FF7 Rebirth: How Synergy Skills And Abilities Work

FF7 Rebirth: How Synergy Skills And Abilities Work

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth features an evolved form of the combat system as it appeared in Final Fantasy VII Remake. As an action RPG, Rebirth’s combat is both tactical and demanding of reaction time. There are a number of moving parts going on all at once when the blades and spells start flying.

Synergy Skills and Abilities, which see two characters team up to execute a maneuver together, can be a tricky subject for newcomers. Mastery of these techniques is required to do your best in this game, as they will allow you to gain greater control over a fight while dealing even more damage.

This guide will go over Synergy Skills and Abilities, how they work, and which ones you should grab.

How Synergy Skills and Abilities fit into Rebirth’s combat

As it was in FF7 Remake, Rebirth’s core combat loop requires you to fill up ATB gauges with more simple attacks bound to the square button. When an ATB bar is filled, you can choose a more powerful Ability or Spell.

Read More: 16 Things To Know Before Starting Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Synergy Skills and Abilities sit on either side of this loop. You use Synergy Skills to boost your ATB gauge even faster, which you then use to activate standard Abilities, which charge up your Synergy meter needed to activate Synergy Abilities. It’s a little confusing at first, so let’s break down some basic combat vocabulary here to make sense of it.

  • Attack: Bound to square, executes a basic attack (Charges ATB)
  • Unique Ability: Bound to triangle, function varies from character to character
  • Ability: Sometimes called “Weapon Ability” or “ATB Ability” by some, you can access these in the Abilities command menu during battle once you’ve filled up the ATB gauge by using Attacks (Many Abilities grant one Synergy Charge)
  • Spell: A magic attack, buff, or debuff selected from the Spells section of the command menu (Many Spells grant one Synergy Charge)
  • Item: Use an item from your inventory (fills the Synergy Gauge)
  • Synergy Skill: Activated by holding R1 and pressing a face button, charges two characters’ ATB gauges at once on a successful hit and doesn’t cost anything to use
  • Synergy Ability: Activated by selecting from the Synergy Abilities menu, which is available after two characters have performed enough Abilities

With these terms in mind, the overall flow of your actions in combat should look like this:

Attack/Synergy Skills (fills ATB) > Activate an ATB Ability/Spell/Item (fills the Synergy Gauge) > Activate Synergy Ability (when it’s available)

This pattern is in addition to Limit Breaks and Summons, which are outside of the scope of this Synergy Guide.

Read More: FF7 Rebirth’s Character Folios, Explained

You’ll unlock Synergy Skills and Abilities from Rebirth’s Folio system, which we detail here. Let’s look at both Synergy skills and abilities more closely.

Synergy Skills accelerate the ATB gauge

While basic attacks will fill your gauge, Synergy Skills not only do it faster (and for two characters at once), but they typically deal more damage (and improve your relationship with whoever you used the Skill with). The trade off, however, is that Synergy Skills often take a little more time or strategy to use than just mashing square to attack.

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When holding R1 during battle, your character will assume a defensive stance and can execute offensive Synergy Skills with square and triangle, or defensive Synergy Skills with X or circle (you can swap these in the game’s settings).

Unlike ATB Abilities, Spells, Synergy Abilities, and Items, you can’t select a Synergy Skill during the game’s tactical mode, where time slows down to allow you to make strategic decisions. That said, you can always press the touchpad while holding R1 to stop time and review what Synergy Skills you have and what they do. Synergy Skills are real-time maneuvers that you’ll need to execute with proper timing, and you can easily miss or be interrupted if you’re not careful.

Notice how muiltiple ATB gauges fill up without switching characters when using Synergy Skills.
Gif: Square Enix / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

Some essential Synergy Skills to grab from the Folio are as follows:

Aerith: Spellbound Blast (useable with Cait Sith, Tifa, and Yuffie)
Barret: Friendly Fire (useable with Aerith, Cait Sith, and Tifa)
Cait Sith: Magic Microphone (useable with Could, Tifa, and Yuffie)
Cloud: Melee Blade (useable with Aerith, Cait Sith, Tifa, and Yuffie)
Red XIII: Wild Charge (useable with everyone)
Tifa: Slip and Slide (useable with Aerith, Cloud, Cait Sith, and Yuffie)
Yuffie: Shuriken Sync (useable with Cloud, Barret, and Tifa)

Remember that you can refund all of your Skill Points in the Folio and start from scratch if you want to try out new Synergy Skills but haven’t earned enough points yet. There are a ton of combinations across the characters, all of which will work differently depending on your playstyle, so it’s best to try out a number of different Skills to see which ones you prefer.

Synergy Abilities drastically change the fight

Notice the two vertical bars on the lower left hand corner. This indicates that a given choice will fill the Synergy Gauge.
Screenshot: Square Enix / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

You’ll know if an ATB Ability fills up the Synergy Gauge by the icon just under the command menu in the lower-left-hand corner of the screen. It looks like a vertical rectangle.

Read More: Hey, Listen: You Can Skip Chadley’s Calls In FF7 Rebirth

Many Synergy Abilities deal a decent amount of damage, but all of them affect combat in a couple of different ways. Synergy Abilities with two yellow arrows pointing up will raise your Limit Level, allowing characters to use higher-level Limit Breaks (which you can unlock in the Folio). Synergy Abilities with the orange hourglass icon will prolong an enemy’s Staggered condition (and therefore should only be used when an enemy is Staggered). A purple infinity symbol on a Synergy Ability means you’ll have unlimited MP to spend for a while. A blue horizontal bar with three divisions will give two characters three ATB gauges to execute more ATB Abilities, Spells, and Items.

As you can see, some Synergy Abilities will make more sense to use at certain times than others. For example, say you’re fighting a monster with a weakness to lightning magic. In such a scenario, it makes more sense to use an unlimited MP Synergy Ability for any characters who have lightning materia equipped. If your characters are close to filling their Limit Break gauge, it’ll make sense to use a Synergy Ability to raise your Limit Level so you can deal greater damage once filled.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

Once you activate a Synergy Ability, I also recommend switching to whichever character is not active in the Ability. Whenever you use a Synergy Ability, the camera will zoom in on the selected characters to show off their attack. While this is cool the first time, it’s best to switch to a free character to keep executing Attacks to fill up their ATB gauge, which will in turn bring them closer to being able to use a Synergy Ability.

Rebirth’s combat is all about sustaining the momentum, pushing your characters toward greater attacks while weakening your opponent through Pressuring and Staggering.

We recommend grabbing the following Synergy Abilities:

United Refocus: Grants three ATB gauges temporarily (useable with everyone)
Firework Blade: Raises Limit Break levels (useable with Aerith and Cloud)
Relentless Rush: Prolongs Staggered condition (useable with Cloud and Tifa)
Synchro Cyclone: Grants unlimited MP (useable with Cloud and Tifa)
Sweet-and-Sour Salvo: Prolongs Staggered condition (useable with Aerith and Barret)

As with Synergy Skills, the more Synergy Abilities you have, the better. And you can always respec in the Folio for free if you’re not using what you’ve unlocked.

Synergy Skills and Abilities are essential to doing well in Rebirth. Skills in particular risk getting overlooked early on, so be sure to incorporate those into your combat routine as soon as possible.

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