If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Yakuza: Like A Dragon workshop - How to upgrade and craft new gear

How to exchange materials for strong gear

Towards the beginning of Chapter 5 of Yakuza: Like A Dragon you'll unlock the Romance Workshop. It's a place where you can hand over crafting materials, and some of your hard-earned yen, in exchange for powerful weapons and gear. You're also able to upgrade your equipment here too. All in all, it's vital you visit this location throughout the course of the game to keep your party at their peak. In this guide I'll explain how the Romance Workshop works so you can go ahead and make the best gear possible for your team.

Here’s how the Romance Workshop works in Yakuza: Like A Dragon.

How does the Romance Workshop work in Yakuza: Like A Dragon?

Not long after you begin Chapter 5 of the story, you'll meet Sumire who runs the Romance Workshop. This is your go-to place for crafting powerful new weapons and armour, as well as upgrading your gear.

Before we get into how the workshop operates, it's worth highlighting how you get hold of materials, as this is what you'll need to exchange with Sumire for your new gear and upgrades.

Your primary source of materials like glass panes, wires, and nails will be through combat. Every time you win a fight, you'll gain XP as well as a certain number of crafting materials. Generally, the more powerful the enemy, the rarer the materials you'll receive if you emerge victorious.

The party earns XP and materials after winning a fight on the streets.

Materials can also be found in dungeons and dotted around Yokohama, so make sure you explore every location thoroughly as you never know what you'll find.

Finally, insects are key crafting materials, believe it or not. I've put together a guide on how to find bugs and farm them, so make sure you give that a glance in another tab.

Right, onto the Romance Workshop itself. I'd recommend reading through the sections below in order to get the best idea of how it all functions.

How does weapon crafting work?

Speak to Sumire and you'll be able to flit between different menus. You've got one for weapon upgrades, one for crafting new weapons, and one for crafting new armour pieces.

Here's what the weapon crafting menu looks like:

Kasuga eyes up the Thundercrack Bat in the Romance Workshop but doesn't have enough materials to craft it.

Let's start from the top. Selecting All and scrolling down will show you all the weapons that Sumire has on offer for you right now. Some won't be available yet, and that's because you haven’t invested enough into the workshop yet (more on this in the section below).

You can press C, R1, or RB depending on what controller you're using to flick between the weapons available to your specific party members and the Jobs you've currently equipped them with. It's a great way of narrowing down the workshop's gear selection so you're not guessing who each weapon's meant for.

So, in the image we've got the Thundercrack Bat selected. In the pane on the right you can see that Kasuga can equip it, that it does lightning damage on top of physical damage, and a few other stats too. Plus, it has a special effect which boosts damage done by electric type attacks.

On the left side, and at the bottom of the screen you've got the materials needed to craft the weapon. In this case, I've got everything apart from the five Scorpions. If I did have these bugs to hand, I could craft it for 10,000 yen.

If you want to compare a piece of equipment to what you've currently got equipped, simply press C, R2, or RT.

How does armour crafting work?

The armour crafting menu works in a similar fashion to its weapon counterpart as you can cycle between head, body, and leg gear by pressing C, R1, or RB. Again, they'll cost materials to craft and you can see who can equip what by looking in the right hand pane when you've got a piece of gear selected.

Kasuga eyes up the Nouveau Riche Crown head armour at the workshop, but it's well out of reach.

There's a fairly limited supply of armour options early into the game, but more will open up as you progress.

How does upgrading gear work?

Last but not least, you've got the weapon upgrade menu:

Upgrading Kasuga's bat.

Here you can view all the weapons you’ve got in the inventory and see if you’ve got enough materials and yen to upgrade them. On the right you can see I can turn Kasuga’s Self-proclaimed Hero’s Bat +2 (I’ve upgraded it twice already) into a Hero’s Bat, which’ll see it gain some pretty beefy stat boosts. Unfortunately, I don’t have the ten Kao Attack ZEROs needed to go ahead and do so.

What does investing do?

When you first talk to Sumire, you can choose to enter the shop menu, or you can opt to invest.

Kasuga opts to invest in the Romance Workshop.

The workshop has four ranks in total and you can invest your own money to upgrade the workshop from rank one to two, and so on. Every time you upgrade the workshop’s rank Sumire will be able to craft and upgrade even more powerful gear.

Here I can't upgrade Saeko's weapon because I haven't upgraded the workshop enough.

Take the Bastard Soda weapon I’ve equipped Saeko with. I can’t upgrade it here until I’ve hit facility rank 2.

With every rank comes a price increase, so make sure you get saving if you want the best upgrades.

That’s all for this page, but make sure you have a glance at our romance options page to see who you can give gifts to, as well as our gardening tips page.

About the Author

Ed Thorn avatar

Ed Thorn

Senior Staff Writer

When Ed's not cracking thugs with bicycles in Yakuza, he's likely swinging a badminton racket in real life. Any genre goes, but he's very into shooters and likes a weighty gun, particularly if they have a chainsaw attached to them. Adores orange and mango squash, unsure about olives.

Support Rock Paper Shotgun

Subscribe and get access to supporter-only articles, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and game discounts. Your support helps us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information

More Guides

Latest Articles

Rock Paper Shotgun logo

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Rock Paper Shotgun Merch