The best skills in Final Fantasy 16

It was made clear from the start that Final Fantasy 16 would feature a much more action-oriented battle system than any other entry in the series. While not quite on the level of a Devil May Cry or Bayonetta, the battle system is fast-paced, deep, and allows for tons of experimentation and expression through the various mechanics and skills. While many of the typical JRPG systems have to take a back seat for this new focus, leveling up and learning new skills certainly has not, but instead has changed shape. You will still earn Ability points by leveling up but now spend them as you wish on the various abilities in your menu. There are standard abilities, as well as some tied to your Eikons, and each can be upgraded multiple times to make them more effective. No matter how much you do, you won’t be able to master them all in a single playthrough, so here are the best skills to invest in Final Fantasy 16.

Lunge

A decription and vido showing the lunge skill.
Square Enix

If you’re familiar with the Stinger move in other character-action games, Lunge will instantly be familiar. This move, performed by hitting X and Square at the same time, will cause Clive to lunge forward with his sword toward your target enemy. This is a great way to initiate a battle, or move between targets quickly and while dealing damage. To make it even better, if you interrupt an enemy in the process of attacking you with a Lunge, you can also parry them.

Lunge costs 25 AP to unlock, and 200 to master.

Charged Magic

Magic works quite differently in Final Fantasy 16 than in basically any other JRPG. Instead of having a magic bar or points you spend to cast spells, Clive can toss out magic basically for free. The downside is that these little pelts don’t do much damage. If you unlock Charged Magic you can — you guessed it — charge your magic to deal far more damage. By holding Triangle Clive will power up his spell before unleashing it, potentially breaking guard.

Charged Magic costs 20 AP to unlock and 250 to master, which reduces the charge time.

Precision Dodge

Dodging isn’t a random chance tied to stats anymore, and instead done by pure skill and timing. You start off with the ability to do Precision Dodges by tapping R1 just before an attack hits Clive to temporarily slow down time and give you an opportunity for either a Precision Counter or Precision Counter Shot depending on whether you hit the attack or magic button. By mastering this skill you make the timing window on activating a Precision Dodge much larger, allowing you to more easily take advantage of them.

Mastering Precision Dodge costs 500 AP.

Swift Recovery

A description and video showing the swift recovery skill
Square Enix

Getting knocked down and waiting those agonizing moments for Clive to get back to his feet is the worst. Thankfully the Swift Recovery skill is cheap and available from the start. Once unlocked, a well-timed press of R1 upon getting knocked off your feet will let you instantly recover and get back into the fight. It’s so simple and cheap, plus makes the combat more fun, there’s no reason not to get it right away.

Swift Recovery costs 10 AP.

Heatwave

Heatwave is a Phoenix ability that you will automatically get as part of the story. This particular skill conjures up a wall of flames that destroys any incoming projectiles and then sends out shockwaves based on the number of projectiles blocked. The more you block, the shorter the cooldown as well. This makes it a great defensive and offensive tool.

You can unlock Heatwave for 120 AP, upgrade it for 620, and master it for 1,000 which allows you to use it with any Eikon equipped.

Judgment Bolt

Yes, this skill is as powerful as the name suggests. A Ramuh skill, you will need to play a bit further on to gain access to it. Once you do, prioritize getting Judgment Bolt. This skill calls down a bolt of lightning to a single target, although there is a small splash damage zone, for massive damage and decent stagger.

You will need to save up quite a bit for this skill. Unlocking Judgment Bolt costs 2,300 AP, another 3,140 to upgrade, and 5,500 to master.

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