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FFXII Gambits

Gambits setting in Final Fantasy XII.

Oh, one more thing! If you don’t want me to fight on my own, you can always turn my Gambits off. With my Gambits turned off, I won’t do anything until you give the word. You should really think about using Gambits for yourself, you know. They can make managing a battle a lot easier.

Gambits are a functionality of the Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings battle systems. During the game, combat can be controlled manually and programmed via the use of gambits; manually entered commands take precedence and their immediate execution will interrupt gambit programming. The gambit system is similar to the Macro system found in Final Fantasy XI.

Hiroyuki Ito was in charge of creating the battle system for Final Fantasy XII and his motivation for the gambit system was to create a "single-player online game" where the player would have independently acting party members who would still act the way the player wanted them to. The gambit system works on the same basic programming algorithms used for the monsters in the SNES Final Fantasy games.[1]


Final Fantasy XIIEdit

Like simple computers, the player can create a list of commands and dependencies to be carried out automatically by the characters to simplify the combat system. All commands relate to (are targeted on) the character, the character's allies, or the enemies on-screen.

Gambits are a targeted "if A, then X" conditional statement/expression; each gambit on the list is evaluated and the first gambit that has a true, actionable condition, will be executed. Each time the character gets a new turn the list is re-evaluated, starting with the first gambit.



The golden G next to a party member's name indicates that the character's Gambits are active.

Gambits are composed of a target, a condition and an action to be performed on the target, only if the condition is true. If the condition is not true, the next gambit in the list is checked, and so on. The list is not in order of which action is taken; for example, a gambit with the "Enemy = Flying" condition at the top of the gambit list will only activate when the party encounters a flying enemy. Actions can be either the use of items or the casting of magick and Technicks. There is no action for Quickenings and summons, which must be activated manually.

In or out of battle, each character can have have each individual gambit in their list turned on or off, at the gambit screen. Also, at the gambit screen or in the manual control menu, the current state of the gambit list as a whole can be turned off and back on. Gambits can be changed at any moment during a battle, and gambits can always be interrupted by manual input of actions.

The characters start with no list of gambits, gain two automatically through the course of the early game, and can buy licenses for an additional 10 gambit slots in the Augments section of the License Board.

Action: No redundant actionsEdit

Gambits contain certain hidden conditions to be intuitive and functional. Enemies immediately cease to be targets once they die, and the gambit mechanism will not revive a character who is not KO'd or recast a status buffer if the character still has it, e.g. a gambit for Haste will not be activated if the character already has the Haste status. As well, the gambit mechanism will not have two characters simultaneously cast a status buffer or revive a KO'd character twice; i.e. if two characters have a gambit set-up to revive a fallen party member, and a party member is KO'd, only one of the characters will have their gambit to revive them executed.

The exceptions to the above rules are are: Steal, Poach, Drain and Syphon, which will be re-activated at every turn, even if the foe is immune or has no more items/MP to steal. Foe: HP = 100% attached to Steal, and one blow from a manually controlled character, will ensure that overenthusiastic loot hunters look further down the list for something to do. Enemy immunity requires the offending gambits be turned off or commands be issued to the characters to override their gambits with manual control.

Action: ConstraintsEdit

Another type of hidden condition, but one that generally works against the player, is that a gambit may not be executed, even if its condition is true, if its action cannot be performed because of the normal game rules. For example, a gambit with the action to cast the spell Haste will only be done if the character has enough MP to cast it and is not under a restrictive status such as Silence, Disable, or other that prohibits the use of magick.

A similar constraint applies to the use of items, i.e. a gambit calling for the use of a Hi-Potion will only be performed if there is at least one in the party's inventory.

Steal, Poach, Drain and Syphon are not exempt from this condition as they are from the other.

Condition: Self, Ally or FoeEdit

Conditions for gambits need to be purchased at Gambit Shops and are for Self, Ally or Foe. They can also occasionally be found in treasure urns. In the International Zodiac Job System Version all gambits are available after the party escapes from the Barheim Passage, but in the regular version, different gambits are available at different parts of the game, and some useful gambits are only obtained quite late in the game.


A character may cancel an action enacted by a gambit if a higher-priority gambit's conditions are fulfilled. For example, the character has a gambit, high on the list, to Attack the nearest foe, and one below that to poach foes with < 10% HP. If the party is attempting to poach a foe, and a higher HP foe comes near, the character will abandon their poaching, and rush off to Attack the new foe. This is also a good example of the difference between order of execution and order of listing (and therefore priority).

If the order of these gambits is reversed, canceling will not happen; characters will attack when enemies are first sighted, even though Attack is second on the list, the "Foe: HP < 10% - Poach" gambit cannot get in the way, because of its condition, and Poach will be activated instead of Attack as soon as and for as long as there is an appropriate target in range.

The exceptions to canceling an action due to priority are all commands the player inputs manually. Any command the player gives to the character will be executed if possible, regardless of gambits.

Character movement is not considered a command for the purposes of interrupting actions; spell casting in particular will root characters in place, and the only way to avoid characters beginning a spellcast is to turn off their gambits temporarily or to hold down the R2 button to escape. This does not halt spellcasting already in progress.

List of GambitsEdit

There are several gambits in the game. Initially, the party starts with very few gambits to work with, but as the game progresses, the party can buy more.

Ally GambitsEdit

These Gambits are under the Blue tab of the gambit menu. All conditions require a party member to be under a certain condition.

Ally: any
Ally: party leader
Ally: Vaan
Ally: Ashe
Ally: Fran
Ally: Balthier
Ally: Penelo
Ally: Basch
Ally: lowest HP
Ally: strongest weapon
Ally: lowest defense
Ally: lowest magick resist
Ally: HP <100%
Ally: HP <90%
Ally: HP <80%
Ally: HP <70%
Ally: HP <60%
Ally: HP <50%
Ally: HP <40%
Ally: HP <30%
Ally: HP <20%
Ally: HP <10%
Ally: MP <100%
Ally: MP <90%
Ally: MP <80%
Ally: MP <70%
Ally: MP <60%
Ally: MP <50%
Ally: MP <40%
Ally: MP <30%
Ally: MP <20%
Ally: MP <10%
Ally: status = Regen
Ally: status = Float
Ally: status = Bubble
Ally: status = Stop
Ally: status = Sleep
Ally: status = Confuse
Ally: status = Reverse
Ally: status = Slow
Ally: status = Lure
Ally: status = Reflect
Ally: status = Berserk
Ally: status = HP Critical
Ally: item AMT >= 10
Ally: status = KO
Ally: status = Stone
Ally: status = Petrify
Ally: status = Doom
Ally: status = Blind
Ally: status = Poison
Ally: status = Silence
Ally: status = Sap
Ally: status = Oil
Ally: status = Disable
Ally: status = Immobilize
Ally: status = Disease
Ally: status = Protect
Ally: status = Shell
Ally: status = Haste
Ally: status = Bravery
Ally: status = Faith
Ally: status = Invisible
Foe GambitsEdit

These Gambits are under the Red tab of the Gambit menu. All conditions require an enemy to be under a certain condition.

Foe: party leader's target
Foe: nearest visible
Foe: any
Foe: targeting leader
Foe: targeting self
Foe: targeting ally
Foe: furthest
Foe: nearest
Foe: highest HP
Foe: lowest HP
Foe: highest MP
Foe: lowest MP
Foe: highest max HP
Foe: lowest max HP
Foe: highest max MP
Foe: lowest max MP
Foe: highest level
Foe: lowest level
Foe: highest strength
Foe: lowest strength
Foe: highest magick power
Foe: lowest magick power
Foe: highest speed
Foe: lowest speed
Foe: highest defense
Foe: highest magick resist
Foe: HP >= 100,000
Foe: HP >= 50,000
Foe: HP >= 10,000
Foe: HP >= 5,000
Foe: HP >= 3,000
Foe: HP >= 2,000
Foe: HP >= 1,000
Foe: HP >= 500
Foe: HP < 100,000
Foe: HP < 50,000
Foe: HP < 10,000
Foe: HP < 5,000
Foe: HP < 3,000
Foe: HP < 2,000
Foe: HP < 1,000
Foe: HP < 500
Foe: HP = 100%
Foe: HP => 70%
Foe: HP => 50%
Foe: HP => 30%
Foe: status = Petrify
Foe: status = Stop
Foe: status = Sleep
Foe: status = Confuse
Foe: status = Doom
Foe: status = Blind
Foe: status = Poison
Foe: status = Silence
Foe: status = Sap!
Foe: status = Oil
Foe: status = Reverse
Foe: status = Disable
Foe: status = Immobilize
Foe: status = Slow
Foe: status = Disease
Foe: status = Protect
Foe: status = Shell
Foe: status = Haste
Foe: status = Bravery
Foe: status = Faith
Foe: status = Reflect
Foe: status = Regen
Foe: status = Berserk
Foe: status = HP Critical
Foe: fire-weak
Foe: lightning-weak
Foe: ice-weak
Foe: earth-weak
Foe: water-weak
Foe: wind-weak
Foe: holy-weak
Foe: dark-weak
Foe: fire-vulnerable
Foe: lightning-vulnerable
Foe: ice-vulnerable
Foe: earth-vulnerable
Foe: water-vulnerable
Foe: wind-vulnerable
Foe: holy-vulnerable
Foe: dark-vulnerable
Foe: undead
Foe: flying
Foe: item AMT >= 10
Foe: character HP=100%
Foe: character status = Blind
Foe: character status = Silence
Foe: character status = Bravery
Foe: character status = Faith
Foe: character status = HP Critical
Foe: character MP >= 90%
Foe: character MP >= 70%
Foe: character MP >= 50%
Foe: character MP >= 30%
Foe: character MP >= 10%
Foe: character MP < 90%
Foe: character MP < 70%
Foe: character MP < 50%
Foe: character MP < 30%
Foe: character MP < 10%
Foe: character HP >= 90%
Foe: character HP >= 70%
Foe: character HP >= 50%!
Foe: character HP >= 30%
Foe: character HP >= 10%
Foe: character HP < 90%
Foe: character HP < 70%
Foe: character HP < 50%
Foe: character HP < 30%
Foe: character HP < 10%
Self GambitsEdit

These Gambits are under the Yellow tab of the Gambit menu. All conditions require the user to be under a certain condition.

Self: HP <100%
Self: HP < 90%
Self: HP < 80%
Self: HP < 70%
Self: HP < 60%
Self: HP < 50%
Self: HP < 40%
Self: HP < 30%
Self: HP < 20%
Self: HP < 10%
Self: MP <100%
Self: MP < 90%
Self: MP < 80%
Self: MP < 70%
Self: MP < 60%
Self: MP < 50%
Self: MP < 40%
Self: MP < 30%
Self: MP < 20%
Self: MP < 10%
Self: status = HP Critical
Self: status = Petrify
Self: status = Doom
Self: status = Blind
Self: status = Poison
Self: status = Silence
Self: status = Sap
Self: status = Oil
Self: status = Reverse
Self: status = Immobilize
Self: status = Slow
Self: status = Disease
Self: status = Lure
Self: status = Protect
Self: status = Shell
Self: status = Haste
Self: status = Bravery
Self: status = Faith
Self: status = Reflect
Self: status = Invisible
Self: status = Regen
Self: status = Float
Self: status = Bubble

Final Fantasy XII: Revenant WingsEdit

RW Defense Snare

Gambits menu in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings.

Gambits return in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, but the system is heavily simplified. The player is able to set one Gambit per group leader, and once this is done the character will keep using the skill unless they are being directly controlled by the player. Gambits can be set in the Equip screen any time during battle.


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