Home > Final Fantasy XIII, Guide > Final Fantasy XIII Guide to Combat and Paradigm

Final Fantasy XIII Guide to Combat and Paradigm

Some of you may think that either the FFXIII battle system is too tough, due to all the paradigm shifts and combos, or too easy, due to the auto battle option. Even if you think you got the perfect strategy, here is a few tips so you can enjoy, dominate, and get the high battle rankings in Square Enix’s FFXIII

Building You Paradigms

The first thing that you want to do is set up your party’s paradigms before going into battle (you may need to do this every time your party switches characters). To set up the best paradigms you will need to be diverse. Set up ones that have at least 2 attackers, a commando and ravager will work fine, and a medic. Then make your combo building team, this should consist of mostly ravagers, and maybe a commando to make the enemy’s chain gauge go down slower (if you did not know, non-elemental attacks make the enemy’s chain gauge go down slower than using elemental attacks). Then make your defense (if you have access to snow, you can still do this with out him but it will not be very worth while to have no one attacking), your defense should consist of a sentinel, a healer, and an attacker so that you are not completely useless while in this paradigm. After that, make your full out attack paradigm, this should consist of all attackers, so be it commandos or ravagers. Once you do this, follow the same idea but mix it up with characters (as in don’t have Hope or Vanille as the medic all the time) and you might also want to make a support class that is made up of whatever you would like with one saboteur.  This class group should only be switched to a couple of time so the saboteur can cast whatever spell they need to and be done.

Applying Paradigms In Combat

There are five main battle situations that you can get into, which are: Single or small group of enemies, Large group of enemies. Mini Bosses, Bosses, and Eidolons. I will tell you how to maximize your potential for each of these four situations.

Single or Small Group of Enemies

If you run into this, you do not have to worry much. Just weaken the enemies up with a simple attacker-attacker-medic (or if you have only 2 people in your party, attacker-medic) and once you have weakened or taken out a few of the guys, or if you only are facing one simple enemy, launch a full assault. You should not have much trouble unless you are facing one of the more difficult enemies, if so, defend until they use a powerful attack and fully attack for a little while rinse and repeat. If it is an enemy that you have not faced before, I would suggest that you use Libra, just to get information on it.

Large Group Of Enemies

If you face this situation I would suggest holding a defensive paradigm, unless all of your enemies are weak, in that case use the regular attacker-attacker-medic combo. Once you gradually defeat most of the enemies, change to your all out attack paradigm using potions to heal if necessary. Another good strategy is to use an Eidolon, this will clear out most of them or possibly rid of all of them. Again, if you are facing an unknown enemy type, use Libra.

Mini Bosses

Throughout your journey you will encounter many very big and very tough mini bosses. These can range from the common Behemoth to a Giant Mushroom. These powerful foes will seem easier than a regular boss, but don’t be fooled again, they can  become even more challenging than that of their next level companions (if you did not get that metaphor, it meant regular bosses). Mini Bosses, like all tough enemies, have at least one super attack that can be devastating if you do not have your party members leveled up enough. If you have three members in your party, the best thing would be to hold defensive positions until the mini boss uses it’s powerful attack, then switch to your chain paradigm to make the foe stagger. Once you have done so launch your full out assault, but remember your enemy still has it’s super powerful attack. If you think your main person, the character that you are controlling, can take the powerful attack, then keep on with your full assault until you are attacked with the enemy’s best move. Once your opposition has done so, get back to your defensive stance, heal up, and attack again. It should only take about one stagger to kill the mini boss. If not, consider leveling up your guys more.


Usually at the end of levels, chapters, acts, ect. there will be a boss. Said bosses are TOUGH. You can count on the boss battles to take a long time due to the fact that a lot of bosses have more than one form. The first thing that you should do before going into a boss battle is gear up, make sure you have all the crystarium stuff you want, and make sure you have the right equipment. As you enter the battle you are never going to have already seen the boss, so use Libra. Using Libra will tell you how much HP the boss has and what attacks do what. Use the bosses weakness to build up chain attacks and make it stagger. For full on boss fights you should use the mini boss strategy as it also works with bosses. Bosses have a tendancy to use a lot of powerful attacks really fast. I would suggest that you make a balanced paradigm before going into a fight with a boss. This paradigm would constist of a defender and two attackers, or if you want to be really safe you can just use your defense paradigm that should have a sentinel, a healer, and an attacker. If the boss has multiple magic weaknesses, you should use a ravager that has a bunch of magic to choose from as your attacker. Once the boss attacks, go to your chain paradigm and eat away at his chain gauge, once it is about half way, change to a paradigm that has two attackers and a medic. The two attackers will chip away at whatever of the chain gauge the boss has left and the medic will heal any incoming attacks. If you suspect that a super powerful attack is incoming, switch back to your defensive stance. The boss will show signs of using a powerful attack, the signs will be something like them pulling back or charging energy. While the boss does that, switch do your chain paradigm and by this time, the boss’s chain gauge should be almost full. Once you stagger the boss launch an all out assault, using the boss’s weaknesses against him. Sometimes if you stagger the boss while it is charging for a super attack, it will stop the super attack, giving you and your party members a break. Once the boss’s stagger state is over, go back to defense, rinse and repeat. A typical boss fight should take you one or two staggers to beat them. Follow this, and you should not be taking 5 times to beat a boss ever again.


Over the course of the game, you will run into the traditional FF summons now known as Eidolons. These bosses are summons, but act as a party member, fighting along side you until you activate gestalt mode where your summon will turn into a completely different state letting you control it and letting you launch devastating attacks on you enemies. When you encounter an Eidolon, use Libra and read the description on the bottom. Follow that and it will be a sure fire way to fill up the gestalt bar above the Eidolon’s head. You can use other tactics to win the Eidolon over, but that will take you much longer and you do have a doom counter ticking down. For example: the first Eidolon you get is the Shiva sisters. These Eidolons require you do defend and endure the attacks they throw at you. Once  you do that, the Eidolon is yours to summon anytime during battle as long as you have enough TP (technical points, which are also used to cast Libra, and other sorts of techniques).

Other Battle Tips

  • Don’t be afraid to use the aerosols, they are especially helpful when you encounter mini bosses or bosses.
  • If you keep getting killed by the same mini boss or boss, or just plain enemy, backtrack and get some more CP to level up your guy’s stats. Once you do that you can go back and beat that boss.
  • Make your party diverse. Once you have access to the ability to change your party members, make them diverse. My favored party is Snow, Lightning, and Hope.
  • You may miss the upgrade shop, but use it. leveling up weapons can be pointless early on because you will just get new, more powerful weapons as you go on. So early on, upgrade your accessories, they will be especially helpful.
  • While using you CP, don’t automatically go for the next class level or the next skill. Use your CP wisely and rather go for the pluses in magic, strength, or HP.
  • Use Libra. It may seem stupid, but it can be very helpful on tougher enemies. Remember, an enemy’s weakness does not only do more damage, it fills up their chain gauge faster.

I hope this helps. If you have anything you would like to say or if you would like to submit a tip, post it in the comments. Any feedback will be greatly accepted.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: