Final Fantasy XVI starter guide: What is the difference between Story Mode and Action Mode?

What is the difference between Story Mode and Action Mode in Final Fantasy XVI? (Image via Square Enix)
What is the difference between Story Mode and Action Mode in Final Fantasy XVI? (Image via Square Enix)

The release of Final Fantasy XVI, the highly-anticipated latest entry in the iconic JRPG series, comes packed with key new additions that make the series much more accessible for players who might be new to the franchise. Among many additions are the new difficulty modes, including Story Mode and Action Mode. Both options offer features that cater to players depending on their experience with real-time action games.

While Final Fantasy has never been a series that focuses on real-time action as its primary combat mechanic, the upcoming title challenges that notion, as reflected in the game's difficulty sliders.

Deviating from the traditional turn-based strategic combat system of the classic Final Fantasy titles, the latest entry in the series takes a more modern approach with its combat and gameplay systems. Final Fantasy XVI's difficulty modes allow you to ease into the game's action-focused combat systems at your own pace.

Here's a comprehensive guide explaining the difference between the Story and Action Modes in Final Fantasy XVI.

What is the Story Mode in Final Fantasy XVI?


The Story Mode is essentially the "easy mode." However, it differs from the traditional easy mode slider in most action role-playing games. The Story Mode alters player inputs instead of increasing players' damage multiplier and reducing the enemy health pool (a staple for the "easy" difficulty in most games).

Selecting the Story Mode difficulty will give you access to sets of accessories from the get-go, automating certain combat actions. From automated combos to slowing down time for perfect dodge and parries, the accessories make combat much easier for someone who might not be too familiar with character action games.

What is the Action Mode in Final Fantasy XVI?

Contrary to Story Mode, Action Mode does not pull any punches and gives players complete control of the game's combat systems, letting them decide how to modify it. Although you can also find the accessories available in the Story Mode here, it's not accessible from the get-go.


The Action Mode also does not include features like slowed-down time for dodges and parries, making it the best option for those familiar with real-time action games, such as Devil May Cry and Bayonetta. You must switch between Clive's abilities to perform combos manually in this mode.

It should be mentioned that you can switch between the two difficulty modes at any time during the game's campaign. There's also an additional difficulty mode called "Final Fantasy" Mode, which unlocks after completing the story.


Final Fantasy XVI is scheduled to release on June 22, 2023, exclusively for the PlayStation 5.

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Edited by Dinesh Renthlei
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