The probability you'll win is slim at best.
Shinra in the Sphere Break finals
The mechanics are purely mathematical, with the aim to create the most multiples of the "Core Number" by combining the number values of the 16 coins in play. To win, the player must meet a predetermined quota of coins used while staying within a set number of turns to use them in.
Playing the game
Setting up and how to play
The game takes place on a 4x4 board with a Core Sphere in the center whose number is called the Core Number that ranges from 1 to 9. The four fields around the Core Sphere are reserved for the Entry Coins. The Border Coins are the twelve outer fields.
Each coin is numbered from 1 to 9. The objective is to combine these numbers to achieve multiples of the Core Number.
During the game the following details will appear at the top of the screen:
- Sum: Shows the current combined sum of the coins selected.
- Break Multiples: Lists three multiples of the Core Number that the player must strive for.
At the start of each round one of the four Entry Coins must be selected first. The player is then free to select another coin from either the Entry or Border Coin fields. If the combined sum matches one of the Break Multiples, this is called a Core Break, which ends the round. If not, then the player may continue selecting coins until their combined sum equals one of the Break Multiples displayed.
To win the player must have used up a set quota of Border Coins within a set number of rounds. If the player reaches the quota before reaching the maximum number of rounds, the player wins. If they do not reach the quota, or if they run out of time, the player loses. In the case of a defeat, the player will lose their Entry Coins to the opponent.
Types of coin
There are 64 coins available, each with a unique illustration etched on its surface portraying a fiend or character from Final Fantasy X or Final Fantasy X-2. Each coin possesses a value (1-9) that is used to determine its role in multiplication pairs while some also possess attributes to aid in meeting the game quota or to obtain items or additional coins from the opponent should the player win.
The four placements surrounding the Core Sphere are for the Entry Coins. Chosen and placed by the player, these coins will be taken by the opponent should the player lose. Colored gold, these coins are used in combination with the Border Coins to form multiples of the Core Sphere number.
The Border Coins are randomly chosen and placed along the outside border of twelve placement points. Colored blue, these coins are used in addition with the Entry Coins to form multiples of the Core Sphere. Unlike the Entry Coins, Border Coins disappear after being used while the remaining Border Coins' values are increased by one (any coins with values exceeding 9 will also be discarded or replaced after this increase).
Echo traits allow the player to obtain bonus quota points. To initiate an Echo the player must not only select an Entry Coin with the trait, but also maintain a set play pattern.
- Coin Count Echo: The same number of coins must be used in successive rounds to achieve a Core Break (e.g. 3 coins were used in Round 1, 3 coins were used in Round 2, etc).
- Multiplier Echo: Core Breaks must be achieved using the same multiple value used in the previous round (e.g. if the Core Number was 7 in the previous round and the player achieved a Core Break of 14 (7x2), in the next round the player must achieve a Core Break of the Core Number x2).
Entry Coin traits
|Coin Count Echo||Coin Count Echo becomes possible.|
|Coin Count: 2||If this Coin is selected first, the effect of +X Coins and -X Coins will be doubled.|
|Coin||A Border Coin with the Coin trait appears.|
|Gil x2||If this Coin is selected first, the effect of +X Gil and -X Gil will be doubled.|
|Item||A Border Coin with the Item trait appears.|
|Multiplier Echo||Multiplier Echo becomes possible.|
|Quota x2||If this Coin is selected first, the Quota will be doubled depending on the amount of Border Coins used to make a Core Break.|
|Quota x3||If this Coin is selected first, the Quota will be tripled depending on the amount of Border Coins used to make a Core Break.|
|Quota x4||If this Coin is selected first, the Quota will be multiplied by four depending on the amount of Border Coins used to make a Core Break.|
|Quota x5||If this Coin is selected first, the Quota will be multiplied by five depending on the amount of Border Coins used to make a Core Break.|
|Rare Coin||A Border Coin with the Rare Coin trait will appear.|
|Rare Item||A Border Coin with the Rare Item trait will appear.|
Border Coin traits
|Item, Rare Item||Player obtains one item or one rare item.|
|Coin, Rare Coin||Player obtains one Coin or one rare Coin.|
|+X Coin||The number on the Entry Coin selected first is increased by 1-5.|
|-X Coin||The number on the Entry Coin selected first is decreased by 1-5.|
|+X Gil||The value in gil of the Entry Coin selected first is increased by 1-5.|
|-X Gil||The value in gil of the Entry Coin selected first is decreased by 1-5.|
Sphere Break Tournament
The Sphere Break Tournament is a tournament where the contestants challenge each other in a series of matches while following a set of special rules designed specifically for the tournament.
Sphere Break Elites
In the International and HD Remaster versions of Final Fantasy X-2 the player can challenge the strongest Sphere Break players. First, players must complete the storyline of Varan and afterwards they can challenge the elites in Luca, in the Aurochs' room. They each have a difficulty of seven stars and are hard to beat.
- Cursed Core Sphere (Varan)
- Turns: 30
- Quota: 500
- Time: 30 seconds
For defeating Varan, the player is rewarded with the Enterprise accessory. If they leave the room and reenter, or beat him twice in a row without leaving, a new challenger will appear next to Varan.
- Underground Core Sphere (Tonberry)
- Turns: 25
- Quota: 500
- Time: 20 seconds
If the player defeats Tonberry, they are given the Invincible accessory. After leaving the room and reentering, or beat him twice in a row without leaving, the final challenger will be there.
- Farplane Core Sphere (Haunt)
- Turns: 30
- Quota: 600
- Time: 20 seconds
Beating Haunt awards the player with the Ragnarok accessory.
The game rounds are accompanied by the track "Sphere Hunter" from the game's soundtrack.
- In the HD Remaster version, winning 10 Sphere Break matches will unlock the "Sphere Breaker" trophy/achievement.
- Coins #1 to #51 can be found in the archeology dig sites in Bikanel Desert, meaning they could have been used by an ancient civilization.
- Coins #52 to #64 are rare and can only be obtained from other players either as a gift or from using the Rare Coin trait during a game round.