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Final Fantasy VIII

Compatibility and Summoning Speed

Nathan Garvin

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 Force Squall Quistis Zell Selphie Rinoa Irvine
Quezacotl 580 620 600 580 640 640
Shiva 570 640 540 590 650 580
Ifrit 600 570 630 600 620 570
Siren 560 584 580 640 630 620
Brothers 576 580 610 590 610 540
Diablos 660 600 580 610 620 610
Carbuncle 580 640 600 720 680 590
Leviathan 620 570 580 640 660 560
Pandemona 570 560 570 620 640 540
Cerberus 640 620 600 740 700 650
Alexander 580 540 560 640 620 530
Doomtrain 540 520 520 580 600 510
Bahamut 520 510 500 560 580 520
Cactuar 580 550 540 700 640 560
Tonberry 540 520 500 660 540 530
Eden 480 440 400 520 560 380

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 Force Opposed Guardian Force
Quezacotl Leviathan
Shiva Ifrit
Ifrit Shiva
Siren Carbuncle
Brothers Pandemona
Diablos --
Carbuncle Siren
Leviathan Quezacotl
Pandemona Brothers
Cerberus --
Alexander Doomtrain
Doomtrain Alexander
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 Force Compatibility Items
Quezacotl Dynamo Stone
Shiva Arctic Wind, North Wind
Ifrit Bomb Fragment, Red Fang
Siren Silence Powder
Brothers Dino Bone
Diablos Steel Orb
Carbuncle Dragon Skin
Leviathan Fish Fin
Pandemona Shear Feather, Windmill
Cerberus Dragon Fin
Alexander Moon Stone
Doomtrain Poison Powder, Venom Fang
Bahamut Shaman Stone
Cactuar Cactus Thorn
Tonberry Chef’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 Force Favored Magic Opposed Magic
Quezacotl Aero, Thunder, Thundara, Thundaga, Tornado Water
Shiva Blizzard, Blizzara, Blizzaga Fire, Fira, Firaga
Ifrit Fire, Fira, Firaga Blizzard, Blizzara, Blizzaga
Siren Berserk, Blind, Break, Confuse, Pain, Silence, Sleep, Slow, Stop Dispel, Esuna
Brothers Flare, Meteor, Quake, Ultima Aero, Float, Tornado
Diablos Demi, Flare, Meteor, Ultima Dispel, Esuna, Protect, Reflect, Shell
Carbuncle Aura, Cure, Cura, Curaga, Double, Esuna, Full-Life, Haste, Holy, Life, Protect, Reflect, Regen, Shell, Triple Berserk, Blind, Break, Death, Dispel, Pain, Silence, Sleep, Slow, Stop, Zombie
Leviathan Flare, Holy, Meteor, Ultima, Water Thunder, Thundara, Thundaga
Pandemona Aero, Tornado, Ultima Water
Cerberus Aura, Dispel, Double, Esuna, Haste, Protect, Reflect, Shell, Triple, Ultima Berserk, Blind, Break, Confuse, Pain, Silence, Sleep, Slow, Stop
Alexander Curaga, Full-Life, Holy, Life, Regen, Ultima Bio
Doomtrain Berserk, Bio, Blind, Break, Confuse, Death, Silence, Sleep, Slow, Stop, Ultima, Zombie Holy
Bahamut Flare, Holy, Meteor, Quake, Tornado, Ultima --
Cactuar -- --
Tonberry -- --
Eden Flare, Holy, Meteor, Quake, Tornado, Ultima Aura, Blizzard, Blizzara, Cure, Cura, Curaga, Dispel, Double, Esuna, Fire, Fira, Full-Life, Haste, Life, Protect, Reflect, Regen, Shell, Slow, Thunder, Thundara, Triple
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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Square Enix
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS1, PS4, Switch, XB One
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    15 March 2019
  • Last Updated
    4 June 2022
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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Follow the exploits of Squall, a resident of Balamb Garden and SeeD aspirant whose first contract as a professional mercenary expands into a fight to save the world from an evil sorceress.

This guide will cover the main quest-line chronologically, giving advice on leveling (and how to avoid it), where to find the best spells, how to acquire all GFs and defeat all bosses. In addition the guide will cover all side quests and will also include in-depth mini-guides for Chocobo World and Triple Triad. By following this guide you can aspire to the following:

  • Complete walkthrough of the main questline.
  • All side quests and optional content.
  • How to defeat both of the game’s superbosses.
  • Information on how to acquire each GF and a discussion of their abilities, including where to assign them.
  • Information on Triple Triad, including the location of every card in the game and how to best use them.
  • Low-level run information.
  • Information on min-maxing stats.
  • A mini-guide for Chocobo World.
  • Information on all characters, including stats and how to acquire all their weapons and limits.
  • Triple Triad guide.

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