Final Fantasy X remains one of the most iconic and best games in the entire series. It boasts excellent turn-based combat with a system that rewards players who take the time to optimize their characters. The world is linear but there are many secrets to find. Not to mention that every location is gorgeous and fantastical. When you think about what makes a Final Fantasy game good, many of the characteristics of Final Fantasy X come to mind. It's a genre-defining video game in the long-running franchise.
While Final Fantasy X is a very accessible game (for the main story), there are more advanced tricks and strategies hidden away. Understanding these mechanics will be crucial if you wish to conquer the end game content. That includes the Dark Aeons, Arena, Celestial Weapons, and the super boss Penance. The last one, in particular, will require hours of preparation and battle time to overcome. But that's the very last thing you'll be doing. First, you have to grasp some of the more advanced techniques of Final Fantasy X.
This list will have some tips that you may have missed out on during a casual playthrough of the game. You can complete the main story without following most of the entries here, but you won't get an optimized experience. If you're looking to up your game, then this list is a great starting point Of course, getting good at Final Fantasy X may require more research, but you have to start somewhere.
25 Support Abilities
Support abilities don't do damage but they are just as vital as attacking abilities. It includes spells like Haste, Esuna, Reflect, and many others. A lot of them are part of the White Magic arch-type, but there are some other ones.
You absolutely want to get Haste and Hastega as fast as possible.
Tidus is the best option as his Sphere Grid has it fairly early in the game. You want to rush towards this as soon as possible. It will be extremely helpful against tougher bosses.
24 Increase Yuna's Strength
At first, it may be confusing as to why you would want to increase the Strength stat for a mage. And it's true that during the story you won't be using Yuna as a physical attacker. But remember, Yuna isn't alone.
Her Aeons also gain strength based on Yuna's stat. So, if you want your Summons to hit hard then it would be a good idea to invest some Strength Spheres into Yuna. You should balance it out with the attacking characters like Auron and Tidus.
23 Auron's Zombie Attack
Auron offers a lot of utility with his various special skills. He can reduce the attack and defense of opponents. He can also turn them into zombies. And for once, you actually want your enemies to be mindless zombies.
In Final Fantasy, zombies (and other undead types) take damage from healing abilities. So, Cure absolutely destroys them. This turns Yuna from a support mage into an all-out offensive sorceress. You can also damage zombies with potions for the fun of it.
22 Aeons Can Heal Themselves
Aeons may not have built-in healing spells like Cure, but they do have alternatives. Namely, the three elemental Aeons; Ifrit, Shiva, and Ixion. They absorb fire, ice, and lightning respectively. So, how do you heal?
Simply, hit yourself with an elemental spell.
That's right, you can hit yourself in this game. So, why not use it your advantage? Make Shiva cast Blizzard on herself to heal some damage.
21 Celestial Weapons
These are the ultimate weapons of Final Fantasy X. The ultimate weapons are always worth getting because of their strength and special abilities. However, they can be time-consuming and hard to find.
I won't say how to find any of them in case you want to figure it out yourself. It's a satisfying experience to find them on your own. Before searching up a guide, be sure to give it a shot without any knowledge. You may surprise yourself.
20 Invest In Yojimbo
Yojimbo is a special Aeon that works differently from the others. You can't control him directly. Instead, you have to give him money and he does a random attack. One of his attacks is an instant kill and can work on bosses.
Which is why it's a good idea to invest money in him. Don't do a whole lot at once, but consistently give him some cash. About 1000 every now and then. The more money you give him the better your odds. If you're interested, you can search up some of the complicated math behind Yojimbo.
19 Tidus' Overdrives
Tidus gets some awesome overdrives late in the game. However, you can speed up the process of earning new ones in a very simple manner. Just keep using Tidus' overdrives whenever you get the chance.
Tidus gains new overdrives when he reaches a certain amount of uses. If you keep using them frequently, he will unlock new ones at a faster rate. You don't even have to get the button inputs right. Just keep using them.
18 Making The Most Of Lulu's Overdrive
Lulu's Overdrive is a tough one to get right all the time. You must rotate the analog stick as many times as possible to get the most out of it, damage wise. It's best to use this as often in the early game so you can get some practice with it.
The Overdrive is at its best when you get the Flare spell.
This deals massive non-elemental damage, making it a reliable choice. The other elemental spells could be blocked by enemies with resistances.
17 These Are Worth Getting
An Overkill in Final Fantasy X is when you defeat a foe with massive amounts of damage. It's easier to achieve when the enemy is low on health. It's not always possible to achieve, but try to do so whenever possible.
Getting an Overkill may reward you with twice the amount of AP and items than normal. The bonus AP is perfect for grinding Sphere Levels early in the game. Especially if you can Overkill a boss and get double AP from them. It's worth keeping this mechanic in mind when playing.
16 Don't Ignore O'aka's Plight
O'aka is a quirky guy in the game that asks you for money. The guy is also a merchant and will be the only seller in certain places. So, why should you give this guy a lot of your hard-earned money?
It's all because of that 30% discount on his goods. If you give him 10,001 Gil or more. However, either go all in or not at all. If you give anything less than the required amount, he will actually increase his prices.
15 The No-Encounter Ability
In the Baaj ruins, Tidus encounters a ferocious beast known as Geosgaeno. During the first battle, you end up running away. However, you can challenge the beast again when you're much stronger.
Geosgaeno can drop some No-Encounter weapons and is the only way of getting it on a weapon. It has a 50% chance of dropping it so be sure to save before the fight. Hopefully, luck is on your side and it doesn't take long.
14 The Zombie Status
Yes, Auron can turn people into zombies. But so can your enemies. This is an awful status since it prevents you from healing. You have to first cure the status by using Holy Water or Remedy. Sadly, Esuna doesn't work on this specific status.
Don't let the zombie status last for too long. You want to get rid of it as soon as possible. So make sure to keep large stocks of Holy Water and Remedies. Holy Water is specific to zombie so you may want to use more of this.
13 Countering Reflect
It can be annoying when your enemies shield themselves using Reflect. They literally reflect all magic attacks. Which can be a pain during battle. Especially when the enemy has a juicy elemental weakness you want to exploit.
There are two main ways to deal with Reflect.
The first is to cast Reflect on yourself. Then you cast magic attacks on yourself, which will reflect back onto the enemy. It won't be reflected twice. The other choice is to just dispel the Reflect.
12 Don't Run From Battles
Final Fantasy X is nicely balanced for a regular playthrough. As long as you aren't constantly running from battles. If you make sure to fight every single battle, you should be strong enough for every boss.
Of course, this can vary since the game uses a random encounter system. You may get a lot more encounters and be over-leveled. Or you could get fewer fights which will force you to grind a bit more. Whatever the case, try not to run too much.
11 Use Optimal Sphere Grids First
It may be tempting to mess around with the Sphere Grid and mix the character roles. It's a lot of fun trying out new combinations and team compositions. However, for the start, try to stick to character roles.
The reason is to ensure you're getting all of the most useful spells as soon as possible. You want to get Haste with Tidus. You also want to get Dark attacks with Wakka. And Yuna's White Magic abilities are a lifesaver. So, stick to the intended pathways at first.
10 Search For The Destruction Sphere
During the story, you'll have to solve some puzzles at the Cloister of Trials. This is the place where Yuna must undergo a special ritual so she can receive the ability to summon the Aeons.
There's an optional quest you can do during these trials. Using these Destruction Spheres you can find hidden chests. If you're able to find them all, the powerful Aeon, Anima, becomes available. So it's definitely worth looking for the spheres.
9 Play Blitzball Often
Aside from being a fun mini-game, playing Blitzball can offer you other advantages. Namely, you can unlock new Overdrives for Wakka by playing (and winning) Blitzball matches.
You can also earn rare items like Mega Elixirs and Dark Matter by winning games. All in all, there's a lot to gain from playing Blitzball. At the very least, you should give it a try next time you boot up Final Fantasy X.
8 Don't Hoard Your Items
There's no reason to hold onto to your old weapons and armor. You should sell them off whenever you upgrade and don't need them anymore. It's a good way to keep a consistent flow of money and soften the blow of a massive upgrade to your wallet.
You should also see if you have any other items to sell that may be worth money. It's a good way to make sure you always have some amount of money on you in case of an emergency.
7 Besaid's Special Dog
After Yuna receives her first Aeon, Valefor, you can get it an upgrade almost straight away. Normally, the Aeons only have one Overdrive.
However, you can find a second Overdrive for her in Besaid.
First talk to the shopkeeper. If she mentions something about her dog digging up something "strange" then you're on the right track. Look for the dog around the village and talk to it. It will give you an item which happens to be the second Overdrive.
6 Experiment With Rikku's Mix
Mix is Rikku's Overdrive. It allows her to combine items and create a special effect. This is an extremely powerful tool. But that may not be the case at first.
Which is why you should practice with it as much as possible. Experiment with different item combinations and see which ones yield results. You could search up combinations on the internet, but that wouldn't be very fun.
5 Steal From Your Enemies
Don't underestimate the power of stealing items. Especially from bosses who may carry rare and exclusive items. At first, you should use Kimahri's Lancet to teach him Steal. He will be your main thief at first.
After you get Rikku, you can switch to her. She's more efficient at thieving and learns it through her own Sphere Grid. Whoever you're using, be sure to Steal often. At the very least, Steal from bosses.
4 Manipulate The Turn Order
On the right side of the battle interface, you can see the entire turn order. And guess what, you can freely manipulate this order using abilities. Haste will make your characters have turns more often. Or Slow can reduce how many turns your opponents have.
Also, the turn order changes as you cycle through options. You can see how a certain action will affect the order. Some attacks may be "slower" than others causing your turn to be delayed. Always keep track of this.
3 Train Every Character
I can't stress how important it is to keep every character trained up. The best way to do this is to rotate which characters you use during battle often. That way, you can distribute the gains from battle.
The fact is, every character brings something unique to the table.
They get access to different spells at different times. By keeping them all consistent, the widest range of abilities will be available to you at all times.
2 Expert VS Standard Sphere Grid
There are two versions of the Sphere Grid you can use. The Standard gives the characters a defined role with some room for experimentation later in the game. It's the vanilla method of playing the game and ideal for beginners.
The Expert Grid gives you complete freedom and can be overwhelming if you don't know the game well enough. There are no longer any roles and any character can do anything. This is the mode to play if you want Lulu to be a melee attacker and Auron your healer.
1 Search For Hidden Items
Throughout the world of Final Fantasy X are many hidden treasures and items. You should spend some time searching each location thoroughly and carefully. It's the only way you'll find them (aside from using a guide).
The main thing you'll be looking for is Al-Bhed Primers. These are essentially the letters of the Al-Bhed language. They can be useful in some situations but it's optional content. Other than that, there are rare and useful items you can find with a keen eye.