For any lengthy journey, it’s smart to be properly kitted up. Annoyingly, many RPGs don’t make it easy to know what equipment is best, but help is at hand with our expert outfitting advice! To begin with, you can change your equipment by going to the Equip option in the main menu (by pressing X, START or SELECT).
These are the pieces you can change for each character:
A weapon for the character’s right hand. Affects how much damage your character does with the Attack command, their physical command abilities or Special Moves.
A weapon or shield for the character’s left hand. If a weapon is equipped, your character will attack with both weapons when they use the Attack Command, but the attack rating of both weapons will be halved. If a shield is equipped instead, your character’s Physical Defense and Evade will increase, reducing the damage taken from attacks.
Head Armor and Torso Armor
These both increase your character’s Physical Defense and occasionally Magic Defense, lowering the damage sustained.
Changes the character’s clothing, overwriting their job’s clothing. For aesthetic purposes only and offers no other benefits.
Choosing Your Gear
For weapons and armors, try to equip those with bigger Physical Attack and Physical Defense values–this part should be obvious. Be careful though, as certain weapons or armors fare better in the hands of certain jobs than others, so you’d be wise to re-evaluate your equipment after changing jobs.
More specifically, each job has different levels of aptitudes for each equipment, ranked alphabetically from E (poor) to A and then S (best). The higher the aptitude, the higher the Physical Attack for weapons and Physical Defense for equipment.
For example, a Monk has an aptitude of S in Knuckles, which means they will have higher attack with Knuckles than a White Mage with an aptitude of E. Later, you can acquire support abilities to increase your aptitudes–handy for letting any job wield a particular weapon well.
While gunning for the best Physical Attack and Physical Defense suits all purposes, try not to overlook equipment with slightly inferior stats that provide a significant boost in other areas or a special effect. This is where letting the game pick for you isn’t always ideal and having a keen eye helps.
For example, some weapons may do elemental damage, which will be more useful against enemies weak to that element than a weapon with more raw attack. For armors, you have the White Robe that boosts Mind by 20, providing better healing power for your White Mage.
Improving Your Weapons
Equipping armor is simple enough, but what of weapons? Is it better to equip one or two? At first, you should only equip weapons in the right hand. You can equip onto both hands, but the attack rating of both weapons will be halved, so really you’re not getting more bang for your buck.
The only time you should dual wield is with spell-casters, as only Physical Attack is halved–Magic Attack retains its full value regardless. This advice will serve you well near the beginning, but there are some unique abilities that you can learn through the course of the game, which will shake things up.
You’ll know it works when, on the bottom screen, your character grabs their weapon with two hands and the “R Hand” and “L Hand” stats change into a “2-Hand” stat. Going two-handed sacrifices the use of a shield, but usually, the extra defense doesn’t help as much as the extra attack.
This works similar to Two-Handed, except you need two weapons instead of one. Dual-wielding has unique benefits though, such as slightly higher overall Attack versus Two-Handed. If you equip two different types of weapons, you can also have two Special Moves on one character, but the power of each Special Move will be slightly less than one Special Move with Two-Handed.