This guide is intended for the PAL/International versions of Final Fantasy X, as well as the HD Remaster. Thus, I'm including the extra features -- I will miss out nothing, but US players may find that I'm including things they don't have access to.
- The Sphere Grid is Final Fantasy X's method of character development. It was designed as a way to see manually your characters' growth patterns and give players a chance to have greater influence on their team's dynamic.
- The grid is formed of several hundred nodes, most of which contain permanent stat boosts and new abilities -- instead of stats increasing directly via programmed increments at level-up, characters gain Sphere Levels. These are used like die rolls on a board game, allowing you to move that character's position a certain number of spaces along the board. Each individual Sphere Levels grants movement of one space forward or up to four spaces backwards along any previously activated nodes.
- In order to activates the nodes, you need to use a variety of spheres that drop from enemies and can be obtained from chests and the like.
- Have a look here at a more comprehensive guide on exactly how the Sphere Grid works and what each type of sphere can do for you.
There are two types of grid available to you: the Standard Grid and the Expert Grid.
- On the Standard Grid, characters are spread apart and have their own 'region', consisting largely of stat boosts relevant to that character's intended class and their abilities: Tidus for example, as a Warrior/Time Mage character, has a lot of Strength and Agility nodes, as well as White Magic like Haste and Skills such as Delay Attack. This is Final Fantasy X's take on the job system.
- At the end of each character's section of the Standard Grid is their 'ultimate ability' and a path leading into another character's region of the board.
- Kimahri, obscure blue tiger man, is in the middle of the board like the eternal victim of a cruel game of piggy-in-the-middle. You can turn him into anything, but he has no particular aptitudes for anything, unless you have a thing for piercing weapons or Blue Magic, you utter weirdo.
|Character||Class||Focus||Colour||Ultimate Ability||Leads into|
|Tidus||Warrior/Time Mage||Strength, Agility||Aqua||Quick Hit||Yuna|
|Yuna||White Mage, Summoner||Magic, MP||White||Holy||Rikku|
|Lulu||Black Mage||Magic, Magic Defence, Evasion||Purple||Flare||Wakka|
|Wakka||Saboteur||HP, Accuracy||Yellow||Triple Foul||Auron|
|Kimahri||Blue Mage, Dragoon||Anything||Blue||Ultima||None|
- The Expert Grid starts each character off near the centre of the board and lets them go off in their own direction - you can still make them fit their particular roles, but you have a lot more freedom regarding what you can do with them.
- While the Expert Grid has fewer nodes, it's still possible to effectively maximise your stats, as with maxed-out Luck, Evasion will stop making a difference at any value higher than 35. Accuracy also stops being relevant with maximised Luck at around the 170 mark (I believe; some enemies have special evasion that bypasses Accuracy and Luck checks).
- Hypothetically, using the Standard Board gives a maximised player's team 18400 more HP per character (68 more nodes, allowing for 68 HP+300 nodes). However, with maximum stats and correct equipment, excessively high HP is unnecessary to complete the optional challenges.
- If you're playing for the first time, I'd recommend the Standard board. Most people don't do a power play first time around, but it's still easier to use than the Expert board (hence the name, obviously :P).
A veritable rogue's gallery, to be sure. Also, damn your lack of transparency, Tidus.
- Never run unless you're genuinely about to die. Flee never fails as long as you can actually escape from that battle in the first place. Bosses always have Save Spheres nearby, so you have no real excuses for losing progress.
- Scout ahead when using the Sphere Grid. Locating the quickest route to your intended node can improve your growth efficiency.
- Steal from everything, wherever and whenever possible; upgrade this to Mug when you can. There are a load of different items in Final Fantasy X, and they all have more than one use. Between Mixing and customisaton, you'll need as many items as you can get. Do not sell anything except unneeded equipment, and even then if it has 3 or more empty slots/good pre-loaded abilities think twice before you commit.
- Switch characters in and out as required. The battle system is designed so that you can't just stick with your three favourites, like you could in Final Fantasy VII and VIII.
- Overkill everything. You'll see in this walkthrough that enemies have a second HP and AP value in brackets, like this:
HP: 500 (1000)
AP: 10 (15)
This shows Overkill values. When you kill an enemy with damage in excess of the Overkill value (in this case 1000), the word 'OVERKILL' appears and you receive more AP (in this case 15) and better item drops.
The AP increase from Overkilling can be up to double the normal value, so consistent Overkilling can make you around twice as strong in the endgame as you would be normally.
- As a final piece of advice, I also recommend using the analog stick while traversing the grid. Sometimes you'll want to examine a node at an angle to the space you're on, and the D-Pad has a habit of going everywhere but the node you're looking for. With the analog stick you can 'hover and land' across to the node you're after.
| Apoqliphoth's Walkthroughs