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Yakuza Like a Dragon Best Characters TIER LIST

This Yakuza Like a Dragon Best Characters Tier List will give you a breakdown on every character so you can know who’s worth having in your party.

If you’re playing Yakuza Like a Dragon, you’re going to want to know who the Yakuza Like a Dragon best characters are. You’ve got a full cast of characters to choose from, ranging from Adachi, the retired police detective, to Zhao, the Chinese mafia gangster. Each of the Yakuza Like a Dragon characters have their own skills and abilities, but it can be difficult to know who’s worth using without spending significant time trying out each of them at max level.

When it comes to Yakuza Like a Dragon best characters, there’s obviously a certain amount of subjectivity. Like any tier list, while I’m going to give you a logical reasoning for my rankings, your opinion may vary. You may disagree or simply really like a specific character enough to use them in spite of their limitations.

Yakuza Like a Dragon also does a great thing by providing a robust job system, so even if a character isn’t among the Yakuza Like a Dragon best characters, you can always switch them to a powerful job to make them usable.

Additionally, because of the Yakuza Like a Dragon job system, I’m going to focus on what makes each character unique when it comes to ranking them. That would be: their unique classes, their character level skills, and their base stats.

With all that said, let’s get onto the Yakuza Like a Dragon Best Characters Tier List.

Yakuza Like a Dragon Best Characters Tier List

S Tier – Yakuza Like a Dragon Best Characters


yakuza like a dragon best characters nanba

First among the Yakuza Like a Dragon best characters, Nanba is your resident mage, and despite having a horrible haircut and generally being a downer, he’s invaluable to the party. His unique class, Homeless Guy, learns two powerful target-all spells that, the moment you get them, pretty much end fights as soon as they start. Since he also benefits from the MP-on-attack mechanic that mages get, his MP is hardly ever a concern.

He’s one of the few characters who can really make use of the job system by rounding out his magic arsenal with skills from the Host and Fortune Teller classes to learn bread-and-butter Ice and Lightning spells, respectively.

He’s also the only male character aside from Kasuga who learns any healing magic, and his healing magic is enough to keep your party afloat for 99.9% of the game until you hit the really challenging content in the True Final Millennium Tower.

Finally, his magic stat is extremely high and boosted up even more thanks to the Magic bonuses his Homeless Guy job gives him at higher levels.

Nanba is easily the most versatile party member, he’s powerful from the moment you get him to the end of the game, he can heal, and he even has a bit of utility in the form of Malodorous Stench, which lowers all enemies’ attack and defense. He’s pretty much a staple party member throughout the entire game.

When it comes to Yakuza Like a Dragon best characters, the only reason to not use Nanba is probably just personal preference, and, sure, you can get by without him, but it’s difficult to deny that he’s a powerhouse.


yakuza like a dragon best characters zhao

Zhao is pretty much exclusively a DPS character, but he excels in that role, making him easily one of the Yakuza Like a Dragon best characters. Once you learn his final Gangster skill, Essence of Ladder Acrobatics, Zhao will be responsible for OHKOing all enemies immediately whenever a fight starts.

He has extremely high attack (I believe the highest natural attack value), as well as exceptional speed. He gets powerful single target attacks both in the form of blunt and bladed damage so he tends to be able to target enemy weaknesses. As I mentioned above, he gets a powerful screen clearing ability towards the end of the game.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Zhao has one of the best skills for killing the Infested Vagrants found throughout the game that you’ll be using to quickly gain experience. His Vagrant killing skill is called Dragon Decimator, and it’s a character skill so it sticks with him regardless of what class you turn him into.

Zhao doesn’t benefit much from class swapping in the same way that Nanba does. His magic stat is not great and the only physical damage type he’s missing in his Gangster class is gun, which male characters can’t get access to in their jobs. However, once you’ve maxed out Gangster, he makes a great Breaker, only losing access to his bladed damage type while still retaining the speed, attack power and screen clear that makes him exceptional in the first place.

It should also be noted that easy access to bladed attacks is a significant benefit, because bladed attacks are not very common among male jobs (Bodyguard gets them and Chef gets a couple, but otherwise almost all male job attacks are blunt damage), and the only other male character with bladed skills is Joon-gi Han, whose bladed skills are relatively lackluster.

In terms of Yakuza Like a Dragon best characters, once you’ve gotten Zhao to a high enough level to end every fight on the first turn, it’s hard to picture not having him in your party.

A Tier – Yakuza Like a Dragon Best Characters


yakuza like a dragon best characters kasuga

Kasuga has above average stats in every area and his base class, Hero, is great. Its attack power is high (not extremely high, but high), and next to Nanba, Kasuga in the Hero class probably has the most versatility available in the game.

As a Hero, he has powerful single-target attacks, powerful area attacks, a full-party heal that, when combined with Nanba’s natural healing and possibly the “Endless Desire” skill from Musician, makes having a dedicated healer unnecessary except for the very last challenge of the game, the True Final Millennium Tower.

He even gets one of the most useful support skills in the form of Fearless Command, which raises all party members’ attack power.

You might want to dip into Bodyguard for a bit just to learn Diehard Skewer, which is not really a great skill, but without it all of Kasuga’s skills are blunt which can be an issue if enemies resist that damage type (and a fair amount do).

The only real downside of Kasuga’s Hero class is that it’s lacking a true target-all attack skill, but in most fights Essence of Full Swing will be able to hit all enemies anyway and, worst case scenario, his Essence of Orbital Laser skill (learned from the Management minigame) can be used in a pinch despite its extremely high MP cost.

When it comes to Yakuza Like a Dragon best characters, Kasuga performs extremely well, which is nice because you have him at all times.

B Tier – Yakuza Like a Dragon Best Characters


yakuza like a dragon best characters eri

Eri is very similar to Zhao in terms of her utility among the Yakuza Like a Dragon best characters. She’s a fast attacker with bladed skills who eventually learns a powerful screen clearing ability. Compared to Zhao, she’s faster but weaker, which generally makes her the worse option of the two. Still, she’s a powerful attacker and you can’t really go wrong picking one over the other.

Her character skills, which mostly debuff enemy accuracy, are of questionable utility, especially when compared to Zhao’s vast arsenal of kung-fu abilities.

The big differentiator between Zhao and Eri would obviously be Eri’s access to female specific classes, most of which are physical-damage focused. In that sense, Eri is easily better than Saeko thanks to her high attack and agility. Even when it comes to Idol, most of Idol’s healing skills are overkill and Eri’s agility makes her get turns more often and her higher attack boosts the power of Idol’s offensive skills (all of which are, surprisingly, physical damage).

Among the female classes, Matriarch is a standout (if you have the DLC) since it gets access to multiple physical damage types, including gun damage. Still, secondary classes are an extremely late game consideration and when it comes to the vast majority of the game, Eri and Zhao are competing for the same role with Zhao typically coming out on top.

In terms of Yakuza Like a Dragon best characters, Eri stacks up pretty well.

C Tier – Yakuza Like a Dragon Best Characters


yakuza like a dragon best characters adachi

Adachi’s base class, Detective, is not particularly great, nor are Adachi’s character skills. What makes Adachi stand out, really, is simply his defensive stats and his high health, which is useful throughout the game, but become especially useful in the True Millennium Tower, where most enemies can one or two shot most party members.

Because Detective gets a bunch of HP and Defense bonuses that other characters don’t have access to, Adachi’s survivability is unrivaled among the remaining party members. His attack is also relatively decent and, thanks to his slow speed, he’ll mostly be acting as a cleanup crew in terms of damage anyway.

The best thing to do with Adachi is probably to learn “Endless Desire” from the musician job, which gives HP regeneration to the whole party, to give him a little bit of utility, and then stick him in the Enforcer job to get him started on building up his defense. Enforcer also gets access to some decent single target (Paralysis Prongs) and multitarget skills (Essence of Shield Rupture, Essence of Magnetic Storm).

When it comes to Yakuza Like a Dragon best characters, Adachi is nothing to write home about, but he definitely has his place. Personally, I used him in my party for most of the game just because I liked his personality.

Joon-gi Han

yakuza like a dragon best characters joon-gi han

Joon-gi Han is Yakuza Like a Dragon’s jack of all trades, master of none character. He’s very fast with decent all around stats, including a formidable magic stat. His base class, Hitman, is the only male class with access to Gun skills.

Unfortunately for Joon-gi Han, his base class doesn’t learn any great screen clearing attacks. It gets Divine Shot, which hits an area, but its damage is underwhelming. He gets access to all physical attack types, but none of his skills are exceptionally good. He can further increase his ability to hit enemy weaknesses by learning all 3 magical attacks (Fulminating Forecast, Ice Spreader and Megaton Throw), but none of those are target-all attacks.

So Joon-gi Han has all this variety, but in terms of physical power you’re better off with Zhao or Eri, and in terms of magical power, Nanba is better by a huge margin. On top of that, all that variety sort of goes to waste just in terms of how Yakuza Like a Dragon’s battle system works. Sure, it’s great to hit weaknesses, but you only really need two different damage types on a single character in order to avoid enemy resistances most of the time, and almost every character has that.

In terms of Yakuza Like a Dragon best characters, it’s difficult to pinpoint anything, aside from hitting weaknesses, that Joon-gi Han can do better than other characters. I suppose you could turn him into a Breaker and take advantage of his exceptional speed, but even then I think Zhao performs better.

D Tier – Yakuza Like a Dragon Best Characters


yakuza like a dragon best characters saeko

I like Saeko a lot, but when I really thought about it logically, she’s probably objectively the worst character. Certainly still usable. You can toss her into the Matriarch job or the Idol job and get some usefulness out of her, but compared to other party members she’s undeniably subpar.

Her physical attack stats are much lower than Eri, making Eri generally the better choice for any of the female jobs. Saeko gets better magic power, but not only is it nowhere near Nanba’s, female jobs get weaker spells in general and have no access to any lightning spells, which is typically the most useful element since so many enemies are weak to it and it inflicts paralysis.

Even as an Idol, which seems like the natural role for Saeko, Eri is better because she’s faster and has higher attack (all the Idol’s offensive skills are physical). To top it off, Saeko’s higher healing ability goes to waste because Idol healing skills are so powerful they’ll heal your party to full even if your healing stat is low.

The class most suited to Saeko’s strengths is probably Hostess, but that class doesn’t learn any target-all magic spells, and Eri is better suited to every other female class, which sort of makes Saeko the odd-woman out when it comes to Yakuza Like a Dragon best characters.

That about covers it for the Yakuza Like a Dragon Best Characters Tier List. Be sure to check the Yakuza Like a Dragon section for more Yakuza guides, check out the main page for more guides for a variety of games, and feel free to check out my Yakuza Like a Dragon review on YouTube.


  • Ryan Night

    Ryan Night is an ex-game industry producer with over a decade of experience writing guides for RPGs. Previously an early contributor at gamefaqs.com, Ryan has been serving the RPG community with video game guides since 2001. As the owner of Bright Rock Media, Ryan has written over 600 guides for RPGs of all kinds, from Final Fantasy Tactics to Tales of Arise.

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