FFVI Basic Guide

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Final Fantasy VI is one of the most popular RPGs of the pre-3D generation. It was originally released for the SNES in the mid-90s as "Final Fantasy VI" in Japan and "Final Fantasy III" in North America. After the PS1 came into being, Final Fantasy VI was released together with Final Fantasy V in a bundle known as "Final Fantasy Anthology", both with a few added CG cutscenes, though few other changes. Later, Final Fantasy VI was again remade, this time for GBA, as one of the last GBA games ever released. The latest remake features some updated graphics, new translations, bug patches, and three new Espers.

As per Final Fantasy tradition, the game's currency is Gil, and characters earn experience points for battling. After obtaining Espers, you will also gain AP, which goes towards learning spells. Character stats will increase automatically upon leveling up, and they will sometimes learn new spells or abilities from gaining levels, but certain abilities need to be obtained either through an item or sidequest of some sort, and most spells need to be taught via Espers. A few of the Espers also give an extra stat boost if equipped at the time of leveling.

Though the main mode of transportation for most of the game will be walking, you can find chocobos at various locations, and will obtain an airship later on.

The menu for Final Fantasy VI does not differ much from previous games. Character info - level, HP, and MP - are shown on the left, and the right has links to items, abilities, equips, relics, status and formation, and information showing your current location, play time, total steps, and gil. You can also change your game configurations and save in the main menu. Note that there is a Bestiary for the game, it is listed as the last option under the Options menu, and is also accessible from the menu screen.

Battle Basics

Final Fantasy VI battles use the ATB (Active Time Battle) system first developed in Final Fantasy IV. Enemy encounters outside of boss battles are random, and once you enter a battle, the monsters are displayed on the left side of the screen with your characters on the right, in most cases. There are sometimes exceptions - getting back attacked or pincer attacked would have you on the left or center of the screen, respectively. On the bright side, you can gain a pre-emptive strike (same formation, but your ATB is filled at the start), or a side attack, which is the reverse of a pincer and has you surrounding the monsters instead. Once battle starts, each character has a bar under their name that slowly fills up according to their speed, with a similar, invisible bar for each monster. Once a bar fills, it is that character's turn, and you can choose a command to issue to the character. Different commands take different amounts of time to execute. In most versions, pressing right on the D-pad lets you choose to defend for your next turn. You can also choose to flee, usually by holding down L and R until the character runs away; each character needs to flee separately. This continues until either all the monsters or all your characters are either dead or fled. In the former case, you win experience points, AP, Gil, and sometimes items depending on the monsters you killed. In the latter case, you get a game over, and will have to restart from your most recent save.


Final Fantasy VI breaks away from the traditional job system of the series. Like Final Fantasy IV (and most subsequent games), it contains individual characters whose jobs can't be changed. But unlike IV, most of VI's characters don't match traditional Final Fantasy jobs exactly. Some of them are easier to classify, such as the Thief-type character having the Steal ability and wearing lighter armors and weapons, but some are much more difficult, with one character using different Tools. Final Fantasy VI does, however, give you fairly open options about your parties towards the end of the game, as you can get every single playable character in the game, and can pick and choose your party at will.

For more information about the characters, see the Characters page.


Aside from basic attack options, each character has a unique ability, most of which are somewhat connected to their backstory. Many of these abilities correspond to traditional job abilities, but others are quite new. There are also relics that change some of the abilities when equipped to improve them in some manner.

After a point in the story, every character with the exception of one can learn magic by equipping an Esper and gaining AP through battles. Two characters, Terra Branford and Celes Chere, learn some spells naturally by leveling up. All magic - White, Black, and Green - are listed under one menu option, but sorted into separate categories.

When a character has an Esper equipped, he or she also has the ability to summon it during battle. Each Esper can only be summoned once per battle, for an MP cost.


The item system in Final Fantasy VI is the same as most other games in the series. Items can be obtained either by buying them from shops, finding them in chest, or by killing or stealing from monsters. These items stack up to 99, with unlimited inventory. They include things like medicines, equips, and relics. The only exceptions are Key Items, which are usually permanent, and used and obtained for storyline reasons.

For a list of items, see the Items page.

Stats and Their Meanings

There are a total of 9 stats used in Final Fantasy VI excluding HP and MP. Some of them are used more widely than others.

Strength, while not useless, makes a much smaller impact on damage than you'd think. It does increase damage output for a lot of special abilities, however.

Speed determines the rate at which the ATB gauge charges, which, in turn, determines how quickly you attack. Like Strength, however, a few points of it won't make much of a difference.

Stamina affects very little, and is actually somewhat of a negative stat sometimes, as it determines how much Poison and Slip hurt you each round. On the positive side, it does also determine how much Regen heals you, and is your evasion rate for 1-shot KO attacks.

Magic is the main determinant in how much damage your spells do. Considering how magic-heavy this game is, it is the main stat that you would want to raise with Espers. It also determines the damage of some abilities, most notably some of Sabin's Blitzes, some of Cyan's [[Attacks of FFVI#bushido|Bushido]]skills, Edgar's magical Tools, magical scrolls Shadow can Throw, special attacks in Gau's Rages, most abilities spun by Slot, and magic-based attacks in Mog's Dances. Note that Lores also use the Magic stat, since they are, in fact, spells.

Attack, not Strength, what actually determines your damage. It is based entirely on your weapon. The highest it can get from one weapon is 255.

Defense is your physical defense, and reduces damage you take from physical attacks. It is affected by your armors and relics.

Evasion is your physical evasion. It is mainly affected by your armor and shield. Despite being a percentage, to reach actual full evasion, you need 128%.

Magic Defense reduces damage you take from spells. Again, it is affected by armors and relics.

Magic Evasion is how often you avoid all avoidable spells. Like physical Evasion, despite being a percentage, to reach actual full evasion, you need 128%. Due to a bug in the code, in older versions of the game, the Magical Evasion stat is actually used to calculate both physical and magical evasion. This has been fixed in the GBA release.


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