What does Mastering abilities in Final Fantasy 16 do?

Final Fantasy 16 mastery
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Mastering an ability in Final Fantasy 16 isn't the best explained thing in the game, as FF16 throws a lot of ideas at the player off the bat and mastery of Eikon powers is just one of them. To master an ability is also very expensive, usually costing thousands of EXP at the very least, so it's good to understand if it's worth that sort of investment. We'll explain what it means to master an ability in FF16 just below, as well as how you can best use it to your advantage, and why it's probably not something you need to worry about in the first thing of Final Fantasy 16.

Mastering abilities in Final Fantasy 16 explained

Final Fantasy 16 mastery

(Image credit: Square Enix)

If you've mastered an Eikon power or ability in FF16, it means that you can now assign that mastered power to any Eikon you have. Let's do a basic example to explain it.

  1. Let's say you've unlocked four Eikons so far - Phoenix, Garuda, Ramuh and Titan.
  2. You can equip three Eikons to have ready in combat at any one time, so you pick the last three, leaving Phoenix on the bench.
  3. However, while you don't want the Phoenix as a whole right now, you do really like the Flames of Rebirth power (and why wouldn't you, it's one of the best Final Fantasy 16 abilities).
  4. You spend the extra EXP in the ability section of the menu to upgrade, and then master, Flames of Rebirth.
  5. Until now that power was locked to the Phoenix Eikon. However, now it's mastered, you can fix it to any Eikon you have.
  6. With that being done, you then unequip Ramuh's Thunderstorm power, and slot Flames of Rebirth into its space. Normally Ramuh wouldn't be able to cast Flames of Rebirth, but it can now you've mastered it!

And this applies to any power! Mastery is a way of gaining more control over your build, separating your various Eikon powers from the actual spirits so you can mix and match more freely. It's an integral part of the Final Fantasy 16 best Eikon build, as we've laid out in the attached guide.

However, if you're early in the game, this is a feature you're probably not going to get much use out of, as there aren't enough powers and Eikons to really have much chance for mixing and matching them. It's only in the latter half of the game, when you have more Eikons than you do slots to equip them, that you can start varying things more freely. If you've mastered a skill and don't have much reason to use that feature, it might be worth resetting it to get the EXP back for the time being.

There's also other core abilities for which mastery works differently, like your basic magic attacks and charged shots in the central wheel. Mastery effects every single one of these powers differently, but you can see what they do by pressing Triangle above them, at which point a description of the power will come up. Check the section marked Mastery to see how they're affected.

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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.