Gamer Guides logo

Final Fantasy VIII
Strategy Guide

First Published: 15-03-2019 / 00:00 GMT
Last Updated: 07-07-2019 / 04:39 GMT
Version: 1.1 (????) 16-07-2019 / 08:59 GMT

Final Fantasy VIII Guide

Last updated 1 week ago · Guide Information
Guardian Forces

Compatibility and Summoning Speed

When you summon a GF in battle, a blue bar will replace your ATB bar and will deplete. Once depleted, the GF will appear, but during the period while the bar is depleted all attacks directed at the summoning character will damage the GF, instead. If a GF’s HP are depleted during summoning, that GF will be KO’d and unable to be summoned until you rest or use a restorative item to bring it back, such as a G-Returner.

All pretty straight-forward stuff, but the speed at which a GF is summoned (the rate at which the blue summoning meter is depleted) is determined by a "Compatibility" stat, which essentially rates how well a GF and a specific character get along. GFs have different preferences, which influence their starting Compatibility, and you can also influence a GF’s Compatibility - negatively and positively - by summoning other GFs, casting certain spells, or using items. Turns out a fire GF might not be happy if you cast Blizzard, or summon that nasty ice GF, and while GFs are fickle and let their politics affect their disposition towards you, it’s generally not all that hard to butter them up by using certain items.

The difference in summoning speed can be quite drastic between a GF at low Compatibility and one at high Compatibility At the lowest Compatibility (0), a GF might take 17 seconds to arrive, while at the highest Compatibility (1,000) a GF can arrive in around 3 seconds. This summoning rate is fairly balanced across the Compatibility spectrum, as at 500 Compatibility a GF will take around 10 seconds to show up. That said, you probably won’t have many GFs on one character that you’ll summon often, ans since summoning a specific GF increases Compatibility with that GF, it shouldn’t be hard for you to boost the Compatibility of the GFs regularly used by each character, should you see the need to do so.

All in all, you’re probably not going to lose a fight if your Compatibility with a GF is low, or win one if it’s high, but in the few instances where using a GF is a noticeable boon, it can help to know how this works. Can’t hurt to have an edge, however slight, right?

Below you’ll find the starting Compatibilities of all the GFs and characters, information that’s more interesting than useful. In most cases, the difference between a character a GF dislikes and one a GF likes is a matter of maybe a second. Nothing to lose sleep over.

Guardian ForceSquallQuistisZellSelphieRinoaIrvine
Quezacotl580620600580640640
Shiva570640540590650580
Ifrit600570630600620570
Siren560584580640630620
Brothers576580610590610540
Diablos660600580610620610
Carbuncle580640600720680590
Leviathan620570580640660560
Pandemona570560570620640540
Cerberus640620600740700650
Alexander580540560640620530
Doomtrain540520520580600510
Bahamut520510500560580520
Cactuar580550540700640560
Tonberry540520500660540530
Eden480440400520560380

As mentioned earlier, not all GFs are friends with each other. In fact, most GFs have another GF to which they’re opposed. Whenever you summon a GF, it’ll gain +20 Compatibility, while other GFs will lose -1.6 Compatibility The GF opposed to the one you summoned, however, will lose -10 Compatibility The only exception to this is Eden, which gains a paltry +2 Compatibility whenever it’s summoned, while other GFs gain +1 Compatibility

Guardian ForceOpposed Guardian Force
QuezacotlLeviathan
ShivaIfrit
IfritShiva
SirenCarbuncle
BrothersPandemona
Diablos--
CarbuncleSiren
LeviathanQuezacotl
PandemonaBrothers
Cerberus--
AlexanderDoomtrain
DoomtrainAlexander
Bahamut--
Cactuar--
Tonberry--
Eden--

Most GFs have an item you can use to increase the user’s Compatibility with said GF. Typically this item increases the GF’s Compatibility by +3.2, bot lowers the character’s Compatibility with all other GFs by -1.6, although some items (Arctic Wind, Bomb Fragment, Poison Powder and Shear Feather) give half the normal boost/penalty, while the Fish Fin item gives +2 Compatibility with Leviathan, but -1 Compatibility to all other GFs. Less mixed, using a LuvLuvG item will increase a character’s compatibility with all GFs by +20. You can refine the Chubby Chocobo Card for 100x LuvLuvGs, which is enough to boost each character’s Compatibility with all GFs by +320.

Guardian ForceCompatibility Items
QuezacotlDynamo Stone
ShivaArctic Wind, North Wind
IfritBomb Fragment, Red Fang
SirenSilence Powder
BrothersDino Bone
DiablosSteel Orb
CarbuncleDragon Skin
LeviathanFish Fin
PandemonaShear Feather, Windmill
CerberusDragon Fin
AlexanderMoon Stone
DoomtrainPoison Powder, Venom Fang
BahamutShaman Stone
CactuarCactus Thorn
TonberryChef's Knife
Eden--

Last and certainly least, GFs are sensitive to what spells you cast. Casting a spell in the "Favored Magic" column will earn you Compatibility, while casting spells in the "Opposed Magic" column will lose you Compatibility, but in this case… well, we’re talking about a +2 bonus or -2 penalty, at best/worst.

Guardian ForceFavored MagicOpposed Magic
QuezacotlAero, Thunder, Thundara, Thundaga, TornadoWater
ShivaBlizzard, Blizzara, BlizzagaFire, Fira, Firaga
IfritFire, Fira, FiragaBlizzard, Blizzara, Blizzaga
SirenBerserk, Blind, Break, Confuse, Pain, Silence, Sleep, Slow, StopDispel, Esuna
BrothersFlare, Meteor, Quake, UltimaAero, Float, Tornado
DiablosDemi, Flare, Meteor, UltimaDispel, Esuna, Protect, Reflect, Shell
CarbuncleAura, Cure, Cura, Curaga, Double, Esuna, Full-Life, Haste, Holy, Life, Protect, Reflect, Regen, Shell, TripleBerserk, Blind, Break, Death, Dispel, Pain, Silence, Sleep, Slow, Stop, Zombie
LeviathanFlare, Holy, Meteor, Ultima, WaterThunder, Thundara, Thundaga
PandemonaAero, Tornado, UltimaWater
CerberusAura, Dispel, Double, Esuna, Haste, Protect, Reflect, Shell, Triple, UltimaBerserk, Blind, Break, Confuse, Pain, Silence, Sleep, Slow, Stop
AlexanderCuraga, Full-Life, Holy, Life, Regen, UltimaBio
DoomtrainBerserk, Bio, Blind, Break, Confuse, Death, Silence, Sleep, Slow, Stop, Ultima, ZombieHoly
BahamutFlare, Holy, Meteor, Quake, Tornado, Ultima--
Cactuar----
Tonberry----
EdenFlare, Holy, Meteor, Quake, Tornado, UltimaAura, Blizzard, Blizzara, Cure, Cura, Curaga, Dispel, Double, Esuna, Fire, Fira, Full-Life, Haste, Life, Protect, Reflect, Regen, Shell, Slow, Thunder, Thundara, Triple

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Square Enix
  • Platforms
    Microsoft Windows
  • Genre
    Role-playing
  • Guide Release
    15 March 2019
  • Last Updated
    7 July 2019
  • Guide Author

Share this free guide:

Get a Gamer Guides Premium account: