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Star Ocean: The Divine Force: How To Quickly Earn Money

Money makes a JRPG world go round, and the expansive setting of "Star Ocean: The Divine Force" is no exception. Known as Fol, this universal currency is used in the buying and selling of items as well as in the process of Item Creation (I.C.), making it impossible to get through the game without spending a substantial amount of it on gear upgrades and crafting materials. 

Not to mention, Fol is the only real gatekeeper when it comes to abusing the I.C. system to get high-level gear much earlier than it would normally be available for purchasing (as demonstrated by King-X). Crafting imposes no real restriction on the level of items you're able to make beyond the availability of the corresponding materials, as well as the crafting level of the character you're using — both of which can simply be grinding with enough crafting attempts that, unfortunately, get very costly over time. And that's not even mentioning the absurd amounts you need to buy, craft, or optimize to get the best late-game gear to your desired specs. 

Whether you're trying to take advantage of the I.C. system for the best gear or just trying to keep up with regular gear upgrades throughout the game, you'll probably find yourself needing more Fol than you can get through normal gameplay. Here's a breakdown of the best and fastest ways of earning Fol in the early, mid, and late game portions of "Star Ocean: The Divine Force."

What's the quickest way to earn Fol in the early game?

The first opportunity you get to start earning substantial amounts of Fol pops up very early in the game. All you have to do is unlock Item Creation near the end of Chapter 1 — you'll only have access to Compounding at first, but that's all you'll need. The process entails buying blueberries and fresh sage from any vendor, Compounding them into Resurrection Elixirs, then selling the Elixirs back to the vendor. Rinse and repeat. 

The profit is in the math: Blueberries cost 30 Fol each, fresh sage is 120, and each Compounding attempt takes 21 Fol (per Reddit). With the maximum inventory stack at 20 per item, this brings the total cost of a full round of attempts to 3630 Fol. As Resurrection Elixirs sell for 400 Fol each, the maximum possible profit is a net 4370 Fol per round. 

That's only if all 20 attempts are successful, however. Due to the RNG-based nature of I.C., your profit margin is based on how many of the Compounding attempts actually result in an Elixir. The good news is that getting a consistent enough rate of success to turn a decent profit isn't terribly hard — if one of your characters is failing too many attempts, just switch to another. Once you get Elena in early Chapter 2, you can use her Economist talent for a discount on the crafting fee and a slightly higher profit margin (per GameFAQs).

What's the quickest way to earn Fol in the mid-game?

An easy mid-game source of Fol comes after unlocking Authoring through one of Welch's many sidequests, so don't ignore her when she calls. With access to Authoring comes the ability to create books and recipes, most of which sell for pretty great rates. Reddit user Demilich2005 recommends mass-buying straw paper at 100 Fol each, crafting them, then selling the results, the possibilities of which range from the recipes for Heat Bomb (1250 Fol), Resurrection Elixir (2000 Fol), and veggie salad umaibo (500 Fol). Theoretically, the net profit ranges from 13,000 to 30,000 Fol per full round of Authoring attempts, making it a significant upgrade from the early game method.

That's not to say you should ignore Elixir selling entirely. One key aspect of recipes is that, while they aren't needed to craft an item, having them in your possession enables you to auto-craft the item in question. In this case, you'll probably end up with at least one Resurrection Elixir recipe to hold onto — all you need to do is go into the Compounding menu of any character, press the rightmost action button (square on PlayStation controllers, and X on Xbox), then press the right shoulder button on the Elixir recipe to enable it for automatic Compounding (per PrimaGames). From then on, the game will auto-craft as many Resurrection Elixirs as you have ingredients and inventory space for, every time you exit the menu, speeding up the earlier Fol-farming method.

What's the quickest way to earn Fol in the late game?

The fastest method is bonkers and comes from Youtuber Primalliquid, in collaboration with sharp-eyed "Star Ocean" players. It turns out that, once you reach a certain point in the game, you can forgo vendor exploits entirely to focus on extracting as much money as possible from enemy encounters.

The basic premise is to apply the 35% Fol bonus onto an accessory, then use a combination of Surprise Attack Bonus Factors and Accessory Factor boosting Factors to achieve the cap of a 500% Surprise Attack Bonus rate across the entire gearset.

However, this method does rely on you being able to reliably ambush and kill enemies before they are no longer surprised — i.e. before they stop glowing yellow. As such, you'll need to optimize the killing power of your controlled party member. Primalliquid recommends using two Tri-Emblem accessories optimized with Point-Blank damage boosts and critical damage boosts in tandem with weapons with attack boost Factors, and armor with Weapon Factor boosts. That said, any build will do so long as it's fast and powerful enough.

Of course, because this relies on optimizing high-level Factors on gear through Synthesis, which takes quite a bit of Fol to set up. To start, you can apply as many of the required Factors as you can afford as you farm, then use your earnings to work your way up to the fully optimized drop rate of just under 2 billion Fol per hour.