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Final Fantasy 7 Remake best Materia guide: Combos, Materia builds and setups explained

How to make the most out of Final Fantasy 7's unique ability system.

Materia returns in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake and it's more important than ever.

Not only is it an important part of the story - it's made up of crystallized Mako, itself the lifeblood of the planet upon which Final Fantasy 7 Remake is set - but it's key to how you upgrade abilities, imbue weapons with elements and use magic powers.

This page explains how Materia works in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, the best Materia across the game, as well as the best Materia combinations and Materia builds to use.

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The 12 biggest Final Fantasy 7 Remake changes that we totally loved

How Materia works in Final Fantasy 7 Remake

You'll get access to Materia as soon as you first get control of Cloud in Final Fantasy 7 Remake when you leap from the train car.

It is represented in-game as small brightly coloured balls that look like marbles. You'll see them everywhere, sometimes in the environment with a trail of light notifying the player that they can be picked up, otherwise they will appear in cutscenes or be embedded into the weapons of the main cast once attuned to their equipment.

Once you've picked up some Materia, you'll need to carefully study each weapon's attunement slots. You can do this by opening the start menu and heading to the Materia and Equipment menu. Once there, if you pick out a piece of armour or a weapon, you should see that there are open circular slots underneath the ability descriptor.

This denotes your weapon's Materia capacity and will tell you how many you can slot into your item. You can use the Upgrade Weapons menu and pick the equipment upgrades that give you extra Materia slots to expand this pool.

Now you've got that figured out and picked your weapon and equipment of choice, if you back out to the menu there will be an option to press Triangle and 'Set' your Materia. This will open up another menu full of the Materia you own, and you can pick and choose which of them you'd like to be slotted in your weapons.

Materia types and colours in Final Fantasy 7 Remake

There are five Materia types, as listed below:

  • Green: Magic Materia (Elemental and restorative spells)
  • Blue: Support Materia (Complements other Materia when linked in special slots)
  • Yellow: Command Materia (Player skills)
  • Purple: Independent Materia (Buffs HP, MP and other statistics)
  • Red: Summon Materia (For summoning deities in battle)

Out of the above, you can pick and choose which Materia you want to equip. If you'd like to use Fire spells, equip the Fire Materia and so on and so forth.

How to pair and link Materia in Final Fantasy 7 Remake

One part of the system that is well worth explaining is how to pair materia with one another. Some weapons will have two slots that aren't disparate circles but linked together by an opening.

If you put a Green Magic Materia and a Blue Support Materia side by side here, you will access special benefits.

For example, if you paired a Fire Materia with an Elemental Materia in the connected slots, you could imbue the user's weapon with that element in each attack.

So if Cloud's Buster Sword has this equipped, you will be able to perform Fire spells, but you'll also deal Fire damage with regular attacks, which is even more devastating against an enemy who is weak to Fire.

Other Support Materia pairs allow you to absorb HP or ward off damage when the attached element is used against you. Others let you expand the range of your spells to hit multiple users or synergize with other characters in battle. Experiment with this to create a killer build.

How to 'Master' Materia and benefits of doing so

Materia can be levelled by earning AP, and if you spend your time farming to finish mastering your Materia, you'll notice that with each star level upgrade they'll see a statistical improvement.

For example, Poison Materia starts out as the simple Bio spell, but if you upgrade it to level three, you'll unlock Bioga, which deals a lot more damage over time.

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Elemental Materia at first only adds 8% of damage from the linked element, but at the third level, it adds 23%, and you'll absorb any damage taken from the attached element.

Suffice to say, you can see how worthwhile it is to master your materia throughout the game, as it will strengthen your build significantly. Mastering all Magic (Green) is also one of the Battle Intel Report requirements, so doing those along the way might save you some time and effort.

Best Materia recommendations in Final Fantasy 7 Remake's early game

Here's our choices for the best Materia in the early hours of Final Fantasy 7 Remake:

Deadly Dodge

  • Description: Deals area-of-effect damage following a dodge near enemy units.
  • Deadly Dodge Location: In Chapter 2, Cloud will be surrounded by Shinra troops after meeting Aerith. Deadly Dodge is behind a car on the way to the fountain area.

Auto-Cure Materia

  • Description: Automatically casts cure on injured allies in battle.
  • Auto-Cure Materia Location: In Chapter 3, complete Chadley's Battle Intel Report 1

First Strike Materia

  • Description: Fills your ATB bar at the start of a battle.
  • First Strike Materia Location: In Chapter 3, complete Chadley's Battle Intel Report 2.

ATB Boost Materia

  • Description: Let's you perform an action that restores your ATB. The cooldown lowers as you upgrade the materia.
  • ATB Boost Materia Location: Complete Chadley's Battle Intel Report 4 (Stagger 15 enemies)

Poison Materia

  • Description: Poisons enemies, dealing damage over time.
  • Poison Materia Location: Pick it up from vending machines starting in Chapter 5.

Elemental Materia

  • Description: Deals elemental damage with each weapon attack when paired with an element materia (Fire, Ice, Lightning etc)
  • Elemental Materia Location: Chapter 6, when making your way to the third sun lamp in the suspended plate section, you'll unlock a route back to a blue materia by lowering a platform. The game notifies you about it when you first arrive in the section. This is the Elemental Materia!

Best Materia recommendations in Final Fantasy 7 Remake's end game

Here's our choices for the best Materia in the end game of Final Fantasy 7 Remake:

Magnify Materia

  • Description: Increases the range of your spells so they can impact multiple users.
  • Magnify Materia Location: In Chapter 9, you'll control your third robotic arm to help Aerith cross a gap with two shipping crates. You'll see the blue orb off to the right, so move the container so she can access it.

Elemental Materia (Second Set)

  • Description: Deals elemental damage with each weapon attack when paired with an element materia (Fire, Ice, Lightning etc)
  • Elemental Materia Location: Chapter 14, prior to the point of no return, Mirielle will deliver the materia if you've completed every 'Angel of the Slums' side quest.

Synergy Materia

  • Description: Allows an NPC to follow up an elemental attack from the player with a linked materia spell.
  • Synergy Materia Location: Complete Chadley's Battle Intel Report 9

Item Master Materia

  • Description: Increases the efficiency of items like potions and ether's used in battle.
  • Item Master Materia Location: Complete Chadley's Battle Intel Report 11

Chakra Materia (Second Set)

  • Description: Restores a percentage of damage taken depending on the materia's AP level.
  • Chakra Materia Location: Sector 5 Church (where you fell through the roof!) in Chapter 14

AP Up Materia

  • Description: Doubles the amount of AP you earn in battle
  • AP Up Materia Location: Outside Aerith's House in Chapter 14, this one is hard to miss. It starts out as the 'Pedometer Materia' but will change once the 5000 steps are fulfilled

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.

Best Materia combos, buildings and pairings in Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Here are a few builds which should help you in a variety of situations. (Materia + Materia denotes a paired slot.)

High damage Materia build

  • Elemental Materia + Fire Materia, Chakra Materia, First Strike Materia, Deadly Dodge Materia, ATB Boost Materia

This build will deal massive elemental damage and ensure you've always got enough ATB to use abilities consistently and keep enemies pinned down. Of course, swap out Fire with another element to exploit weaknesses.

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Best support Materia build

  • Synergy Materia + Poison Materia, Elemental Materia + Fire/Lightning/Ice/Wind Materia, Auto-Cure Materia, Item Master Materia

This will allow party members to follow up your elemental attacks with a poison tick, as well as giving their basic attacks a potential weakness exploiting buff. They'll also be able to heal you without command and increase the efficiency of your potions.

Best Grinding Materia build

  • (Insert Materia to level up here) + AP Up Materia, Elemental Materia + Fire Materia, First Strike Materia, Poison Materia

This should keep you alive whilst you're grinding and make battles as fast and efficient as possible. Hit large enemies with poison first then wear them down with your elemental strikes.

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Jordan Oloman avatar

Jordan Oloman


Jordan is a freelance writer from Newcastle whose gaming palate was moulded by Jet Set Radio Future and Psychonauts as a boy. Now he's all grown up, he loves to write about the intersection of music and games, empathy, philosophy and the surreal.