Sephiroth and Cloud preparing a Synergy Ability in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
Image via Square Enix

How Synergy Abilities Work in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth (FF7 Rebirth)

Knowing how to use Synergy Abillities in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth makes the game much more fun.

Combat is even more complex in Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth, and knowing how the new Synergy Abilities work is essential to taking on the game’s toughest challenges. The mechanic is fairly straightforward, but there are a few nuances, and we’ll go over it all today.

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How Does the Synergy Ability System Work in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth?

In simple terms, a Synergy Ability in FF7 Rebirth is when two characters work together to attack an enemy. Each one has an additional effect and cost requirement, and they get more expensive to activate the more often they’re used. Now for the longer breakdown.

Spoiler alert: Before we go on, there are potential early-game and mechanical spoilers in this article. Read at your own risk.

When you’re in combat, you’ll earn ATB gauge, the two blue bars beneath your characters’ health bars. There are also five black “pips” beneath the ATB gauge and near the word “Limit.” At the start of a fight, all five pips will be greyed out. As you use ATB commands marked with a special symbol in the bottom left of the screen, you earn a single pip.

Gaining a Synergy Ability pip in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Once the two characters in the Synergy Ability have enough pips stored up (usually three, but sometimes five), they can work together to perform the Ability. You’ll lose control of them for the duration of the ability animation, or you can watch the cinematic action, though I recommend swapping to the third character in your party to keep the damage coming.

All Synergy Ability Buffs in FF7 Rebirth

Types of Synergy Abilities in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Each Synergy Ability comes with one of four powerful buffs.

Zero MP Cost

Zero MP Cost, as the name suggests, makes all magic cost zero MP for a few minutes. You’ll know it by the pink infinity symbol next to the two character portraits. Ideally, you’ll use these Synergy Abilities in the middle of combat when you need to heal or deal magic damage to affect your enemies. For instance, if a boss’s secondary body part has a specific elemental weakness you need to exploit, activating Zero MP Cost will let you freely affect the vulnerability and give the second character the ability to use your most powerful healing spells for nothing.

Limit Level Up

Marked by a golden gear with two arrows inside, the Limit Level Up Synergy Ability effect upgrades the Limit Break of the two characters. Cloud, for instance, gains the Ascension Limit if he and Red XIII use Savage Assault. Ascension is a slower but more powerful attack than his default Cross-Slash Limit. Other characters’ higher-level limits can also be party-wide buffs like Aerith’s Planet Protector, which renders the whole party temporarily immune to damage.

Extend Stagger

Marked by a red hourglass with a plus sign near it, Extend Stagger Synergy Abilities slow the degradation of an enemy’s stagger meter and increase the damage they take while staggered. You must be quick about using Extend Stagger, or know you have it saved up for when a boss is about to Stagger, giving you the opportunity to double or even triple your overall damage output.

Three ATB Bars

The fourth and final Synergy Ability buff, marked by three blue lines, is as simple as it is powerful. The two characters who use it gain a third, temporary ATB bar to their gauge. While it doesn’t fill any faster (to my knowledge), it does let you use one more ATB action at a full bar. The most powerful ATB abilities cost a maximum of two bars, so if you can hold off spending your gauge, you can use a character’s best attacks and still have some left in the tank.

Synergy Abilities are also great for dealing Limit Break-level damage without expending that valuable resource, and you’re much more likely to be able to use them multiple times in a fight. The caveat is after you use a Synergy Ability once, its cost increases by two pips. So a three-pip Ability suddenly costs five, and so on, though I don’t believe they go higher than seven.

That said, even the toughest boss fights in Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth only require that you use a particularly Synergy Ability twice. I was more fond of Zero MP use and Extend Stagger than the other two options, but any effect is powerful when used correctly.

How to Unlock More Synergy Abilities in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

Unlocking Synergy Ability Folios in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Synergy Abilities are a part of the Folio system in Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth, a skill tree each character can access. Unlocking new Synergies costs an increasing amount of SP as you progress down the tree, with the first few only asking five SP, but future ones costing as much as 20. Unlock new Folio levels by increasing your Party Level to access the later Abilities. And lastly, you need to progress through the tree to actually reach the node with the Ability on it.

In short, you won’t unlock every Synergy Ability from the get-go. SP is a scarce resource, awarded only for completing quests and in small amounts for completing open-world activities. You’ll need to choose wisely. I almost always prioritized new Synergy Abilities over incremental stat boosts, as I found the Abilities offered more engaging gameplay opportunities than 5% more to this or 3% more for that.

What are Synergy Skills and How are They Different in FF7 Rebirth?

The Synergy Skill menu in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Screenshot by GameSkinny

As if to complicate matters, FF7 Rebirth added the similarly named but functionally distinct Synergy Skills system to the combat mechanics. Their usage is much simpler than the Synergy Abilities. When you hold R1 to guard during combat, you can choose a Synergy Skill (also unlocked through Folios) for two characters to use.

You set the hotkey for each skill via the Combat Updates screen in the main menu. Then, during a fight, you can pull up the Synergy Skill menu with R1 and use any of the ones on your hotbar as often as you like. Unlike Synergy Abilities, the Skills cost nothing to use, giving you access to a free set of partner abilities to vary up combat.

Honeslty, though, I didn’t use them too often in my playthrough. Between all the magic, ATB and Synergy Abilities, and spells, I had more than enough to keep combat fast and fun. There were edge cases where the Skills came in handy, like giving Cloud a consistent ranged option or repositioning Aerith during a close-up encounter. Those instances were relatively rare, and while I was glad to have access to Synergy Skills, they seemed a bit superfluous to me. I would love to be proven wrong when Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth combat gets in the hands of a real pro.

And with that, you have everything you need to know about Synergy Abilities and Skills in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. For much more content to come, check out our guides hub for the game.


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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.