Cloud's got some deep pockets. By the time your first jaunt through Midgar is done, you'll have stacks of materia to choose from. But some materia are infinitely handier than others - and there's some you can miss entirely. So to help you out, here's the list of the best materia in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and where to find them.
A lot of the best materia will be ones acquired directly from Chadley, the creepy Shinra double-agent who really shouldn't be travelling through the Slums without a guardian or parent. Who let this kid into the red light district?
Anyway, completing Chadley's battle requirements is the fastest way to get you most of the materia you need. There's a little trick to doing that as fast as possible, especially since you can't rely on grinding random encounters in Final Fantasy 7 Remake the way you could the original.
Once you finally reach the Sector 7 Slums, you’ll run into Chadley, the slightly creepy 15-year-old research trainee - who looks about 12. Chadley’s a research intern for Shinra, but he quickly outs himself as a double agent, promising to give Cloud and co. more powerful materia if Cloud helps gather information from the field. But getting materia can take a while. Fortunately there's a neat trick to ensure you don't have to grind any more than you need to, forcing Chadley to come good on his promise of bringing Shinra down.
With that out of the way, here's the materia you really want and need.
The Best Final Fantasy 7 Remake Materia
AP Up Materia
You unlock this one in chapter 14 after discovering a pedometer materia on the ground near Aerith's house. The pedometer needs to be equipped, and after you've walked 5000 steps, it'll transform into AP-Up, boosting any materia in a linked slot.
It's designed to ensure you have max materia in everything you need before the final chapters. As for unlocking AP Up in the first place, you'll unlock it before finishing Chapter 14 if you just do everything normally - or you could just keep walking around Aerith's house until you hit the 5,000 steps. It's the one time where you should stop and grind, as the more battles you can fight with AP Up equipped, the better.
The closest thing in Final Fantasy 7 Remake to the original game's "All Materia", Magnify lets you target multiple enemies at once with a single linked spell.
You can find Magnify in the Sector 6 slums as part of the final crane puzzle. It's impossible not to see, although you can technically miss it if you ... just choose not to drop Aerith off before proceeding.
Magnify is too good not to have, and this is the only opportunity you'll have to pick it up - Chadley doesn't offer it as an unlockable materia, and you won't find it at any of the vending machines. It's especially powerful on Aerith when used in conjunction with Arcane Ward and the ATB Boost, since you can hit large chunks of enemies in a second. But it's plenty helpful in segments where it's just Cloud, or Cloud and Tifa, and it should be permanently equipped as soon as you get it.
This one is unlocked through Chadley, but it's not as easy as just beating a bunch of enemies over and over. There's a few ways you can do this, either by using Tifa, a weapon, or a combination of the two.
If you're relying on Aerith, you'll need a specific weapon that can't be unlocked until you reach the train graveyard in Chapter 11.
The weapon is the Mythril Rod, and it's a bonus that you find after the cutscene where Aerith says the graveyard is "a little creepy". There's no location or obvious marker on the map to point out in a screenshot, so to make it easy to find, here's a quick GIF.
The Mythril Rod has the excellent Ray of Judgment ability, easily Aerith's biggest damage dealer that doesn't require MP. More importantly, the ray will increase the amount of damage a staggered enemy takes, which is what you'll need to complete the challenge.
You can complete this challenge later in the game after picking up Purple Pain for Tifa, which also increases stagger damage, but that weapon isn't available until you reach the Shinra Tower in chapter 16. They're available via a set of monkey bars near the first set of monuments, but it's far better if you can get Parry before heading to the Tower.
Once you've got the Mythril Rod, all you need to do is plan ahead. It's not often that Aerith will have two full ATB charges without being used in advance. The best opportunity is really during one of the two boss fights in the graveyard, as they'll be able to take enough damage without dying to Aerith's Ray of Judgment.
Otherwise, you can knock off this challenge simply by spamming Tifa's triangle ability when an enemy is staggered. Her Unbridled Strength ability will increase the stagger damage bonus even further, so the best thing to do is to use that ability twice and then smash triangle as soon as a boss is down. You can equip ATB Boost on Tifa for extra assurance, but it's not necessary - you just need to make sure you switch to Tifa regularly during the fight, and to be controlling her as soon an enemy is staggered.
Deadly Dodge Materia
One of the first materia you get in the game and an essential item for the box-slashing sidequest in the Sector 5 slums, Deadly Dodge provides a small AOE attack straight after executing a dodge. It's a great fit for Cloud, since you'll be dodging repeatedly, but also because the materia is sitting on the road in Chapter 2. It's literally impossible to miss, but on the rare chance you did, you can buy it from the Sector 7 item shop at full price (500 gil) in the next chapter.
HP Absorption Materia
This one is unlocked through Chadley after you defeat 20 unique monster types. You should unlock this just by virtue of playing through the chapters, but actually getting the battle intel from Chadley will take a while. It's the last battle report he gives you, alongside the reports to unlock MP Absorption and Skill Master materia.
Still, it's a super crucial materia to have for the end game. HP Absorption gives you 20 percent of damage dealt from a linked materia, either through a magic or command attack. That makes it the best fit for Aerith, since most of Cloud's output is through physical damage and counters, although it can work as an alternative source of HP for Tifa too.
ATB Boost Materia
Another materia locked early on from Chadley, ATB Boost doubles your ATB as soon as it's activated. It still works even if you don't have any current ATB charge, although it's obviously best in combination with First Strike for getting spells off super fast in a fight.
Chadley will let you buy this after you stagger 15 enemies. It's one of the first battle intel reports he gives in the Sector 7 slums, and you should be able to get it before finishing the chapter.
An absolute life saver in the later fights, Warding gives the wielder resistance to whatever status ailment is caused by the materia slot its linked to. It works with subversion, time, binding and poison, and while you won't want it in every fight, it will definitely come in handy.
You can't buy Warding, and you need to find it in one of two places. The first is in the train graveyard by completing the "On the Other Side" mission. If you miss it there, you can grab the materia in the underground lab underneath Sector 7 in chapter 13.
Another gem that Chadley mysteriously doesn't have, Elemental materia either gives you resistance to the linked materia, or adds that materia's element to your basic attacks. It's a great tool to equip on someone like Tifa, who does a ton of attacks quickly, or Aerith since her damage output per shot is fairly high.
The first place to find the Elemental materia is in chapter 6, when you're travelling to the second mako reactor. It can be found by heading down a ladder that's en route to the third lamp, and can be a bit of a pain (given
If you miss it there, you'll have a second chance to grab an Elemental materia in chapter 14, although you'll have to have finished all of Mireille's quests first. It can be found next to the Angel of the Slums letter.
Who doesn't like messing with Time? You won't get the Time materia until much later in the game, but you can pick it up twice, and it's essential both times. Time is useful in all forms: Haste makes your ATB gauge fill much faster, Slow reduces the ATB gauge rate for other creatures, and Stop will basically freeze an enemy, stopping all movement and actions.
It's a reward for the 'Missing Children' side quest in Chapter 14, so make sure you do it! But if you miss out there, you can pick it up in the facility dungeon in Chapter 17 as a loot item.
A situational materia that can be super helpful under the right circumstances. Provoke lets you taunt an enemy when your allies are severely injured, and each level of the materia increases the time the enemy is provoked, and how soon you can use the materia again.
It's available for purchase from Chadley fairly early on, as you only need to beat two or more enemies with a single attack. Any enemies count towards this, so getting two garbage enemies clumped together and hitting them with a basic attack or any ability with a larger radius is all you need.
There are so many things about Final Fantasy 7 Remake that, in the hands of another developer or another time, would not happen. The corridors. The trope of flipping a switch, only to find a locked door, a key and switches more. Long sequences where your ability to run is removed. Random difficulty spikes out of nowhere. The padding. Final Fantasy 7 Remake features so many of these moments that, genuinely, do not need to exist. And yet none of it matters, because Midgar is alive - not just once more, but perhaps, truly, for the first time.
Not even before you get halfway through the game, your stocks of materia will get real high. And while the game has a couple of sorting options to make swapping out the elemental tools and assists you need, they don't fix Final Fantasy 7 Remake's bigger UX problem: it's still one giant list. Fortunately, there's a helpful tip the game doesn't tell you about.