Tips and Tricks for Newcomers
The game can be as challenging or as breezy as you want it to be. you can basically choose your own difficulty by taking advantage (or NOT taking advantage) of certain mechanics and exploits.
Playing the game normally without a guide will give you what I would consider to be about the perfect level of challenge. Looking through guides will not only help you in NOT missing anything (a lot of missables in this game are either really useful, or even outright necessary for achivements), but also teach you the many, many, MANY ways you can break this game.
Utilize the Steal materia. There’s a lot of enemies with really good drops (including most bosses), and some items are even missables that can only be stolen off of certain enemies (not always bosses, either). Stealing ethers off those dragon-like things (forget their name) in Train Graveyard is especially useful early game. Ethers sell for quite a fair bit of gil for that point, and some of the stuff you’re gonna wanna buy later will be REALLY expensive.
On the veins of getting money: sell one of your “All” materias when you master it. A single mastered All materia will sell for well over 1 million gil, which’ll by itself more or less set you up for life. Mastered materia also duplicates itself, so you’ll still have another all materia to use in its place! (mind you, it won’t have the same usefulness since it’ll start at base level, but you should at that point have other all materia at high level)
If you follow guides, DON’T follow the ones that show you how to get a gold chocobo without racing. Why? Because as much people as some people hate chocobo racing (I personally really enjoy it.), it’s a REALLY useful way to grind GP (a currency only used in the Gold Saucer casino, but is needed for a lot of really useful materia and other things). There’s also a few fun minigames that can be grinded for GP, but they require so much more grinding, that frankly, you’ll probably come to hate them more than chocobo racing by the end of it all…. Plus trying to gltich the game just right can be just as annoying as just putting the racing in auto mode and like…playing a word game on your phone for a bit or something.
Speaking of the Gold Saucer, DO NOT do the battle square stuff until LATE in the game. (like, near the final dungeon late). Why? Because as useful as Cloud’s final limit break is (which is ONLY obtainable through the battle square), it’s also RIDICULOUSLY expensive when you first have access, but the cost later in the game is halved. Plus, you’ll be facing pretty tough enemies with weaker equipment, so you likely won’t be getting BP very quickly.
This is especially bad with BP specifically because it’s like GP but even more limiting. Only usable in this very specific part of the casino and literally every P of it disappears the moment you leave the square, so **** you if you’ve been playing for 2 hours and wanna take a break, but haven’t saved up enough yet (who in Square thought this would be a “fun” game mechanic?).