Combat for Final Fantasy XV is covered on this page. All the basics and advanced concepts of Combat can be found here.
- The battle system is called Active X Battle (AXB). Battles are seamless with no load times, taking place in real-time environments using all of the available environment from the tops of buildings to the streets which results in players having to contend with both ground and aerial enemies at the same time.
- Battles against larger Enemies proceed in the same fashion, but cooperative party actions become available. Players can debilitate enemies by destroying parts of their anatomy, and it is possible to make these kinds of attacks against specific portions of a large enemy's body by either striking them directly using the warp ability, or by positioning by the enemy's weak spots using parrying actions against their attacks.
- Players can jump during battles.
- Libra: Scanning ability that Noctis and Ignis have. Lock onto the target in Wait Mode. A circular gauge will fill and the enemy's information will be revealed. Ignis' Analyze can perform this same function. The info revealed is the creature's elemental strengths and weaknesses.
- Threat Meter: Red gauge that appears at the top of the screen that indicates an enemy's awareness of you. When full, combat begins.
- Warp-Kill: You can stealth kill an unsuspecting human enemy by reacting to the button prompt at the right time. This kill happens regardless of HP or resistances.
- Warp-Strike: Allows you to teleport across the battlefield, delivering bloes to enemies or escaping to safety.
- Roll-Dodge: Evasive roll that can also be used to roll behind opponents.
- Defend-Phase: Holding the defend button will auto evade attacks. This costs MP and is not effective against some powerful attacks.
- Parry: After defending an attack, you will sometimes be given a prompt to parry. If successful the attack is deflected. This is a difficult maneuver to execute but is extremely helpful in quickly and effectively vanquishing foes.
- Counter: Sometimes landing a parry gives the opportunity for a counter prompt. Successfully doing so will do damage against the foe.
- Cover: You can take cover by holding the prompted button when in proximity to a suitable piece of cover. Standing behind cover confers faster regen of HP and MP.
- Stagger: Successfully blocking an incoming attack with defend while wielding a Shield may result in a stagger of the enemy, opening them up for attack. Larger enemies stagger under perfect defense, which is an execution of the defend command during the final animation frames before the attack lands.
- Warp: Can be used to teleport forward to become immune to damage. If you do while locked on to a target you will blade warp. Point warping to a blue marker leads to an instant restore of MP.
- Escape: You can escape a battle by simply running away from the zone, which is the red perimeter on your mini-map. Stepping out of these boundaries ends the battle and revives any downed party members. You can heal up and plan for a fresh attempt or move on altogether.
- Single Attack: Single button press attacks. Each press is a unique attack and can be repeated in rapid succession for combos.
- Automatic Combo: Holding down the attack button leads to an auto series of attacks on the target which conclude with a powerful blow. Each weapon class has directional attacks you can initiate by tilting the directional stick.
- Lock On: Targets can be locked onto and cycled through. This can be done either via shoulder button or in Wait Mode.
- Finisher: If you stop in the middle of a combo, there is a brief window during which you can perform a finisher which is a powerful attack with special properties. Release the attack button and press it again during the window. Most weapons have a visual cue for this window, such as Noctis taking a step backward with a Greatsword or extending his right arm with a Sword.
- Break: Certain attacks can break the enemy. Enemies have distinct body parts which can be cycled through while locked on. Triggering a break on one of these parts results in several positive effects.
- Switch Weapon: Weapons can be swapped on the fly by selecting its appropriate slot in the directional pad.
- Critical Hits: These occur at random during attacks and combos. Every blow has a small chance of becoming a critical hit for extra damage. Certain weapon induced buffs can increase this chance.
- Aerial Combo: While airborne, Noctis can perform combos that enable him to stay in his position, typically against flying foes or large/tall opponents.
- Blindside: These are special attacks automatically performed when standing behind an enemy. They are slower but deal more damage.
- Link Attack: These are contextual attacks that occur when Noctis is standing next to another party member as they both initiate an attack, such as both standing behind an enemy and executing a Blindside attack which would then become a Blindside Link. These are more powerful than the standard blows because of damage multipliers from the link.
- Smaller enemies are easier to aggro (draw their attention), but larger enemies have an aggro radius which players can approach before triggering hostiity.Creatures come in different sizes, and can have different move sets. The possible monsters that can spawn are determine by day and night cycles. Monsters fought at night are tougher, and feature different battle music.
- A red encounter gauge appears when enemies are close along with an audio cue. When the encounter gauge fills, battle starts, but the player can run before the enemies engage. Players can still run if a battle does begin.
- Depending on the time and area, stealth and hiding in the dark can be employed. It is possible in certain situations to initiate a ohko sneak attack.
- The longer the battle goes on, the more chances there are that other enemies will join the fray. The more damage the party deals to some enemies, the more their bodies fall apart.
Taking Damage & Danger
- When a party member reaches 0 HP they enter a Danger status and are unable to attack or use abilities, and their Maximum HP decreases gradually over time including when taking damage.
- A character can rescue another character from Danger by interacting with them. If the gauge depletes completely, the party member will be Knocked Out.
- If all party members fall to 0 HP, the party can only run away to recover, and Noctis will recover from Danger after a certain amount of time. The game is over if Noctis dies.
- The party's HP and MP regenerate when behind cover, and MP also regenerates by attacking enemies. If a player's max HP has been penalized through taking damage while in Danger or other means, camping will recuperate that.
- Warping to higher locations allows HP and MP to restore more quickly.
Combat Maneuvers & Wait Mode
- The combat system utilizes three buttons: an attack button, a defense button, and an interactive button for abilities and interactions between different party members.
- Using Techniques uses MP. Techniques are tied to equipped Weapons. Defending also uses MP, so keeping track of MP use is important. When MP is exhausted you fall into Stasis and you cannot warp, dodge or perform other actions that require MP.
- The player can switch to wait mode to decide on their next attack. The game will pause and a progress bar will gradually deplete. As long as the bar is not depleted the game will pause. This mode is designed for those more comfortable with turn based gameplay. The following are special features found in Wait Mode.
- Libra Speed Increase – You'll be able to receive information via Libra quickly.
- Wait Gauge Recovery – Wait Gauge recovers when defeating the enemy.
- Surprise Attack Warp Break – When warp-striking to an enemy that isn't targeting you, it's easy to destroy the targeted part.
- Final Blow Shift Break – When warp-striking to an enemy that has less than half its HP, the damage multiplier increases.
- If the enemy flashes, the following attack is going to be powerful. This is a chance to counter or defend. After parrying, "partner attacks" can kick in automatically. The counter feature lets the player turn some enemy attacks back on their originators if timed correctly. Each counter is unique depending on the foe and the type of reversal. For some enemies the nature of the counterattack is decided by which ally is nearby.
- According to director Hajime Tabata, the combat isn't about pressing a button once for a single action to happen, but a continuous flow of movements associated with the buttons, and building upon them for actions through the combat system. The gameplay is less about focusing menus and more about navigating the environment with predetermined moves, similar to the gambit system of Final Fantasy XII. There are few menu commands in combat, instead, the game controls like an action game where players switch between offense and defense.
- The player can give orders to other party members and swap weapons on the fly.
- The game will feature a progression system where the player can spend ability points on weapon skills, Noctis, the party, and bonuses, among others.
- Players can continuously dodge while holding down the block button, and auto-attack by holding the attack button, or perform combos by tapping the attack button.
- A manual warp dodge is also available, as well as a roll-dodge that takes no MP to use. Timing the button presses allows the party to perform parries and co-op moves.
- Holding a button to continuously guard or evade drains the user's MP, and thus the player won't be able to do that indefinitely, and not all attacks can be evaded.
- Players can move around while defending.
- Holding the attack button will perform the standard combo and the player can change the actions by using it in coordination with the directional buttons. The actions depend on the circumstances; when guarding, there might be a chance to counterattack, or when allies are nearby there will be opportunities to pull off specific moves.
- As the party grows closer during the game, new partner Abilities are unlocked while they are at camp. Here is a list of these moves and commands you can issue to your party members for a team based attack:
- The player can switch position with another character for strategic gameplay, and players can take cover to avoid attacks and recover before returning to the battle. The player can take cover behind large objects, or by teleporting Noctis high enough to be out of the reach of enemies.
- The party members have their own skill trees and learn new techniques, such as having Ignis Mark an enemy with a warp point for Noctis, or for Prompto to use a Star Shell flare that lights up the battle area, potentially stunning some sensitive enemies.
- All team members will have different approaches and specialties in battle. Party members will automatically react to situations differently according to the circumstances.
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