Just like the original, the Final Fantasy 7 Remake allows players to slot in magical orbs called Materia into their weapons and equipment. These colorful spheres can radically change how each character plays, allowing plenty of flexibility.
Figuring out which is the best Materia to use at any given time can be difficult, though. The further you get into Final Fantasy 7 Remake, the more Materia you’ll have access to. Eventually, you’ll have dozens of Materia sitting in your inventory.
If this is your first time playing through the story of Final Fantasy 7 or you just want to make your trip through Remake as optimized as possible, here are the best Materia to have equipped at all times.
Assess and First Strike
The Assess and First Strike Materia combination will allow you to start every battle with a tactical advantage.
Since the battles in Final Fantasy Remake rely on exploiting enemy weaknesses, this two-piece Materia set allows you to begin every battle with valuable intel. Understanding what to take advantage of in each fight will give you the upper hand, especially in the extended boss encounters that can sometimes sneak up on you.
You get the Assess Materia from Chadley early in chapter three, “Home Sweet Slum.” Assess is a yellow Command Materia that adds a new Ability in your Command Menu called Assess. Use one ATB point in combat, and your character will assess any given target (or every target once their Materia is at level two), which automatically opens up the Enemy Intel screen.
Usually you gain an entry on the Enemy Intel screen after you fight an enemy. The information displayed typically offers some background on the enemy, but nothing too useful in battle. However, once an enemy has been hit with the Assess ability, yellow text appears on the left, detailing the best way to take down your target. In rare cases, red text will appear if an enemy has a unique item that you can only obtain during that encounter.
First Strike Materia
The key to getting the most out of the Assess Materia is to use it as quickly as you can when a fight begins. Since using the ability requires a single ATB Point, one of the best ways to start combat encounters with an ATB point is the purple Complete Materia, First Strike.
You can get First Strike around the same time as Assess from Chadley after completing his research quest, “Battle Intel: The Stagger Effect Pt. 1.” To meet this challenge’s requirement, you first need to stagger an enemy. One of the best ways to do that is based on the information you get from the Assess ability. Then, once staggered, use one of your unique abilities, such as any Triangle attack, on the weakened foe.
With this Materia equipped, First Strike will give whatever character is using it a bit of ATB at the start of combat. As the Materia levels up, it offers even more ATB when fights begin, giving you the chance to use Assess almost immediately. The earlier you gain insight on your enemies, the better you can plan your attacks.
Elemental Materia plus Fire, Ice, Lighting, or Wind
The Elemental Materia is a blue Support Materia that you must place in a linked Materia slot with an elemental magic Materia (Fire, Ice, Lighting, or Wind) to be useful. You’ll need to slot the Elemental Materia into a linked Materia slot alongside your elemental magic Materia of choice.
Once linked, the Elemental Materia offers two benefits depending on whether or not its on a weapon or armor. On a weapon, the materia adds a percentage of elemental damage to your standard attacks, infusing them with elemental damage upon each hit. If its in a linked armor slot, you can either reduce, negate, or absorb elemental damage done to you if it’s the same as the Materia linked to the Elemental Materia.
Used in conjunction with what you learn by using the Assess command in each fight, the Elemental Materia can allow you to score free elemental damage without wasting an ATB point or MP. You can also gain an advantage over enemies who primarily use elemental attacks.
Auto-Cure is a purple Complete Materia you obtain from Chadley by completing his research quest “Battle Intel: Monster Bio. Pt. 1.” To complete that task, you need to use the Assess ability on two enemies.
Auto-Cure’s utility is simple enough: Its user automatically casts the Cure spell on an ally who has low health. However, you must meet two conditions before the the ability automatically activates:
- Your character needs enough MP and an ATB Point to automatically cast Cure as if they were casting the spell normally.
- You must not be controlling the character, or else they will not use the spell.
Auto-Cure is a great Materia to place on characters who aren’t your chosen healers like Cloud and Barrett because they typically have more health. Since these characters can deal plenty of damage on their own without wasting ATB Points, they can make use of spare ATB Points by switching off of them and allowing them to heal others while you take control of someone else.
Having an active healer who uses Cure Materia and an inactive healer who uses Auto-Cure is a great combination because you’ll frequently run into scenarios where more than one character needs healing.
Sometimes its difficult to put healing duties on a single character, especially since healing two party members requires two ATB Points. So placing Auto-Cure on a character who is less likely to get knocked out will allow you to passively allow them to heal others while your main healer uses ATB Points to heal their companions.
Correction: The original version of this guide had different descriptions for the requirements for Battle Intel: The Stagger Effect Pt. 1 as well as the effects of the Elemental Materia. We’ve updated the guide with the correct descriptions.
Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.