This guide will cover everything you need to know combat basics. Throughout this guide, you’ll learn even more about Cure Points, Artes, exploiting weaknesses, performing successful combos, as well as helpful strategic tips.
Table of Contents
Gameplay Tips and Tricks
From performing successful combos to learning helpful combat strategies, we have you covered in our combat basics guide below.
Combos are initiated simply by chaining different attacks. Maintaining one however is the real challenge.
To keep a combo chain going, you’ll want to use a series of high hit count artes without repeating the same attack twice in a row. This is because spamming effectively destroys a combo chain.
Instead, use regular attacks and boost attacks to bridge the gap while your arte gauge fills back up. It’s incredibly difficult to chain massive combos early on because of AG constraints. But if you really want that 100 combo achievement, then at least wait until you have a full party of four characters before trying.
Cure Points or CP is used exclusively for artes that bestow any kind of advantage to your party. And that includes healing, recovery and buffs. For this reason, it will be prudent to configure A.I. behaviour so it only uses such artes when absolutely necessary.
However, all is not lost if you run out of CP in a pinch. An Orange Gel is all you need to fix things. Aside from Orange Gels, the only way to restore CP is to rest at campsites or inns.
The amount of artes a character can use depends entirely on the arte gauge (AG), which starts at 3. This number can be increased by learning passive AG boost skills in the skill panel, as you progress through the game. The arte gauge will replenish itself over time.
Some artes also consume more AG to use than others. So learn to mix it up especially when chaining combos early on. Characters in Manual mode can equip up to six artes at a time (3 ground and 3 air), which you can set via the “Artes” tab in the main menu.
For characters in Auto mode, you can toggle all learned skills on and off. Do this so you can prevent the A.I. from using the wrong skills on bosses or any enemies with a specific elemental weakness.
When it comes to weaknesses, keep in mind that these elements oppose each other: fire and water, earth and wind, light and darkness. Always use artes that oppose a target’s elemental affinity to deal more damage. Exploiting such weaknesses are more likely to stagger or down enemies as well.
On the other hand, if you were to use an attack that carries the same element as the target, they will resist it and cause much less damage. These types of hits don’t count in a combo chain.
Certain large enemies also have a core of sorts that become exposed as they receive damage. These weak spots are orange in color. Hitting them deals more damage and can knock down an enemy when a Core Break is triggered. In this state, a target will not be able to move for a period of time.
Perfect Evade and Perfect Guard
This state is triggered if you either block or dodge in the precise moment before an attack hits. Your character glows white briefly if successful, and a powerful counter is possible if you attack or use an arte in this state.
Counterattacks also have a much higher critical hit and penetration rate, making it more likely to knock down or stagger enemies. Perfect evades or guards can also have the added perk of restoring AG or increasing BG, if you’ve unlocked the corresponding ability in the skill panel.
Boost Attacks and Boost Strikes
The Boost Gauge (BG) is displayed at the bottom-left corner of the screen and gradually fills as your characters act in battle. A button on the D-Pad is also assigned to each party member for the purpose of performing boost attacks.
You can press these buttons when your boost gauges are full to have allies do a brief special attack that have their own unique properties. This is also ideal for bridging gaps during massive combo chains.
Boost Strikes on the other hand are powerful team attacks by two party members. This is only possible if both characters have full boost gauges, and the target has been staggered. In regular enemies, pay attention to the gauge surrounding the target reticule and notice that it fills up when you manage string combos uninterrupted. Once full, a boost strike can be triggered by pressing any one of the buttons on the d-pad.
For bosses and other special enemies, you usually won’t see the stagger gauge filling up. So just do your best to pile on damage with long combos until you break them, and boost strikes should be possible.
You can choose between three control modes that will determine a character’s behavior during combat. Manual grants players full control of a character; Semi-Auto only gives players control when a character is within enemy range; and Auto means a character is totally at the A.I.’s mercy. However, unlike some games where you have limited or no say in A.I. behavior, this one offers so much freedom in that regard.
It is possible to fine-tune an Auto character to the point they behave exactly as you want. And because of this, you can even put everyone in Auto and watch them fight fluidly.
To change character control mode, press R1 (or equivalent) in the main menu. This brings up a new screen where you can use the Options button (or equivalent) to toggle between modes for the highlighted character. You can also change battle leaders from here, which will be the character you control at the start of battle.
Overlimit and Mystic Artes
Overlimit is triggered when your characters take enough or if you manage to pull off a set number of perfect evades.
A blue meter replaces the arte gauge during Overlimit which should last until it is fully depleted. In this state, artes do not consume AG and cannot be interrupted.
To perform a mystic arte, you must first enter Overlimit, hit an enemy with an arte then press and hold any two of the arte buttons at the same time. Overlimits end immediately after a mystic arte is used.