How to Unlock Hard Mode in FF7 Remake
You must beat Final Fantasy 7 Remake to unlock hard mode. This requires completing all of FF7R’s 18 chapters which can take between 30 – 45 hours, depending on how you play.
These numbers are based on how long it took us to beat FF7 Remake.
Once you unlock hard mode, you can start a new playthrough of FF7R at the new difficulty setting and with the same level and equipment you beat the game with. Yes, that means you get to keep your skills and materia, too! You can also play any chapter on hard mode by using the chapter select feature you also get by beating the game.
Every Weapon in FF7 Remake
MP Recovery Techniques in FF7 Remake’s Hard Mode
There are not too many options for MP recovery in hard mode. The best advice we can give you is to play defensively and optimize your materia loadout (we’ll go over that more below). There are a few things you can do to recover MP, however, and we’ll list those techniques below.
Ways to recover MP in FF7 Remake:
- Break Shinra Boxes for Mako Shards (these respawn, and will do so immediately if you save and reload)
- Use Aerith’s Soul Drain skill
- Complete a side quest that restores HP and MP (see our FF7R side quest guide)
A redditor also suggested using the MP Absorption materia alongside Magnify materia with the same element materia linked to both as a way for recovering MP.
Best Materia to Use in FF7 Remake’s Hard Mode
Since MP is in such short supply in FF7 Remake’s hard mode, the best materia for your loadout will ideally recover MP or won’t use it at all.
Based on that, these are the best materia to use in hard mode:
Chakra and Prayer are yellow materia (or command materia) that use ATB instead of MP. While Chakra and Prayer don’t restore as much HP as healing materia or some of the stronger potions can, they will allow you to heal without using up your precious MP. Keep in mind, that having more than one party member equipped with these can help boost HP recovery.
Elemental materia (not to be confused with the green materia that allow you to cast spells) is a blue materia (or support materia) that adds the element of a linked materia to your weapon. This will infuse your attacks with that element when linked on a weapon, but will provide defense to the linked element when slotted on armor. Fully leveled up, Elemental materia can absorb all elemental damage and heal you, so long as the linked materia is the same elemental type as the damage taken.
Check out our guide on how to find two elemental materia in FF7 Remake, and read How to AP Farm to Level Up Materia for more details on how to quickly and efficiently get more to AP level up your Materia.
Some additional materia we suggest you try in Hard Mode:
- Assess – allows you to pinpoint an enemy’s elemental weaknesses and strengths
- HP Absorption – recovers HP when using an attack of the linked materia’s type
- MP Absorption – recovers MP when using an attack of the linked materia’s type
- HP Up – increases max HP
- MP Up – increases max MP
- ATB Boost – doubles ATB when activated
- Refocus – partitions ATB gauge into three for faster charge
- Carbuncle Materia – obtained through digital deluxe or first class editions, this summon’s final attack Diamond Dazzle heals all party members