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Final Fantasy 7 Remake Combat Guide: All about ATB, Materia & Limit Breaks

Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Guides, News, Tips & Solutions
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Combat Guide: All about ATB, Materia & Limit Breaks

The ATB, Materia, and Limit Breaks — here's everything you need to know about combat in the FF7 Remake!

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Combat Guide: All about ATB, Materia & Limit Breaks

Contrary to the original PlayStation title, Final Fantasy VII Remake features an entirely different, action-oriented style of gamplay in battle. While you can still select commands, battles will happen in real-time.

We've put together a guide to help you get to grips with the new system and maximize your damage and survivability.

Basic Controls

Each character has a combo of basic attacks that mainly help to increase the ATB gauge. Normal strikes don't deal much damage, and are mainly used to generate the various resources that will be used to trigger more powerful abilities.

Note that each character has a basic focus: Cloud concentrates on close-quarters combat, while Barrett is a ranged specialist who can take care of flying enemies. In addition, our heroes can also dodge and parry — which helps mitigate a lot of damage.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

ATB Gauge

As the battle progresses and you land basic attacks, you will fill a gauge. Navigate through the command menu slows down the gameplay to an almost stop, allowing you to safely select the ability you want to perform.

This "ATB 2.0" gauge is the very heart of Remake's gameplay, and gives a nice tactical dimension to matters.

For those who don't want to break the rhythm of battles, shortcuts can be assigned for the various magic spells and special abilities.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake


Each playable character has unique abilities, which trigger devastating assaults. Be careful — even if some abilities look similar to those in the 1997 version of the game, they're actually much different.

These skills, such as Cloud's Braver and Barrett's Steelskin, mean one thing — it will be necessary to identify your opponent's strengths, weaknesses and attacks and adapt accordingly.

Final Fantasy VII Remake: Cloud, Barret, Tifa, Aerith Gameplay Guides

Here you can find all our guides and basic tips to help you master the four playable characters in Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Character Swap

Another new feature is the ability to change the character you control on the fly, at the touch of a button. This way, you have your entire group's arsenal at hand, while switching from one to another to better adapt to the situation.

Switching can also be used to plan advanced attacks based on simultaneous use of ATB gauge abilities — causing heavy damage.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake


By constantly bombarding an enemy or taking advantage of one of its weak points, you will fill an orange 'Stagger' gauge.

Once filled, it will ring out and give you a huge boost in damage (160%) for a limited time. This damage can be increased even further through the use of abilities, even above 300%.

This mechanic, inspired by Final Fantasy XIII, rewards us for getting to know the enemy and how to exploit its weaknesses.

How to harness the Stagger mechanic in Final Fantasy VII Remake

The stagger gauge is central to battle gameplay in Final Fantasy VII Remake, but it's also the most complex element to grasp. We've put together guide on how it works, and how you can use it to maximise your damage.

Materia and Magic

Materia thankfully makes its comeback in Final Fantasy VII Remake, and is another key component in optimizing your battle strategy.

While many Materia are the same as in the original title, there are several new Materia which can improve your combat capabilities and help turn the tide in battle. Managing its use will be crucial in overcoming your tougher foes.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

A list of confirmed Materia can be found here:

Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Materia, menu and functioning

New images from Final Fantasy 7 Remake tell us a lot more about the game's materia system: learn more about the first elements of the famous mechanic of FF7's gameplay.


Summons work very differently to the original game, where they were called upon to perform a single, signature attack. In Remake, they can only be called upon in challenges and boss fights.

In these fights, and provided the Materia is equipped properly, a Summon gauge will gradually fill up over the course of the battle. Once full, you can have a player call upon them for the cost of one ATB bar.

Once in the fight, summons can't be defeated or dispelled, instead remaining active until a timer has elapsed. During that time, they will attack automatically, or be commanded to perform abilities for ATB bar costs.

When their duration runs out, they will leave the battle — but not before performing their spectacular and signature Final Attack.

Summons include the preorder bonuses Cactuar, Carbuncle. and Chocobo Chick, while the classic Final Fantasy triumvirate of Ifrit, Shiva, and Leviathan return.

Players will also be able to call upon Chocobo & Moogle, Fat Chocobo, and Bahamut.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Limit Breaks

Limit Breaks also return, and offer spectacular opportunities to maximize damage — especially after an enemy has been staggered.

In battle, a yellow gauge will slowly fill. This is mostly affected by taking damage and how often you can stagger enemies. Once full, simply select the command.

With this first instalment of FF7 Remake taking place exclusively in Midgar, we won't get to unleash any of the classic game's Level 4 attacks — including the iconic Omnislash.

Instead, our party will have access to two Limit Breaks each — the Level 1 Limit Breaks are unlocked by default, Level 2 abilities must be obtained via challenges. Remember to equip the Limit Break you prefer in the menu!

Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Bastien Dubosq-Luyer

Tests, guides et plus si affinités... Vous apporte son aide depuis 2012 sur vos AAA favoris.

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