Final Fantasy IX Tips & Tricks: The Ultimate ListThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
In the year 2000, Final Fantasy IX released as a celebrated return to the series’ fantasy roots. And its popularity would earn it some re-releases nearly two decades later, allowing a new generation to experience this adventure for the first time, as well as giving veterans a chance to revisit old friends.
Whether you’re brand new to this game or a seasoned vet, Final Fantasy IX can be a tricky beast to tackle.
Let me help you ease into the adventure with a few handy tricks of the trade.
10. Adjust the Config
I know: it sounds simple.
But the config option often goes ignored. Which is a shame, as its options are super helpful.
Vibration helps with finding goodies, and switching the default movement from walk to run is nothing but helpful.
Final Fantasy IX is notorious for being slow-paced. So cranking that battle and field message speed will help keep things moving. All that time adds up!
Also, switch to blue backgrounds.
Your eyes will thank you.
9. Really Impress the Nobles
Very early on, Zidane and his partner Blank stage a fight for an audience. This quicktime minigame can result in various monetary rewards depending on your performance.
You have unlimited encores, so take advantage to fully impress all 100 nobles and Queen Brahne, netting you 10,000 gil and (when in control of Steiner soon after) a moonstone from the queen herself.
8. The Tent Can Be a Weapon
The humble Final Fantasy tent is a bit different in FF9. How so?
It can be used in battle.
Using a tent in a fight bestows the same full restoration that it would on the field, but it has a 50% chance to a poison, blind, and silence a party member.
This risk/reward may be enough to deter using tents on the party. But applying the item to a boss at the start of a fight and having the tent-snake apply a bad-breath bite gives the team an edge in battle.
This tactic is most useful against early tough-guy boss Gizamaluke, who becomes much easier when blinded and silenced.
7. Don’t Let Learning Abilities Hold You Back
There are a lot of abilities in Final Fantasy IX – over 60 to be exact.
You may get to a point where your acquisition of weapons is outpacing that of your abilities.
Don’t worry about it!
You can learn the same abilities from many different pieces of gear, allowing you to switch to more powerful equipment without too much worry of missing out.
If it’s your first time, becoming overwhelmed by the balance between learning abilities and using better gear is easy. But it’s no big deal.
If you love an ability, sure, take the time to learn it.
But nothing will be forever missed if you switch it out to move on with your journey.
6. Chocobo Hot & Cold is Worth Traveling For
Chocobo Hot and Cold can be played at Chocobo Forests around the world.
The first spot can be visited an hour or two into the game.
The idea is to peck around the area looking for items to earn points and make your chocobo more powerful, who can then explore the world in search of treasure.
While it’s easy to think of this amusement as something to do only when your travels find you in a forest, taking the initiative to find your way back to the woods whenever you can is extremely lucrative.
A good rule of thumb is if you have access to the world map, try to return to a forest to see if your trusty bird can discover further treasures.
5. Cotton Robes Can Make You Rich
Synthesis shops take two specific items and put them together, making something brand new.
Over the course of the game, this can get you very powerful weapons and gear. But early on it can make you rich.
When you arrive at the first village, Dali, purchase as many of the Wrist arm gear as you can (this is made easier by impressing the Queen and her nobles earlier).
Not too long after, you arrive at Lindblum, where you have access to the Steepled Hat headgear.
One Wrist and one Steepled Hat synthesized together makes a Cotton Robe, which when sold, nets you a 610 gil profit.
If you managed to get 99 wrists and can match them with steepled hats, that’s over 60,000 gil -which is an amazing head start.
4. Buy One of Everything
One of the unfortunate aspects of Final Fantasy IX is that there are a few easily missable things, with one of the easiest being synthesis materials.
Certain weapons and armor can only be purchased at certain times and places, leaving the player in the lurch if they don’t partake when they have the chance.
The Cotton Robe trick I mentioned earlier is a huge help in this mentality early on.
3. Don’t Sell Anything
It might be tempting to sell off old gear, but fight the urge and keep it in your bag.
You’ll be glad you did.
Making better gear out of old gear is a constant thing in FF9.
And there’s nothing more disappointing than visiting that new synth shop and realizing you don’t have the right ingredients, and that you can’t get them anymore.
Don’t fret too much about money, either.
There’s always a lot of gil to be found in chests, monster hunting, or from chocobo adventures and general exploration.
2. Secrets are Everywhere
In the same room when you first gain control of Zidane, just moments into the game, there are three optional points of interest near the back of the room.
This is the perfect example of how the game hides things everywhere, and it’s important to get into the mindset of exploration.
Exploring Alexandria as Vivi can net you a few potions, spare gil, some cards, and a bevy of interesting people and facts about the city.
Check each nook and cranny and you’ll come out that much richer.
Even avoiding the objective on the world map and striking out on your own can be very lucrative.
A good rule of thumb with this game is always “the story can wait – I have treasure to find!”
1. Steal, Steal & Steal Some More
One of the biggest returns to form that Final Fantasy IX has is that every party member has unique abilities.
Leading man Zidane’s is steal, and is one of the most useful skills in the game.
Every enemy has something. And it’s always something useful, be it snatching potions from goblins or eye drops from spiders.
There’s nothing cheaper than something free, after all.
You’d be surprised how quickly, and fully, you can fill your bags if you make stealing a routine in every random fight.
The best targets are bosses.
Every critical foe has between two and three items you can swipe, and the steals are always either unique to them, or not obtainable until much later.
It’s best to let Zidane rob everybody blind before going full-force.
This mentality is further enforced by Zidane’s late-game skill Thievery, which does damage based on how many times he’s used his unique ability. This can do a flat 9999 damage if you’ve committed enough theft.