Talents (タレント, Tarento?) is a recurring type of ability in the Star Ocean series. Although the usage of talents differs thoughout the games, they are almost invariably an innate characteristic that each character has.
Talents are required to use some abilities effectively. Characters inherit them when they join the party, thus whenever there is a new member, the player can check their talents at the Status Screen. If the player doesn't like the number or type of talents, they can keep reloading a previous save file and re-recruiting the character until his or her talents suits the player's tastes. This includes Roddick, who may learn new talents upon warping to Roak in the past after his and Millie's short stay in the Calnus.
Talents can also be discovered. For a hidden talent to 'bloom' (開花, Kaika?), the player must have the character repeatedly use an ability that requires that talent. The character may eventually discover the wanted talent. There is, however, one talent that cannot be discovered: Blessing of Mana, which all spellcasters begin with. Discovering a talent has the added benefit of giving the character an immediate amount of SP (50 in the original game, 100 in the remake).
The following is a list of the ten available talents:
- Nimble Fingers
- Design Sense
- Rhythm Sense
- Love of Animals
- Animal Instinct
- Blessing Of Mana
Talents in the second installment work as they did in the previous game. The following is a list of the ten available talents (along with their name in the original translation of The Second Story):
- Taste (Sense of Taste)
- Nimble Fingers (Dexterity)
- Design Sense (Sense of Design)
- Composition (Writing Ability)
- Rhythm Sense (Sense of Rhythm)
- Listening (Pitch)
- Love of Animals
- Animal Instinct (Sixth Sense)
- Blessing Of Mana (The Blessing of Manna)
Talents are passive buffing skills that all characters innately possess. They work alongside equipment factors and Rush Modes' additional effects. Like factors, the effect of talents can remain active as long as the character is in battle, or their effect can be activated by using battle skills (special arts, symbols, Rush modes) or by the character's range relative to the enemy. Talent effects may also have a certain duration (e.g. they can last 20 seconds) and may affect the whole party (in which case this is specified in the talent's details). New talents may be obtained by augmenting or awakening characters.
Some example of talents are: ATK +%; +% chance of causing stun; Damage taken -%; Critical hit damage or chance +%; or AP cost -%. Talents are extremely important at the time of choosing which character to play as, specially whether or not the talents benefit the whole party.
There are rules for stacking factors and talents: talents and factors that remain active unconditionally can stack; but talents that can be activated in battle with Rush mode or battle skills will not stack. Only the effect of the character with the higher talent or factor will activate. If their effect reduces damage, only the talent/factor with the lower value will take effect.