Last updated on April 12th, 2020
In this Final Fantasy VII Remake Getting Started Guide, I’ll be sharing 11 Tips that can really help you get off to a good start, and teach you some fundamental basics that will make your entire playthrough better. This Guide is meant for all players, including veterans to the franchise, as these will deal mostly with the specific mechanics of FFVII Remake. Let’s get started.
Final Fantasy VII Remake: 11 Getting Started Tips
One thing that is new to Final Fantasy VII with the Remake, is the addition of passive Skill Trees for Weapons so let’s begin there first, as this is something which will be unfamiliar to everyone, veteran or not.
11. Weapon Upgrades Should Happen Often
Each Weapon in the game can be “upgraded” in the “Upgraded Weapons” tab, and this allows the player to spend Skill Points to gain passive benefits with that weapon specifically. Each Weapon has its own unique Upgrades, all of which cost varying amounts of Skill Points depending on potency, and what these are should help you decide which weapon to use. It’s not entirely about Weapon Damage anymore, as some Weapons lean more to the spell casting side of things, and if you plan to use spells with a character often then their are better Weapons than others for that because of the Upgrades.
Players gain 5 Skill Points for each Weapon (retroactively) whenever they gain a level, and they will unlock new Upgrades at certain break points. This means that every time you gain a level you should be heading over to your Upgrade Weapon tab and looking at what new passives you can pick up. Some passives simply increase Attack Power, while others increase Magic Attack Power, making your spells hit harder. And some Upgrades unlock more Materia Slots so that you can equip more Materia. Which you want to take will obviously depend on how you’re building your character, but you can never go wrong with Attack Power or Maximum Health.
10. Weapon Abilities Can Be Learned
Next on our list is Weapon Abilities. Each Weapon in the game has its own special Ability that can only be used with that Weapon, until you have maxed out Proficiency with it, at which point you’ve mastered that Skill and can use it with any Weapon. Some of these are better than others, like Triple Slash, which can single-handedly wipe out whole packs of enemies in seconds, and even deal substantial damage to a single target. However, the requirements to gain Proficiency with each Weapon is different.
In order to gain Proficiency you don’t need to just kill enemies with that weapon, and instead you have to follow the instructions for that weapon. Some Weapons want you to Stagger enemies, some want you to finish them off, and others want you to use specific attacks. Pay attention to what these are so that you can farm max Proficiency with each weapon you find, allowing you to use all Abilities with the Weapon you like best.
9. Under Pressure & Stagger
The name of the game when fighting tougher enemies, sort of like Sekiro (to make a very bad comparison), is to get enemies Under Pressure and then Staggered so that you can get in attacks easily. The way you accomplish this is by filling their Stagger Gauge, under their Health Bar and if you fill it significantly in a very short period of time enemies will become “Under Pressure” which means they are sort of mildly CCed. When you finally fill the Stagger Gauge completely the enemy will be Staggered for a period of time, unable to move or attack at all, and your party will deal significantly increased damage to it during that time. You want to aim for this Status as much as possible, because it’s the easiest way to deal with tough enemies.
8. Enemy Weaknesses Are Important
Much like other Final Fantasy games, learning the Weakness of an enemy and using this against them is vital to success! In fact, it’s so important in Final Fantasy VII Remake that some fights that are extremely challenging become almost a joke if you use the Weakness against enemies. Attacking with Weakness of the enemy is also the easiest way to fill the Stagger Gauge, so not only will these attacks deal more damage, but you’ll Stagger enemies much faster.
The easiest way to learn enemy Weaknesses is by using the Assess Materia on each enemy you face, which you will get almost immediately. This tells you everything you need to know about your opponent, and you should have this equipped your entire playthrough if possible for best results. Assess everything, learn Weaknesses, and use it to make short work of fights.
7. Variety Is the Spice of Life
As I mentioned knowing enemy Weakness is vital to success in Final Fantasy VII Remake, but knowing it isn’t enough to ensure victory in every battle. You need to have that Weakness equipped or you’ll be shit out of luck. This means you should aim to always have one of each Element type equipped if possible between your party members: Wind, Fire, Ice, Thunder. This will allow you to take advantage of these Weaknesses every time you encounter them.
Slot them and move things around if you have to in order to keep one of each type if possible. Note that sometimes even spamming the base level spells is better than using the higher level spells since you may fill more Stagger Gauge this way, putting the enemy Under Pressure or Staggered much more quickly. So take elemental Materia even if they haven’t been leveled up yet!
6. Leveling Your Materia is Key
One important thing that you must do through out the game, which isn’t new to the Remake, is level up your Materia so that you can use higher level spells. You do this by equipping them in a Materia slot, and fighting enemies, which is a no brainer. However, sometimes party members will sub in and out through out the course of the game, taking with them Materia that needs leveling up, and you should remove these and equip them on your current party members if possible to continue to strengthen them. You can do this even after they’ve left, so this is not an issue, just make sure to reslot them when they rejoin later in the game.
5. Link Your Materia For Best Results
Some Weapons and Armor have Materia Slots that are linked, allowing you to use Support Materia (the blue ones) in order to modify the Magic Materia (green ones). This can increase the AoE radius of these, or imbue them into your weapon, as well as other effects. So whenever possible you want to make sure to use these correctly by slotting one Blue and one Green.
However, there aren’t that many Support Materia early on in the game, so you will not always be able to do this. In the case that you don’t have enough Support Materia, then don’t leave the slot empty and be sure to fill it with something that you can at least use, and just change your Materia around as you obtain more Support Materia.
4. Cure Materia Is King
The Cure Materia is exceptionally powerful in Final Fantasy VII Remake as it heals for a ton of Health and allows you to save your Potions. Not only that, taking damage is utterly unavoidable in the Remake and you will take some damage nearly every single fight, regardless of how good you are.
Because you have to have your ATB Gauge filled to at least one blip to use it (or a Potion), it is advised that each character slot this spell because you never know when you will need to heal, and sometimes you cannot afford to wait to fill your ATB Gauge or a character might get downed. Slot it on everyone, use it to heal outside of combat when needed, and never go without heals while in combat. Most boss fights have a bench that replenishes your MP before them, so don’t worry about saving it for them.
3. High Health is Ideal
Because you will be constantly taking damage during fights, having a large Health pool is good to have, as it gives you a cushion and allows you to play a bit more offensively before you have to worry about healing. This can make it so that some fights you can just heal after, and speeds up the flow of combat as you don’t have to get out of your offensive rhythm to stop and heal. Take passives on your Weapons that give more Health and be sure to take the HP Up Materia on each character when you can.
2. Spell Casting & How to Make a Mage
Deciding how to play your characters in the game is a huge part of Final Fantasy VII Remake, and you’re going to want at least one character that fills the “mage” role and sling spells with deadly prejudice. This works best on characters that are ranged, like Barret and Aerith, because spell casting has an animation, with longer animations for more powerful spells. Since you can be interrupted when casting, being further away from enemies is ideal, and ranged characters should naturally be positioned this way.
On characters that you plan to use spells on often you’ll want to prioritize weapon passives that increase your Materia Slots so you can slot more spells, as well as increased MP and increased Magic Attack Power. Slotting the MP Up Materia is also not a bad choice, particularly if you can level it up a bit.
1. Swap Characters When You Are Targeted
That last piece of advice I can give you is to swap characters if you are being overwhelmed by lots of enemies or a tough one. The AI of enemies tends to prioritize the character you are controlling, sometimes making it nearly impossible for you to do anything without just getting beat up. However, whenever you swap to a new character you generally get a few seconds before the enemy will change to you, so use this to your advantage.
Sometimes you can absolutely destroy and enemy by continuing to swap characters every couple of seconds, never giving it time to really do any significant damage. Additionally, if you want to cast spells uninterrupted, some times it’s a good idea to swap to your caster, fill the ATB Gauge, and then swap to another character until the enemy focuses on that character and then quickly swap back to cast some spells before it can re-target your mage. It’s a weird system, but you can use it against itself a good amount of the time.
Stay tuned for more Final Fantasy VII Remake content over the next couple of weeks, as we take a deeper look into each character and what sort of things you can do with them. And be sure to check out the FF7 Wiki if you have further questions about the game, or drop by Twitch since we’ll be streaming it all weekend!