Want to battle with the best online? These top tips will point you in the right direction...
By Duncan Heaney

DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT is one of the more unique fighting games around. It combines an unprecedented level of FINAL FANTASY fan service with stylish, tactical combat that has far more depth than you might expect - especially given the simple controls and flashy animations.

Now that DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT Free Edition’s almost available on Steam and PS4, anyone can jump in without paying a thing, so we thought it would be the perfect time to offer up some tips and tricks to help new players build up their skills, and get the most out of the game.

1. Understand the fundamentals

Once you get beyond all the flash and sizzle, the fundamental mechanics of DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT are actually very simple. There are essentially two elements to consider:

  • HP: This is characters’ health. If this reaches 0, you are incapacitated. You can do HP attacks that target this stat - the amount of damage you do is determined by your Bravery.

  • Bravery: This number (the big one above the health bar, and hovering above foes) determines how much damage you will do to your opponents when you hit them with an HP attack. Most of your attacks do Bravery damage - they add it to your total, and subtract it from enemies’.

So the normal flow of a battle in DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT goes like this:

  1. Use Bravery attacks to build up your strength and weaken enemies

  2. Spend that Bravery on an HP attack that will damage or incapacitate your opponent

Of course, that’s just scratching the surface of the tactical options available, but master these basics and you’ll be well on the way to that famous victory fanfare.

2. Do the tutorial!

Look, I get it - tutorials can be a pain when you want to get right into the action as quickly as possible. But movement and positioning are a vital part of DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT, so you need to know the most efficient ways to get around.

Fortunately, the tutorials in the game are pretty good - they don’t take long, and they’ll teach you all the essential skills, including dashing, wall runs, utilizing special skills and more. It’s worth taking 15 minutes to make sure you’re fully versed in the basic controls.

3. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of each class

Characters in DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT fall into four classes:

  • Assassins: have excellent mobility and fast attack speed, but hit weaker and take less damage than some other classes. Examples include Noctis, Zidane, Kain and Tidus.

  • Vanguards: specialize in powerful attacks at close or mid-range, but are also kinda slow. Examples include Cloud, Sephiroth, Cecil and the Warrior of Light.

  • Marksmen: operate at long range combat, essentially playing a game of keep-away with their foes. But some attacks can be slow to wind up, and if they’re cornered by a melee attacker, they’re in real trouble. Examples include Terra, Y’shtola, Ace and that jerk Kefka.

  • Specialists: Despite the name, these characters are the quintessential all-rounders. They’re not weak in any area, but nor do they excel. To make up for that, they often come with a special ability, such as the ability to buff the party, or extra HP attack options. Examples include Vaan, Bartz and the Onion Knight.

Classes play very differently to each other, so make sure you experiment to see which style of play you like the most.

Also, consider that there’s a rock-paper-scissors system in play - Assassins are strong against Marksmen, Marksmen have an edge against Vanguards, and Vanguards have an advantage over Assassins.

So when targeting enemies, it’s often sensible to focus on those that your character’s strong against. That said…

4. Don’t get tunnel vision - switch targets when you need to

In the heat of battle, when you and your opponents are flying around the arena, it’s easy to get caught up chasing a single target. Be careful not to get tunnel vision though - while you’re distracted by a particular foe, your team may be in trouble, enemies may be clearing up cores, or you could be at risk of a surprise attack yourself!

Don’t forget that you can switch targets at any time. If an enemy is giving you particular trouble, or being evasive, don’t be afraid to divert your attention elsewhere.

5. Know when to go all-in and when to back off

When you’re locked onto an enemy, you can see how much damage your next HP attack will do. If it’s not the full bar, you might be tempted to focus on increasing your bravery, so you can land an HP attack that takes them out in a single hit.

There are times that will be the right move, but don’t forget that when you go on the offensive, you also open yourself up for enemies to attack you. If you’re outnumbered, or your foe counterattacks, you could find yourself with less Bravery than when you started!

So remember - you don’t always have to go for the KO. Sometimes you should use an HP attack to essentially ‘bank’ your Bravery and do whatever damage you can.

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6. Use walls to your advantage

If you launch your foe into a solid surface with a Bravery attack, they’ll splat comically against it and give you an opportunity to follow up with another assault.

It’s particularly useful if you want to land an HP attack, which are slow and quite easily dodged. Simply smash your competitor into a wall with a Bravery move, and immediately follow up with a HP attack while they’re stunned.

Be careful though - your enemies can do the same to you, so watch your positioning.

7. Listen to the Moogle kupo!

If you’re just starting out, heed the advice of the announcer Moogle. Throughout the fight, it’ll dole out situational advice, such as “finish that foe” if your next HP attack is enough to incapacitate your target.

That said, don’t take the Moogle’s word as gospel. Use your common sense depending on the situation - if you’re being targeted by three enemies at once, for example, an HP attack might open you up to a devastating team assault.

And if you find the Moogle distracting, or you feel like you’re experienced enough to no longer need it, don’t forget you can turn it off in the options menu.

8. Use summons to change the flow of a battle

Summons are a big part of DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT, and utilized properly, they can alter the course of a fight. Before each match, your team will get to choose a summon, such as Ifrit, Ramuh and my boy Bahamut.

Each gives the team passive bonuses for the match - such as letting the Bravery gauge refill faster, or increasing HP. But it’s when you bring them out that their power really shows - they’ll bestow much bigger, more useful, bonuses on your team for the remainder of the match.

Not only that, they’ll harass your enemies with attacks that can throw off their rhythm and give you an opening to do some damage.

The problem is that your rivals can do the same to you. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of cores when they appear. Not only do you bag summoning power for yourself, you deprive your enemies - and that’s just as important.

9. Teamwork makes the dream work

It’s possible (and fun!) to play DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT as a lone wolf, but it is designed to be a team game. Co-ordinating with other players can make all the difference - a team that’s in sync has the best chance of winning.

For example, you can see on screen which characters are targeted by your teammates, and who’s targeting them back. That information gives you options - you can focus on the same target, creating devastating team combos that sap their bravery in seconds. Or you can run interference, blocking and harassing their attackers so they can focus on their targets unthreatened.

There are lots of other ways to help your team, including EX skills that can provide useful buffs like extra damage - so experiment!

10. Don’t be afraid to lose

DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT may be a competitive experience, but don’t take it too seriously. More than anything else, the game just wants you to have fun.

There will be times where things don’t go your way - but don’t get discouraged. Pick yourself up and try again - the more you play, the better you’ll get. Before long, you’ll be flying round the battlefield, taking down enemies left and right.

And if not… well, you’re still playing with amazing characters in iconic locations, with some of the best music in videogames history available in the background. That’s pretty cool, right?