How Summons Work In Final Fantasy XIII

By Spencer . January 21, 2010 . 4:22pm


Summoned mythological deities with glitzy attacks are like a Final Fantasy series tradition now. Eidolons in Final Fantasy XIII have an extra ability beyond casting Diamond Dust, they transform into vehicles.


Before you can turn Odin into a horse, you have to call him first. Final Fantasy XIII drops magic points and introduces TP or tactical points. These are used to cast special spells like Libra to scan for weakness and Quake, an earth powered attack that hits all enemies on the screen. Summoning Odin also costs TP, three TP to be exact. The amount of TP you recover after each battle depends on how well you fought.


Once Odin drops in he takes the place of your party members. Odin casts spells like Thundara, Thundaga, and Curaga automatically. See the purple meter with the number 444? That’s the summon point meter. It depletes over time, faster if Odin takes damage. While Odin is in eidolon form you want to chain attacks to increase the drive meter before the SP meter runs out.


The drive meter determines how long you can use Odin in gestalt mode. You can press square to switch into horse riding mode right after summoning him, but only nets around 16 ATB for Lightning. Chain attacks and you get more ATB, in other words more attacks with Odin as a horse. Even though Odin transforms into Sleipnir you can’t move or “drive” him. Instead you pick attacks Final Fantasy VI Blitz-lite style. Holding a direction + pressing X makes Odin do different attacks. Each attack consumes the ATB count by a set amount of points. If you don’t select an attack before the timer on the bottom left runs out you lose one ATB point. Zantetsuken, Odin’s strongest attack, uses up all of the ATB available. Probably a good idea to save that move as Odin’s final strike. (And maybe pressing select to skip it too, if you’ve seen the animation over two dozen times.)

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  • MisterNiwa

    How Summons work? :I
    Go to TP Abilities choose summon and you summon a Summon, that was Niwa’s Crash course for How to Summon Summons.

    Heck yeah im so cool. Btw. Odin is meh.

    • Aoshi00

      Yeah, Odin’s kinda lame, especially in horse mode Sleipnir descending down the imaginary staircase, just something funny about the animation, I skip it after watching it once :) I need to try Alexander, Bahamut, and Vanille’s budda arm thingie..

      • MisterNiwa

        Odin is useless… I do 30k DMG with him on 999% Break with the Lvl 3 Attack… And with Bahamut or Hecantocheir i do a 180% not even in Break 240k DMG. :I

        Odin IS worst Summon EVER. Even more worthless than Diablos in FF8 when you get him.

        • Tokyo Guy

          I found all the summons useless. It’s funny as for me, the system was just as horribly broken as with FF8’s GF monsters: if you know how to play the game, there is no need to ever use a summon. With FF13, they serve no real purpose than to refill everyone’s life when you are in a pinch.

          Or have others actually found them useful?

          • ShinGundam

            Bu Bu But I use them to heal my party and cancel bosses damage to me they
            are more useful :( of course i am talking about odin

      • ops sorry to reply so late ! i wasant able to reply via face book ««
        anyway ive done more than 35 missions , and no they are not hard THEY AE SUPER HARD! and if you are bored from the game already just move along with the story , cause the missions are kinda fun but too long and somewhat repetitive , yes so far all ive done its hop arround and kill mobs.But i enjoy it XD or else i wouldnt do it andddd speaking of sumons they are very usefull on missions at least for me , alexander isssssss awsome O_O although its hard to play with hope as main :/ I also like bahamut and hectoides as i call it , wich it should be called vanilla fanserviçe …. wich is all what vanilla is about XD !
        I am a more fang kinda girl so fang is cool XD ! my bf is all for vanilla though «« men XD!

        • Tokyo Guy

          I think the missions are only difficult if you aren’t at the proper place when you do them. Most of them are intended for after completing the game really. The only ones that actually seemed hard to me were some of the B-rank missions and the A-rank ones.

          • yes you are right , ranks B and A are the most tough , and yes i am the stuburn one on wanting to complete all missions before the end XD soo anyway ive advanced to ‘Oerba’ ( hope im not spoiling anyone ) and stopped there XD cause i went to play FF11 …

  • Interesting. It’s kind of like a combination from several previous Square games, as well as… well, it reminds me of the Xenogears system a bit, with the ATB gauge. So the deal is … summon him, attack with chain, turn him into a horse, and then use the finisher? @[email protected];

    • Tokyo Guy

      I don’t quite get the Xenogears reference, but the Break system employed in FFXIII is most certainly similar to that of Xenosaga.

  • Aoshi00

    Yeah, blitz LITE is right, since the commands are just up+X, down+X, left+X, right+X, square, or circle. Sometimes I use it as a last resort when my party gets pummeled since after the summon everyone’s HP is fully restored. Come to think of it, I’ve only tried Lightning, Sazh, and Snow’s summons, will need to try Fang, Vanille, and Hope’s as well, to see what their attacks look like.

    • fallen

      “blitz” … “pummeled”

      i see what you did there

      • Aoshi00

        haha, I actually haven’t thought of it that way, it’s been way too many years since I played FFVI, so I didn’t exactly remember Sabin’s moves :) But simplicity is better here since the battles are “fast”. I remember pulling the Blitz moves was kind of frustrating w/ the SNES pad if you don’t get the timing down.

    • Tokyo Guy

      I found it was just easier to let the computer do everything and use the auto command.

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