2. Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age General hints and tipsUpdate notes

General Hints & Tips


Gambits are incredibly useful in the game, and it's worth taking the time to learn how to use the system properly. You're able to purchase a lot of Gambits from the dedicated Gambit seller. Each character starts off with having a couple of Gambits available to create, and through unlocking License tiles, you'll be able to get up to 12 per character. You also have three "setups" available for each character, meaning that you could create three different sets of Gambits and select them accordingly. This would be useful for someone who is a Foebreaker, where you could have one Gambit class set for all the Break Technicks, and then one set for Attacking.

Libra Gambit

As soon as you have access to the Libra Technick, any character who is able to use it should have this Gambit created for them:

Self > Libra

It's probably a good idea to set it as the last Gambit in the list, so then it isn't cast during a battle. Having a Gambit like this will ensure that Libra is always active on a party member. The Technick itself is incredibly useful in that it will provide important information about most enemies, and identify invisible traps throughout the game.

Enemy Target Gambits

There are a number of Gambits for targeting foes. This ranges from focusing on the Party Leader's Target, to Nearest Visible, to Lowest/Highest HP or MP, and even elemental weakness/vulnerabilities.

It's a really good idea to work out when to use Gambits like Foe: Any or Foe: Party Leader's Target. The idea is, especially for boss fights with multiple enemies, that your entire party focuses on bringing down one target at a time before moving onto the next.

Flying Enemies

For any character who has the Telekinesis Technick, create the following Gambit:

Foe: Flying > Telekinesis

Admittedly, this will only be available to you later on in the game, so you'll need to make sure that you've got ranged weapons and magick ready to take down Flying Enemies.

Elemental Gambits and Foes with Status Effects

For Mages, it's worth creating Gambits for every element, e.g.:

Foe: fire-weak > Fire/Fira/Firaga

If you have Libra on one party member, then any Mage that has offensive Magick will be able to use the correct one on an enemy.

For enemies with status effects like Reflect, Protect, etc. the use of Dispel is useful, e.g.:

Foe: character status = Reflect > Dispel

Applying Buffs/Removing Debuffs from Characters

Using Gambits like Ally: status = Poison will have that character target specific statuses within the party, and then use the correct item to remove them (e.g. Antidote for Poison, Prince's Kiss for Sleep, Nu Khai Sand for Confuse, etc). It's a good idea not to use Remedies in Gambits unless it's by a character who has all of the Remedy Lores unlocked (and are therefore able to remove more debuffs with Remedies).

You can have your White Mage(s) set to use Esuna/Esunaga on debuffs, but be aware of MP usage. Even setting the Gambit as Ally: any > Esuna will mean that a party member will be targeted if they have any debuff on them that can be removed with Esuna.

You can also use this to apply buffs like Protect, Haste, and Bubble on party members. And it's possible to just use the Ally: any Gambit. The character with Gambits like that will only cast the spell if the buff has worn off of either themselves or another party member.

Gambit Hierarchy

There is a hierarchy to Gambits, in that characters are programmed to work their way down a list. As an example:

  1. Self > Libra
  2. Ally < 50% HP > Cura
  3. Ally status = KO > Phoenix
  4. Foe: Nearest Visible > Attack

In this example, the character will always cast Libra on themselves if it is to be successful. This takes precedence over anything else, including if they're in a fight. This character will only attack the nearest visible foe when there is no ally to heal or revive, and Libra can't be cast.

There are a number of Gambits available that are Foe, Ally or Self based. You won't need to use all of them or even the majority of them. For certain fights, there are specific Gambit setups that are worth using. This guide will attempt to help you know what Gambits to use and when to use them, but it's mainly down to figuring out your play style.

Party Setup

The game encourages the use of a Tank/Healer/Damage-Dealer setup. So it's a good idea to have a party member be the person who takes the brunt of the damage, a party member who will be dealing the most damage, and a healer to keep the other two alive.

By default, enemies will either focus on party members who damage them the most, or who heals the most. Either way, it's important to ensure that you can get bosses to focus on your Tank. This becomes incredibly easy to do, thanks to a Magick you'll get during the game called Decoy. This will add the Lure status to a party member. Enemies will then focus their attacks solely on the Decoy character.

While you don't need to do this for the majority of the game, for some of the end game fights, Decoy is an absolute must to use. Setting a Gambit of Ally: [Character] > Decoy will ensure that your designated Tank will always have Decoy cast on them.

As for your Mages, specifically your White Mage, you want to get their License Tiles called Channeling as quick as possible. This will make their spells cheaper to cast. It would be then a good idea to give your Healer an additional Mage job (preferably the Time Battlemage). This will give them access to the Decoy Magick, meaning they can keep your Tank lured. They'll also have a range of magicks that can buff a party - Haste, Reflect, Bubble, Protect, Shell, Faith, and Bravery. With them being able to wield a Crossbow, having a White Mage/Time Battlemage hybrid is a very beneficial combination in the party setup.

Your third party member should then be another damage dealer or a Foebreaker (if needing to use the Break Technicks). They will give support to your Tank while doing as much damage as possible.

Positive Status Effects

You should always buff your party with the following spells before starting a boss fight (admittedly, you'll only be able to do so many in the early stages of the game):

  • Protect (with either Protect or Protectga)
  • Shell (with either Shell or Shellga)
  • Haste (with either Haste or Hastega)
  • Bubble
  • Faith
  • Bravery
  • Regen

It's possible to have these buffs by equipping certain accessories. E.g. Bubble can be added by equipping the Bubble Belt. When the guide says to buff the party with the "usual buffs", this is the list it's referring to. Even if you can only do 3 of the list, always cast them before a fight.

Remedy Lore

It's incredibly important to know which Jobs have which Remedy Lores available to them. Remedy by default will remove Poison, Slow, Blind and Silence. Obtaining Remedy Lore Tiles will add additional debuffs that can be removed with a Remedy. The only debuffs that Remedies cannot remove are KO, Stone, X-Zone, Reverse and HP Critical.

License Board Tiles

Remedy Lore 1 removes Sleep, Sap, Immobilize, Disable. Jobs that have this Tile are Archer, Black Mage, Bushi, Shikari, Uhlan, Machinist, and Time Battlemage

Remedy Lore 2 removes Oil, Petrify, Stone, Confuse. Jobs that have this Tile are Archer, Black Mage, Bushi, Shikari, Uhlan, Machinist, and Time Battlemage.

Remedy Lore 3 removes Disease, Doom, Stop. Jobs that have this Tile are Archer, Shikari and Machinist.

This is helpful for creating Gambits that use Remedies.


There is a green Magick spell called Syphon. It's used to take MP from the target and give it to the caster. There's a really beneficial way to using this Magick for some of the harder fights, in that you can cast Syphon onto another party member (by switching your target to Ally). Using Syphon on a non-Magick user (who will have License Tiles to gain MP upon defeating foes etc) will allow your Mages to access a potentially unlimited amount of MP. There is a risk that it can miss in succeeding, but it will usually succeed if you use Syphon on a target that has a higher MP value than your caster.

Using Magick/Items on Reserve Party Members

It is entirely possible to use some Magick/Items on party members who are in the reserve, such as Cure/Cura/Curaga/Curaja, Raise/Arise, and Potions/Phoenix Downs. While you won't be able to buff reserve party members, using items/Magicks that can heal or raise reserve party members is particularly useful in that it may prevent your team from wiping, and could lead to you winning a difficult fight.

Switching Party Leader

You can switch your Party Leader at any point by pressing cn_down. (Just make sure you're not in the menu...)


Holding cn_RT will cause the party to Flee. They will not attack enemies, but can still be attacked. This is useful if you need a speedy escape. It's also helpful if you're working on getting a good Chain Level going.

License Board "Do Over"

Talking to Montblanc of Clan Centurio will give you the option to redo the jobs your character has. You'll get all of the license points you've spent back. There's no limit to how many times you can perform this action. Effectively this means you are able to tailor your party until you are completely comfortable with job assignment.

Play Speed

While you can play the game at its normal pace, it is incredibly slow. It could be considered detrimental in that some fights will take so long to do. In the Config menu, there are two Play Speed options:

  • x2
  • x4

As a minimum, I'd recommend playing at x2 speed. Changing the speed will speed the whole game up.

There is also the Battle Speed, which doesn't affect movement speed or the amount of time that a buff stays on a character. The Battle Speed affects how quickly the action meter fills. Having this on slow can have a negative effect on the player, in that it could increase the difficulty of some of the harder battles. I'd recommend not changing this, or having it set to the faster end of the meter.

Battle Modes

There are two Battle Modes in the game, Active and Wait. For the purpose of this guide, you want to have it set to Wait. It will make everything so much easier, as you will have the time to sort out actions you want characters to perform.

Teleport Stones

Teleport Stones are incredibly useful items in the game, allowing your party to teleport between orange Save Crystals. Each teleport needs one Teleport Stone.

You receive a few Teleport Stones as rewards during the game, and they can sometimes drop from some enemies, but by far the easiest way to get them is to buy a couple by traveling on the Skyferries. You can purchase them from the shops onboard for 200 Gil each. Just make sure you board a ship using the Leisure Craft option.

Later on in the game, when you get to the Port at Balfonheim (Balfonheim Port), you'll be able to purchase Teleport Stones (and Gyshal Greens) from Dyce. He'll be mounted on a Chocobo near the orange Save Crystal.


Skyferries are first accessed when traveling from Rabanastre to Bhujerba. It's recommended to use a couple of these routes to purchase items that are hard to buy elsewhere (as in that they can't be purchased until later in the game).

Skyferries can be accessed at the Aerodromes of the following cities:

  • Rabanastre
  • Nalbina Fortress
  • Bhujerba
  • Archades
  • Balfonheim Port

(You need to have visited the city to then be able to travel to it.)

The East Ivalice Company provides flights from:

  • Rabanastre to: Archades/Bhujerba/Nalbina 200 Gil
  • Nalbina to: Archades/Balfonheim/Rabanastre costs 210 Gil
  • Bhujerba to: Balfonheim/Rabanastre costs 250 Gil
  • Archades to: Balfonheim/Nalbina/Rabanastre costs 200 Gil
  • Balfonheim to: Archades/Bhujerba/Nalbina costs 180 Gil

There are two attendants on the Skyferries' Observation Parlor that sell rare items:

Assistant Storekeeper 1:

  • Gyshal Greens 108 Gil
  • Teleport Stone 200 Gil

Rabanastre <> Nalbina Route:

  • Prince's Kiss 50 Gil
  • Antidote 50 Gil
  • Lightning Fang 200 Gil (After visiting Draklor Laboratory)

Rabanastre <> Bhujerba Route:

  • Chronos Tear 60 Gil
  • Handkerchief 50 Gil
  • Reflectga Mote 700 Gil (after visiting The Pharos)

Nalbina <> Archades Route:

  • Potion 60 Gil
  • Remedy 400 Gil
  • Serum 700 Gil (after obtaining the Treaty Blade)

Rabanastre <> Archades Route:

  • Soleil Fang 200 Gil
  • Gold Needle 80 Gil
  • Echo Herbs 50 Gil

Nalbina <> Balfonheim Route:

  • Rime Fang 200 Gil
  • Eye Drops 50 Gil
  • X-Potion 520 Gil

Archades <> Balfonheim Route:

  • Phoenix Down 200 Gil
  • Nu Khai Sand 50 Gil
  • Knot of Rust 20 Gil (after obtaining the Treaty Blade)

Bhujerba <> Balfonheim Route:

  • Bacchus's Wine 120 Gil
  • Hi-Potion 180 Gil
  • Dispel Mote 240 Gil (after obtaining the Treaty Blade)

Rain in the Giza Plains

The Giza Plains goes through a unique weather cycle that will change the entire look, feel and layout of the zone. The weather cycle begins after you have reached Eruyt Village. Prior to that, it will stay in the dry season.

The weather cycles naturally based on the time in the game. There is 1 hour of the rainy season followed by 2 hours of the dry season. You will have to allow the in-game clock to tick away until enough time has passed. If you are in the Giza Plains during the season change, you'll need to leave the Giza Plains entirely for the weapon change to happen.

Various Grinding Methods

Chain Levelling

With the Chain Leveling, you are able to build up a chain by killing the same type of enemy over and over. The enemies do not need to have the same name, but much be the same type, e.g. skeleton-type. Chaining enemies will cause better loot to be dropped. As the chain increases, the loot icon will change from a regular bag to a silver item bag, to a gold item bag, and finally to a large gold item bag. The loot changes are:

Item TypeRegularSilverGoldLarge Gold
Very Rare1%2%3%5%

This can be combined as a way to quickly earn Gil, EXP and License Points. The best places to chain enemies are:

  1. The Lhusu Mines. Travel through the mines until you reach the Shunia Twinspan. You can chain the different Skeleton-type enemies on this bridge – they all count towards the same chain.
  2. The Ogir-Yensa and Nam-Yensa Sandseas. While some guides will say that the Alraune are the best enemy to chain, in my experience, I found that the Urutan-Yensa were a lot easier to chain. They're found on the industrial parts of the Sandseas. If wanting to kill Alraune, you can use the first area of the Ogir-Yensa Sandsea from the Dalmasca Westersands.
  3. The Henne Mines. You should save your game at the Save Crystal in the Staging Shaft first. Then go to Pithead Junction B. There's a switch here that can be pressed to cause a number of Jelly to fall from the ceiling. Once they're all dead, leave the area, return and hit the switch to do it all again.

While chain-killing enemies, you'll more than likely unlock the following achievement, which needs a chain of 50:

Dustia Grinding Trick

You can utilize the Dustia Level Grinding trick early on in the game to earn some quick experience, levels, and loot by exploiting the game. Dustia is a rare enemy located in the Dalmasca Westersand - Corridor of Sand and appears whenever a character is below 10% of their max HP. It is an undead enemy, and Phoenix Downs kill it instantly.

There are a few things you need before you travel to the Corridor of Sand. Firstly, you should purchase the Warmage’s Monograph - a Forgotten Grimoire which appears in the Bazaar after you have looked at a Notice Board more than 20 times. It costs 20,000 Gil. This Grimoire has a chance at increasing the value of loot dropped from Undead-type enemies (which is very helpful for this trick).

The second thing that you need is a stack of Phoenix Downs. They cost 200 Gil, so purchase as many as you can afford. So by starting in Rabanastre, head to Dalmasca Westersand - Galtea Downs. Travel north towards the Corridor of Sand area, but stop before you enter it. Make it so you only have one character in your party. You're going to get this party member's health to the required level.

You do this by attacking yourself via the Attack command. You want to make sure that you've disabled their Gambits as well. Use cn_LB to switch to your character and confirm to attack. Make sure not to accidentally kill them, and if you do, use another character to revive them. Once your HP is below 10% of the max HP, you're ready for the next step.

This is to make sure that in the Config Menu, your Battle Mode is set to Wait. This will give you the crucial seconds you need to kill Dustia without being attacked. You can set your Cursor Selection to Last Selection, saving you more time.

The whole point of this trick is to utilize the game's zone-out glitch. It works in that when you kill an enemy and leave the area before the game has had time to register the kill, you'll still gain the EXP and LP, but the enemy will respawn upon reentering the area. You'll need to leave the area before the EXP and LP notification appears on the screen, otherwise Dustia won't respawn due to the game registering the kill. You'll also get to keep any loot you pick up when leaving, as well as the EXP and LP.

Dustia will spawn as soon as you enter the Corridor of Sand. You need to give it a split second to properly spawn, and then from your battle menu, go to Items, select Phoenix Down, use cn_LB to target Dustia. Then confirm the attack. This won't work if Dustia hasn't fully spawned. The second you see that Dustia has been hit by the Phoenix Down and begins to die, leave the area, going back to Galtea Downs. If you're unable to collect any dropped loot, don't worry.

If you are unable to leave the area before the notifications appear, switch to a fully healed character, and pick up any dropped loot. Then hold cn_RT to engage the Flee mechanic, and run back to Rabanastre. You don't want to kill any other enemies or interact with anyone in Rabanastre. Literally, when you get to Rabanastre, turn around and go back to the Dalmasca Westersands, setting yourself up to continue killing Dustia.

The aim here is to get a high chain with Dustia, which will improve the loot that's dropped (and that you're hopefully able to pick up). If Dustia is too far away for you to attempt to retrieve the loot, you should leave it behind. You can open up the battle menu (by pressing cn_A) as soon as you kill Dustia and the loot animation will continue, thus giving you more time to grab the loot before fleeing the zone.

The video below provides a demonstration of Dustia grinding in action:

Utilizing this trick will allow you to build up a stock of:

  • Books of Orgain (which can be sold for 532 Gil)
  • Flame Staffs (which can either be sold or used)
  • Arcana (which you can sell)

When you get enough items to sell, you'll be able to cover the cost of the Phoenix Downs you bought. You'll be able to gain levels fairly quickly, up to about 25, and then it becomes difficult. But it's much more useful for getting some Gil.

Guide to Earning Gil Quickly

Diamond Armlet Farming

One way to earn Gil quickly is to keep playing the first couple of Trials over and over, specifically the first Trial. One of the treasure chests contains a Diamond Armlet, which can be sold for 6,000 Gil each. And if you do this when your party is around level 20, the Dire Rats will do little to no damage to you. For the early game, it's very easy to rack up some items to sell. And all you want to do is to proceed through the trials until your party dies.

To start a Trial, from the Main Game Menu, go to Trial Mode, and then select the game save you're using. You'll always load into Trial 1. With the game speed set to the slowest (so not x2 or x4 speed), go up the stairs either side. There are two treasure chests, one containing a Diamond Armlet. Use Flee to ensure you don't kill all of the Dire Rats yet. Then once you've opened both chests, kill the Dire Rats.

Once your full party has died in the trials, from the Main Game Menu, go to Load Game, and select the autosave that's in Red. That contains the save from the Trial. You'll then load back into your normal game. Travel to a merchant, sell the Diamond Armlet and any other items that you can.

Rinse and repeat to get a decent amount of Gil.

Cat-Ear Hood

Once you've killed 14 Hunt marks and gained 100,000 Clan points, you'll be able to buy the Cat-Ear Hood from the Clan Provisioner for 50,000 Gil. It converts your License Points into Gil, earning you [5 x Character level] Gil per each License Point earnt. If you can get multiple Cat-Ear Hoods, you can earn a lot of money at higher levels. Be aware though, that by doing this, you will not earn any License Points.

Party Guests

In a change from previous versions of this game, it is possible to modify any Party Guest's Gambits via the Gambit menu. This means that when you have a Guest, they effectively become another full party member.

If they have any Gambits set to use items, such as Potions, they will use whatever is in your inventory. Meaning you need to be prepared in case you run out.

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