How will summoning work in Final Fantasy XVI?

By Kenneth Williams

|

Jun 15, 2023

Reading time: 2 min

Summoning returns in Final Fantasy XVI, but the new system will feel completely new for veteran FF players.

Ever since its early installments, summoning has always been a core part of Final Fantasy. Whether it’s creating temporary allies to aid in battle or flashy cutscene attacks, it’s hard to imagine a FF title without summoning. While FF XVI is breaking several series trends, summoning is a confirmed part of the game and will even tie directly into the game’s story. Here’s what we know about summoning in Final Fantasy XVI, both for combat and story. 

Gameplay preview shows off new summoning system

Most of what we know came from a for-media gameplay preview that showed off the game’s Eikons, its new system for summoning. Eikons are few and far between, and each one is controlled by a single designated human called a Dominant. The video first shows protagonist Clive facing off with Gardua, an Eikon controlled by an unknown dominant. These fights effectively function as boss battles, but there are opportunities for the player to summon an Eikon of their own.

Final Fantasy XVI summoning

In the second half of the Garuda fight, Clive summons Ifrit, his own Eikon. From there, the player controls Ifrit, with the battleground scaling up to an entire forest rather than a small field. The footage shows a new suite of attacks, with the battle between two giants destroying the nearby woods. Combat between Eikons is much slower, with sluggish movement and more cinematic moments than the standard human-sized encounters.

This doesn’t rule out the possibility of summoning Ifrit or other Eikons during normal battles. However, it does hint that summons will no longer be an option in regular combat. This would be a big departure from series tradition, but Final Fantasy XVI will retain summoning as a key element in the story

Summoning to play a major role in Final Fantasy XVI’s story

Despite featuring less combat summoning, the story of Final Fantasy XVI will center around the in-lore mechanic.

Blog post image

From what little we know, it’s likely that FF XVI’s main story will center around seeking out Dominants with the power to control Eikons. Clive is one himself, and each of the various countries in Valisthea control at least one Eikon. Clive’s younger brother Joshua is also a Dominant, controlling Phoenix.

The plot initially starts with Clive’s search for Joshua after the latter goes missing, which already hints at summoning playing a major role in the greater story.

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