Troop Along with FFXV: ANE

An overall guide to the various types of troops that FFXV: ANE offers.

When going into combat, whether offense or defense, it is important to select your troop mix based on what is currently available, any realm boosts, and your empire boosts. The below sections cover each of the various types of troop types in Final Fantasy: A New Empire, how to obtain them and how to use them.

Core Troops

These are the default troops that your empire starts with.  Core troops range from tier 1 through to tier 10 (at citadel level 100).  The four types of core troops are Sieges, Warriors, Cavalry, and Mages. Sieges are strong against traps, but weak to Warriors, Cavalry and Mages.  The general rule of thumb with Sieges is to only maintain enough to fill either gathering marches or farming marches (for neutral realm events). Otherwise, Sieges aren’t the best troops to keep around at home as they become a liability. 

Cavalry is strong against Mages, but weak against Warriors. Aranea has several hero and mastery skills that boost Cavalry, as does the Astral Leviathan (the Hydraean). Mages are strong against Warriors but weak against Cavalry and may be boosted by Luna’s hero and mastery skills, as well as do the Astral skills of Shiva (the Glacian). 

Warriors are strong against Cavalry, but weak against Mages. Warriors are boosted by Gladiolus’s hero and mastery skills, as well as the Astral skills of Ifrit (the Infernian). For more information on hero mastery skills, check out this link.


Mercenaries are special-ability troops that are trained in the Mercenary Pits, a Coliseum-looking building to the left of the regular training grounds, which require special materials to train.  One type of mercenary, Guardians, are a defender’s best friend — they have incredible health, but they are all considered T0 so they go to the hospital first. 

Depending on what troops are available in your realm a variety of offensive troops are great for combat, which each have their special abilities.  Each new release is generally strong against the previous troop and weak to the next release, to keep the offensive/defensive balance.  Aranea has a special skill in her hero tree that gives a significant time reduction on training mercenaries, which can help to keep the cost of training down.  


Mercenary Commanders give powerful boosts that apply to a player’s entire army in a given march or at home in the empire.  Each Commander supports a specific type of troop, and they can be ranked up using Commander Commendations in Commander Hall.

Unlike other earlier troop types, Commanders cannot be trained — they can only be obtained from chests, which can be increased by having Gladiolus’s hero skill active and using Luna when collecting the daily Commander Recruiting Chest from Luna’s gift. 

Commanders only provide boosts for the highest rank of each type; they do not add additional benefits for having extras of the same type or with lower ranks, so it is worthwhile to rank up your Commanders are high as possible if you have the Commander Commendations available and disposable.


Beginning at Citadel 40, elemental wells can be built as empire expansions, which produce elemental essence.  To help with producing more essence, Ravus has skills in his mastery and hero trees which unlock an additional empire expansion slot (mastery tree – Expanded Influence), well resource production rate (hero tree – Expansion Production), and basic empire expansion blueprint cost for building and upgrading (hero tree – Expansion Cost Reduction). 

Once sufficient essence has been gathered, elemental troops can be trained in the Elemancy Hall.  There are four types of elemental troops — Lightning, Earth, Ice, and Fire.  All elemental troops have a troop health and troop attack bonus once promoted.  The below chart shows the essence cost for promoting each tier level of core troops to elemental troops. 

Troop Type

Lightning troops are weak to Earth troops but strong against Fire troops, four times the speed of the equivalent tier level of core troops, and add attack bonus with defending the Crystal. 

Earth troops are weak to Ice troops but strong against Lightning troops and offer an attack bonus when defending at home. Ice troops are weak to Fire troops but strong against Earth troops and offer an attack bonus when attacking the Crystal. 

Lastly, Fire troops are weak to Lightning troops but strong against Ice troops and add attack bonus when attacking someone’s empire. The below chart shows a summary of boosts offered by each elemental troop type.

Elemental Troop Bonus

Monster Troops

The Monster Ranch, located to the right of the Wall with the other resource-producing buildings, produces eggs with an hourly income.  Deathclaw eggs are unlocked at Monster Ranch level 1, Bandersnatch eggs are unlocked at Monster Ranch level 4, Jormungand eggs are unlocked at Monster Ranch level 7, and Behemoth eggs are unlocked at Monster Ranch level 10. 

The ability to train each of these types of Monster Troops is unlocked in the Monster Troops research tree in the University, in addition to a variety of combat boosts that affect both core troops and Monster Troops.

Dark Troops

Dark Troops are very similar to Core Troops, except for the Dark World.  Troop tiers 1 through 4 are Warriors, Cavalry and Mages only (no Sieges).  There are also Dark Rangers, which are sub-T1 and virtually fodder other than at the initial Dark World transition. 

They are unlocked in the Dark Combat research tree and trained using dark RSS.  Instant Unlock items are also available which can help to unlock higher levels with more convenience. 

Dark Mercenaries

You didn’t think the Dark World would be without their version of Dark Mercenaries, did you?  Unlike the OG mercenaries, these need to be unlocked via research in the Dark World Mercenary Research Tree. They’re stronger than regular core troops (as expected), and become even stronger with more research. 

The first four types — Guardians, Juggernauts, Airships, and Mechs, have strengths and weaknesses against each other to balance out the combat when in use. Like with Dark Troops, Dark Mercenaries have their march size, empire capacity, rally capacity, and reinforcement capacity.  

Mirror Troops

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

When used during defense, all of your Mirror Troops that are at home can engage in combat simultaneously. Similar to Commanders, there is no additional benefit gained by having more than one of the same Mirror Troop, so to be the most effective it is best to train only one of each hero’s available troops.

Dark Elementals

Similar to Dark Mercenaries, the Dark World brings about its variant of Dark Elementals.  You still need elemental essence to train elemental troops, but elemental wells above level 30 all produce the same dark essence. 

This is nice because you only need to pick which wells you build/level based on which elemental you boost, instead of worrying that you keep enough of each element’s essence in stock. 

The elements that each troop counters well is the same as the original Elemental troops, with Fire being weak to Lightning and strong against Ice, Ice is weak to Fire and strong against Earth, Earth being weak to Ice and strong against Lightning, and lastly LIghtning being weak to Earth and strong against Fire.  Wells over level 40 produce T2 dark essence.

Choosing the Perfect Troop Balance

This is a myth!  There is no one-size-fits-all perfect troop balance.  The right balance all depends upon your empire, your build, and the build of who you are attacking or being attacked by.  It’s a good idea to get your VIP level as high as possible to take advantage of any available combat boosts.  Pay attention to the unique bonuses that each hero offers and make sure that you have the appropriate Astral skills.  Research in the University, Auxiliary and empire buildings, gear, and gems all offer a variety of boosts to support your troops in combat. 

Amongst each type of troop family, for the most effective combat, you want to have the highest amount of whichever troop you’re able to boost the most.  Which are your favorite types to focus on? Do you have any hidden secrets or tricks that you’re willing to share? Feel free to leave a message in the comments section or shoot me a message on LINE or Discord!

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