Final Fantasy XIII - Guide To Effective Levelling & The Crystarium
The Final Fantasy XIII levelling system is at first a cluttered mess of stunted growth and story controlled character evolution. This guide provides the information you need to better understand this system and why it isn' that complex after all.
How To Level Up In Final Fantasy XIII
Levelling in Final Fantasy is usually dictated by an ever increasing number of experience points. These points can be accumulated through winning battles or in some special cases, awarded for opening chests or completing specific missions or jobs in the game-world. Final Fantasy XIII heralds a departure from the linear level progression of previous titles in the series, as it introduces the Crystarium and uses contextually imposed plot points to strengthen each of the six main characters. This article details this new system, trying to provide an effective Final Fantasy XIII levelling guide to help players become accustomed to the system.
Final Fantasy XIII - Levelling Guide
As mentioned above, the new Final Fantasy XIII levelling system plays out during the course of the campaign story. Players will notice that after an event battle or the end of a chapter, new abilities will unlock in the Crystarium or technique and ATB slots will increase beyond their previous maximum number. As part of this procedurally controlled evolution of the player character, different classes and paradigm roles will become available, in order to balance the mashup parties you control before chapter 11. For an example of this, note when Sazh learns the Commando role after he and Vanilla are left behind by Lightning & Hope during chapter 4.
The Crystarium -- in a similar fashion to the Sphere Grid of Final Fantasy X -- is the sub-menu in which players will level and choose which of their characters abilities to unlock. Unlike the Sphere Grid however, the Crystarium has a separate skill tree for each role the character can take on. For instance, around Chapter 5 or 6, Lightning can level up one of three Crystarium trees -- Commando, Ravager and Medic. Perhaps the most important thing to understand and get correct is the choice of which roles to level up and by how much as some event battles may require a specific ability to help you overcome them.
Final Fantasy XIII - Crystarium Details & Guide
Continuing the similarities with the Sphere Grid system, Final Fantasy XIII levelling is governed by accumulated Crystarium Points or CP. These are spent on travelling along a fairly linear path to unlock new abilities, health boosts or upgraded physical and magical damage. The linearity is offset with a few alternate paths to navigate, however these are often superficial by nature. As role levels are raised periodically due to plot progression, players will notice the rising incline in required CP to advance through the Crystarium. To help with this, a series of missions can be undertaken which dole out a healthy CP return and some items that enhance the experience of the game.
During chapter 10, party members are given the option of using more than the original three job roles they have levelled to that point, with the other three being unlocked for each of them. This means that Lightning, who is assigned the Commando, Ravager and Medic roles, can learn abilities and advance along the Crystarium tree for the other classes of Sentinel, Saboteur and Synergist. These three unlocked roles are even more linear than their forebears and proceed along a straight path almost without fail. Sinking points into them may not be the best option, but having a settled party of three when chapter 11 comes round can work well.