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Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Leveling Materia Fast

Nathan Garvin

Glowing orbs of magical goodness, the various types of materia in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth govern a myriad of combat mechanics. Magical healing, attacks, buffs, debuffs, commands like assess, morph and steal, passive stat boosts, summons, and more - they’re all gained by equipping materia. Needless to say, they’re a gameplay element of tremendous importance, and what materia you’ve got equipped is a major strategic consideration. That said, getting the most out of your materia isn’t as simple as inserting it into weapon and armor sockets - materia can be leveled, increasing its potency, number of uses allowed per battle, or granting access to a wider range of spells. This page will cover how leveling materia works in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

Defeating enemies will earn you AP… usually only a few points of AP per foe. Grinding AP can be a slow, deliberate process.

How Earning AP and Leveling Materia Works

Every time you win a battle, you’ll gain XP and AP, with the former leveling your characters and the latter leveling any equipped materia. Leveling materia is usually a long-term process, and while most enemies respawn or otherwise can be fought again, you’re generally pulling 1-3 AP per enemy. Only equipped materia gains AP, but that materia doesn’t need to be equipped by active party members - as long as the materia is equipped on any frontline or backline character, it’ll gain AP from the fight. To that end, make sure all your materia sockets are filled at all times, otherwise you’re just wasting any potential gains. This AP is split evenly among all characters and materia, no matter how much you have equipped. If you kill an enemy worth 2 AP, all equipped materia on all characters will gain 2 AP… weapons and armor growth rates notwithstanding, but we’ll get to that shortly.

When an orb of materia gains enough AP, it’ll level up, as indicated by a number of stars under the materia’s name in your inventory. The max level of an orb of materia and the AP it takes to level up varies by type, and there’s no set pattern. Rarer, more powerful materia tends to take more AP to level up than common materia, and some materia can’t be leveled up at all! Generally, however, you’re looking at over 1,000 AP to master even common magic materia, while higher tier materia could take thousands of AP to master.

What each materia does when leveled is also variable by time. Most magic materia simply unlocks more spells as it levels, sometimes these are higher tier variants of the same archetype ("Fire" iconFire, Fira, and Firaga are, from weakest to strongest, all fire elemental attack spells) while others unlock different types of spells fitting the equipped materia’s theme. "Fortification Materia" iconFortification Materia, for example, starts with "Protect" iconProtect at Lv 1 and unlocks "Shell" iconShell at Lv 2, which reduces incoming physical and magical damage, respectively. Other materia, like some Command, Support, and Complete materia gain potency when leveled; Chakra and Prayer heal more HP, Assess scans all enemies at once, HP Up increases HP gains, Magnify reduces the penalty to linked spell potency, etc. Be sure to read the text on the right of the screen while examining materia to know what, exactly, leveling it will do.

(1 of 2) Different materia has different max levels, AP costs per level, and effects from leveling. Compare Assess, which only has two levels and gains expanded range when hitting Lv 2,

Different materia has different max levels, AP costs per level, and effects from leveling. Compare Assess, which only has two levels and gains expanded range when hitting Lv 2, (left), to Lightning and Wind Materia, which has more levels, much higher AP costs, and unlocks higher tier thunder and wind spells as it levels. (right)

How to Farm AP - Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

If you really need to level up some materia it may be worth noting which enemies yield more AP and considering how much time and bother it takes to clear encounters. Once you find some enemies that yield a satisfactory amount of AP per fight, which you can clear quickly, just make runs - you’ll generally want to find several groups of enemies you can run between in a large area to give mobs time to respawn as you run between them. While simple, the idea of grinding battles over and over again to farm AP isn’t terribly satisfactory, but there are some things to be aware of that can help you maximize your gains and avoid wasting as much time as possible.

First, you probably shouldn’t grind AP early or often. The further you progress into the game, the more materia you’ll unlock and there’s an obvious correlation between game progress and materia quality/rarity. If you waste time farming AP every time you get a new orb of materia, you’ll be at it forever - best to wait until you’ve got a bunch of promising new materia to level.

(1 of 2) Different weapons and armor have variable materia sockets and growth rates, and rarer, higher quality weapons and armor will be better for leveling materia.

Different weapons and armor have variable materia sockets and growth rates, and rarer, higher quality weapons and armor will be better for leveling materia. (left), All characters, whether in the frontline or backline, gain AP for all equipped materia. Your preferred fighters don’t have to be responsible for leveling all your materia! (right)

Second, some weapons and armor may increase the growth rate of equipped materia and/or have more materia sockets, both of which will allow you to either quickly level choice materia or level a variety of materia all at once, respectively. There’s usually a tradeoff between growth rate and materia sockets, so don’t expect to find any six-socket, triple-growth rate armor. On the other hand, there’s also a correlation between game progress and armor quality, and regardless of whether you’d prefer to speed-level a few materia or slowly level an entire arsenal, you won’t have either option early on, when you’re stuck with 2-3 socket weapons and armor.

Materia Penalties

Not only are the best weapons and armor for leveling materia not likely to be found early-game, but the best weapons and armor for combat and for leveling aren’t always the same thing. Also, some materia just isn’t very good until it’s leveled a bit; case in point, hybrid materia like "Lightning and Wind Materia" iconLightning and Wind Materia or materia with heavy downsides like "Magnify Materia" iconMagnify Materia. It’s a big ask to go back to low-tier spells like Thunder when your pedestrian Thunder Materia has unlocked Thundara, and it’s really hard to overcome Magnify Materia’s whopping -60% potency penalty at Lv1. The solution to both these problems is simple: use inactive party members as your primary materia farms while keeping your active party fit for battle.

With that in mind, you should have a more balanced approach to leveling materia - knowing both when and how to grind more efficiently can give you a serious advantage in the long term without slowing your progress to a crawl!

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Square Enix
  • Platforms,
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    15 February 2024
  • Last Updated
    11 July 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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The second in a trio of games, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth continues with the epic retelling of the original Final Fantasy VII story. Follow Cloud Strife and company, as they chase Sephiroth, after the events that unfolded in the city of Midgar. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will contain the same action-based combat system introduced in Remake, with additions to keep it fresh. To help you along the way, this guide plans to contain the following content:

  • Breakdown of gameplay elements and combat mechanics
  • Detailed guides on how to play every playable character
  • Boss strategies for those who might be struggling
  • Walkthroughs for the harder-to-complete Side Quests
  • Locations of any and all Collectibles
  • Extensive list of all Minigames, with thorough guides on all of them
  • Roadmap and guide on how to unlock the coveted Platinum Trophy

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