We tried out Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth's chocobos, they're everything we wanted, but director Naoki Hamaguchi confirms that there won't be chocobo breeding

Cloud and the party ride teal Chocobos
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth looks set to bring back chocobos in a big way. Thanks to details revealed in the recent release date trailer as well as our time with a hands-on preview of the game, we can confirm that both chocobo racing and chocobo riding will be in the game. However, it also looks like Square Enix won't be including chocobo breeding. 

Releasing February 29, 2024, action RPG Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is set to include the return of everyone's favorite kaleidoscopic racing fowl. From our hands-on time with an early demo build of the game, we're pleased to report that the chocobos handle fantastically in Rebirth's open world. The lovable giant birds accelerate and decelerate with a realistic weightiness that puts even the chocobos of Final Fantasy 16 to shame. 

What's more, the beloved beasts can be customized with a range of hats, body armor, and boots, allowing you to mosey about atop a bird that truly expresses your own sense of style. While the preview only gave us a sneak peek of some of the available cosmetics, we saw a special mercenary clothing set, as well as sets based on the Shinra trooper armor and the Ruby Weapon - one of Final Fantasy 7's terrifying endgame bosses.

Cloud races Chocobos at the gold saucer

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Unfortunately, the chocobo breeding minigame from the original Final Fantasy 7 will not be featured in Rebirth. Speaking with IGN, game director Naoki Hamaguchi confirmed that there would be no chocobo breeding system, though there would be an "enhanced new chocobo capturing feature".

The release date trailer also revealed a return of the chocobo racing minigame which Hamaguchi expounded upon in his IGN interview. Set in Rebirth's Gold Saucer casino, these races pit chocobo against each other in pursuit of fabulous prizes.

"For the Rebirth chocobos, each of them has their own unique name and they are able to enter the Gold Saucer races. There's also equipment that is specifically designed for chocobos to equip that will enhance their stats and it will affect their performance in chocobo races... So, in terms of play hours that can be devoted, it's quite, you know, copious amounts of hours that one could spend on chocobo racing."

With this in mind, it looks like there's plenty of chocobo goodness to go around. Even if we can't breed the creatures, the capture system and chocobo races look poised to provide hours of fun for fans of compelling minigames and oversized poultry alike.

Looking for something to play while you wait for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth? Our lists of the best JRPGs and best single-player games will have you covered.

Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent. 

Before migrating to the green pastures of games journalism, Cat worked as a political advisor and academic. She has three degrees and has studied and worked at Cambridge University, University College London, and Queen Mary University of London. She's also been an art gallery curator, an ice cream maker, and a cocktail mixologist. This crash course in NPC lifestyles uniquely qualifies her to pick apart only the juiciest video games for your reading pleasure. 

Cat cut her teeth on MMOs in the heyday of World of Warcraft before giving in to her love of JRPGs and becoming embedded in Final Fantasy XIV. When she's not doing that, you might find her running a tabletop RPG or two, perhaps even voluntarily.