In FFX-2, grinding or farming ability points (AP) is an inevitability. All of the best sweet, sweet abilities require a lot of points and are so far away.
Recently, I found myself in a situation where I wanted to get a lot of money to pay off O’aka and had to grind the Lady Luck dressphere to unlock a hack that generates huge amounts of money.
You probably have your own reasons. With this post, you can get your girls their beloved abilities quickly.
What is AP
AP in FFX-2 are points you need to acquire abilities for your dresspheres. After each battle, you earn both AP and experience points for leveling up. Leveling up is for stats but AP is for abilities.
Arguably, AP is more important than experience points for maximizing your battle impact.
In FFX-2’s unique battle system, you are learning new dressphere abilities one at a time. In the main menu, under Abilities, you can choose the ability your characters learn. You can also see the number of AP each move makes.
Typically, more advanced moves require more AP.
How to Earn AP
To get AP, you need to perform one of the following actions for 1 AP each:
- Use an item
- Use a dressphere ability (not attack)
- Use an accessory or garment grid ability
- Defeat an enemy (by party)
For example, in one battle, my Lady Luck used two potions and my party defeated three enemies. Altogether, Lady Luck earned 5 AP in that battle.
How to NOT Earn AP
You do not earn AP in the following circumstances:
- You use attack
- Your move has no effect. For example:
- Miss with an ability
- Unsuccessfully steal
- Do not heal any HP
Fast- and Slow-Earning Dresspheres
Not all dresspheres are created equal as far as AP is concerned. As you naturally play the game, you may find that some dresspheres earn abilities quickly while others just take forever.
Let’s go over a couple examples.
The main blocker to earning AP is how quickly you can perform your abilities. You can’t attack and almost all special dressphere ability requires time to perform.
One dressphere that gains AP easily is the Alchemist. Using items takes a small amount of time. If you use lots of them, you gain abilities in no time.
I know what you’re thinking — why did learning Samba of Silence take forever? When you’re in chapter 1 with your starter dresspheres, you would think it would go fast. And yet, using ‘Trigger Happy’ with Yuna’s Gunner is allowing her to zip along.
You probably guessed it by now: songstress by nature takes a long time between its moves. When you want to learn more abilities with the songstress, you might want to use items and forget dancing for awhile.
How to Grind AP
The strategy below is particularly valuable for grinding AP for dressheres where no special dressphere ability is instantaneous. The goal here is to get your characters doing two things:
- Get your character performing actions as often as possible
- Get your character performing actions as instantaneously as possible
Here’s a step-by-step strategy to grind AP:
- In Abilities in the menu, check that your character is earning the abilities you want.
- [Optional] Buy 99 potions from O’aka in the airship and whatever other cheap items you can afford. You can do this if O’aka is on your airship and you are aiming to pay O’aka’s debt.
- Go to a place where you will get enemy encounters next to a Save Sphere. In Chapter 3, I chose the Thunder Plains.
- Set the characters to the classes you want them to earn AP. Set your other party members to supporting roles that do not have an attack ability. For example, the songstress. You can also have them in a role where you also want to grind their AP.
- [Optional] Give one of your characters the ability to use Haste and then use Haste on the characters you are grinding AP. You can do this with the Highroad Winds garment grid, which you can get when you clear the Chocobo Ranch in chapter 2. To be able to use Haste, you must traverse over the yellow icon in the grid.
- Have the characters you are grinding AP use potions over and over. Be sure to use your potion on characters that need healing. You do not earn AP if your move has no effect. You can artificially create a character who needs healing by equipping and removing a +HP% accessory.
- Stall winning the battle and continue to use items. When you win, restock with O’aka or simply touch the Save Sphere and start again. You may also want to check your progress.
I recommend potions for several reasons:
- They can go toward O’aka’s debt
- They’re cheap and plentiful
- They get you an AP
- Using items is relatively fast-acting
- You are not attacking the enemy, making the battle last longer for more AP
- You are healing only a little bit. Items and actions only work if they have an effect.
With Lady Luck, using a reel takes both time and mental energy. If you fail on the reel, you can cause serious damage to yourself. In that case, it’s all-the-more a better reason to stick with items.
More Questions? Join my Stream.
I stream regularly and am constantly thinking about how to distill these challenges into simple solutions for you. Feel free to drop into one of my streams and ask me any questions you have about FFX-2.