Final Fantasy VII Remake Summons guide: all summons and summon materia locations and unlocks
Summons are a series staple of Final Fantasy, and they’re of course present in Final Fantasy VII Remake. You’ll want to get your hands on summon materia in order to control these epic beasts - which you can then use to crush even the most hardened of enemies.
There’s basically three types of summon materia to know about in FF7 Remake. One you will get naturally through the progression of FF7 Remake’s story. Others are available as pre-order bonuses, and a final few are unlockable in-game if you fulfil certain criteria.
Each character in the FF7 Remake cast can have one summon equipped, and unlike in the original game there’s a single specific summon materia slot for each character that is persistent all game. You can chop and change the different summons at will, too - so consider swapping out for a more useful one based on the weaknesses of whatever boss you’re facing off with. Alongside Limit Breaks, summons are the most powerful individual moves in the game.
In this Final Fantasy VII Remake Summons guide, we list all of the summons in the game, their moves, elements and attacks, plus how to unlock each summon materia. This is separate from our FF7 Remake Materia guide - hit that up if you want the same information on Magic, Command, Support or Individual Materia, plus that all important enemy skill materia.
FF7 Remake Summons: how to activate and use summons
While it isn't as confusing as it was in Final Fantasy XV, summons aren't as simple as just picking them out of a menu and spending a bunch of MP to bring a huge god into battle on your side. Basically, once obtained and equipped, summons can only appear in certain battles. That means no matter how hard you try to active your summon, you won't be able to unless the circumstances are right. Allow us to explain...
In average encounters with trash enemies, you probably won't be given the prompt to summon at all - but in most boss encounters, the option to summon will come to you naturally. You can't just choose to summon out of the menu, either - you first have to wait for the summon prompt to appear in a purple box on the right-hand side of the screen. Then, a bar within that box will fill. Once the Summon bar has filled all the way, you can open the menu and spend 2 ATB charges to summon the one you currently have equipped. The summon bar will only appear and charge in encounters where it's possible to summon like bosses or arena and VR fights.
As far as we can tell there are a few things that will make the summon prompt appear. Taking a lot of damage will certainly do it. A battle dragging on for a long time will, too. For instance, in natural play of the chapter 7 boss, Airbuster, you'll probably get the chance to summon in the boss' second or third phase jsut based on how long it takes, even if you avoid damage.
The summon bar is universal, so once it's been filled you can summon with any of your three party members. Each party member has a unique materia slot that's designed for summon materia. This means that you can only equip one summon materia to each character, but this also means you can take three summons into battle. You can only summon once per fight - so once the prompt appears, be sure to pick the character and summon you actually use carefully.
Anyway, here’s all the summons in the game... don't read any further if you consider the summon identities or locations a spoiler!
Ifrit Summon Materia
Allows you to summon Ifrit to your side to aid you in battle.
Ifrit deals damage using the fire element.
Ifrit has the ultimate attack of Hellfire.
You’ll obtain Ifrit from Jessie automatically at the end of Chapter 3 as part of story progression.
You get a trophy for summoning for the first time, and chances are this'll be gained with Ifrit.
Chocobo & Moogle Summon Materia
Allows you to summon a Chocobo and Moogle to aid you in battle.
Chocobo & Moogle deals damage. The Chocobo deals wind element damage, while the Moogle deals non-elemental damage.
Chocobo & Moogle have the ultimate attack of Stampede (wind element).
Location: Chapter 6, when turning the lights off. After opening your route out by turning off the sun lights, there’s an optional area behind the large fans you passed earlier. Now the power is restored you can get over there, turn off the fans and grab the materia. This is missable if you don't get it then, but you can come back to it in the postgame via chapter select.
You get a trophy for picking up this summon materia.
Shiva Summon Materia
Allows you to summon Shiva to fight alongside you in battle.
Shiva deals Ice element damage.
Shiva has the ultimate attack of Diamond Dust.
Location: Complete Battle Intel Report 5 for Chadley, which is a VR simulation where you must take down Shiva. After you do, you’ll get the materia from Chadley.
Battle Strategy: Bring plenty of fire magic, fire-linked support materia, and Ifrit. You could also equip Ice Materia with Elemental Materia on your armor to lessen or even make yourself immune to the effects of Shiva’s icy attacks.
Defeating a summon in the VR simulator for the first time nets you a trophy. Given Shiva is the first battle, it should be through beating her.
Fat Chocobo Summon Materia
Allows you to summon a Fat Chocobo to assist in battle.
The Fat Chocobo deals damage, and it’s all non-elemental.
The Fat Chocobo’s ultimate attack is Kerplunk.
Make sure to keep on top of killing off the added bomb and tonberry-like enemies. Also oftentimes the easiest thing to do when he starts rolling around is to block, rather than try to avoid by dodging.
Location: Get the Fat Chocobo Materia by completing Battle Intel Report 10 for Chadley. This involves beating the summon in a VR simulation; if you do, the reward is the materia.
Leviathan Summon Materia
Lets you summon Leviathan, the great water serpent. Leviathan appears to be more limited in where it can be summoned than most others -- he’s not seemingly available to summon in some indoor areas.
Leviathan attacks in battle, dealing damage. Despite it typically being a water elemental in FF, there is no water element in FF7 Remake, so this time the summon deals non-elemental damage.
Leviathan’s ultimate attack is the Tidal Wave.
Location: Chadley will set up a Leviathan VR Battle for you as Battle Intel Report 15 once you’ve completed other intel for him. At this point, you must beat Leviathan there to get the summon materia.
Battle Strategy: Given that Leviathan is technically now non-elemental, elemental magic won't help you too much in your armor like it can with Shiva -- though pairing Lightning with Elemental in your weapon will still be helpful.
His big attack is Tidal Wave, which will likely wipe out your party if you don't plan for it:
Casting Manaward or Manawall on your team will significantly reduce the damage Tidal Wave deals, cast it as soon as you see the spell text or earlier.
Equipping weapons with Reprieve will also allow you to survive the hit, but be ready to heal afterward.
Lastly, Barret's Lifesaver can also be used in a pinch, though be ready to revive him (unless you pair with Reprieve or other defensive strategies).
Bahamut Summon Materia
Lets you summon Bahamut, the ultimate summon in FF7 Remake. Bahamut, like Leviathan, appears to not be able to be summoned where others can in more enclosed areas.
Bahamut deals out damage. All his damage is non-elemental.
Bahamut’s ultimate attack is, of course, Megaflare.
Location: To get Bahamut, complete Battle Intel Report 20 for Chadley, which involves beating a VR simulation of Bahamut after completing all other Battle Intel. This unlocks the materia.
Battle Strategy: Bahamut works in waves, and has clear attack patterns. What you need to watch out for is Megaflare, which Bahamut counts down from five to perform. When you’re one away, you should heal up and prepare so you can barely survive. Again, the ‘Reprieve’ weapon skill on some weapons that lets you survive a killing blow could be the difference between surviving this battle or not. HP Up materia will help too. It takes a long time to stagger Bahamut, but you should aim to do so before the second Megaflare is launched, as you’re unlikely to survive a second. Once staggered, the king of dragons will go down surprisingly quickly.
DLC Pre-order Bonus & Limited Edition Exclusive Summons
The following three Summons are only available via DLC, and are currently awarded to players for buying specific versions of the game, or for pre-ordering. It's unclear if these will be released later on as regular downloadable content, but it's worth pointing out that you can't use any of these summons until chapter 2 and at that point you will be a very short distance from unlocking Ifrit through story progression anyway, and they are all inferior to Ifrit. Generally speaking, they're actually pretty useless.
How to get your pre-order bonus summons: Once downloaded and acquired through the DLC menu, you will unlock each materia for use immediately after the Materia tutorial from Jessie at the start of Chapter 2.
Cactuar Summon Materia
Allows you to summon Cactuar to help you in battle.
Cactuar deals fixed non-elemental damage.
Cactuar has the ultimate attack of 10,000 Needles.
Cactuar comes as a bonus in the Deluxe Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition or 1st Class Editions of the game.
Carbuncle Summon Materia
Allows you to summon Carbuncle to help you in battle.
Carbuncle buffs the party with positive magic
Carbuncle's ultimate attack heals the party.
Carbuncle is available in the 1st Class Edition and Digital Deluxe Edition.
Chocobo Chick Summon Materia
Allows you to summon the cute Chocobo Chick to help you in battle.
Chocobo Chick deals Fire, Ice, Lightning or Wind elemental damage at random.
Chocobo Chick was a pre-order bonus for any version of the game at participating retailers.
Once downloaded and acquired through the DLC menu, you will unlock after the Materia tutorial at the start of Chapter 2.