Best Guns in Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (All Ranked)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Out of all the jobs in The Zodiac Age, Machinist stands out as one of the more interesting choices, both thematically and mechanically.
This is in large part thanks to the awesome guns and ammo combinations they get access to, which are the only weapons in the game that are stat independent.
This means that getting them as soon as possible will be a huge boon to your party, and will ensure that even the physically weaker jobs have access to a reliable attack option – if you choose to pair them with Machinist (or Shikari later on).
I’m putting the Capella below the Altair because it just isn’t an impactful upgrade.
Compared to any other type of weapon, a measly 2 attack – especially considering the point at which this gun becomes available – simply doesn’t justify putting this as anything else than the worst gun in the game.
How to Get: The shop at Rabanastre (After Barheim Passage) or Nalbina Fortress (After Barheim Passage) both carry this; Or this is also in a treasure in Barheim Passage (The Zeviah Subterrane) but it’s likely easier to just buy it.
Unsurprisingly, the weakest and easiest to get gun still doesn’t rank very high on the list.
While being a fine starter weapon, its low damage does fall off before some of the better guns become available – which means you’re not likely to feel that your Machinist is keeping up early on in damage.
Thankfully, your Machinist can easily serve as a pseudo-healer with their item lores at this point (consequently allowing for more damage from the other characters), making the growing pains a little bit more bearable.
How to Get: This is Balthier’s starting weapon. Or if you want more than one, you can buy this at the shop at Rabanastre (plus a few other locations, but the shop is the easiest spot)
The Vega is fairly unremarkable other than being a worthwhile upgrade (unlike the Capella) and its strange, bulky visual design.
A noteworthy entry, but besides being a bit better than others, it’s just another choice for ranged battle.
How to Get: The shop at Rabanastre is easiest (After Ba’Gamnan in Lhusu Mines), or as a 5% drop from Axebeak.
Despite being named after the brightest star in a lineup full of similar nomenclature, the Sirius is seriously underwhelming…
On the bright side, the Sirius is another notch of power above the Vega!
And so it lands on this list accordingly.
Get it if you can, but there’s also other guns to chase if you’re further into the story.
How to Get: The shop at Rabanastre (After defeating Belias), or you can steal this from a Wooly Gator at a 3% chance, or Imdugud at a 10% chance in Trial Mode Stage 8.
In case the Sandsea didn’t make it obvious, around the time that the Betelgeuse becomes available is when you should be seriously considering your second job pairings.
With that in mind, the Betelgeuse is a worthwhile upgrade to whatever weapon you have.
But only if you fancy hunting one down, or if you’re not tight on gil that might be better spent on more practical physical weapons.
How to Get: The shop at Eruyt Village & Mt Bur-Omisace, or as a 1% drop from Barmuu
7. Ras Algethi
In my opinion, this is one of the coolest looking weapons in the whole game.
Sharing obvious similarities with the gunblades of Final Fantasy 8, the only thing I can fault this gun for is not giving anything extra aside from having a sick blade attached.
How to Get: The shop at Mt Bur-Omisace (After defeating Vinuskar), or as a 55% steal from Adrammelech in Trial Mode Stage 35. You also have a 5% chance to poach this from Phyllo
The Aldebaran shares the same appearance as the ultimate gun, Mithuna, but the similarities stop there.
Thankfully, the Aldebaran is the last of the boring guns up to this point. Well, “boring” as in “their stats just keep increasing and that’s it”.
But the top 5 in our ranking here all have interesting implications for any part of the game.
How to Get: Pick it up at a shop at Phon Coast/Archades, or as a 1% drop from Bangaa Pirate.
This is the first gun on the list that can be used by both Machinists and Shikaris, which is really great if you’re in need of extra status effects, elemental damage types, or flying enemy control.
It also means that you’re not exactly locked into picking Machinist to be able to get value out of some of the higher-tier ranged gun strategies.
And truth be told, these types of weapons can be really fun.
How to Get: From the shop at Balfonheim Port, or you have a 5% chance of poaching this from Shadonir. There are other locations but these are the simplest ways.
These next few guns from FF12 could be considered the rarest ones, since none of them are available in stores.
The Antares is still fairly easy to get by comparison, with a 1 in 20 chance of dropping from a common enemy.
So it’s still worth grabbing through some luck or light grinding. The stats definitely make it worth the effort.
How to Get: A treasure in Cerobi Steppe (Old Elanise Road), and this is also a rare 5% drop from Deidar.
The Arcturus is available much earlier than its power suggests it should be.
Indeed, you can acquire this as you venture out to the Ogir-Yensa Sandsea for the first time.
It’s a lot of effort but, it can seriously trivialize some fights at this point since, again, the guns deal damage independent of the user’s stats.
After the events of the Leviathan, grab the Hunt “Wyvern Lord” from Rabanastre before departing for the Sandsea.
For this gun, you’ll want a bunch of items to bring with you to the bazaar. Here’s how it works:
You’ll get both Wyvern Wings from the Wyvern Lord by stealing and resetting it by running two screens away.
Yensa Fins are easy enough to get from the Yensa fish monsters in the area.
And for a Salamand Halcyon, find a Salamand Entite (finding too many of these is usually more the issue for me) and find a way to steal from it until you get your final item.
Sell them, buy up the Late-model Rifle, and voila, easy mode unlocked.
How to Get: At the bazaar as Late-model Rifle (2 Wyvern Wing, 2 Yensa Fin, 1 Salamand Halcyon).
The Fomalhaut is in a unique situation, as it’s the most powerful gun available to Shikari.
It’s also the 2nd strongest gun overall, and there are multiple copies available if you’re willing to track them down.
There’s a strategy involving the damage boosting capabilities of Black Robes and the Dark element that’s incredibly powerful. And the ability to utilize it with this weapon alongside Dark Shots is possibly one of the most versatile moves in the game.
Using dark absorption, you can even have a healing and damage dealing jack-of-all-trades mage/machinist hybrid… or two if you’re feeling crazy.
How to Get: From a treasure in Henne Mines (Phase 2 Dig), or you also have a 10% chance to steal this from Elza in Trial Mode Stage 86.
It’s fair to say the Mithuna is an absolutely insane weapon.
Take everything that makes guns powerful, and slap multipliers on it: 2.5x the accuracy and 2x the critical hit rate.
It does come with a few drawbacks, though.
As mentioned, it shares a model with the much weaker Aldebaran, which doesn’t feel fitting for an ultimate weapon.
It’s also difficult to get (easiest might be from the bazaar).
The Archaeoaevises that drop the Emperor Scales you’ll need are very tough opponents. And Elza in the trial is a chore to get to, plus her steal rates aren’t exactly good (and it’s a challenging fight as well).
If you have the patience, though, you literally can’t get better than this.
And so the Mithuna stands undisputed as a top choice out of any gun in FFXII (TZA or otherwise).
How to Get: From the bazaar as Mudslinger (2 Emperor Scale, 3 Silver Liquid, 8 Earth Crystal), or you have a 3% chance to steal this from Elza in Trial Mode Stage 86.