Final Fantasy V Tips & Tricks: The Ultimate List For BeginnersThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Final Fantasy V is generally perceived to be one of the more lighthearted entries in the series, mostly due to its tone.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges that can test even the most battle-hardened veteran.
From secret super bosses hiding in treasure chests, to a random encounter that can wipe your party in one hit, there are plenty of threats in the game. So for first time players (and even seasoned professionals returning for another go) preparation is key.
This list serves as a guide to Final Fantasy V for newcomers, to help you get by with as little stress as possible.
I’ll be listing the most useful abilities, job classes, equipment, and just a touch of cheese to make your first time through FF5 feel as fun and breezy as it should be.
10. Invest in the White Mage job as soon as you can
This one may seem like stating the obvious, but the usefulness of a White Mage in this game (or any JRPG for that matter) shouldn’t be understated.
As soon as you pick up your first bunch of job crystals and gain the ability to customize your character’s jobs, make one of them a White Mage.
And keep it on them until they max it out, or at the very least to level 5.
The way job setups work in FFV is that once a character learns a job ability, it’s permanent for that character even when you switch jobs.
This brings a ton of flexibility. And you can set up your plucky heroes any way you wish.
By maxing out the White Mage job for a character, you can then switch them to a more offensive job while equipping the innate White Mage ability, meaning they’ll always be on hand to throw out a party-wide Cure 2 in a pinch.
9. Level up the Thief job to at least level 3
In a similar vein to the previous tip, the innate abilities of the Thief job are extremely useful to have on one of your characters.
At level 3 you’ll learn Find Passages, Flee, and Sprint.
Find Passages lets you see hidden paths in towns and dungeons, nearly always resulting in a secret treasure chest at the end.
Flee lets you escape from random encounters, and Sprint lets you move at 4x the speed on the World Map.
Extremely useful if your party is low on health and you need to get to an inn, or just for those players of a more impatient nature.
8. Learn to love being a Blue Mage
Anyone familiar with the Final Fantasy series will know the general functionality of Blue Magic.
But for those not in the know – Blue Magic is usually a skill that you can learn from an enemy encounter, then keep in your arsenal.
In FFV, there’s the aptly named Blue Mage job which learns the “Learning” ability at level 2.
With this equipped to a character, any time an enemy hits you with one of the plethora of blue magic skills in FFV, you’ll ‘learn’ it.
This means there’s a big payoff to keeping the Learning ability permanently equipped to someone, since throughout your playthrough there’s a high chance you’ll be learning quite a few skills.
Notable ones to learn are Aqua Breath for that sweet AOE magic damage, L5 Doom (more on this later), Death Claw to render an enemy one hit from KO, Vampire (extremely bugged in your favor in the GBA version) and White Wind for the party healing.
There are too many Blue Magic skills to write about here, and some are more useful than others, but the more you learn the better off you’ll be.
7. Pick up the Ribbon from Karnak Castle!
Ribbons have become a staple of the series. And their functionality has generally stayed the same throughout all the games.
It’s an accessory that prevents a boatload of negative status effects and that is no different here.
Usually reserved to being a more late-game acquisition, you can actually find one as early as your escape from Karnak Castle. During the timed escape sequence, you’ll progress to a room with a treasure chest on the left and right side.
The chest on the left contains an enemy encounter which rewards you with your own shiny Ribbon upon victory!
The catch is that it’s only equippable by the Freelancer and Dancer jobs. But during your late game stretch the Freelancer will eventually prove to be your standard job of choice for your entire party.
Not only can it equip all weapons, armor, and accessories (as well as innate abilities), but it also retains the stat boosts from every job that each character masters.
6. Grind Ability Points in Bal Castle
Now this is where the L5 Death will prove useful.
You can learn this Blue Magic from the book enemies in the Library of Ancients. Keep attacking until it opens to Page 64, and wait for it to cast this skill.
It’ll hit all characters with levels divisible by 5. So providing at least one of your party has this + the Learning ability, you’ll learn this incredibly useful skill.
Just remember to revive the dead character(s) before the battle ends, and whatever you do, make sure that not all of your characters have levels divisible by 5 (doh!)
And now to use our shiny new skill.
Once you arrive at Bal Castle, you want to make your way to the basement. Here you’ll encounter groups of enemies called Objet d’Arts, and these will be your ticket to a vast wealth of quick and easy ability points.
Simply cast L5 Death and the battle is over.
Use this method to master all the jobs your little heart desires and really beef your party up with a bunch of new abilities.
5. Bone Mail + Flame Shield will make you almost invincible
The Bone Mail is a piece of equipment that you can find during your search for Dragon Grass in Drakenvale.
It provides the largest defense boost of any armor in the game, and guards against nearly every status effect. But there are a few catches.
Firstly, it grants you the zombie status, which means you can’t be healed by any curative items or magic. And once you KO you can’t be revived.
You’re also weak to fire magic, but by equipping the Flame Shield, you flip that weakness right round and it turns into absorption.
Simply cast any fire spell on your Bone Mail wielder whenever they’re close to KO, and you’ll heal them right back up.
4. Dancer + Summoner job combo makes you a killing machine
Dancer’s in FFV are one of the weakest in terms of stamina and HP, as well as strength.
But what they lack in raw stats, they make up for in their ability to decimate enemies.
The main gimmick of a Dancer is the “Dance” ability, which when used, will randomly perform 1 of 4 Dance skills. This also remained the same with Mog in FF6.
But back to FF5, one of the many skills your Dancer can use is called “Mystery Waltz” which will drain MP from the enemy.
Couple this with the Summoner job and you’ll create a wrecking ball with regenerating MP.
The higher you level up you have your Summoner job, the more summons will be available to use when equipping the innate Summon ability.
The tradeoff for Summons being such powerful magic attacks is that they cost a large amount of MP.
By doubling up with the Dance ability (or vice versa) you will ensure your magical killing machine will never run out of steam.
3. A Monk is an excellent budget investment
The Monk job in FFV is pretty bread and butter, if you’re familiar with them from this franchise.
They attack with their bare hands with remarkable physical damage. And by not needing a weapon, they’re very cheap to buy equipment for.
By leveling up the Monk job you can learn the “Barehanded” ability as well as the “Counter” ability.
Barehanded will come in very useful if you have a magic user in your party and you want them to contribute physical damage as well as magic – or if you want them to conserve MP.
Counter will make your unit automatically retaliate when hit with a physical attack. So that’s handy.
And lastly, if you master the Monk job, it’ll add a significant stamina boost to your Freelancer base stats.
All-in-all this makes the Monk job a worthwhile payout for so many reasons.
2. Steal Genji equipment from Gilgamesh
Genji equipment is another well-known Final Fantasy staple, and usually exists as a late game set of equipment with late game stat boosts.
This is no different in Final Fantasy V.
But the only caveat is that they’re highly missable, and only obtainable in 4 separate battles with Gilgamesh.
Gilgamesh is a recurring boss battle in FFV and has become a fan favorite due to his comedic nature and host of one liners he trades with the party.
In total, you can fight him 6 times in FFV. And from the 3rd battle onwards he’ll start to carry 1 different type of Genji equipment at a time.
By equipping a party member with the Genji Armor, Helm, Shield, and Gloves, you’ll give them a large boost to their defensive stats – as well as protection against a number of nasty status effects.
1. The infamous Kiss of Blessing glitch
Now this one is a doozy, and one that I doubt many existing players will have even seen.
By using the Chemist job in FFV you can create powerful concoctions during battle by mixing two inventory items together. The overall list of combinations is too big to go into detail, but among them are mixtures that can raise your max HP, party levels, and deal unique attacks to enemies.
The best (and cheesiest) of these mixtures is the Kiss of Blessing, which is the result of combining a Maiden’s Kiss and Holy Water.
Using this mixture will bestow the Berserk, Haste, and Blink status effects to a target.
In the SNES version of the game’s coding, you can use this on an enemy and the Berserk status will totally override everything, including the enemy’s immunity.
What this means is that you can render a large number of FFV bosses almost harmless.
This is especially useful against magic casting enemies as they’ll resort to using physical attacks against one party member.
However, by using this glitch against Exdeath during the final battle of the game, it causes him to ignore his coded script of transforming into Neo Exdeath, making the battle much easier.