Final Fantasy VII Remake uses a brand new combat system that we thought very highly of in our review, borrowing some of the best aspects of other Square Enix games -- one of which being the Stagger mechanic from Final Fantasy XIII. As it was there, properly staggering enemies is key to dealing a devastating amount of damage, especially to boss enemies. Once an enemy is staggered, it'll start taking an increased amount of damage from everything you throw at it.
The standard stagger bonus in FF7 Remake starts at 160% -- but there are ways to increase this past the base amount. Around Chapter 8 or 9, you'll likely receive Battle Intel Report 12 from Chadley, called The Stagger Effect Pt. 3. This intel report asks you to Increase stagger damage bonus to 200%. While the initial stagger reports were more straightforward, you might be wondering how exactly to increase the bonus past 160%. To get to this report you obviously will need to have finished The Stagger Effect Pt. 1 and 2 - if you're having trouble with that, scroll on down as we've got a litlte primer on those, too.
For more help with some of the more obtuse aspects of FF7 Remake, hit up our other guides. Want to know how to get all the dresses at Wall Market? Unlock the second limit breaks? Perhaps you just need a materia list or to know where to get the enemy skills or summons. We've got you covered on all that and more...
Final Fantasy VII Remake: How to get stagger bonus to 200%
We found that fighting Fat Chocobo is a good way to increase the stagger bonus to 200% or more. You can fight him in Chadley's VR simulator starting around the same time, he's available to fight in multiple chapters, and you're practically guaranteed to stagger him before defeating him.
There are three key ways to increase stagger. The primary way is to use Tifa's unique abilities: Rise and Fall, Omnistrike, and Whirling Uppercut. All three of these will increase the stagger damage bonus past 160%. So before tripping Fat Chocobo's stagger gauge, make sure to use Unbridled Strength to power up her unique fighting abilities to the max.
There are also a few weapon abilities in FF7 Remake that increase the stagger bonus. Namely Tifa's True Strike and Aerith's Ray of Judgment. True Strike, in particular, will massively increase the stagger damage bonus, but you likely won't have access to it until very late in the game -- take a look at our weapon guide to get the full details on both of these.
For 200%, it shouldn't take much effort at all, and you'll reach the required damage bonus in an ability or two.
Final Fantasy VII Remake: How to get stagger bonus to 300% and earn the Staggering Feat trophy
There is one other reason to try to shoot up the stagger damage bonus in FF7 Remake's combat, and that's to earn the Staggering Feat trophy, which requires the bonus to reach 300%. You can again do this on Fat Chocobo, but we'd advise waiting until you have access to True Strike as it will simply make it much easier.
Once again, power up Tifa's unique ability, stagger big bird, and then unleash Rise and Fall, Omnistrike, and start alternating Uppercuts and True Strikes when you have an ATB charge. If you have access to Aerith, have her throw a Ray of Judgment. You should reach the required 300% stagger without too much issue. If you find that you are struggling to keep Fat Chocobo alive for long enough to reach the 300% mark, simply make sure your party are equipped with your lowest damaging weapons. You could even have Chadley reset your upgrades for a little gil as an additional safeguard.
Using Motor Ball for The Stagger Effect Pt. 3 and Staggering Feat
Near the very end of Final Fantasy VII Remake, you'll fight Motor Ball while on the back of a motorcycle. As part of the fight, you'll stagger the boss upon destroying all of its tires. In the process, you'll likely shoot way past the 300% required for the trophy by the time you take it down. Unfortunately, since the stagger on the event-style fight of Motor Ball is scaled differently, it doesn't seem to count for any of the Stagger-related objectives, as convenient as that would have been.
The Stagger Effect Part 1 & Part 2 Explained
We've noticed some people are struggling with the other 'The Stagger Effect' Battle Intel Reports for Chadley, which come in part 1 and part 2 variations before you get to the one we describe beating above. The answer to this is simpler than you'd think, but the game doesn't actually explain this brilliantly.
The Stagger Effect Pt. 1 asks you to "use unique abilities on staggered enemies and charge the ATB gauge 10 times." What does it mean by this? Well, the key thing where some people appear to be getting caught up is that by unique abilities it does not mean the abilities that cost ATB bar, but rather the character-specific abilities that are on the triangle button, like Tifa's uppercut, Barret's overcharge or Aerith's Tempest.
So basically what you have to do is get an enemy staggered and then use a unique ability. Doing so gains you an 'extra' ATB charge as a reward. Barret is great for this, as you can reduce the cooldown on his Overcharge ability on command, but it'll work with any character. You need to repeat this ten times. The reward is the very useful First Strike materia.
For The Stagger Effect Pt. 2, you simply have to stagger 15 different types of enemy. Remember the general advice about staggering, keep up the pressure and use those stagger-increasing moves like Cloud's focused thrust and Tifa's overpower.