Game Guides

How to beat every Battle Challenge in FF7 Remake's Shinra Combat Simulator

Slice through simulated foes with real gusto.

While Cloud, Tifa, and Barrett infiltrate Shinra HQ towards the end of Final Fantasy VII Remake, the group stumbles upon the Shinra Combat Simulator, a high tech arena that replaces the Corneo Colosseum during FF7 Remake’s endgame. It provides players with ample challenge and worthy rewards. Ensure that you can win every battle with a few tips.

How to access the Shinra Combat Simulator in Final Fantasy 7 Remake

While assisting Chadley with his research throughout FF7 Remake, he’ll often tell you about his internship at Shinra. Given the corporation’s objectively antagonistic role it’s difficult to believe he has such a job until you finally see him working while infiltrating Shinra HQ in Chapter 16.

After finishing Three-Person Team vs. Mayor is Best, you’ll be granted access to six 4-Star challenges that can be beaten using Barret, Cloud, and Tifa. After beating the game, a second Shinra Combat Simulator location will open up in Chapter 17 upon replay. The new location can be found at the chapter’s start. You’ll pass by the location as you’re going through the chapter and Chadley will call out to you when you’re close, so you can’t miss it.

The new location will have additional “Hard Mode” levels and allow you to face challenges with every playable character.

Each challenge is a series of fights consisting of five rounds that can be completed by a team of your choosing or a specific character. Battle Challenges that require specific characters are identical to ones with the same subtitle. For example, Cloud vs. vs. SOLDIER Trainees will be identical to Aerith vs. vs. SOLDIER Trainees.

How to win Shinra Combat Simulator Challenges in Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Cloud, Barret, Tifa, or Aerith vs. SOLDIER Trainees (4-Star)

  • Unlock by reaching Chapter 16

Tips: Before kicking off this battle, place a Fire Materia linked to an Elemental Materia on your weapon. Nearly every enemy faced in this challenge is vulnerable to fire damage. Equip a Lighting Materia as well. You’ll use lightning attacks against Cutter, who you’ll face in the final round.

After emerging victorious, you’ll be rewarded an armor, which changes depending on the character used. Cloud and Barret will receive items that focus on Physical Defense – a Cog Bangle and a Supreme Bracer, respectively. Winning with Tifa or Aerith will give you either a Magic and Materia focused armor – a Rune Armlet and Geometric Bracelet, respectively.

Aerith vs. Cutter

Square Enix

Two-Person Team vs. High Flyers (4-Star)

  • Unlock by reaching Chapter 16

Tips: Have one close range fighter (Cloud or Tifa) paired with a distance fighter (Barret or Aerith). Make sure to equip your distance fighter with Magnify+Wind Materia then equip both team members with First Strike and Healing Materia. The final boss has a chance to absorb your magic, so forgo equipping Elemental Materia.

For your effort, you’ll be rewarded with a Gil Up Materia, doubling the amount of Gil earned when equipped to a character in your party.

Three-Person Team vs. Team Ragbag (4-Star)

  • Unlock by reaching Chapter 16

Tips: You’ll need three fighters for this challenge. We recommend filling your party with one close range fighter then both of your distance fighters. Give one of your distance fighters Magnify+Lightning Materia. Equip your close range fighter’s weapon with Elemental+Ice Materia. If you have the Enemy Skill Materia, you can equip another fighter with it to grant them Algid Aura, miming an Elemental+Ice Materia effect.

You’ll be rewarded with an EXP Up Materia, doubling the EXP earned by somebody who equips it. This will stack with the native EXP bonus from playing the game after beating it.

Cloud, Barret, Tifa, or Aerith vs. SOLDIER Candidates (5-Star)

  • Unlock by beating the game.

Tips: Equip Elemental+Thunder Materia to your armor, rendering you immune to most of the more intimidating foes. Equip a Fire Materia as well. In Round 1, focus on the Enhanced Shock Trooper first. You’ll be able to defeat most foes swiftly by using well-timed lightning attacks. When facing the M.O.T.H. unit in the final round, wait for them to use Ultra-High Voltage before attacking. You’ll be immune to the attack and they’ll be vulnerable to stagger after attacking.

Pride and Joy

Square Enix

Your reward will be a Manuscript corresponding to the character used to beat the level. Each Manuscript is worth 10 Skill Points for the character.

Two-Person Team vs. Dynamic Duos (5-Star)

  • Unlock by beating the game.

Tips: Pair a close range fighter (Cloud or Tifa) with a distance fighter (Barret or Aerith). Place Elemental+Fire Materia on your close range fighter’s weapon. Give your distance fighter a Fire Materia sans elemental. Bring Ice and Lightning Materia for later rounds. Also provide one of your fighters with a Subversion Materia to Dispel reflect when used. Include the Ifrit Summon in your loadout.

Your reward will be a Refocus Materia. When equipped, the character will gain the Refocus Limit Break which fully restores their ATB gauge and splits it into thirds, rather than halfs until the end of the current fight. This will speed up your ATB charge significantly, making it perfect for an amazing Tifa build.

Three-Person Team vs. Monsters of Legend (6-Star)

  • Unlock by beating the game.

Tips: This is the second toughest challenge in the game. You’ll be facing two Tonberries, who can both one-hit K.O. anyone in your party. To succeed, equip somebody in your party with Warding+Subversion Materia.


Square Enix

Make sure everyone in your party has Raise and Healing Materia equipped. Designate one character in your party as a healer, this role will preferably be filled by Aerith. Equip your healer with Healing+Magnify Materia. Also equip your healer with Revival Earrings. Make sure Aerith also has an Ice Materia. Avoid equipping any Elemental Materia on your weapon this time around; it will only hold you back.

When you face the Type-0 Behemoth, choose to focus on either their top or bottom half before going for the other. Damaging one enough will stagger them, then you can focus on their horns. It’s just like what you did during the Secret Medicine side quest.

If you’re trying to collect every Enemy Skill, make sure to bring the Materia with you. This will be the only place to face Malboro, who holds the Bad Breath Enemy Skill.

You’ll be rewarded with a Refocus Materia, the same prize given in the last challenge.

Three-Person Team vs. Top Secret (7-Star)

This is the hardest challenge in the entire game. If you’re having trouble with it, we wrote a separate step-by-step guide on how to win this challenge. To start, it might be helpful to equip one of Tifa’s greatest builds in FF7 Remake.

If you can win, you’ll gain the Gotterdammerung, an accessory that enables the user to enter a battle with a full Limit Break gauge. After using the initial Limit Break, the gauge will replenish at a greater rate than usual. Not a bad reward for the toughest fight in FF7 Remake.

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