FFXV Best Starting Skills & Builds

Final Fantasy XV allows you to spend AP (ability points) to buy and upgrade various abilities. These points are often given out as a reward for various activities. Depending on what kind of play style you prefer, you’ll only need certain skills, while others will be nearly useless. In this guide, we’re going to show you a list of FFXV best starting builds, to help you invest your AP into the best nodes.

final fantasy xv best starting builds
If you’re looking for some nice weapons to go along with these, check out our Best starting weapons guide.

FFXV Best Skills

While it is possible to upgrade all abilities, you’d need to spend an insane amount of AP. It can be done, but the time required for it is better spent enjoying the game. With that in mind, we’re going to limit ourselves to spending 200 AP per build. This is a large enough sum to cover the starting period. After that, you should already have an idea of how you want to develop your crew. We’re going to give you some suggestions, but we’ll be focusing on starting abilities the most.

Spellcaster build

Magic is awesome. You can one-shot enemies without even properly engaging, and you can create spells to target their natural weaknesses. Here are the abilities you should invest in first:
  • Analyze (Teamwork, 6AP) – Learn enemy weaknesses when combat starts. This is essential.
  • Elementalism (Magic, 24 AP) – Get more energy from deposits. This is important, since you’ll need the energy to craft spells.
  • Powercraft (Magic, 20 AP) – Spell crafting potency +10. Stronger spells mean less casting, less crafting, less resources.
  • Magic Action (Magic, 24 AP) – Get AP when casting. Free AP. What’s not to like?
  • Extra Powercraft (Magic, 99 AP) – Spell crafting potency +30.
You’ll need 183 AP to get there. Once you’ve got the essentials down, you should go for the skills that allow you to get even more energy from deposits, as well as the ones that let you craft more than one spell.

Melee build

If you like shedding blood yourself, you’re probably going to go for a melee build. You should concentrate on increasing Noctis’ combat prowess, while also diverting into Techniques a bit. Here’s what we recommend:
  • Airstep (Combat, 6 AP) – Allows you to double-jump.
  • Deathdrop (Combat, 28 AP) – A move that allows you to warp and do a drop attack from a distance.
  • Light Phase (Combat, 8 AP) – Reduces phasing MP cost.
  • Blink (Combat, 8AP) – Dodge enemy attacks by phasing through them at the last moment, without MP cost.
  • Blink Boost (Combat, 32 AP) – Recover MP by using Blink.
  • Dawnhammer (Techniques, 8 AP) – Gladiolus does heavy damage to a single enemy, uses up 2 tech bars.
  • Starshell (Techniques, 8 AP) – Prompto draws enemy attention away, uses up 1 tech bar.
  • Tech Strike (Techniques, 48 AP) – Fill up the tech bar when Noctis hits enemies.
  • Chained Fury (Combat 10 AP) – Boost combo damage if you don’t get damaged yourself.
  • Warp Factor (Combat, 24 AP) – Boost warp strike damage.
  • Analyze (Teamwork, 6 AP) – Show enemy weaknesses when the battle starts.
  • Health Level (Stats, 10 AP) – Increases everyone’s health by double the levels gained.
You will require 196 AP to get these. At this point, you’ll be well equipped for combat, and you’ll have the ability to use your buddies to distract or devastate the enemy, as well as a skill that lets you use them more often. Afterwards, we recommend building up both yours and their combat skills further.

Team fighting build

Your friends have some powerful moves up their sleeves. You can use their skills to your advantage, but you’ll have to reach a point where you’re a good commander. Here’s what you should unlock:
  • First Strike (Teamwork, 6 AP) – Prompto gains first strike against a nearby enemy, fills up a portion of the tech bar.
  • Scintilla (Teamwork, 18 AP) – Prompto counterattacks and stuns an enemy.
  • Analyze (Teamwork, 6 AP) – Discover enemy weaknesses when you start battle.
  • Lancet (Teamwork, 18 AP) – Ignis counterattacks and drains life from an enemy.
  • Venom Fang (Teamwork, 24 AP) – Ignis poisons an enemy after Noctis’ combo.
  • Reflex (Teamwork, 6 AP) – Gladio counterattacks, makes enemy flinch.
  • Antagonize (Teamwork, 24 AP) – Gladio paralyzes an enemy while Noctis is defending.
  • Link Up (Teamwork, 8 AP) – Increase link-up damage.
  • Health Level (Stats, 10 AP) – Increases everyone’s HP to double their level.
  • Chained Fury (Combat, 10 AP) – Increases combo damage if you’re not interrupted.
  • Stalker (Combat, 28 AP) – Increases blindside damage.
  • Savior’s Fortitude (Recovery, 20 AP) – Increases ally’s defense after you revive them.
Your goal hear would be to maximize the efficiency of your buddies, while you play a purely DPS role. Use them to stun and otherwise occupy enemies, while you backstab them and chain together long combos. This build will cost you 178 AP. A good follow up would be investing into their health and regen abilities.

AP farming build

This one is for all the munchkins out there. If all you care about is getting as buff as possible, as fast as possible, this build should be of interest to you. It allows you to gain AP while doing absolutely nothing. After you’re done, you’ll have a bunch of ability points to invest into whatever you want. Here’s what you’ll need:
  • Angler Action (Exploration, 18 AP) – Gain AP for catching fish.
  • Roadrunning (Exploration, 32 AP) – Gain AP for long car trips.
  • Roadlife (Exploration, 99 AP) – Gain EXP for long car trips.
  • Happy Camping (Exploration, 20 AP) – Gain more AP from camping.
You’ll need around 20 seconds per fish, which makes it a good source of AP. If you enjoy fishing, you can disregard the other skills. If not, jump into the car during daylight hours and let Ignis take you on a funky ride. You’ll basically get EXP and AP for sitting in the back seat, listening to Final Fantasy soundtracks. Once night falls, make camp, gain more AP, then go riding around again.

If you’ve got interesting builds you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

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  1. M

    I don’t want to be limited to just magic or combat abilities, so how would a hybrid build look like?

    1. Some kind of mix of them two? I didn’t like the magic at all, although it is powerful. There are now guides for fast AP farming, if you want to make it easier a bit.

  2. A


    Let’s me get this straight, investing on magic AP is waste, you don’t even need magic abilities (accession) at all, as magic bomb (elemency) in this game is so overpowered, especially with right combination such triple-cast, quad-cast, quin-cast (5 times cast), you pretty much destroy everything, even bosses.

    Noctis’s magic stats is so high with royal arm stats boost (can’t remember name but its the one that get from Luna, its looks like Trident one), you don’t even need magic boost AP to get 9999 dmg

    This game is not magic oriental at all, its focused on Noctis fast combat style and team supports, magic is like “oh shit button” more than playstyle.

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