Final Fantasy XV has arrived, and fans are finally playing the game they waited so long for. As we pointed out in our Final Fantasy XV review, it’s a unique experience for Final Fantasy veterans. So, before you dive into this new FF adventure for fans and newcomers, there are a few basics to understand in the opening hours. And Fandom’s Final Fantasy XV starter guide begins at the beginning.
Don't Skip The Tutorial
You just hit "New Game" on the menu. Your instinct is to jump straight into the story and skip the tutorial. Don't. Even if you played the Final Fantasy XV demos, there are many intricacies to the combat and spell systems that aren't well explained in the opening areas. You need all the advice Carbuncle can give you in that opening, and it's 30 minutes well spent in preparing you for the road ahead. Also, if you haven't watched Kingslaive, the story updates in the tutorial are essential for an early understanding of the world and the stakes of warring nations.
Collect Big Gil (And Buy Healing Items)
You'll need all the cash you can grab in Final Fantasy XV, but it isn't easy to come by in the early goings. Old school fans might be perplexed by monsters dying but not dropping Gil, the in-game currency. Instead, you get item drops from monsters, so you need to get in the practice of selling them off every time you get to a store. And when you're spending that Gil, don't be stingy with the healing items. As long as you've got the ability to heal Noctis and his team, you'll never see a game over, so be sure to keep a healthy collection of potions and elixirs.
Spend AP on Getting More AP
The Ascension System is how you gain skills and add abilities in Final Fantasy XV. There are lots of good abilities to choose, but the best ones at the start are the relatively cheap and forward looking. In the exploration tab of Ascension, choose the abilities that more quickly gain AP points from driving around, riding Chocobos, and making camp. These are activities you'll constantly be doing in the game, so it'll speed up your accumulation of AP points to spend later on other buffs and attacks.
Talk With Diner Owners
Arriving at a gas station and chatting with the guy running a diner might seem too low stakes for a Final Fantasy game. But chatting with that NPC is just as necessary as fueling your car. The person running the diner will add markers to your map of all these important landmarks in the area. He can also give you food that buffs your team. And when you're in need of Gil, he can give out hunting jobs for extra cash. So be sure to go to every diner you see at least once.
Gather Every Food Item You Can
Speaking of food, every fully-prepared dish and ingredient you buy or find can serve as inspiration for Ignis to develop a new recipe. This includes the ingredients you scavenge in the wilderness. Monsters also occasionally drop ingredients such as meat. So be sure to collect every food ingredient you can, and carry a few of each around with you. These will be handy in cooking tasty meals that provide essential buffs for your party.
Be Choosey of Where You Sleep
Camping seems relaxing at first, but it's gravely important to the progress of your team. It's the only time you level up in the game, and picking where you sleep is the difference between getting more XP or having extra HP for the day. If you're sitting on a lot of experience points, consider sleeping in a caravan or hotel to get a minor XP multiplier when you rest. Meanwhile, if you're about to head into a harrowing boss battle, camp and eat a meal that will make your crew stronger for the battles ahead.
Channel Your Inner Fashionista
All those snazzy outfits aren’t just for show. Certain outfits are better suited for some environments over others. Clothes can actually affect your stats, so choose the right outfit to fit the occasion. If you hear Noctis or the rest of the party complaining about how hot they are, try taking off that leather jacket and go for the tank top instead. Sun’s out, guns out!
Above All, Take Your Time
If you just want to follow the critical path and go straight to every plot point, Final Fantasy XV is a sizable experience. But you'll have much more fun if you pull back a little and explore. Take the time to walk off the beaten path and chase after a hunting sidequest, or ride a Chocobo to some corner of the map in search of minerals. There's so much fun to be found in Final Fantasy XV on the edges of the world, so don't rush. As all the driving moments prove, the fun is in the journey, not the destination.