AP in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake is used to upgrade Materia, orbs of power that are attached to your equipment which you use to perform spells and buff your statistics in battle.
Given the importance of Materia in curating your in-game character builds, upgrading them with AP - or Ability Points - is of the highest importance as you push further into the game.
By focusing on the best Materia early on, you can fill them with Ability Points and ensure that your build is as strong as possible by the mid to late game.
This page explains everything you need to know about AP in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, including an AP farming technique and how to get the AP Up Materia that makes the process much easier.
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How AP levelling works in Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Every time you defeat an enemy in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, you'll notice a ticker which tells you that you've earned XP (which will help you level up) and AP, which will level up your Materia.
The AP you earn will only apply to the Materia which you have slotted in your weapons and equipment across the characters who are fighting in battle, so make sure you've got the right ones slotted before you enter combat.
Each Materia has a set of stars attached which will take a certain amount of Ability Points to fill, but once they're full, they're full! So get the best ones out of the way early and leave the Materia you don't use until last.
You want to make sure that you're equipping characters who will use the Materia you're trying to level up too. Be sensible about things - give Aerith the Healing Materia to level up, and Tifa the Stagger-related orbs.
As such, learning how to get easy AP is useful for completionists. Let's start with perhaps the best direct method - getting the AP Up Materia.
Final Fantasy 7 Pedometer location: How to get AP Up explained
AP Up is one of the best Materia you can get - allowing you to level up the combined Materia much faster.
During Chapter 14, you'll leave Aerith's house after a grilling from Elmyra, and on your way out you'll see a Materia on the floor on your path back to the slums. Pick it up and you'll see that it's called the Pedometer Materia. Interesting!
Equip it immediately and note the criteria - you have to walk around the world until you crack 5000 steps. This will change the Pedometer Materia into an AP Up Support Materia. The quickest way to complete this is to finish the side quests in Chapter 14, which should take you on a wild goose chase around Midgar.
You can pair this AP Up with any other Materia in one of the connected slots in your weapon or equipment to double the amount of AP you earn for the paired Materia per enemy killed. This is absolutely essential for levelling up the more difficult Materia in your arsenal like Revival and Elemental Materia, which only have two stars to complete but take a long time and many Ability Points to improve.
AP Farming locations for easy AP in Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Now that you've got your AP Up Materia, you still need AP farming locations so you can take advantage of groups of mobs to quickly level up those last few Materia that aren't finished through natural progression.
We've picked out a few spots for farming throughout the campaign, but the best ones are naturally available once you beat the game by using the Chapter Selection option with your current save.
Replaying old chapters on Hard Mode using this method will level your characters and increase your AP easily in the post-game. This is by far and away the best method of levelling your Materia.
However, you may want to finish improving your Materia before the end of the game, so regardless of your position in the narrative, here's where you can farm AP if you need to finish upgrading your spells.
VR Combat Simulations
Every five battle intel reports completed will unlock a combat simulation where you face off against a new summon.
We personally found it useful to apply all of my Fire Materia and repeat the Shiva boss battle, completing it in under a minute for 30 AP. It's boring, but it works! I personally found this to be the easiest option, even with the lower amount of AP per round.
This is because you can play the battle with an absent mind, knowing that Shiva won't put up a fight. Switch your brain off and keep at it until all of your Materia is mastered!
Corneo Coliseum - Chapter 9
In the Wall Market, you will head to this combat arena as part of the story, but there are plenty of extra challenges to complete throughout the game. The 'Three-Person Team vs. Shinra Warriors' battle is tricky, but after a few rounds you'll get your completion time down to under 3 minutes and you can keep grinding it out.
The more characters in play will mean quicker upgrades for your Materia. Fire damage is your friend! You'll snag around 100-150 AP per run, which will quickly add up.
Looking for more help with Final Fantasy VII Remake? Learn how to get the Best Materia, which can be levelled with easy AP sources. There's also Summons to unlock, most of which you get from completing Intel Battle Reports. Once you've finished the game, it's worth unlocking the remaining Final Fantasy 7 Dresses by choosing the correct options during the Johnny, Heads or Tails and Madam M massage course choices, and finding any weapon locations or Music Discs you left behind. And if you've just started, then learn what to do during the timer choice and the Lost Friends quest.
Shinra Combat Simulator - Chapter 15
Inside Shinra Headquarters you'll stumble into this combat simulator in the upper floors of the building. You'll want to keep repeating the 'Three-Person Team vs. Team Ragbag' gauntlet as the High-Flyers battle is quite annoying to finish.
With more players in the fray you'll earn more AP, amounting to roughly 150-200 AP per run.
Hojo's Combat Simulator - Chapter 17
When you finish the game, return to Chapter 17 and continue until you meet Chadley, who will unlock Hojo's personal simulator so you can complete a new set of challenges.
This simulation contains the same challenges as the Shinra Combat Simulator, but with a few extra strength tests available only in Hard difficulty.
The 'Three-Person Team vs. Monsters of Legend' is your best bet for a Level 50 team looking to grind, but be warned - it's tough as old boots. For your efforts you'll receive upwards of 250 AP per gauntlet, which will master all of your Materia in no time.