One feature of Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire that makes this mobile strategy game stand out from the bunch is its selection of heroes. While most base-building war games focus on, well, building kingdoms and armies, Epic Action’s take on the genre has all that plus a little taste of RPG. And don’t think your active hero is only there to look pretty! He or she can boost your empire more than anything else.
But how exactly should you use your hero to maximize their potential? You’ll find the answer to this question, as well as many other hero-related conundrums below.
Why You Need a Powerful Hero
When you start a new kingdom in Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire, you are given a hero for free in the form of Noctis. Later in the game, you can unlock other familiar characters, but only with real currency. This is rather disappointing for F2P players, but you shouldn’t worry about it too much if you don’t want to shed any coin. Noctis is actually one of the best heroes in the game and has a well-balanced distribution of skills.
Any empire can have only one active hero at a time. You can (and should) command this character to take some or all of the following actions:
- Attack and hunt down monsters (to be linked to “Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire – A Guide to Quests and Monsters”) for loyalty points and loot.
- Lead an army during a march/rally for massive attack, HP, armor, and speed boosts.
- Lead the defensive forces in your empire in case you are attacked by another player.
- Defend the Crystal.
- Lead an army on a gathering expedition for enhanced gathering speed.
- Take up an Order in the Order of Heroes in order to provide a passive boost even while not active. This is only possible when you have more than one hero.
In addition, an active hero can enhance several aspects of your kingdom both through their passive skills and their gear. Some of the most notable examples include a hero’s ability to speed up research and building durations.
Hero Skill Upgrades
Each hero has a unique tree of skills that can be accessed using 1 or several (usually several, unfortunately) APs. A character gains several AP per level, which might seem decent at first, but quickly becomes highly insufficient as skills begin to cost upwards of 5 APs per rank. In short, you’ll need an enormous amount of EXP to unlock the best hero skills. If you’re a P2W player, this won’t be a problem for you since even some hero-unrelated packs offer hero EXP of the order of tens of millions. If you’re a F2P player, however, buckle up for a long grind.
Rest assured: the rewards will be worth the effort. Take Noctis, for example, our default empire hero. Barring the Hero Attack skill, which only comes into play when you hunt monsters, all of this character’s early abilities offer amazing combat boosts – from additional attack on warriors, mages, cavalry, and siege engines, to HP boosts, and faster training times.
The first massive boost comes at level 50, when you can unlock Noctis’ March Size skill for an additional 5,000 unit capacity on each march. The level 70 Rally Size is equally impressive, although its usefulness depends on whether you play in an active guild and tend to raid other empires together with your friends (Who doesn’t love those odds?).
The two skills that are most likely to pass under the radar, but that are absolute life-savers are Research and Training. These passive abilities reduce your Research and Training speeds, respectively, but unlike some of the skills you can research in the University, they do this on a percentile basis. In other words, they don’t just remove a meager 1 minute from your queue. When you deal with high-level research and high tier troops, these skills can shave days off the completion time.
How to Get More Hero EXP
The first levels of every hero are more or less easy to get. For example, to hit level 10, Noctis only requires 80,000 EXP, which is more than manageable. This changes quickly, however, as you approach the level 20 mark and each new level requires anywhere from 1 million to hundreds of millions of EXP.
If you don’t want to spend real currency on these levels, you’ll have to do your best to constantly farm EXP for your hero. Some of your options include:
- Using EXP packs that drop from monster attacks (can also be purchased in the Guild shop for loyalty points, but are seldom worth the bargain).
- Using EXP gain boosters purchased from the Guild shop. You can actually stack tens of empire quests without collecting their rewards until you find a decent hero EXP boost. Then, you can activate the boost and collect anywhere from 25% to 50% more hero EXP from these quests.
- Killing as many monsters as you can get your hands on.
- Attacking other empires and getting attacked by others (repeatedly, preferably by a friendly guildmate).
The Importance of Good Gear
Gear might not seem like much when you’re handling basic and common items, but legendary sets are a must-have in any successful empire. Consider just one example – the Sentinel’s Plate chest piece illustrated below:
When crafted in yellow quality, this piece of armor alone provides 8% Trap Attack, 207% Troop Armor, and 16% additional Troop Load. To give you a term of comparison, this translates roughly into Level 9 City Armor, Level 1 Trap Attack, and Level 5 Troop Load research in the University. The total cost for these research skills reaches as far as millions of all five types of resources. What’s more, the armor buffs stack with anything you might be getting from research already.
To put it briefly (and mildly), good gear is crucial. That’s why you should try your best to experiment with the Amory once you hit level 10 and eventually unlock the full potential of your hero with the best in-game sets. Don’t forget that just because the game shows you an item in yellow on the crafting screen does not mean you’ll actually craft it in that quality! There is a chance that the item will come out basic, common, uncommon, or higher, which depends on the quality of the materials used. Always check whether this chance is worth expending rare materials and try to get the highest possible chance for a yellow craft on the best sets in the game.
We said in our BlueStacks review of Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire that this is one complex mobile strategy game; and we weren’t kidding! All of the features mentioned above merely scratch the surface of everything there is to know about Noctis, let alone the other amazing heroes out there. Of course, it takes some serious grinding before you can access these characters’ true potential, but time flies by when you’re playing on BlueStacks, doesn’t it?