The Final Fantasy 7 Remake does a great job at balancing between making the game accessible to beginners while also proving to be quite a challenge for seasoned players. However, so far, most of the boss battles in the game haven't really required much preparation.
Although this doesn't mean that the first few bosses in the game are easy, it does mean that you can get through them even if you're ill-prepared.
Perhaps this is why the Airbuster boss at the end of Chapter 7 of Final Fantasy 7 Remake is so difficult for a lot of players to take down.
If you're one of those players, don't worry.
Below, you'll find our guide on how to beat the Airbuster boss in Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
Tips for Beating the Airbuster Boss
Before anything else, we'd like to explain to you just how exactly you can make the Airbuster boss weaker and easier to fight against.
As the game explains to you in the lead-up to the boss battle, you can pick up key cards in and out of the control rooms where you can use them on terminals to dispose of certain parts of the boss. As a bonus, you can also visit the disposal room prior to the boss battle to pick up the items you disposed of and make use of them.
Most players make the mistake of choosing parts at random. However, it is actually important to choose the right parts.
For example, if you remove AI programming cores, the Airbuster will not shoot lightning beams from its hands as often. This means that your party will not get stunned as much when it uses its electric attacks. Meanwhile, if you remove the Big Bomber shells, you significantly lower the damage output and ammunition of the Airbuster.
Last, but definitely not least, removing M-units from the Airbuster doesn't have any effect on its abilities. Instead, it will net you some pretty nice items.
If it were up to us, we'd recommend focusing on the AI Programming Cores and the Big Bombers.
Although the freebies from removing M-units are nice and all, they're not exactly game-changing.
In any case, similar to the previous bosses in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, the fight against the Airbuster will be split across multiple phases, and we'll break down each one in detail below. But, before we do that, we'd like to remind you to do two things.
Number 1 is to make sure that you equip all three members of the party (Cloud, Barret, and Tifa), with Lightning Materia. Number 2 is to equip the Elemental Materia on Barret and link it with Lightning Materia because there'll be parts of the boss fight where only Barret's ranged attacks will be able to deal damage to it.
Also, if you have a Barrier Materia, try to make sure that you have it equipped for this fight.
Because the Airbuster deals a lot of physical damage, being able to cut that in half is a godsend, especially if you can't avoid getting hit.
The boss fight against the Airbuster kicks off with the party of three separated from each other on two sides, which will force you to switch back and forth constantly as you actively try to avoid getting hit by stunning electronic mines.
Just make sure that you avoid getting hit with the mines during this phase. Otherwise, the Airbuster will use Big Bomber on the stunned party member, which will deal serious damage. But, if a party member still gets stunned despite being careful, quickly cast the Barrier spell on them via the Barrier Materia to help mitigate some of the damage.
Just as the health of the Airbuster drops to around 75%, it will start moving away to cast Tankbuster.
During this time, you won't be able to deal melee damage against the boss. However, we don't recommend spamming spells on the Airbuster either. Instead, you'll want to take this time to heal up, especially your MP if you kept on spamming Lightning during Phase 1, all the while letting Barret deal damage from afar using the linked Elemental Materia and Lightning Materia.
Once the Airbuster is finished using the Tankbuster, you can continue attacking the boss as you did during Phase 1.
The last phase of the fight against the Airbuster starts when it only has 50% of its max HP remaining.
During this time, the Airbuster will start flying more often and on a regular basis. This means that you'll be able unable to deal melee damage against the Airbuster. This is where equipping Barret with the Lightning Materia and Elemental Materia comes in handy the most.
Once the Airbuster comes closer and is available to hit, try to use as many Limit Breaks and Summons as you can.
It's important to note that the Airbuster will still use Tankbuster during the last phase. the main difference is that it will now track a target, so be careful. It's still going to use its flame attack in close range as well, so try not to get careless.
How to Beat the Airbuster in Hard Mode
On Hard Mode, the best way to beat the Airbuster is to take advantage of Barret's abilities, Steelskin and Lifesaver.
This way, you can have Barret soak up most of the damage that Airbuster is dishing while you're busy keeping him alive and dishing out some of the damage back to him yourself using Barret with a Lightning Materia linked with Elemental Materia.
Also, you should probably have a Prayer Materia this time, so use it well and often so you can conserve your MP for casting Lightning on Airbuster.
Speaking of Materia that you should finally have access to, you can link the Barrier Materia and the Magnify Materia so you can cast Barrier on the entire team with one spell.
With that said, so long as you have the Materia I mentioned, the battle against the Airbuster shouldn't pose that much of a challenge. This is even if the boss gets a new ability.
True, the detachable arms can be problematic. They make your party more vulnerable to Big Bomber. However, they're also fairly easy to take out. All you need to do is to throw a couple of Lightning magic and that's it. The Airbuster will re-attach the said arms to itself in no time if you keep on doing that.