The best abilities in Final Fantasy 16 to buy first

Final Fantasy 16 tips
(Image credit: Square Enix)

The best Final Fantasy 16 abilities to get early on are those that are going to get used the most, as applicability and universality in FFXVI are what really matters. It's not good getting something that you only draw upon once every dozen fights, after all.

As FFXVI progresses you'll unlock new potential abilities to buy, but that won't be for a good while into the game. we'll go over the early fundamentals, what they have to offer and what you should use them for. Here's the best abilities for Final Fantasy 16, and which ones you should buy first. Or if you do want some help in the late game, check out our guide to the best Eikon builds in Final Fantasy 16.

The best abilities to buy in Final Fantasy 16

Ability and skill tree in Final Fantasy 16

(Image credit: Square Enix)

When you start playing FFXVI, you'll have access to a range of core abilities you can buy, as well as some from the "Phoenix" tree. Here's our recommendations of the best abilities and powers to prioritize, in this order.

  • Burning Blade (25 ability points). Allows a charged melee strike that's pretty powerful and versatile.
  • Swift Recovery (10 ability points). Allows rapid recovery from being knocked around, preventing enemies from getting follow-up attacks.
  • Downthrust (30 ability points). A high-damage aerial attack.
  • Stomp (15 ability points). Allows Clive to jump on enemies to reach high points.
  • Downthrust Mastery (150 ability points). Increases Downthrust power. 
  • Phoenix Shift Mastery (375 ability points). Extends the range of Phoenix Shift.
  • Precision Dodge (500 ability points). Extends the window in which a Precision Dodge can be performed. 
  • Flames of Rebirth (1695 ability points). The ultimate Phoenix attack - does high damage on all nearby enemies while healing Clive.

The ascending cost also means that you'll be able to naturally work through them. There are other much cheaper abilities, but we don't rank some of those especially highly - the ability to "taunt" for example, has never proven especially helpful in combat to us, and the Lunge didn't seem especially necessary when the Phoenix Shift is available.

Likewise, the path of abilities presented above is partly due to the fact that some of them are linked - for example, Downthrust and Stomp are a natural pairing, using the latter to bounce off enemy heads and set you up nicely for the follow-up strike. And we round off with the Flames of Rebirth, an incredibly powerful ability that does massive damage to everybody around you, as well as healing Clive - just be ready for the very long cooldown, so maybe only equip it once you have new Eikons and new ability slots, so you have other powers to use while the Flames of Rebirth are recharging.

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.