How to beat Airbuster in Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Not just full of hot air

How to beat Airbuster in Final Fantasy 7 Remake
(Image: © Square Enix)

A hallmark from the original 1997 release, Final Fantasy 7 Remake reimagines the Airbuster fight in Chapter 7, serving up a tense duel between man and machine. 

Given the battle’s long preamble and relative difficulty, we thought it’d be best to lead you through the process and show you how to defeat the Airbuster if you find yourself to be struggling against its charged flurry of attacks. Here’s how to beat the Airbuster in Final Fantasy 7 Remake. 

How to weaken Airbuster in Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Prior to the showdown with Airbuster, you’ll be led through a series of rooms full to the brim with Shinra troops. Once you wipe them out you’ll note a set of terminals which you can use to remove parts of the Airbuster’s mechanical makeup which weaken the boss prior to the battle. Make sure you really study every room as often there are optional key cards ready for you instead of just the mission-critical ones.

Once you find them, you’ll have to choose which part of the Airbuster you’d like to strip away. Big Buster shells essentially limit the number of devastating rocket attacks it can muster, and Goro-M’s limit the items it can use in battle. Personally, we found that getting rid of the Airbuster’s AI Programming Cores to make it slower was the most effective way to beat it as, despite its stature, the boss moves quickly and you want to keep on top of it at all times. 

How to beat Airbuster in Final Fantasy 7 Remake

How to beat Airbuster in Final Fantasy 7 Remake

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Once you’ve sufficiently weakened the boss, prepare your characters with Lightning Materia and then start the battle. Airbuster is weak to this Materia, but don’t take any chances by just having it equipped on Cloud. If every character has a Lightning attack, they can chain them in tandem and completely immobilize the Airbuster. If you picked up the Elemental Support Materia in the previous chapter, consider tying that with a Lightning Materia to deal ‘weakness’ damage with every sword slash. 

As with every boss battle in the game, make sure no character is wasting their ATB - keep switching between characters to use skills as soon as you have the chance. Tifa is fantastic here, so don’t forget about her. Her Chakra ability is a great way to regain health without using resources, and you can quickly stagger the Airbuster by combining her basic attacks with her ability Unbridled Strength to raise her stagger capabilities.

When it pulls back to the middle lane, watch out for its charged laser attack and lightning storms by ducking out of its line of sight. Crucially, when the Airbuster summons two hands and sends them over to either end of the bridge, split the party up and attack them first to cripple it. 

At some point it will enter a new phase and fly away from the squad, so make sure you’ve got Barrett at full health so he can deal damage whilst Cloud and Tifa are defenceless. Use this time to spam healing items whilst you attack from afar with his Gatling gun.

Jordan Oloman

Jordan Oloman is a journalist and documentarian with experience across the pop culture/tech spectrum writing reported features, reviews. news, guides, op-eds and more for a wide variety of outlets. He is also an affiliate streamer on Twitch and have previous experience in scriptwriting, podcasting, game consultation and creating video content.