It takes two!
Link-strikes (リンクアタック, Rinku Atakku?, lit. Link Attack) and blindside links (バックアタック, Bakku Atakku?, lit. Back Attack) are co-op attacks the player can perform with party members and their Level 10 chocobo in Final Fantasy XV. They appear in the main game and in the downloadable episodes as long as the player has at least one ally.
The player can perform linked attacks not only with the three default party members, Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto, but also with guest party members and a Lv.10 chocobo. Linked attacks can trigger when attacking an enemy from behind (called blindside link), or when parrying an enemy attack (called link-strike), with a small cooldown applied before another one can be initiated. Linked attacks can be performed with a nearby party member who isn't incapacitated by a status ailment, in Danger, or currently performing another action, and the link partner and their weapon are chosen randomly. If the partner doesn't have a suitable secondary arm equipped they will not perform the linked attack associated with that arm. It also appears that some of Ignis's linked attacks never trigger if he has a polearm equipped. Certain enemies have special linked attacks only performed against them.
Linked attacks can be initiated with the permanent allies when Noctis wields a one-handed sword, greatsword, or a polearm; royal arms only trigger linked attacks with Iris and chocobo, and daggers only trigger a blindside link with the chocobo. In Close Encounter of the Terra Kind the player can trigger linked attacks with any weapon. Only playing as Noctis triggers linked attacks in the main game.
The link system is a bit different in the DLC episodes. In the main game, the player can't do another blindside link right after doing one, but performing linked attacks in the DLC episodes has no such restriction. The link-strikes trigger randomly when holding the Attack button without need to parry or blindside. Episodes Prompto and Ignis also don't show the linked attack message at the top of the screen when one triggers.
Once a linked attack initiates it cannot be interrupted and the participants cannot be hit for its duration. Linked attacks are good for breaking enemies and breaking off appendages and to putting enemies into vulnerable state. The Friendship Band accessory allows linked attacks to initiate even across a distance. It is often the easiest to trigger linked attacks with Ignis because his AI behavior has him stay closest to Noctis. He also has the most powerful blindside link if Noctis strikes an enemy from behind with a greatsword. Blindside-linking with Prompto with a greatsword can also result in an especially powerful strike.
When triggering a blindside attack without linking, the player can momentarily stop attacking until Noctis starts the "put away weapon" animation, and then attack again for another chance at triggering a blindside link. The player can also change weapons right before pressing Attack as different weapon types have different linked attacks, some of them especially strong; because the greatsword-based linked attacks are so powerful, the player can quickly swap for one when blindsiding or when an enemy readies a parriable attack.
The Critical Link Ascension ability makes all linked attacks critical hits. Limitless Link allows linked attacks to break the damage limit, and Link Up boosts their damage. Super Link Up further boosts damage.
The player cannot link with Ignis in Chapters 10, 12 and 13. The party won't fist-bump after a linked attack or otherwise celebrate in Chapter 10.
When playing as Noctis in the main game the player can perform the following linked attacks. Individual linked attacks are not named. Most linked attacks only hit the enemy the player was targeting when the attack triggered (Prompto's machinery linked attacks can also damage nearby enemies). The link partner will never perform linked attacks associated with a weapon they don't currently have equipped; the player must always equip a primary arm, but the secondary arm can be empty, a weapon, or Elemancy. Elemancy doesn't trigger linked attacks. A successful linked attack often leads to celebratory maneuvers like high-fiving or fist-bumping (the party forgoes this in Chapter 10).
Permanent party membersEdit
|Player's weapon||Partner||Partner's weapon||Type||Description|
|Sword||Gladiolus||Greatsword||Link-strike||Gladiolus pulls Noctis away from the enemy the former just parried and strikes it.|
|Sword||Gladiolus||Greatsword||Blindside||Gladiolus rushes in and attacks Noctis's target over his head while Noctis crouches down.|
|Sword||Gladiolus||Greatsword||Blindside||Gladiolus rushes in and takes Noctis's hand, flinging him into the air. Noctis strikes the enemy with his one-handed sword in the air while Gladiolus attacks with his greatsword below.|
|Sword||Gladiolus||Shield||Blindside||Noctis crouches and Gladiolus uses him as a "launching pad" to jump into the air and bash the enemy with his shield.|
|Sword||Ignis||Daggers||Link-strike||Noctis strikes the enemy whose attack he parried with his sword while Ignis throws his daggers at it. The two stand back to back while Ignis pushes his glasses up.|
|Sword||Ignis||Daggers||Blindside||Ignis cartwheels toward Noctis's enemy to hit it while Noctis cartwheels away from it.|
|Sword||Ignis||Daggers||Blindside||Noctis manifests his sword while Ignis manifests his daggers and both slide forward crossing each other's path.|
|Sword||Ignis||Polearm||Blindside||Ignis approaches while somersaulting and Noctis joins him, both somersaulting an enemy at the same time. (Video)|
|Sword||Prompto||Firearm||Link-strike||Prompto slides in from behind Noctis to shoot the enemy while Noctis steps out of Prompto's way, then pulls him up.|
|Sword||Prompto||Firearm||Blindside||Prompto rushes up from behind and shoots the enemy over Noctis's head while the latter crouches down.|
|Sword||Prompto||Firearm||Blindside||Noctis cartwheels to make way for Prompto to come in and fire a barrage of bullets into Noctis's target.|
|Sword||Prompto||Machine||Blindside||Noctis spins to make way for Prompto to come in and attack Noctis's target with a machinery weapon whose recoil throws him back and Noctis catches him. (Video)|
|Polearm||Gladiolus||Greatsword||Link-strike||Gladiolus lowers his sword to the ground, Noctis steps on it and Gladiolus launches him as they attack the enemy together. (Video)|
|Polearm||Gladiolus||Greatsword||Blindside||Noctis cartwheels away from the opponent to make room for Gladiolus who attacks Noctis's target together with him.|
|Polearm||Gladiolus||Greatsword||Blindside||Gladiolus grabs Noctis and spins and then throws him at the enemy before following with a strike of his own. (Video)|
|Polearm||Gladiolus||No weapon* may need shield equipped to trigger||Blindside||Noctis grabs onto his spear and acts as a weight when Gladiolus picks up the spear with Noctis still on it to attack the enemy. Noctis lands on Gladiolus's back and hops back down.|
|Polearm||Ignis||Polearm* Noctis's polearm||Link-strike||Ignis jumps over Noctis who throws the spear he just used for parrying into the air. Ignis grabs it midair and lands on the enemy, skewering it. Ignis returns the spear to Noctis. (Video)|
|Polearm||Ignis||Daggers||Blindside||Noctis attacks and crouches down, Ignis jumping over him to stab Noctis's target. (Video)|
|Polearm||Ignis||Daggers||Blindside||Ignis performs a combo attack on Noctis's target with his daggers, and Noctis performs a finisher with his polearm.|
|Polearm||Ignis||Polearm||Blindside||Ignis throws his spear at a jumping Noctis who dual-wields spears to skewer his target.|
|Polearm||Prompto||Firearm||Link-strike||Noctis strikes his target with his spear while Prompto comes up from behind to follow up with a barrage of bullets. May inflict Stop (only if Noctis's spear attack hits.) (Video)|
|Polearm||Prompto||Firearm||Blindside||Noctis stabs his spear into the ground and as he is bent over Prompto leap-frogs over him to fire a shot the enemy while midair.|
|Polearm||Prompto||Firearm||Blindside||Noctis jumps high into the air with the polearm "dragoon-style" and lands with the tip of the spear stuck on the ground. Prompto spins on it like a pole dancing move while shooting at Noctis's target.|
|Polearm||Prompto||Machine||Blindside||Noctis stabs the enemy while Prompto slides from behind him to attack Noctis's target with a machinery weapon.|
|Greatsword||Gladiolus||Greatsword||Link-strike||Gladiolus and Noctis stand side by side and attack Noctis's target in unison. (Video)|
|Greatsword||Gladiolus||Greatsword||Blindside||Noctis attacks and then throws his greatsword into the air. Gladiolus comes up from behind, grabs Noctis's weapon and dual-wields greatswords as he descends upon Noctis's target.|
|Greatsword||Gladiolus||Greatsword||Blindside||Noctis and Gladiolus attack Noctis's target in unison with their greatswords.|
|Greatsword||Gladiolus||Shield||Blindside||Noctis uses the shield Gladiolus is holding out horizontally as a stepping stone to attack the enemy.|
|Greatsword||Ignis||Daggers||Link-strike||Ignis joins Noctis's counterattack on an enemy.|
|Greatsword||Ignis||Daggers||Blindside||Noctis does a jumping attack on an enemy and stays down at the end of it, while Ignis rolls over Noctis's crouched body to attack his target with daggers.|
|Greatsword||Ignis||Daggers||Blindside||Noctis hangs back while Ignis slides past him, attacks the enemy and then cartwheels away while Noctis performs a finisher with his greatsword.|
|Greatsword||Ignis||Polearm||Blindside||Noctis attacks first. Ignis swoops past him to strike Noctis's target with his spear. The two continue attacking together.|
|Greatsword||Prompto||Firearm||Link-strike||Noctis and Prompto swap weapons, Noctis shooting the enemy with Prompto's handgun while he wields Noctis's greatsword. (Video)|
|Greatsword||Prompto||Firearm||Blindside||Noctis and Prompto charge at Noctis's target together, Noctis striking with his greatsword after which Prompto pulls him back and fires at the enemy with his handgun.|
|Greatsword||Prompto||Firearm||Blindside||Noctis manifests is greatsword to slams down at his target while Prompto jumps onto the blade to act as a weight to boost the power of Noctis's swordstrike. Then shoots at the enemy.|
|Greatsword||Prompto||Machine||Blindside||Noctis throws his greatsword into the air, jumps to catch it midair, ready to plunge it at the enemy. Prompto comes up from behind to attack Noctis's target. Both attacks connect at the same time.|
Nice moves there, Majesty.
Guests only use one type of weapon: Cor uses a katana, Aranea uses a magitek lance, and Iris and chocobo do not use weapons. Iris's and chocobo's linked attacks trigger from wielding any of the usual linked attack weapons (sword/polearm/greatsword), as well as the royal arms. The chocobo blindside link can also happen with daggers equipped. Various "celebrations" can happen for successful links, such as Aranea patting Noctis on the head who gets embarrassed, and Noctis patting Iris on the shoulder who becomes elated.
|Sword||Cor||Link-strike||Cor rushes up from behind to stab the enemy Noctis counterattacked.|
|Sword||Cor||Blindside||Cor jumps to attack Noctis's target, then yields his katana to Noctis who dual-wields his one-handed sword with Cor's katana while Cor observes. Noctis returns the katana to Cor.|
|Sword||Aranea||Link-strike||Noctis counterattacks with his sword while Aranea swoops in from behind to stab Noctis's target with her lance. (Video)|
|Sword||Aranea||Blindside||Noctis does a jumping attack and stays crouched while Aranea jumps over him to impale the enemy with her spear. She ends up sitting on the crouched Noctis like on a chair. She hops off and Noctis gets up.|
|Polearm||Cor||Link-strike||Cor attacks Noctis's target, after which Noctis throws his polearm at it like a javelin.|
|Polearm||Cor||Blindside||Noctis readies his spear while Cor readies his katana. They look at each other and nod, then charge in unison.|
|Polearm||Aranea||Link-strike||Noctis stabs the enemy whose attack he parried and Aranea performs her famous "dragoon dive" on it as a finisher. (Video)|
|Polearm||Aranea||Blindside||Aranea appears besides Noctis as he is attacking an enemy and jumps high into the air. Noctis follows and both perform a "dragoon dive" on the enemy together.|
|Greatsword||Cor||Link-strike||Cor and Noctis attack the enemy whose attack Noctis parried in unison.|
|Greatsword||Cor||Blindside||Noctis performs an uppercut with his greatsword, Cor comes in and deals numerous fast slices with his katana, and Noctis finishes with another big swing of his greatsword.|
|Greatsword||Aranea||Link-strike||Noctis counterattacks and Aranea comes rushing down from the sky to perform her "dragoon dive", knocking Noctis down to the ground at the impact.|
|Greatsword||Aranea||Blindside||Noctis readies his attack, Aranea jumps, Noctis attacks and Aranea lands onto the enemy.* Animation tends to glitch|
|Various* Sword/polearm/greatsword/royal arm||Iris||Link-strike||Noctis deflects an enemy attack and Iris jumps it with the moogle plushie. (Video)|
|Various* Sword/polearm/greatsword/royal arm||Iris||Blindside||Noctis hurts his hand attacking and Iris heals him with a potion. (Video)|
|Various* Sword/polearm/greatsword/royal arm||Iris||Blindside* Only against imperial troopers||Iris grabs the soldier's arm and runs to spin it around to face Noctis. She grabs onto and pulls its head back while Noctis performs a spinning kick on it while she lets go. (Video)|
|Various* Sword/polearm/greatsword/daggers/royal arm||Lv.10 chocobo||Blindside* doesn't display the Blindside link message on-screen||Noctis's chocobo attacks his target, Noctis hops on the saddle and delivers another blow with his weapon, then jumps off the chocobo that runs away. (Video)|
|Iron Giant* Doesn't trigger for other giant type enemies||Greatsword||Gladiolus and Prompto||Link-strike||Noctis parries an iron giant with a greatsword when both Gladiolus and Prompto are alive and close by. The iron giant needs to be at low enough HP for the link-strike to kill it. Noctis deflects the giant's sword slashes until Gladiolus knocks its weapon off its hand. Noctis plunges his greatsword into the giant's weaponless hand. The giant rises with the weapon stuck in its body while Noctis helps Gladiolus pick up the giant's sword while Prompto acts as a distraction. Gladiolus impales the giant with its own sword and it explodes and is defeated. (Video)|
|Imperial troopers||Various* Sword/polearm/greatsword/royal arm||Iris||Blindside||Iris grabs the soldier's arm and runs to spin it around to face Noctis. She grabs onto and pulls its head back while Noctis performs a spinning kick on it while she lets go. (Video)|
|Adamantoise||Any that can parry* Magic and Cerberus can't parry||Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto||Link-strike||After parrying an attack from adamantoise's head (stand just to the right/left of the tortoise's head when it lifts its head and slams down) Noctis manifests a royal arm for each party member (Blade of the Mystic for himself, Axe of the Conqueror for Gladiolus, Swords of the Wanderer for Ignis, and the Sword of the Wise for Prompto). They throw their weapons at the adamantoise and warp to the top of Longwythe's Peak. They jump over the edge to attack the adamantoise's head from above. (Video)|
|Ifrit||Any||Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto||Special sequence||The last phase of the battle has a scripted sequence initiated with the Attack command where the party's combined attacks with the royal arms bring Ifrit to his knees. If the player triggers this sequence, Ifrit still stands up at 0 HP left, and Noctis summons Shiva. Both Ifrit and the party need to be on the ground level for the royal arms sequence to happen. If the party members were Down, they come back to life with 1 HP to take part. If the player wants to pull it off, they should ignore Shiva's summoning call until they can trigger it. (Video)|
Gladiolus can perform blindside links with Cor Leonis. There are three blindside links and the player can do them one after another, unlike in the main game. Linking five times earns the Master and Pupil achievement/trophy.
- Gladiolus strikes an enemy with his greatsword and Cor climbs onto his back and does a jumping attack on the enemy with his katana.
- Gladiolus strikes an enemy and Cor comes up from behind for a follow-up attack.
- Gladiolus and Cor attack Gladiolus's target in unison, Cor doing a little somersault.
The Prompto-Aranea pairing has four link-strikes: one with the knife and three with the handgun. The link-strikes trigger randomly when holding the Attack button, unlike in the main game. Link-strikes are a good way to break enemies and put them into the vulnerable state and thus susceptible to Prompto's powerful Crackshot command. Episode Prompto does not display a message on-screen when Prompto and Aranea link. Linked actions don't trigger for the weapons the player needs to manually aim.
- Knife link-strike: Prompto stabs the enemy and Aranea swoops in with her spear and Prompto rolls over her body to give her space to attack.
- Attacking an enemy long-range with the basic handgun: Aranea climbs onto Prompto who throws her in the air, and she lands onto the enemy, reminiscent of the dragoons' traditional Jump command.
- Attacking an enemy mid-range with the basic handgun: Aranea climbs onto Prompto and uses him as a "launching pad" to propel herself toward the enemies like a torpedo while Prompto topples over.
- Attacking an enemy close-range: Aranea approaches from behind and dives under Prompto to attack his target while he rolls over her.
Ignis can perform linked attacks with Ravus Nox Fleuret. They trigger randomly when attacking an enemy, unlike in the main game where they are tied to parries and blindsides. The game does not display the linked attack message on-screen. The linked attack is determined by the element currently in use. The player can link once per element, and then needs to change element for a linked attack to trigger again. However, if the player immediately swaps to another element they can keep doing linked attacks in quick succession if they are lucky.
- Flamebind: Ignis and Ravus attack Ignis's target with their weapons, and then kick it in unison.
- Frostbind: Ignis and Ravus attack Ignis's target with their weapons while twirling.
- Stormbind: Ignis and Ravus stab Ignis's target with their weapons at the same time.
Noctis and Prompto could perform a blindside link against a cactuar in Whack-a-Cactuar 2. Doing this to the Gigantuar netted 4,000 points.
Link-strikes are unlocked after the second battle, after which Noctis and Sarah find a way to be "in sync" in battle. The player can still "link" with Sarah in the first battle, but the link-strike will fail: Sarah jumps onto Noctis who was not expecting it and he falls over, and both call out the other. After the two are "in sync" the player can link with Sarah with any weapon (although the animation has Noctis use a sword), unlike in the main game where only certain weapon types are compatible with link-striking. The event has three link-strikes and the player can only do blindside-links.
- Occasionally, when initiating a link-strike with a chocobo, it will not physically manifest, and Noctis will simply hover in mid-air throughout the animation.