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How to Pressure and Stagger Enemies in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

Keep the pressure on to reach a staggering success.

artwork of Roche in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Square Enix/Inverse
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

Like Final Fantasy 7 Remake before it, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth adapts the original game’s turn-based combat into an action-infused new form. Along with the jump to faster hack-and-slash combat, the new games add a system of exploiting enemies’ weaknesses with pressure and stagger status effects to break their guard and deal major damage. Especially if you’re playing on Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s Dynamic Difficulty mode, mastering how to pressure and stagger opponents is essential to succeeding in combat. Here’s how to do it.

How to pressure enemies in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

Not every fight demands that you think about pressuring enemies, but in every case, it will make the battle easier. When an enemy becomes pressured, they’ll be more susceptible to building up stagger, which we’ll discuss next.

Pressure and stagger are two status conditions key to winning battles in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.

Square Enix

For both pressure and stagger, it’s a good idea to have the Assess ability at the ready at all times. You can equip this as a piece of materia bound to a weapon, or use the Assess Materia Necklace, then Assess will appear in your abilities list. Assess lets you read all sorts of detailed information about enemies, including how to pressure and stagger them. It should be the first ability you use each time you encounter a new enemy.

Once you’ve learned an enemy’s weakness, work on exploiting it. In most cases, enemies are weak to a certain element, so just barrage them with spells and weapon abilities that match it. Weapon abilities are particularly useful here, since they let characters use elemental attacks without taking up a materia slot or expending mana.

In addition to elemental weaknesses, some enemies have additional pressure triggers, which will be listed in their Assess readout. Some enemies become pressured when you dodge certain attacks, while others gain pressure when you block. In most cases, counterattacking with Cloud’s Punisher stance and breaking individual enemy parts when they appear will apply pressure.

How to stagger enemies in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

The advantage of pressure is that it increases how quickly enemies gain stagger, which is displayed in the orange bar below their health. Once stagger is full, the enemy will be briefly stunned and take significantly more damage from all attacks.

Staggering enemies makes it easier to claim victory even in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s toughest fights.

Square Enix

As you hit enemies with their elemental weaknesses, there are also abilities specifically designed to increase stagger, like Barret’s Bonus Round, Cloud’s Focused Thrust, and Tifa’s Focused Strike. If you’re having a hard time staggering enemies, give your abilities a look and see which you should focus on.

When you see an enemy get staggered — it’s not exactly subtle, with the game spelling it out on screen — it’s time to go all out. Make sure you’re using all of your ATB gauges at this point to maximize damage and maybe throw in a Limit Break or two if it’s a particularly tough enemy.

Stagger doesn’t last long, but there are a few ways to keep enemies in this condition longer. A handful of synergy abilities, such as Cloud and Tifa’s Relentless Rush, have an added effect of extending stagger duration, and it’s a great idea to use them to squeeze in every bit of bonus damage you can. Just check the synergy ability descriptions and remember to prioritize those attacks during stagger.

Pressure and stagger are incredibly important mechanics, but they don’t require too much outside-the-box thinking. Just make sure you’re Assessing everything you come across and adjusting your tactics to match their weaknesses, and you’ll be staggering your way to success in no time.

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