolutions!|
When you encounter any of the monsters listed in the above Pal Machine table (or their evolved forms) in a Normal Dungeon, there is a very small chance that it may drop. It's not advisable to grind Normal Dungeons for these drops, however, because the drop rate is soul-crushingly small (~1%). You are much more likely to eventually end up with those monsters from rolling the Pal/Rare Egg Machine, or from a Special Dungeon that drops them.
On that note, don't be afraid to venture into a Special Dungeon - even the lower difficulties can be a good source of valuable team members. Check the specific dungeon's page to see what it has to offer (and whether you can beat it).
Intermediate player note: After you beat the Normal Dungeon Ocean of Heaven, you will gain access to Legendary Dragons' Footprints and Sky Dragons' Domain. These are permanent versions of old biweekly dungeons, and have a much better drop rate for Healer Girls, Mystic Knights, and Starter Dragons than the normal dungeons. It may be worth your while to farm these dungeons, especially during drop bonus weekends.
The Expert-rank Friday Dungeon drops Dub-lits of every color, mainly used for evolving monsters. However, they also have very strong stats for only 1 Team Cost, making them very useful subs for anyone cannot spare Team Cost or is looking for subs of a certain color. In particular, Dub-mythlit has the best stats among them. See the Friday Dungeon/Sample Teams page for recommended starter teams.
Rank 20 Gift
|Snow Globe Dragon|
When you get to Rank 20, you have the option to send another player a present. This present allows both you and the other player to roll a special egg machine for one of the Starter Dragons or Snow Globe Dragons with a guaranteed +3 to a single stat (see "+1 Monsters" below). When evolved, the Snow Globe Dragons are handy defensive leaders with the same Leader Skill as Archangels () and Fruit Dragons (). If you get a Snow Globe color you don't need, level it to max and feed it to your favorite monster for a huge chunk of EXP!
NOTE: Snow Globe Dragons will soon provide 2 million base experience, twice the current amount. It's definitely worth saving them until that update comes around.
These monsters are good temporary fillers until you get more valuable subs.
- Rowdy Red Samurai Goblin: The Fire-type Goblin has an evolution with decent ATK and a very useful Orb-changing active skill that is easy to level up. Even after passing the early game, you can save him for team cost-limited dungeons.
- Marine Spec Ops Goblin: Has the same skill as Mermaid, so the Water-type Goblin's evolution is acceptable if you really can't get your hands on a Mermaid.
- Pyro Demon series: It can be worth keeping some Demons around to skill up, since they have very high ATK for little EXP cost, and their Active Skills can reach a minimum cooldown of 5 rounds. Like many Attacker types, they have very low HP and RCV.
- Keeper of Rainbow: Acquired from Tuesday Dungeon (or the Pal Machine during events). Tuesday Dungeon can be challenging for new players, and Keeper of Rainbow has a very high team cost, so you may need to wait until mid-game to get him. He is a very good sub that has very high HP and ATK without needing to be leveled, as well as a very useful active skill.
- Neneko, Hamahime, Kodama: These are skill-up monsters for the Sengoku Ninja series. Their stats are too weak to keep long-term, but they can be useful as low-cooldown orb changers for a young team, or as low-rarity subs when you’re trying to S-rank a dungeon.
- High Dark Ninja: Evolved from the common Mid Dark Ninja, this ninja has the same mighty Active Skill as the once-popular Archangel Lucifer. Careful application can help you smash bosses.
Monsters become stronger by consuming other monsters in "Power-Up Fusion." However, the amount of money and experience required to level up a monster increases very quickly, so more efficient ways of leveling are preferred. Feeding a monster of the same color grants a 1.5x bonus to the amount of experience earned, so do that when possible. (For a more detailed analysis, see Feeding Monsters.)
After beating Castle of Satan, the Technical Dungeons become unlocked. These dungeons can drop Pengdras (). A Pengdra takes 2556 EXP to reach max level, at which point it feeds for 10,000 EXP (15,000 to same color). Furthermore, a max-level Pengdra can be evolved with one Dragon Plant into a big Pengdra () that gives 30,000 EXP (45,000 to same color). This is a very efficient method for leveling monsters, which is why leaders like Empress of Serpents, Echidna and Kagutsuchi are tremendously popular for farming Dragon Plants on Thursdays.
Super Metal/Jewel Dragons
Even more efficient than Pengdras is to take on the 50-stamina Super Metal/Jewel dungeons, especially once a player reaches 100+ stamina so they can get 2 or more runs per stamina refill. After you've reached Rank 66, keep your eyes open for these dungeons, especially during events:
- Super Metal Dragons Descended
- Super Ruby Dragons Descended
- Super Sapphire Dragons Descended
- Super Emerald Dragons Descended
- Super Gold Dragons Descended
- King Carnival
Be warned that, unlike the ordinary Metal/Jewel dungeons, the Super King Dragons deal quite a lot of damage and have quite a lot of health. Be sure to read up on the dungeons and prepare your team before entering.
There is a small chance of getting an egg with a yellow plus sign from Egg Machines or dungeon drops. These are known as "+1 Monsters" or "+ (plus) eggs." Each +1 Monster randomly has a +1 to one of its three stats (HP, ATK, or RCV), giving an extra bonus to that stat. If you feed these +1 Monsters to another monster, the bonuses will carry over. See +1 Monsters for more info.
If you feed your monster another monster with the exact same Active Skill, there is a chance your monster's Active Skill will "Skill Up," which decreases its cooldown length in battle. This may not seem like a big deal at first, but it can mean the difference between life and death for certain useful Active Skills. See Monster Skills for more info on Skill Ups.
Be sure you only do this for your uncommon monsters when there is a "2x Skill Up" event going on, or you are in for a lot of heartbreak. The "Power-Up Fusion" button will be highlighted with yellow text saying that 2x is in effect.
Popular skill-up targets:
|Monster||Skill||Monsters with same skill|
|Guard Stance - Water|
|Attack Stance - Fire|
|Attack Stance - Dark|
|Attack Stance - Light|
Most monsters who have reached their final evolution stage have special "Awoken Skills" that are active regardless if they are a leader or sub. These skills can make a huge difference in how an end-game team performs. If you happen to have some TAMADRAs, save them for a valuable monster! See Awoken Skills for more info.
Some monsters can evolve into a stronger form. Look up your monster's page to see what it needs to evolve.
- Normal Evolution: Done through the "Evo Fusion" page. Materials are displayed and selected automatically if you have them. Eligible monsters must be at max level to evolve.
- Ultimate Evolution: Done through the "Power-Up Fusion" page. If you select the correct combination of materials, the "Begin Fusion!" button will pulse, and you will be asked if you would like to evolve the monster. Eligible monsters can undergo Ultimate Evolution at any level.
See Evolution Materials for where to get the materials needed to evolve your monster. Most of the time, you'll want to farm the Evo Mats you need from the appropriate Weekday Dungeon, though there are a few alternate options as well.
Raising Player Rank
There are various benefits to raising your Player Rank, including raising your Team Cost limit and max Stamina.
- A new player can increase their rank quickly by repeatedly clearing "Dragons of the Tower" in Tower of Giants, which gives ~1500 experience for 5 stamina (3 stamina on weekends).
- If your team is strong enough, you can also run "King of Darkness" in Castle of Satan.
- For more advanced players, "Lava Tube" in Hyperion Lava Flow, "Whirlpool in the Waterfall Basin" in Oceanus Falls, and "Gate to the Mystic Land" in Kronos Forest have great experience/stamina ratios once you can clear them.
Player Rank milestones:
- Rank 66 (50 stamina)
- Rank 100 (7 teams)
- Rank 120 (Additional friend helper choices)
- Rank 167 (100 stamina)
- Rank 200 (8 teams)
- Rank 267 (150 stamina)
and so on.
For the first week or two, you can get through the beginning dungeon content with any mishmash of a team. However, before long, you'll need to plan your teams more carefully. There are two main strategies to help you survive:
- Offense-based ("Burst teams", "Sweep teams"): Kill the enemies before they can attack you. Look for Leader Skills that offer multipliers to ATK or damage dealt.
- Defense-based ("Grind teams", "Resist teams"): Boost your HP/RCV or reduce the damage you take in order to out-last the enemy's attacks. Look for Leader Skills with multipliers to HP and RCV, or ones that reduce at least 50% of enemy damage.
The number one mistake in a newbie team is thinking that they need to include every color (and the tutorial doesn't help with that perception). This is not optimal because you'd have to match every color in order to activate all your monsters' attacks (and if you can do that, it's time to grab a Horus or Ra and run a Rainbow team).
Instead, you should look at your strongest Leader Skill(s) and focus on taking advantage of that. For instance, if your leader boosts ATK for Fire types, then you should fill your team with red monsters, and ideally some monsters that can change orbs to Fire (such as ) so that you'll have more attacking orbs available. That way, you can maximize your damage output with just one or two matches.
Take a look at the Team Composition page to get an idea of goals you can aim for, or check the "Sample Teams" section of a tough dungeon you want to beat for ideas. Keep in mind that you will eventually need a variety of different teams for different situations, so make good use of the different monsters you find.