Final Fantasy XV Combat Guide – Battle Tips, Offensive and Defensive Stances, Special Abilities, Attributes

By   /   Nov 25, 2016
Final Fantasy XV Weapons Locations

Final Fantasy XV Combat Guide to help you grasp the basics of the Combat System in the game along with battle tips to help you win more battles.

At the core of it, the game’s Combat System essentially revolves around offensive and defensive manoeuvres, but the entire system is deeper than what you might think.

In addition to these two stances, there are several abilities, manoeuvres, special abilities, and technique that play a vital role in determining the outcome of a battle.

For more help on Final Fantasy XV, read out our Character Progression Guide.

Final Fantasy XV Combat Guide

In our Final Fantasy XV Combat Guide, we have detailed everything you need to know about the game’s combat system, battle tips, and more.

Initiating Combat

This section of the guide basically focuses on different ways using which you can initiate combat in Final Fantasy XV. I have also included a couple of important concepts when it comes to the game’s Combat System.

Threat Meter
This meter appears at the top of the screen as you get close to an enemy. The TM basically indicates that an enemy is about detect and consequently attack you. The time taken by enemies to detect/attack you varies from monster to monster.

In the mid-to-late game, you can expect enemies to be more agile and active as compared to early game enemies. As long as you are undetected, you should easily be able to sneak behind an enemy and engage in multiple ways.

Warp-Kill
This manoeuvre basically allows you to sneak behind an unsuspecting human enemy in the game and kill him/her instantly with a single attack. An enemy’s HP and resistances do not matter when it comes to Warp-Kill.

You can also chain Warp-Kill by moving from one human target to the other without getting detected. In order to pull out a successful Warp-Kill, you basically need to sneak behind an enemy, hit the button-prompt, and carry out the kill.

Warp-Strike
It can, sometimes, become exceedingly hard to sneak behind a human enemy in order to execute a Warp-Kill e.g. in situations where the enemy is facing you directly. Since it becomes impossible to execute a Warp-Kill in these situations, another manoeuvre called Warp-Strike comes in/

This manoeuvre basically allows you to teleport to the targeted enemy and deal a massive amount of damage. This is, however, a little risky because it leaves you away from your party and at the centre of enemies for a brief duration of time.

Stealth and Defensive Maneuvers

Roll-Dodge
It goes without saying that roll-dodge is easily one of the most useful evasive manoeuvres when it comes to dodging an enemy attack. In addition to dodging the enemy attacks, you can also roll-dodge to get yourself in a better position i.e. behind an enemy and deal a massive amount of damage before roll-dodging away again.

As a general rule of thumb, you should always try to roll-dodge away if you are unsure about attack’s range and damage output.

Defend Phase
You can consider this manoeuvre as simply blocking. As soon as you see that an enemy is about to attack, you need to enter this mode and automatically block all incoming attacks. However, the manoeuvre is not as simple as it sounds.

First of all, using this manoeuvre requires MP which is why you need to be extra careful with its usage. Secondly, there are some attacks which cannot be phased. For such attacks, you must either roll-dodge away or parry them successfully.

Parry and Counter
Parry is arguably one of the strongest defensive manoeuvres that you can learn in the game. I highly recommend practising it right from the start so that you are successfully able to pull it off in the mid-and-late game.

In order to pull off a successful parry, you need to hold the guard button once you see an incoming enemy attack immediately followed by the attack button. Since parry has strict timing, if you miss, you get hit by the attack despite having your guard up. Parry allows you to deal a significant amount of damage and is a crucial defensive manoeuvre in Final Fantasy XV combat system.

Stagger
This occurs if you manage to block an incoming enemy attack using the defend command with a shield-type weapon at your disposal. It is important to note that staggering smaller creatures is relatively easier, but the same cannot be said for larger creatures.

In order to stagger larger creatures, you need to have perfect timing and pull off a ‘Perfect Defense’.

Warp
In addition to using Warp as a combat initiator, you can also use it in order to escape certain situations. If you see an incoming enemy attack, you simply need to press Warp in the forward direction and become immune to all incoming attacks while you are in the warp animation.

One of the important things to keep in mind is that if you warp-point to a blue marker located in the surrounding, you should be able to get your MP back.

Crowd Control
When it comes to battles in Final Fantasy XV, you cannot always hope to go against enemies one by one. In some scenarios, you will get attack by a group of enemies e.g. 4 enemies or more. In such cases, you should always try to avoid getting surrounded and attacked from multiple directions.

In order to do so, you need to move away from the enemies using manoeuvres like warp and give yourself a favourable position. From that point on, you need to separate enemies and take them out one by one. It is also a good idea to scout the enemies you are going against and deal with the ones who are more agile/aggressive or are weakened by your party members.

Cover
This should not be new to any Final Fantasy XV player out there. While you are behind cover, you regenerate your HP and MP a whole lot faster. It is highly recommended that you make use of this manoeuvre to scout an area or weigh your options.

Escape
It is important to realise that Combat System in Final Fantasy XV is not all about charging your enemies blindly and hoping to emerge victorious every single time. In some situations, running/escaping from the battle proves to be a more viable option than sticking around.

In order to do so, you simply need to run away from a battle and cross the red boundary shown on your mini-map. If you manage to pull it off, all your downed party members will get back on their feet, you will be able to heal up, reformulate your battle strategies, or find an alternate way of approaching the battle.

Offensive Maneuvers

This section of our Combat System Guide details the game’s offensive manoeuvres which you can employ in order to lay your enemies to waste.

Single Attacks
These attacks are executed by pressing the attack button. You can also rapidly press them in order to chain them together into combos.

Combos
While in combat, you can unleash automatic combos by holding B/Circle. These combos target the enemy automatically and conclude with a powerful blow. Note that you can use the analogue sticks to perform directional attacks for some increased damage.

Lock-On
This feature basically allows you to lock on a single target and unleash all your attacks on the locked target. This saves you from the hassle of manoeuvring around the battlefield, looking for your desired target. This feature comes in handy if your party members have already weakened a target and you want to finish the job.

Finishers
These attacks are basically executed by stopping the combo – even after one hit – and hitting the attack button again precisely in the ‘Finisher’ window. While it may appear hard on paper, finishers have well fleshed out visual hints that you can take advantage of. However, it is important to note that different weapon types have different finisher animations – this is something you need to take care of.

Break
When we talk about breaking an enemy, we do not necessarily mean cutting it down in half. In Final Fantasy XV, it basically means cutting out appendages. In order to do so, you need to lock on an enemy, cycle among different parts, and focus your attacks on it. Cutting down appendages have one or more positive effects which vary from enemy type to enemy type.

Cycling Weapons
You can easily switch between different Weapon Type during a battle. This is particularly useful because of the fact that some enemies are immune to certain Weapon Types. Therefore, try to have different Weapon Types at your disposal to avoid any unfortunate situations.

Critical Hits
These hits come out randomly during the course of a battle. Critical Hits deal significantly more amount of damage as compared to normal attacks. You can use weapon-induced buffs to increase your chances of landing a Critical Hit during a fight.

Aerial Combos
These combos are basically initiated by a Warp-Strike followed by attacking the enemy in mid-air until the air-sequence is complete. If you prefer Aerial Combos, you can unlock abilities in Ascension Tree and extend their duration.

Blindsides
These are automatic attacks which are triggered by staying behind an enemy. It is important to note that these attacks are relatively slower as compared to normal attacks but inflict a huge amount of damage. In order to execute these attacks, you should try and roll-dodge behind an enemy.

Link Attacks
These attacks are executed when you are standing near another party member while fighting an enemy. For instance, staying behind an enemy with another party member should allow you to pull off a Blindside Link Attack, dealing a huge amount of damage to the monster.

Special Abilities

Libra
In Final Fantasy XV, both Noctis and Ignis have access to Libra abilities which allow them to scan enemies in order to reveal their weaknesses. However, enemy weaknesses do not become available right off the bat. In order to find them, you must lock on to a target while in Wait Mode, and wait for a gauge to fill up entirely.

Once it is filled up, you should be able to view the Libra information. However, if you do not like the Wait Mode or the tedious process, you can simply acquire Ignis’ Analyze ability in the Teamwork Ascension Tree. When used on an enemy, this ability allows you to view the Libra details without scanning an enemy first.

However, this ability is a single-target and must be applied every time you face an enemy.

Armiger
Those of you who have played previous Final Fantasy games can think of it as Limit Breaks. This special ability becomes available during Chapter 3 and is represented by a gauge. This gauge fills up as you continue to dish out damage to enemies or block their attacks.

Once filled up, you should be able to launch Armiger which puts your character in sort of a heightened state with boosted stats and more. However, this state lasts for a short while so try to take advantage of it as much as possible.

Attributes

HP
Your maximum HP value, when your HP gauge is full.

Attack
Base stat that determines the damage dealt by physical attacks.

Defense
Base stat that determines the damage incurred from enemy physical attacks.

Strength
Affects the damage you deal with physical attacks.

Vitality
Affects how well you resist physical damage.

Spirit
Affects how well you resist magic damage.

Magic
Affects the damage you deal with spells.

Fire Resistance
Ratio by which damage incurred from Fire-type attacks is adjusted.

Ice Resistance
Ratio by which damage incurred from Ice-type attacks is adjusted.

Lightning Resistance
The ratio by which damage incurred from Lightning-type attacks is adjusted.

Dark Resistance
Ratio by which damage incurred from Dark-type attacks is adjusted.

Shot Resistance
The ratio by which damage incurred from ballistic attacks is adjusted.

Stats

Health Level I
AP Cost: 10

Increase HP of each party member by 2x the number of levels gained. The effects of similar abilities do not stack.

Vitality Level
AP Cost: 99

Increase vitality of each party member by the number of levels gained. The effects of similar abilities do not stack.

Spirit Level
AP Cost: 99

Increase spirit of each party member by the number of levels gained. The effects of similar abilities do not stack

Health Level II
AP Cost: 99

Increase HP of each party member by 5x the number of levels gained. The effects of similar abilities do not stack.

Health Level III
AP Cost: 333

Increase HP of each party member by 10x number of levels gained. The effects of similar abilities do not stack.

Magic

Elementalism
AP Cost: 24

Absorb more energy from elemental deposits.

Elementality
AP Cost: 72

Absorb even more energy from elemental deposits.

Enhanced Elementality
AP Cost: 99

Absorb much more energy from elemental deposits

Elemagnetism
AP Cost: 48

Enhance energy absorption rate of elemental absorbing weapons.

Magic Level
AP Cost: 48

Enhance the magic of each party member by the number of levels gained. The effect of similar abilities does not stack.

Magic Level II
AP Cost: 99

Enhance the magic of each party member by the number of levels gained. The effect of similar abilities does not stack.

Powercraft
AP Cost: 20

Enhance potency by 10 when crafting spells.

Magic Action
AP Cost: 24

Gain AP for using elemency.

Bonuspell
AP Cost: 333

Receive an extra spell when crafting.

Bonuspell II
AP Cost: 999

Receive two extra spells when crafting.

Extra Powercraft
AP Cost: 99

Enhance potency by 30 when crafting spells.

Super Powercraft
AP Cost: 555

Enhance potency by 50 when crafting spells.

Ultimate Powercraft
AP Cost: 999

Enhance potency by 100 when crafting spells.

This is all we have on our Final Fantasy XV Combat Guide. If there is anything else you would like to add, let us know in the comments section below!

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