Final Fantasy 7 Remake takes us back to Midgar during Avalanche’s fight to save the planet. With it comes updated graphics and gameplay mechanics, meaning you’ll have more ways to kick Shinra’s butt and plenty of opportunity to enjoy the best builds in Final Fantasy 7 Remake in higher definition too.
While Final Fantasy 7 Remake doesn’t have the typical class system found in other games of the franchise, FF7’s Materia and Weapon Upgrade systems let you build characters to fit certain archetypes. You can build characters however you want, but using FF7’s best builds will help fights go a lot smoother.
The base game will let you play as Cloud, Barret, Tifa, and Aerith while the INTERmission DLC story features everyone’s favourite spunky ninja, Yuffie Kisaragi. Joining Yuffie in INTERmission is a brand-new character named Sonon.
So how should you build each character for maximum effect? Let’s find out! 👇
Best Builds FF7 Remake
Much like you’d expect with all of the most legendary JRPG games, every character in FF7 Remake has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. When looking to build any individual character, it’s best to lean into their strengths and have other party members make up for their weaknesses.
In this short guide, we’ll take a look at how best to build each party member to take advantage of their strengths in battle. Then, all you need to know is find a party who is willing to play the same tactics!
Here are the best builds for each character in Final Fantasy 7 Remake:
As always, load-outs are subjective and you may have a slightly different opinion. So, go easy in the comments but drop us a comment when you’re finished nonetheless! 👇
Best Build for Cloud
When you carry a weapon as big as Cloud’s sword, your best bet in a fight is, well, to just start swinging it around. As the game’s protagonist, Cloud is pretty well-balanced, but he excels at dealing physical damage via that monstrous sword.
You would do well to use it.
Here’s the best build for Cloud to get the most out of his sword:
Armor: Chain Bangle
Accessory: Supernatural Wristguards or Gotterdamerung
Materia: HP Up, Parry, ATB Stagger, Steadfast Block, First Strike, Healing, Revive & Ifrit
With this loadout, Cloud will lean heavily towards dealing physical damage by focusing on ATB gain and survivability since you can’t deal damage if you’re unconscious.
Hardedge has the highest attack stat among Cloud’s weapons, but doesn’t totally ignore his magic. With the weapon fully upgraded, you should have a couple more materia slots where you can slot in anything you feel will help you out in battle.
Best Build for Barret
Barret has naturally high defensive stats making him a great tank or support character. Though having a tank in the party isn’t really necessary in FF7 Remake, having a support character as robust as Avalanche’s leader could come in clutch in certain battles.
Here is the best build for Barret to help your party survive difficult encounters:
Weapon: Light Machine Gun
Armor: Chain Bangle
Materia: HP Up, MP Up, Steadfast Block, First Strike, Provide, Healing with Magnify, Revive, Barrier & Shiva
Barret’s Light Machine Gun offers a good balance between boosting his magic and offering resistances for better survivability. His healing won’t be as potent as Aerith’s, but he makes up for it in damage mitigation with skills like Steelskin and Lifesaver.
One of Barret’s more obvious weaknesses is his low MP pool. You can swap out the HP Up materia for another MP Up to help deal with this.
Best Build for Tifa
As Avalanche’s resident martial artist, Tifa can strike fast and strike hard. She’s great at staggering opponents, boosting damage output not just for herself, but for the entire party.
Here is the best build for Tida to overwhelm enemies with non-stop attacks:
Weapon: Feather Gloves
Armor: Supreme Bracer
Accessory: Transference Module or Gotterdamerung
Materia: ATB Stagger, ATB Assist, First Strike, Refocus, Time, Chakra, HP Up, Fire/Ice/Lightning/Wind & Fat Chocobo
The game plan for Tifa is usually to get in the opponent’s face and stay there until they’re knocked out. With this build’s focus on fast ATB gain, you can achieve that in no time by being relentless with skills that help fill up enemy stagger bars like Overwhelm and Focused Strike.
Tifa’s Feathered Gloves work really well here as they provide a good boost to her Speed. However, you can replace them with the Metal Knuckles if you’re looking for more power behind her punches.
Best Build for Aerith
The flower girl from the Sector 5 slums favors using magic in battle, making her a popular choice for the party’s healer. Aerith is very efficient in this role since the spells she cast are extremely potent.
Here is the best build for Aerith to ensure your party’s survival in every fight:
Weapon: Mithril Rod
Armor: Chain Bangle
Materia: Healing with Magnify, Prayer, Revive, HP Up, MP Up, MP Up, Magic Up, Magic Up & Leviathan
Much like the build itself, the Mythril Rod is pretty straightforward in that it offers a hefty bonus to Aerith’s Magic stat. Should you find yourself struggling to maintain her MP, you can use the Silver Staff instead.
The Silver Staff won’t give Aerith as much Magic as the Mythril Rod, but it does come with some MP cost reduction passives, as well as a 50% MP regeneration trait. If you do decide to use the Silver Staff, consider swapping out at least one MP Up materia for something that will help with survivability like Steadfast Block or an additional HP Up.
Best Build for Yuffie
The materia hunter from Wutai takes center stage in Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s DLC, INTERmission. She’s the only character you’ll gain control of during this story, so it’s best to keep her build as well-rounded as possible.
Here is the best build for Yuffie to raise offensive stats:
Weapon: 4-Point Shuriken
Materia: Healing with Magnify, Revival, HP Up, HP Up, MP Up, ATB Stagger, Chakra, Assess, Time & Ramuh
Since Yuffie is great at using both physical and magical attacks, her default weapon, the 4-Point Shuriken, is a solid choice for this build. It offers a nice balance between attack and magic while also providing a decent HP boost.
Yuffie can deal elemental magic damage without the use of materia, so this setup is more focused on using support spells like Cure and Haste. If you’re feeling confident about your survival while using Yuffie, you may want to go for more firepower by swapping out the 4-Point Shuriken for the Steel Reaper.
Best Build for Sonon
Sonon is a bit of a special case in FF7 Remake since you won’t be able to fully control him, much like Red XIII in the base game. However, unlike Red XIII, you’ll still be able to set up Sonon’s equipment and give him commands during battle as he joins Yuffie in the INTERmission storyline.
Given his unique situation in the game, it’s best to gear Sonon towards utility and support while maintaining a reasonable attack stat.
Here is the best build for Sonon in FF7:
Weapon: Indurate Staff
Armor: Firebird Armlet
Accessory: Kindred Cord
Materia: Time with Magnify, Healing, HP Up, HP Up, MP Up, Steadfast Block, First Strike, ATB Stagger & Ninja Cannoball
You can get the most out of Sonon by building him up with a nice balance of offense and defense. His AI tends to close in on enemies quite often, so it’s better to focus more on his physical damage. If he’s going to be approaching enemies, then he might as well whack them around with his big stick.
Sonon’s main purpose is to assist Yuffie on her mission, so his materia here is set up to do exactly that. With the First Strike materia and Time paired up with Magnify, you can have Sonon cast Haste on the party as soon as the battle begins.
Final FF7 Build Tips
Remember, there are many different types of enemies you can encounter in Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Though these top-rated builds bolster each character’s strengths and make for some well-balanced party compositions, you can always tweak them a bit to better handle specific situations.
Plus, since you won’t have everything in these builds right away, here are some final general tips to help you build your characters while getting through the game:
1. Check your weapon upgrades
Character builds in FF7 Remake are usually centered around the weapons a party member has equipped. When you obtain a new one, you can check what upgrades it has to offer for a glimpse at what build it works best with.
2. Be mindful of materia
Always keep in mind that equipping materia will affect a character’s stats. This applies to most materia, not just the ones whose sole purpose is to boost stats, so keep track of those numbers.
3. Take advantage of materia pairings
Some materia you’ll find are meant to be used in tandem with others for enhanced effects in battle. For example, Healing plus Magnify is a staple for support characters as it allows you to heal the entire party with a single ATB bar, while pairing Elemental with Lightning on a weapon can help your physical attackers destroy machine-type enemies faster.
4. Always assess the situation
The Assess materia allows you take a look at info on your enemies like elemental weaknesses and tips for staggering them. This is extremely helpful, especially on your first playthrough, so make sure at least one person in the party has this materia equipped.
What’s your take on the best FF7 builds and setups?
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