Combat

This page aims to provide all information related to combat in Final Fantasy XV. Not only has the upcoming FFXV introduced a new real-time event action, it comes with several new changes as well. For example, magic can be crafted using elemental energy with normal items, the changeable characters’ outfits, new moves related to real-tome action, and more.

Become a FFXV expert and get to know the game inside out with this Final Fantasy XV Strategy Guide by Killer Guides. Discover all hidden storylines and some of the coolest, undocumented quests. As a bonus, you'll receive proven character builds, combat tips, gil making strategies, and even references. Read my review here.

*Be sure to bookmark this page since more information will be added or changed.

ffxv controller combat control

Let’s take a look what we can do with combat in FFXV:

Stats

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 Resistant: Ratio by which damage incurred from Fire-type attacks is adjusted
Ice Resistant: Ratio by which damage incurred from Ice-type attacks is adjusted
Lightning Resistant: Ratio by which damage incurred from Lightning-type attacks is adjusted
Dark Resistant: Ratio by which damage incurred from Dark-type attacks is adjusted
Shot Resistant: Ratio by which damage incurred from Shot-type attacks is adjusted

Attack

The normal attack can be executed by pressing “O”. While holding it, consecutive attacks, known as “blitz”, will be performed. If “O” is pressed at the right time during the enemy attack, it will parry, instead, parry an attack. It is quite similar to the combat system in platinum demo.

Based on the demo, there are 5 attack patterns: Crush >> Ravage >> Vanquish, Counter, and Descend.

  • Crush is the first attack after pressing an attack button with a weapon that is currently equipped.
  • Ravage is a set of attacks following by Crush by holding an attack button. A player can freely switch any weapon or direction to perform different types of attack based on the situation.
  • Vanquish is a finishing move after Ravage dealing the most damage. Vanquish can be performed by delaying the next press of an attack button. Like Ravage, a player can switch any weapon to execute Vanquish.
  • Counter deals a significant damage to enemies after a player can successfully dodge an enemy’s attack. A player can set a specific weapon to perform this move or just simply use the currently equipped weapon.
  • Descend is basically an aerial attack. A player can set a specific weapon such as a lance for this attack. Otherwise, a currently equipped weapon will be used. If the jump or height is high enough, several aerial attacks can be performed at once.

Parry Attack

Parry an attack is a key to making an effective combat in Final Fantasy XV. It can completely negate an attack without any cost of MP while allowing a character to perform a counter attack, mostly with a partner dealing additional significant damage. If any attack can be parried, the game will prompt a player to press a square button. If pressed at the right time, Noctis will parry and perform a counter attack dealing critical damage to an enemy.

Link attack will be done if there’s a nearby teammate. If a player can slay an enemy with a parry attack, AP point will be rewarded.

Back Attack

Another way to deal a critical strike is to attack an enemy from behind. In FFXV, it is recommended to move around the target and find a way to attack them from behind. This to execute a back attack dealing 1.5 times more damage with an additional link attack with any nearby partner. Similar to a parry attack, an AP point is rewarded if a player can execute it as a finishing blow.

 

parry in ffxv

Weapon Switching

Weapons can be freely swapped during the combat by using the D-Pad in order to control the flow of battle. 4 weapons can be equipped at once for the main protagonist, prince Noctis, when his other 3 companions: Ignis, Promto, and Gladiolus can equip only 2.

Defend

“Square” button is mainly related to defensive commands. Press the button to roll-dodge and deftly evade enemy attacks. When holding it, Noctis will defend and block against oncoming attacks. Not all attacks can be blocked, though.

Technique

Your friends can perform a special attack called “Techniques” to aid you in combat. Press “L1” during combat and the techniques menu will appear. Choose whatever technique you want to use with D-Pad.

Based on the new 50 minutes gameplay video released in August 2016, the technique attacks will not cost MP anymore. Instead, it costs its own point indicated by green technique bar. You can have up to 3 technique points at maximum and each technique requires a different point. Some technique like “Tempest”, “Piercer”, and “Mark” will use only 1 point. For a more powerful move like “Lion’s Roar” cost 3 points.

Technique bar will be automatically slowly regenerated. Technique attack can be level up by regularly using that technique.

techniques

Gladiolus prepares to execute “Tempest”

Cover

“Square” button is also for taking a cover when near large objects such as rocks, walls, and more. Cover is mainly for restoring HP and MP. Warp-strike to a specific location can also recover HP/MP as well.

Warp-Strike

Noctis can instantaneously warp-strike to a targeted enemy at the cost of MP. The farther Noctis blade-warps, the more damage his attack deals. Press “R1” to lock on a target and “Triangle” to execute a warp-strike. A warp-strike can trigger a stagger status effect to an enemy allowing it to be available to attacks for a short period of time.

Warp-Shift

Noctis can use Warp-strike as well by warping to a specific location, mostly at the high ground far from the combat area. This can instantly restore Noctis MP and HP over a period of time. A targeted warp-shifting location will be indicated by a triangle button, and a player need to only simply holding the button.

HP Recovery

During combat, there are mainly 4 ways to recover HP: healing items, taking a cover, warping to high ground, and waiting for friends. HP will be recovered to full automatically when out of combat.

MP Burst

If Noctis runs out of MP, it will trigger the MP Burst status. MP will not recover and causing Noctis not to be able to use any actions and magics that cost MP. If a player tries to do it during MP Burst. Noctis will fall down leaving him vulnerable to an attack. To recover from MP Burst, a player need to take a cover for a moment or warp-shift to a specific location.

Critical Stage

A critical stage happens whenever a character HP reaches zero. Getting a single hit in this condition causes an instant death. Whenever a player is in this stage, it is recommended to move as far away from monsters as possible and wait for your friends to heal you. Otherwise, you can use a healing item or wait for a while until HP is recovered itself.

Each time a player is in a critical stage, max HP will be reduced and can only be recovered though resting either at the camp or lodge.

Wait Mode

Wait mode gives a player time to execute precise commands: using items, skills, techniques, warp-strike, and more. After pressing the wait mode button, the screen will turn grey with the blue bar. The bar will slowly decrease when wait mode is being activated.

wait mode

Magic

Magic system in Final Fantasy XV is different than other series. A player needs to craft magic flasks to cast fire, blizzard, and thunder by combining elemental energy with items. Elemental energy can be found from energy deposits throughout the world of Eos or looted from enemies. Wind magic is also available by mixing other magics together.

Crafted magic flasks provide different effect based on the amounts of energies and item. If more energy is used during crafting, that magic flask will be more powerful. When a player combines it with a healing item such as a potion, the outcome of the spell can heal allies at the same time as damaging enemies. There are mainly 3 types of magic craft: Tricast – mixing one magic with two other types eg two blizzards and one thunder, Healcast – one magic with healing item, and Unicast – mixing all elements together.

Crafting magic history will be recorded making it easy to craft the new same magic flask.

Magic flask can be equipped under the “Gear” menu. The game will consider it as one type of weapon. It means that if you would like to cast fire, thunder, and blizzard at the same time, it will take 3 weapon slots leaving a single slot for a normal weapon.

You can start using magic once it’s charged up during the fight. Remember that magic can hurt your allies. Before casting it, aim properly and keep your allies out of the radius. In addition, environment also plays a part in each spell as well. For example, fire spell will be more powerful when casting in an environment with glass and oil. On the other hand, it will be less effective under the rain. Blizzard can even freeze water.

Ring spell is another type of magic in Final Fantasy XV that is only eligible to the King bloodline. Noctis should be able to use it once retrieving the ring from Lunarfreya.

More information on both Ring and Elemental Magic can be seen in this page.

magic craft

Ability

Ability Point (AP) is a main part of character progression. It’s about character abilities such as scanning for enemy weaknesses (Libra), automatically evade attacks while holding down “square”, and even equip more accessories.

Ability point can be spent under “Ascension” menu. The menu is like a rooted graph where you need a certain ability in order to acquire a new one. Leveling, questing, and answering a correct choice in a conversation are main methods to get ability points.

Ascension – Assigning AP (Ability Points) to all characters. AP is the game abilities system such as Libra (lock on to an enemy while in a cover to scan for weaknesses), Accessory Slot (equip two accessories), Phase (automatically evade attacks while holding down square), and a lot more.

AP can be earned by various methods such as leveling up, completing quests, strategic ops, and even by impressing friends in conversation. In addition, occasionally you will get a chance to receive optional missions during the fight with AP as rewards. These missions are related to performing a specific move such as blocking enemy attacks 3 times, perform a link attack with a partner, and so on.

ap tree

Gear

There are mainly three types of gear in Final Fantasy XV: weapons, accessories, and outfits.

Weapon

As the name suggest, a weapon is a main equipment to increase damage output. However, it’s also common that some weapons can increase other stats such as health as well. Currently, there are 7 types of weapon in Final Fantasy namely: sword, greatsword, polearm, dagger, gun (including a sniper rifle and with a snipe mode), shield, machinery(eg a chainsaw, a gun that emit a shockwave), and royal arms.

Royal arms are special weapons, very powerful yet consume MP, in FFXV. Only the one with the king’s blood of the kingdom of Lucis can wear them, Noctis in this place. They can be found inside the royal tombs hidden all around the world of Eos. Some tombs are already forsaken making them become a nest of ferocious monsters. 13 tombs can be found inside the game.

Elemental magic such as fire, thunder, blizzard, and even summon can be considered as a weapon as well since they are all under “Gear” menu.

Noctis is the only character that can equip all types of weapon.

Accessory

Accessory can also increase character stats. As a plus, it tends to provide additional buffs such as preventing various statuses. At first, all characters can only equip 1 accessory at the same time. However, more accessory slots can be unlocked by spending ability point (AP) under Ascension menu.

Outfit

Outfits are the core part of character costumer. Different outfits come with different character appearance. For example, if Noctis wears a sport jacket as an outfit, his attire will be changed to a sport jacket. Outfits also boost character statuses as well.

prompto gear menu

Royal Arms

Royal Arms are a special weapon in Final Fantasy XV hidden inside royal tombs all over the world of Eos. There are currently known 13 royal arms. However, there’s a high possibility that might be even upto 15 royal arms in the game.

As the name suggested, only those with the royal bloodline are able to equip these weapons. They possess with mystical power together with knowledge and wisdom of the previous kings.

Final Fantasy XV storyline during an early to midgame is about to find all these 13 royal arms in the open world of Eos before making a revenge to Niflhelm and take the stolen crystal back.

Camping

Final Fantasy XV has a day and night cycle. Noctis and his friends need to rest at night by camping in the camping area. Camping is a key part to leveling in FFXV since experience system is different than other games. Instead of adding it to characters right after the battle or question, experience points will be calculated and given to all characters during camping. And it’s only the time you can level up.

Not only that, Ignis will cook you food with status boosts during camping. Buff effects are various. Some food can increase attack damage, health, mp, and some can even increase experience points.

On the other hand, lack of rest gives a negative buff to characters. Experience points will be decreased as well as you might encounter demons at night.