The glitch remains in all versions, including PC re-release, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, and Android.
To make the glitch work, the player must enter a battle and select any item they wish to duplicate, confirm it, and then select another item (it does not matter which one). When the arrow is over a character's head, the player must cancel the item with or , depending on controller configuration (it does not work with ). Every time one does this, the amount of the first item will go up by one. The glitch cannot exceed the 99 item cap.
Because one can make 99 of any battle item, the glitch is obviously extremely useful. A player can boost their inventory to have 99 Elixirs and Megalixirs in a matter of minutes. It is also the only way to get 99 Dragon Fangs. The player can also duplicate the rather expensive Sylkis Greens rather than having to buy the entire load from Chocobo Sage. This way the player can also easily earn money by duplicating items and then selling them.
The glitch has a potential drawback; if the first item is selected, it is removed from the inventory even if the item command is canceled and the item is not used.
The W-Item glitch can be modified to duplicate other items that do not normally allow selection in the battle screen window. For the morph glitch, any item an enemy can be morphed into can be duplicated, provided there are additional enemies so that the battle does not end upon morphing. To accomplish this, the player must have a single use item of no importance at the top of the inventory (e.g. a Potion).
The player must enter the appropriate fight and order a character to kill the enemy they want the item from via the Morph command. Before the morph action is executed, they must use W-Item with another character, selecting the Potion and who to use it on, and then waiting before selecting a second item. Once the morph has been accomplished, the morphed item (e.g. a Power Source) will go to the top of the inventory. Now the player can select another item (e.g. an X-Potion), deselect, select, deselect, etc. The Power Source, normally not possible to be duplicated, will now increase in value.
The glitch's primary use is to easily obtain 99 sources in a single fight. This works for Speed, Luck, Power and Guard Sources, which can be obtained from enemies that appear in groups. Magic Sources can be obtained through a variation of the trick—8 eye enemies at Gold Saucer Battle Square carry them, and appear in pairs. The player should use Stop or Sleepel on one enemy, then utilize the Morph-Command Counter technique while having character command selection over W-Item. When the morph attack takes place automatically as a counterattack, even a single party member can use the W-Item trick provided the second enemy does not awaken and attack too quickly (causing the character to auto-counter and end the fight too early).
Lastly, Mind Sources are the most difficult to obtain, as they can only be morphed from Serpents in Gelnika or Battle Square, or Dragon Riders in the Whirlwind Maze, which can only be fought before the W-Item Materia is found. However, duplicating Mind Sources is still not impossible. If playing on the PlayStation, opening the lid just as the morph occurs can allow time to duplicate the item. In addition, there is a method for PlayStation Network players too: Player must enter a fight with a Serpent where one character has a Morph-Final Attack combination, and a second character has a combination of Full Cure-Final Attack along with a Master Magic-Quadra Magic combination (this means a Final Attack Full Cure will occur four times).
The party must whittle the Serpent down to low HP, and also whittle the two party members with Final Attack down to HP Critical (the third party member should have the W-Item). The player should allow the Serpent to kill off the two low-HP party members in one attack (Serpent is likely to use the Aqualung attack on low health). As the two characters die, the first will Morph the enemy first (providing they have their Final Attack Materia combo higher in the slot inventory than the other party member). The next character can then perform their final attack, but the game will only process the command if it is directed at a party member (i.e. the enemy is long gone after one final attack already, so a lengthy summon like Phoenix cannot be executed).
To keep this command running for as long as possible, a magic such as Full Cure four times will give the W-Item player an opportunity to quickly duplicate the Mind Sources after the enemy has been morphed. With luck, one can still get around 80 Mind Sources by the time the four Full Cures have been executed and the battle ends. Naturally, additional Final Attack Materia linked to other curative magic spells will prolong the process even further (see video).
The steal glitch works in a similar fashion, but can work on virtually any item in the game. However, the glitch is difficult to control. One enters a fight against an enemy who can steal from the party (e.g. a Magic Pot, or Bandit). The enemy steals the item the player wishes to duplicate (it is impossible to control which item is stolen). The enemy is then killed, and during the killing another character begins the W-Item command. After the enemy dies, the item will be returned to the top of the inventory, and from there can be duplicated in the normal fashion.
This method will work for any item in the game except for the following which are limited to one:
- All Limit Manuals
- Save Crystal
- Guide Book
- Buster Sword
- Gatling Gun
- Silver Barrette
- Seraph Comb
To perform the W-Item duplication bug with the steal glitch a certain number of conditions must be met.
- The player must have only one of the items they wish to duplicate in the inventory to ensure that when the enemy is killed, and the item is returned, it will go to the top of the items list instead of to the "stack" of items it came from. The player can have the same item equipped, but must only have one in the inventory.
- The player is best fighting more than one enemy so that when the "thief" is killed the player will have time to duplicate the item. With the added difficulty of getting the enemy to steal the right item, it would be incredibly difficult if not impossible to duplicate items in the short time before a battle ends.
- The player must have only one of whichever item they put in the top spot of the items list, and it must be usable in battle. This will ensure that when the player kills the creature and enters the W-Item command menu, they use the first item and the returned stolen item will then take its place.
A hypothetical scenario would play out like this: The player faces two Magic Pots and wants them to steal a Mystile from the party. The player equips the other Mystiles so only one remains in the item menu. The player arranges the items to put a Maiden's Kiss in the first position of the list, and the player has only one Maiden's Kiss. The player attacks the pots until one steals the Mystile, making sure the other pot doesn't run away. After feeding them two Elixirs, the player kills the Magic Pot that stole the Mystile, and has the character with W-Item start the duplication trick by using Maiden's Kiss, then using the second item in the list after Mystile has been returned to the top. The Mystile is duplicated because the game believes it is the Maiden's Kiss.
It is also possible to duplicate weapons. The player must enter a fight and order one character to KO another. Before the party member initiates their attack, the player must have the victim party member prepare to throw a weapon (e.g. Ultima Weapon) to remove the item from the inventory. As the party member is KO'ed before the actual throw is executed, the item will return to the top of the inventory. From there, normal W-item duplication can be executed.
It is also possible to get 198 units of a single item by acquiring a second stock of the same item. The player must equip one character with Steal and another one with W-Item. The player must also have one copy of the battle item they wish to duplicate (the same that needs to be stolen), and there must be at least one empty slot in the inventory above the selected item. The trick is to have a character initiate the steal, but not wait for the steal action to finish.
After the Steal command has been initiated, but before the item is stolen, the character with the W-Item Materia has to select and use the single item in the inventory (the same item the other character is going to steal), then wait for the steal action to finish. After a successful steal the item will appear in the inventory, and since the player no longer had any left, the game will place it in the first empty slot. The player can then continue with the W-Item trick and the item will reappear where it was before it was used, ending up with two different stocks of the same item.