Solo Leveling: ARISE Jinwoo official art
Image via netmarble

Solo Leveling ARISE Review: A homage to the cult-favorite series

Does this RPG live up to fans' expectations?

Solo Leveling: ARISE is an ARPG gacha game based on the well-loved Solo Leveling manhwa. With a legacy to live up to, does the game break away from the typical cash-grab model and offer a much more compelling experience reminiscent of the source material? Here's my answer after weeks of gameplay.

Recommended Videos


Solo Leveling: ARISE chapter 6 panel
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

The prologue chapter of the Solo Leveling manhwa was one of the most mortifying—yet memorable—moments in manhwa history, and it was also the beginning of many fans' plunge into Sung Jinwoo's journey into becoming the strongest Hunter in the world.

Solo Leveling: ARISE embraces the essence of the Solo Leveling franchise, faithfully retelling the chapter-by-chapter progression of events from various Hunters' perspectives, spread across multiple game modes. In addition to the content of the manhwa, you're also treated to a little more backstory on the Hunters. However, I was disappointed as there are very few Hunter stories available in the Hunter Archive.

The story uses a mix of the actual manhwa panels and dialogue segments between characters but is rather sparse in incorporating cutscenes. These were usually reserved for short showcases at the end of important boss battles, which I found to be a little underwhelming.

Score: 4/5 Stars

Gameplay & Progression

Solo Leveling: ARISE game mode screen
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Solo Leveling: ARISE offers a plethora of game modes outside of the main story, but the latter acts as a progression checkpoint. It's important to know that progression is time-gated as you can't progress in the main story unless Sung Jinwoo has reached certain levels, but you can't level him up without EXP obtained from clearing Gates. These use an energy system that requires either time or money to replenish.

The gameplay is varied and strikes a fair balance between giving opportunities for Jinwoo and other Hunters to showcase their skills. Whenever Jinwoo is the lead, other Hunters can only be used as supports, but in Hunter-specific game modes, you have the opportunity to play them in rotating comps (similar to Genshin Impact).

While there are a ton of game modes, they are quite similar to each other. The Instance Dungeon, Battlefield of Trials, Battlefield of Time, and Power of Destructions are all just a series of dungeon crawls and boss battles with different combat requirements and enemy difficulty levels. I don't see this as a particular disadvantage, as Solo Leveling: ARISE is a combat game through and through.

Score: 4/5 Stars

Upgrade System

Solo Leveling: ARISE Encore Mission keys
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Solo Leveling's upgrade system is frustrating as everything is time-gated. First, you need to level up Sung Jinwoo as the Hunters' max level is based on his max level. Then, you need to farm for Artifacts either by clearing Gates or Encore Missions. You only get three free Encore Mission Keys per day, and events aren't generous in providing you more, which limits your farming capacity as a free-to-player.

Upgrade materials can be obtained from Gates, but it involves a frustrating RNG process. You can refresh Gates every five minutes, of which you only have a small chance of getting purple Gates that drop materials. If you're in a hurry, you need to shell out premium currency for unlimited refreshes.

Among modern gacha games, I find Solo Leveling: ARISE's upgrade system to be one of the most unforgiving. On the bright side, you can turn on auto-battle, which is a huge relief to tune out farming hell in the background.

Score: 2/5 Stars


Solo Leveling: ARISE battle against cerberus
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Solo Leveling: ARISE's combat is a little clunky, but it's surprisingly well done for a spinoff game—a territory marred by low-effort cash grabs. Sung Jinwoo's combat capabilities reflect the original manhwa, so I had a fun time testing all of his well-loved skills against familiar bosses. Hunters also get a wide range of skills and get their chance to shine in Hunter-specific challenges, and it's so much fun testing out synergies between characters. Auto-battling is available across most game modes.

However, I ran into a few problems with the combat system. First, I found the camera extremely difficult to work with, as it would often make sudden shifts to a different angle. As a result, I get extremely motion-sick even with the manual camera mode. Second, enemy targeting took quite some time to get used to. I found myself often striking in the wrong direction when battling against a small enemy. The issue can be alleviated by using characters or weapons with a larger hitbox, but it takes some progression to get to a comfortable point.

Score: 4/5 Stars


Solo Leveling: ARISE cerberus
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Solo Leveling: ARISE's graphics are well done and reflect the standards of modern, combat-focused gacha games. Instead of using generic enemies, the developers took lengths to mimic the unique enemy and boss lineup introduced in the original manhwa, faithfully giving them their own combat mechanics. The characters were beautifully rendered with movements reminiscent of their abilities, so there's a good level of visual interest in the game despite the lack of environmental variety.

While the graphics are not up-to-par with gacha giants like Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail, the effort given to Solo Leveling: ARISE's graphics is not something to scoff at. As someone who can only play games with pretty visuals, Solo Leveling: ARISE made my eyes quite happy.

Score: 5/5 Stars

Gacha System

Solo Leveling: ARISE double SSR pull
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Solo Leveling: ARISE's gacha execution isn't the best, but it's not that bad either. The game committed the sin of putting Hunters and weapons in the same manner while also not differentiating weapons for Hunters and those for Jinwoo. This arrangement makes it difficult for free-to-players to plan out their pulls. However, the game offers some relief through a standard 50-50 pity system, which offers a guarantee to get the Hunter on rate-up at every second pity.

Solo Leveling: ARISE SSR event
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

In addition, Solo Leveling: ARISE has made an effort to ease the SSR grind by offering rate-up events that grant a good number of Rate Up Draw Tickets and the character's signature weapon whenever a new SSR is on rate-up. It's unclear how often these events will happen, but the fact that they do is already a huge win considering the stingy nature of most gacha games.

Score: 4/5 Stars


Solo Leveling: ARISE monthly bundles
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Solo Leveling: ARISE is not shy about its monetization. Ads are plastered everywhere and you're constantly being greeted by pop-ups introducing new bundle deals. Even the tempting Special Summon that greets you in the Lobby is a paid system.

Every time-gated mechanic can be bypassed using premium currency and special benefits, some of which can be obtained in the game in limited quantities (such as Essence Stones), and some of which you need to pay for (i.e. auto Gate Mining). There's also quite a big difference in the quality of SRs and SSRs, so you may feel a power gap based on your luck or the depth of your wallet. Ultimately, Solo Leveling: ARISE is possible to play for free with patience, which I find is the norm for most gacha games.

Score: 3/5 Stars


Solo Leveling: ARISE Sung Jinwoo battle animation shot
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Solo Leveling: ARISE is a fantastic homage to the original Solo Leveling manhwa, faithfully retelling the story of Sung Jinwoo's journey through an immersive experience—as if you were Sung Jinwoo himself. The game is very well-made and clearly done with a lot of love. There was so much thought put into making Solo Leveling: ARISE a fun and engaging combat game that embraces the charming Hunter and Gates system, while also incorporating classic gacha essentials.

However, there's a clear pay-to-win barrier where progression is concerned, and it's up to you to decide whether you can handle playing the game with patience or shelling out the necessary funds to quicken progression.

Solo Leveling ARISE review score 3.5

For more on Solo Leveling: ARISE, check out our Solo Leveling ARISE Reputation Guide – Benefits & How to level here on Pro Game Guides.

Pro Game Guides is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Nicki Si
Nicki Si
Nicki is a freelance writer with 5 years of writing experience. She's a fan of anything from HoYoverse, from Genshin Impact to Tears of Themis and Honkai: Star Rail. She also loves rhythm games like BanG Dream! and D4DJ.

Write A Comment

Solo Leveling ARISE Review: A homage to the cult-favorite series

Comments are on moderation and will be approved in a timely manner. Please read the following rules before commenting:

  • All comments must be on topic and add something of substance to the post
  • No swearing or inappropriate words
  • No asking or begging for anything free
  • Do not attempt to start a poll in the comments
  • Comments in all CAPS will be removed
  • We reserve the right to remove a comment for any reason
  • Do not impersonate a staff member or influencer

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.