The game was announced by Sega at the SCEJA Press Conference in September 2013 prior to the Tokyo Game Show. The game is described as having a strong storyline, and emphasis on the singleplayer mode. Over 200 people, including 70 main staff, are involved in the development of the game. The game is produced by Yasuyuki Tsuzuki of Sega and Hiroyuki Tamura of tri-Ace, and the in-game music is composed by Motoi Sakuraba.
The game will be multiplayer compatible, with up to four players playing simultaneously in co-operation with one another through local ad-hoc WiFi play. Costumes are shown to have battle damage, showing wear and tear as you take damage. The structure of the game is very similar to the Monster Hunter series, having a main hub to purchase and upgrade weapons and items, then venturing out through a gate that leads outside to begin a mission. The game has a mission-based structure, with many side missions included that can be accepted from fellow NPC teammates. Gameplay itself is very similar to PSO2, with a standard attack button and Photon strikes (renamed 'Gran Strikes' in this game) can be mapped on up to three more open slots, them being the triangle button, hold R and square and hold R and press triangle.
The player is able to craft weapons through the procurement of raw materials; weapons cannot be obtained via item drops, however. Hunter class players are able to utilise swords and partisans, whilst Force class players can use rods. Piles, a new type of anchor shooting weapon, has also been introduced; these weapons create weak points on enemies.
As part of the Arks Special Planetary Exploration Group Alter, the player is on a journey to return alive from Machia, a chaotic planet where photons have no effect, after the Delta Variant warship crashes on Machia with 1,000 crew on board. The planet also happens to be home to the Gigantes, which huge foes that the player must face throughout the game.
The story will revolve around multiple characters:
Lutina, an 18 year old human female NPC and partner of the protagonist, belonging to the Force class.
Seil, an 18 year old human male NPC of the Hunter class.
Phildia, a 28 year old human female NPC of the Hunter class, who is the temporary captain of the Delta Variant.
Izuna, a 16 year old Newman female NPC, partner of Seil and is a ranger class
Sharon, a CAST female NPC and a member of the Science team.
Raven, a Newman Male NPC, he is the chief of the science team.
Kisara, a Human female NPC. The main operator of Delta Valiant.
Orkus, a Human male NPC of the ranger class
Calisto, a Newman male NPC of the force class
Hyperion, a CAST male NPC and the chef of Delta Valiant
Yomi, a Newman male NPC of the hunter class
Yuno, a mysterious girl that Lutina and the protagonist met.
Agrios, a Giantes with two main cannons on the side. Destroying it will prevent it from using its powerful attack.
Greios, a variant of Agrios.
Alcyone, a octopus-like gigantes that can shoot flames out of his tentacles.
Defcyone, a variant of Alcyone.
Eurude, a crab type Gigantes that can change weapons in the middle of the battle.
Vivryude, a variant of Eurede.
Gration, a Unicorn Type Gigantes that has a lot of chainsaws in its body and has big hands with chainsaw fingers on its back.
Gigadion, a variant of Gration with additional chainsaws in the upper legs.
Graudion, a variant of Gration.
Gygantia, a bug like Gigantes with a big cannon on its middle body. Most of the quest you do with it requires you to prevent its main cannon from firing.
There are many different types of costumes in Phantasy Star Nova.
Phantasy Star Nova was released with winnable trophies. Most of the achievements can be won by naturally progressing through the story and fighting enemies, while others require gaining new comrades and building relationships.
Phantasy Star Nova Master
Right now, the name of a new hero has been engraved here. May it now become a legend.
One Step Closer to Reconstruction
Now's the time to make our first step towards building this town! Let's make it our very own! What kind of town would you like it to be, partner?
Everyone's Expedition Town
The town's quite developed now! Let's paint it in all sorts of colors only we can come up with!
The Birth of a Masterpiece
Made a seven-star weapon! Even making something like this is nothing. Let it be a sharp spear for your empty-handed comrades to wield.
The Birth of a Great Masterpiece
Made a ten-star weapon! Nothing is impossible with it. Everything that stands before your eyes... Cut it!
Made a seven-star shield unit! Even this was no challenge for you. Use this shield unit to protect not only yourself, but your friends, too!
The Greatest Shield
Made a ten-star armor! Shake off all hostility, protect your comrades, become the greatest shield.
Made a seven-star Attach Part! Now you have achieved complete mastery of customizing your weapon. There's no doubt that you're going to stand out on the battlefield.
Made a ten-star Attach Part! Now you have achieved phantasmagoric mastery of customizing your weapon. There's no doubt that you're going to get envious looks at your weapon everywhere you go.
This is My Style
Attached four Attach Parts at once! I mean, it's so cool! Put on lots of these and follow your own way!
Reached level 50! Quite a skilled warrior, indeed. Have you already thought of taking disciples?
Reached level 100! You are now among the strongest warriors of ARKS. You, too, are going to be so popular now!
Unfroze your first crew member! Since you always remember your first one, I wonder what kind of person they are? Now, let's explore this planet together!
Increase in Crew
Unfroze a few different crew members! Have you already decided on your favorite one? Let's build the greatest team out of those you like the most!
Unfroze a lot of crew members! There are all sorts of orders you can give to every single one of them. Let's build an empire where every person is in the right place!
Mark of a Hero
Defeated 1,111 Darkers! Now you probably got a little closer to that person. Let's cherish these marks that we got.
Mark of a Hero King
Defeated 11,111 Enemies! A truly legendary feat. You have become a hero who should be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with that person. Let us strive not to disgrace this mark as an ARKS.
Defeated 111 Gigantes! What exactly awaits you beyond this mountain of corpses!? Now that you got yourself the nickname of a Gigantes Slayer, the only thing to look forward to is... *Does not count Gigantes from Simulator or Training.
Started a Diary
Decided to write in your diary every day from now on. Don't just show it to anyone you want, partner!
Defeated a Gigantes for the first time! Good job using the Halo.
Maybe She Doesn't... Maybe She Does...
Seems like Yuno has a special someone, too. I wonder what kind of person they are? Well, at least we know it's not Sail!
Captured a Gigantes for the first time! Good job using the Pile. Let's be good friends with the Gigantes.
Fildia, who prioritizes leaving, and Leivan, who wants to continue exploring, are in conflict. Just a few steps away from completing the Gran Drive...
A Loss, and a Beginning of a New Fight with the Planet
Captain Magnus has inherited Captain Fildia's will. As a new captain, his mission is to get his comrades safely away from this planet.
History of Destruction
By examining the records written in the jewel, it may be possible to learn about this planet's past. All we can do is face this sad history head-on.
Colossal Pile, Last One!
Only one Colossal Pile now remains. What exactly is the purpose of his looming visage? What exactly did he do?
One Tale is Coming to an End... And...
After waiting for so long, an ancient promise is finally fulfilled. It is time to close the curtain on the story of this planet where we met.
Always Together with One's Partner
Even if I'm useless, even if I'm selfish, I want to always be close. Can you please forgive me for all this? I'm looking forward to working with you, partner!
Who the hell were those two girls who saved me back then, with the blonde and pink hair...? I just want to thank them if they're still working in ARKS.
The Taste of Cheesecake
Up until now, I've been neglecting my older sister. I'd like to see her as soon as we leave this planet safely.
The Two Who Met Beyond the Distant Times and Galaxies
I don't believe in such words as "Fate". But only because such things can't be said with these cheap words. All I want to do is express my gratitude for this miracle that let me meet her.
As an Operator
I'm glad I could share with you these feelings I've been shouldering alone all this time. I shall keep supporting you as an operator.
Healthcare is Important
Those who don't behave should be punished. With a good, big injection to your vitals! Right?
A Craftsman's Spirit
Since you guys have done so well, the time's come for me to do my thing. It's easy to convey gratitude in words, so I'd rather give you something more reliable.
The Family Ties of Orcus-Papa
I was finally able to read Kami-san's message. Also, it's all thanks to you guys that I could meet my family again. I owe you.
Don't hold back, everyone, dig in. What? How much of that story was true, you ask~? That is... a secret!
I Will Become the King of Blacksmiths!
Both those who make weapons and those who wield them can reach new heights by interacting with one another. I'm sure you and me can give birth to a new legend!
Work as a Lover...?
Since I... saw that person smiling, does that mean that I've done my job well? Hmm, hmm, I cannot process that.
I know I can rely on you guys. Since I'm going to watch over you, show me the best you can do! If you'd ever want to serve as an escort again, feel free to do so!
Won against Altios! Some punishment for that big spoiled dragon! It's no big deal now that we got a cannon!
Won against Vivryud! Some punishment for that big shrimp! Tonight, we're eating an extra-large seafood bowl!
Won against Graudion! Some punishment for that big horse! Now the chainsaw won't be making so much noise!
Won against Deefquone! Some punishment for that wibbly-wobbly thing! Now we don't have to worry about a fire breaking out!
Won against Riberkente! Somehow managed to protect the base and our comrades from a bug-like, train-like Gigantes.
Rave Geist Hunter
Won against Rave Geist! Now that the greatest guardian deity of planet Nova is defeated, a new legend of greatest heroes is born.
Sword DE Date
Thank you for keeping the escort promise. I remembered there was someone who I can trust to watch my back. Let's get together again sometime, partner!
To the Other Side of Steam
The one who did not peep is the greatest of ARKS. The one who was peeking until the very end is, again, the greatest of ARKS. There's no harm in thinking that way!