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Final Fantasy XV Guide: Chocobo abilities, Chocobo Racing and more

Chocobo Racing has always been one of Final Fantasy's most memorable mini-games - and that's despite the fact that it actually isn't all that common a theme across the whole series. Final Fantasy XV brings the racing back, and it's actually a great way to earn a good chunk of AP and simply pass the time in FF15's open world segment.

On top of racing, Chocobos can of course also be used to travel FF15's world. Use of your Chocobo will level it up mand provide new skills, even allowing it to briefly join and assist you in battle.

Here's our guide to all that: All the races, all the Chocobo skills, and how to earn AP from racing.

Need more FF15 help? Check out our full guide homepage, which features many more pages like this on several aspects of the game.

How to unlock Chocobos via the Friends of a Feather and A Behemoth Undertaking Quests

First thing's first: no matter how you plan to use your Chocobos, for traveling or for racing, you're going to need to unlock them for use. You can do that as soon as you enter Chapter 3 of the game, when the quest 'Friends of a Feather' will pop.

This quest will pop up automatically - as you drive towards your next story destination Prompto will basically pull over the car and get suggest you visit the Chocobos. Say yes - indulge him and take a detour through Duscae to reach the Wiz Chocobo Outpost. Players of the Episode Duscae demo that shipped with FF Type-0 HD will remember this area and indeed the quest that's about to pop.

Once at the outpost, chat to the NPC Wiz. He'll inform you that there's a problem with a Behemoth in the area and it's making it harder - indeed, impossible - to rent out Chocobos or find them in the wild. You can help him out with this by chatting to him again and selecting the quest 'A Behemoth Undertaking' from his optional quest list. You can do this now or later on in the game - that's up to you. The quest has you hunt a behemoth, and it's honestly pretty hand-holdy, so we won't describe it in detail. It plays out slightly differently to Episode Duscae.

Once the Behemoth is dead, head back to Wiz and turn in the quest. This will complete both the Friends of a Feather and A Behemoth Undertaking quests and net you EXP, Gil and a Chocobo Whistle.

The whistle is used to summon Chocobos to you after you've rented them, and you can rent Chocobos from kiosks that are found in outposts. They're marked on your map with a little icon of - you guessed it - a Chocobo. Chocobo cost 50 gil per day.

Chocobo Skills: what they are and how to unlock them

As you ride your Chocobo out in the wild once rented it will level up. Its level status is determined by how long you've cumulatively spent on your Chocobo, and there's a total of 10 levels.

Here's a list of what you unlock and how long you must ride to do so. These totals are not cumulative - so you must ride 2 minutes to hit level 2, then another 6 minutes to reach level 3, not 6 minutes total.

  • 2 Minutes - Dash de Chocobo: Level 2. You can use this ability to flee enemy encounters.
  • 6 Minutes - Stamina +10 / Running Speed Increased. Level 3.
  • 8 Minutes - Kick de Chocobo: Level 4. Your chocobo dashes into battle and hits enemies with a fierce kick.
  • 12 Minutes - Stamina +10 / Running Speed Increased. Level 5.
  • 16 Minutes - Dance de Chocobo:? Level 6. Your chocobo comes into battle to do a little dance and buff your stats across the board.
  • 20 Minutes - Stamina +10, Jumping Height Increased. Level 7.
  • 20 Minutes - Rush de Chocobo: Level 8. Your chocobo dashes in to unleash even more poowerful attacks.
  • 24 Minutes - Stamina +10, Stamina Recovers twice as quickly. Level 9.
  • 30 Minutes - Link de Chocobo: Level 10. Your Chocobo can now join up with you to perform link attacks with Noctis, as he does with his other friends.

How to unlock and win all the Chocobo Races: race Iris and others

Once you get into Chocobo racing, there's a few things you need to know. It's essentially not dissimilar to how it was in FF7 - it's a battle to conserve your stamina, but in FF15 there's other aspects to consider such as sliding with your Chocobo or using greens before a race to power up your Chocobo.

When you begin winning races, each victory will offer a different reward and work towards unlocking more bonuses. Different races have different difficulties and take place on different length courses.

On top of regular Chocobo races there's also 'Hoops' races - these are against the clock with other obstacles and things to worry about in lieu of an opponent. These too form part of the racing progression. Here's what you get:

  • Race against Prompto

    • ?To race, unlock Chocobos via the A Behemoth Undertaking quest
    • Awards a Rounsey Medal
  • Race against Gladio

    • To unlock, beat Prompto in a Chocobo Race
    • Awards a Destrier Medal
  • Chocobo Hoops: Grange Gallop

    • To unlock, beat Gladio in one Chocobo Race
    • Awards a Short Course Medal
  • Race against Ignis

    • To unlock, beat the Grange Gallop Hoops and reach Chapter 5
    • Awards a Corser Medal
  • Full Field (Race against everyone)

    • To unlock, win a race against Ignis. 
    • Awards a Fat Chocobo Medal
  • Chocobo Hoops: Rocky Road

    • Unlocks once you have won a full field race.
    • Offers the Long Course Medal
  • Race against Iris

    • Reach the end of Chapter 6 and beat the Rocky Road Hoops course
    • Offers the Jennet Medal, plus the Jockey Medal from an NPC at the Wiz outpost

Earning AP via Chocobo Racing

Something that's worth noting in FF15 is that there's a multitude of ways to earn AP for the game's Ascension Grid, its interesting set of character and skill progression trees.

One wing of the Ascension Tree you should prioritise from early is the Exploration Page. This page features a number of skills that, when purchased, will offer you more AP over time - usually for completing basic in-game tasks that you're likely to do anyway.

If you get quite into Chocobo riding you'll want to pick up the Chocobump ability. It costs 32 AP but will offer 1 AP for traveling via Chocobo - 1 AP will pop every mile or so you travel. You can later upgrade that with Chocobonus, which costs 99 AP but offers up EXP for the very same thing.

Chocobo Racers, meanwhile, can grab the Choco-Jockey? ability. This does the same, costing another 32 AP but giving 1AP for each time you win a race. There's another 99 AP upgrade, Choco-Racer, which again offers an EXP bonus for the same thing. This'll make racing not just fun but also useful.

Need more FF15 help? Check out our full guide homepage, which features many more pages like this on several aspects of the game.

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