Tips and Tricks for playing FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH

About to start your adventures in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH? Here are some useful tips, tricks and nuggets of advice to get you started!
By Duncan Heaney


This epic new RPG sends Cloud Strife and his allies on a globe-trotting adventure, as they pursue the sinister Sephiroth. The journey takes you through many areas, from the sweeping vistas of the Grasslands to the rocky ridges of Corel, all filled with secrets, surprises, and savage foes.

To help you get started on your adventure, we’ve put together some handy hints for combat and exploring the more expansive worlds. We hope you find them helpful.

Combat tips

ATB is everything

Let’s start with the basics. Standard attacks will damage foes, but their ultimate value is that they fill the ATB gauge. You can then expend this for more powerful Abilities and Spells.

Get into the routine of using attacks to fill your ATB, and using your Abilities and Skills to damage and stagger foes. By combining standard attacks and ATB actions in this way, you’ll be able to deliver damage much more effectively than just mashing the square button.

Blocking is safer than dodging

You have two basic defensive options in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH - blocking and dodging. Dodging lets you avoid a hit entirely, so you might assume it’s the way to go, but that’s not the case.

Enemies hit hard and they hit fast. It’s far more reliable to block with R1 - you’ll take a small amount of damage, but far less than if the enemy hits you. You’ll also get a small increase to ATB when the hit attacks.

Even better, if you perfectly time your block, you’ll eliminate all damage entirely, and sometimes knock the enemy down. Also, it’s extremely satisfying. Just bear in mind that the timing window on these parries can be tight, so it often safer to just do a standard block and soak up the hits.

Watch out for exclamation marks on attacks

Enemies will call out their attacks above their heads, which lets you know they’re about to unleash powerful strikes, and that it’s time to play defense.

Be alert if you see an exclamation mark next to the attack name though. This is an unblockable attack, no matter how firmly you hold down R1, it’s going to hit you for full damage.

Your only recourse is to get out of the way. Watch your enemy’s movements and get ready to dodge or run into a new position to evade the attack.

Exploit weaknesses and stagger enemies

Many enemies in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH have weaknesses, which you can exploit for additional damage. For example, flying enemies are often susceptible to Wind attacks, so Aero spells can be helpful in taking them out fast.

They also often increase their stagger bar - if this fills up, the enemy will be stunned and take more damage from your attacks. In fact, staggering enemies is typically the best way to take them out quickly.

Assess is your greatest weapon

You may think the Buster Sword is the greatest weapon in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH. Maybe it’s Junon’s giant cannon. Nope - it’s the Assess materia, and you should have one equipped at all times.

Every enemy is different, and the requirements for staggering them is different too. Sometimes it can be just to exploit an elemental weakness, but other times it can be interrupting specific attacks, doing lots of damage, or even more unique actions.

Using Assess on an enemy will reveal all their secrets - their weaknesses, resistances and - most importantly - what you need to do to pressure or stagger them. It’s particularly useful in the Fiend Intel activities, where you’ll have special objectives to complete as you fight.

Once you’ve assessed a fiend or foe, it’s details are recorded forever - if you face the same enemy type again, a press of the touch pad in battle will show all their information again.

So Assess everything you fight!

Focus attacks are great for increasing stagger

When you hit enemies’ vulnerabilities, you will pressure them. Pressured enemies take more stagger damage, so use ‘Focused’ attacks to fill that bar quickly.

There’s Focused Thrust for Cloud, Focused Shot for Barret, and Focused Strike for Tifa - each one of these attacks specifically raises the stagger bar. Use them on a pressured foe, and they’ll be that much closer to being knocked down.

Exploit weaknesses as much as possible to make battles much easier. It also often pressures them, making it easier to fill the stagger bar under their health.

Switch partners to fill ATB…

Left to their own devices, the other members of your party will fight competently, but if you want to fill their ATB quickly so you can use their Abilities, it’s best to take direct control.

You can switch between any of the three members of your active party at any time - it’s highly advisable to do this, as you’ll be able to fight more efficiently and take enemies much more quickly.

So, get used to cycling between characters during the flow of battle.

… and build towards Synergy Abilities

New to FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH are Synergy Abilities. These special attacks see two heroes join forces for super-powerful attacks, buffs, and other effects.

Of course, you can’t just use these - you have to earn them. Each ability costs a synergy guage, earned by using certain abilities and spells. Both heroes must each fill up their synergy gauges to be able to pull off the combined attack.

It’s another reason to switch between characters in battle. If you don’t take the time to build these charges, you won’t be able to pull of the biggest, flashiest, most grin-inducing moves in the game.

Unleash Synergy Abilities at the right time

Synergy Abilities have additional effects, such as raising characters’ Limit Break levels to unlock more powerful attacks, giving them unlimited MP and more.

Choose when best to unleash these powerful attacks to maximize their benefits. For example, if you have a Synergy Ability that extends stagger time, then it’s best to use it on a staggered enemy, whereas if you’re trying to get enemies pressured, unlimited MP can be very helpful.

There’s much more to dig into, but experiment with the different combinations to find your own effective strategies.

Synergy Skills let you build two characters’ ATB at once

As well as Synergy Abilities, you also have access to Synergy Skills.

These are activated by using the face buttons while blocking - you can see your options on the left hands side of the screen when holding R1. These are great because they don’t require ATB to use - instead, some can actually help you fill two characters’ bars at once.

Each Synergy Skill has a different function, so take some time to get try them out and how you can work them into battles.

Heal between battles

If you take a beating in a fight, be sure to stop to heal up afterwards - with items, Healing materia or a nearby bench.

Heading into a battle with reduced health puts you on the backfoot right from the start, so stay hale and hearty to ensure you avoid any careless KOs.

Elemental Abilities can save you materia slots… but don’t over-rely on them.

Using Folios to unlock elemental attacks be very helpful if you want to save Materia slots. They give our heroes access to elemental attacks without using MP or having to have the associated materia equipped - very handy for pressuring certain foes, for example.

That said, don’t over-rely on these because they don’t build any bars for Synergy abilities. If you want to exploit elemental weaknesses while earning bars for those powerful team-up attacks, you can use spells from materia instead.

Backline Commands can save your life

Two of your party are KO-ed and it looks like your goose is cooked. You need a Hail Mary and fast!

That’s where Backline Commands come in. When you’re in dire straits, you can press Triangle on the Command Menu to call in your non-active allies to perform a Synergy Ability in a last-gasp attempt to claw back control of the battle.

Don’t forget about this because it might just save your life!

Exploration and Intel tips

Get a chocobo ASAP

Chocobos play a big role in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH - they help you get around faster, can cross otherwise impenetrable parts of the environment and they play frankly incredible versions of the iconic chocobo theme. What more could you ask for in a mount?

In other words, you’d be kweh-zy not to prioritize Chocobo Intel when you step into the wide expanses of the world. Finding your feathered friend might take some wark, but they’re often located close to where you’re guided for the critical story path.

Explore the world - don’t just follow the icons

Activating the Remnawave Towers around the world will show you the general location of dangerous fiends, Lifestream springs and more activities that Chadley wants your help with. However, they don’t show you everything.

If you see an interesting structure of piece of geography, go check it out. You may discover hidden caches that contain items, gear, money and more, for example. Some elements, including some side contents, also only show up after completing other activities too, so stay alert for these.

Check noticeboards for side quests

If you want to make sure you’re not missing any of the excellent side contents, you can check noticeboards in various settlements around the world.

These will mark the location of the prospective client on your map, making it easier to find them. If you notice a green exclamation point on a noticeboard on the map, that means a new quest has become available so go check it out!

Some of the notices are quite funny and well-written, so be sure to read them too!

If you can’t find a route to your destination, follow the roads

You can see an icon on your map, but there’s a big cliff-face in the way and you don’t know how to get there. What to do…

One good way is to follow the roads in each area. Many Intel activities are off the beaten path, but roads typically lead you close to them. Watch out for things like springseeker owls, glowing crystals or climbable walls as you travel and they’ll guide you towards your destination.

Complete Chadley’s battle simulations

Chadley’s new portable battle simulator is loaded with a generous portion of challenges right from the start, and more will unlock as you Assess enemies, complete Fiend Intel and more.

It’s worth taking some time to complete these, as they reward you with excellent Materia. For example, in the Grasslands, you can earn one of my personal favorites - the First Strike materia, which lets you start with a partially filled ATB gauge. Very handy!

Titan is a great Queen’s Blood card early on

Honestly, Queen’s Blood is such an entertaining and full-featured card game that we could do a whole article of tips and tricks just for that. And yet might.

However, for now, I had a lot of success in the early game thanks to the Titan card. You can purchase this relatively early, and its high value, useful shape, and relatively low cost to play make it a real boon.

It’s not enough to let you sleep through the matches, of course. You’ll still have to think strategically, especially as the rank of your opponents goes up. But I found it a real ace up my sleeve when I was just starting out.

Play at your own pace

The final tip I want to give you is this: take your time.

FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH is an extraordinarily generous game - a packed playground of secrets, skirmishes, and stories that beg to be discovered. But don’t feel you have to do everything all at once.

None of the side activities can be fully missed, and nothing is locked out even when the main story is complete, so play as you like. If you want to dawdle in the extended world, feel free. Alternatively, if you want to push forward on the main story path, that’s okay too.

There’s no wrong way to play.

We hope these tips help you on your search for Sephiroth. If you’re yet to experience the game for yourself, FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH is available now for PS5.

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