Akin to most popular MMO games, Singularity 6's cozy MMO, Palia, will feature a relationship system where players can befriend and romance characters. These relationships will unfold in the main questline in-game as each character has its unique storyline for you to complete to learn more about the game's lore and each character that lives in the village with you.
Some of these characters can be romanced as the game will have romance-related content and questline, and you can progress this. We've explored how the romance option work, including how to date characters and unlock rewards in Palia.
19th July 2023 Update: We've updated this guide to reflect new information detailed in the recent Palia Gameplay First Look livestream regarding the romance option in Palia. The original reporting continues below.
How To Romance Or Date Characters In Palia?
To begin dating an "eligible" character, you must progress your friendship with them until the romantic option becomes available after reaching a certain friendship Level. Once you've achieved this, the romance option will be available to you, and you can actively date them, regardless of their gender, while furthering their romantic questline.
According to the developers during the Palia Gameplay First Look livestream, you have the option to “woo” multiple Villagers in town as not all are romanceable but can be befriended in Palia. The best way to get to know each character is through their storyline, and progressing this advances your Friendship Level with them.
While only a few characters can be romanced, with their respective questline, meter, and unique romantic gifts, you can romance more than one character. However, according to the developer, at the conclusion of a character’s romantic questline, this character will bestow a gift to you called a pen, for which you can have up to two pens equipped for your character.
The romance option is being supported as an "opt-in" option for all players as it also supports platonic relationships in-game. Therefore, you can max out your friendship levels with any characters without having to romance them if you wish to explore their stories and still have meaningful relationships with them.
Players will be free to romance as many "eligible" characters as possible, but the developers are still working on how these characters would "acknowledge" these relations. Nevertheless, there is a way for them to acknowledge others whom they're dating, which can lead to characters responding either positively or negatively, but there won't be any stories that actively explore cheating in-game.
Likewise, if multiple players are actively dating one character simultaneously, there will be no competition amongst players online to win the affection and love of the character in question. This is due to the romance questlines being single-player experiences and, as such, will recognize you as the central figure in their questline, which also applies to friendships.
Nevertheless, the character will remember any decisions or choices made when exploring a romantic questline, but it's unknown if they'll influence the main questline. The developer has stated that while choice-based decisions are being considered for the main questline; however, it's mainly governed by choices made collectively rather than individually.
Lastly, players will have the option to assign their online friends either as a "friend," "best friend," or "partner" when playing multiplayer. However, they explained that they aren't planning to include additional options post-launch but are looking to expand this system in the future as a way for players to fully express their friendships and relationships in more "meaningful" ways with the option of it impacting gameplay.
Are There Romance Rewards To Earn In Palia?
According to an FAQ page from the developers, there are unique rewards you can earn by dating a character in Palia. The developer also explicitly stated that these rewards have no "gameplay advantage" as they do not influence how you "discover" gameplay or further its progress.
Additionally, you won't lose out on content like gameplay progress, rewards, and more by not romancing a specific character or all of them. The purpose of these romance rewards is for players to learn more about the world of Palia and the characters that populate it.
As revealed in their FAQ page regarding the romance option for Palia, the developer had this to say about the feature and the benefits it provides players in-game:
We want players to be able to engage in the romance feature for intrinsic reasons, like genuine interest in getting to know the characters. The romances are not meant for extrinsic rewards. Therefore, there is no gameplay advantage for romance and no disadvantage for opting out.