The Affection Rating system is a recurring feature in the Star Ocean series. Affection ratings can be raised or lowered depending on your actions. If a character has a significant AR with another character, he or she will become "angered" when the character they have high AR for falls in battle. AR can also determine what kind of endings you get. Unfortunately, there is no way to check AR values in the game, so unless you play your cards right, the characters may have to end up having solo endings.
- Affection ratings are linear and fairly easy to build up
- Pickpocketing people in towns outside of Private Action mode can randomly cause one party member to lose one affection point toward another random party member. Likewise, if, when in PA mode, you pickpocket a party member and you fail (i.e. they catch you), they may lose -1 affection point toward Roddick.
- The Super Specialty Contraband can cause one party member to lose an affection point toward another random party member (about a 50% chance). There is no way to avoid this, unlike Pickpocketing.
- Fighting bosses as a party increases AR toward each member in the active party by one point.
- If any of the "optional" party members (Cyuss, Ashlay, Ioshua, Mavelle, Erys, T'nique, Pericci, Phia, Welch) have a high AR toward Roddick, they will say something to Roddick before they jump back into the time gate at the end. If Cyuss has a high enough AR, he will challenge Roddick to a last duel, and winning or losing changes nothing except the dialog at the end.
- The Super Specialty Publication allows party members to publish a book that will set the affection rating of whomever in the party reads it toward the author to 8
- The possible "paired endings" are: Cyuss + Phia, Ronyx + Ilia, Ioshua + Mavelle, Ioshua + Erys. All of these can be achieved by both of the characters in their respective pairs having 9+ AR toward each other (with the exception of the Ronyx + Ilia ending which requires some prerequisite PAs).
- If the AR between Ronyx, Ilia, and Millie somehow decreases, a special ending can be seen if Ilia and Roddick have 9+ AR toward each other.
- If every party member (Ilia, Ronyx, Millie, and the optional characters you recruited, which has to include a combination of any three from these: Cyuss, Ashlay, Ioshua, Mavelle, Erys) all have 9+ AR toward Roddick (Roddick does not need 9+ AR toward them, though), a special epilogue can be seen after the credits.
- AR is slighly more complex, comprising of both Friendship Points (FP) and Romance Points (RP) which combined total the characters' affection values for each other
- As in First Departure, actions such as Pickpocketing and Contraband lower AR between party members
- There are a total of 80+ endings in the game (including the Welch endings in Second Evolution)
- Only a select few boss fights raise AR towards members in the active party (including the final boss, Gabriel)
- Certain story events also raise AR between party members (i.e., when Leon temporarily joins the party to the Hoffman Ruins, all same-gender characters gain FP toward each other while RP is accumulated between all different-gender characters)
- Characters need 10+ AR toward another character and vice versa to get a paired ending. For same gender paired endings, FP is considered only; for different-gender paired endings, only RP is considered. Any ties are broken based on a "priority" list that goes as follows from "greatest" to "least" priority: Claude, Rena, Celine, Bowman, Dias, Precis, Ashton, Leon, Opera, Ernest, Noel, Chisato, Welch.
- The Publishing Super Specialty produces 2 books for each character instead of 1: one that sets FP of the reader toward the author to 8, and one that sets RP of the reader toward the author to 8
- Certain storyline choices (and all PAs) raise or lower everyone's AR, including characters you have not obtained yet
- The only "paired endings" involve Fayt, and if Fayt does not meet the requirements to get a paired ending (Fayt has to have 20+ AR toward any character while the character in question requires 50+ AR toward Fayt), he gets a solo ending.
- Pickpocketing has a chance of reducing a random party member's AR toward Edge (about a 20-30% chance) and, unlike First Departure and Second Evolution, there is no way to avoid this
- There is only one "paired" ending, in which Edge ends up with Reimi
- To get the endings of each party member, each has to have sufficient AR toward Edge
- To unlock the hidden "Crowe Ending", Reimi's, Meracle's, and Sarah's endings have to be viewed, and you must have participated in 4 specific PAs. For the "Faize Ending", you must have seen 8 specific PAs.