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FF7 Rebirth: Synergy Skills, Abilities, and Backline Commands explained

Synergy Skills, Abilities, and Backline Commands broken down and explained in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s combat system has been vastly upgraded. FF7 Remake was great, don’t get me wrong, but everything that made it feel lacking has been addressed in FF7 Rebirth. New combo routes, new aerial abilities, new ways to get into the air in the first place, perfect blocks negate damage while building the Stagger gauge – so many smart decisions have been made, and it makes FF7 Rebirth a far stronger game for it.

Synergy Skills and Abilities are one of the biggest additions to the combat system, and there’s also the seldom-seen Backline Commands menu for you to dip into when it trouble. For the breakdown of all that and more, just read through our Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Synergy explainer below.

How to use Synergy Skills – FF7 Rebirth

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth - Yuffie

Yuffie can help even when you're not playing as her.

Synergy Skills are small combo attacks that open up a variety of options for each character. For example, Cloud’s Counterstrike does what it sounds like, and lets Cloud counter an incoming attack. Tifa meanwhile has a Synergy Skill that has a teammate throw her into the air, giving her easy access to her otherwise exclusive aerial moveset.

Synergy Skills can be accessed by holding R1, and then selecting a Synergy Skill from the menu. You should use Synergy Skills often, as they recharge quickly, and will give you access to the fully-fledged Synergy Abilities.

Synergy Skills and Abilities can both be unlocked via the folio menu.

How to use Synergy Abilities – FF7 Rebirth

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth's Sephiroth, standing in front of a lantern post in Nibelheim

Sephiroth isn't a team player. Boo!

Synergy Abilities are near the bottom of the menu, and the option will glow like the Summon command when a Synergy Ability is available. Synergy Abilities don’t use your primary ATB, meaning you can potentially use them even in tight situations.

Synergy Abilities are flashy combo attacks, like a synchronized Limit Break, but easier to get access to. Each Synergy Ability has special effects too, like extending Stagger duration or buffing your own Limit Gauge. Synergy Abilities can deal a lot of damage, so you shouldn’t ignore them.

How to use Backline Commands – FF7 Rebirth

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth - Barret

Barret is great for Backline Commands.

Backline Commands are Synergy Abilities that can be used by the members of your party not actively in battle. You may have noticed that Aerith and Barret will send out the occasional attack, even when not in your main party, and with Backline Commands they get involved properly.

You will only have access to Backline Commands when you only have a single party member left standing. At this point you can go to the Synergy Abilities menu, and press Triangle to see the Backline Command menu.

Since Backline Commands are only available when two party members are down you’ll rarely use them, but you need to remember they’re there, as they can save you in a tough situation. Of course, you’ll need two or more party members in reserve to access Backline Commands.