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Photon points, abbreviated PP, are points which weapons consume through the use of photon arts, with the exception of ranged weapons which will consume PP regardless of a bullet being linked to the weapon. A weapon's PP is indicated on the action palette by two numbers in the format current PP/maximum PP. As PP is consumed, the numerator will decrease until it reaches a point in which it can no longer meet the minimum requirement of PP to use a photon art or fire a shot. At this point, the weapon's PP must be recharged in order to continue using any attack which requires PP. The denominator, or maximum PP, is a fixed amount which can be increased only though the upgrade process of weapon grinding.
All weapon categories (with the exception of RCSMs) have a PP stat which is depleted through the use of photon arts, and in the case of ranged weapons, by firing normal shots. While the same basic principles of PP consumption apply to all weapons, there are a few minor variances between the three main categories.
Striking weapons consume PP only when using powerful photon arts known as skills. If a weapon's PP becomes too low to supply a skill with the minimum required PP to initiate an attack, you must recharge the weapon in order to continue using the attack. Otherwise, you can continue to perform normal attacks with the weapon while its PP recharges naturally.
Ranged weapons consume PP through the use of bullets, special photon arts which imbue the weapon with unique elemental or special properties. Unlike striking weapons however, they also require photon points for firing normal shots. Once a ranged weapon has depleted its photon points, it cannot be used until it has been at least partially recharged. Ranged combat support machines are the one exception to this category, as they do not have a PP stat, and therefore can continue to attack indefinitely.
TECHNIC weapons drain PP by casting TECHNICs, a category of photon arts which are elemental in nature, and exhibit both attack and support properties. Like ranged weapons, TECHNIC weapons require PP for their attacks, but unlike any other weapon category, they must have a photon art linked to them in order to be used at all.
A weapon's photon points can be restored in the following ways:
- All weapons restore PP automatically over time. Regeneration rates are unique to each weapon and also vary based on your type, but by simply having a weapon equipped in your hands, any PP which has been drained from it will recharge over time.
- Photon Charges and PhotonChargeCosmos can be used to refill a weapon's PP. When used from the action palette, a Photon Charge will replenish only the currently equipped weapon's PP. (If you have two single-handed weapons equipped, both will be fully recharged.) PhotonChargeCosmos, however, will recharge your entire palette of weapons.
- Photon Chargers are floating, glowing cubes which can be found in lobbies and in many missions. These devices allow you to pay a fee to completely recharge the PP of all weapons in your inventory. The amount paid for the service depends on the total amount of PP being recharged.
- When using striking weapons, hitting enemies with normal attacks will aid the natural regeneration rate, allowing you to recover PP faster. Furthermore, successful exact attacks will recharge even more photon points.