Character Naming

From Ethene
The naming screen displaying hiragana.
The naming screen displaying hiragana.

During character creation, the last (and most difficult) step is coming up with a name for your character (and sibling). This is because name input is restricted to Japanese characters only. This is a limitation that cannot be bypassed due to Dragon Quest X being an online game.

Before deciding on a name, it's best to remember a few important factors:

  • Names from English (and other languages) will not always be a 1 to 1 translation to Japanese. Japanese characters use a syllable system rather than individual letters and some sounds in English don't exist in Japanese, so sometimes a translation can only be approximate. By default, Clarity displays player names with their Japanese pronunciations displayed in English for easier reading.
  • Refrain from making a name with all the same Japanese character or random ones. Names like these could be seen as bot accounts or accounts with the intention of RMT (real money trading), which is against the game's ToS. The chance of getting reported is low, but it's best to err on the side of caution.
  • Keep things simple. If you have a username that's something like "SuperAwesomeCoolDude" or multiple words/names strung together that you want as your name in Japanese, it's just not going to work for space reasons alone. Names can only contain 6 characters, and complex names that require many characters to represent the word aren't going to fit. Fantasy sounding names usually work well, as do Japanese-sounding names. English names that actually exist work well too.
  • Names translated into English from Clarity cut off at 10 characters. This a limitation to stop the game from crashing.

Types of Names

Unlike English, Japanese has two alphabets: hiragana and katakana. Think of hiragana as spelling out how a word sounds. Katakana, on the other hand, is used for foreign or loan words (English words, for example) that don't exist in Japanese language, among other things.

You are by no means obligated to stick by this "rule", but to make things easier: if you are using a name that is Japanese-sounding or an actual Japanese word, use hiragana. If it's a fantasy-sounding name, an English name, or an otherwise non-Japanese word/name, then use katakana. Japanese players break this "rule" all the time, so it's just a suggestion, and you don't have to follow it if you know what you're doing.

Once you've decided what kind of name you want, it's time to choose your name.

Choosing a Name

Depending on the type of name you've chosen, this step may be easy or difficult.

The easiest way to start is to go to a translation site like Google Translate and put the name in English (or another language) that you want. The more complicated it is, the harder time it might have to try to approximate something in Japanese.

As an example, say you want the Japanese word for "apple" as your character name (ringo). You'd go to Google Translate, and put in apple:

"Apple" in Japanese
"Apple" in Japanese

The hiragana characters りんご (ringo) on the right are what you'd punch in the naming screen to get your name.

As a second example, let's say your username everywhere is "CoolDude" and you want the same in game. You put CoolDude into Google Translate:

"CoolDude" in Japanese

The name was correctly translated into katakana (since they are foreign words and exist in Japanese as such), but unfortunately it is too long to be used as a name in DQX. Each character counts towards the 6 character limit (even the characters that look like long dashes). You'll have to use a less complex name.

After finishing your name and confirming, you will see a preview of how your name will display in English on the character editing screen.

A character named Mochi

Common Mistakes

When inputting a Japanese name, it's easy to make mistakes due to some characters looking similar (especially in katakana).

For example, say you want the name "John" as your character name. You look up the translation, and see it is ジョン. Translated by Clarity, this should appear as "Jon". You put your name in, and...hang on, your name is showing as Jiyoso!

What you actually put in was ジヨソ. The first character you put in was correct, but the last 2 characters aren't. (correct) and (incorrect) look similar but are different. The same goes for (correct) and (incorrect). Be sure to check your name carefully before putting it in. Below are a list of characters that are easy to mistake:

  • ヤ, ユ, ヨ and ャ, ュ, ョ
  • ア, イ, ウ, エ, オ and ァ, ィ, ゥ, ェ, ォ
  • and
  • and
  • and
  • and

In-Depth Guide

If you need more help in creating a name, check out this guide created by resident Japanese player Milk on how to combine both hiragana and katakana characters to create different sounds with some helpful examples.

Hiragana with examples.
Katakana with examples.
An example name.