Which OCTOPATH TRAVELER character should you play first?

Eight characters - all unique. Let’s dig into the style and story for each one.
By Duncan Heaney

OCTOPATH TRAVELER follows the story of eight different heroes in an expansive RPG adventure. It’s out now on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam.

While you can recruit all eight characters to your party and play through their adventures, the hero you pick first will act as the party leader. It's a big decision, and each one is a compelling and memorable character in their own right. So, how do you pick?

We're here to help. Read on and we'll explore the eight playable protagonists, including who they are, their abilities and how their stories get started.

Olberic Eisenberg

Olberic is a renowned knight and a powerful warrior. Once he dedicated his life to the protection of his king and country, but a bloody coup, and betrayal from his most trusted comrade, takes both away from him - and his life’s meaning in the process.

What can Olberic do?

Outside of combat, Olberic has the ability to challenge anyone to a battle. He’s a stoic warrior, so these battles are more an ‘honorable duel’ types of scrap than ‘hey buddy - you spilled my drink’. Regardless, they can reward you with new routes, items and experience.

In combat, Olberic relies on good ol’ fashioned brute strength. He attacks with swords and polearms, and his attacks can deliver lots of damage to multiple foes.

What happens in Chapter 1?

Years after he failed to protect his land and liege, Olberic is living under an alias in the rural village of Cobblestone. But when bandits attack the townsfolk, he discovers a link to the past, and a chance to find purpose once more.

Cyrus Albright

Smart doesn’t always mean sensible, and Cyrus proves that.

A scholar and teacher in the affluent university town of Atlasdam, Cyrus has an unbridled passion for study and teaching. But while he is very clever indeed, he sometimes lacks common sense - particularly when it comes to matters of the heart.

What can Cyrus do?

Cyrus is a mage… and an intensely powerful one at that. He has access to elemental spells that can target multiple foes at once - useful for taking advantage of certain weaknesses. Also invaluable is his ability to scan a foe, and determine what weapons or spells they’re vulnerable to.

Outside of combat, Cyrus’s enquiring mind comes to the fore. He can scrutinize other characters - essentially interrogate them for information. This can lead to discounts in stores and inns, reveal hidden items and more.

What happens in Chapter 1?

When Cyrus goes to the library, he notices that a book he wants to use for research is missing. Investigating further, it seems that someone at the university is responsible. Never one to leave a puzzle unsolved, Cyrus determines to find out who’s responsible and retrieve the lost knowledge.

Unfortunately, in his fervor to solve the mystery of the book, Cyrus neglects some of the emotional needs of his students, setting off a chain of events that will send the scholar off into the unknown.

Tressa Colzione

Tressa is the daughter of two merchants, and she’s definitely inherited her parents’ love of commerce. She’s a shrewd negotiator with an eye for a bargain and an instinct for valuable items - even if nobody else sees it.

What can Tressa do?

Tressa is one of the most versatile characters in the game. She has access to a bows and polearms, wind magic, and a variety of mercantile skills, such as the ability to hire goons to take care of the fighting, dodge attacks and heal up.

Out in the field, she can buy items from most NPCs, and will pick up money as she wanders around.

What happens in Chapter 1?

Tressa works at her parents’ shop in the lovely coastal town of Rippletide. Her peaceful life is disrupted when pirates steal the townfolk’s property, and she determines to go get it back. In the process, she encounters a treasure that opens her eyes to the possibilities of commerce in the wider world.

Ophilia Clement

The cleric Ophilia is a well-meaning and noble soul, with enormous love for her adopted family. She’s someone who will always go out of her way to help others, but that kind nature regularly puts her at enormous risk.

What can Ophilia do?

Every team needs a healer, and Ophilia is especially adept. Unlike other characters, she can heal multiple party members at the same time - this can be very useful in some of the tougher battles. While she’s not much of a physical threat, she can also dish out the damage with her Light elemental attacks.

When walking around the world, she has the ability to ‘guide’ characters. They’ll tag along with the party, and can be called on to help out in battle.

What happens in Chapter 1?

Ophilia lives in the beautiful - but chilly - town of Flamesgrace. An orphan, she was taken in by the Archbishop of the cathedral and his daughter, Lianna.

Lianna is meant to go on a dangerous pilgrimage to the holy sites of the world, but when the Archbishop falls ill, Ophilia takes it on herself to relieve her beloved sister of that burden.

Primrose Azelhart

Once Primrose was the daughter of a noble. Now she dances for the drunk and desperate. She willingly subjects herself to these indignities for one specific purpose - revenge against the men who murdered her father.

What can Primrose do?

She’s skilled with a dagger, and has access to powerful Dark magic attacks. Just as useful though is her ability to buff herself and the party with various enhancements.

For example, Primrose can dramatically improve speed, elemental attacks and even physical strikes - all extremely effective when properly utilized.

When not in battle, Primrose can attempt to allure an NPC into joining the party. If successful, they’ll follow her indefinitely and even attack enemies for her.

What happens in Chapter 1?

Primrose works as a dancer in the town of Sunshade, patiently looking for any sign of the men who destroyed her family. Finally she gets the lead she’s been waiting for, but her attempts to follow it are complicated by her employer Helgenish - a man who’s as sleazy as he is unpleasant.

Alfyn Greengrass

Alfyn is an affable apothecary with tons of talent, but lots to learn. As a young man he was healed by a traveler, and has since devoted his life to following in his footsteps by helping those in need. Though well-intentioned, he is also naïve to the ways of the world… and this leads to trouble.

What can Alfyn do?

As an apothecary, Alfyn can heal wounds and cure status ailments. He’s a capable fighter too, with powerful axe attacks and potent ice magic.

Unique to Alfyn is the ability to concoct, using raw ingredients in battle to create items that can heal the party, cause damage to enemies, and even deliver some results you don’t expect.

In the field, he can also ‘inquire’ with NPCs to find hidden objects, and get discounts in local businesses.

What happens in Chapter 1?

In the town of Clearbrook, Alfyn is learning how to be apothecary alongside his friend - and ultimate bro - Zeph. But when Zeph’s sister is bitten by a rare and poisonous snake, it’s a race against time to find the beast and develop an anti-toxin.


This mysterious rogue is an exceptionally skilled thief - there are few places he can’t get into, and few items he can’t pilfer. Despite a preference to work as a lone wolf, circumstances force him to rely more on others.

What can Therion do?

As you’d expect from a thief, Therion can pilfer items from enemies - but that’s not all. He can steal their health and SP (used for special abilities) too. Swords, daggers and fire magic give him a range of offensive options, and he can also debuff foes to weaken their armor and attacks.

When he’s not depriving enemies of their valuables, he can do the same to townsfolk. Therion has the ability to steal from most NPCs, and while not the most… moral of actions, it’s a great way to get valuable loot.

What happens in Chapter 1?

Therion hears a rumor about valuable treasure inside Ravus Manor, in the urban sprawl of Bolderfall. Many thieves have failed to penetrate its security, but never one to deny himself a challenge, Therion determines to find his way inside. But things are not quite what they seem, and the cocky kleptomaniac soon finds himself well over his head.


One of the last members of her clan, H’aanit lives as a hunter in the town of S'warkii. She’s kind, cool-headed and an incredibly accomplished tracker and beast-tamer. Her respect for the natural world is matched only by her respect (and exasperation) for her master Z’aanta.

What can H’aanit do?

H’aanit can use bows and axes to attack enemies directly, and use lightning attacks to shock them. But her true strength lies in her ability to tame wild beasts. Most monsters can be captured by the hunter, and called out in combat to attack foes, opening up her tactical options massively.

Outside of combat, H’aanit has the ability to provoke NPCs into a fight. Unlike Olberic, she can’t fight herself, and instead has to rely on her captured beasts to win these fights. Doing so can open up new paths, reveal items and more.

What happens in Chapter 1?

A year after her master left on a hunt, H’aanit is asked to deal with a local monster that is terrorizing the area. Her investigation takes her deep into the woods, where she learns there is far more to the beast than meets the eye.

So that’s a little glimpse into the stars of the game, their stories and their skillsets. Hopefully it will help you make a decision over who to start with - but remember: there is no ‘correct’ order.

OCTOPATH TRAVELER is specifically designed in such a way that whichever hero you pick, you’ll have a balanced and challenging adventure to play through.

It's available now for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam:

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