Saturday, 2 Mar 2024

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Boss Guide: How To Defeat Every Boss (So Far)

Final Fantasy VII Remake’s complex battle system leads to a variety of exciting encounters against Shinra’s military and wild Fiends–which are demanding on occasion. But the game’s biggest challenges are its lengthy, involved boss fights, which put your understanding of its battle mechanics to the test. If you’re not the most experienced at fast-paced real-time combat, Final Fantasy VII Remake is bound to give you some trouble, regardless of which difficulty you choose. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered, as we’ve compiled a walkthrough detailing how to fight many of the game’s bosses.

Below you can find in-depth strategies for every boss we’ve beaten so far. Click from the Table of Contents to jump to where you want to go. Be careful, as this guide has some spoilers to boss identities, so proceed with caution. Check back often as we update this roundup with even more boss strategies.

For more guides, check out our feature highlighting some essential tips to know as you play the game, as well as our PSA on why you shouldn’t skip side missions. Otherwise, you can read our Final Fantasy VII Remake review.

  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8
  • Chapter 9
  • Chapter 10
  • Chapter 11
  • Other Chapter Bosses Coming Soon!

Chapter 1

Scorpion Sentinel

The Scorpion Sentinel is your first big challenge in Final Fantasy VII Remake. As Cloud says at the start, Lightning magic is most effective. Lucky for you, Barrett has some Lightning Materia handy, so switch to him and unleash that as soon as possible. As a precaution, cast Steelskin on Barret to ensure he’s got all the added defense and resilience he needs to stay in the fight. For Cloud, use Punisher Mode attacks and Fire spells to pile on the damage and keep increasing the Scorpion Sentinel’s Stagger meter. But don’t linger close; it’ll swipe you with its tail or leap up and drop down onto you if you hang around too long. When it locks onto you with its targeting laser, get ready to block some missiles; you can try to dodge, but you’ll probably still take a fair amount of damage.

Do enough damage and the Scorpion Sentinel will activate a barrier, hindering all incoming attacks. Circle its back and hit it in the Field Generator weak spot underneath its tail. Use Barrett’s Focused Shot ability to do some substantial damage to it, while having Cloud follow up with a Fire spell. You’ll want to stay back as much as possible until you can drop that barrier, as the Scorpion Sentinel will smash you with an area-of-effect attack. Once the barrier is down, start hitting it again with Barret’s Lightning spells and Cloud’s Punisher attacks. When the Sentinel Scorpion jumps onto the wall, switch to Barrett and hit it with Overcharge shots to bring it back down. If you stagger it at any point, make sure to spend ATB to unleash Cloud’s Braver and Barret’s Focused Shot upon it.

After you’ve dealt enough damage, the Sentinel Scorpion will launch a bunch of missiles that bring down debris from around the reactor. It’ll then charge its Tail Laser; hide behind the debris to avoid getting hit by the attack, which is devastating. You can still use spells in the meantime, though.

During this final portion of the fight, the Sentinel Scorpion will cycle through several attacks, including an EM Blast around its body, a hail of missiles, lasers from its hands, and a machine gun attack. Dodge or block the incoming strikes and hang back until after the missile strike, when the Scorpion Sentinel is open for attack, then hit it before retreating to hide from the Tail Laser. Make use of Barret’s ranged attacks as much as you can, as well as magic, because these will keep you out of range from several of the Sentinel Scorpion’s abilities. Keep a consistent rate of damage, making sure to go hard when you stagger it, and you’ll win in no time.

Chapter 2

The Huntsman (Mini-Boss)

You’ll fight the Huntsman at the end of Chapter 2, who’s accompanied by several Shinra troopers. He’s basically a Riot Trooper with more powerful attacks, higher defense, and grenades. Before facing him, focus on his friends first, which include a Riot Trooper, several Security Officers. Start by wiping the floor with the Security Officers, then focus your attention on the Riot Troopers, which you can instantly drop with a Fire spell or a Punisher Mode guard stance counter.

When the Huntsman is alone, stay well clear of him, as he can deal severe damage and quickly punish you if your sword bounces off his shield. Watch out for his attack called Riot Shield, where he’ll sprint straight at you and bowl you over; it’s hard to dodge, so try to guard against it instead. He shouldn’t be able to hurt you much otherwise, so remain guarded in Punisher Mode to deal damage with your instant counter-attack. Once your ATB charges up, hit him with a Fire spell to drop his defenses. That should put him on one knee; close the gap quickly and rip him apart with more Punisher Mode attacks. Repeat that process a few times, and you should down him pretty quickly.

Chapter 4

Roche (Motorcycle Chase)

The final portion of your motorcycle ride during Chapter 4 pits you against Roche, AKA “Speed Demon.” This adrenaline-pumped maniac is a bit of a pain to deal with. First, use guard and dodge around to avoid the ranged sword slices he sends your way. If you swerve from right to left, you can easily steer clear of most of them in time. Pay attention to the pattern; his slashes stay in pretty much the same areas as they cross the street, and you can mostly zip past unscathed. When he’s not up close, use L1+Triangle to fire off your own ranged attacks once charged to keep your damage output up.

When Roche drives up on the side of the tunnel, it means he’s going to start sending vertical Lightning strikes your way. Don’t worry about attacking; instead, watch for the attacks to come down and dodge them before they can hit you. If there’s an opportunity to charge your ranged attack, shoot it his way, but remember that defense is your primary concern.

Roche will eventually jump off the side of the tunnel to smash down right next to you, so dodge hard to one side to avoid taking damage when you see him getting ready to move. He’ll usually stick up close for a while, so keep slashing at him and unleashing your spin attack when you get the chance before he repeats his cycle. Keep consistent on dodging and damage-dealing, and you’ll end this bozo’s high-speed reign–at least, for now.

Roche (Shinra Warehouse)

This second fight with Roche is more of a sword-fighting duel, and you’ll want to rely on your guard here. Blocking Roche’s attacks will bounce him off you, leaving him vulnerable for you to lay into him with a series of combos. The more you hit him or block him, the easier to interrupt he becomes.

Roche will start the battle fighting you conservatively, letting you get quite a few hits in before retaliating with his sword combo. If he starts up a flurry, dodge to the side before he lands the final spinning attack. He’ll also occasionally cast Materia spells, so make sure you’re paying attention to his casting animation to evade them in time. Stick to defense with the Punisher Mode’s counter-attacks, which is a great way to circumvent Roche’s speed and keep the damage output high. Generally, you want to stand your ground against Roche like you’re having a swordfight: block and counter his attacks to pressure and stagger him, then lay into him with combos after he bounces off your guard. He’s also weak to Fire, so if you can hit him with the occasional Fire spell, all the better.

Deal enough damage, and you’ll eventually trigger the second phase of the fight. Roche is far more aggressive and agile here, capable of easily dodging your strikes and stunning you with powerful dash attacks, but he’s still vulnerable to getting his attacks blocked. Maintain a defensive posture with Punisher Mode and keep wailing on Roche with that trusty counter. But once again, dodge away when you see him about to unleash a spell. Also, avoid using ATB abilities until he’s staggered. Rinse and repeat until he’s down for the count.

Chapter 6

Crab Warden

The Crab Warden has a bunch of different targets on its body, and to put it down for good, you need to cripple each of its legs in turn. It’s weak to Lightning magic, so make sure you have some Lightning Materia equipped ahead of time–the more, the better, but definitely give an orb to Barret, since he can stand back from the battle and support the melee fighters with spells.

As soon as the fight starts, the Crab Warden electrifies the train tracks, so make sure your party isn’t standing on them. It’ll do this every once in a while, so keep an eye out for Crab Warden readying the attack, and get yourself clear. Once the electricity dissipates, have Cloud and Tifa focus melee attacks on the Crab Warden’s legs, while commanding whoever you’ve assigned Lightning Materia to bolster their attacks with Lightning spells. Attacking the Crab Warden’s legs from the side and back from the back can be very useful since most of its guns are in the front, but be careful of its EMP blast area attack, which will hit you for big damage if you’re standing too close. Repeat this cycle of attacks and defense until you destroy a leg to stagger the crab; use that opportunity to deal massive damage with your ATB abilities.

The Crab Warden will add additional attacks as it takes more and more damage, eventually opening two big missile launchers on its sides. These are tough to dodge, so get ready to guard to mitigate the damage, and keep pouring out the Lightning in the meantime. The missiles are a significant threat, so focus on the launchers to destroy them, while also forcing the Crab Warden to expose its pilot generator. At that point, you should be free to lay into the exposed weak point with everything you’ve got to finish the boss off in short order.

Chapter 7

Airbuster

The Airbuster is a unique boss fight in that the decisions you make in Reactor 5 before fighting it impact how difficult the battle will be. If you’re paying attention, you can find as many as six Reactor 5 keycards as you move through the labs ahead of the fight with the Airbuster. Each of those keycards can be used to remove armaments from the Airbuster that you can then retrieve yourself. Removing AI Cores cuts down on the Airbuster’s movement speed and ability to use stun attacks; removing Big Bomber shells takes away the boss’s ability to use big, massively damaging explosives; and removing M units gives you random items you can retrieve ahead of the fight–although it doesn’t hamper the Airbuster’s effectiveness. You can make decisions about what to take from the Airbuster based on your playstyle, but we found removing all its Big Bomber shells was pretty helpful.

If you’ve got the Elemental Materia, this is an excellent time to use it–set it with a Lightning Materia for Barret so that he fires Lightning-infused bullets, allowing him to do more damage while quickly increasing the Airbuster’s Stagger meter.

In the fight itself, you’ll start with Cloud separated from Barret and Tifa, and the Airbuster facing him. Take a defensive posture; block with your guard stance all incoming gunfire and laser beams from the Airbuster, and dodge the EM Mines it kicks out periodically. Close the gap and perform melee attacks if you can manage them, but note that the Airbuster will use a blast of static electricity to knock you back if you linger too close. Fire off magic spells instead when you’re not defending–the Airbuster is weak to Lightning–just like the Crab Warden–so go nuts with it. Hit the Airbuster with enough Lightning, and it’ll be stunned for a few seconds, allowing you to get in close and hit it with ATB abilities.

If Cloud is taking too much damage, Barret’s Lifesaver ability from his Light Machine Gun can help, allowing him to tank damage from the other characters. Use it to spread around the hurt.

After a time, the Airbuster will turn and face Barret and Tifa. As Cloud, you now have a chance to get close for some damage, but watch out for the Airbuster’s jets, which will fire periodically and knock you to the ground.

When the Airbuster’s second phase hits, you’ll need to worry about its massive Tankbuster laser. It’ll shoot it down the center catwalk, making it pretty easy to dodge, but make sure you avoid it, or your characters will take a ton of damage. From here on out, the Airbuster will periodically fire the laser; when it does, drop everything and get clear.

You can now close the cap on the Airbuster and hit it at close range while continuing to smash it with as much Lightning as possible. After a short time, the Airbuster’s arms will split off, firing arcs of electricity between them. When that happens, focus your fire on one of them to stagger and destroy it quickly, using Barret’s ranged abilities and magic. The arms will move to the other catwalk and try to punch you before long, so try to stay clear of them.

You should also get the opportunity to use a summon during this phase of the battle, which will help take the pressure off fighting the arms. After you hit them hard enough, the Airbuster will pull the arms back to its main body. Keep hitting it as hard as you can with Lightning to stagger the Airbuster, and then lay into it for some considerable damage.

When the Airbuster gets down to about half-health, it’ll hover off the side of the catwalk, beyond the range of your melee team’s attacks. Switch to Barret and open up with his guns, while continuing to support him with as many Lightning spells as you can manage. When Airbuster floats back to the catwalk, send the melee fighters in to wail on it as much as they can.

Watch out for when the Airbuster rises to either crush you with a big punch from one of its fists, lay into you with its machine guns, or fire flamethrowers from its palms. When you see it preparing any of those attacks, dodge clear. It’ll also fire its Tankbuster laser while rotating, covering more ground, so when you see it readying that attack, run for it.

As the Airbuster’s health drops, just keep pounding away with Lightning spells to pressure it. Getting it close to death will trigger some significant, last-ditch attacks, like the Big Bomber, which will shoot a giant grenade at one of your teammates. But at this point, you should be able to overpower the Tankbuster and finish it off by unloading damage on it relentlessly.

Chapter 8

Reno

As soon as the fight starts, take care of the Security Officers; the Iron Blade’s Triple Slash ability should come in handy here. Once they’re dealt with, focus your attention on Reno. You want to maintain a steady balance between speed and measured defense. Similar to Roche, this is a swordfight of sorts, and you’ll need to block Reno’s attacks to open him up to attack. He likes to zip at you with a dash to get behind you, then attack you from the back, so you’ll want to be ready to Guard when he closes the gap. Reno can be easily hurt with some well-timed Punisher Mode counter attacks, but any block of his electro baton will allow you to strike back. You want to be sure to block him, because the baton won’t just hurt you, it’ll stun you, too. If you’ve got enough ATB stocked, follow up your Punish Mode attacks with a Focus Thrust.

Eventually, Reno will start to throw EM Mines at you, which will float around, arcing electricity between them to stun you and open you up to attack. Run away from the mines and either nail them with magic spells or cut in close and slice them out of the air, but be sure you don’t attack them when they’re charged with electricity or you’ll get zapped. The EM Mines are particularly dangerous toward the end of the fight, when Reno will come after you for close-range attacks while you’re dealing with the mines, so keep your distance and even up the odds as quickly as you can. Keep the pressure on, and you’ll eventually come out of this encounter victorious.

Optional: Shiva (Recommended During Chapter 8)

If you keep in touch with Shinra intern Chadley, he should provide you with a new Battle Intel scenario that pits you against summon creature Shiva in order to earn a new Materia. You’ll have whoever’s in your party when you take on this fight, so if you try it with just Cloud, it’ll be tougher than if you tackle it with Aerith in your squad. We recommend that you bring Aerith along, though.

Shiva is an Ice summon, and thus weak to Fire. Give Aerith your best Fire Materia, and make sure you have the Ifrit summon equipped, then head into the battle. Cloud can pretty much take care of himself, so you’re better off controlling Aerith to run up her ATB bars as quickly as possible; the more Fire or Fira spells you can cast on Shiva, the faster you’ll manage to stagger her. Make use of Aerith’s Arcane Ward ability, which automatically makes you cast two spells for every ATB bar you spend, to maximize your damage. A good Fire spell will knock Shiva to the ground, offering Cloud a chance to lay down some melee attacks. Make sure you’re not too close when she gets back up, though, because she’ll use the Icicle Impact area attack spell around her when she’s back on her feet.

You’ll want to keep laying down spells on Shiva while working to keep Aerith alive. You’ll need to be on top of dodging her clear of incoming danger, which includes Blizzara spells that Shiva will shoot your way. Shiva will also summon a bunch of ice crystals to shoot at you in a group. Dodging that attack is a losing battle, so guard against it and power through.

Once you do enough damage, Shiva will get more aggressive, with spells that come faster and new Frost Familiars that protect her and increase the number of spells she casts. Keep firing away with spells to knock out the minions, but beware of the White Out attack, which will send ice crystals through the ground at you. If they hit you, you’ll fall asleep, opening you up to a huge but slow magic attack from Shiva called Heavenly Strike. You’ll see a massive ice crystal form above the sleeping character; quickly switch to your other character and use Smelling Salts to wake up the sleeper, then dodge away to avoid the big crystal.

As soon as you can get Ifrit in the battle, summon him and start using his abilities to do significant damage and keep Shiva off-balance. The Fire attacks should end up staggering her quickly, allowing you to do a bunch more damage. At about one-quarter health, Shiva will do her big summon attack, damaging your entire party. Makes sure you’re healed up before that happens, or she can take you out in one blow. After that, keep hitting her with Fire spells until she’s done.

Rude

After fighting Reno, it’s expected that you’d deal with his buddy Rude sooner or later. Make sure you have Wind materia equipped, particularly on Aerith, because it’s going to help you a great deal.

Rude is basically the opposite of Reno, in that his attacks are big, powerful, and tough to block–instead, you want to be ready with a dodge to avoid taking the brunt of it. Focus also on trying to dodge sideways rather than backward, as Rude will travel forward with a lot of his attacks to keep hitting you even if you back off. Keep away from his Haymaker attack, which does a whole lot of damage, and do what you can when he comes at you with the Running Tackle, which will leave Cloud bound and exposed to the suplex that follows. Deadly Dodge is an excellent way to open up on him after staying back for a moment.

Aerith will be completely ignored by Rude, giving you a chance to use her to dump spells on the boss. Wind magic will hugely push up Rude’s pressure meter, allowing you to stagger him easily. So try to keep Cloud safe in the melee fight while focusing on Wind magic to do the real damage. Her Pray ability should also help keep the party in the right shape. Make sure you’re switching back to her whenever you think Cloud is about to be in a tough position.

After you get Rude’s health down some, you’ll trigger a second phase, where he starts using attacks called Shockwave and Spirit Geyser. Shockwave travels through the ground and will track you some, while Spirit Geyser will cause explosions underneath you–in both cases, keep moving to avoid the damage. Keep firing away with Wind spells and you’ll make pretty quick work of Rude.

Chapter 9

Hell House

If you’re a fan of the original Final Fantasy VII, could you have imagined Square would bring back the Hell House in 2020? Once again, you’ll be tackling this fight with just Cloud and Aerith. Hell House is quite a challenging fight, in that you must use a variety of spells to win, since the boss frequently switches between different elemental weaknesses. Ensure both Cloud and Aerith are equipped with the most powerful versions of all four elemental Materia spells–Fire, Blizzard, Thunder, and Wind–that you’ve got on-hand. As the fight progresses, watch out for Hell House’s windows to know which spells to cast to do the most damage. For example, if the windows are on fire, cast Blizzard; if they’re green, cast Wind. When you see an elemental switch with the house, make sure to switch to the character with the right spell to suit the weakness so that their ATB meters are charging as fast as possible.

Sooner or later, the Hell House will start to hurl furniture at you. Try to get as far away as possible to avoid harm; your other AI-controlled party member should mostly be able to handle themselves, but be ready to heal them with healing magic or a potion if they’re not so lucky. It’s also worth noting that you’re likely to run short on MP at this point in the fight, so be sure to use Ethers. If you start to run low on Ethers, a gate will open toward the end of the battle to reveal Shira crates you can break to refill your MP with mako shards.

Hell House will test your mettle and is likely to run both Cloud and Aerith through the dirt. They’ll often be at the end of their rope, so keep an eye on when you can cast Aerith’s Healing Wind Limit Break to give the party a second wind.

Optional Boss: Fat Chocobo

Fighting Fat Chocobo is a whole lot easier than Shiva, but you still need to keep your wits about you. The summon creature doesn’t have any major weaknesses, so you’ll just want to hit it with your toughest attacks and spells. The best way to pressure Fat Chocobo is with ATB abilities, like Cloud’s Braver and Focused Thrust. Go with the ones you like best and deal the biggest damage, while having Aerith keep up a variety of spells, and keep hammering at Fat Chocobo in an attempt to stagger him.

Fat Chocobo his back with physical attacks, so if you have Barrier Materia, use it to protect your squad. His Wark attack has him throwing random garbage at you, which you can easily avoid. When you get in close, watch out for Boom, in which he pops up into the air and drops back down for a big area-of-effect strike. After a bit, he’ll start rolling around with Roly Poly, which you can dodge clear of if you’re quick.

Meanwhile, the Moogle that floats around Fat Chocobo will occasionally summon spectral enemies to come after you–specifically, Bombs and Tonberries. Knock these out quickly if you can with Triple Strike, or let Aerith handle them with her magic while you keep up your assault on Fat Chocobo. You’ll occasionally want to switch to Aerith to speed her ATB gain for healing spells, especially if Cloud gets walloped with a few of Fat Chocobo’s big attacks.

When you get a chance, summon Ifrit or Shiva into the battle to further pressure Fat Chocobo–the further into the fight you get, the more minion enemies will get spawned in to overwhelm you. They shouldn’t bother you too much, though, but if you’re finding yourself taking a lot of damage, peel off and take a second to deal with them before returning your focus to the boss.

Chapter 10

Ghoul

Start by blocking the furniture the Ghoul throws at you during the opening moments of the fight. He’s particularly weak against Fire, Blizzard, and Lighting spells, so emphasize having your party cast those after dodging the multitude of furniture. The Ghoul also has some status-affecting attacks that will put you in Silence, where you can’t cast magic, and a stun attack to keep you stuck in place and vulnerable for 10 seconds. If any of your party members are afflicted by Silence, throw out some Echo Mist to clear them up.

Later during the fight, the Ghoul will pick up a party member and hold them up in the air. However, this Ghoul is a lie! When this happens, remove your lock-on and look to the other side of the room to attack the real Ghoul. Wail on him enough, and he’ll be forced to free your party member. The Ghoul isn’t too tough, so maintain spell pressure to put him back in the grave where he belongs.

Eligor

Wow, these boss fights are starting to get wild. It just goes to show how bizarre the enemies from the original Final Fantasy VII were, so to see them represented in-world here is a wonderful treat. Eligor is a ghostly chariot who is particularly weak against Ice. Both Blizzard and the Shiva summon materia are just about all you can use to deal with this ghastly creature, since your physical attacks won’t do much damage. Keep a safe range from Eligor’s Piercing Gaze laser attack, and be cautious of his charging attacks, which he’ll use to try to close the distance. If he gets too close, pummel him with Cloud’s Deadly Dodge and Punisher Mode attacks. You can also unleash Tifa’s Unbridled Strength while you’re at it.

After a while, Eligor will fly in the air and out or range from physical attacks. Aerith’s regular attacks can help maintain damage when this happens, but you’ll probably want to use Pray and Healing Wind to top off your party’s HP. Once Eligor comes back down, he’ll start throwing javelins at you, so dodge away and hide behind the cargo container in the room until it’s destroyed.

The final phase of the fight highlights Eligor’s final weakness: his chariot’s wheels. Go to town on them, and you should eventually stagger Eligor. This party ain’t afraid of no ghosts!

Chapter 11

Reno + Rude

The two Turks are cooperating to take you down for good this time, but you’re not going to let them, right? With Reno and Rude working together, you’ll need to be on your toes because they’ve got some new attacks up their sleeves.

Reno moves around the arena more quickly this time, so don’t count on slower hitting attacks like Braver or Divekick to hit him. Try to get a feel for how fast he moves, as one of his new attacks leaves behind a trail of lightning that can be painful if you foolishly run into it. Reno also has lots of combos, so be sure to keep your party’s health at least three-quarters full, so you’re not caught off guard by a sudden attack chain.

While you’re busy fighting Reno, Rude will be supporting his buddy from above while piloting a helicopter. He periodically dives in for a bombing run, but if you stay out of the middle of the arena, you should be fine. After a while, Reno uses an attack called Pyramid, which freezes a party member in place. If it lands, have another party member attack the Pyramid to free them before Rude can attack them from his helicopter. Once you damage Reno enough, Rude’s helicopter will crash, and he’ll join the fight on the ground.

As with most group battles in Final Fantasy VII Remake, try to focus on taking out one enemy at a time. Our advice is to go for Rude first, as he’s way easier to take down once he’s on the ground. Reno’s attacks are quicker and can cut your spellcasting and ability wind-ups short. So if you take out Rude, Reno won’t be able to block all three of you, which makes the fight against him a cakewalk.

Other Chapter Bosses Coming Soon!

As stated in the intro, we’re still working our way through Final Fantasy VII Remake. We’ll be updating this guide with even more boss strategies in the coming days, so be sure to bookmark it and check back frequently. Thank you for reading so far, and let us know if you have useful boss tactics you’d recommend, too!


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