At the start of Final Fantasy 7 Remake — and during some mid-game combat challenges — you’ll need to choose what type of Final Fantasy experience you want. Remake offers Classic Mode and Normal Mode.
In this guide, we’ll explain the major differences between the modes, and what you should consider before committing to either play style.
What is Classic Mode?
Classic Mode is the equivalent of setting the difficulty to Easy, so enemies die fairly quickly. In Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s Classic Mode battles, all of your characters will move around, block, and attack. As the in-game explanation text says, “the player-controlled character will engage enemies in battle automatically.”
The game’s AI isn’t great a controlling characters, however. They’ll spend most of their time blocking, rather than actually running around or dodging attacks. You can still take control of your characters, but Classic Mode is designed to let you focus on watching your ATB gauges fill, at which point you press X and direct the flow of the battle.
What is Normal Mode?
In Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s Normal mode, you’re in direct control of your characters’ movements, attacks, dodges, and blocks during combat. You will need to be much more focused on blocking and dodging than you are in Classic Mode.
The party members you’re not controlling at the moment will act on their own, like they do in Classic Mode.
You can switch to characters on the fly, but building up the ATB gauge requires your input — usually, hammering on the attack buttons. The ATB of characters you aren’t controlling will rise much more slowly when you aren’t controlling them.
You’ll need to manually use a character’s abilities by switching to them or using the Command menu.
You can play Normal mode on the Normal or Easy difficulty.
Which one should I pick?
If you’re looking for an experience similar to less action-focused Japanese role-playing games, choose Classic Mode. You can focus more on waiting for ATB gauges to fill and using abilities strategically, and less on dodging around the arena looking for a chance to heal.
In the Normal Mode, combat is active. You need to swing your sword and build up to those powerful moves. Combat is rewarding on Normal mode, and fights can be pretty punishing on the Normal difficulty. While challenging, the Normal mode and difficulty combo makes combat engaging without being too frustrating. This is a good fit for action game fans who still enjoy some RPG elements.
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.