Sephiroth brandishing the Masamune katana in Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth
Screenshot by GameSkinny

How to Unlock Abilities & Weapons Abilities in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth (FF7 Rebirth)

Unlocking weapon abilities in Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth is pretty simple, but there are a few tricks. Here's how.

There are a lot of small but valuable mechanics in Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth, and one of the most important is the ability to learn new weapon abilities. Knowing how to add a new command to your selection immediately broadens the horizons of combat. Here’s everything you need to know about unlocking abilities in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.

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How to Unlock Weapon Abilities in FF7 Rebirth

Every weapon your party members can equip comes with a keyed ATB ability, and mastering these abilities permanently unlocks them for use whether you have the weapon equipped or not. Achieving mastery of a weapon’s ability is fairly easy. In the simplest terms, to unlock a new ability, you use it in combat.

A weapon menu screen in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Screenshot by GameSkinny

There is, of course, more to it. While each successful use of an ability grants a portion of mastery experience, unless you take certain steps, you’ll need to use the ability almost a dozen times across multiple fights. Instead, when you go to equip a weapon, look for the Proficiency Bonus trait underneath the tutorial video. Completing the Proficiency Bonus task will increase the amount of mastery experience you earn. The bonus is enough that you can effectively cut your unlock time in half.

How to Check Weapon Ability Progress

To track your progress toward unlocking a weapon’s ability, keep an eye on a couple of UI elements. First and foremost, when you’re in combat, the ability you’re currently training will be marked by a blue dot in the ATB command menu.

The weapon ability mastery UI element in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Screenshot by GameSkinny

You should also check the weapon equip screen. When you go to change weapons, there’s a progress bar underneath the weapon’s name. You can track how much a single usage or fight earns you toward mastering the ability. Be aware that each skill unlocks at a different rate, usually based on its relative power. Cloud’s Focus Thrust, for instance, doesn’t take much to master; some later-game abilities take much longer.

The Best Way to Unlock Weapon Abilities

A world boss in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Screenshot by GameSkinny

As for the fastest way to unlock weapon abilities, I almost always got most of mine done against bosses or boss-level enemies. In particular, you can fight and refight the Confidential Foes you unlock by completing every Combat Intel activity in a region. These higher-tier foes take quite a bit more to defeat, and you can fight them as many times as you like once you beat them the first time, allowing you to focus on specific Proficiency Bonus tasks.

Don’t be afraid to farm weapon ability progress in easier fights, either. If an ability needs Staggered enemy hits for a bonus, it doesn’t matter whether that enemy is a boss or an evil weed. The experience reward is the same.

Finally, you’ll know you’ve unlocked an ability when the progress bar in the weapon is full and has a checkmark at the end. Again, so long as you’ve mastered an ability, it’s usable whether you have its keyed weapon equipped or not.

And that’s everything you need to know about unlocking weapon abilities in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. It’s a fairly simple system with some significant nuance if you want to get into the weeds. For more content on the game, check out our Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth guides hub.


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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.