The first major piece of add-on content for Final Fantasy 15 takes the form of Episode Gladiolus, a spin-off episode centered around the titular character as he faces a trial to help him become a worthy protector of Noct.
Set mid-way through the game's story when Gladio disappears from the party during Chapter 7: Party of Three, it fleshes out Cor's backstory and, as you're playing as Gladio, plays a little differently too. Completing it will also give you a new weapon and ability to take into your main save file.
We'll be explaining how it plays differently, and what else you should look out for, in our Final Fantasy 15 Episode Gladiolus guide and walkthrough below.
Final Fantasy 15 Episode Gladiolus walkthrough
To access the DLC, make sure it's downloaded with the most recent patch (select PlayStation Store from the game's main menu, then find it from there) and select Downloadable Content from the main menu once it's downloaded.
As such, it's separate from the main story and can be accessed at any time. While it features its own series of save files, it features a linear progression through a dungeon, facing a series of bosses as a challenge to Gladio.
It's worth noting there are two optional Trophies / Achievements to unlock based on finding every item and uprooting every column, so be sure to explore diligently as there are many points of no return throughout.
Other Final Fantasy 15 Episode Gladiolus guides
- Episode Gladiolus item locations for the Picker-Upper Trophy / Achievement
- Episode Gladiolus - Score Attack mode and how to unlock shirtless outfit Rugged Attire
Once you have completed the episode - which will take around 90 minutes, or longer if you are exploring every nook and cranny for items - you'll unlock the Genji Blade weapon and the Dual Master Glaive Art (this is activated by performing Maelstrom, then press Triangle / Y on Xbox to unleash a devastating combo), to take into your main save file.
No prior steps required - just loud your save and it'll waiting in your inventory.
You'll also have access to two additional bonus modes - Score Attack and Final Trial - to further test your skills with using Gladio in battle. Both have Trophies / Achievements to unlock, but former is particularly interesting, with the opportunity to unlock the Rugged Attire outfit, which sees Gladio go topless and gain a sizable attack boost.
Final Fantasy 15 Episode Gladiolus tips
First up, it's worth taking the combat tutorial as this Gladio DLC plays a little differently to the main game. Striking and blocking behaves differently; use Circle / B to strike, with up to four hits with your greatsword, which can go from one enemy to the next, and Square / X to block. Blocking just before an enemy attacks can offer a parry for a counter attack.
Also, press Triangle / Y on Xbox when the valor meter is high for a Glaive Arts attack, which is great for dealing huge damage to multiple foes at once.
Here's some other things to be aware of during the episode:
- Blocking attacks and taking damage increases Gladiolus's rage - a multiplier in the bottom right corner - meaning strikes will do more damage as his rage builds. This almost feels like a Limit Break system - the more hits you take, the more powerful you will strike back, and helps during group fights where you receive a lot of hits, or boss battles which are more of a war of attrition.
- Though combat is a little different to the main game, some of the same principles apply. Try and avoid getting surrounded by enemies, instead aiming to pick off a few at a time, and take the time to take out the smaller monsters when up against a larger boss.
Glaive Arts are particularly useful for clearing groups or dealing high amounts of damage to a boss, and build up as you're exploring, so you should be able to walk into a fight with a powerful attack and hopefully finish it fairly quickly.
- Some of the boss battles here are tough, and will see you get knocked out. Thankfully you can cast Phoenix Down on yourself, and there are plenty of curatives to find throughout the dungeon along the way, so make sure you keep an eye out as you explore.
- Speaking of which, there are optional Trophy / Achievement for finding every item location. Items appear the same as they are in the game as little blinking lights in the environment.
Though there are around 50 in total, they are surprisingly easy to miss, so it pays to comb over every area before you move on, whether in alcoves, behind barrels, and near altars or campsites, especially as there are points of no return. We have a complete list of item locations for the Picker-Upper Trophy / Achievement in order, while each trial page will highlight them, too.
Need more help? Our Final Fantasy 15 guide and walkthrough can provide tips on main story, as well as the open-world's many quests and activities. Learning how to get AP fast, EXP fast and money or Gil fast will aid you in many optional dungeons and tombs - including how to open and explore their locked doors. There's also plenty of interesting side-quests, too, such as the Scraps of Mystery and Professors Protege frog locations. And if you want to get around easier, you can rent a Chocobo, learn the infinite sprint trick and later in the game, get the flying car Regalia Type F. There's also more to see and do with DLC, such as Episode Gladiolus and Episode Prompto.
- There's also a Trophy / Achievement for uprooting every column. You'll find these during enemy-filled areas, and are used as a weapon to quickly take down tougher foes.
The first columns will be pointed out to you by the game, and from then on, just make sure every area is clear of them before moving on. If you have no enemies to bash them into, then pressing Square / X on Xbox will drop them to the ground.
- There are several campsites throughout the DLC, where resting will allow you to save and triggers a cutscene for a bonus chunk of story, so make the time to use them as you go.
- Though this is the first major story episode for the game, it's not the first piece of add-on content we've seen in Final Fantasy 15 so far - there have been two time limited drops, the Moogle Chocobo Festival and Timed Quest, which gave us a few new unique items and activities to keep us busy until this launched.