Final Fantasy VII Remake changes things up a bit when it comes to weapons and how they contribute towards your party’s growth. They’re more than stat-sticks with materia slots, and gaining character levels will also bolster your weapons, though in a slightly different manner.
Leveling in Final Fantasy VII Remake awards SP, which is used to upgrade and level weapons.
Every weapon in Final Fantasy VII Remake comes with a full fledged skill tree (that kinda reminds me of Final Fantasy X’s Sphere Grid, but far simpler). After talking with Biggs and Wedge in the Sector 7 slums early in Chapter 2 you’ll unlock the ability to improve your weapons, and a new option will be added to the main menu.
Within the Upgrade Weapons submenu of the main menu you can see what your weapons’ levels are, and how much SP they have to spend. SP is earned from leveling your characters, and it goes into a general pool for each weapon (even weapons not being used will receive the awarded SP). At certain SP thresholds your weapons will level up, which opens up another core on the skill tree.
Each core contains a handful of stat-boosts tailored to that weapon’s playstyle. Tifa’s Sonic Strikers, for example, lean into magic casting and the second core offers a wealth of +5% damage increases to the various magical elements.
Each cores’ boosts will cost more and more SP to unlock, going from four, to six, to eight, and so on. There are five levels per weapon, thus five cores. The UI within the core upgrade menu will display in the top right how many of the cores you have, the amount of boosts you have unlocked within those core, and what the SP cost for boosts is for each core. It’s a pretty informative UI.
SP spent on one weapon is not spent on another, so each can be upgraded independently without worrying about saving SP for one or another. Just earn SP from leveling, and upgrade your weapons as you see fit, even the ones you are not actively using.
If this is all too heady for you then you can automate the process from the upgrade menu. Tap Triangle to pick between Balanced, Offense and Defense, and the game will automatically assign SP to boosts that fit your selection. Tapping Square will force the game to prioritize your equipped gear over everything else.
I prefer to fine-tune my weapons myself, but if you just want to experience the story without the micromanagement then automation is a fine way to do so.
If at any point you wish to reset your weapons and reallocate SP you can do so by speaking to Chadley (the chap who provides you new materia for completing battle log challenges). It’ll cost you some gil, but you’ll have all the SP spent on that weapon refunded.
- This article was updated on April 10th, 2020