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» Final Fantasy XV – Battle System Analysis


The UI seen in the TGS 2014 trailers is not final, but it’s still worth analysing as it has changed and now is no longer like a Kingdom Hearts command menu.


This game has a similar sort of system to Final Fantasy XII’s gambit system. According to the patent filed by Square Enix in 2012, Final Fantasy XV has an “Attack Method Setting Screen”, and it will look something like the following. (This screen can be opened before battle or mid battle by pressing a button)


These conditions/methods are separated in to two: Positional Condition and Attack Method. The stuff on the left are positional conditions (eg – less than 3m from Player Character), while the stuff on the right are attack conditions (eg – close attack with Ax). When you want to change these conditions, you click on say “3m from Player Character”, and the list of Positional Conditions pop up. This list looks something like below. Same goes for an attack method list.


A suitable positional condition can then be selected, and same can be done for attack methods. A few more notes on these conditions:

  • New Positional and Attack Conditions may be unlocked as the the character levels, buys new equipment or the game progress
  • The amount of Conditions may be increased as the character levels, buys new equipment or the game progress
  • There are priorities for these set conditions, and top condition has the highest priority
  • Manual targeting of enemies (with R1 or L1) can over-ride these priorities
  • The conditions, along with being distance based, can also be directional, like attacking enemies from the front or back
  • Some attacks methods will be greyed out for certain positional conditions. For eg, when close range, long range attack methods will be greyed out.



Guarding works by holding down the guard button and the character auto evades enemy attacks. This doesn’t necessarily mean invincibility, as you character can still get hit in the chaos. There are various evade animations that get used automatically depending on the context. For example, a dodge roll might be better when trying to get out of range of a quick behemoth swipe.


Attack works similarly to Guard as in you hold the Attack button and the character auto attacks. This combined with the gambits means that the strategy is more about positioning and movement in 3D space.


The weapon system in the game is treated like a deck. You set weapons on the deck in the menu, and during combat the most appropriate weapon in the deck gets used based on the situation. The different weapons have different attack speeds and damage. For example, the heavier great sword does about double the damage compared to the smaller sword, but is slower. Spear on the other hand does double the damage compared to the great sword, and isn’t even that slow. All these little nuances will certainly be a factor is how to set up the decks.


Magic also gets cast depending on the “gambits” set. For example, a “gambit” could be set like, “when 10m or more away from enemy – Cast Fire”.


Magic is a big deal in this game. As an example, when it’s clear out, casting fire on a monster will result in other things like the surrounding area being ignited and your party members becoming feverish. When you use magic, there is a risk that it affects Noctis himself as well.



Warp works by locking on to a point and then pressing the warp button. Warping is limited to certain points, which can either be terrain based points, or enemies themselves. A blue colored lock-on is used to signify the target point for warping. A couple of examples can be seen below. The first one shows Noctis warping to a terrain based point, while the second shows him warping to an enemy.

Cooperative Attacks & Assists


Noctis can also use cooperative attacks with the party members, and these attacks are executed automatically based on the “gambit” settings. For example, a gambit could be set up like “When Noctis makes contact with Ignis – Execute Cross Slash”.

Some other notes on the gameplay:
  • The party consists of 4 characters
  • Only Noctis can be controlled in the demo – Episode DUSCAE
  • Characters gain the day’s earned experience when they sleep (camp). If they do not sleep, their performance in battle degrades.
  • The world map can be traversed using Cars, Chocobos and other means of transport.
  • The car can be controlled manually, or left to the AI to go from point A to point B.
  • The game has a fully dynamic day night cycle, and a day is about 30 mins in real world time. (This may be tweaked in the final game however)
  • Stronger monsters appear at night time.
  • The game also has a weather system, and affects the gameplay and appearance of the characters. For example, characters’ clothes appear wet in the rain.
  • When on low health, Noctis’s movements suffer.

In closing, there are still aspects in the battle system which we don’t know about yet. Like how will the summons work, character growth systems, MP cost, Warp cost, etc. And with the game being still in development, it is quite possible that some of the above details might change. (source)




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