Final Fantasy 7 Differences Between Characters

ff7 final fantasy 7

If you’re playing Final Fantasy 7 (FF7), you’d be forgiven for thinking that party members are mostly interchangeable aside from their limit breaks, but they actually have pretty significant differences that make some characters better for certain roles than others, if you really want to min-max your party. In this Final Fantasy 7 (FF7) guide, I’ll be discussing the differences between the characters.

Final Fantasy 7 Characters: Cloud

final fantasy 7 characters differences ff7

Stats

I mean, you’re going to use Cloud. His stats are very well-rounded, and he has the highest strength. He also, surprisingly, is tied with Aeris for the highest magic attack, and comes in second or third place in almost every stat category except Dexterity, where he’s 4th.

Limit Breaks

Cloud gets easily the best multihit limit break in the game, Omnislash (15 hits, total of 22.5x normal attack damage), but the rest of his limit breaks are incredibly strong throughout the game. Climhazzard, or whatever the more accurate translation they went with in later iterations is, is a super-strong single-target nuke you typically get around Niflheim area in a casual playthrough. Meteor Rain is among the best level 3 Limit Breaks.

Weapons

Cloud has the pick of the litter when it comes to weapons. He gets a triple growth weapon in Apocalypse, he gets a powerful final weapon that scales off of health, which is a simple mechanic to wrap your mind around and easy to keep powered up, and his weapons throughout the game are very good.

Overall Assessment

Cloud is obviously the best character in the game from beginning to end. He has the best stats. He has the best limit breaks. He has the best weapons. In terms of character differences in FF7, everyone else is judged in comparison to him.

Final Fantasy 7 Characters: Barret

final fantasy 7 barret characters differences ff7

Stats

Barret has the highest HP stat and is the only character who will naturally hit 9999 HP without any assistance from materia. His strength is neck and neck with Cloud, only a hair lower throughout the game. He also has the highest vitality (defense). However, he’s dead last in MP, Magic, Spirit, Luck and Dexterity. So… highs and lows.

Limit Breaks

Angermax, which I will forever remember at Ungermax, has the highest damage potential of Barret’s limits since it hits 18 times (compared to Omnislash’s 15 times), but to reach that damage potential, you’d have to hax max stats and drink 4 hero drinks, so it’s quite a bit of setup. Otherwise, he still lucks out in the Limit Break department because Catastrophe is the 2nd strongest limit break after Omnislash, doing 12.5x normal attack damage over 10 hits.

Weapons

Barret’s weapons are overall pretty standard, and he gets mostly long range options allowing him to stay in the back row for the most part and augment his naturally top tier defense with the back row defense bonus. He doesn’t get any triple growth weapons and the double growth weapons he has access to are pretty weak.

However, his ultimate weapon is incredibly powerful, as it gets more powerful the more total accrued materia AP is equipped to it. If you stick a bunch of mastered, high level materia on this weapon, he will definitely do 9999 damage per hit and you may even experience the overflow glitch, wherein if the damage calculates to more that 65335, it just automatically kills monsters in one hit regardless of their health.

Overall Assessment

Objectively, Barret is probably the best character after Cloud (maybe tied with Tifa, depending on how reliably you can hit her limit break slots). Sure, his magic is weak and he’s slow, but his survivability is high, he has great limit breaks, and his ultimate weapon is potentially game-breaking. However, he’s not ridiculously more powerful than other characters, unlike Cloud. For early game, he’s a good candidate for the Cover materia and Counter-Attack materia.

Final Fantasy 7 Characters: Tifa

final fantasy 7 tifa characters differences ff7

Stats

Tifa has high strength, speed and luck and lower-middle tier everything else. This makes her a decent fighter. Her magic is marginally better than Barret’s at the expense of a significant amount of defense.

Limit Breaks

Tifa has a great multihit limit break that builds on itself and stays useful throughout the game. In total it ends up doing 7 hits and hits the 9999 damage cap fairly easily. The problem is, you’re not going to hit that damage potential every time you use them on account of the slots mechanic. Among the limit breaks, it sits somewhere in the middle of the pack, probably in between Cid and Yuffie in terms of damage. Definitely usable.

Weapons

Tifa’s weapons tend to have higher than average accuracy, which makes her a good candidate for the Deathblow materia, especially when using her God’s Hand weapon, which has 255% accuracy (meaning Deathblow will always connect). Unfortunately, her ultimate weapon is terrible, since it’s dependent on having a full limit gauge, meaning it’s going to spend most of the time hitting for less than her second best weapon (the aforementioned God’s Hand).

Overall Assessment

Tifa is a middle of the pack fighter. She definitely packs a whallop. She’s very usable. Solid B-Tier. You wouldn’t be gimping your party in any way by using her, but she’s not going to be putting out the same damage numbers are Cloud, Barret or Cid. You know… that’s probably right about where she lands. 4th best.

Aeris

final fantasy 7 aeris characters differences ff7

Stats

Aeris is #1 in every magic-related stat. MP, Spirit, Magic, all top tier. Everything else is roughly 2nd worst. Speed is bad, HP is bad, strength is the worst, etc. In terms of differences between characters in Final Fantasy 7 (FF7) she is… the most different.

Limit Breaks

Aeris’s limit breaks don’t do much in terms of damage, and she has fewer than everybody use (you know why). However, the limits she does have are incredibly useful and they unlock more easily than they do for other characters. She gets a pretty potent heal, which is mostly what you’ll be using. At level 2, she gets a limit that fills your other characters’ limit bars, so you can fire off a bunch of limit breaks in a row if you time it right. Her final limit break is somewhat broken, it fully heals your party and makes them invincible.

Weapons

As you’d expect, her weapons are not very good and they get a fair amount of materia slots. She has access to double growth weapons fairly early on, which is what I’d advise you to use for her since she’s never going to be delivering high physical damage.

Overall Assessment

The best mage in the game. If she had stuck around and gotten a full arsenal of weapons, I’m sure she would have been the most potent quadra magic user available. However, her potential gets… cut… short.

Red XIII

final fantasy 7 red xiii

Stats

Red has high health, top tier speed and extremely mediocre everything else. His stats are nothing to write home about. Having high speed is great and all, but he doesn’t really have much to back it up with. Yuffie also has high speed and mediocre everything else, but at least she’s long-range and has a good damage limit break.

Limit Breaks

Red XIII really gets the short end of the stick when it comes to limit breaks. He does get some decent support options. His first two levels of limit break are pretty bad (one is full party haste, which you can just cast normally with the Time materia). His level 3 limit break, Earth Rave, is his only multihit limit break, and it’s only 5 hits. Cosmo Memory, his level 4 limit break, is basically useless because it caps out at 9999 damage, meaning at endgame it’s weaker than his level 1 limit break, Sled Fang, because at least a level 1 limit meter fills quickly.

Weapons

Red gets a handful of double growth weapons and his ultimate weapon deals more damage at full MP, which is easy to maintain. Nothing to write home about.

Overall Assessment

Red XIII is definitely in the lower tier of characters. Mediocre stats, weak limit breaks, no notable weapons. He’s very much at the low-end of middle of the road. In terms of differences between characters in Final Fantasy 7 (FF7), Red XIII doesn’t fare very well, mostly because of his weak, weak limit breaks.

Yuffie

yuffie

Stats

Yuffie’s stats are very similar to Red XIII’s, except instead of high speed and HP, she has high speed and luck. She ranks roughly 3rd from last in almost every other category. So, not too great on the stat front, but she does crit a lot and get her turn meter quickly. That’s something.

Limit Breaks

All Creation, her level 4 limit break, has the same problem as Red XIII’s Cosmo Memory in that it’s a single massive hit which becomes useless by endgame. Luckily for her, she has a level 3 limit break, Doom of the Living, which hits 15 times for weak damage, dealing a total of 9.375 standard attacks. At max stats it’ll be a bit stronger than Tifa’s limit break, but it’d take a lot of effort to get it to that point.

Weapons

Yuffie’s weapons are all long range, which means you can safely have her in the back row at all times. That’s definitely a boon to her defense, since her HP and vitality are low. Otherwise, her weapons are nothing to write home about except for her ultimate weapon, which allows her to deal regular attack damage when using the morph command. This makes her invaluable for farming stat increase items on the sunken Gelnika submarine below Junon.

Overall Assessment

Yuffie is decent enough. She’s probably about the same level as Tifa. She’s slightly weaker than Tifa, but then also has access to the morph thing, which no one else can do. I’d say among the whole roster she’s probably the 5th best character. When it comes to differences between characters in Final Fantasy 7 (FF7), Yuffie comes out looking pretty well.

Final Fantasy 7 Characters: Cait Sith

cait sith

Stats

You’d probably expect Cait Sith to have high defense and HP based on how he looks, right? Nope. High luck, pretty good magic and magic defense, terrible strength, dead last in defense. So he’s… a mage? Bizarre.

Limit Break

Slots is a bad limit break. It does have a very rare chance to instantly win any encounter, but then again it also has a rare chance to instantly cause a game over, so it’s kind of a wash. Mostly it just does nothing terribly useful. He also gets Dice, which is also bad. Worst limit break in the game.

Weapons

Just standard. Nothing notable whatsoever. His ultimate weapon scales with current HP. So it’s like Cloud’s, but it’s weaker.

Overall Assessment

Cait Sith is easily the worst character in the game. Unless you really, really like his character design, there is no reason to use him over any other character. Most people bench him immediately as soon as they’re able and never look back. He has very little impact on the game.

Final Fantasy 7 Characters: Vincent

ff7 characters differences vincent final fantasy 7

Stats

Stat-wise, Vincent isn’t too great. Slow, dead last in HP, defense and strength (not counting Aeris). What he does have is high MP, Magic and Spirit. Actually, in terms for differences between characters in Final Fantasy 7 (FF7), his stats are pretty similar to Cait Sith’s. Both have mage stats.

Limit Breaks

Vincent’s limit breaks are kind of interesting. They’re not good, but they’re interesting. He transforms into a monster and then does one of two limit break options every turn until he dies. This has obvious drawbacks. The first being that only one limit break from any of the forms is multihit, and that form’s other limit break doesn’t deal damage at all. The second being that having an uncontrollable party member is not ideal. It would have been much, much better if he could still be controlled, but it replaced his attack and/or magic command with new options. Alas, that’s not how it works.

Weapons

Vincent’s weapons are all long range, like Yuffie’s, so that offsets his horrible defense somewhat. He also has 2 different 255% accuracy weapons, and great accuracy on all his weapons, which makes him a good candidate for the Deathblow materia. However, both his 255% weapons are weaker than Tifa’s God Hand, so… probably the second best Deathblow user. His ultimate weapon is alright with the potential to become absurd if you farm. Its damage scales with Vincent’s kill count and it never stops going up so, as with Barret, you can easily hit the damage cap and potentially hit the overflow glitch.

Overall Assessment

After Aeris dies, Cait Sith and Vincent are your best options for mages. Because quadra magic ultima/comet 2 is better than most limit breaks anyway, their lack of good limit breaks is not that big of a deal. Then again, Yuffie’s magic is only slightly behind both of them and she’s lightspeed fast as well, so there’s that to consider. However, Vincent probably edges out, at the very least, Cait Sith, on account of his ultimate weapon.

Final Fantasy 7 Characters: Cid

cid

Stats

Cid is like Cloud-lite. Jack of all trades with above average strength and defense. He’s not as strong as Tifa or Barret, but he’s faster than Barret and has higher defense than Tifa.

Limit Breaks

Cid’s limit breaks are very good, and his ultimate, Highwind, is the 3rd highest damage in the game (18 hits, 12.375x normal attack damage). It also has the highest damage potential in the game for a limit break if you max out his strength and feed him hero drinks. His second best limit break, Big Brawl, is also a multi-hitter that dishes out more damage than most other characters are capable of.

Weapons

Aside from Cloud, Cid is the only other character with access to a triple growth weapon. That alone is pretty notable. Also like Cloud (Cid is very much Cloud-lite), Cid’s ultimate weapon scales off of current HP.

Final Fantasy 7 Characters Overall Assessment

In terms of raw damage output, probably the 3rd best character in the game after Cloud and Barret. However, I feel like I have to note that the quadra magic + comet 2 combo I’ve been mentioning is really, really powerful, so whoever’s doing that is really probably the best character in the game after Cloud.

Ultimately, in FF7 (Final Fantasy 7), differences between characters don’t amount to a huge amount, and limit breaks are the biggest factor. However, those differences in terms of character stats in FF7 are pretty noticeable once you’re aware of them (for example, Vincent will do significantly more damage with magic than Barret if you’re paying attention to it).

That does it for differences between characters in FF7 (Final Fantasy 7). Be sure to check the Games Section for more content like this. It’s full of game guides and tips/tricks for all your favorite RPGs. Click here for more content related to FF7.

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