Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Cheats: Beginner tips and tricks
Lightning Returns might be one of the biggest departures, not only for the FFXIII saga, but for the entire Final Fantasy series altogether. Whether you're coming from the past two games, or starting completely fresh with Lightning Returns, chances are you'll be just a little confused about the games core mechanics and I wouldn't blame you. From time based gameplay, to an overhauled combat system, this is not a game you simply pick and play.
Here are a few tips to get you started and hopefully acquainted with the world of Nova Chrysalis.
Play on EASY Mode
Despite what your gamer moral compass says, don't hesitate to play the game on EASY Mode, as there are benefits that will not only ease you into the game, but save you from frustratingly tough boss battles. And let's be honest, you mainly want to focus on the story here so you can finally get some closure on this three part story.
EASY Mode will make fighting monsters a bit easier, which is to be expected, but one of the key features is that Lightning will slowly regenerate health in between battles. This will save you Gil as you won't have to waste it on extra consumables, and most of all, save you precious EP by not having to use Curaga and heal yourself. Another mostly useless feature is that escaping battle no longer penalizes you by an hour, but since fights are easier, you really shouldn't be needing to do that.
Use the Train early on and unlock all locations via Teleport
After the first Main Mission plotline in Luxeria, and during the time you have to look for mysterious glowing numbers on the wall, you'll have more or less an entire day to complete sidequests and just explore. Use this time to your advantage to unlock fast travel to the other continents.
By taking the North Station in Luxerion, you can travel to Yusnaan while the South Station will take you to the Wildlands and Dead Dunes. As soon as you enter each of these locations, you will unlock the ability to fast travel there without needing to take the train. There are a few benefits to this. Teleporting to locations doesn't take away any actual in-game time, whereas traveling by train does. Even though it does use 2 EP, you can quickly gain that back by fighting a few monsters in each location.
Complete as many sidequests as you can
Once you visit each area, be on the lookout for NPCs with blue stars above their heads and also visit Chocolina and her Prayer Board to accept a bunch of sidequests. These are imperative for two big reasons. Firstly, completing sidequests levels up Lightning's stats, since there is absolutely no XP in the game. Secondly, completing quests earns you Eradia which you can then feed to Yggdrasil to extend the amount of time you have until the end of the world.
Skip monster battles unless necessary for a quest
Since killing monsters doesn't earn you XP, you really have no incentive to battle them, unless you're running low on EP and you need it refilled. This statement goes slightly against my previous one, since a lot of the monster drops are required to complete quests, but seriously don't waste your time unless absolutely necessary.
BUT kill big monsters
The game doesn't have random encounters, so you always see the enemy on screen before going into battle. If you're full on EP, avoid the smaller monsters. They're not really worth much Gil and therefore not worth your time. However, always make a point to fight the bigger, tougher monsters. You'll always be able to tell which ones they are when you see them, trust me.
The reason being is that they almost always give a big EP reward, which is great in case you're running low, but they also have some amazing loot drops. The Reaver in Wildlands for example drops his giant sword which gives Lightning a huge boost to her physical attack power.
Use map markers
One of the unfortunate designs of Lightning Returns is that it doesn't mark sidequests on your map, nor does it show where you need to turn them in after they're completed. This isn't a problem for the Prayer Board, but unless you have a great memory of where each NPC that gave you a sidequest was, I recommend using the in-game map markers.
This tool allows you to place down pins and even name them, anywhere on the map. Trust me, you won't regret putting this feature to use, as it will cut down on wasted time trying to find who to turn those sidequests in to.
Keep a balanced Schema
This will come down to your individual playstyle, but since many enemies have different weaknesses, you want to make sure your Schema list is varied to adapt to any situation. Essentially you want one focused on physical damage, one on magic damage, and then a debuffer.
This will take some tinkering, but essentially you want to focus on two main stats for the two first Schemas, and then debuff skills for the last one. For physical, equip outfits that raise Physical Damage, and don't worry too much about Magic. You want to hit hard as you can. Also make sure that the skills you're setting here have the sword icon next to them. This Schema will be good against enemies that are resistant to magic, and get the Stagger effect from physical attacks.
The second Schema should have items equipped that raise Magic Damage, and skills that have the cane icon next to them. This Schema is good against enemies resistant to physical damage, but it's also important to have a varied skill list. For example, some enemies might absob Blizzard while being weak to Fire. Lastly, you'll want to have a nice balance of offense and defense but focus on a higher ATB bar, since some of these debuff skills cost a lot. Here you'll mainly want to equip skills with the little cursed face icon such as Deshell and Deprotect.
Use Chronostasis, a lot!
One of the most useful EP abilities in the game aside from Teleport is Chronostasis. This handy little skill lets you freeze time for a bit. This becomes increasingly useful as you try to cram as many sidequests into a given day as possible, or to reach a certain NPC before they leave their spot for the day, or even get access to an area before its locked down for a certain amount of hours. The best part is that it costs a measly single EP (at least on Easy Mode) so use this to your heart's content.