Generally, group-casting a spell lowers its power compared to its being cast on a single target. Some games, like Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VI, allow certain spells to be group-cast by pressing the proper button while targeting enemies, while other games have alternative mechanics for group-casting. Exactly what spells can and cannot be group-cast varies from game to game.
Group-casting magic on enemies is not always an option. Some spells cannot be cast on multiple targets in most games, usually due to their strength. Spells that typically cannot be group-cast are Flare, Holy, Slow, Shell, Raise, and many others. Some spells are also group-cast automatically, like Meteor and Flood, which cannot be forced to target single enemies, unless there is only one to begin with. Some spells that cannot be group-cast have upgraded forms that can. For example, Haste usually cannot be group-cast, but its upgraded form, Hastega, can.
None of the spells allow players to choose between single target and group-casting mode. Some spells, such as the first Fire, Blizzard and Thunder spells, and the entire Cure series, can only affect a single target, while others, such as the higher level Fire, Blizzard and Thunder spells, and the Heal series (multi-target counterparts to the Cure spells), are automatically cast on all valid targets. The original Final Fantasy is one of the few games in which Holy and Flare are multi-target spells.
All spells may be group-cast at the player's choosing. However, group-casting a spell lowers its rate of success (which in turn is determined by the spell's level). In the smartphone version the player must drag their finger from any empty space on the screen to over the enemies to highlight them and then tap the enemies again to confirm the group cast during battles. Group cast can be done outside battles for magic spells such as Cure during target selection by quickly swiping the screen from one character to the one below it without immediately releasing the finger.
Nearly all spells can be group cast except for White Magic status spells.
Spells that naturally hit all targets, such as Quake or most summons, ignore split damage. The ability Kick functions as a group-targeting Attack. In the 3D release, the "Omnicast" Augment allows a character to group-cast spells which are normally single target, such as Haste, Flare and Arise; group-casting these spells has no effect on their potency.
The same spells that could be group cast in the original are the same ones that can be group-cast.
Spells can be group-cast simply by pressing left at the very back row of the enemy party (to select all enemies) or by pressing right on the party (to select all allies). Very few spells cannot be group-cast, such as Holy, Flare, and Comet.
With the "Mix and X-Magic glitch" the player is able to group-cast spells that can't normally be group-cast, although trying to group-cast Holy with the glitch will crash the game.
Magic spells can be group-cast by pressing at the back row of the enemy party (to select all enemies) or by pressing on the party (to select all allies) or, in the PlayStation version, by pressing while selecting a target. Several spells cannot be group-cast, such as Flare and Holy. Group-cast spells deal half of their regular damage.
All spells, with the exception of Comet2, Ultima, and some Enemy Skills, normally can only be cast on a single target. The All Materia allows the connected Magic Materia to be group-cast a number of times equal to the level of the All Materia, up to five times. The Mega-All Materia causes all the character's equipped spells and abilities to be able to group-cast, with the number of times group-cast can be used for each command relying on the level of the Mega-All Materia.
Any spell cast on all enemies due to the All materia will only deal 2/3 of its regular damage.
In the 1996 demo version, when an All Materia is equipped to another, selecting that Materia will give the player the option to cast it on All opponents, or just a single opponent and will also tell how many more times the player can use the All option, changing depending on the level of the Materia, although it is not possible to level Materia up in the demo.
It is possible for Vivi, Dagger and Eiko to group-cast several of their spells by hitting the . Group-casting will halve the damage or healing done to each target. Several spells cannot be group-cast however, such as Holy, Flare and Comet. Amarant's Flair skillset turns into Elan with group-cast properties when he is in Trance.
The only spells that may be group cast are the "Nul" spells like NulBlaze, as well as Ultima, Demi, Hastega, and Slowga, and specific Ronso Rages. Spells that affect the entire group at the same time, such as Ultima and Demi, cannot be reflected, but those that are cast on each member consecutively, like Hastega and NulBlaze, can be reflected.
Most spells from the Black Mage and White Mage dresspheres can be group-cast on either the enemy or player party, at the cost of reduced potency. Some spells, such as Shell and Protect, are unable to be cast on a single character.
All spells have predetermined targeting mechanics and many pairs of spells with identical effects, like Barpoison and Barpoisonra, exist solely to provide single and group-cast options. Scholars are able to selectively widen the targeting of their spells, however, employing Accession to spread healing and enhancing spells to party members and Manifestation to extend enfeebling magic to multiple enemies. White Mages using a Divine Veil-boosted Divine Seal can also group-cast spells that remove status effects.
All spells that can be group-cast have a radius of effect, indicated by a ring around the target when the player selects the spell. Spells that can be group-cast will affect all units in the affected party (allies or enemies) within this radius when cast, while units outside the radius are not affected.
The base Cure, Blizzard, Fire and Thunder spells cannot be group-cast, nor can Curaga. However, the upgraded forms of Blizzard, Fire, and Thunder all are group-cast spells, and Cura and Curaja are group-cast as well. Group-cast spells of the normal status ailment spells also exist. They have a slightly lower chance of success than their single target versions.
All spells are area-of-effect spells and affect many player or enemy units at once.
Spells are either single cast or group-cast. All spells have a group-cast version of the spell, except Synergist spells. Medic has Cura and Curaja as group-cast versions of Cure and Curasa, respectively. Commando's Ruinga is a group-cast spell of Ruin and all Ravager and Saboteur spells also have group-cast versions, however, not every character is able to learn them.
Spells can be either single or group-cast based on an Area of Effect toggle.
Spells may be cast on all enemies by pressing the Up button while choosing a target with a spell, and spells may target all allies by pressing the Down button while choosing a target.
Each battle may have up to three different groups of enemies. Depending on the battle, the player may also face multiples of each type of enemy. Only a few specific weapons and spells can target all enemies on the screen regardless of the type of enemy grouping. There are also some weapons and abilities that can target all enemies from a single type.
Each battle may have up to three different types of enemies. Depending on the battle, the player may also face multiples of each type of enemy. If the battle has only one type of enemy, they may face up to eight of that enemy. If there are two types, then they may face up to six of each enemies. If there are three types, then they may face up to five of each enemies. Only a few specific weapons and spells can target all enemies on the screen regardless of the type of enemy grouping. There are also some weapons and abilities that can target all enemies from a single type.
The spells can only group-cast on identical enemies in the group by pressing the Up button while choosing a target with a spell. Only a few specific spells can target all enemies regardless of the type of enemy grouping, and those spells are the high level spells.
Spells are naturally either single-hit or group-hit spells, but the White Mage's Healthgiver and Lifegiver abilities let the White Mage cast single-target healing spells on all allies at once, such as Cure and Raise. The Shaman's ability, Ritual, allows the Shaman's Dark Magic spell to hit all targets as well.
Most spells can be group-cast, but their overall strength can be weaker. There are two abilities that affect group-casting. One is the Black Mage's level 14 ability Group-Cast All. It allows the character to group cast every spell. The other is the White Mage's level 12 ability Epic Group-Cast. It allows the character to group-cast a spell without any decrease in power.
Most spells can be group-cast, but their strength tends to be weaker. There are two abilities that affect group-casting. The first is the Black Mage's level 10 support ability Group-Cast All. It enables group-casting for magic typically unable to be group-cast. The second is the White Mage's level 8 support ability Group-Cast Master. It allows the user to cast single-target spells on all targets without suffering any penalty to potency. This effect will apply when casting spells from the menu as well as in battle.