Tips For Playing Final Fantasy XV – Kotaku

 In Technology

So you’re joining Noctis and crew for the road trip to end all road trips. Now what kind of food should you bring? And how do you convince them to let you be in charge of the music?

Final Fantasy XV, which comes out today for PS4 and Xbox One, is full of things to see and do. Driving around with your party of bros can be a real blast. But you’ll want to be prepared—so follow these tips if you want to have a good time.

Don’t do the tutorial

It’s boring and unnecessary. The first couple of quests in the proper game will do a way better job of easing you into Final Fantasy XV’s unique combat system, and besides, you can always choose to train with Gladiolus at camp if you want some practice.

Don’t worry about doing every sidequest

There’s really no reason to run around the world and hammer through sidequests as soon as they open up. Just do whatever feels natural.

Even after you get out of the open world and into the more linear portions of Final Fantasy XV, you can go back any time. You can also revisit the open world once you’ve completed the game, so don’t stress out if you’ve left sidequests unfinished or dungeons unexplored. Many hunts and quests are designed to be finished once you’ve beaten the game, anyway. You also won’t miss much if you skip the ones that seem really boring.

Only fast travel when you have to

When you’re out on the open road, it might be tempting to take advantage of the game’s fast travel feature to zip between destinations, but you’d be missing out. Part of the game’s charm is watching Noctis and pals drive from place to place, not just because it helps evoke the feeling that you’re really on a road trip, but because they have a lot of funny, interesting conversations as you drive (that you’ll miss if you use fast travel). The world is gorgeous, and getting to listen to old Final Fantasy music on the Regalia’s CD player is a nice touch. Speaking of which….

Buy all the Final Fantasy CDs

Every time you get to a new town or outpost, go to the vendor and see what “key items” they have. Usually they’re selling a CD or two that you can add to your collection. (Bonus tip: Buy the portable music player in the Regalia’s shop if you want to listen to your CDs on the go.)

Talk to every restaurateur

Wherever you see a fork and knife icon on your map, you’ll find a restaurant, where you can sit down and chat with the owners for all sorts of good stuff. You can talk to them to see nearby landmarks, eat food for temporary stat buffs, and ask them to send you on monster hunts.

Get Ignis’s Regroup technique ASAP

To build up your party’s stats and abilities, you use what’s called Ascension, a Sphere Grid-like system that lets you unlock a series of nodes using Ability Points. One of the first nodes you should unlock is Ignis’s Regroup ability, which heals your entire party. It’s one of the best techniques in the game, and will save your ass from danger multiple times.

Focus on AP-granting abilities first

After getting Regroup, unlock the nodes that let you gain AP while driving and riding chocobos—nothing better than getting free Ability Points for stuff you’d be doing anyway.

Save manually

The auto-save system is fine, but it never hurts to be careful, especially when you’re about to go into a new dungeon. Besides, you never know when you might want to replay a cool sequence or chapter.

Learn how to block

In most Final Fantasy games, you won’t spend a lot of time using the Defend command. Final Fantasy XV is very different. Enemies can hit hard, and often, the best way to take them out is to get good at dodging and parrying. When the square button (on PS4) appears on your screen, hold it down, then get ready to hit circle ASAP for a counter-attack. Lots of tough enemies have unique parry animations, and pulling off a good counter can help a lot.

Your weapon matters

Different enemies have a variety of strengths and weaknesses. Some enemies might be weak to swords; others might be weak to daggers. Ignis’s Analyze ability will let him scan enemies once in a while, and you can also switch to Wait Mode to see weaknesses more easily, but the best way to discern an enemy’s weak point is to keep an eye on the color of your damage numbers. If they’re purple, the enemy is strong against your attack. If they’re white, it’s neutral. And if your damage numbers are orange, you’re in good shape: That means you’re hitting the enemy’s weakness.

Go for back attacks

As you’re rolling and warping around the battlefield, one of the best ways to do extra damage is to go for Blindsides—attacks from an enemy’s blindspot. Not only will this give you a damage multiplier, it’ll usually trigger a cooperative attack with Noctis’s friends, which can be way more powerful than solo fighting.

Target enemies’ body parts

One good way to take out enemies in Final Fantasy XV is to “break” their appendages. To do this, look for body parts (legs, tails, fins) to target and use warp-strike to do as much damage as possible. If you successfully pull off a break, the enemy will crumple and enter a “vulnerable” state that leaves them susceptible to more damage for a few seconds.

Use magic liberally

It might seem like magic is a valuable resource, given that you can only craft it from magic draw points throughout the world, but it’s not. Don’t worry about hoarding it. Magic sources are relatively common—you can find them next to any campground on the map—and unless you’re in a more linear section, like the last few chapters of the game, you can feel free to throw spells around whenever you feel compelled.

Just be careful not to hit your party with spells. Pro tip: Using Ignis’s Regroup is a good way to get everyone away from the fray so you can throw a magical spell at your enemies without hurting your buds.

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