Final Fantasy Wiki
FFVIIR Cloud and Jessie

Jessie shows Cloud a Materia orb in Final Fantasy VII Remake.

To put it simply, the knowledge of the Ancients is sealed within each orb. That knowledge not only connects us to the allows us to tap into her power. That's how we can use magic, or so they say.

Materia (マテリア, Materia?) is the main source of magic in the Final Fantasy VII series. It is crystallized mako formed both naturally and man-made, which calls upon the lifestream to tap into the power of the planet. Materia are contained in orbs, and were first discovered by the Cetra.

Throughout the Final Fantasy VII series, materia serves as a key gameplay mechanic for growing and learning player character abilities. Depending on the type of materia, it can grant the wielder access to magic spells, to use unique command abilities, summon monsters, grant support abilities, or pair with other materia. Materia offer different strategic uses throughout the series, allowing players to build their player characters uniquely with different materia combinations.


Before Final Fantasy VII[]

FFVII Natural Materia

Sephiroth, Cloud Strife, and Tifa Lockhart observe natural materia at a mako spring.

Thousands of years before Final Fantasy VII, the Cetra (also known as the "Ancients") first discovered the reservoir of mako energy beneath the planet surface. They were able to harness the energy and bend it to their will, creating materia. Much of the materia that lived on since was passed on from the Cetra civilization,[1] while others formed through many years of mako energy condensing naturally, such as around Mt. Nibel.[2][3][4]

Mako processing to make materia from FFVII Remake

Materia being made in the Shinra Building in Final Fantasy VII Remake.

In addition to the natural materia, two unique materia also formed: the White Materia and the Black Materia. The White Materia was passed down through generations, before eventually reaching Ifalna and then Aerith Gainsborough, though Aerith did not know what it could be used for.[5][6] The Black Materia was sealed away as the Temple of the Ancients.[7]

The Shinra Electric Power Company proliferated the use of materia. Professor Hojo specifically objected to referring to the powers coming from materia as "magic".[2][4] Shinra also developed materia through fusion, particularly under Scarlet.[8]

Original continuity[]


Cloud Strife and his party made heavy use of materia throughout their journey to find Sephiroth. Sephiroth on the other hand sought the Black Materia, hoping to summon Meteor and force the planet to heal itself, creating a mass of energy that he would absorb to achieve godhood.[7] Meanwhile, Aerith learned that her White Materia was capable of casting Holy to stop Sephiroth, which she was able to summon before Sephiroth blocked it until Sephiroth was defeated.[9]

Geostigma crisis[]

Advent Children Materia Orb

Kadaj holding a Materia.

Materia is used by Kadaj and his brothers to attack Cloud after stealing a case of materia from him. Rather than slotting materia to equipment, materia are inserted directly into the remnants' arms. In the Reunion Files it is mentioned that, as materia is a by-product of mako and mako is no longer used, materia has begun to fall out of use. The English script of the movie packaged with the "Limited Edition Collector's Set" reveals that Loz and Yazoo used "Comet, Flare, and Explosion" materia in their suicide attack on Cloud near the end of the film.

Remake continuity[]

Cloud Strife and the party made use of materia in their battle against Shinra. While infiltrating the Shinra Building, the party viewed a Shinra-produced video explaining the origins of materia.[1]



Yuffie brandishes materia from FFVIIR INTERmission

Yuffie brandishes her stash of materia in Episode INTERmission.

Materia is crystallized mako. Metaphysically, materia calls upon the wisdom of the lifestream to manipulate nature manifesting as the phenomenon of magic.[2][3][4] Unless one is descended from the Cetra, materia is the only way humans can use magic.

Materia forms naturally at mako springs, places where the lifestream leaks to the surface of the planet and condenses. This is a rare occurence, requiring years and many special conditions to be met; as such, the majority of materia in use is created artificially by Shinra.[10][note 1]

Using a materia's power requires a shock triggered by the user's mindwaves. As a result, the user's mind is weakened, and frequent use without rest taxes their stamina.[11]



Kadaj absorbs a Materia into his arm in Advent Children.

The size of materia orbs is ambiguous throughout the Final Fantasy VII series. In the original Final Fantasy VII and in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, most materia, excluding the White, Black, and Huge Materia, are about the size of a marble. In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- and Final Fantasy VII Remake materia appear to be slightly smaller than a tennis ball, about the size of the White Materia in Final Fantasy VII. As materia is referred to in Final Fantasy VII as "growth" when leveling up, materia may increase in size to denote its level of power, explaining the ambiguities. In Final Fantasy VII Remake, the materia is depicted as the size of tennis balls on the field, but can still be slotted in what appear to be small openings in weapons and armor.



Materia of various kinds in Advent Children.

Materia typically come in different types, indicated by their color and function, which can be divided up even further in some games. These types are as follows.

Name Description
Summon Materia Summons creatures to cause devastating effects to foes or positive effects to the user.
Magic Materia Used to cast magic spells which can deal damage, heal or cause various effects.
Command Materia Adds abilities beyond summons and magic to the user, to various effects.
Support Materia Enhances the power of other Materia when paired with them.
Independent Materia Provides support and auto-abilities and stat boosts to the user.

Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- expands on the colors of the original Final Fantasy VII, adding different shades of each to further classify materia types. For example, a lighter shade of green is used for curative materia. Only summon materia have a single color and type and remain solely red.

Other entries in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII use separate classifications as described above, and in them color has little to do with a materia's abilities. Kadaj uses a blue materia in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children to use enemy skills and summon Bahamut SIN. Vincent's select materia in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, being Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder, are respectively, red, blue, and yellow, and Shelke has an orange materia orb that she claims is a Shield materia. While these materia would be hued accordingly to their corresponding color, it is likely that the color system is more for gameplay and classification than for world canon.

Goddess Materia

The Goddess Materia, a gigantic natural materia.

In addition to the above types, there are several unique types of materia with colors that do not fit into one of the above categories. These types normally have a very different role, and are used solely in lore and story events, and cannot be equipped.

  • The Black Materia is used to call the Ultimate Destructive Magic, Meteor, which can destroy the planet.
  • The White Materia is used to call Holy, the ultimate protective magic which cleanses the planet of all harmful influences.
  • The Keystone, a materia used to access the Temple of the Ancients.
  • Huge Materia are special materia formed from compressing mako in a mako reactor. Four of them are found in Final Fantasy VII.
  • Master Materia are available for Command, Magic, and Summon Materia, and contains all or most of the commands for that particular type in Final Fantasy VII.
  • In Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- there is the Protomateria used by both Lucrecia Crescent and Shelke to help Vincent control his Chaos form.
  • In Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- there is a pyramid shaped summon materia that calls forth Zirconiade, the ultimate summon. It was split to prevent Zirconiade from being called.
  • In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, there is an enormous red materia called "The Goddess Materia" in the depths of the Banora Underground. Sephiroth can also manifest large materia crystals from seemingly nothing and have them support him in battle.


CC Materia Fusion Artwork

Artwork of Materia Fusion apparatus for Crisis Core.

Though the process varies from game to game, materia can level up, increasing its powers further. In Final Fantasy VII and the Final Fantasy VII remake project, a materia learns new abilities as it levels up. In Final Fantasy VII, mastered materia spawn a copy of itself.

In games in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, materia pieces are linked to a single ability that becomes more potent as the materia gains power: in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- materia gives better stat boosts as it levels up, while in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- materia has a higher chance of affecting the user's weapon and/or armor as it levels up.

Final Fantasy VII[]

FFVII Materia Menu 1

The Materia Menu.

Materia can be used when slotted into a weapon or a piece of armor. Its five forms are the Summon Materia, Magic Materia, Command Materia, Support Materia, and Independent Materia. Materia can be set in a single slot, or a linked slot.

Materia is leveled up by winning battles, to improve its level and unlock new abilities or improve its stat boost. Eventually, a fully mastered Materia creates a second Materia with the same powers set to level 0.

Final Fantasy VII Remake[]

Materia menu in FFVII Remake


Materia in Remake has a similar role to in Final Fantasy VII: it is equipped on weapons and armor, in either a single or linked slot. Likewise, materia has five forms: summoning materia, magic materia, command materia, support materia, and complete materia. Of these, summoning materia is the biggest difference: where summon materia in Final Fantasy VII simply granted summons as a new spell much like magic materia, summoning materia in Remake is unique where a party member can equip one each.

Many of the materia in Remake are based on or identical to those in Final Fantasy VII, with a few new additions. The materia is more geared around the game's new battle system and its action combat style. Materia also have a smaller effect on party member attributes, in that there are fewer penalties for equipping multiple.

Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-[]

Vincent Valentine can equip Fire, Blizzard, or Thunder Materia to his weapon to enhance his attacks via a small Materia slot attached to his gun by a chain. Fire-elemental bullets create a wave of fire when they hit their target, hitting multiple enemies. Ice-elemental bullets home in on a target. Lightning-elemental bullets can hit multiple enemies with a "chain lightning" type effect but is only short range.

Materia do not follow the canon green color scheme of Magic Materia: Fire is red, Blizzard is blue, and Thunder is yellow. While materia is seen in use, Cloud states usage is best done sparingly as the planet is still healing from events prior, and requires "all the strength it can get."

Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-[]

Materia is produced in a unique fashion. Once they select the option to create Materia, the player takes a picture with their cellphone, and based on the predominant color in the picture, the game creates a materia piece—a red picture would produce Fire Materia, for example. The player can only equip three materia at a time—two in their armor, one in their weapon.

Materia levels up as it is used, to a maximum of Level 9, but higher levels do not award stronger spells—Fire and Fira, for example, are different materia and Fire will not become Fira as it levels up. The materia's level affects the chance of the equipment piece taking on the materia's elemental attributes. For example, when Fire Materia is slotted into the weapon, there is a chance that the player's attack will be Fire-elemental, and the higher level the Fire Materia, the more likely it is the attack will be elemental.

Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-[]

Materia Menu Crisis Core

Crisis Core Materia equip menu.

Materia is equipped by Zack, and the number of materia available to him depends on his SOLDIER rank. Each materia grants one ability to Zack, which can be upgraded to make the ability more potent.

Exclusive to Crisis Core, different materia shards can be combined via Materia Fusion, resulting in a stronger materia often manifesting as a literal combination of the two individual pieces, such as Fire and Power Attack fusing to create Fire Blade. Those with materia make use of them by slotting them into their equipment.

Materia levels up on the Digital Mind Wave rather than requiring AP.

Behind the scenes[]



Materia chocolate set, being sold in Square Enix's cafe Artnia.

The materia system was designed so that any weapon and armor can be equipped with it. It was decided the battles wouldn't be about characters with individual, innate skills, but that combat would change depending on the way materia was used.[12]

Hironobu Sakaguchi suggested the materia system, originally known as "spheres", a name Tetsuya Nomura proposed. Sakaguchi thought the name should be something to resonate easily even with elementary school kids, so the term materia was chosen.[13] The term "spheres" would later be used in Final Fantasy X, possibly based on Nomura's original proposition.

The battle system of Final Fantasy VII was used as the basis for the one in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- with action elements added; the materia system was designed so that players could choose between "RPG-oriented enhancements" and "action-oriented enhancements", as well as to give the game balance.[14]

In Final Fantasy VII Remake, maxed out materia do not spawn fresh copies of themselves like in the original. This was done to better balance the game's difficulty so the player can't have lots of the same best materia. The other reason was that in the original game materia allowed full party customization, but this ended up making players give everyone the same set. The developers wanted to avoid this with the remake. Each character is limited to holding one summoning materia so players would not agonize over whether to bring a summon (as summoning is not always available) or to constantly change it based on what they would be fighting.[15]


In Final Fantasy Tactics, White Materia, Black Materia, Blue Materia, and Red Materia are Artefacts that can be collected. They are described with the following text:

These stones, developed by the ancient Saronians, are the result of experiments in storing knowledge within gems for later generations. They are said to enhance the abilities of the possessor.

Artefact in Final Fantasy Tactics

In Dissidia and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, one of Sephiroth's HP attacks is named "Black Materia," which calls forth a meteor to strike his opponent. This alludes to the Black Materia in Final Fantasy VII which is ultimately used to summon Meteor to destroy the world. As well, Cloud's crystal is a Materia piece, and resembles Aerith's White Materia. Furthermore, Materia is an item available through battlegen that is created by destroying stage elements in the Planet's Core.

In Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade, the Black Materia, Red Materia, Blue Materia, and Yellow Materia all appear as items.


"Blue Materia" cocktail.

Square Enix's cafe Artnia served cocktails with a Materia theme. The cocktail contains gin and lime juice, and a frozen Materia orb: the blue one of blue curacao, and the red one of creme de cassis. For the 2014 Valentine's Day Square Enix introduced a set with five pieces of chocolate made to look like Materia orbs from Final Fantasy VII; one for each type of Materia.

In Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring, the great sword Ehrgeiz has a materia which radiates with an eerie glow. Its eternal power in the winner's hands can make the winner into anything, even a god.

In Monty Oum's fan-made series Dead Fantasy, Tifa uses Materia magic in combat. Such spells used so far include Fire, Ice, Lightning, Time, Gravity, Ultima, Barrier, Poison, All, and Blind. As of the fifth episode, Tifa has lost most, if not all, of her Materia to Hitomi.

The Materia Crafting System in Final Fantasy XIV, was inspired by (and named after) Final Fantasy VII Materia.

In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Zack Fair's D-Link ability icons are materia.


Materia means "matter" or "substance" in Latin, Spanish, and Italian; it also means "subject" in Italian and Spanish, and is the root of Portuguese "Matéria". Fitting as materia hosts various kinds that have different effects.

The name may also be a reference to the Prima materia, the legendary base substance to be transmuted into the Philosopher's stone. The Prima materia has been described as the basis of all matter and matter in its purest form, much like how materia in Final Fantasy VII is crystallized mako, the basis of all life and planetary phenomena.

In H. P. Lovecraft's Case of Charles Dexter Ward, the word "materia" refers to colored powders prepared from the remains of various thinkers and scholars of the past, preserving their knowledge. Final Fantasy materia also contains the knowledge of the long-dead Ancients and comes in various colors.



  1. It is never specified if natural materia has any appreciable difference in usage and power from artificial materia, but the White Materia, Black Materia, and the four materia pieces found in the Materia Caves, are much stronger than other materia pieces in Final Fantasy VII.



Video games