Even though it leans heavily into the action part of “Action RPG,” Final Fantasy XVI still retains most of the RPG elements that the series is known for. You can upgrade Clive’s abilities and unlock new powers by spending ability points throughout the game, but there are different levels to each upgrade. Sometimes, the game will let you master an ability instead of simply upgrading it, but what does this mean?
How to Master Abilities in Final Fantasy XVI
To master an ability in Final Fantasy XVI, you have to upgrade it to the maximum level. Simply put, “mastering” an ability is just a fancy way of saying you’ve unlocked every possible upgrade for it. There are additional benefits to doing so, however, so it’s not just a fancy title.
Mastering an ability costs quite a few ability points, especially for Eikonic abilities that have multiple upgrade levels, so make sure you pick and choose the right ones for your playstyle and build. Mastering an ability will unlock new build crafting opportunities as well, and this is where the game’s combat really opens up.
What Does Mastering an Ability Do?
If you master an ability, you can use it regardless of the Eikons you have equipped. That doesn’t apply to Clive’s basic abilities like lunge or stomp, but it does apply to every other Eikonic power in the game.
For example, look at the screenshot above. I have mastered Ramuh’s Judgment Bolt ability by spending enough ability points to raise it to the max level. Normally, you can only use Ramuh’s abilities if you have Ramuh equipped as an active Eikon (remember, Clive can only have three Eikons active at once), but since I’ve mastered Judgment Bolt, I’m able to use it with Odin equipped instead of Ramuh.
The same goes for the Gouge ability in the above screenshot as well. It’s one of Garuda’s abilities, but I can use it with Titan since I mastered it with ability points. As you can probably tell, mastering your favorite skills is a great way to open up the possibilities of Final Fantasy XVI’s combat and really fine-tune your play style and build.
How to Master Abilities Fast in Final Fantasy XVI
I spent 70 hours with Final Fantasy XVI during the review period, during which I completed the main story, finished every side quest in the game, and completely cleared the hunt board. As in most RPGs, the best advice I can give for farming ability points and upgrading your skills fast is to do everything you can. Finish every side quest and especially do all of the hunts.
You won’t be able to master everything in one playthrough, especially if you want to master powerful abilities like Diamond Dust or Judgment Bolt that have upgrade costs in the high thousands, but the “Final Fantasy” mode — which is basically the game’s version of New Game Plus — will offer significantly more ability points and double the level cap to 100, letting you master more of your favorite Eikonic skills.