Final Fantasy XV is Square Enix’s latest epic — but the downside to epics is that they can take some getting used to.
The game offers a 40-plus hour main adventure, plus many, many more hours of post-game fun. Here are some tips to get you chugging along on the journey of Noctis, Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto.
Play the tutorial
When you first load the game up, it’ll ask you if you want to go through a combat tutorial and review the lore of Eos, the world FFXV takes place in. We recommend doing both.
The combat tutorial takes you through all the elements of combat: striking, blocking, warping, magic and team techniques. You’d rather have the nuances of combat explained to you at the beginning than have many “oh, you can do that?” moments throughout the 50-hour adventure.
Stay up with the story
The aforementioned introduction to the game’s lore isn’t ultra engaging — it’s done in the form of Noctis browsing a series of paintings — but it’s worth it for those who haven’t watched the CG “Kingsglaive” film or the “Brotherhood” anime, which flesh out the plot and character relationships.
On this point, you should also make sure to examine books, posters and the like, as these will also give you information on key story points and lore.
Do hunting missions
Like Final Fantasy XII, some of the best fun you’ll have here is in hunting monsters. Each town in FFXV will offer new beasts that need to be slayed, and doing so will net you experience, rewards and up your ranking as a hunter (in turn leading to more sweet, sweet rewards).
Not only will taking on these beasts lead to exciting battles, it’s also an effective way of fattening your gil pouch.
Talk to the locals
Most new areas you get to will have a small diner in them. Make a point to go to these and talk to the attendant. They’ll offer you food, new bounty hunts and, just as invaluably, will give you information on the local area. This leads to local camp spots, treasure locations, elementary deposits, parking spaces and more being loaded into your map.
Stock up on items
You’ll quickly notice combat in Final Fantasy XV is different to previous games in two ways: less magic and more items.
When you’re at critical health mid-battle, you can kneel behind large obstacles, like big rocks or walls, to regenerate HP. But each time you hit critical health, or “Danger mode,” your maximum HP for the remainder of the battle drops. Plus, the crouch-to-regenerate luxury isn’t afforded to teammates.
As a result, you’ll find yourself using more potions, elixirs and phoenix downs in battles than you might expect. Make sure to stock up on them when you can.
Campsites vs. hotels
FFXV handles levelling up differently to other RPGs. You earn experience for slaying beasts and completing quests, which is standard, but you only actually level up by resting. Noctis and the gang can either stay at campsites or hotels, and there are pros and cons to both.
Staying at a hotel will cost you gil but gives the team an experience multiplier. This is especially important later in the game, where you can pay to have your experience multiplied by up to three.
However, you can get Ignis to cook up a meal for you if you stay at campsites. These meals give you temporary status boosts, which get more helpful as you progress through the game and Ignis’ recipes get more complex.