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As one of the greatest JRPGs ever made, Persona 5 is a must-play for any Atlus or RPG fans. It is massive with well over 100 hours alone needed on average to complete the main story of both the original game and its expanded version, Royal. Because of how massive these games are, there are plenty of secrets, such as the numerous endings you can get. You’ll see all of these in this Persona 5 endings explained guide.
One of the surprising parts about Persona 5 is that it has multiple endings in the first place. Many of them are locked behind certain convoluted conversation choices, while others are easy to miss. It is relatively easy to get a good ending on your first playthrough without even trying. That said, some players may want to increase their time with this already ginormous game by ballooning with multiple playthroughs. If that’s you and you want to get a new ending this time around, you’re in the right place with this Persona 5 endings explained guide.
Bottom Line Up Front
Believe it or not, there are roughly eight or so different endings you can get for Persona 5. This includes both the original base game as well as the Persona 5 Royal version that came after. Most of the endings are throwaway bad endings that don’t mean much, while some of the other significant conclusions can redefine how you look at the entire experience. It gets even more complicated when talking about which is the canon ending of the bunch. If that’s not bad enough, there is even Persona 5 Striker’s ending, too.
Persona 5 Endings Overview
An ending is precisely what it sounds like: the conclusion of a video game like Persona 5. Though most JRPGs out there generally have only a single ending or perhaps just two at the very end, Persona 5 is intriguing because it has several possible finishes you can acquire.
Some of these endings are arguably throwaway ones that don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. They just feature some terrible circumstances that happen that act as a warning to avoid that ending in the future.
Some of these boring or bad endings are so inconsequential that you can unlock several of them in the same playthrough. The beloved JRPG does a great job of not necessarily locking you out of most bad endings just because you made a wrong choice here or there.
At the same time, though, there are also good endings that are generally considered the ones that you should acquire. Of these, there are several as well, and some are inherently better than others. With so many different endings you can get in Persona 5, it can be a bit overwhelming to figure out which you should unlock.
Thankfully, I’ve played through the massive JRPG three times in total now (you don’t want to know how many hundreds of hours that means). My playthroughs were one and a half times with the original Persona 5, then a second full playthrough on PS4 with Persona 5 Royal, and then a final time relatively recently on Switch with Royal again.
I’ve seen most of these endings below multiple times each, so I’ve got your back when it comes to what they entail and how to acquire them.
All Persona 5 Endings Explained
In total, there are approximately eight different endings you can get for Persona 5 across both the regular version of the game and its Persona 5 Royal variant for modern platforms. To be clear, the exact numbering is a bit weird since some of these endings can be experienced several times within the same game.
Those particular bad endings will even have different contexts depending on the part of the game you’re in, but they are still roughly the same. As such, I divided this into eight different core endings you can get in Persona 5 and Royal.
I should note that this is going to be full of nothing but spoilers all around. After all, we are talking about the very end of the massive JRPG. I will discuss what happens in these endings, the events surrounding them, and the specific actions you must take to unlock them.
If you’re just starting with Persona 5, this may not be the best place to look for right now as you are liable to get a whole lot of twists and turns spoiled for you, including some of the best ones. But if you find yourself at a junction unsure of what to do next, you’re in the right place to unlock the proper ending for you.
Bad Ending #1: Refusing Your Persona Destiny
First off, the very first ending you can get in Persona 5 is relatively easy to accomplish. This initial ending can be unlocked at the beginning of the game. Toward the start of Persona 5, the player playing Joker, the protagonist of the JRPG, enters the Velvet Room.
Players who have checked out previous Persona games in the past will likely know the Velvet Room locale quite well. It is a place that you visit in the series to utilize the Wild Card powers you have that allow you to wield multiple Personas in combat.
The very first time that you enter the Velvet Room as Joker, there is a familiar scene for series veterans in which you can make a contract with the master of the room, Igor. In exchange for signing the contract, you’ll gain access to the room’s facilities and the ability to wield Personas.
However, the craziest part about all this is that you can reject Igor’s offer if you choose. When you do so, you’ll find that you’ll get an immediate bad ending to Persona 5 (one of the most unique, too), and you’ll be sent right back to the title screen for the game. It seems you’ll have to accept the contract’s terms, no questions asked, if you wish even to play the game in the first place.
How to Achieve This Ending
This is one of the easiest to accomplish if you want to unlock the very first ending for Persona 5. Just play through the prologue of the game until you reach the point at which Joker goes to sleep. He will awaken in the Velvet Room and be greeted by the attendants there.
When you are given the option to accept the contract Igor has laid out for you, simply reject the offer, and you will instantly get this lousy ending. There isn’t too much else to this secret Easter egg ending. This is the only time you can get it, too.
Bad Ending #2: Missing the Palace Deadline
Unlike the first bad ending, this next one is intriguing because it isn’t a one-time thing. You can get this particular bad ending several times throughout your playthrough of Persona 5. You see, some deadlines happen over the course of the calendar year in the world.
At certain checkpoints throughout the story, you’ll have a deadline to take on the Palaces, which are essentially the main dungeons. These are required for continuing the story, and you have to defeat the villain and steal their treasure before the deadline arrives.
Of course, my first thought upon seeing this deadline was wondering what would happen if I didn’t meet it in the first place. What happens if you miss the deadline? Well, it turns out that the game has some consequences in store, and it doesn’t just continue or give you some extra time to complete it.
Missing the deadline does result in a bad ending, no matter what Palace you’re doing. The circumstances will change slightly depending on the dungeon you’re currently after. Still, the general idea is that Joker will be arrested by the police, and the canonical events of the game will be broken. This is another short and sweet bad ending.
How to Get This Ending
If you want to get this particular bad ending, for whatever reason, all you need to do is miss any deadline in Persona 5. It doesn’t take long to unlock the first Palace for Kamoshida in the JRPG, and all you have to do is keep playing the game until you reach the final day and not actually finish the dungeon.
This essentially means wasting your days or doing other activities with your free time while altogether avoiding the Palace. Or at least not making any real progress in the Palace. If you wish to fast forward to this ending, simply head home after school every day and go straight to sleep at night.
What also sets this second bad ending apart from the first one is that you can still keep playing after getting it. The game is generous and reverts time back to one week before the deadline to give you time to learn from your mistakes and avoid them. But you also lose that progress from the previous week, so bear that in mind.
Bad Ending #3: Snitches Get Stitches
Unlike the first two bad endings, this one is far more substantial in terms of story content. Partway through Persona 5’s story, you finally catch up to the beginning of the game, where Joker is being interrogated throughout the journey.
After the eventual betrayal that leads to Joker’s arrest, Sae Niijima gives Joker the option to sell out his friends. You can take this deal and provide the identity of your fellow Phantom Thieves or stay true to your beliefs. The clear right choice here is to remain true to your friends, but you can sell them out.
Doing so will lead to a terrible ending in which that particular traitor in the Phantom Thieves group shows up while Joker is still imprisoned. That traitor will then proceed to secretly murder Joker in cold blood, and you’ll get the game over screen. This is a particularly rough ending but one that isn’t that impactful since you see some of these events in the canon storyline anyways.
How to Unlock This Ending
If you wish to unlock this ending and be the ultimate snitch for whatever reason, all you need to do is make it to Sae Niijima’s Palace and progress to the arrest sequence. When Sae interrogates you, pick the conversation choices that have you comply with the investigation and out your friends. I hope you sleep well at night knowing what you did to them.
Bad Ending #4: Missing the Deadline to Save the World
This fourth bad ending is quite similar to the second one in that it deals with the deadline aspect. What’s unique about this one is that it deals with the deadline for the grand finale(s) of Persona 5 and Royal. Both have a final Palace you enter, and you have to beat them to save the world once and for all finally.
However, what happens if you don’t save the world? Well, it turns out that the game will offer up bad endings that are slightly more intriguing than the usual deadline endings since the fate of the very world is in the balance. As such, they offer a bit more substance than the others and allow you to see a tragic, easily avoidable conclusion to the story.
What is intriguing about this is that there are, technically, two of these condemning the world endings. The first is with the final Palace in Persona 5, while there is another in the third semester with the new dungeon in Royal. Both give this unique bad ending as an option.
How to Unlock
To unlock this particular ending, there are two ways to do it, and it depends on which game you’re playing. If you’re playing the base Persona 5 or Royal and don’t mind skipping the third semester, it has to do with the final Palace. All you need to do is keep playing the game and ignore the clear-cut final deadline, and you’ll get this ending.
As for the Persona 5 Royal-exclusive version of this ending, you’ll need to unlock the third semester. Once you reach this point, unlock the new Palace by refusing the opportunity that Joker gets at the beginning of January.
Do that, and you’ll get the dungeon, but then you’ll need just to ignore the Palace until the deadline. This is the darkest of all the bad endings, with one of the most heartbreaking depictions of Joker. It also adds some intriguing context and development to the character you don’t get elsewhere, so I highly recommend checking this one out.
Good Ending #1: Accepting Igor’s Offer
What is rather strange is that there is actually a good ending to Persona 5 that isn’t all that good. Near the end of the base game’s story, you’ll find out that, spoiler alert, the god Yaldabaoth is behind everything. In the process, the fake Igor from the Velvet Room will allow you to turn everything in the world back to normal.
This is the final choice of the main plot, and it provides the player with the opportunity to bring peace to the chaotic situation. In the process, turning everything back to the status quo from before will actually result in a peaceful ending in which the Phantom Thieves all go free.
The problem with this, though, is that no one in the world will have true free will of their own since Yaldabaoth will be controlling everything. Sure, Joker gets his freedom but is it freedom? That makes it a bad ending, in my opinion.
How to Unlock This Ending
If you want this ending, you have to accept the offer that fake Igor/Yaldabaoth offers to you when you near the end of the game. Choosing to return everything to how it was before will net you this ending, but beware that there is no going back. Be sure to have a save file before this choice if you want to see more than just this particular conclusion for the game.
Good Ending #2: Original Persona 5 Ending
The original canonical ending to Persona 5 concludes with the opposite of the previous ending. In this one, the player confronts Yaldabaoth and breaks the shackles of his control over the world. The epic final battle ensues, and the god is defeated in the end with a bombastic finale.
However, unlike the previous ending, everything isn’t perfect. The charges against the Phantom Thieves remain, and Joker is taken in once more. He goes free eventually but loses a bit of time with his friends. He then returns home from spending time in Tokyo before an after-credits scene shows him going on summer vacation with his Metaverse friends, which is picked back up in Persona 5 Strikers.
There is a Persona 5 Royal special version of this ending that occurs if you meet the correct requirements. Technically no longer an ending, though, this expanded version will see Goro Akechi appear alive and well, and take the fall for Joker.
This allows Joker to enjoy the third semester of school, which opens the doorway to the new story arc.
How to Unlock
For those who just want the original canon Persona 5 ending, either in the base game or Royal, all you need to do is reject Yaldabaoth, defeat him in the final battle, and watch the events that follow. Royal players will need to avoid raising their Confidant rank to nine with the new character and school counselor, Maruki, by November 17. This will give you the regular ending.
But if you want the special Royal version, on the other hand, raise his Confidant rank to nine by November 17 and then beat the game per usual. You’ll see Goro appear, take the blame, and this will lead to a new semester of content to play.
Bad Ending #5: Is It Really That Bad? Persona 5 Royal Exclusive
The final bad ending is by far the most elaborate and exciting of the bunch. It is also exclusive to Persona 5 Royal players since it takes place in the third semester. After reaching this point, you’ll find yourself in a fake dream world where everyone gets what their heart desires most.
Maruki will give you a chance just to give up and allow this dream world to continue. In a tragic but bittersweet sense, you can agree and let the fake world become a reality by accepting his offer. In doing so, Haru’s dad will stay alive, Kasumi will live her “ideal” life, Futaba will have a mom again, and so on.
But just bear in mind that none of it is real and you’ll have to live with that knowledge. Still, I adore this fascinating and heartbreaking conclusion, even if it is a bad ending.
How to Get
If you want this ending, what you need to do is simply accept Maruki’s offer to keep this fake world around. You get a couple of chances to do this in the main story, but you must agree to his terms. If you reject his offer and don’t do the dungeon, you’ll have a depressing ending instead.
Good Ending #3: Persona 5 Royal’s New Ending
Finally, there is the brand new good ending that arrived with Persona 5 Royal. In this one, Joker and the Phantom Thieves, including Goro and Sumire, take down Maruki once and for all. They put an end to the dream world and let the actual one reign again, where everyone chooses their fates for themselves.
It is a bittersweet ending in its own right, given the fact that the dead characters will remain dead and that Goro was only alive because of Joker’s personal wish. But this is the true ending for Royal.
How to Unlock This Ending
To unlock this ending, first, you’ll need to get the third-semester content by raising your Maruki Confidant level to nine by November 17. Once you do that, reject his offers and defeat his Palace before the deadline to unlock the new true ending.
Is There a Canon Ending?
There is a canon ending, but the situation is a bit complicated. Without a doubt, the Persona 5 canon sees the Phantom Thieves take down Yaldabaoth but what happens from here is the problem. It is uncertain if the canon storyline sees the Phantom Thieves end their journey there or if the third semester is supposed to happen.
This is similar to what happened in Persona 3 Portable with the female main character. Sure, it makes sense to be canon, but later games like Persona 4 Arena and Ultimax canonized the male protagonist from that game only.
It gets even more complicated when Persona 5 Strikers is involved as the direct sequel to Persona 5. Personally, though, I think of the ending of Persona 5 Royal as the actual canon ending since the arcs with Kasumi/Sumire and Goro are just leaps and bounds better than the main story of the base game.
How Does Persona 5 Strikers’ Ending Fit?
Speaking of Persona 5 Strikers, though, this is where it gets complicated. As a direct sequel, it picks up with the summer vacation with the Phantom Thieves. It introduces some new characters and threats and concludes the Persona 5 storyline once more.
The only issue is that it feels mainly like a direct sequel to the original game, not necessarily Royal. It references none of the events from that game, and Sumire makes no appearance. The storylines even have some odd similarities to one another.
That said, technically, nothing in Strikers renders the ending of Royal not canon. There just has to be the coincidence that none of its elements or new characters appeared in that game. Because of this, I see both as coexisting, with Strikers being the final ending for the Persona 5 storyline for now.
Question: How many endings are there to Persona 5?
Answer: If you’re considering the endings of both Persona 5 and Royal, there are about eight different endings you can get. The game doesn’t keep solid track of all the endings you receive, so you’ll have to take notes yourself.
Question: What is the true ending of Persona 5?
Answer: The true ending of Persona 5 depends on what game you’re playing. In the base game, the actual ending is the defeat of the god Yaldabaoth and the end of the Metaverse. However, in Royal, it involves defeating the final Palace and villain in the third semester.
Question: Which Persona 5 ending is the best?
Answer: This is subjective, but I find the best ending to be between the canon ending to Royal with the end of the fake world and the bad ending in which you accept the fake world. The latter is so fascinating and underrated with its complicated subject matter of grief and the inability to let go and move on.
Persona 5 Strikers Is Your Next Stop
At the end of the day, you can pick the ending you want for the Persona 5 characters like Joker and the rest of the Phantom Thieves. If you prefer seeing the “final” ending that takes place the furthest in the timeline, you’ll want to check out Persona 5 Strikers.
Strikers is a pseudo-sequel to Persona 5 that features most of the Phantom Thieves returning for a new threat in an action-based RPG game. While I didn’t love the story, personally, the new characters are fun, and the gameplay is frenetic and intriguing. Find out more about how it plays and what you need to know here.