We've got a few ideas on how to make sure you hear that Final Fantasy victory fanfare often in Dissidia, which is now available for free on PS4 and PC.
Final Fantasy characters make for a surprisingly good fit for a fighting game - but despite that, Square Enix hasn't made just any old fighting game. Partnering with Team Ninja, they've made their sort of fighting game - filled to the brim with some of the intricacies and eccentricities you'd expect from a Final Fantasy game - but still, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is definitely, positively a fighting game at heart.
As the game releases today, it only seemed right to offer up some top tips for getting good at this unique fighter. Once you know what you're doing Dissidia is damn good fun - but thanks to those intricate systems it can be difficult to immediately understand compared to something like, say Street Fighter. So, without further ado, here are our tips for Dissidia Final Fantasy NT - good luck out there!
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Characters: Who can you play as?
The main game will feature many from across Final Fantasy's history, with the 'season pass' adding six new characters. Here's the available roster:
- Add your content...Warrior of Light (FF)
- Garland (FF)
- Firion (FF2)
- The Emperor (FF2)
- Onion Knight (FF3)
- Cloud of Darkness (FF3)
- Cecil (FF4)
- Kain (FF4)
- Golbez (FF4)
- Bartz (FF5)
- Exdeath (FF5)
- Terra (FF6)
- Kefka (FF6)
- Cloud (FF7)
- Sephiroth (FF7)
- Squall (FF8)
- Ultimecia (FF8)
- Zidane (FF9)
- Kuja (FF9)
- Tidus (FF10)
- Jecht (FF10)
- Shantotto (FF11)
- Vaan (FF12)
- Lightning (FF13)
- Y’shtola (FF14)
- Noctis (FF15)
- Ace (FF Type-0)
- Ramza (FF Tactics)
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Season Pass Characters
Dissidia includes a season pass which will introduce new characters periodically to the game. Square Enix haven't formally announced who'll be joining the roster, but have teased that there will be six new characters - four male and two female - all from numbered Final Fantasy games. Five are rumoured to be from the newer half of the numbered Final Fantasy series (so seven onward), with the final one coming from the older half.
Understand the character types/classes and their general strengths and weaknesses
Once you've picked a character above, understand the general layout of character strengths. Gneerally, one of the four classes is good against another. The four classes break down as follows:
- Vanguards are usually bastions of defense, so they'll better Assassins, who are all about the quick, up-close kills.
- Assassins like to get in close for their kill, which makes them a disaster for Marksman to deal with - they like to keep a distance.
- The fact that Marksman can pepper them with attacks without getting close enough for a counter to land makes them ideal for tackling Vanguards.
Specialists, of course, are entirely unique. This type of character is difficult to handle, and will have its own unique style - it won't fit with any of the basic 'classes' or character archetypes described above.
Bravery and HP attacks and stats – understanding and using them to kill enemies
A big part of winning in Dissidia is down to understanding the unique systems of the game - Bravery, Health (HP), the difference between the two and how they relate - so let's talk about that for a second.
The bottom of the HUD is where you’ll spend most of your stat-considering time in Dissidia FF, and that’s because it’s home to the most important stat in the game: Bravery.
Bravery is that enormous number at the bottom of the screen, and your bravery represents the current damage you’ll do to an enemy if you hit them with an HP-draining attack. There are two types of attacks in Dissidia: Bravery attacks, executed with the X button, and HP attacks, executed with the Square button.
Broadly speaking, your aim in any match is to build up your bravery stat by attacking an enemy multiple times with bravery attacks, then hit them with a powered-up HP attack. Doing this will lower their bravery stat making them less immediately dangerous and raise yours, meaning you can ultimately deal more damage when you dish out a HP attack.
The game even has a neat little feature to help you with this: when the bravery stat turns purple, it means that it’s so high that a HP attack will be an instant kill on enemies. While it’s often still worth landing non-deadly HP attacks, the ideal thing to do is to unleash a flurry of bravery attacks on an enemy until you’re in instant kill territory and then hit them with one nasty HP attack to knock them out.
Just below your Bravery stat is your own HP, and while this tiny little stat isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things (enemies will also have the purple bravery glow, so you’ll always know when somebody is able to kill you), it’s worth knowing the location of it for quick glances.
To the left of your HP and bravery are your skills – special abilities that you can pop in battle with the combination of a press of triangle and a direction on the D-Pad. You pick your EX Skills in the Battle Set menu before heading into battle. These icons will tell you which direction is assigned to which skill and show you the cool-down period for them mid-battle after they’ve been used.
The User Interface might be cluttered, but it's almost all useful
Mastering the rather busy user interface of Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is pretty key to winning - it holds absolutely key information about the match, and somebody who is able to better understand and quickly process what the HUD is telling them is almost always more likely to come out the victor.
- In particular you should pay attention to the mini map to see where your opponents are - like any fighting game, position is everything. Use the mini map and target switching often to figure out what's going on in the wider match. Other elements of the HUD are also dedicated to showing who is attacking who, and this sort of information is displayed proudly throughout the HUD. Speaking of that...
- About those Red and Blue lines leading to and from players… these function as a more obvious indicator of who is targeting who. Lines of the opposing team’s color pointing to you or an ally indicate that a player is targeting them, while a blue line will lead from you directly to the enemy you’re currently focused on. You can use this to coordinate with your team and gang up on a weak enemy to take them down.
- The Break Bonus (found in the top right) is a figure that’s awarded to a player when they put an enemy into ‘Break’ status. That’s done by reducing a character’s bravery stat to zero. When you do this, as well as stealing their bravery as detailed above and in our bravery and HP attack system guide you’ll get this break bonus added to your bravery stat – a great way to make your attacks quickly more deadly.
- Keep an eye on the Summon Meter in the top left of the screen - they can seriously turn the tide for a team. In fact, let's talk about Summons in more detail...
Don't neglect your skills beyond HP attacks and bravery attacks
Dissidia is a cross-over of fighting game and Final Fantasy, and that means that, yes, most characters come packing many of their abilities from their classic games. Many of these make their way into Dissidia NT as HP attacks and Bravery attacks, but many other classic FF staples find their way into the game in the easily less-used EX Skill and Summoning mechanics. We should talk about that.
Don't ignore summons in Dissidia: they can turn the tide of a match
Summons in Dissidia offer you both a passive buff for the entire match plus a second buff after they've been summoned, and they also appear on the battlefield once summoned to wreck havoc on the enemy team.
Your choice of summon is important, and the right summon can seriously shore up lacking team composition to cover a hole in a team's abilities. A good summon can also seriously turn the tide of a losing battle.
If you want to know more about what each summon does and their unique abilities, be sure to check out our dedicated guide on how to summon in Dissidia NT and what each summon does.
Similarly, don't neglect your EX skills
Like summons, EX skills can make a major difference - and some characters like Y'shtola even carve out their niche in the Dissidia cast and tier list based on their EX skill usage. Learn what your EX skills are, choose which ones you use carefully, and use them often in battle. Simply debuffing the enemy (especially with the right summon buff in effect on top of it) can majorly change the equation when it comes to a match.
Team Composition is King - think about it carefully, and choose summons and skills to offset weaknesses
Being a three-on-three game Dissidia is impacted by the same sort of things as the likes of Marvel vs Capcom or Dragon Ball FighterZ - team composition matters. When picking your character for a match you should try to discuss with your team what your plan is - a team of three Clouds or even three Vanguards is difficult to win with. You should try to go into battle with a balanced team.
When you have a team idea, consider strongly your EX Skills and your Summon - what you pick and how you choose to use them during the match can seriously help to cover up your team's deficiencies (there's no such thing as a perfect team, after all) or significantly enhance their strengths.
Remember, too, that there is safety in numbers. If you're struggling and taking a beating, one of the best possible things you can do is to retreat and find some cover with a team mate - it's certainly better than dying!