How does Red XIII take on foes in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH? We take a closer a look at the unique playstyle of everyone’s favorite Cosmo Canyon native!
By Duncan Heaney

There are plenty of reasons to be excited about FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH. There’s the expansive world, full of secrets and quests to uncover, tons of new materia which will allow for all kinds of crazy combinations, an upgraded combat system with new abilities, team-up ‘synergy’ attacks and much more besides.

And, of course, there are also new members of the party to control, including Red XIII!

Our furry friend joined the team towards the end of FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE as a guest member, but in REBIRTH, he’s fully playable, with his own distinct abilities and playstyle.

We bet a lot of you are wondering about that: how does Red XIII play, so I recently sat down with the game with a mind to answer that very question. In this preview, we’ll take a close look at how everyone’s the character performs in battle, and some of the amazing things he can do.

Spoiler: He’s extremely fun.

What is Red XIII’s fighting style?

One of the coolest things about FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH (and FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE for that matter), is how every party member has their own distinct playstyle. From Cloud’s versatility to Tifa’s aggression and Barret’s long range attacks, each character brings something new to the table.

The same is true of Red XIII. The Cosmo Canyon native adopts a playstyle that’s best described as ‘aggressively defensive’. Guarding against attacks increases Red XIII’s Vengeance gauge. By pressing Triangle, you activate ‘Vengeance Mode’, which increases Red XIII’s speed and attack power.

While in Vengeance Mode, you can also press Triangle to siphon enemy HP – very handy for keeping Red XIII in the fight.

Vengeance Mode lasts as long as there’s charge in the gauge, and you can activate it any time no matter how full it is. Naturally though, you’ll want to fill up a good amount of charge so you can really go to town on your foes.

How does Red XIII fight?

As you’d expect, Red XIII fights like a beast – he swipes enemies with his claws and fangs with impressive speed and agility. Naturally, guarding against his attacks and using Vengeance is the best way to maximize his effectiveness, so you’ll have to stay alert to incoming attacks and carefully balance your defense and offense.

As with the other characters, when Red XIII fights, his ATB gauge increases (find out about the basics of battle in FINAL FANTASY VII RBIRTH here). By expending ATB charges, he can unleash his many different abilities, which he’ll learn over the course of the adventure.

These abilities include:

  • Sidewinder - Red XIII leaps into the air to deliver a punishing blow from above!

  • Sentinel Stance - this guards against attacks and greatly increases the Vengeance Gauge in the process. If you press Square, Red XIII will also deliver a powerful counterattack. It’s a tremendously useful ability that lets you turn the tables on enemies very quickly!

  • Stardust Ray - this unleashes a devastating attack over wide area. It uses 2 ATB charges, but boy is it worth it!

  • Crescent Claw - Red XIII slashes at a foe. If you do this in Vengeance Mode and deplete the gauge, you’ll dramatically increase the potency and range. Plus, it makes feels super satisfying when you do it.

Limit Breaks

As characters take damage, their Limit gauge will fill. Once complete, you’ll be able to use their Limit Break – powerful abilities that can turn the tide of a fight in an instant!

Red XIII’s Limit Breaks include:

  • Bloodfang - Red XIII charges forward in an animalistic rage, bathing in foes blood and restoring HP and MP.

  • Howling moon - Red XIII howls to the moon above, activating a longer-lasting Vengeance Mode.

Synergy Abilities

Synergy Abilities in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH open up exciting new options in combat. These special abilities let two characters combine their skills to deliver powerful attacks - and just as importantly, they look awesome.

Of course, you can’t just use these team-up abilities with wild abandon – you have to earn them. Spending ATB charges on abilities also fills Synergy charges for that character. When two characters have sufficient charges, they can spend them and unleash a Synergy Ability.

The abilities you’ll have available in the game will depend on the bonds between the characters, but some of the options available to Red XIII include:

  • Red XIII and Aerith: Planetary Roar - Aerith channels her magic through Red XIII’s howl, unleashing a ranged attack across a wide area. This also raises the characters’ Limit levels.

  • Red XIII and Cloud: Savage Assault - Cloud and Red XIII channel their burning anger into an enemy. It also raises their Limit levels.

  • Red XIII and Barret: Overfang - Barret sends Red XIII flying toward an enemy at high velocity. It also raises their Limit levels.

Final Thoughts

Red XIII’s combat matches his character. It’s bestial and ferocious, yet also measured and precise. And much like the hero himself, it’s easy to love.

The Vengeance Gauge adds a whole new strategic layer to combat, encouraging you to play attentively and defensively, before unleashing an all-out assault on your unsuspecting foes. You’ll have to learn how and when to use it effectively, and how it factors into Red’s abilities – and of course, different enemies will benefit from different approaches.

But on a much simpler level, and as we said before, playing as Red XIII is simply fun. He’s fast and responsive, his attacks are incredibly impactful, and using Vengeance effectively, it feels supremely satisfying.

In FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, he describes himself as “that which you see before you. Nothing more.” In FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH we know exactly what ‘that’ is: sheer awesomeness.

We hope this preview gives you some idea of how Red XIII fights in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH. You’ll be able to experience it yourselves when the game launches, on February 29, 2024 for PS5.

The game’s available to preorder now:

Preorder any digital edition of the game to get the following bonus item:

  • Moogle Trio Summoning Materia (in game item)

What’s more, if you have a save file from FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE or FF7R EPISODE INTERmission, you will be able to claim the following items in FINAL FANTASY REBIRTH:


  • Summon Materia: Leviathan


  • Summon Materia: Ramuh

Please note that save data must be saved on the PS5 system.

Standard Edition (physical and digital)

Available both digitally and physically. The physical version comes across two discs and includes a reversible cover.

This edition includes:

  • The full game

It’s available to preorder now:

A Digital Deluxe Edition Upgrade will also be available to purchase for the digital Standard Edition, which adds Digital Deluxe Edition content. This cannot be preordered and will become available when the game launches.

Deluxe Edition (physical only)

The physical Deluxe Edition also includes the below:

  • The full game
  • Steelbook® case
  • A mini soundtrack CD (in jewel case)
  • Physical artbook

It's available to preorder now:

Digital Deluxe Edition (digital only)

Available to preorder from the PlayStation Store, this edition includes:

  • The full game
  • Digital mini soundtrack
  • Digital artbook
  • Magic Pot Summoning Materia (in-game item)
  • Accessory: Reclaimant Choker (in-game item)
  • Armor: Orchid Bracelet (in-game item)

It’s available to preorder now:

Collector’s Edition

Available from the Square Enix Store, this edition is a real treat for fans. It includes:

  • The full game (across two discs)
  • FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH STATIC ARTS - SEPHIROTH - a large, highly detailed statue of Sephiroth
  • Steelbook® case
  • A mini soundtrack CD
  • Physical artbook features stunning illustrations and concept art from the game
  • Moogle Trio Summoning Materia (in-game item)
  • Magic Pot Summoning Materia (in-game item)
  • Accessory: Reclaimant Choker (in-game item)
  • Armor: Orchid Bracelet (in-game item)

It’s available to preorder now:

Twin Pack (digital only)

This terrific twin pack gives you access to both FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE and the upcoming game FANTASY VII REBIRTH.

Once ordered, you can start playing FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE right away and be ready to continue the adventure in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH on release day.

The set includes:


Purchase this twin set before launch to get a substantial discount - essentially you can get both titles together for the same price as one standard edition! Check the PlayStation Store to see prices in your region:

Digital Deluxe Twin Pack (digital only)

This bumper bundle gives you both FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE and the FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Digital Deluxe Edition, and all the awesome content that comes with it.

Once purchased, you can start playing FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE right away:

It includes:

  • FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH Digital Deluxe Edition - full game
  • FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH Digital mini soundtrack
  • Magic Pot Summoning Materia (FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH in-game item)
  • Accessory: Reclaimant Choker (FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH in-game item)
  • Armor: Orchid Bracelet (FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH in-game item)

It’s available to order now. What’s more, purchase before launch for a significant discount on the price of both games!

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