Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, Square Enix’s latest RPG is a massive one. And like any great adventure, there are dozens of subsystems, features, and layers to navigate. If you have played the first game in the new trilogy, Final Fantasy VII Remakeyou already know the basics of modern well FF7. But you came Rebirth whether you’re a complete beginner or a die-hard fan, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind as you begin your journey.

1: The open world theme doesn’t start until Chadley shows up

When he first left Kalm and went out into the big open world Rebirth, you may be tempted to run off and start exploring. By all means, give it a go, but be aware that many activities won’t properly unlock until you meet Chadley at Bill’s Chocobo Ranch. Follow the script until you have an argument with your first bird friend and you’ll encounter a very talkative (and very needy) cyborg. It will ask you to activate the turret and your map will start to populate with icons marking points of interest.

Read more: PSA: A Final Fantasy VII Essential Spin-Off You Haven’t Played Rebirth

If you explore before talking to Chadli, you won’t be able to activate any turrets, scan the revival springs, etc. you won’t be able to.

2: Synergy Skills and Abilities are Important

If you are new Do it againyou may be tempted to default combat system you already know from the first game. While the basics of the combat system are essentially the same, Synergy Skills and Abilities are worth getting used to sooner or later. Abilities can be activated by holding R1 and selecting the face button. Synergy Abilities are special combo moves that you can use after using up enough ATB charges. We describe Synergy Capabilities in more detail our growth Rebirth battle guide.

3: While traveling, press L1 to view character affinity levels

To Show How Much They Like The Cloud, The Screenshot Shows Smiley Faces Above The Characters.

Not the little laughs over the heads of the characters.
Screenshot: Square Enix / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

Want to know how much a certain character likes you? You’ve probably seen the little smiley faces over their heads during the scripted sequences, but it’s not so obvious when you’re exploring. If you hold down L1, you can see any character’s current affinity with Cloud.

4: Sidequests significantly affect proximity

Want to increase your affinity for a certain character? Doing side quests is one of the best ways to do this. When you choose a side quest, you will see that one of the party members can play the current role in the story. If you complete this task, you will increase your affinity with this character.

A Screenshot Of The Map Showing The Progress Of The Side Quest In Final Fantasy Vii Rebirth.

Note: We’ve blurred the text and search titles here to avoid possible spoilers.
Screenshot: Square Enix / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

If you’re not sure which character bond a given quest will boost, tap the touchpad to open the map and press L2 to go to the quest area. Here, you’ll see every quest for the region with a face of one of the characters in the quest title.

5: Use the menu button for quick map navigation

Take it from someone who spent about 100 hours pulling back the right analog stick to zoom it Rebirthmultiple map layers.: All you have to do is press the menu/pause button (located to the right of the touchpad on DualSense) and you’ll automatically zoom in one layer at a time.

Speaking of maps…

6: The map menu is really important

Tapping the touchpad to open the map is something you should get used to doing early and often Rebirth. While the menu button to the right of the touchpad is important for managing inventory and character growth, the map itself is your command center for understanding quests, intel objectives, and more. The map menu is divided into main and sub-tabs. Skip main tabs with L2/R2 and sub tabs with L1/R1.

To begin with, you’ll need to get into the habit of placing markers with R3, as the minimap can often be a little messy. Don’t worry, it disappears when you reach the location, so you don’t have to go back to turn off the pinned location.

A Screenshot Of The Menu Showing The Progress Of The Region In Final Fantasy Vii Rebirth.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

Story and Quests break down key story material into an outline, so you can quickly refresh what’s going on. The same goes for the game’s many side quests. Under Intel and Chadley, you’ll find useful information for tracking various side activities in the game. In fact, under Chadley > Region Intel, you can read about the unlockable lore for each area. For example, did you know that most of the goods in the world are transported by sea and air? Or do the people of Juno have a unique and special relationship with the sea? If you are eager to know more about FF7‘s world, Region is where Intel is.

7: You can restart almost all minigames at any time

Rebirth There are many mini-games to play. And most of them will let you pause and try again (or at least quit so you can try again later). Some mini-games may not go the way you want at first Queen’s Blood card game. Save yourself from reaching an unsatisfactory score or defeat screen, and if you’re having a hard time, just replay the minigame.

8: Feel free to mix in open world activities with some exceptions

I’d recommend starting with the side quests and letting them guide you around the world (many involve other side objectives, so you’re often killing two birds with one stone by picking up the quests), feel free to get outdoors. -world activities at your leisure…with one notable exception: Fiend Intel.

Fiend Intel sees you encounter unique monsters, while your other cyborg companion, Mai, laboriously talks things through. These quests often ask you to Press, stagger, and then defeat creatures within a certain amount of time (the game will mix these objectives up from time to time based on the enemy). The problem with saving these activities for later is that you run the risk of overpowering the enemy to properly send them into the Wrong state. You will then need to equip lower level weapons to complete these challenges, but even then you may have to repeat these battles to complete all the conditions. Although Mai is a touch superior, Fiend Intel is a good experience for learning the battle system and should be used as such.

9: Track the items you want to craft

In the Item Transmuter menu, you can click the square on any item to paste it into your to-do list. Not only does this move the item to the front page of the Transmuter menu system, but you’ll also see a purple indicator on the HUD to let you know you’ve collected enough materials for that item.

10: Always evaluate

Using the Assessment material during combat (requires 1 ATB charge during combat and is found under Abilities) is essential for learning an enemy’s strengths and weaknesses. You should use this at the beginning of each fight with a new enemy to learn how to pressure, stagger and exploit their weaknesses in your own way.

11: The touchpad is your best friend in battle

After assessing an enemy, you can recall its information at any time with the touchpad. Also, when viewing Synergy Skills with R1, you can tap the touchpad to call up a menu that explains each move.

12: You can quickly change party members with X + L1/R1

You can configure party makeup for up to three people in the main menu. In the main menu, go to Battle Settings and tap the square to edit the party. Here you can switch between three different party presets. Once on the field, you can simply press X and L1 or R1 to switch parties without diving into the menu.

13: Convert characters based on weapon skills

Burdened with choice paralysis about who should be in your party? Here’s a question to ask: Who has a weapon skill to learn? Select Materia and Equipment from the main menu and you’ll see a counter under each character. Some will be partially filled, while others will be filled with a yellow mark. This bar represents weapon skills.

If you buy a new weapon for any character, they can learn the new weapon skill simply by using it enough times in battle. The best way to decide who gets fight time in the game is to see who has the weapon skills to learn. Whoever needs to learn a new skill must actively fight.

14: Feel free to experiment with Materia

Some characters clearly benefit from certain roles. For example, Aerith is the best spellcaster in the game, so it makes no sense to give her a lot of offensive and defensive spells to use. But since you can place any material for any character, you can create some dynamic builds that offer a nice combination of strategy and creativity.

A Screenshot Showing The Gear For All Characters In Final Fantasy Vii Rebirth.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

You can see the material of each character in the Material and Equipment section. But if you hit the touchpad in this menu, you can access an overview screen that shows all the materials everyone has equipped, easily swapping them between characters, or clearing the board completely to start fresh.

15: Autosave is a bit too rare

If it’s the only game you plan to play on your PS5 Rebirth, you may be fine just by stopping your console and picking up where you left off. But Rebirth‘s autosave doesn’t kick in as often as you’d like. While I’ve never lost much time, there have been a few instances where I’ve lost hours of progress because I’ve switched to another game before a hard save. Like any RPG, you need to save regularly Rebirthespecially if you are going to play a different game or turn off your console.

16: Read the in-game tutorial

Confused about a certain game mechanic? Go to the Guide in the main menu to read everything from world transition to battle systems. While you won’t find all possible tips and tricks in the game (hello, that’s what we’re here for), there is plenty of useful information here.

This includes our initial tips for getting started Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. What features of the new game surprised you? Do you have any tips for new players?