Recast time, also known as cooldown time, is a recurring gameplay element in the Final Fantasy series. Recast time is the amount of time after using a spell, weaponskill, or other ability before it may be used again. Recast time is a balancing factor, hence more powerful abilities usually have longer recast times than weaker abilities.
Generally, games that have recast time are games that don't have distinct 'turns' of any sort and require recast time to slow down the action to a manageable pace. Such games also usually have a global cooldown which applies to the use of any ability in addition to the individual ability recasts. Thus, both the global cooldown and the individual ability recast timer must be up before the ability can be used.
Each spell and job ability has its own recast timer, although a few abilities share timers with each other. Scholar stratagems are effectively a flexible recast timer shared between all scholar abilities (each ability uses one stratagem, and stratagems recover at a fixed rate dependent on job level). Special job abilities have very long recast timers, so much so that they are often named after them. When special job abilities had a two hour recast timer, they were known as "two-hour abilities". When the recast timer was lowered to one hour, they became known as "one-hour abilities" instead.
All spell recast times are lowered by Haste and Fast Cast, and contra-wise are raised by Slow and Addle. The job ability Cooldown can be used to lower recast time on an individual basis by Merit Points, Gifts, and certain Evolith equipment. Weapon Skills have no individual recast times and are limited only by the global timer.
The game has three semi-global timers, with each governing a different type of ability: one second for job abilities (plus an additional second of being unable to Auto-Attack), two seconds for weapon skills, and three seconds for spells.
Each spell and job ability has its own recast timer, although a number of them are shared. In addition, the global cooldown timer on weapon skills and spells is 2.5 seconds. The global cooldown timer may be reduced by equipment with the stats Skill Speed and Spell Speed.
Characters that already preform their attack must wait until the Active Time fill up above the character. Pressing the Fever button activates a "Fever" mode which eliminates the "Active Time" portion of the battle and allows the player's characters to attack freely. During this time, all characters won't have a cooldown period after attacking, so the player should swipe them as fast as possible. Also, enemies won't attack during the time Fever is activated.