Beginner Guide: Let’s Look at Research

Players new to Final Fantasy are often amazed by the sheer amount of available research. Additionally, newer realms may not have the same research as older realms quite yet. What does all this research do? What’s “Advanced Combat”? In this article, we will take a high-level look at the available research and its benefits in Final Fantasy.

There are two buildings that contain research inside your citadel; the University and the Arcanaeum. The University houses most of your Research trees, while the Arcanaeum is home to the Research Enchantments Tree.  Research is essential for a strong account in Final Fantasy. It’s one thing that cannot be taken away from you. troops can (and will) die. Research is permanent, so buckle down and study!


When initially starting, there are seven beginner research trees within the University. Within these trees, the research available is dependent upon several things; university building level, accumulated RSS, and in many cases different types of scrolls or tombs. If a research is unavailable to you, it will show with a padlock on it. Clicking on this research will tell you what you are missing. Occasionally it is as easy as loading more RSS, but other times you will need to increase your university level or accumulate more scroll or tombs.

Advanced Combat

Advanced Combat requires advanced combat research scrolls. The beginning of this tree focuses on researches benefiting commanders, then moves into other combat stats. Heroic last stand makes its appearance in this tree, adding additional HP stats for your defending troops. There is also research for the garrison here and an additional march slot.


The Adventurer Tree requires different kinds of materials to research such as proving ground shards, Luna’s Gift Fragments and monster shards/fragments. These are obtained through gifts from Luna, and occasionally events. The newest researches, elemental troop attack, HP and armor, require shards that are picked up in the guild adventure hall during blitz events. Researches here focus on:

  • Dungeon
  • Hospital Capacity
  • Reinforcement Capacity
  • MP improvements and Hero Attack
  • Gathering Speed, Loot Tile Gathering Speed and Troop Load
  • Troop Attack and HP with Hero
  • City Defense Attack, Defense HP and Defense Armor
  • Gathering Attack and HP
  • War Spoils
  • Training Speed and Queue
  • Trap Building
  • City Assault Attack, Armor and HP
  • Elemental Troop Attack, HP and Armor


Home of the researches for all things economical, this tree not only has researches pertaining to RSS, but also additional march slots and construction time reduction and efficiency. This is also where you will research the different levels of gathering tiers. Many players focus on the higher level researches here later, as to conserve their scrolls and tomes for combat research.


This is where you research your troop tiers ( T1 through T8), plus many offensive boosts. This tree is long and takes different types of Tomes as you work your way through it. Take advantage of the Realm Bosses to help accumulate these.


In the defense tree, you unlock traps and research many different kinds of boosts related to protecting your Citadel. Again, these take different tomes to complete. Later in the tree, divine and elite defense research tomes are required, which brings a whole different type of tome to the table.


The Monster Tree! In addition to all researches monster based, there are troop attack with hero and troop HP with hero way down at the bottom. The researches towards the bottom of the tree require exalted hero research tomes.


Arguably one of the most important trees, the crafting tree gives researches for multipliers. What does this do? It multiplies the stats on your gear. Additionally, this tree unlocks the paragon gem slots. These allow you to embed the paragon gems in your gear. The crafting tree requires crafting research scrolls and gem research scrolls.


This building is next door to the University, previously called the Secret University. The Arcanaeum has research for both enchantments and elemental troops. An essential set of research for those realms that rely heavily on elemental troops.

Monster Troops, Astral Research, and Grandiose Combat

Monster Troops

There are four types of monster troops you can send with your marches now, as well as use to defend your citadel. These Monsters require eggs to be trained, and you must unlock them both by leveling up your Monster Ranch and doing the applicable research.

  • Deathclaw: 75% Damage Resistance against Lightning Elemental Troops
  • Bandersnatch: 75% Damage Resistance against Earth Elemental Troops and 2x damage versus Deathclaw.
  • Jormungand: 75% Damage Resistance against Fire Elemental Troops and 2x damage versus Bandersnatch
  • Behemoth: 75% Damage Resistance against Ice Elemental Troops and 2x damage versus Jormungand


Astral Research

Astral Research contains Multi Astral March and Defense, as well as Astral combat stat increases. There are also combo stat increases when you include specific Astral duos in your march. For example, marching Levi and Ifrit together give up to 10,000,000% Troop Attack and 8,000,000% Troop HP while attacking the Crystal bonuses.

Grandiose Combat

Grandiose Combat becomes available after Citadel 81, and contains research for T9 and T10 traps and T10 troops.  There are also significant increases in rally capacity and troop capacity in this tree.

Dark World Research

The release of the Dark World brought about a whole new set of research trees.  

Dark Combat

The Dark Combat tree contains boosts focused exclusively on combat — Dark Troop, Warrior, Mage, and Cavalry Armor Attack, and HP boosts, as well as unlocks for all of the dark troop types.  Not all researches require tomes; some are achievable only with dark resources.

Dark Economics

Similar to the Dark Combat tree, only certain Dark Economics research types require unlock tomes — specifically only those pertaining to Dark Troop March Size and Dark Troop Rally Size.  This section contains a surprising amount of combat-related research that you would not expect in an economics tree.

Research Rewards

Research Rewards in the Dark World is essentially the Dark World’s equivalent to the pre-Dark World Adventurer’s Tree.  There are eight Research Rewards tomes that can be used to boost specific attributes, and can be won in events or bought in the Moogle Market.

Dark Advanced Combat

Dark Advanced Combat research has additional combat boosts such as march size, rally capacity, troop attack, warrior/mage/cavalry attack, cripple HP, armor piercing etc.

Dark Enchantments

Dark Enchantments are used to improve further upon existing gear for up to ninety days at a time.  Boosts in this tree include researches for neutral city extreme attack massacre, cripple HP, dark troop and mercenary capacities, and more.  There is also a 5000% hero attack bonus hidden in this tree that is great for your monster gear.

Dark Mercenaries

In the Dark World, Mercenaries are unlocked through research instead of through upgrades of the Mercenary Pits.  

Mirror Hero Research

Mirror Hero Troops are mini versions of your heroes that mimic specialized benefits and skills.  This troop type requires their own unique march size, rally size, and troop bonuses, and are the last to die in battle.  


Research is essential for a strong account in Final Fantasy. It’s one thing that cannot be taken away from you. troops can (and will) die. Research is permanent, so buckle down and study!

Just starting out and interested in learning how to maximize your time with FFXV? Check out more of our beginner guides.

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