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Final Fantasy 7 Remake guide: How to beat Shiva

Take down this summon in VR to gain her Materia

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A close up of Shiva from the Final Fantasy 7 Remake Image: Square Enix via Polygon

While you can find some red Summon Materia through exploring, you can also win a handful of them by defeating these powerful allies in VR battles in Final Fantasy 7 Remake.

In Chapter 8, while you’re exploring and Aerith is at the Leaf House, Chadley will offer your first VR battle. This virtual showdown is against Shiva, an “ice-element summon recreated in virtual reality,” as her in-game description says. You can face her at any time after Chadley unlocks this VR mission. It’s possible to beat her with just Cloud, but if you’re having trouble, fight her when you have someone else in your party.

Either way, this guide will show you how to beat Shiva and gain her Summon Materia. We’ll explain which attacks to look out for, which tactics exploit her weaknesses, and the best Materia to bring into the Shiva boss fight.

How to beat Shiva

The battle intel entry for Shiva in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake Image: Square Enix via Polygon

The optional boss fight against Shiva is tough, but with the right game plan, you can win.

Shiva battle tactics

Looking at Shiva’s enemy intel screen, you’ll notice her obvious weakness to Fire.

Shiva will become Pressured as you use fire attacks against her. In fact, consistent usage of fire attacks can even interrupt her attacks. You’ll know you’ve interrupted Shiva when she screams and falls to the ground. This is the perfect time to use Cloud’s Focused Thrust ability, as it increases her stagger bar.

If you keep up the momentum and put her into a Staggered state, you can hit her with more fire spells with increased damage.

A screenshot of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake highlighting Cloud’s ability, Focused Thrust
The tool tip for Focused Thrust explains how it increases an enemy’s stagger
Image: Square Enix via Polygon

If you have Tifa in your party when you fight her, you can use her Unbridled Strength ability, and then hit Shiva with one of Tifa’s powered up Triangle attacks to increase the stagger damage multiplier.

Shiva’s attacks

To understand the best time to attack Shiva with magic, it’s best to know all the spells and techniques she employs in battle.

The ice elemental has an catalog of spells she’ll cycle through to try to put you down. Thankfully, you can see the name of each attack she’ll use before she uses it. Just pay attention to the white text with a red background that appears above her head before she casts a spell.

Here’s what to watch out for:

  • Blizzara / Blizzaga: Shiva shoots out a quick ball of ice that turns into a giant shard. Block or dodge this attack.
  • Diamond Dust: Each summon has an powerful move they’ll throw out once they’re down to 14 health. Unfortunately, Diamond Dust is unavoidable, so this attack will hit you when Shiva’s health is low enough. She’ll make a circle of ice around you then explode a massive pillar of ice, damaging whatever characters get caught in the move. When you’re near the end of the battle, heal up as much as you can before you whittle her down.
  • Frost Familiars: Three orbs float around Shiva. Hit them with Fire attacks to destroy them before she can hurl them at you.
  • Icicle Impact: Shiva shoots out a wave of ice in front of her. You can dodge or roll away from her to avoid damage.
  • Whiteout and Heavenly Strike: This set of moves is one of Shiva’s most devastating combos. When she takes a seat, Shiva will prepare to use Whiteout. She’ll blow a kiss that shoots a trail of ice forward. If you see her casting Whiteout, run or dodge left or right. Getting hit by that trail of ice will leave you stunned. When you’re stunned, she’ll perform Heavenly Strike, which drops a massive block of ice on you. If you’re fighting alone and now on health, this combo can end the fight. However, if you have a companion, you can at least heal your stunned partner before they take a huge amount of damage.
  • Shiva will also summon a series of icicles above her head, which she will then shoot at you. Prepare to block once they appear. Other times, she’ll shoot a burst of ice directly at you.

Which Materia to use against Shiva

Barrett shooting fire at Shiva in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake Image: Square Enix via Polygon

Shiva has some high damage attacks, but if you know how to mitigate them, then all that’s left is forming a good offense against her. Thankfully, most of the Materia we suggest is available early in the game.

  • Fire Materia: This is the best Materia to bring. If you have more than one character fighting against her, make sure everyone has a Fire Materia on them so they can all cast the spell. The more she gets hit with fire, the quicker her stagger meter fills up.
  • Elemental Materia: In our guide on the best Materia to use in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, we explained that this blue Support Materia can imbue your attacks with elemental damage if its in a linked slot with a Fire, Ice, Lighting, or Wind Materia. Place this Materia in a linked slot with your Fire Materia and every physical attack you do will deal fire damage to Shiva.
  • Ifrit: You get this fire-based summon from Jessie at the end of Chapter 3. Ifrit is the perfect summon to use against Shiva because Ifrit’s attacks exploit Shiva’s weaknesses. While Ifrit will attack Shiva automatically, you and your party can use your own ATB Points to make Ifrit use more powerful fire attacks against the ice queen. Just before Ifrit’s time is up, the summon will also cast a final move similar to Shiva’s Diamond Dust. Right before Ifrit leaves, it’ll will cast Hellfire, causing an unavoidable amount of fire damage to Shiva.
  • Magic Up and MP Up Materia: Since you’ll be using your Fire spell often in this battle, these two purple Complete Materia will boost your magic attack power and usable MP respectively.

Once you defeat Shiva, you will automatically received the Shiva Summon Materia.

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