The Ascension System in Final Fantasy XV allows you to amplify the various effects, chains, and combos you might pursue. It winds up looking and feeling a lot like a fusion between Final Fantasy X’s Sphere Grid and Skyrim’s mechanism for leveling up by individual nodes on a number of different skill trees. That being said, we’ve got you covered for recommendations for the best abilities to pursue, the sooner the better.

Camping. It's intense.
Camping. It's intense.

Roadrunning, Happy Camping, etc. (Exploration)

A number of nodes will tantalize you with more AP for doing such mundane tasks as Driving, Camping, or Tolerating Prompto (just kidding). More AP basically allows you to level up even faster, so these different AP-focused ones should be your top priority from the start. There’s also Chocobump, Angler Action, Magic Action, Armiger Action, and Armiger Chain Reaction. Roadrunning and Happy Camping are arguably your most potent options.

Airstep (Combat)

If you want to feel like your combat is a bit closer to that of Kingdom Hearts, Airstep is going to be essential, as the progression basically provides more aerial acrobatics and perks for successful maneuvers. At its first node, it allows you to take a step mid-air after attacking.

Analyze (Teamwork)

This automates the effect of the classic Libra move from most Final Fantasy games, allowing your team to automatically analyze most enemies’ weaknesses at the start of a battle, so you can pick the best weapons and magic to make things easier on yourself.

Warp Factor (Combat)

Warp Factor offers up a solid damage boost to any Warp Strikes, which can and should be the bread and butter of your damage output as your princely hero teleports around the battlefield.

Light Phase (Combat)

This ability is a no-brainer: Light Phase reduces MP cost of Phasing to avoid attacks, which ultimately means more HP and MP for you so that Noctis can do more cool things like Warp Strikes and, you know, survive and stuff.

Enhancement (Techniques)

Enhancement — on Ignis’s branch of Techniques — will imbue Noctis’s attacks with the element his target is most vulnerable to at the cost of a stage on the tech bar, which is pretty much 100% worth it because flaming swords are dope, and these things are not limited to Souls games or ceremonies in Game of Thrones.

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Hang In (Recovery)

Hang In grants Noctis increased HP recovery rate while hanging after a Point Warp. That translates to a faster, safer way to exit the battle, heal up, and return that much faster to the thick of it. It also gives you even more reasons to teleport to high cliffs and hang by your sword, which is totally practical.

Regroup (Techniques)

A great early option for Ignis and useful for pretty much the entire game, this ability gathers allies together defensively to rescue from danger and quickly restore HP. It can also be immediately followed by heavily offensive magic, which for some reason could stand to harm your teammates if you fuck it up.

Link Up (Teamwork)

Next to Warp Strike damage, your Link Strikes will be another source of damage output for your team, and Link Up will only boost the effect of synchronizing attacks with your teammates even more. It’s worth it just to positively reinforce those cute quips that your gang is always jabbering out.

Health Level (Stats)

If you’re finding the difficulty a bit much early on and don’t want to settle for Easy mode, then you’ll want to spend some AP boosting the HP of your characters.

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Safe travels on your journey through Eos, and be sure to save those goofy photos Prompto is bound to take.

Photos via Techno Buffalo, Push Square (1, 2), Imgur, RPG Fan, ytimg, Segment Next, Collider