Final Fantasy Explorers Guide: Beginner Tips and Tricks

Check this guide out for everything you need to get started in Final Fantasy Explorers for Nintendo 3DS!

Final Fantasy Explorers is a different type of Final Fantasy game. It still has the feel of past games and 20 jobs/classes to choose from, but it plays more like Monster Hunter or Phantasy Star Online.

I'll help you by letting you know everything you need to get started in this unique Final Fantasy game. There are several tutorials/quests and even after completing the main story, you'll need to play for a while to unlock everything.

This guide will go over everything you need to know when starting Final Fantasy Explorers including:

  • Game Basics and Controls - How the game works and controls for playing.
  • Quests - The different types of quests and how they work.
  • Libertas - The main city and what you can do there.
  • Combat Info - Details on how combat works in this game, including abilities and Resonance.
  • Jobs Info - Details on the class system, called Jobs, including switching, armor, and combat roles.

Game Basics and Controls

Unlike most Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy Explorers has you move an attack in real time and not take turns. Below are some basic controls to get you started.

  • Normal Attack - Y
  • Sprint - Circle pad and B
  • Move - Circle pad
  • Rotate/Tilt Camera - Control pad
  • Zoom - Hold L then press up or down on the control pad.
    • You can also reset the camera by pressing L.
  • Lock/Unlock Camera - R
  • Use abilities - Hold L or R to bring up abilities, then either A,B, X, or Y to use them.

The upper screen shows your HP, AP, Resonance gauge, Trance gauge, and time limit.

The colors of the numbers displayed in combat mean different things:

  • Red - Damage your character takes.
  • White - Damage you deal to the enemy.
  • Pink - Critical hit damage.
  • Green - Recovered HP.
  • Yellow - Recovered AP.

The message, "Heads Up!" is displayed when you are targeted by a strong monster or eidolon.


Quests unlock most things in the game and gives you rewards for completing them. Each quest has a time limit, and you can't switch Jobs when you go to the quest area.

You get bonus rewards based on how fast you complete a quest and how many times you needed to revive. If time runs out, the quest automatically fails. If you fail a mission, you can keep any items you found during the quest, but you don't get the completion rewards.

Final Fantasy Explorers quests

Tutorial Quests

These are first quests you can get. They describe the basics of the game and can only be done solo.

Main Quests

These quests advance the story and have certain requirements you must fulfill before you can take them. Any prerequisites you haven't met yet are displayed in red.


These are side quests you can complete while doing main quests, or on their own. Quests such as delivering certain items can be turned in immediately if you already have the required items. When you complete one, just select report Subquests as Complete.

Subquests reward CP, but costs gil, so keep that in mind when choosing which ones to take.

You can play co-op with up to 3 other players by selecting Play mode from the touch screen. Certain quests or area may not be available to you if you have not progressed far enough in the story.


There many things to do in Libertas, including shopping, crafting, getting quests, and buying abilities.

Quest Desk

This is where you will pick up quests. Quests cost gil to take, so be sure to save enough so you can actually do them.

Order Desk

You can address StreetPass settings here and issue assignments to ally monsters, which are players you've exchanged licenses with. Assignments are quests and you can only send them on one at a time.

When time is up, the assignment is completed, and you can select a new one. Up to 8 can be sent on a single assignment.


Come here to buy and sell items. Inventory is updated as you complete quests.


You can make new equipment as well as upgrade them. Each weapon and piece of armor has stats and traits, which you can upgrade here.

Central Crystal 

This is where you can spend CP to learn abilities. This is also where you select Custom Abilities, which are abilities you get from Mutations. You can only hold up to 300 custom abilities, then you must overwrite an ability to make room for a new one. You can set custom abilities as "Keepers" to make sure they don't get overwritten.


You can spend gil or play coins to get an effect from the fortune-teller. Only one can be used at a time, and the effect ends after the next quest ends.

Migrant Moogle Merchant

This appears randomly when you return to town from a quest. They sell rare items for gil or play coins.

Monster Lab

You unlock this as you progress through the game. You can use atmaliths you gain from enemy monsters to create an ally monster. Ally monsters can be used in place of other players when doing quests.

Combat Info

When in the field, you can move around freely, attack enemies, and use abilities without taking turns. Enemies also won't have to wait so be alert.

You can use normal attacks by pressing Y, which also recovers AP. AP is used for abilities and sprinting so don't do too much of either without mixing in normal attacks.

When you defeat enemies, an orb may appear that contains materials. This is called a drop item and has 3 different levels of rarity: Blue, Purple, and Orange. You can also get materials from certain scavenging spots in the field.

Monster Malice is the attention you have on an enemy. This is called threat or aggro in other games. When in a group, the person with the most malice is the person the monster will most likely attack. You can increase this by attacking enemies or healing allies.


You can have up to 8 abilities assigned, 4 assigned to R and 4 assigned to L. Each ability has a "Load" and you can't go over your maximum load. This means that some powerful abilities will take up a lot and you'll have to have less than 8 abilities.

Whenever you use an ability, there is a cooldown. This is the time you must wait until you can use the ability again. Each ability has its own cooldown and stronger abilities may have longer cooldown times.

You can learn new abilities by spending CP, Crystal Points, at the Central Crystal in Libertas.

Resonance and Crystal Surge

Your Resonance gauge fills up as you continue to use abilities. It will go down if you continue to use only normal attacks. The abilities must either hit an enemy or affect an ally.

When you fill the gauge enough, Crystal Surge becomes available. Press L and R at the same time to bring up your list of Crystal Surges, then X, A, B, or Y to use one. Each one does something different and can cause "Mutations" on certain abilities.

Mutations change your ability to a custom ability, which you can also buy from the Central Crystal once you've unlocked it. While in Crystal Surge, look for the display to change on one of your abilities.

If you use an ability that has a different display, you have a chance of using a mutated version of this ability. If this happens, you unlock this new version of the ability for purchase.

Final Fantasy Explorers Mutated abilities

You can change the base ability to the mutated one once you buy it. If you unlock more than one mutated ability for the same base ability, you can only assign one of them at a time. Check my Mutations List for all the Mutations and Crystal Surges that give them

Elements and Affinities

There are 12 elements or affinities your abilities can have and they can also inflict certain status effects.

  • Slash - Inflicts Death
    • Death - KO's the target
  • Strike - Inflicts Confusion
    • Confusion - Mixes up movement directions
  • Thrust - Inflicts Fog
    • Fog - Prevents use of physical abilities
  • Shot - Inflicts Disable
    • Disable - Prevent all actions except movement
  • Fire - Inflicts Burn
    • Burn - Inflicts damage over time reduces defenses
  • Ice - Inflicts Freeze
    • Freeze - Prevents all actions
  • Thunder - Inflicts Paralysis
    • Paralysis - Prevents all actions except for movement, and lowers movement speed.
  • Earth - Inflicts Immobilize
    • Immobilize - Stops all movement
  • Wind - Inflicts Sleep
    • Sleep - Prevents all actions
  • Water - Inflicts Silence
    • Silence - Prevents use of magical abilities
  • Light - Inflicts Slow
    • Slow - Reduces movement speed.
  • Dark - Inflicts Blind
    • Blind - Reduces accuracy of all attacks.

Jobs Info

There are 21 jobs, or classes, to choose from in Final Fantasy Explorers. Most of them must be unlocked and will take a while to do so. Each job has unique traits, abilities, certain stats, and can wear certain equipment.

You can change jobs anytime you are in Libertas. But not in the field. You can also save up to 20 "Presets" to make switching easier. Select manage presets, and you can save the job, abilities, and equipment to one of the 20 slots. This makes it much easier to switch jobs without the need to equip abilities and equipment every time.

Final Fantasy Explorers Job Presets

Before going on, below is a list of all the jobs you can unlock in the game. Check this Reddit post for the unlock requirements.

  • Freelancer - No special qualities, but more freedom in what abilities and gear they can equip.
  • Knight - Can use defensive abilities and defend allies.
  • Thief - Can steal items.
  • Dark Knight - Hard hitting damage job and can use scythes.
  • Ranger - Uses a bow for long-range attacks. 
  • Bard - Plays songs to support allies.
  • Ninja - High speed, evasion, and skills to enhance their combat.
  • Paladin - High defense like Knights, but use magical abilities as well as physical ones.
  • Monk - Low defense, but high attack with fist weapons. Can charge up abilities for more damage.
  • Dragoon - Uses Jump attacks to leap high into the air and come down at high speeds.
  • Sage - Very high attack and healing. Can charge up their abilities for more damage or healing.
  • Machinist - Uses a gun for long-range attacks.
  • Alchemist - Can combine items to attack, heal, and more.
  • Beast Master - Slow attack speed, but high damage with axes.
  • White Mage - Uses healing and support magic.
  • Red Mage - Uses swords and both black and white magic. 
  • Time Mage - Can support allies or cripple enemies with time magic.
  • Geomancer - Can use spells that change the terrain.
  • Samurai - Can charge and release for power attack and reduced weapon skill cooldowns.

Each job can be mastered for extra benefits. Check out my guide on How to Master Jobs for more info.

Combat Roles

Each job can fulfill one or more of the 4 combat roles:

  • Damager - Focuses on attacking the enemy with high damage.
  • Tank - Focuses on getting malice from the enemy and defending allies.
  • Healer - Focusing on keeping allies alive by healing them.
  • Booster - Focuses on supporting allies or crippling enemies.

That wraps up my Beginner Tips and tricks for Final Fantasy Explorers. Let me know if you have any questions and check back for more detailed guides for many of the features in this game!

Published Jan. 26th 2016
View Comments
  • Bob_4136
    Skimmed all of your FFe guides for some info, Great stuff. It's really appreciated
  • Synzer
    Guide Editor
    Thank you. I'll be adding more Job guides throughout the week.
  • Josh_2052
    Nice breakdown. Keep it up!
  • Synzer
    Guide Editor
    Thanks, glad I could help.

Cached - article_comments_article_33415
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