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7 essential gameplay tips for Final Fantasy VII Remake, out tomorrow on PS4

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7 essential gameplay tips for Final Fantasy VII Remake, out tomorrow on PS4

Combat tactics, Materia recommendations and more to help you on your journey through Midgar in Square Enix’s action RPG

Final Fantasy VII Remake has arrived! In fact, many of you may already be taking your first steps into this highly-anticipated RPG, starting with the iconic bombing mission on Mako Reactor 1.
Of course, taking on an organisation as powerful as the Shinra Electric Power Company won’t be easy – even with a former SOLDIER on your side.
Don’t worry though – we’re here to help. We’ve put together 7 (see what we did there?) top tips to help you make the most of your trip to Midgar.
Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS4

1. Use ATB as much as you can

Final Fantasy VII Remake’s combat system revolves around ATB. As you battle, two bars will fill up beneath the characters’ HP indicators. When one of these is full, you can spend it on an ability, spell or item.
Standard attacks don’t do much damage, but they do fill up the ATB gauges faster so you can issue more commands. Switching between characters regularly also helps, as your input will fill their gauges faster too.
When you have ATB available, use it because these spells and abilities are the best way to cause damage to enemies.

2. Remember that you can block

There are two basic defensive techniques available from the start of Final Fantasy VII Remake: a block and a dodge-roll.
If you block, you’ll take reduced damage from enemy attacks. Rolling away, on the other hand, can negate damage entirely. With that in mind, you’d be forgiven for assuming that the dodge-roll is always the best option. It’s not.
For one thing, the timing can be quite tricky – if the enemy lands a hit, you’re going to suffer the full effect. Blocking the attack is much more reliable and is often the safer tactic – particularly if you’re facing a speedy foe like the Shinra Shock Troopers.
Blocking has other useful effects too. Some enemies have attacks that knock you off your feet, but blocking often negates this effect. While you will take a little bit of damage, it leaves you close enough to counterattack very quickly.
Also worth noting is that if you block a melee attack while Cloud is in Punisher mode (activated by pressing Triangle), he will retaliate with a powerful counter. This is fantastic against certain enemies – like the afore-mentioned Shock Troopers.

3. Heal between battles

The denizens of Midgar are dangerous – many can deliver dramatic damage to your party. So make sure you enter every fight in tip-top shape.
You can heal in battle with magic or items, but this will cost you a bar of ATB. That means that if you dive into the fray with your HP in the red, you may be taken out before you have a chance to even issue a command.
Fortunately, you can use items and magic freely outside of battle, so make sure you take a few seconds to heal up when you get a break in the action.

4. Take advantage of enemy weaknesses

Many enemies are weak against certain elements – if you can hit them with one of these attacks, they’ll definitely feel it.
In the introductory sections of the game, a good rule of thumb is that if the enemy is mechanical, they’re likely weak to electrical attacks. Squishy, fleshy organic beings, on the other hand, won’t like fire.
Past the opening stages though, things get a lot more complicated. You’ll have to experiment with different types of attacks to uncover what works on what enemy.
That said, you can get a bit of assistance. At some point in the adventure, you’ll be able to acquire the Assess Materia. When equipped, you’ll be able to use it to see a detailed view of your foes’ various vulnerabilities. It’s very handy!

5. Understand how to stagger

If you want to really dominate in battle, you must learn how to stagger enemies.
As you fight, a stagger gauge beneath your opponent’s health meter will fill up. When this maxes out, not only will your foe be unable to attack you, all of your hits will deal much more damage!
Staggering is very powerful, so it’s useful to understand the basics of how you can fill that meter.
A good first step is to deal a lot of damage to the foe very quickly, so try to co-ordinate your party’s spells or abilities to hit in quick succession. If you do a lot of damage in a short time, your foe may enter a ‘Pressured’ state.
While Pressured, your target’s stagger bar will fill up much quicker than usual, so use stagger-building attacks like Cloud’s Focused Thrust and Barret’s Focused Shot to max it out fast.
Of course, things are not always quite that simple. Some enemies are easier to stagger than others, so you’ll have to experiment with your ever-expanding options in battle to develop strategies that work for different encounters.

6. Take the time to explore Midgar

Final Fantasy VII Remake typically points you to your current objective, but most of the time, there’s no need to rush. Make sure you explore and look around – not just because Midgar is often staggeringly beautiful, but because it’s also stuffed full of things to find.
From restorative items, to MP-regenerating Mako shards, to music discs that you can play on a jukebox… there’s all sorts of goodies hidden away.
What’s more, many of them will make your adventures easier, or help you out of a difficult situation, so it’s well worth going out of your way to poke around at the corners of the world.

7. Try Classic mode

If you’re not a big fan of action mechanics, or merely want a change of pace, you should try out Classic mode. You can activate this from the System menu.

In this mode, characters move, attack and defend automatically, so you can focus entirely on giving them instructions via the Command Menu. Because you don’t have to focus on standard attacks and blocks, you have more time to consider your overall strategy.
It’s a little bit reminiscent of the menu-based system of the original Final Fantasy VII, so fans of that game will hopefully enjoy it too.
Those are just a few tips for Final Fantasy VII Remake – we hope they help.

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16 Comments

  • It’s beautiful and the combat is super fun ?

  • My tips:

    Play normal mode from the off. It eases you into playing and also gives more experience points.

    Look everywhere for chests, Shinra boxes and music CD’s before moving on to the next objective. Is that a door in a corridor? Go and check it out, you may well be surprised. Some of the extra weapons and materia will put you in good stead for later on.

    Complete the side missions. There aren’t that many and as well as the extra experience they give you that extra insight into Midgar life.

    Troublesome boss? Don’t refer to guides, just equip the assess materia and work your strategy from there. Sure, you may need to start a fight again and rearrange your abilities but everything you need to succeed is in the game.

    I’m repeating no. 6 from the topic here but it deserves to be said again: Don’t rush it just enjoy the ride. This game deserves to be savoured for your first play through.

  • Try to have each elemental materia on your party, biggest issue I had was enemies wouldn’t stagger without a specific element that I just didn’t have equipped. Also don’t get greedy with attacking when enemies aren’t pressured or you’ll get a tough hit back!

  • I like how people had finished episode one on the first day the physical version released.

    It was one of the worst things about older RPGs, having to do days or weeks of playtime just to finish the main story. Now we can finish full price “full length RPGs” in a single day, which is much more efficient, and much better value.

    • Many people have received the physical version already due to early postage because of CoVid19. I’ve yet to finish it but have had it for 6 days now and am deep into it.

      I understand that you and others are upset about this being split into multiple chapters but that’s the way it is. Would I prefer the whole of FFVII instead of just Midgar? Of course I would but this is what we have and it’s a case of take what you can get.

      If you want to make some comparisons: God of War’s campaign took about 20 hours to beat, this takes about 30 unless you play on easy. Was God of War worth it? Hell yes and so is this. There’s no point in being bitter about it, embrace what it is and play or don’t. Nothing’s going to change how they release this game.

    • I think my issue here is one of value rather than how they cut the game up into episodes. A game people can and have finished in half a day isn’t really worth as much as they’re charging.

      The shortness of the episodes would have not mattered if it was priced accordingly, but a (slightly more than) full game price RPG should be much, much longer.

    • I understand that but, again, if you compare this to other games it is still pretty good value.

      Resident Evil 3 remake: 8 hours first play through at maximum. Modern Warfare 2 Remastered: 5-6 hours maximum. Sure, these games cost a little less but amount of hours/price FF7R wins hands down.

      As I said, I would prefer a complete FF7 but there are two choices: embrace it for what it is or just don’t play it. Gamers don’t dictate what the product is, they only have a choice in whether they buy into what is put out there. If you don’t like what you see then fine, vote with your wallet.

    • I got my copy on the 3rd of April and only finished it last night after 40 hours of playtime, there’s still a hard mode playthrough I can do plus a lot of extra cleanup that gets unlocked after beating it.

      SE are taking a gamble with this game and the way it’s being handled, it’s not Just a small section of the start of disk one in the original game but without getting into spoilers it’s tagline makes more sense in context.

      I love what I’ve played and im genuinely excited about what’s to come, I think if people go into this after playing the original and being open minded they’ll have a fantastic time.

    • I hit 40 hours at chapter 16. Not sure who these people who finished it in half a day are that you are talking about? I think you could easilly get 70+ hours out of this including new game plus. It’s good value, and I think it’s a really clever way to expand the fantastic and beloved world of FF7 to give players a chance to spend more time with the great characters and story.

    • @Gotrek_74 Don’t even try to explain anything to him lol. He already made his concerned trolling clear when he said “episodes” and “they cut the game up into episodes”, the game he is referring to is the original FFVII when we know that it isn’t the orignal FFVII being cut up but EXPANDED in multiple full games that cannot be finished in half a day unless you are really trying to do that for speed run purposes, by which that case Skyrim is half an long lol. The amount of likes you got compared to him shows the majority does not agree.

      @Asmerith Exactly, its called talking out your rear. Don’t even waste your time like I just did with this comment.

    • @andrewsqual I don’t want to upset or argue with her (it’s princess not prince btw!) and I know I’m not going to change her mind but I just wanted to put up my defence for the game.

      Prior to E3 2019 when they showcased the demo I was also on the same side of that fence and thought that this was just a cash grab but when I saw the gameplay I was wowed to the point of preordering (I know, it’s not really wise to preorder 9 months in advance!). I was concerned about length but now that 8m at chapter 14 with just over forty hours already played (I enjoy searching every nook and cranny) I’m very happy with how this game has been handled.

      Waiting for the next chapter is going to be agonizing.

    • So stating facts and having issue to high cost for presented product is “trolling” now. Can also see the highly developed reasoning how a continuous narrative split into parts is also in no way “episodic” because it just isn’t, and how it’s a terrible insult to suggest. Also can see how I needed to have insults flung at me for a phrase I used to state how I didn’t have an issue with it.

      We should all take no issue with value of anything. That way games will continue to steeply increase in value. Hopefully all games get cut into full games priced as full value, regardless of length, it’s the best step for consumers.

      People finished it very quickly, that’s just factual, unfortunately. Sure they probably rushed it, but not everyone cares for side content. The main issue is, even without side content and hours of wandering, the normal RPG is considerably longer, so it shouldn’t be considerably more expensive than them. This generation’s RPG games like Persona 5 (ok that was PS3, but still) and Dragonquest XI take 60-100 hours to complete, an RPG with half or less gametime shouldn’t be in a higher price bracket.

    • How dare they ?! How much can you endure it !? They even cut FFXIII into three parts!

  • it’s not a game, it’s barely the first disc of the original. Then we’ll have to wait until well into the PS5 lifespan for the next one which won’t feature the original save. It’s not what an RPG is about. 30 hours for a part 1 (which should be in the misleading title for the game)? Mass effect did better over a decade ago and that featured the save moving forward to the sequel.

    as much as i love FF7 (and i still have my original PC 4 disc copy with the wrong name in the instruction manual), I’m more than disappointed with this. I’ll play it, i might even like it, but ….”We Were on the Verge of Greatness”

    After being spoilt with 100 hours of Persona 5 Royal and Nier: Automata (which makes FF15 blush), i expected more… and then they release it on a bank holiday. I miss when it was just “square[soft]” and “enix”, they had more love for their games at that point. And yes the original game was squaresoft

    • It is indeed a full game and it’s the start of something completely new, the title and approach make a lot more sense in context but I can completely understand people if they think they’ve been misled by it.

  • A faster way to go into the Save/Load menu: Press Options and then Triangle, this will save you a lot of scrolling up and down!

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