FF16 – How To Unlock Final Fantasy Mode

Unlocking Final Fantasy Mode in Final Fantasy XVI provides the ultimate challenge for players seeking an intense gameplay experience. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to unlock Final Fantasy Mode, the highest story difficulty in the game.

Additionally, we will provide strategies and recommended equipment to help you navigate this demanding mode, including tips for defeating enemies and bosses. Get ready to embark on an exhilarating adventure in Final Fantasy XVI with our comprehensive Final Fantasy Mode guide.

How To Unlock Final Fantasy Mode in Final Fantasy 16

To access Final Fantasy Mode, the most challenging story difficulty in Final Fantasy XVI, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Complete the main story on any difficulty level, including the easiest one called “Story Focused.”
  2. After finishing the story, the game will prompt you to create a “Clear Save.” Save your progress in a Manual Save Slot.
  3. Return to the Title Screen and select “New Game+.”
  4. Choose “FINAL FANTASY MODE” from the available options.
  5. A screen will appear, asking you to import your “Clear Save” from the first playthrough. This save file will have a Star-Icon and a trophy next to it. Load this save to import your progress from the previous playthrough.
  6. New Game+ will now commence in FINAL FANTASY MODE, and the Prologue will be automatically skipped in this mode.

It’s important to note that Final Fantasy Mode can only be accessed through New Game+. It is not available in a fresh playthrough. If you don’t have a “Clear Save,” you must reload the most recent save and defeat the final boss again.

What Sets Final Fantasy Mode Apart?

Final Fantasy Mode introduces several differences and challenges compared to other difficulty levels:

  1. Enemies possess significantly increased health and deal more significant damage.
  2. The Prologue section of the game is not available in Final Fantasy Mode, saving you from replaying the initial hour of the story.
  3. Weapons, armor, and accessories can be upgraded further. As you progress through the story, stronger blueprints become available at the Blacksmith.
  4. Keep an eye out for the yellow icon indicating new items.

It’s worth mentioning that an even higher difficulty called “Ultimaniac” exists in the Arcade Mode of New Game+. This mode allows you to replay specific story sections in the most challenging setting. However, it is exclusively available in the Arcade and cannot be accessed in the first playthrough.

Top Strategies for Final Fantasy Mode

In Final Fantasy Mode, you can use “Cheat Rings” without affecting your trophy progress. Equipping the Autododge Ring can make the mode considerably easier. However, if you prefer a more authentic experience, you can choose not to use any assist rings.

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Here are some recommended strategies and equipment for Final Fantasy Mode:

Recommended Equipment:

  • Ring of Timely Evasion (Autododge)
  • On Fortune and the Heavens (+15% XP) – Upgrade to “On Fortune and Heavens II” (+30% EXP) by combining two identical rings (unlocks in Main Quest #37: After the Storm).
  • Any third accessory of your choice. Good options include Genji Gloves (+5% damage), Ring of Timely Assistance (Torgal Autoassist), or The Wages of Warcraft (+20% AP) to reduce AP grinding.
  • Craft Gotterdammerung before starting New Game+ to have it from the beginning.
  • In New Game+, watch for the blacksmith’s yellow marker between main quests, indicating new, more robust gear available for crafting.
Recommended Eikons (summons):
  • Phoenix: Use Rising Flames and Scarlet Cyclone.
  • Titan: Utilize Diamond Dust and Upheaval.
  • Odin: Combine Dancing Steel and Gigaflare.

Recommended Strategy:

Against Groups:
  • Use Odin’s Zanetsuken Level 5 to eliminate weak enemies with one hit instantly. You can charge it quickly to Levels 3-4 by using Dancing Steel. Then, press the circle button with Odin Eikon to attack Odin’s Blade and reach Level 5—reserve other abilities for high-health single enemies.
Against Bosses:
  • Execute the following combo: Diamond Dust -> Upheaval -> Scarlet Cyclone -> Dancing Steel -> Press the circle button to attack with Odin Blade and stagger the enemy -> When staggered, unleash Level 5 Zanetsuken -> Press L3 + R3 for the Limit Break -> Gigaflare -> Dancing Steel -> Zanetsuken Level 5 again -> Rising Flames -> Scarlet Cyclone -> Diamond Dust -> Upheaval -> Repeat.

This combination creates a loop that deals 150,000+ damage during a single stagger. Diamond Dust, Upheaval, and Scarlet Cyclone reduce the enemy’s will gauge.

Ensure you have Level 5 Zanetsuken ready before staggering the enemy to unleash severe damage, then immediately recharge and reuse it. All abilities continue recharging while using Dancing Steel, Zanetsuken, Gigaflare, and Diamond Dust.

You are immune to damage during these moves, so you can wait for abilities to recharge instead of constantly attacking.


Remember that Autododge won’t function during a Phase Shift (circle button with Phoenix), Lunge (X + square buttons), or certain air combos. Therefore, avoid using those moves. Always stock up on potions between main quests.

If you acquired all the upgrades in the first playthrough, you can hold 8 Potions, 5 High Potions, 2 Elixirs, and 4 Strength/Stoneskin Tonics.

That covers essential information about Final Fantasy Mode’s operation in Final Fantasy XVI (FF 16).

Last Updated on June 22, 2023

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