Techniques are acquired via the Ascension Grid, and can be used in battle by pressing or when using the Type A control scheme. Using a Technique for the first time earns the Brother-in-Arms achievement/trophy.
Each character has one base technique available at the start. Some techniques level up with use; each time they do, their power and critical rate increases. Techniques can be swapped with the Gear option found in the main menu. Guests' techniques cannot be changed, nor can they level up or appear in the Ascension.
Their use is mandated by the tech bar, a gauge that increases over time during battle. It is segmented into three sections, and the bar must first fill to either the first, second, or third in order to use a specific technique. The tech bar can be upgraded via the Ascension Grid.
Noctis cannot use techniques, and instead has Armiger. He can follow up on the Techniques if positioned right, however. For example, when using Gladiolus's Cyclone, the player can at times initiate a follow-up attack where Noctis spins from Gladiolus's sword and deals damage to surrounding enemies.
Gladiolus's techniques deal damage to enemies, and often break appendages, making them vulnerable to further harm. Ignis's techniques aid the player by healing, providing warp points, and bestowing elemental buffs. Prompto's techniques are ranged, from shooting through enemies from afar to using flares to combat daemons, to using his photography skills in battle (although he will always take photos in battle randomly). Iris has two versions of her Technique; it will instantly kill magitek troopers, but just deals damage to other enemy types.
Techniques and related Ascension Grid abilitiesEdit
The player can again invoke Aranea to use Dragoon Dive with the Technique command and it costs 2 tech bars. Aranea downing enemies with Dragoon Dive can make enemies weak for Prompto to use his crackshot for critical damage.
Prompto can also use Starshell and Snapshot to light the battleground with flares and to take selfies in battle, like in the main game.
Ignis has access to two Techniques he does not have in the main game: High Jump, which acts similar to Aranea's Dragoon Dive at the cost of one tech bar; and Overclock, which increases the damage dealt by normal attacks for a short time based on one of three elements at the cost of two tech bars.
Additionally, while he acts as a guest party member, Ravus has a Technique known as Last Rites, which costs one tech bar, in which he empowers his artificial arm with electricity and releases a Thunder-elemental AOE attack.