Guide to Mastering Combat in FFXV and Their Mechanics

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Weapon Switching

Noctis can equip 4 different types of weapon at the same time and switch it freely during a fight. Since each weapon in Final Fantasy XV is suitable to different situations and enemies, it is significant to change it on the fly and use the right weapon against the right enemy based on your circumstances.

Learn how to unlock all secrets and hidden stories with this Final Fantasy XV Strategy Guide by Killer Guides. Complete walk-through, step-by-step levelling strategies, character progressions, combat tricks, side quests, hidden items, gear, gil making, and more are included in this detailed manual.

You can read my review here.

Combos and Finisher

Pressing an attack button once leads to a single attack. Held or pressed several times triggers a combo attack and ends with a powerful flow dealing significant damage to enemies.

Combo attacks are available both on ground and in the air based on currently equipped weapons. A lance is great at aerial combos while the greatsword is good at AOE ground attacks.

Aerial attacks are very useful against a gigantic or flying enemy. Locking on an enemy is important while executing aerial combos. Warp-striking is an effective method to initiate aerial attacks. Aerial combos can be extended though certain abilities in an ascension grid.

While Noctis is in an animation of attacking, a player cannot cancel that attack and command him to do other things, including switching weapon, dodge, guard, and so on. So, be careful to only execute combos while an enemy is truly vulnerable.

If a combo is stopped in the middle for whatever reasons, a player can execute a finisher attack, which is another form of a powerful blow. To execute the attack, a player needs to press an attack button while Noctis is taking a step backward and disappearing his weapon.

Critical Hits

Any normal attacks, including combos, has an opportunity to strike a critical hit, dealing additional damage to enemies. Some weapon has a buff to increase critical hits chance.

Parry and Counter

Parry and counter are a key to mastering the combat in Final Fantasy XV. They can completely negate enemies’ attack while striking it back at the same time.

If any attack can be parried, an on-screen instructions will appear. When a defense button is pressed at the right time, Noctis parrys that attack leaving his foe to be vulnerable for a counterattack.

A counterattack normally deals 1.5x times damage and has a chance to trigger a link attack with any nearby partner, if he’s about to attack the same target.

Timing is a key to parry. If a defense button is pressed too quick or too slow, the attack will hit Noctis, even though holding the the button. The best time to parry is when the enemy is about to landing its attack.

parry

Stealth Attacks

The red threat meter on the top of the screen appears when a player is about to be detected by enemies. Different enemies reach differently. Some might detect you faster or slower than the others. Normally, the enemies during an early game has a slow response whereas those in the late game can almost instantly attack a player.

As long as Noctis moves to a different direction as a monster’s, he remains stealth, performs a back attack, and even executes a one-hit kill.

Some humanoid enemies in a certain missions can be eliminated immediately though a warp-strike. The only condition to execute this assassination is to remain silence and attack an enemy stealthily.

Warping and Warp-Striking

Noctis can immediately teleport to any direction and destination he throws his weapon. Warping is a key combat mechanic to both dodge an enemy attack, and then attack it a second later. Holding the warp button while facing a warpable location, Noctic will immediately teleport to it and instantly replenish his MP.

Warping to a locked-on enemy can execute a “warp-strike”. It is a great way to initiate an attack. Warp-strike damage is based on a warping distance, the farer the greater. Additionally, it has a chance to stagger an enemy leaving them vulnerable.

However, it is not recommended to spam warping for two main reasons. First, warping greatly depletes MP and quickly leaving Noctis in a MP burst stage where he cannot restore his MP nor performing any moves that used MP. Second, warping can make Noctis too far away from his buddies leaving him a sole target to foes.
Warp-striking is also a great way to finish an enemy since it rewards an additional MP as a bonus.

ffxv warp strike

Blindside Attack

Attacking an enemy from behind triggers a blindside attack. It deals a critical hit with a chance to perform a link attack with any nearby buddy. The total damage of blindside combining a link attack is several time higher than a normal attack.

Blindside is especially useful when facing a big yet slow enemy. Simply move around and attack it from behind. This trick both deals significant damage to an enemy and avoids its fatal attack at the same time.

Break

Some enemy’s part can be “break” by a certain attack indicated by a reticle. To break an enemy, lock on to it, move around, and attack at the “breakable” spot”. Doing so triggers different result based on each enemy. Mostly, it leads them into a negative and vulnerable stage.

Technique Attacks

Technique is a special attack executed by Noctis’ buddies, both permanent and guest members. Each technique has different usage and effects. For example, Gladiolus’ first technique, Tempest, can hit several enemies at once within his greatsword range while Ignis’s Mark allowing Noctis to attack all enemies at once one after another.

A technique attack can be used once a technique bar on the left of the screen is full. There are 3 gauges on the bar and each technique attack requires different amount of gauge. The tech bar refills continuously during the battle . As it is reset at the end of each fight, a player should not hesitate to utilize the technique once it becomes available.

Technique attacks can be triggered by pressing the L1/LB button, and then using the direction pad for choosing technique. Normally, the up directional button is for Ignis, left for Prompto, right for Gladiolus, and down for a guest party member.

More technique attacks can be unlocked from the technique tree (APs required) under the ascension grid.

ffxv technique gladiolus tempest

Armiger Ability

Armiger Ability is unlocked in Chapter 3 after Noctis acquires the Swords of the Wanderer, one of the royal arms. After obtaining the weapon, a new Armiger gauge appears in the bottom-left corner. It is filled overtime during the combat through attacking and defending.

When the gauge is full, press R1+L1 together to execute the Armiger ability, aka Noctis’ Limit Breaks. Upon activating the ability, Noctis’ stats will be increased significantly and completely changes his weapons to all available royal arms. The so called Limit Breaks stop when the gauge is empty.

Wait Mode

Wait mode is designed to help a player having a struggle in the game new real-time combat system or being in a pinch situation where the exact command is required. Upon activating the mode, everything will be immediately paused allowing a player to calmly analyze the battle and accurately command what to do next, including using an item, execute the technique attack, casting magic spells, and so on.

In addition, Noctis/Ignis can analysis enemy information, including weaknesses and strengths, through Libra. The ability is available once unlocked from the ascension grid.

Easy Difficulty

For a new player who really has a trouble dealing with enemies, an easy mode difficulty is available through the Pause Menu >> Difficulty. Activating the easy difficulty decreases enemies’ strengths as well as giving you more time in the wait mode.

Damage and Element

There are two types of damage in Final Fantasy XV: physical and magical. Physical damage mainly comes from weapon whereas the magical damage is from spells.

By making the combat more surreal and complex, there are also five elements in the game: fire, ice, lightning, dark, and ballistic. By default, elemental magic is elemental while ring magic is non-elemental. Weapons can be both: some deals non-elemental damage while some is imbued by an element such as a fire sword, an ice spear, and so on.

Certain enemies have weakness and resistant to different weapons. Some resists to a sword yet weak to a spear or vice versa. Enemy’s weaknesses are indicated by 3 different colors from the number of attack damage: white for neutral, orange for bonus damage, and purpose for decreased damage.

To find out enemy’s strengths and weaknesses, simply activate the wait mode and execute Libra. In order to slay an enemy as fast as possible, using the right weapon and element is necessary.

ffxv damage color meaning

Betty / November 26, 2016 / Guide

Combat System: Combo, Weapons, Technique, and Leveling

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This article is going to give you an idea of what combat and combos in FFXV are like based on based on the information we have so far eg Episode Duscae, Platinum Demo, and other game footages. Although combat system in FFXV seems to be simple, it can be pretty confusing at the same time.

Learn how to unlock all secrets and hidden stories with this Final Fantasy XV Strategy Guide by Killer Guides. Complete walk-through, step-by-step levelling strategies, character progressions, combat tricks, side quests, hidden items, gear, gil making, and more are included in this detailed manual.

You can read my review here.

*Be sure to bookmark it since we will keep updating the article when new information is available.

3 Main Keys of Combo

Attack strikes are mainly based on three things; distance, weapons, and actions. If you are far away from an enemy, the strike you use will be different than when you are near. The strike between each weapon is also different. And when you do a special movement, such as parry, you will perform a different strike than normal.

Attack strikes are also determined by what weapon you have for each of them. And to make the combat system more complicated, each weapon also offers a different type of effects. Some negates enemy defence, some increases critical hits, some recovers MP, some recovers health, and more.

Based on the demo, 4 weapons can be equipped at the same time. Your normal initial attack depends on the first weapon in your set follow by other weapons in the set respectively. Currently there are 5 normal combos: Crush, Ravage, Vanquish, Counter, and Descend. You can freely assign which weapon you want to use for each combo and can even freely swap during combat. Read this article to learn more about combo attacks in Final Fantasy xv

Update: From the recent game footage, you can freely swap an initial weapon by using D-Pad instantly. And it will not automatically change unless you do it yourself.

ffxv combo

Current known available weapons:

Single-Handed Sword: A one-handed sword with medium range and size. Quick, fast, deals moderate damage, and easy to use.

Great Sword: A large sword with long range and size. Slow yet deals significant damage to several enemies at once. Perfect for a counter attack.

Daggers: Dual daggers with short range and size. They are able to deal multiple attacks in quick succession with high movement speed. However, damage is quite low.

Spear: A long ranged spear mainly for thrusting an enemy. It is a good choice for an aerial attack.

Shuriken: A ninja-style weapon. Both hands are required. It deals significant damage from afar yet consumes a small amount of MP.

Shield: A shield can be wear together with a single-handed sword. It can block enemies attack as well as make them off balance by guarding right before the attack happens.

ffxv combat system showcase

Technique Attack

“Technique attack” from your weapons can be performed by pressing a “triangle button”. Use D-Pad to choose which technique you would like to execute. Note that the technique attack doesn’t change the regular combo attacks.

In addition, weapons have special techniques you can use no matter in which spot you put them it. Some technique is especially for a counter attack while some for an aerial attack and so on.

Update: Your partner is now able to use a technique attack as well

ffxv partner technique command

Partner technique command can be seen on the left corner

Warp-Strike

After you locked on an enemy by holding a button from afar, press “x” and you will immediately perform a warp-strike. Then, holding an attack button to perform a successive combo based on the set of weapon you equip.

Update: You can even “warp-kill” some enemy if you can attack them unnoticed from a distance. It is very useful especially for an infiltrate-style mission.

Dodge and Parry

“L1” is a dodge button and you can do an automatic dodge by holding the button. Alternatively, it can parry an attack if you press it at the right time when an enemy is about to hit you. After parried, you have two choices between performing a counter attack by yourself or do a “link attack” with your partner by pressing a square button and finishing it by a follow up counter attack.

A successful counter attack deals significant damage but the strict timing is necessary. Practice makes perfect.

ffxv link attack

Noctis is preparing to perform a link attack with Ignis

Combat Strategy in Total

Combat in FFXV is not about performing a similar combo in a same fashion as Devil May Cry. It is about what property that each weapon has. For the most part, you are going to hold down the square button in combat except for dodging, parrying, and healing, and using items as well as magic.

During the fight, you can take cover behind some wall, rocks, and so on to regain your MP and HP. Otherwise, warping to the high area leaving enemies in distance can also recover MP and HP as well.

The one important thing that makes each of weapon combination difference is about the effect of each weapon which is going to impact your play-style directly. If you equip several weapons with MP recovery, you will always have enough MP to perform a special technique and dodge more often.

On the other hand, if the equipped weapons are about critical hit and HP recovery, you will be sticking with a normal combo attack.

Noctis warping

How to Level Up

In every battle, the amount of experience will be calculated based on monsters you defeat as well as how well you fight such as how well you parry, how well you do a counter attack and so on. However, you do not technically gain these experience points right away.

Camping and resting are an important part of leveling in FFXV. When you rest, all the experience you gather during the day will be summed up and gives to all characters. Note that, all of your incomplete side quests will be immediately abandoned if you rest. You can do them again next day but all the process you made will be gone.

All at the camp, you will enjoy eating happily with your friends. Whatever you eat will give you a different buff for the next day. The more you have material in your stock, whether from gathering or buying, the more choice you have for your meal.

**Keep in mind that this article is written based on game demos and footages. It might be changed during the official release.

camping

Betty / August 10, 2016 / Combat