This is a guide on the battle system used for Combat in Final Fantasy VII Remake and will tell you everything you need to know on how to master the real-time combat system in FFVII Remake.
- It’s not a fighting game, so don’t just mash the controller. The reason you need to use your basic attack is to fill up the ATB meter so you can use skills and spells on each character, so once you have some of the meter full be sure to use it. The worse thing you can do is have a completely full ATB meter and still be pressing Square.
- You can hold off though if you are thinking about the battle strategically and waiting for the opponent to stagger or become vulnerable, this is okay.
- Swap your characters often as the AI won’t use the ATB meter that has been collected until you give them the order to do so. Remember to swap to a character to use a spell and then swap back while they are casting it as there is no point waiting around while you could be building up the ATB meter on another character.
- As the AI fills up their meter much more slowly than you, remember to jump on each character and land a couple of hits. Stock up on it so you can switch back when you need to.
- Another simple one but remember to block as it is usually more effective most of the time than evading. The damage absorption is incredibly good and you won’t get knocked down for the most part and you also gain some ATB as a result. Evading is still important though so remember to use it when you can’t block an attack.
- As an MMO, remember your casting times – each of your spells will take a certain amount of time to cast and this does leave you vulnerable to attacks and the stronger the spell the longer it takes to cast. That means that if you get hit while casting, you will lose the ATB it cost and the spell will stop. This could be the difference between losing a battle and winning one, so it is important that you look at what is actually happening in combat and assess the situation before deciding on whether to cast the spell – also sometimes casting a weaker version of the spell is better than risking it for more damage.
- Know your icons – it is important the while in combat you are able to recognise the status icons in combat and these can be read in the manual in the menu. For example, the Reflect icon will show that an enemy is immune to all magical attacks and will reflect them right back at you which completely changes your strategy for battle. This means you’ll know when to counter the effect so you can use a Breach to remove the buff.
- Remember to use the Assess skill to work out what your enemy is weak to and how you can stagger them. Often overlooked by newcomers but it is actually one of the strongest Materia in the game because it can tell you exactly what you need to take control of each battle. When you explore a new place for the first time, make sure you have a character with the Materia equipped. Remember though, you only need to use the skill once on an enemy after that you can just hit the touch bar to view the information again without having to use the skill.
- Stagger your enemies – with every fight you face your main objective is to deal as much damage as possible while taking the least amount of damage to your party. The easiest way to do this is to stagger them which is more important for larger enemies. With enough attacks that they are weak to will allow you to pressure them and finally stagger them. When Staggered an enemy is open to attacks as they won’t be able to dodge or hit you back. This critical moment is when you can cast big attacks, get all your offensive characters up close to take chunks of the health bar rather than chipping away at it.
- Use the Magnify Materia as it is OP – in the original game, this Materia was called the All Materia and was able to take any magic material and apply it’s effects to all the enemies in the battle. The Magnify Materia does the same thing which you will find in Chapter 9 churning the robotic arm puzzle. There have been reports so far of only finding it in this one place, so you need to decide what time of Materia to attach it too – use it as an offensive spell to take out enemies at once or attach it to Cura so you can heal your whole party. Remember though the effectiveness is reduced when your Magnify it, so you can also turn off the skills by pressing L1.
- Remember to set up shortcuts as they can help you in combat without having to pause the game every moment to use items and skills. Of course, put in the most useful and more used skills and items that you act in combat. No point taking up space on stuff you never actually use when the fighting starts.
- Understand the roles of each character and how they’re best used in battle. As FFVII is an RPG – characters have roles assigned to them and the most obvious is Aries is a healer, so don’t go trying to smack down a boss with her up close and personal because she will get killed in no time. Keep her back supporting your part casting massive damage magic spells or healing your other more tanky characters. Cloud is a good allrounder who is able to do great damage up close but also can jump back to cast spells. While Tifa is full-on burst damage character who is able to deal massive amounts of damage in a small amount of time, perfect for when an enemy is staggered.
- Use your items, seriously. If you are like me and a bit of a survivalist and try to not use items then it’s probably not a good idea to copy me. Most of the time you will be using Potions and Ether to replenish HP and MP but you do pick up a lot of other items which can support you in battle. So remember to use stuff like grenades that deal area damage to multiple enemies without having to spend MP on skills. Just remember though, ATB is also used for items but not as much.
- Use your weapon skills – every weapon in the game has a special skill and as you use it you will level up your weapon proficiency. Once you are proficient enough you will learn that skill permanently on that character. This means being able to swap weapons out at still use those skills which can create some interesting results.
- Don’t keep the same Materia equipped. Battles and enemies change and their weaknesses also change so it means you need to remember to be dynamic and swap out your Materia. It is also sometimes a good idea to swap out higher tier skills for the lower options just so you can also level up that Materia to use on another character.
- You don’t need to grind – unlike the old school JRPGs the remake is not like to original in this regard and you should be able to progress through the chapters at an even pace. You can of course still grind if you want to but it is much less needed in the remake but you can still max out your characters if you wish.
Got any combat tips of your own? Let us know in the comments and we will add it to the list (with credit of course)