Final Fantasy 16 Combat Tips

Final Fantasy 16 combat rewards deep knowledge of its understandings which we will provide with our handy tips guide

Final Fantasy 16 is a completely different kind of beast when compared to its predecessors. A franchise that started its life as a turn-based RPG has evolved into an action game with a lot of focus on flashy combos and unique abilities. FF16 has a lot to offer in terms of combat mechanics and it gets overwhelming soon for both newcomers and the veterans of the franchise. Luckily, we are here with some useful tips to help you get a hand of the combat mechanics of Final Fantasy 16.

Tips to master Final Fantasy 16’s combat

Final Fantasy 16 is a bit difficult due to its extremely fast-paced combat and reliance on players’ ability to react instantly to quick time events. To tackle this issue, we have come up with some basic and advanced tips related to the combat mechanics of Final Fantasy 16 to help players conquer Valisthea and its godly Eikons with ease.

Stagger your enemies

There is a reason this is one of our top Final Fantasy 16 combat tips. The game offers a unique mechanic to stagger the enemies by depleting their stamina gauge. The more you attack an enemy, the faster its stamina gauge depletes. Using Cinematic moves destroys enemies’ stamina by a staggering 50%.

Enemies receive double the amount of damage once they are staggered after losing all their stamina. Clive and his party have a chance to deal as much damage as possible before the enemies can recover from the attack.

However, there is a small twist to the stagger mechanic. After half of the stamina is depleted, enemies are partially staggered for a second or two. Don’t miss this chance and use all the powerful moves in your inventory.

When an enemy is about to be staggered, stop using Eikonic abilities and use them once the enemy is fully staggered for additional damage.

Counters are godly

Final Fantasy XVI does a very poor job of explaining one of the most important combat mechanics it has. Hitting the enemy’s slash attacks with your sword results in a counterattack that always favors Clive. Time slows down for a few seconds allowing Clive to go berserk against the enemies.

This attack works equally well against bosses and strong enemies. To nail down the timing for counterattacks is very difficult as each enemy hits at a different speed. With enough practice and observing your enemies before going all out against them, you can easily master one of the best techniques in the game.

Precise Dodging is the key to survival

FFXVI offers Precision Dodge by getting out of harm’s way at the very last second. Use R1 as soon as the attack is about to connect Clive to dodge it precisely. This not only creates a lot of distance between Clive and the attacking enemy but also gives a brief chance to hit the enemy with a powerful counterattack.

This counter after precise dodging makes Clive immune to stagger and is represented by a blue glow around the sword. A lot of small enemies can easily be killed with this counter only.

Remove the 4-hit combo barrier with Magic Bursts

Final Fantasy 16 tells players about magic burst attacks and then forgets like they never happened. This mechanic allows players to sneak in a magic burst attack after landing a successful strike with the sword.

Press Triangle as soon as the strike lands for a magic burst attack that not only does additional magic damage but extends the sword combo beyond 4 by resetting it successfully. The timing for the Burst Magic attack in FF16 is a little difficult to master, but it becomes second nature once you get it perfect.

Powered Up attacks are a thing

A little powering up Clive’s attacks never hurt anyone, except for the enemies off course. Hold square or triangle buttons to power up your sword and magic attacks respectively. Releasing those buttons unleashes a powerful attack upon enemies.

Beware as the magic power-up attack in FFXVI makes Clive recoil a bit making him susceptible to incoming attacks.

Blacksmith is your best friend

The Blacksmith in FF16 can not only craft new and more powerful swords for Clive but also upgrade them to improve their stats. Completing side missions and defeating hordes of enemies earn Clive a lot of crafting materials that he can use at any blacksmith.

Luckily the game doesn’t want you to dish out gil in addition to crafting materials for your weapons. Just create the most powerful weapon that the blacksmith has to offer. It is the only stat players should be worried about.

Blacksmiths also improve the equipped gear and craft them too. Two things to look out for regarding the gear items. Maximum base defense and additional health a piece of gear has to offer. Upgrade your gear regularly at Blacksmiths.

Skills can be purchased and upgraded

This is the most crucial part to survive endgame battles against horrifically dangerous enemies. Most of the abilities Clive possesses can be upgraded from the ability wheels using Ability points. A few abilities need to be purchased first with ability points before Clive can equip and use them.

It is valid for both basic combat and survival abilities and the ones belonging to Eikons that players unlock by progressing through the main story of FF16.

A dog is always a man’s best friend

Reunited after 13 years, Torgal has been strengthened and learned a few techniques of his own. Use him wisely during the combat sequences. Torgal attacks enemies and even launch the smaller ones in the air for Clive to take advantage of the situation.

Torgal also recovers Clive’s health at the press of a single button. The best part is that Torgal can’t die during combat making him the best companion ever.

Eikonic abilities are a game changer

No seriously, Eikonic abilities are some of the most powerful abilities in Final Fantasy XVI, which Clive can use at the press of a single button. Clive unlocks various Eikonic abilities throughout the game by defeating Eikons and their dominants.

A maximum of three Eikons can be equipped at one time during combat in FFXVI. These possess two active and one passive ability. Active abilities have a cooldown timer while passive can be used infinitely. Make sure to look at the Attack and Stagger power of an ability in Final Fantasy 16 before selecting it.

You can switch between Eikons by tapping the L2 button. This opens a door to a new world of torture upon enemies.

Used both abilities of Phoenix? How about switching to Garuda and hurt the same enemy with a couple more powerful abilities? Save the abilities against strong enemies to use them when they are staggered. Garuda’s Death Grasp (passive) can stun half-staggered enemies so keeping it active is a must.

Tonics are FFXVI steroids

Use tonics to gain a temporary advantage over enemies during combat in FF16. They provide various passive bonuses including increased damage, defense, attack, and movement speeds. Tonics can be found by exploration and purchased from any vendors in the game.

Break the Limits

After crossing a certain story section in the game, and defeating the Infernal Shadow boss in Final Fantasy 16, Clive gains the ability to use Limit Break.

Limit break temporarily boosts Clive’s attack power and speed. He can’t be staggered in this phase and recovers health by attacking enemies. This is the most powerful cheat code for Final Fantasy XVI that you should use with careful planning against larger foes.

Practice makes a novice Clive an expert

Final Fantasy offers special stone statues that can be used to access the Training arena. All the enemies that you have defeated will be available to practice against them. You can customize the training sessions and enemies’ behavior to your liking.

This is the best way to get good against the more dangerous enemies, especially in the Final Fantasy mode during the FFXVI New Game Plus.

Don’t Spam

Finally, don’t spam the attack button. This may seem like one of those pointless tips in a hack-n-slash game like Final Fantasy 16 but it is not. There is a certain depth to the combat and a special nuance to the Eikonic abilities in FF16. When combined with proper skills and knowledge, they create a battle scenario to behold.

Learn your opponents, use specific attacks paired with abilities, and finish the fight in style. These are some tips for the players struggling with the combat mechanics in Final Fantasy 16.

There are a lot of other finer details to the combat too in FFXVI but they are better learned by your own experience. These basic tips are more than enough for players to let them become an expert in their own unique styles.

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Usman is an Associate Editor at Segmentnext who is obsessed with retro gaming. His love for video games begins all the way back in 91 with Final Fight on arcades and is still going strong ...