FF16 Ability Points [How To Get & Best Ability Upgrades]

Learn everything there is about the Ability Points, the best ways to obtain them, and the best early abilities to upgrade in FF16.

FF16’s Ability points are unique as, unlike previous Final Fantasy installments, they not just provide progression for your skill tree but also allow you to upgrade further or enhance an existing ability’s capabilities. Acquiring these ability points early on isn’t easy, but with a few pointers to keep in mind when starting out, you will have a large amount of them in no time. You can then preferably invest these hard-earned ability points in the best abilities in the early game of Final Fantasy 16.

Key Takeaways
  • Ability Points in Final Fantasy 16 allow you to obtain various kinds of special skills for Clive, which can heavily aid players in combat.
  • These Ability Points (AP) are generally found by completing battle encounters, side quests, or even through unique activities such as Hunts in FF16.
  • AP is further classified as being used to either unlock upgrades for abilities or acquire the mastery variants, which enhances their viability and power.
  • The best ways to gain AP include using Timely Rings to win tough battles easily, complete side quests, and defeat high-value targets in Monster Hunts.

Here is a summary video showcasing how to get the ability points faster in FF16:

YouTube video

What Are Ability Points In Final Fantasy 16

ff16 ability points
Ability points denoted by the blue sphere (Image Captured by Us)

To go more into detail, Ability Points are essentially skill points you earn in Final Fantasy 16 by defeating enemies or completing other activities in the game, such as quests. You then invest these in the abilities tree shown in the image from my gameplay above. It is available to you right from the early going in the Prologue, but of course, you won’t have anything noteworthy to acquire, such as the Eikon abilities in the beginning.

It is also worth noting that these are completely different from the XP gains, as in the post-battle screen, a blue sphere icon represents Ability Points (AP). Meanwhile, XP is strictly tied to Clive’s stats and denoted by an orange crest with a progression meter underneath it.

ff16 ability points
Resetting ability points (Image by eXputer)

However, once you purchase any skill for the first time in FF16, these points then require strategic planning of when and how to use them further. Although you can easily reset and reallocate these points at your leisure by holding down the touchpad on Dualsense as shown above, the main factors that further open up to you are:

  • Upgrading Abilities
  • Unlocking their Mastery

Upgrading Abilities

Upon purchasing abilities for Clive in the Abilities tree, you can further upgrade their properties which not only increases their potency and viability in combat but also helps you increase the total DPS you unleash against bosses and other tough enemies. Remember that upgrading these abilities will cost you Ability Points (AP) again, but it will be worth it if you have any of your favorites in mind that you want to improve.

Furthermore, you can check how each one will improve via the upgrades by pressing Triangle on the controller to open up the details of any individual ability in order to see if the improvement will be worth it or not.

Ability Mastery

Next up comes Mastery, but you will most likely do this towards the mid-to-late-game scenarios as unlocking the mastery of any of Clive’s abilities will allow you to pair it to any Eikon’s input assignment. While this will be the case for most of Clive’s Eikon abilities, there are a few others, such as Phoenix Shift, whose mastery will further enhance it, so be sure to check what mastery does for each ability by checking the details menu.

The Best Ways To Earn Ability Points

While on the subject of Ability Points, there are quite a few different ways to earn them, some of which that might be unbeknownst to most players of Final Fantasy 16. Furthermore, if you are still in the beginning stages of FF16, then these are the best ways and pointers to help you acquire Ability Points in the most efficient ways:

Equip The Timely Rings

ff16 timely rings
The Timely Rings (Image Captured by Us)

While I personally don’t use them, these accessories only serve the purpose of allowing you to play the game with some extra accessibility tools. If you’re someone who’s not particularly skilled at the game or just wants to kill tough enemies for Ability Points in FF16 quickly, then I would strongly encourage using these items. They are unlocked right from the get-go to equip in the Gear Tab of the pause menu.

Complete Side Quests

ff16 side quests
Side quest completion (Image Captured by Us)

Side Quests are scattered throughout the various areas and locations of Valisthea, and while most of them will reward you with a handsome chunk of Gil and XP, they can also technically reward you with AP. This is due to the fact that quite a few sidequests will require you to defeat enemies at times, and while it may not seem enough at first, these quests will become invaluable if you want a solid chunk of AP in the early-to-mid-game events.

Explore Carefully

ff16 ability points
Explore the Areas (Image Captured by Us)

While you may be tempted to keep progressing through the main story of Final Fantasy 16, there’s a point in the progression where you will be able to explore thoroughly with your companions.

So at those intervals in FF16, I would strongly suggest going off the main path, killing enemies across the area to earn Ability Points, and who knows? You might even stumble upon rare resources and crafting materials to help you with Gear Upgrades, which are always required in a large commodity one way or another.

Defeat Notorious Marks In Hunts

ff16 monster hunts
Notorious marks (Image Captured by Us)

One of the brand-new additions included with Final Fantasy 16 is the Monster Hunts, which can be accessed during the “Gathering Storm” main questline. From that point, you will be able to view the Hunt Board, which will feature special targets that you can take down for XP, Gil, and, of course, Ability Points. These hunts will differ in ranking, so the higher the rank, the more difficult they will be, but that also means you’ll get richer rewards.

I recommend that you check back on the Hunt Board occasionally while playing FF16, as more Hunts will gradually unlock as you complete them or reach a certain point in the main story. This activity will ensure you earn an adequate amount of Ability Points as you strive towards the endgame moments of the story.

The Best Early Abilities To Upgrade

If you’re confused about which of the abilities, you should invest and upgrade into via your ability points from the beginning, then fret not, as I’ve got you covered on that front. This comes from someone who is fairly skilled at Final Fantasy 16’s action combat after playing it for several hours and has taken these abilities for granted, providing a great advantage in combat.

Rising Flames

ff16 rising flames
Rising Flames (Image Captured by Us)

This ability launches an upward burst of flames on the target and is primarily the ability that I use for DPS on single-target foes such as mini-bosses. During the early game, you will most likely be using it at any chance you can get due to its raw damage spikes. So if you ask me, then spending your ability points into upgrading Rising Flames will highly benefit you as the upgrade will increase the number of hits it generates.


ff16 gouge
Gouge (Image Captured by Us)

The Gouge is an Eikon ability of Garuda, which you will obviously obtain after defeating Benedikta. What makes it so unbelievably good is solely the raw damage of its rapid hits from the claws. It’s fantastic to use when you quickly need to dish out enough damage to put enemies or bosses into stagger and equally great to tear through the health of normal trash fodder enemies.

As shown in the image above, upgrading Gouge will increase the speed of the consecutive follow-up attacks of the ability, making it a must-have for any player looking for the best early game ff16 abilities.

Burning Blade

ff16 burning blade
Burning Blade (Image by eXputer)

The Burning Blade is another great ability that will catch your eye and, in my experience, the best early-game ff16 ability for Clive. If you master its timing, then you can easily use it to follow it up after a combo as well as deal substantial damage to an enemy in its stagger phase. Furthermore, it can also parry enemy attacks as well as break their Guard too. Acquiring the mastery will reduce the time needed to charge up the Burning Blade.

Precision Dodge

ff16 ability points
Precision Dodge (Image by eXputer)

Lastly, Precision Dodge is an ability that mostly comes down to personal preference, but it becomes an invaluable ability if you’re skilled at executing these evasions. Dodging at the last second will enable these precision dodges, allowing you to counterattack the target using a melee or magic follow-up strike.

Upgrading Precision Dodge increases the trigger window, allowing you to perform these evasions much more easily and smoothly during tough combat situations.

My Take

ff16 ps5
My FF16 Hours PSN: Liontamer55460

As someone who’s crossed over 100+ hours in FF16, I strongly suggest grabbing Gouge and the Burning Blade abilities. The latter is especially great for launching enemies, and Gouge is just one of my favorite Garuda abilities until I need to swap it out for other abilities during the endgame scenarios. For Ability Points farming, don’t worry about it too much, as you’ll earn it naturally and in high abundance via the Notorious Mark Hunts.

Final Fantasy 16 has so much to offer, from the gritty narrative to the jaw-dropping combat; you might even enjoy the cast of characters such as Joshua, whose Voice Actors do a fantastic job at bringing to life, almost like a cinema-level movie.

If you’re someone who’s trying out the demo, then be sure to transfer your save file to the full game once you have downloaded it or plan to purchase it in the future. However, that aside, if you enjoyed this FF16 abilities guide, then be sure to let me know in the comments section if you have any further questions related to it so I can happily respond back. As always, eXputer wishes you luck in your journey across Valisthea!

Up Next:

Did you find this helpful? Leave feedback below.

Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡

How can we make this post better? Your help would be appreciated. ✍

Subscribe to our newsletter and get up-to-speed gaming updates delivered to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy.

Usama Mehmood is a Games Specialist, and writer on eXputer who's either hunting for the richest loot in Destiny 2 or endlessly playing his favorite games such as Yakuza or Final Fantasy. Usama has been gaming for 15+ years during which he has accumulated 4000+ hours on Destiny 1 & 2. His constant adoration for video games has allowed him to pursue eXputer as a platform to showcase his striving talents in writing helpful articles. Get familiar with Usama's extensive gaming library on his Steam, PSN, and Xbox profiles.

Experience: 2+ Years || Mainly Covers Reviews And Guides || Education: Bachelors in Physiotherapy.

Related Articles

Join Our Community

Enjoyed this article? Discuss the latest gaming news, get expert help with guides and errors, and chat about all things gaming on eXputer Forums and Discord Server. Connect with fellow gamers who share your passion by becoming a part of eXputer's community.