Final Fantasy XV Summon Guide: How to Summon and what each Astral does
It really wouldn't be a Final Fantasy without some good old summon monsters, would it? Final Fantasy XV summons are known in its world as astrals, powerful beings that are essentially the gods of the world.
There's six of these gods in total, and a number of them can be persuaded to join your side in the fight against the empire and your quest to restore peace. Once they join you they can come to your aid in battle. It isn't as simple as it once was, however. There's no easy menu option to select - these summons have minds of their own and only show up under certain circumstances.
These circumstances are fairly obtuse, and not explained well in-game - but on this page we'll explain how to summon in FF15, detailing exactly how, when, and where the astrals can appear to tour aid. Be aware that this page contains minor story spoilers, such as what summons appear and when. (Most of it has been shown in trailers, though.)
Need more FF15 help? Check out our full guide homepage, which features many more pages like this on several aspects of the game.
Final Fantasy XV: How to summon the Astrals
Each of the summons in FF15 first has to be obtained before it can be summoned. Some are obtained naturally through the course of FF15's story, though once you have them, you then need to understand under what circumstances summons make themselves available to you.
Ultimately, you'll know when the summoning time has come as the skies will darken and you'll get a prompt inviting you to summon. The prompt asks you to press L2 - and when you do, press and hold it rather than just tap it. However, the game doesn't make clear how to summon beyond that - as in, how to trigger that prompt that allows each astral to appear - and each has a different trigger which makes them reveal themselves..
How to get and summon Titan
First thing's first: as with all summons, you'll gain access to Titan as part of the main story. He's the first of the astrals to come to your aid, and you'll get him to do so via a big battle in Chapter 4 of the game.
Titan helps you out in wide open areas. This means he isn't likely to show up in dungeons and the like, but he will show up out in the overworld, in wide open areas of the map. He can also appear in the final areas of the game. He has two potential moves: he'll either punch the ground or toss an enormous rock your way. This depends on where you are.
Summons in FF15 appear partially at random, but each has a trigger that sets them off. Titan is more likely to appear when your allies are downed. So long as you're in a space where he can appear the more of them that are downed the more likely it is his summon prompt will appear. When it does, hold L2/Left Trigger.
As well as the two animations we described above, Titan actually has one extra secret summon animation. This one specifically can only be triggered when you fight the Adamantoise, a giant optional super-boss in the open world. This special animation is a one-off, and can be missed.
How to get and summon Ramuh
Ramuh will be made available to you pretty much immediately after the climactic battle with Titan at the end of Chapter 4 - most of Chapter 5 is about completing a set of tasks to bring him to your side. Mercifully you won't have to fight him.
Ramuh will come to your aid pretty much anywhere in the world - indoors or outdoors. He has a different move depending on if you're inside, like in a dungeon, or outdoors. This makes him one of the summons you're more likely to see and also one of the more useful of the astrals. Ramuh has two slightly different animations when you summon him - one for when you're outdoors, and one for when you're indoors.
Summons in FF15 appear partially at random - the astrals being mercurial beings with minds of their own. Ramuh grows more and more likely to appear the longer a battle goes on. When his prompt appears, press and hold L2/Left Trigger.
How to get and summon Leviathan
Your next summon is the water god Leviathan, putting in perhaps its most memorable appearance in an FF game since it utterly failed to help you out of a dire situation in FF9. Leviathan will be made available as of the end of Chapter 9.
Leviathan is by far the least likely summon to appear, sadly - its water-based nature means that Leviathan is most likely to show up only when you're doing battle in an area close to large bodies of water. If you're looking for how to summon Leviathan, the chances of her appearing rise significantly when you're relatively close to bodies of water in FF15's world, with a few late-game exceptions - it seems this rule is abolished in FF15's final areas.
The summon condition for Leviathan is that Noctis be in Danger Status - when your health is out and the screen is tinted red. The longer you're in danger status, the more likely it is to appear - though that's a risky proposition, obviously. When the prompt pops, hit and hold L2 and Left Trigger.
How to get and summon Shiva
Shiva is the last of the main astrals that joins you, and will do so at the end of Chapter 12. When you head back in time, the ability to summon her travels with you, and like Ramuh Shiva can be summoned pretty much anywhere, even indoors. The only exception is if you're in an enclosed area where she wouldn't actually have room to appear and do her thing.
The conditions for Shiva to appear are a little more complicated - it's a combination of all of the conditions you see above, which means it seems that others are more likely to appear before her - but the random chance element means Shiva can also.
So: party members knocked out, battles running long and Noctis in danger state. It doesn't have to be all three at once, but basically as these conditions stack up and last for longer, she becomes more likely to appear.
As a bonus, Shiva is guaranteed to be summonable in battle once in the story, as it's a narrative prompt and a requirement to finish a specific fight - so you will see and summon her at least once.
How to get and summon Bahamut and Ifrit
So, here's the bad news: You can't simply grab and summon this pair. They make up the final two members of 'The Six', the gods of the world of Eos, however. They both have a key role to play both in FF15's story and in the game's online multiplayer mode, Comrades.
So, there's no specific 'way' to summon these two. In FF15 naturally, you'll 'summon' Bahamut once during the game, as part of a major story event. If you have the 'Royal Edition' of FF15, Bahamut will show up once more as part of an impressive new cutscene that involves most of the summon creatures in the game.
In the case of Ifrit - the iconic, series regular fire element astral has a major role to play in the story, as you'll see. It has a particularly memorable scene - and some great interactions with Shiva for you to look forward to.
Meanwhile, Bahamut also appears as a ridiculously difficult boss fight at the conclusion of the FF15 Comrades online multiplayer, which lets you team up with three other players for online battles in FF15's combat system. A lot of players missed this, since Comrades was added to FF15 long after launch. If you plan to play it, we've got Comrades guides to help, including a FF15 Comrades best weapons guide and what your character's birthplace does. Fighting Bahamut is a huge, impressive fight - better-looking than many in the main game - and a really cool finale to the multiplayer. That battle has great music, too. Bahamut and Ifrit also play a role in Episode Ardyn, one of FF15's single-player DLCs.
How to summon Carbuncle in FF15
There is one final summon in FF15, barely mentioned - and that's Carbuncle. Carbuncle is actually only available to players who played and have save data from the FF15 'Platinum Demo', a demo of the game released a little while before its release. Carbuncle shows up there, and by having data from that demo, you automatically unlock it in FF15 proper.
Carbuncle is not a traditional summon, and it doesn't have the huge, impressive animations that dish out mega damage numbers as the others do. Instead, Carbuncle is a support summon, able to automatically come to your aid and revive Noctis and crew if they're downed. Here's the catch, though: Carbuncle can only be summoned on easy mode. If you have Platinum Demo save data and are wondering where Carbuncle is, that's your answer: it only shows up on Easy, as its powers make some of the game's combat trivial.