The Clavat is the safe all-rounder, and if you're not sure which race to pick, this is a your easy bet. Clavat hit fast and hard, come with a shield, and move quickly. Nothing to complain about here.
There isn't much to say about Clavats, whether you're interested in casting magic, hitting enemies with a sword, or both, the Clavat can do a decent job of it.
The only problem with Clavats has to be their fairly short range when not using magic, meaning they'll leave themselves vulnerable against boss monsters.
The Lilty are the little Onion Knight-like warriors of the Crystal Chronicles universe, and they're far more heavily geared towards tanking hits and dealing damage.
They wield weapons often taller than they are, and will deal respectable amounts of damage with every hit. Just don't bother trying to turn you Lilty into a spellcaster.
The Lilty is basically a melee-focused unit, if you don't want to bother defending or using magic, the Lilty is a perfect choice.
The unusual-looking Yuke race isn't actually any good at taking a hit, despite the helmets they wear across their face. Instead, the Yuke race is your spellcaster race, focusing on finding and using Magicite you find in stages.
You shouldn't really be using your melee attacks much as a Yuke, and you certainly should be getting hit. Defending becomes a bit more important since Yukes can become invulnerable, but it's a big risk since you have to swap between commands to defend.
If you're intending to play the game solo, I would not select the Yuke. The Yuke is a great character to partner up with, but going in by yourself is likely going to end in tears.
My personal favourite race, and also the race that is most capable when by themselves. The Selkie aren't particularly good at magic, but they make up for it with good speed and adaptability.
The focus attack is the best weapon in a Selkie's arsenal, as when you charge up your attack you can fire a projectile in a similar way in which magic is used, giving the Selkie race a nice attack to use while keeping yourself safe, making early enemies and even bosses much easier - and it gets better when a weapon allows you shoot two focus-attack projectiles at once.
The Selkie also aren't great at taking hits though, meaning the strategy should solely be to move out of range of damage, use focus attacks, and back up allies.
The Trades have more limited use cases, but will still become important throughout the game, especially if you want good items as early as possible.
Here are all eight of the trades, listed in order of importance in my eyes…
Now, to be clear, the bottom four are all somewhat similar and hard to rank, but it's the top four that matters. The Blacksmith and Tailor especially are important if you want to upgrade your weapons and armour for going into battle - pretty important, since you don't level up in this game, you just get better gear.
The Alchemist can help if you're a Yuke and focusing on magic, and is arguably very important in that situation.
All of the trades will supply your character with items throughout your journey which you can use to upgrade items and craft new ones. The food-related trades will give your characters items to eat, of course, and these can temporarily boost stats if your race enjoys that kind of food.
You can have eight characters in your home village, one for each trade, so you don't lose out forever if you make a choice you regret, but make sure to get a Blacksmith and Tailor at home as soon as you can…