Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier sees players duking it out in a battle royale across Midgar to join Shinra's elite military force. Each of the game's five classes, or styles as it calls them, offers a unique set of perks and advantages that can be used to help you come out on top. If you're not sure which one to choose, or if the daily challenges are encouraging you to play a style you aren't familiar with, this guide will answer all your questions.
Each style has a trait, a passive ability that is always active whenever you play that style. Additionally, you can choose one ability to bring into battle and activate whenever it's cooled down, as well as one skill that grants an additional passive bonus. Each style starts with one ability and one skill unlocked and equipped, and as you gain Mastery levels, you can unlock more. Bear in mind, however, that you can only have one ability and one skill equipped at a time, so choose wisely!
The Warrior is the style that is introduced to new players during the tutorial, and its basic abilities make it a strong choice for learning the game. In the hands of an advanced player, it can strike down enemies at close range with little fear of reprisal.
The style's trait, Fearless Charge, allows you to target enemies with a melee attack from a long distance, which helps to more accurately land blows. It also creates a very short-lived barrier if you attack your targeted enemy while moving, which might save some HP in any given fight.
Unsurprisingly, you'll want to engage in melee battle whenever possible to get the most out of the Warrior, especially if you're using its starting skill, Survivor's Spoils. This automatically recovers HP whenever you defeat another player using a melee attack, potentially saving you from opportunistic enemies waiting to snipe the winner of a brawl.
Speaking of snipers, once you've unlocked the Warrior's Countershield skill, you'll have a great tool for surviving ranged attacks while closing in for the kill. The first time you take damage after landing, and once more each time you level up, a barrier will automatically appear facing the direction of the incoming attack. While it might not save you from a powerful headshot, Countershield should still buy you enough time to locate your enemy and maybe gulp down a potion before going to get your revenge.
If you prefer your Warrior to be an implacable juggernaut from whom there is no escape, unlocking the Threaten skill gives you a further edge in melee combat. When it's equipped, it will reduce the movement speed of any target you hit with a melee attack. This includes monsters, so it can be useful when you're grinding for XP while the other players are off killing one another.
The Warrior's starting active ability, Rush, allows you to dash quickly in the direction you're currently facing. Thanks to Fearless Charge, it also generates a barrier as though you had attacked your target while moving. If you prefer to have a more general set of advantages, you can unlock and swap in the Punisher ability, which grants a temporary boost to your movement speed as well as the damage and range of your melee attacks when activated.
While the Warrior is a powerful melee combatant, it's recommended that you use a controller rather than touch-screen controls to get the best use out of the style. Any class will benefit from the increased precision a controller provides, but the frantic nature of melee combat can make it tough to keep your enemy within sight if you don't manage to target them. If you're trying to grind Mastery levels as the Warrior but can't quite get the hang of melee combat, try using Countershield and Rush to create a more defensive build, creating barriers and dodging attacks while you retaliate with firearms or materia.
It wouldn't be a Final Fantasy game without magic, and while each style can wield the power of materia effectively the Sorcerer truly excels with it. The style's trait, Magic Boost, increases the damage it deals with materia whenever you upgrade your melee weapon at a vending machine. Additionally, the Sorcerer gets a more powerful version of Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder as well as faster MP regeneration. Attacking a Sorcerer is a risky proposition since you never know what they might have in their bag of tricks at a given time!
The Sorcerer's starting skill, Precise Casting, allows critical hits to be scored when attacking with materia. Magic attacks are already quite powerful when used properly, so the chance of increasing their damage further is a frightening proposition. A Sorcerer who prefers to focus on survival could swap it out for Etheric Drain, which restores HP after killing an enemy candidate or a monster with a materia attack, and speeds up MP recovery whenever the user takes damage. If Lady Luck seems to bless you with Cure materia in most matches, it could be worth trying the Reinvigorate skill, which increases the HP recovered from all sources except consumables like Potions.
Arcane Field, the Sorcerer's starting ability, will look familiar to anyone who has played Final Fantasy VII Remake. Just like Aerith, the Sorcerer can create an area effect that enhances magic - in this case, by speeding up MP recovery and shortening materia cooldown. Unlocking the style's other ability, Trance, allows you to trade in speed for raw power. When activated, it temporarily reduces the MP cost of your spells and increases the level of all your Materia by one, allowing you to unleash a devastating storm of magic. It also increases your movement speed, so it can be used to escape a bad situation with utility materia such as Blind or Aero.
The only real disadvantage to playing as a Sorcerer is that your power is closely tied to which materia you find. If your drop location doesn't have great materia (or worse, if another player beats you to the good stuff) you'll be swinging your staff and lobbing bullets like everybody else. If you do get your hands on a few Blizzards or the like and find a safe place to cast from, though, it will take a skilled player indeed to bring you down.
Wielding a very familiar-looking shuriken, the Ninja excels at stealth and evasion. Your enemies can't eliminate a player they can't find, and if the Ninja does get pinned down, they have plenty of tricks for winning the fight. The style's trait, Acrobat, is a little weaker than most; the Ninja can double-jump, either midair or after falling from a parkour climb. This can be useful to jump walls when making a getaway or to get into an otherwise out-of-reach sniping position, but it doesn't grant any buffs or barriers like some of the other styles' traits.
The Ninja's skills allow them to excel at escaping danger. The starting skill, Retreat, temporarily increases the Ninja's movement speed whenever they take damage. As its name implies, Retreat is best for getting away from a fight that's gone bad, but the extra speed can also allow you to get to a better position to finish off an opponent. Coupled with the fact that the Ninja's shuriken has a wider range than other melee weapons, this means that a SOLDIER candidate who attacks a Ninja could quickly find themselves with a blade in their back.
Stealth is the hallmark of the Ninja, and the Lightfoot skill helps the style get the drop on its enemies. It reduces the sound made by the Ninja's footsteps. This not only reduces the in-game audio of your character's footfalls, but also the radius at which enemies will be alerted by the footprint icon that someone is moving nearby. It won't mask you completely, but it will give an enemy less time to react before you're upon them.
A truly daring and brazen Ninja can take the Escapist skill and leave the training zone completely. Outside the training zone, hazardous mako gas slowly drains the HP of those brave or foolish enough to be there. A Ninja with Escapist takes less damage here, which can be helpful if you're caught when the zone shrinks but also allows you to risk going where other players won't want to follow. You could even ambush an enemy candidate from outside the circle - after all, who would think to check for enemies where nobody can survive?
The Ninja starts with Hide, a straightforward ability that turns the character invisible for a short time. This is strictly used for escape and positioning, as attacks, materia, and items are disabled while invisible. A clever ninja can Hide inside a building when another player is checking inside, then attack when the unsuspecting foe thinks they're safe! If you prefer to stand and fight without all the slinking around, you can unlock Blade Shift. This is a tricky ability that throws a knife, then teleports you to wherever it lands. Blade Shift makes an already unpredictable class a true enigma, though the teleport will not trigger if the knife doesn't hit anything.
The Ninja is a style that will reward advanced players who like to think on their feet. Its general lack of buffs gives it less direct effectiveness than the other styles, but it allows the player to outsmart their opponents in a game where oftentimes that's all you really need. While it is tough to master, the Ninja is very satisfying and rewarding to play once you've spent some time with it.
A melee class like the Warrior, the Monk sets itself apart from its sword-wielding cousin by favoring rapid, repetitive strikes and better overall survivability over speed and damage. The Monk's Inner Strength trait makes it a very dangerous opponent when cornered. Whenever the Monk takes damage, a fraction of the lost HP is automatically returned. Scarier still, the first time in a match when the Monk is reduced to 20 percent of their max HP or less they gain a temporary buff that turns all of their melee attacks into critical hits. When fighting a Monk, do so at range whenever possible - you don't want to be on the receiving end of those fists if Inner Strength triggers.
For a truly tanky Monk build, players can just keep the style's starting skill; Leech Fists recovers a small amount of HP when dealing melee damage. This is proportionate to the damage inflicted, so it pairs well with the Inner Strength buff to keep a wounded Monk alive. Monk players who prefer to stay at range and only start swinging when an enemy gets too close can instead choose Awakened Strength, which increases the recovery granted by Inner Strength's healing component. If you're constantly being attacked by snipers and materia attacks, consider equipping Chakra Unleashed which returns a significant amount of HP once per level if you take a large amount of damage from a single attack.
As much as the Monk excels at taking hits, sometimes it's better to prevent attacks from landing altogether. The Monk's starting ability, Manawall, creates a temporary barrier facing the same direction as the user that can absorb a decent amount of damage before breaking. This is great for survival while picking off monsters like the Bomb from afar or for winning firefights with other players.
A Monk who prefers to focus on healing can take Chakra Field, which creates an area that cures poison and restores HP. This is especially useful if you're playing with a team, as it affects your allies as well.
While every style can use firearms effectively, the Ranger is by far the best gunslinger in Midgar. The style's trait, Ammunition Expert, increases the amount of ammo you find and also boosts your carrying capacity for all types of ammo. Better yet, the trait also reduces the Ranger's reload time by 20 percent. This is good since the Ranger never wants to be caught with an empty clip - their combat knife has a very short attack range and should be a weapon of last resort.
The Ranger's first skill, Sniper's Eye, allows them to track enemies who move out of sight. Whenever the Ranger who has this skill equipped deals damage to an enemy, a mark will appear on the Ranger's HUD to follow the enemy's location for a short time. The mark also appears if the Ranger has the enemy in their scope for about half a second. If you're using Auto Fire, be aware that your character will automatically shoot at a scoped enemy, so if you don't want to give away your position consider changing to a different shooting mode in the settings menu before your match.
If you prefer to keep Auto Fire on (which is recommended if you're using touch screen controls), consider equipping the Silencer skill. This reduces the sound made by your firearms attacks, both in the in-game audio and in terms of the "shots fired" indicator your opponents will see if they are close enough. Unique guns cannot be silenced, so if you're lucky enough to find one of these powerful weapons this skill won't help you when using it.
If your SOLDIER training finds you re-creating Enemy at the Gates more often than not, the Acute Sense skill will give you an edge over the rest of the snipers on the map. When this skill is equipped, you'll see a glint of light that reveals the position of any player who has you in their scope. You'll need to react quickly, of course before they shoot you. Using Acute Sense and being able to use it effectively can keep you alive when you would otherwise be eliminated.
The Ranger is a very good style for new players, primarily because of its Assess ability, which begins the game unlocked and equipped. When activated, it marks and reveals any nearby players, monsters, and active instances of Blizzard or Gravity. This gives the Ranger a huge tactical advantage and should be used often. It also means that there's no hiding from a nearby Ranger, so closing to melee range quickly when facing one is better than trying to win a firefight even if you won't be able to sneak up on them.
Once you're familiar with the map and know your best hiding spots, it could be worth unlocking the Ranger's Control ability. It does mean you'll have to swap out Assess, but if you know the game that well you might not need it anymore. Control allows you to deploy a drone that can be used to safely scout the area without putting yourself in danger. The Ranger, of course, will be helpless while controlling the drone, so be absolutely sure you're in a safe position before deploying.
The student who acquired the drive has been given a life sentence and others who watched it will do five years hard labor.