Everything You Should Do In Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s Demo

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Barret, Tifa, Cloud, and Aerith stand outside of a mine.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, the upcoming mega-RPG that continues the remake of one of the greatest games of all time, is out on February 29, 2024. Thanks to an update to the game’s demo on February 21, fans can travel around a portion of one of its open-world environments: Junon. While progress in this part of the demo will not carry over to the main game, understanding everything that’s on offer here can serve as an essential primer for the full-blown game.

Read More: Final Fantasy VII Rebirth: The Kotaku Review
Pre-order Final Fantasy VII Rebirth: Amazon | Best Buy | Target

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The Junon open area in the demo may be a mere slice of what’s on offer in Rebirth, but with it you can learn the basics of combat, understand how to best equip materia, learn the game’s item crafting loop, and face off against an iconic boss from the original game.

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Combat got you down? Start with Chadley (actually, do all the VR stuff even if you’re good at the game)

No, I don’t mean swing your sword at Chadley (though, hmm, that’s an idea). Chat with him at the nearby chocobo ranch and he’ll offer to craft you unique materia and provide some nice battle training sessions.

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A screenshot shows a combat tutorial in VR.

Not only can you fight a variety of monsters here, but there’s a tutorial section of the VR sims for each character. You’ll get an orb of materia for completing each one. This will help round out the elemental attacks of your whole party. It’s also a solid way to learn and practice each character’s moveset.

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Do not neglect Synergy Skills

Synergy Skills (distinct from Synergy Abilities) are activated by holding R1 and pressing a corresponding face button. One such move is Cloud and Aerith’s “Spell Blade.” Activate it (it gets stronger the longer you hold R1) and Aerith will imbue Cloud’s sword with magical energy to deliver a strike. Not only does this count as magical damage, but it will fill both Cloud and Aerith’s ATB bars so they can continue to cast spells and use more powerful attack moves.

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Cloud and Aerith execute a Synergy Skill together.

Read More: Graphics Mode Is Still Better In Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s Demo, Even After The Update

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Synergy Skills like this are a speedy way to fill ATB bars for two characters at once. When holding R1, you can read up on which ones are available to you by hitting the touchpad on the DualSense. We cover combat in more detail in our combat tips guide here.

Get to collecting resources right away

Cloud picks up items while standing next to Red XIII and Aerith.

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As you go through the world, you’ll see resources you can gather. At the start of the Junon demo, go ahead and grab the resources on the right side of the path that stretches past the starting point. After doing this for a bit, you’ll see a purple HUD indicator informing you that you have enough resources to craft an item.

A screenshot shows the item crafting menu in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

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Hit the menu button and select Item Transmuter to see what you can craft. Rebirth’s demo starts with a few items pinned to its task bar (you can pin any crafting recipe in the Item Transmuter to a handy to-do list that informs you when you have enough materials for said item). After you craft an item, if it’s a new one, you’ll earn experience to level up your crafting skill to make better items. It’s a good idea to get in the flow of pinning new items to the To-Do list.

Read More: All The Shinra Manor Easter Eggs In FF7 Rebirth’s Demo

In Rebirth, as in the demo, you’ll have the opportunity to regularly gather materials to craft these items. Though it may seem a little time-consuming to dive in and out of the crafting menu to make items, this mechanic keeps you out of shops more often, letting you acquire essential items out in the field and on the fly. You usually won’t have to go too far out of your way to find materials. What you can gather as a part of normal exploration will typically suffice.

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Swap your party members on the fly with the command menu

Rebirth gives you three party makeups to swap between seamlessly. You’ll edit these in the Combat Settings option in the menu and switch between them by pressing X and L1/R1 while traveling.

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After you’ve battled in VR or in the open world, take on Fiend Intel assignments

Fiend Intel assignments are both a standard open-world activity of each region in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, and a solid way to learn the combat system to prepare you for more challenging bosses in the main story and elsewhere. They appear as crossed-sword icons on the map, which you can view anytime by pressing the touchpad.

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Each Fiend Intel assignment asks you to accomplish three tasks (should you fail one, you can retry with any existing progress carried over to the next battle). These are typically to Pressure an enemy, Stagger them, and then defeat them within the time limit. You’ll learn an enemy’s vulnerabilities by using the Assess ATB action, which Cloud has via the Assess materia he comes equipped with.

Some tasks ask you to prevent a Fiend from doing something. The “Zemze Breaks” mission, for example, wants you to stop the creature from using the Soothing Wind ability. Exploiting a creature’s vulnerability will often cancel out such an ability, thereby ensuring that you fully complete the task.

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In Rebirth, you’ll need to complete each of the mini objectives within the Fiend Intel assignment to clear that objective.

Stat attributes explained

Rebirth’s demo doesn’t actually define all the character’s attributes. Let me do that for you:

  • Attack Power: How much physical damage you deal with “blades, guns, fists, and claws”
  • Magic Attack Power: How much damage you do with spells and magical abilities
  • Defense: How much physical damage you resist
  • Magic Defense: How much magic damage you resist

  • Strength: Increases Attack Power
  • Magic: Increases Magic Attack Power
  • Vitality: Increases Defense
  • Spirit: Increases Magic Defense
  • Luck: Increases your chance of a critical hit and how effectively you can use the Steal materia
  • Speed: Increases the rate at which your ATB gauge charges

  • Critical Hit Rate: The chance of dealing a critical hit
  • Critical Hit Damage: How much your damage increases on a critical hit
  • ATB Charge Bonus: Increases how much your gauges charge from basic attacks
  • Max Limit Level: The highest limit level available to you

A screenshot shows stats and materia options for Cloud in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

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Unequip and reslot every character’s materia and accessories to fully understand the mechanics

Once you’ve mastered the combat, I recommend heading into the materia menu and unequipping every character’s materia and accessories (the demo doesn’t let you change out weapons and armor) and speccing out your characters from scratch. In the materia and equipment menu, press the touchpad and you’ll see each materia orb your party has equipped. You can swap materia between them here, or assign and unassign different orbs. Note that one disadvantage of this view is that it doesn’t show you any changes to specific character stats, but you can check that for each character in their separate menu system individually.

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Pay attention to each character’s strengths and weaknesses. Aerith, for example, has the best magic attack stat. So it’ll make sense to give her some spell attacks to make good on that stat. Also, you’ll want to look for the joined materia slots (they kinda look like an infinity symbol). You can augment how certain materia behaves this way, thanks to blue support materia. For example, slot in the blue “Magnify” materia with the “Healing” materia, and that character can now heal the entire party by just casting the spell once.

Go see the sights after the Fiend Intel tasks and before fighting the Terror of the Deep

Before you head on off to fight the demo’s boss, thus ending the playable part, be sure to chart out across Junon to the extent the demo allows. Follow chocobo chicks to unlock fast travel and rest points, and if your chocobo has a question mark appear over their head, hold up on the D-pad to let them sniff around and possibly find a cool item to dig up.

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Once you’re done with sightseeing, head on over to Under Junon and follow Priscilla for your showdown with the Terror of the Deep. Everything listed in this guide should help you be better prepared to take the bad beast down.


Rebirth’s demo offers a small sample of the open-world activities and mechanics of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, yet it’s an essential opportunity to learn the game’s new mechanics and changes to Remake’s combat before the full game arrives on February 29.

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Pre-order Final Fantasy VII Rebirth: Amazon | Best Buy | Target

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