Dissidia Final Fantasy NT beta guide: tips, character info and other advice for winning in Square Enix’s RPG fighter

By Alex Donaldson, Tuesday, 16 January 2018 10:05 GMT

We’ve got a few ideas on how to make sure you hear that Final Fantasy victory fanfare often in Dissidia.

Final Fantasy characters make for a surprisingly good fit for a fighting game – but despite that, Square Enix hasn’t made just any old fighting game. Partnering with Team Ninja, they’ve made their sort of fighting game – filled to the brim with some of the intricacies and eccentricities you’d expect from a Final Fantasy game – but still, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is definitely, positively a fighting game at heart.

As the game enters beta, it only seemed right to offer up some top tips for getting good at this unique fighter. Once you know what you’re doing Dissidia is damn good fun – but thanks to those intricate systems it can be difficult to immediately understand compared to something like, say Street Fighter. So, without further ado, here are our tips for Dissidia Final Fantasy NT’s beta – good luck out there!

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Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Beta Times: when the beta runs

The beta for Dissidia Final Fantasy NT on PS4 will run from January 15 right through until January 21 at 1pm Pacific Time, making this for quite a hefty, long beta. There’s quite a lot to it, too, which we’ll touch on in just a moment.

As we reported in our story on the beta kicking off, you don’t need to have PlayStation Plus to play the PS4 beta, and it’s open for download for anyone – so go grab it!

The beta is split into ‘phases’, each lasting a few days. These phases determine what characters will be available to select in that period – so Cloud is available for two of the periods, but in the third slice you won’t be able to pick him. This is a good chance to try oiut a range of characters, as they all play quite differently. Let’s get into that, shall we?

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Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Characters: Who you can play in the beta

The main game will feature many more characters, but the beta will give you access to a selection of heroes from across Final Fantasy’s history – with the available roster changing depending on when you play. Here they are with their character roles and games of origin, an d when you can expect to play them in the beta:

Playable Characters between January 15th – January 18th

  • Warrior of Light: Vangaurd / Final Fantasy
  • Garland: Vangaurd / Final Fantasy
  • Cloud of Darkness: Vanguard / Final Fantasy 3
  • Kain Highwind: Assassin / Final Fantasy 4
  • Bartz Klauser: Specialist / Final Fantasy 5
  • Exdeath: Specialist / Final Fantasy 5
  • Kefka Palazzo: Marksman / Final Fantasy 6
  • Sephiroth: Vanguard / Final Fantasy 7
  • Ultimecia: Marksman / Final Fantasy 8
  • Kuja: Assassin / Final Fantasy 9
  • Tidus: Assassin / Final Fantasy 10
  • Shantotto: Marksman / Final Fantasy 11
  • Vaan: Specialist / Final Fantasy 12
  • Lightning: Assassin / Final Fantasy 13
  • Ace: Marksman / Final Fantasy Type-0

Playable Characters between January 15th – January 18th

  • Garland: Vangaurd / Final Fantasy
  • Onion Knight: Specialist / Final Fantasy 3
  • Cloud of Darkness: Vanguard / Final Fantasy 3
  • Bartz Klauser: Specialist / Final Fantasy 5
  • Kefka Palazzo: Marksman / Final Fantasy 6
  • Cloud Strife: Vanguard / Final Fantasy 7
  • Sephiroth: Vanguard / Final Fantasy 7
  • Squall Leonhart: Assassin / Final Fantasy 8
  • Ultimecia: Marksman / Final Fantasy 8
  • Zidane Tribal: Assassin / Final Fantasy 9
  • Jecht: Assassin / Final Fantasy 10
  • Shantotto: Marksman / Final Fantasy 11
  • Noctis Lucis Caelum: Assassin / Final Fantasy 15
  • Ace: Marksman / Final Fantasy Type-0
  • Ramza Beoulve: Specialist / Final Fantasy Tactics

Open Beta Modes: what you can expect to play

The Dissidia Final Fantasy NT will give you access to several modes, offering up a pretty significant chunk of gameplay for you to try out ahead of the game’s launch. You can participate in:

  • Ranked Match – 3v3 Online Multiplayer Party Battles
  • Gauntlet Mode – Offline Single Player Mode, one player, 5 AI, 3v3
  • Story – see some of Dissidia’s storyline
  • Treasure – see some of the unlockable goodies in the game
  • Customization – get a little slice of RPG with some character customization

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Understand the character types/classes and their general strengths and weaknesses

Once you’ve picked a character above, understand the general layout of character strengths. Gneerally, one of the four classes is good against another. The four classes break down as follows:

  • Vanguards are usually bastions of defense, so they’ll better Assassins, who are all about the quick, up-close kills.
  • Assassins like to get in close for their kill, which makes them a disaster for Marksman to deal with – they like to keep a distance.
  • The fact that Marksman can pepper them with attacks without getting close enough for a counter to land makes them ideal for tackling Vanguards.

Specialists, of course, are entirely unique. This type of character is difficult to handle, and will have its own unique style – it won’t fit with any of the basic ‘classes’ or character archetypes described above.

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Bravery and HP attacks and stats – understanding and using them to kill enemies

A big part of winning in Dissidia is down to understanding the unique systems of the game – Bravery, Health (HP), the difference between the two and how they relate – so let’s talk about that for a second.

The bottom of the HUD is where you’ll spend most of your stat-considering time in Dissidia FF, and that’s because it’s home to the most important stat in the game: Bravery.

Bravery is that enormous number at the bottom of the screen, and your bravery represents the current damage you’ll do to an enemy if you hit them with an HP-draining attack. There are two types of attacks in Dissidia: Bravery attacks, executed with the X button, and HP attacks, executed with the Square button.

Broadly speaking, your aim in any match is to build up your bravery stat by attacking an enemy multiple times with bravery attacks, then hit them with a powered-up HP attack. Doing this will lower their bravery stat making them less immediately dangerous and raise yours, meaning you can ultimately deal more damage when you dish out a HP attack.

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The game even has a neat little feature to help you with this: as pictured above, when the bravery stat turns purple, it means that it’s so high that a HP attack will be an instant kill on enemies. While it’s often still worth landing non-deadly HP attacks, the ideal thing to do is to unleash a flurry of bravery attacks on an enemy until you’re in instant kill territory and then hit them with one nasty HP attack to knock them out.

Just below your Bravery stat is your own HP, and while this tiny little stat isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things (enemies will also have the purple bravery glow, so you’ll always know when somebody is able to kill you), it’s worth knowing the location of it for quick glances.

To the left of your HP and bravery are your skills – special abilities that you can pop in battle with the combination of a press of triangle and a direction on the D-Pad. You pick your EX Skills in the Battle Set menu before heading into battle. These icons will tell you which direction is assigned to which skill and show you the cool-down period for them mid-battle after they’ve been used.

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The User Interface might be cluttered, but it’s almost all useful

Mastering the rather busy user interface of Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is pretty key to winning – it holds absolutely key information about the match, and somebody who is able to better understand and quickly process what the HUD is telling them is almost always more likely to come out the victor.

  • In particular you should pay attention to the mini map to see where your opponents are – like any fighting game, position is everything. Use the mini map and target switching often to figure out what’s going on in the wider match. Other elements of the HUD are also dedicated to showing who is attacking who, and this sort of information is displayed proudly throughout the HUD. Speaking of that…
  • About those Red and Blue lines leading to and from players… these function as a more obvious indicator of who is targeting who. Lines of the opposing team’s color pointing to you or an ally indicate that a player is targeting them, while a blue line will lead from you directly to the enemy you’re currently focused on. You can use this to coordinate with your team and gang up on a weak enemy to take them down.
  • The Break Bonus (found in the top right) is a figure that’s awarded to a player when they put an enemy into ‘Break’ status. That’s done by reducing a character’s bravery stat to zero. When you do this, as well as stealing their bravery as detailed above and in our bravery and HP attack system guide you’ll get this break bonus added to your bravery stat – a great way to make your attacks quickly more deadly.
  • Keep an eye on the Summon Meter in the top left of the screen – they can seriously turn the tide for a team. In fact, let’s talk about Summons in more detail…

Don’t neglect your skills beyond HP attacks and bravery attacks

Dissidia is a cross-over of fighting game and Final Fantasy, and that means that, yes, most characters come packing many of their abilities from their classic games. Many of these make their way into Dissidia NT as HP attacks and Bravery attacks, but many other classic FF staples find their way into the game in the easily less-used EX Skill and Summoning mechanics. We should talk about that.

Don’t ignore summons in Dissidia: they can turn the tide of a match

Summons in Dissidia offer you both a passive buff for the entire match plus a second buff after they’ve been summoned, and they also appear on the battlefield once summoned to wreck havoc on the enemy team.

Your choice of summon is important, and the right summon can seriously shore up lacking team composition to cover a hole in a team’s abilities. A good summon can also seriously turn the tide of a losing battle.

If you want to know more about what each summon does and their unique abilities, be sure to check out our dedicated guide on how to summon in Dissidia NT and what each summon does.

Similarly, don’t neglect your EX skills

Like summons, EX skills can make a major difference – and some characters like Y’shtola even carve out their niche in the Dissidia cast and tier list based on their EX skill usage. Learn what your EX skills are, choose which ones you use carefully, and use them often in battle. Simply debuffing the enemy (especially with the right summon buff in effect on top of it) can majorly change the equation when it comes to a match.

Team Composition is King – think about it carefully, and choose summons and skills to offset weaknesses

Being a three-on-three game Dissidia is impacted by the same sort of things as the likes of Marvel vs Capcom or Dragon Ball FighterZ – team composition matters. When picking your character for a match you should try to discuss with your team what your plan is – a team of three Clouds or even three Vanguards is difficult to win with. You should try to go into battle with a balanced team.

When you have a team idea, consider strongly your EX Skills and your Summon – what you pick and how you choose to use them during the match can seriously help to cover up your team’s deficiencies (there’s no such thing as a perfect team, after all) or significantly enhance their strengths.

Remember, too, that there is safety in numbers. If you’re struggling and taking a beating, one of the best possible things you can do is to retreat and find some cover with a team mate – it’s certainly better than dying!

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