Setting the stage
Final Fantasy XVI presents you with a few different options before you kick off your journey. There are option sliders and accessibility tools. But also, a setting to decide whether you want your experience to be more Story Focused or Action Focused.
It can seem like a big thing to select the difficulty up front, so we’ll run down what the modes do, which one you should pick, and whether the choice is permanent (in short, mostly not).
Story Focused vs. Action Focused in FF XVI
Picking either option largely affects what helpful tools you’ll have equipped at the start. It does not affect story content, nor does it seem to significantly change the actual difficulty of combat encounters. So really, you’re deciding whether you want to start the game equipped with Final Fantasy XVI‘s helpful Timely Accessories equipped. Ideally, just pick whichever option seems best for you, as the choice is not permanent and can be changed later on.
Timely Accessories, explained
Timely Accessories are special pieces of equipment you can wear in Final Fantasy XVI that will give you a boost in combat. Some are pretty mild, like automating the commands for your canine companion Torgal. Others can have a big effect, like letting you auto-combo through attacks or making dodges much easier to execute.
Choosing the Story Focused mode will start you out with some of these accessories equipped, while Action Focused will not. Since you can always mix and match these later, the choice of focus doesn’t matter too much up front, at least for your first playthrough. Selecting a mode only becomes permanent when dealing with Final Fantasy mode.
What is Final Fantasy mode?
Final Fantasy mode is a special selection that only opens up after you beat the game. Using a cleared save data from a previous Final Fantasy XVI playthrough, you can carry over your progress and deal with even tougher challenges. There’s a higher level cap, more powerful enemies, and other things to keep a repeat player on their toes.
While you can switch between Story and Action Focused at any point in time, selecting Final Fantasy mode will lock you out of switching to those other modes.