Cloud facing off against Sephiroth in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Image via Square Enix

Best Early Folio Upgrades for Each Character in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

Folios are one of the core progression systems in FInal Fantasy 7 Rebirth. Here are the best ones to unlock early.

Character progression in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth relies on a few factors, and Folios are the newest edition to the series. Made up of new abilities, stat boosts, and combat augmentations, knowing which Folio upgrades to unlock early will help your playthrough stay comfortable from beginning to end.

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Best Folio Upgardes to Unlock First in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

You can break down the best early Folio upgrades into two categories: those that every character should have, and those that specific characters should focus on. While every party member in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth shares some Skill Cores (the nodes on the Folio grid), not every character needs to actually unlock these shared abilities. That said, here’s the Folio Skill Core upgrade you should always unlock first:

  • Synergy Skills: Synergy Skills are essentially two-character Limit Breaks that also grant incredible if temporary, buffs to the two characters that use them. Using a Synergy Skill with Cloud involved also advances your relationship with his partner, so if you want to romance Tifa, any Synergy Skill where she and Cloud work together should be on your auto-unlock list.

Note that to unlock Synergy Skills, or any other Folio nodes, you need to not only collect enough Skill Points (SP) and level up your weapon. Folio and weapon upgrades are intrinsically linked in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, so as long as you’re progressing one, you’ll progress the other.

Best Early Folio Upgrades for Cloud

Cloud's Folio screen in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Cloud’s early Folio upgrades improve his ranged combat effectiveness, as well as giving a mild buff to his Punisher mode. I recommend nabbing every Skill Core in his first Folio section, then heading to the right line and unlocking:

  • Snow Flurry
  • Relentless Rush
  • Wildfire
  • Melee Blade
  • Formidable Counter

This line of progression will cost you around 100 SP to fully unlock but gives Cloud a solid damage increase, some easy-to-access ranged attacks in Snow Flurry and Ranged Blade (part of his starting section) and one of the best Synergy Abilities in the game. Melee Blade provides a powerful if slow, finisher or attack to use near the start of an enemy’s Stagger.

Best Early Folio Upgrades for Barret

Barret's Folio screen in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Screenshot by GameSkinny

For me, Barret took a flatter progression path than other characters, not favoring either side of his Folios. Instead, I kept mostly to the middle section leading up the page, making a kind of bar straight up rather than lines in one direction. His best early Folio unlocks are:

  • Iron Defense
  • Fiery Impulse/Max HP Up
  • Avalanche Two-Step
  • Selfish Recovery Boost
  • Overload Overcharge

This progression path opens up both sides of Barret’s Folios, allowing you to head up the right side or go back down to the Mad Dash Synergy Skill. Alternatively, you can go the other way, but my main goal with this unlock strategy was to get to Overload Overcharge. The 10% reduction to Overcharge’s cooldown really does stack up with future Folio upgrades, and the ability is fantastic for building ATB and dealing good damage alongside.

Best Early Folio Upgrades for Tifa

Tifa's Folio screen in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Tifa is a close-range fighter first and foremost, so any upgrade to her melee capabilities is welcome. That’s why I recommend heading to the left portion of her Folios first. You’ll see some modest bonuses to her bread-and-butter abilities, as well as go a good way toward improving her ATB buildup. Here’s my ideal progression for Tifa’s Folios:

  • Synchro Cyclone
  • Enhanced Techniques
  • Slip and Slide
  • Opening ATB Bonus
  • ATB Charge Rate Up
  • Weapon Ability ATB Recovery

Filling the last node opens up her right side path, and you’ll have quick access to the powerful Martial Arts Mastery Skill Core: a massive 50% increase to the duration of her Unbridled Strength state. It also ensures you have another of the best early Synergy abilities in the game, plus a command counter in Slip and Slide.

Best Early Folio Upgrades for Aerith

Aerith's Folio screen in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Screenshot by GameSkinny

As much as I want to recommend the right-hand path for Aerith and the Sweet-and-Sour Salvo Synergy Ability, I think you can save that progression for later in the game. Instead, the left side of her Folios provides many better improvements for her kit that will serve for hours to come. The progression in particular is:

  • Divine Punishment
  • Jet Stream
  • Combat Savior
  • Enhanced Tempest
  • Enduring Ward
  • MATK Up

These first few unlocks not only go a long way to improving Aerith’s base damage output, MATK Up increases her Magic Attack, and thus her spellcasting damage, by a notable 20 points. You’ll also be close to the Altruistic Recovery Boost for making her healing better. All roads do lead to her Transcendence special ability, so once you’re satisfied with her left-side progression, beeline it for the most stylish Synergy Ability in the game: Sweet-and-Sour Salvo.

Best Early Folio Upgrades for Red XIII

Red XIII's Folio screen in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Left side progression is kind of my theme for best early Folio upgrades in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, because in my mind, heading left first is also the best option for Red XIII. Not only do you get a solid Synergy Ability off the bat, but you also get a command counter, several attack options, and a buff to his unique ability. The path I recommend is:

  • Overfang
  • Enhanced Counterspin
  • Phantom Fang
  • Enduring Vengeance
  • Vengeful Guardian
  • Snow Flurry
  • Wildfire

I know this isn’t so much a path as it is scattershot, but the buff Enduring Vengeance and Vengeful Guardian give to Red XIII’s unique ability is really too good to pass up. Adding both Snowflurry and Wildfire also ensures he always has access to two of the most common elemental weaknesses in the game.

There are, of course, more characters available to play in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, and I’ll be updating the guide in a few days when more people have found and experienced those characters. In the meantime, enjoy the game to its fullest, and check out our Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth guides hub for more.


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Author
John Schutt
John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.