As the name suggests, Trials are tests of strength to the player. When the player enters a Trial they are put in a Boss Battle (sometimes more than 1 Boss at once, or with several Stages before the true Boss). However the player should be alerted that Trial Bosses do not play by the usual norm, as they are often significantly more difficult than many other Bosses. Several reasons that make Trials difficult can be seen below:
- The player cannot use Lapis to continue, so if they are defeated they must attempt the battle from the start.
- Bosses have attack patterns and schemes that prioritize strategy over brute killing (while it can be done, it is often a privilege for those with extensive time or money invested in the game).
- Bosses' Missions often involve conditions that can be difficult to accomplish without careful preparation (Like No Party Member is KO while damage output is high, or No Items when the foe forces extensive use of MP or drains it). While not mandatory to defeat the boss, the high rewards offered by meeting the condition are often the primary factor to challenge them, so attempting to get full rewards specially in 1 go can be deeply challenging.
- Bosses have large stats, which can amount to great offensive output, significant defensive abilities and/or even obscene amounts of HP. They also often come with full status ailment immunity or even stat break immunities.
- The cost of energy to challenge them is quite high, so failure may hinder the player's ability to progress further.
- In a few Trials the player is required to fight in several stages before reaching the Trial's boss, and these stages can have hurdles of their own to overcome.
Kinds of Trials
There are as of now four different kinds of Trials:
- Chamber of the Fallen Trial: The First and more known of the Trials. They feature very strong Bosses released from early in the game up to recent updates and in escalating difficulty. They require large NRG and early Trials provided the bulk of the rewards upon completion, but nowadays most of them award the player through different Missions. These Trials have no time limit. This is so far the only kind of Trial to have Global Exclusive levels.
- Event Trial: Many events especially those hosted by King Mog and occasionally Raid events, feature a Trial level, often nicknamed Challenge by the fanbase. These Trials are time-limited and last usually a week after released. As a result they are proportionally less difficult than other kind of Trials, although they can still challenge in relatively new players and they are tougher than the Event's ELT difficulty Boss. Players are awarded mostly with time-limited rewards along more common ones (like Trust Moogles) upon completion of the Trial or its Missions.
- Chamber of Arms Trial: The latest kind of Trial to be introduced. Trials on this chamber follow the Swap Battle mechanic, which places limitations on the units the player can use, although allowing the player to make up to two parties of 5 units each to swap members during battle. Players are awarded with very strong weapons upon completion and other high ranking rewards through Missions. These Trials have no time limit.
- Miscellaneous Trial: All those that do not belong into the above fall into this category. Examples include Training the Soul and Realm of the Dragon King which have varying degrees of difficulty and mechanics.
Considering the above, most players will have to tread carefully as each boss is unique and has their own set of perils that are handled differently from each boss. Regardless a thorough preparation and understanding of the Boss will help players tremendously. Some recommendations to defeat these bosses are:
- A array of 6★ units: 6★ are not completely mandatory for some Trials (specially true for the earliest ones), however they are of tremendous help as they have the strongest skills (including Awakening) and the best stats. They do not have to be base 5★ units. They should be leveled at their maximum to unlock as many of their strongest skills as possible.
- Unit versatility: As stated previously, strategy is prioritized over strength, so having as many units to fulfill different roles will greatly enhance the player's ability to overcome bosses.
- Strong equipment: Trial events provide some of the best equipment and materia of the game but are not the only sources. King Mog's events often provide an array of useful equipment and materia (although the player will have to farm Event Currency for them). If the player is new, they should work their way through whatever they can farm at their rhythm and as time passes, slowly but surely their strength will build up. King Mog's events are usually hosted once per month and last two weeks. Other Events can also provide good Equipment so the player should try their hand at them.
- Strong companions: While a single companion may not suffice to pass the Trial by itself, having good companions will significantly help the player in order to make up for whatever they lack considering the above points.
- Studying the boss: Arguably the most important factor to consider. Even if the player has enough resources to battle the boss, if they do not comprehend what they are facing, they will face defeat. Memorizing and comprehending each boss' patterns and quirks is of utmost importance to defeat them. They can look complex at first but can be made simple with enough attention. Reading guides and watching videos will help them have a much better understanding of bosses.
- In clearing the missions: Earliest bosses offer lapis only as a reward for somewhat bothersome conditions not worth considering, but those that provide actually useful rewards (equipment, Trust Moogles, etc.) are worth getting. While trying to clear all missions in one go is preferred, the player should consider if they can fulfill them all at once. If they cannot, then they should try clear those that they know they can achieve with modest difficulty, and attempt clearing any remaining missions at other time. Re-attempting Trials yields the advantage that they do not have to meet previous criteria and can actually make the next attempt much easier (for example, if they cleared with a 5-man Party, they can re-attempt with a 6-man party).
- Esper Level: Espers provide in useful bonuses like stat increases and even boosted damage against certain enemy types, or other helpful abilities. As such having Espers on higher levels and proper skill grid will aid the player a lot.