Final Fantasy XVI’s difficulty settings, explained

No more easy, normal, or hard modes.

Image via Square Enix

Final Fantasy XVI is keeping the real-time action combat gameplay that has been popular for modern games. Players will find themselves executing combos via weapon skill and utilizing powerful Eikon (also known as summons) abilities to unleash lethal damage on foes. Action combat can be daunting for some people, mainly if they are used to the slower-paced turn-based fighting from earlier titles in the series. Final Fantasy XVI is doing something unique for difficulty settings, however. Let’s break down just what to expect when choosing a difficulty in Final Fantasy XVI.

Does Final Fantasy XVI have difficulty settings?

Final Fantasy XVI is doing away with traditional difficulty settings in favor of a completely new system. Instead of choosing between typical difficulty options, players simply select action-focused or story-focused modes.

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FFXVI Action-focused vs. Story-focused modes differences, explained

Players that want a traditional action combat experience with all the challenging bells and whistles that go with it will want to select the action-focused mode. In this mode, all aspects of gameplay are left to the player’s discretion. Dodging, controlling Clive’s dog, using potions, and more are all manually controlled by the player. There is a lot of micromanaging, but it is the default way the game is set to play.

Square Enix is also providing players with accessibility options in the form of selecting story-focused mode. This option retains the difficulty of encounters but provides players with different equippable rings that give perks in combat to ease the burden of balancing all the different aspects of combat.

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Players can equip two of these accessories at the start of a playthrough in story-focused mode, and there are a total of five in the game. All of the benefits have been detailed already and include the following:

  • Slows down time to make it easier to read attacks and dodge
  • Automate control of Torgal, Clive’s pet dog
  • Automatically use potions when health is brought low
  • Automatically dodge attacks for you
  • Perform powerful combos and finishers based on cooldowns by just repeatedly pressing a single button

Players can choose which of these to implement in Final Fantasy XVI by equipping the correct accessory. Some of these are way more impactful than others, which allows individual customization for how accessible you want combat to be when dealing with powerful Eikons and enemies.