Dissidia NT has a steep initial learning curve, with several systems to learn and lots of stuff to keep track of. While Dissidia Final Fantasy NT has a built-in battle tutorial, this two-part series covers the overarching core concepts crucial to quickly ramping up, building situational awareness and holding your own in combat.
This article covers teamwork concepts. See the matching article for battle concepts. For all levels of coverage, from high-level concepts to minute details and historic nostalgia, the official Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Prima guide.
Pre-Match: Note Loadouts of Allies and Foes
While matches load, create a habit of checking everyone’s loadout of HP Attacks and common EX Skills. At first, when you’re unfamiliar with most moves, this exercise will help you learn about different characters and EX Skills faster. Eventually, as you gain familiarity with the game, this will simply become part of formulating your strategy and objectives for the match.
Make a mental note of both teams’ loadouts as well as the character classes represented on each side. Unless you’re playing as a specialist intended to fill in cracks (like Exdeath, Bartz, or Onion Knight), it’s best to maximize your strengths, while being cautious of the enemy’s attempt to do the same. Try to discern a friendly strategy to enhance as well as a dangerous enemy strategy to counter.
Throughout the Battle: Map Awareness
When going into a match, make a note of the enemy’s numbered positions. You’re always #1, with your teammates at positions 2 and 3. The opposing team will be numbers 4, 5, and 6. Remember which class occupies each position. Then get in the habit of constantly referring to the mini-map for at-a-glance updates on the positions of foes. This exercise will be a little distracting at first, like checking everyones’ loadout pre-match, but quickly enough it will become unconscious and vital, a bit like checking your rear view when driving a car or riding a bike. This will make it easy to rapidly locate and target, for example, the pesky marksman at position 5, or to quickly focus on the assassin in position 6 trying to sneak up on you from behind, or whatever.
There are two methods for toggling through foes, selectable in the Options menu. Character Position means L2 and R2 will toggle through targets relative their onscreen positions. List means that L2/R2 will toggle through targets based on their team order.
Most players end up using List, which is a bit less jerky, as long as enemy numbers are kept in mind, along with their positions on the mini-map. By simply going off of enemy number, you can quickly focus on whomever you want, briefly ignoring the camera as it repositions. However, Character Position is a good setting for players who want to dive into the fray constantly as vanguards (or other classes acting as aggressively as vanguards). Up close, with enemies in all directions, it’s easier to visually swap between targets of opportunity. It can also make it easier to react and capitalize when an ally begins a combo on a nearby enemy who isn’t your current target. Instead of having to make the extra mental check of which number they are, you can merely toggle target in their direction and tack on an HP Attack finish.
With either targeting method, tap L2+R2 to target the nearest enemy, or hold either button to target summoning cores.
The key indication that you’re being targeted are the fine lines that curve above your fighter’s head. If there aren’t any, no one is currently focused on you (you must still be wary of glancing hits from splash damage and attacks targeted at someone else). If there’s at least one targeting line on your head, it’s time to watch out. And if there are two or three targeting lines converging upon you, you’re probably in big trouble, and it’s time to retreat and regroup with your team. If the lines turn red, attacks are imminent; if the edges of the screen lose focus, they’re HP Attacks!
Of course, you can use that knowledge against enemies when sneaking around. Especially as an assassin stalking enemy marksmen, it’s useful to stay above and behind them, targeting someone else until you’re just about ready to strike.
Between the PS4’s built-in voice chat and Dissidia’s built-in chat macro system, there’s no excuse for not reaching out to allies with important information. In the Customization menu, you can build a chat macro palette for every fighter. Spend some time thinking about the most common things you want to be able to say, so you can access them at a moment’s notice. When watching the best players in arcades in Japan, you’ll notice they’re constantly updating each other with the chat macro system. There are brief opportunities to transmit info to your teammates all the time. Some examples include when you’re on the fringe of a fight and not under immediate attack, or you’ve just taken an HP Attack hit or an extended Bravery combo and you’re temporarily invincible.
Important things to coordinate, whether using chat macros or voice chat: which enemy are you focused on? Are you going after a summoning core, or suggesting everyone join forces to summon at once? Do you want to direct them to go after a particular foe, like someone with low HP running away? Or do you want to direct them to watch out for something like an assassin with high Bravery sneaking around in the background, waiting to backstab inattentive fighters? Do you want to suggest a quick dogpile onto one target? And so on.
No, Really: Map Awareness
Broadly, the mini-map’s radius describes the local battlefield. Each concentric circle in the mini-map represents 10 meters (though this is almost never explicitly called out in-game).
Close range is contained inside the first circle, or 1.5 circles at most. This is the range vanguards want to be, all the time, and the range assassins will want to swoop in and out of, opportunistically. Most succinctly, close range is defined as the territory in which you’re under immediate melee threat. This space is clearly dominated by high-poise brawlers with lots of sweeping attacks (basically every vanguard).
Mid range is a wide expanse, from about 1.5 circles away to about 3 circles’ distance, or 3.5 max. In this range, melee fighters jockey for position to see who can maneuver in with less risk, while marksmen unleash their quickest linear attacks, or best obstructing projectiles. Most melee fighters also have some projectile option in this range, though they lack the durability or deterrence of marksman attacks.
Long range extends from about 3 or 3.5 circles to the edge of the mini-map. There are a few attacks that extend past the 5th mini-map circle, but they can be counted on one hand. Marksmen dominate at long range, with space to clog the battlefield with several far-reaching projectiles at once, when melee fighters aren’t immediately intruding on their close-range weakness. With few exceptions, vanguards and assassins do not have direct attack options at long range.
Attack ranges are therefore best described by how much of the mini-map they cover, and the official Dissidia NT guide reflects this. Point-blank melee attacks will have a range of 0.5, while dashing melee strikes may have a range of 1.0 or 1.5, skirting to the edge of close range. A spell or projectile with a range of 3.0 covers most of the way into mid range. An attack with a range of 5.0 reaches clear to the edge of the mini-map.
While some attacks extend a bit beyond the mini-map (most notably Kefka’s longest-ranged nukes, with an equivalent max range of ~5.5), the one and only attack in the game that currently extends well beyond mini-map is Golbez’s Black Fang HP Attack...which actually has infinite range!
Beyond the mini-map’s outer rim is the rest of the arena, not immediately relevant to your current position (again, unless Black Fang Golbez is facing you).
Aside from using the mini-map to gauge target ranges, it’s also invaluable for spotting someone sneaking up on you while your attention is elsewhere. Dissidia matches have a lot going on at any time, so your only indication a foe is swooping in from behind might be their rapidly-approaching mini-map indicator!
Winning the Core War (Summoning Cores and Core Battle)
In regular battles, the team that takes out summoning cores more efficiently is likely to activate their summon first, which is a huge advantage. In Core Battle mode, taking out cores is the whole point. When assaulting cores, attacks that don’t dissipate and deal several hits are best, like some pillar or tornado type spells. Get near a core and it’s very effective to target enemies with shockwave-type attacks launched through cores. This keeps up an offensive posture and fends off enemy assaults on the core while chipping away at it, instead of leaving you temporarily vulnerable, focused on a harmless core while someone approaches to punish you for it.
The same kind of attacks that are good in this situation also tend to be terrific in Story and Gauntlet Mode boss fights, since they’re big targets and very susceptible to multi-hitting moves.