Combat is inevitable, and you must be ready to fight! Final Fantasy has both PvE and PvP options, but the focus is on PvP (or Player vs. Player). That means fire and the occasional tear. There are several things that are critical to your success in battle.
Let’s take a closer look at the battle mechanics in Final Fantasy in the early days. This Guide does not speak to Realms further down the timeline of the game, but rather for those just starting in a new Realm.
Before you even drop your shield, there are several highly important things that you must do.
Study, study, study! Before you head into battle, you must make preparations. In the newest Realms, there are only a few Research Trees (as seen below). As you move along the FFX Realm Timeline more Research Trees open up. You don’t need to focus on all of these for Combat. If your main concern is fighting, use your resources first to the Combat tree, then the Defense Tree.
- Adventurer: There are a few nodes for Combat here, such as Hospital Capacity, City Defense Attack/Armor/HP and City Assault Attack/Armor/HP.
- Economics: This tree mainly deals with only Economics.
- Combat: For Combat, start here. This is where you will open the different Tiers of Troops, along with increasing your stats.
- Defense: Traps aren’t terribly useful in the long run, but other parts of this tree are, including City Defense Attack/Armor/HP and Hospital Capacity.
- Hero: This tree is mainly focused on Monsters, but there is an extra March Slot here. For all of you wondering, Hero Attack does NOT count for hitting other people. Only Monsters.
Building up your Citadel is critical. There are several buildings that have combat boosts in addition to their regular functions. To learn more about the buildings and what’s coming as the months (years) come along, check out Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide to Buildings.
- Citadel: Each additional level of your Citadel increases your March Size and Troop Capacity available to train/defend your Base. Additionally, March slots are added as you grow (but not every level).
- Hospital: Not only does building up the Hospital increase the number of beds available, but it also increases your Hospital Healing Speed.
- Guild Hall: The Guild Hall must be built to set or join a Rally. Additionally, increases in the Guild Hall building level increase your Rally Capacity.
- Embassy: This building takes reinforcements from your fellow Alliance members to help defend your Citadel.
- Watch Tower: The Watch Tower warns of incoming marches.
- Training Grounds: Train your troops here to attack and defend.
- Bank: This building adds Troop Armor starting at Level 10, and multiple Banks can be built.
- Barracks: In addition to adding to your Training Capacity, the Barracks adds Troop Attack at Level 10, and again multiple can be built.
- Hospital Wards: These buildings add to Hospital Capacity, and additionally start adding Troop HP at Level 10.
- Prison: Herein is imprisoned Heroes you capture in battle. Increasing the level of this building decreases the detention time before a prisoner can be Banished.
- Banishment Portal: When a prisoner is Banished, it activates the Bonuses within the Portal; Troop Attack, Troop HP and March speed. The higher the Portal, the higher the Bonus.
- Walls: Build traps here, and each level provides a City Defense Attack Bonus.
Gear and Gems
Enter the Forge to craft Gear, and install Gems to assist in your battle. Materials for Gear and Gems can be found in Events, Packs, Gatherings, and Quests.
There are two main types of Combat gear in the early game, with a third that multi-tasks.
- Hunter Gear: This is your Monster gear, but it also has Defensive applications and can be equipped at a lower level than the Arbiter or Sentinel set. Look at the Hunter’s Gaze Helmet, for example. It has 73% Troop Armor Bonus and can be equipped at Hero Level 16, as opposed to the Sentinel’s Watch at Level 30. Granted, the boost isn’t as good, but it’s a good choice for that in-between stage while you’re growing.
- Arbiter Gear: This is the Attack set. Get materials for this by hitting Flan monsters and collecting their Lairs.
- Sentinel Gear: This is the Defensive Set. Get materials for this by hitting Garula monsters and collecting their Lairs.
Although tempting to just wear all of the same set, often it is more beneficial to mix and match to get the stats you need. For example, the Sentinel weapon is meh on defense. You’d most likely have a better result using the Arbiter weapon to get more attack and kill more of the opposition’s march. That being said, it requires a high Hero level to craft, so spend some time poking around the Forge and considering all your options. As mentioned above the Hunter Gear has some decent Defensive applications for as you grow.
Gems are embedded in your Gear to give it additional stats. There are Gems available to boost for Monster hitting and combat. Word of advice; don’t bother with Siege or Trap gems. Removing Gems requires Gem Savers, which can be won in events.
Noctis needs some skill! The Hero Skill tree has options for Combat, Hero attack and Economics. Here, we will focus on Combat skills.
- Warrior Attack: Increases your Warrior attack capabilities
- Cavalry Attack: Increases your Cavalry attack capabilities
- Mage Attack: Increases your Mage attack capabilities
- Troop HP: Increases the HP of all your troop types
- March Size (Level 50): Increases the number of Troops you can deploy
- Rally Size (Level 70): Increases your Rally Size
- Core Troop Armor: Increases the Armor of Warrior/Cavalry/Mage Troops
- Core Troop Attack: Increases the Attack of Warrior/Cavalry/Mage Troops
- Exalted Army: Increases Marcy/Rally size and Increases the max number of Marches by 1.
Be exact while you’re skilling and plan ahead. To reset the tree and start over is expensive in the early game (read buying a pack).
Now that you’ve done your research, skilled your Hero, built up your Base, and crafted some Gear, it’s time to train some Troops.
There are four Tiers of troops in FFXVANE early game: T1, T2, T3, and T4. Which troops you can train to depend on your Research and Training Grounds level. Within those Tiers are Troop types;
- Warrior: Strong against Cavalry and Siege
- Mage: Strong against Warrior and Siege
- Cavalry: Strong against Mage and Siege
- Siege: Strong against Wall Traps
As you can see, each troop type is strong against another. Warrior > Cavalry > Mage > Warrior. Be sure to remember this Troop strength circle, as it is critical to both attacking and defending. Siege is strong against none of these. Its strength lies against Wall Traps, but quite honestly they aren’t great.
Build your Wall Defenses inside your Wall. Again, the amount and type/tier of Wall Defenses that can be built is dependent upon your Research and Wall Level.
Traps are a controversial item at times as well. For the most part, traps are meh. If you decide to use traps, make them one Tier HIGHER than your bottom Tier of troops. Otherwise, you’ll most likely go up like a candle. For example, if your lowest Tier is T2, have T3 traps. This protects the traps and helps kill your enemy’s march.
Combat aka Battling it Out
Now that you’re prepared, it’s time to battle! Let’s go over the key points:
To attack another player, click on their Citadel. You will see their Power and several options;
All of these options are helpful when attacking (or deciding to attack) another player.
- Profile: Take a look at what you’re up against! You will see their Gear and Hero level under the Profile screen, as well as whom they’ve banished or who’s banished them. This can be helpful in spotting a Trap! If the strongest player in the Realm was Banished a week ago by the guy you’re thinking about hitting…you may want to think a bit more about if the risk is worth the potential prison time.
- Scout: Scouting is crucial. Knowing what troops/traps another player has can be critical in deciding the troop composition to send in an attack. If the player you scouted has more Warrior than other troops, send Mage! If they have a lot of Cavalry, send Warrior! Remember the leverage wheel.
- Attack: This is the attack screen. Here you will set the troops and add your Hero to the march.
- Rally: Is this a larger or tougher target? Get your Guild members involved and send a rally!
When you set up your march, make sure that you include your Hero and the type/tier of troops that you want to attack with. The only times you may not want to include your Hero is if you’re sending a test march to see how strong the opponent is (and you don’t want to get capped), or if you’re zeroing a weaker opponent and want to send multiple marches out to drain them quicker.
Keep in mind that your Hero can be captured by anyone with Citadel 15 and up, although they cannot execute you until they are Level 20. Once your Hero is captured you’ll either have to wait a few days or beg for the mercy of the opposing player. Later in the game, you will be able to take a “pill” that makes your Hero die quickly and being captured isn’t as big of a deal.
- Check your Opponent’s profile and scout report and decide if the risk is worth it.
- Make sure you’re wearing attacking gear if you have it. At this point that would mean Arbiter gears.
- If you have multiple larger players in a Guild, each specializes in one type of troop attack. For example; Joe skills and gems for Warrior, Annie skills and gems for Mage and JimBob skills and gems for Cavalry. That way if you’re zeroing a large target or one that has a lot of a specific troop type, you can rotate rallies to target their weakest link.
- Try to target a hive as long as you don’t get yourself zeroed in the process. Ports are expensive at this point, so get the best bang for your buck by going somewhere populated where you can hit lots of people at once.
Many players enjoy defending or “trapping”. The typical trap likes to look small and weak, but wreck the attacker’s march or capture their Hero. So what’s important for defending? There are many different ways to configure your base to Trap, but here are some things to keep in mind;
- Armor is important, but Attack and HP are equally as important. Armor is not the end-all to defending. The attack kills the attacker’s march, and HP keeps your troops alive. Don’t focus completely on Armor for defense. This is why I said earlier that the Sentinel Weapon is meh for defending. The Arbiter Weapon gives an awesome attack and helps zero out incoming troops.
- Mix and match your gear as needed. You don’t need to have all of one Gear set, in fact, it’s advantageous to mix it up to get the stats you want. For example, the Zephyr Cape is a great little under-rated piece of HP gear that only requires Hero Level 29.
- Don’t use Siege or Trap gems. Just don’t. Gem with Troop Attack, HP and Armor. Below is a handy chart that shows the gems and their levels.
|Garnet Gem||Warrior Attack||1%||2%||3.5%||10%||23%||48%|
|Topaz Gem||Cavalry Attack||1%||2%||3.5%||10%||23%||48%|
|Sapphire Gem||Mage Attack||1%||2%||3.5%||10%||23%||48%|
|Emerald Gem||Troop HP||.5%||1%||2%||4%||10%||22%|
|Rose Gem||March Speed||1%||2%||3.5%||5.5%||8%||11%|
|Amethyst Gem||Troop Armor||2.5%||5%||8%||19%||41%||81%|
|Citrine Gem||Trap Attack||1%||2%||3.5%||10%||23%||48%|
|Opal Gem||Siege Attack||1%||2%||3.5%||10%||23%||48%|
|Monster Gem||Monster Speed/Crit Hit||2%/.3%||4%/.6%||6%/.9%||9%/1.2%||12%/1.5%||15%/1.8%|
- While we are on the topic of Wall Traps…they’re pretty useless. If you do use them, make sure they are a Tier HIGHER than your lowest troop. For example, if your lowest troop is T2, your traps need to be T3 unless you want to burn. What they do help with is adding to your attack power while defending and killing the opponent’s troops. However, they’re power chunky, so if you’re trying to stay small, shy away from traps.
- Use Anti-Scout. Don’t let the bad guys look under your skirt.
- Make sure and have lots of beds. Not only does this save you from having to train more troops, but it allows you to heal over and over if someone is attacking you and not checking reports.
- Make sure you have enough troops. As a general rule, you can defend with two Tiers lower than the person attacking you. However, that takes more troops. For example, you’d need more T2 troops to trap against T4 attackers than T3 troops.
- Don’t train troops until you’re ready to defend. The only troops you need until that point are some Siege to gather with. Fake Rally your Hero if you’re C15+ or use a Peace Shield.
- On the topic of Ghost rallies…do not fake rally your Hero and leave thousands or millions of troops unprotected! That’s like free candy for attackers because you have nothing protecting your troops.
- Always have a Peace Shield handy just in case.
Still learning FFXV: ANE? Check out these helpful articles to get you on the right path!
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