What’s in the FINAL FANTASY XVI demo? PLUS read tips and tricks here!

Experience the opening hours of this incredible adventure and carry your progress over to the full game! PLUS play a section from later in the game!
By Duncan Heaney

You’ve seen the trailers, you’ve read the previews, but the big question is: when can you actually play FINAL FANTASY XVI?

The answer is… right now! A free demo is available for the game on PlayStation 5. It not only lets you experience FINAL FANTASY XVI’s explosive opening act, but also allows you to carry over your progress to the full game when it launches on June 22, 2023!

You’ll also get to experience a section from later in the game and experiment with a bigger selection of Eikonic Feats and Eikonic Abilities.

You can get the demo from the PlayStation Store:

While you’re waiting for it to download, here’s a little peek at what to expect:

Play the opening of the game

Join our main protagonist Clive Rosfield at the start of his epic tale. After an exhilarating opening, you’ll flash back to Clive’s teenage years, when he’s just coming into his own as a master swordsman.

You’ll learn the ins and outs of combat, and then test them on one of Clive’s first missions, taking on dangerous goblins…and maybe a few other surprises too. You’ll also meet Clive’s family, including his brother Joshua - a young boy with the power of the Phoenix - his mother and his father, the Archduke of Rosaria.

You’ll also experience the events that take his life towards a new path, but we’ll let you discover that for yourselves.

Remember, story progress in this section of the demo can be carried over to the main game after its release.

But the fun’s not over yet…

Experience combat from later in the game

Once you get to the end of the main demo, you’ll unlock an additional chapter from later in the game to play through. In this combat-focused section, you’ll infiltrate a fortified keep, take on enemy soldiers and ultimately confront the deadly Benedikta, dominant of the Eikon Garuda.

This part of the demo has been adjusted to give you access to more of Clive’s abilities than you would have in the natural progression of this part of the game. You’ll be able to see first-hand just how flexible and capable a hero Clive can be, switching between different Eikonic Abilities as you ascend this dark and dangerous area.

It no doubt goes without saying, but progress in this part of the demo will not carry over to the main game - it’s there to give you a chance to experience Clive’s expanded skillset and to give you a tease as to how exciting and expansive the combat system really is!

Tips and tricks for the FINAL FANTASY XVI demo

Clive’s journey is fraught with conflict and even in the demo he’ll face some very dangerous opponents. To help give you the edge, we’ve put together some starter tips and tricks:

Don’t hold back special attacks

Clive’s can draw on the power of the Phoenix in battle to perform amazing feats of strength… so make sure he does!

These Eikonic Abilities are on a cooldown, so it may be tempting to hold them back until an enemy’s staggered so you can deliver maximum damage. However, there’s no need - the Eikonic Abilities give you lots of options in battle, and recharge relatively quickly, so you should feel free to use them as much as possible.

After all, it’s what they’re there for.

Be precise - don’t button mash

FINAL FANTASY XVI is a game that rewards precision in both attack and defense.

When assaulting enemies, don’t just pound on the square button over and over. Mix in magic attacks with triangle - these will do additional damage and help stagger enemies more quickly! Plus, it looks really cool.

Also try to time dodges and parries. Watch enemy animations and try to dodge at the perfect time - it’ll set you up for a precision counter.

Some enemies may also attack multiple times in a row - there’s a certain fiend that just loves to go after you with a spinning attack, for example. Even then, all the attacks can be dodged with care, so keep calm and stay focused. It may take a bit of practice but before long, you’ll be dancing between attacks like a pro.

Of course, if you’re struggling, you have options too…

Experiment with the different accessories

You’ll start FINAL FANTASY XVI with some special tools known as Timely Accessories, which will make combat easier. For example, the Ring of Timely Strikes lets you perform combos with a single button, the Ring of Timely Evasion lets you automatically dodge attacks, while the Ring of Timely Healing will make you swig a health potion if your health is critically low.

When you start the game, you’ll choose between a story-focused or action-focused experience. If you choose Story Focused Mode, two accessories will be equipped from the start, whereas they won’t if you choose Action Focused Mode.

However, regardless of the mode you choose, you’ll have access to these options, and you can change them at any time. If you’re getting a good feel for the combat, and want more challenge, you can take off the Timely Accessories for a more action-focused experience.

On the other hand, if you’re struggling with timings, or are just in it for the story rather than the challenge, you can put the Timely Accessories back on at any time. FINAL FANTASY XVI is intended to be a game for everyone - so play it how you want!

Upgrade your skills

The opening hours of FINAL FANTASY XVI are a real rollercoaster ride, and it’s easy to get so caught up in the action that you can forget to upgrade Clive as you play. Be sure to spend your Ability Points to unlock new moves - or make existing ones more powerful!

Remember, you can respec your skills at any time

But what if you want to put those points into something else? You can respec Clive’s skills at any time, so if you want to try out a new ability, improve one that you’ve fallen in love with, or just try a different build, then go for it!

How to get the FINAL FANTASY XVI demo

The FINAL FANTASY XVI demo is available to download now for PlayStation 5 from the PlayStation Store.

Simply access the store on your console, or visit the PlayStation Store online at the link below:


FINAL FANTASY XVI launches June 22, 2023 for PS5.

Three editions are available, all of which offer the following preorder bonuses:

  • Braveheart - a powerful in-game weapon
  • Cait Sith Charm in-game item - an accessory that boosts your received gil .

Here’s rundown of what’s included in each edition:

FINAL FANTASY XVI Standard Edition (physical and digital)

This edition, as you’d expect, contains:

  • The full game

It's available to preorder now:

FINAL FANTASY XVI Deluxe Edition (physical only)

This version of the game includes:

  • The full game
  • A Special Clive Rosfield SteelBook Case
  • A cloth map of Valisthea - where the story unfolds

It’s available to preorder now on the Square Enix Store:

FINAL FANTASY XVI Digital Deluxe Edition (digital only)

This edition includes:

  • The full game
  • A digital mini artbook that features some of the stunning illustrations from the game
  • A digital mini soundtrack showcasing a selection of incredible tracks from composer Masayoshi Soken

It’s available to preorder from the PlayStation Store:

We hope you enjoy the demo and we can’t wait for you to experience the full game very, very soon!

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