Ether is a replacement for the speed stat that RPGs normally have, and it determines what gear level (1-5) that your character is in at any moment in battle. It’s shown on the character sheet as “e/s”.
You can also see your character’s current e/s value in battle by pausing and checking her stats.
The e/s thresholds for each gear level are as follows:
- Gear 1: Any
- Gear 2: 150 e/s
- Gear 3: 200 e/s
- Gear 4: 250 e/s
- Gear 5: 300 e/s
300 e/s is the in-combat maximum, you cannot raise the value any higher than this - even if you get it to a higher value on the character sheet. The exception is when you use items that increase e/s.
The start of combat maximum is 250 e/s. This means you cannot start combat in gear 5, and any value higher than 250 e/s on the character sheet is 100% wasted. The character sheet reflects any starting ether speed increases from facilities, fragments and talents, so you can trust the value there. Get it to 250 and don’t go any higher.
250 e/s is also a soft cap in combat - if you are under 250 e/s, you cannot go above it in a single skill use. Say you’re at 245 (which would be gear 3), and use a skill that gives you +60 ether, you will not immediately go to gear 5. You will stop at 250 e/s (gear 4) and be required to use another skill to get to 5.
However, there aren’t any other soft caps. With enough ether on skill use, it’s possible to go from Gear 1 straight to Gear 4... which is mostly only relevant for revives and switching in supports, so I wouldn’t focus on being able to do this.
tldr: get character sheet to 250 e/s then ~60 ether on skill use for min/max 5th gear (sunflower bed is overpowered)
What do the different ether stats in game mean?
There are a few different ether stats and they can be confusing. I’ll go over each of them.
Ether recovery speed at the start of battle
This one is the most straightforward, as its values are directly reflected on your character stat sheet. Here are the different sources of it available:
- Fragments with “Ether Recovery Speed Up”
- 10 at base
- 15 for +1
- 25 for +2
- Talents that give “initial ether speed”
- The Sunflower Bed facility
Ether recovery speed on skill use
This stat is a bit more common than starting e/s, but comes with lower values in general. The way it works is simple - when you use a skill, a certain value gets added to your current e/s. “Ether acceleration” is another wording for this stat (only appears on sunflower bed afaik). Skills also have a base ether recovery value, ranging anywhere from -100 to +25, which is added together with any other source of ether recovery you have.