Granblue Fantasy is probably one of the best mobile JRPGs on the market. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it has gained massive popularity in Japan since its release in 2014 due to the great story, beautiful art by Final Fantasy IX and Final Fantasy XII Art Director Hideo Minaba, and lovely soundtrack by Nobuo Uematsu. It even recently inspired a successful anime series.
One of the nice things about the game is that it’s fully translated in English, so even those who don’t understand Japanese can enjoy it to their heart’s content, and besides the iOS and Android versions it’s playable on PC as well via Google App, which makes it even more accessible.
Unfortunately, there is an issue: despite the English translation, the game isn’t officially available in the west, placing a hurdle in front of those who want to play it from outside of Japan.
Since the celebrations for the seventeen million registered players milestone have just begun (and will last until September 22nd, 2017), and comes with a lot of freebies that can help make things a lot easier for novice players, I’d say the timing is perfect to give the game a try. To that end, this guide will help you create an account and download the game on your smartphone on Android bypassing the Google Play region lock.
First of all, you need to create an Mobage account that will be used for the game. This is the least intuitive option, as it’s in Japanese.
The easiest way to do it is via the Google App. You can download and install it from here. Once it’s installed, go to chrome://extensions and click on the “details” link under the Granblue Fantasy app. Select Create shortcuts and create the shortcut that you prefer (or both).
Update: The Google App has been discontinued, but the same features can be accessed via the browser client, which you can find here.
After that, launch the game via the shortcut you just created. It will launch the game and show you the login and registration screen. Select the option to create an account indicated below.
Insert your mail address in the box and confirm with the big orange button.
You will receive a mail at the same address, including a four digit code. Type that in the indicated box in the app.
In the next screen, fill up your details as indicated below.
After that, you’ll end up in this page. Click on the big orange button agin.
You’ve successfully created your account and you’re now at the game’s start screen. To make sure that you have registrered successfully, scroll all the way down and click on the second option. If on the top left of the next screen you see the nickname you selected, you have done everything correctly.
Click “back” to return to the start screen, and select “English” on the “Set Language” box. Then click Save Changes. The screen will reload. Click Start.
Congratulations! You can now play Granblue Fantasy. You can now start the tutorial to learn the ropes, and enjoy the game.
Since Granblue Fantasy was born as a mobile game, chances are that you may want to enjoy it on your smartphone.
If you’re on iOS, you need to create a Japanese iTunes account. There are several guides for that on the net. Once you have it, and you logged into your iPhone, you can simply access the Japanese iTunes store, and search for “Granblue.” Install the game, and log in with the account you created by clicking on the grey button that says “ID” (do NOT click on the blue button). Type in your email and password in the next screen, then confirm with the orange button.
If you’re on Android, you can’t just create a Japanese Google Play account, because Google will still send you to your country’s store. You need a nifty third party app named Qooapp. Download and install it (via this link, as it’s not on the Google Play store), and then launch it.
Qooapp is basically a big apk database, full of games from Japan that normally wouldn’t be available to westerners. It also lets you update them when they get a new version. Granblue Fantasy is one of the many, but you can find basically every Japanese mobile game you can think of.
In any case, we’re here for Granblue Fantasy, so tap on the search icon, type the title in, select the only result that should pop up, then tap on “Install” and Qooapp will install the game for you, ignoring that pesky Google region block.
Once the game is installed, log in as shown above, and you can play the game on your Android device.
All of your progression is stored via your account, so you can jump between devices at your leisure, and they will automatically sync.
Incidentally, Android devices are the best option if you want to actually spend money in the game, because once Qooapp installs the game, it will connect as normal to the Google Play payment system, since you’re on your usual account. You’ll be able to purchase currency like you do in any Android games you own, using your usual payment method.
That being said, spending money in Granblue Fantasy is very much optional. Just playing the game will provide you with plenty of crystals to draw new characters via the gacha system (I would suggest waiting until you have 3,000, in order to use the Premium 10-part draw, that guarantees a Super Rare drop or higher), and there are frequent events that offer free draws, weapons and characters. Even more members of the cast will simply join your party while playing the main storyline.
Now that you’re all set, you can have fun with Granblue Fantasy. The basics certainly aren’t difficult to learn, but the game has a ton of depth to it, especially when it comes to setting up your party, selecting and upgrading your weapons and more.
Incidentally, all daily bonuses reset at 5:00 AM Japan time, which translates to 10 PM CEST, 4 PM EDT, and 1 PM PDT. It’s good practice to log in every day after said reset, in order to grab the rewards.
If you’re more interested in console games, a JRPG for PS4 titled Granblue Fantasy Project Re: Link is currently in development in collaborations with PlatinumGames. We haven’t seen much about it since its announcement last year, besides an interesting presentation on its cloud tech, but news could come soon at Tokyo Game Show or at the upcoming Granblue Festival in December.