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The Sphere Grid is the leveling system used in Final Fantasy X. It is a plane consisting of several hundred connected nodes. Characters navigate along the grid using Ability Point (AP) Spheres gained in battle.


Layout of the Sphere Grid

the Sphere Grid is made of connected nodes

At first glance, the grid seems like a random assortment of nodes connected by lines. However, the grid can be easily divided into seven sections. Each of these sections is made specifically for a certain character and the types of nodes in those sections correspond with the predetermined strengths and weaknesses.



As is the case in most previous Final Fantasy games, each character is set with certain strengths and weaknesses or specific jobs. For example, the classic Black Mage has strong Magic but weak Attack, while a warrior will have strong Attack and Defense, but low Magic. In the Sphere Grid, however, the player has a choice of going out of his or her way to put the character down a different path. For example, there is one instance in which Wakka can merge into Lulu's section of the grid: Instead of continuing his own section, he can learn black magic abilities and raise his Magic and Magic Defense, rather than more Strength and Defense as he would in his own section.

In this manner, Auron, instead of being a physical powerhouse, may master the arts of white magic, or Lulu, the Black Mage, can learn moves like Cheer and Provoke.

Sections of the Grid

Each character has their own starting point when they become playable, and each character's section is defined by the ratio of status nodes (such as Strength, Magic Defense, etc.) and unique ability nodes (such as NulTide, Dark Buster, or Fire).

When a character is selected, his or her path will be highlighted in the character's grid color. Each node has seven invisible marks around its border and when a character activates the node, the corresponding mark becomes visible and is colored the same as the character's grid color. These marks can be viewed no matter which character is currently selected.

The beginning and end of each section is blocked by Lock Nodes, as well are the optional paths in between sections. Ultimately, each character will have access to the whole grid, and unless characters are very extensively trained in a particular class, a player should have the corresponding Lock Spheres before a character meets the end of his or her section.

Tidus near the beginning of his section of the grid


Tidus' grid has a good balance of Strength and Accuracy, as well as decent evasion and agility. He learns special abilities and white magic that can be used to aid himself or his teammates, such as Haste and Cheer, as well as skills that can handicap the enemy, such as Delay Buster. When his grid section ends, it runs into Yuna's. Tidus' grid color is aqua.


Yuna has low Strength and Defense, but makes up for it with the highest Magic and Magic Defense and a strong Evasion and Agility. All of the classic healing abilities such as the Cure series, Regen and Esuna are in her section. Being the Summoner of the game, the stats of Yuna's Aeons will be raised as hers increase. Naturally, she is best skilled as a White Mage and Summoner. Her grid section runs into Rikku's. Yuna's grid color is white.

Steal and Use are highlighted even before Rikku has navigated on the grid.


Rikku, having the highest Agility of all the characters, has a grid section with the most Agility and Luck nodes. She is a mix between the classic jobs of Thief and Chemist, meaning she has abilities in her section such as Mug. When she begins, Rikku already has Steal and Use learned. Her sections runs into Lulu's. Rikku's color is green.


Lulu's section is that of the classic Black Mage, and she shares many of the same stats as Yuna, giving her low Strength, but high Magic and Magic Defense. She has unusually high defence for a black mage though, earning 8 points after she unlocks her first lock node. In addition, she boasts the highest Evasion (explaining why she learns the ability Reflex). Classic Black Magic such as the Fire, Thunder, Blizzard, and Water are in her grid section. The only stat that differs between her and Yuna is her low Agility. Her section runs into Wakka's. Lulu's color is purple.


Wakka has both high Strength and Accuracy, giving him access to skills such as Aim, though he has average Evasion. To add to his amazing stats, many of his skills change enemies' status, such as Dark Attack and Silence Buster. His section runs into Auron's. Wakka's color is yellow.


Auron's section has many Strength, Defense and HP nodes, but lacks Evasion, Accuracy and Agility. His section includes the stat-altering abilities such as Power Break and Armor Break and is the first to access to defensive abilities such as Sentinel and Threaten. His section runs into Tidus' grid, thus closing the circle of Tidus-Yuna-Rikku-Lulu-Wakka-Auron. Auron's grid color is red.


Kimahri's section is the only grid that doesn't follow a direct line. It is roughly in the shape of a circle and is in the center of the Sphere Grid. At the center of his section is Ultima, but it is guarded by several Lvl. 4 Lock Nodes. Kimahri's section is rather small, but can merge into the start of and learn the abilities and stats of every character's section except for Auron's, which is a reference to his class, Blue Mage. Kimahri's section itself contains mostly Speed and Defense, and his specialty is use of the unique special ability Lancet, which allows him to gather Overdrives from certain enemies. Most of Kimahri's weapons have the piercing ability equipped, meaning physical attack areas on the grid (such as Tidus or Auron's) are fitting. However most of his Blue Magic overdrive attacks are based on Kimahri's magic stat, meaning putting Kimahri on Yuna or Lulu's areas is also quite effective. Kimahri's grid color is dark blue.

Expert Mode

In International and PAL versions of the game, an Expert option is available at the beginning of the game. The difference between Normal and Expert is that in the Expert mode, each character starts in the middle of a completely different grid design. The player must then decide which path the character will follow, whether it be the powerhouse, the White Mage, the Tactician, etc. There are no new abilities. The Expert grid has less nodes in total than the Normal grid (roughly 50 less), so while it may be more convenient in the beginning, it will be significantly less useful if trying to completely max out the stats of your characters.

Gaining Sphere Levels

Ability Points (AP) are won by winning battles during gameplay, and act as a representation of experience. When enough are collected, the character gains a Sphere Level (S. Lvl), which will move him or her along the grid. One Sphere Level will move the character one space "forward" (i.e. into a section of the grid they have not already been to) or up to four spaces "backwards" (i.e. spaces the character has already been to). Note that as you cannot have a fraction of a Sphere Level, you will spend one sphere level even if you only move one, two, or three spaces backwards.

Any character who takes an action in the battle will receive AP (even if they attacked and missed) and all characters will receive the same amount. (Note: if you summon an Aeon first thing in the battle and the Aeon defeats all the enemies, only Yuna will gain AP.) Characters who are switched out their first turn, KO'd or Petrified at the end of the battle, or are not in the battle at all will not gain AP. For example, if the starting line-up is Kimahri, Wakka, and Rikku, and Wakka is switched out his first turn and does not return, he will gain no AP.

Celestial Weapons all start out with the "No AP" ability, meaning their wielder will not gain AP from participating in battle. It is possible to remove this ability, and in some cases, replace it with the "Double AP" ability. (This, obviously, doubles the amount of AP that character gains.)

A character can have as many Sphere Levels at once as the player desires, although it's wise not to hold on to them for a long time. As the difficulty of the enemies progresses in the game, Yuna and her entourage must grow more powerful in order to defeat them.

Spheres and Nodes

Main article: Sphere (Final Fantasy X)

There are many kinds of Spheres in Final Fantasy X, many used on the Sphere Grid to activate the various nodes. They come in several colors and varieties.

  • Red Spheres are the most common kind. They are used to activate the available nodes on the grid.
  • Lock Spheres are dark gray and come in four levels, which can open a lock of the corresponding level only. For example, a Lvl. 2 Lock Sphere can unlock a Lvl. 2 Lock Node, but not a Lvl. 1, 3, or 4.
  • Purple spheres are used to fill empty nodes with stat nodes.
  • Yellow spheres are used to activate ability nodes that have been activated by at least one other character. Note that you do not have to be adjacent to a node to activate it with this type of sphere.
  • Light blue Spheres can teleport characters around the sphere grid.
  • Clear spheres are aqua and can only be obtained after the player has captured five of every monster in the game, thereafter they can be bought from the Monster Arena trainer. They will clear any stat node, so you can replace them with Purple Spheres. Ability nodes cannot be cleared.

Nodes come in different types and degrees. All the types are described in the Sphere article, under Red Spheres. Each different kind of node has different degrees as well. For example, strength nodes can raise strength by 1, 2, 3, or 4 points. Whenever a new stat node is created with Purple Spheres, they are always 4 points.

A player can be positioned on one node at a time, but can activate not only the node that they are on, but any adjacent nodes as well.

Ability List


Spell MP Cost Description Sphere Grid Section
Dark Attack 5 Inflicts Darkness to an enemy for three turns. Wakka
Silence Attack 5 Inflicts Silence to an enemy for three turns. Wakka
Sleep Attack 5 Puts an enemy to Sleep for three turns. Wakka
Delay Attack 8 Delays target's next turn. Tidus
Zombie Attack 10 Inflicts the Zombie status effect on one enemy. Auron
Dark Buster 10 Always inflicts darkness on an enemy for 1 turn. Wakka
Silence Buster 10 Always inflicts silence on an enemy for 1 turn. Wakka
Sleep Buster 10 Always inflicts sleep on an enemy for 1 turn. Wakka
Delay Buster 18 Greatly delays target's next turn. Tidus
Triple Foul 24 Inflicts darkness, silence and sleep on an enemy for 3 turns. Wakka
Extract Power* 1 Allows target to drop power spheres. Auron
Extract Mana* 1 Allows target to drop mana spheres. Kimahri
Extract Speed* 1 Allows target to drop speed spheres. Tidus
Extract Ability* 1 Allows target to drop ability spheres. Wakka
Power Break 8 Lowers opponent's strength. Auron
Magic Break 8 Lowers opponent's Magic. Auron
Armor Break 12 Lowers opponent's physical defense and nullifies Armored status. Auron
Mental Break 12 Lowers opponent's magic defense. Auron
Full Break* 99 Inflicts Power, Magic, Armor and Mental Breaks on an enemy. Auron
Mug 10 Attack and steal items at the same time. Rikku
Nab Gil* 30 Attack and steal gil at the same time. Lulu
Quick Hit 12 (36*) Strike quickly with reduced recovery time. Tidus

*PAL/International version


Spell MP Cost Description Sphere Grid Section
Flee 0 Aids party's escape from battle. Tidus
Steal 0 Steals items from enemies. Rikku
Use 0 Use special items. Rikku
Pray 0 Restores a small amount of HP to all allies. Yuna
Cheer 0 Raises party's strength and defense. Tidus
Aim 0 Raises party's accuracy. Wakka
Focus 0 Raises party's magic & magic defense. Lulu
Reflex 0 Raises party's evasion. Lulu
Luck 0 Raises party's luck. Rikku
Jinx 0 Lowers opponent's luck. Kimahri
Lancet 0 Absorb HP & MP from an enemy. Kimahri
Guard 0 Allows character to take damage for an ally. Auron
Sentinel 0 Allows character to guard allies while in defensive stance. Auron
Spare Change 0 Attack by throwing gil. Rikku
Threaten 12 Immobilize an enemy with fear; inflicts Stop. Auron
Provoke 4 Draw an enemy's attack toward you. Tidus
Entrust 8 Contribute your overdrive charge to an ally's gauge. Auron
Copycat 28 Mimic an ally's previous action. Rikku
Pilfer Gil* 20 Steal gil from an enemy. Rikku
Quick Pockets* 70 Swiftly use items with reduced recovery time. Yuna
Doublecast 0 Allows character to cast Black Magic spells twice. Lulu
Bribe 0 Pay an enemy to make it go away. Rikku

*PAL/International version

White Magic

Spell MP Cost Description Sphere Grid Section
Cure 4 Restores minor HP. Yuna
Cura 10 Restores moderate HP. Yuna
Curaga 20 Restores major HP. Yuna
Scan 1 See target's vital statistics. Kimahri
NulBlaze 2 Nullifies Fire elemental damage for one attack. Yuna
NulShock 2 Nullifies Lightning elemental damage for one attack. Yuna
NulTide 2 Nullifies Water elemental damage for one attack. Yuna
NulFrost 2 Nullifies Ice elemental damage for one attack. Yuna
Esuna 5 Removes negative status effects. Yuna
Life 18 Revive a KO'ed party member with 50% max HP. Yuna
Full-Life 60 Revive a KO'ed party member with max HP. Rikku
Haste 8 Increases Agility of party member. Tidus
Hastega 30 Increases Agility of party. Tidus
Slow 12 Reduces Agility of target. Tidus
Slowga 20 Reduces Agility of target's party. Tidus
Shell 10 Halves damage from magic attacks. Yuna
Protect 12 Halves damage from physical attacks. Yuna
Reflect 14 Bounce spells off of target back at enemy party. Does not reflect all spells. Yuna
Dispel 12 Remove positive status effects. Yuna
Regen 40 Target restores a fraction of HP each turn for 10 turns. Yuna
Holy 85 Heavy Holy elemental damage. Yuna
Auto-Life 97 Automatically revives KO'ed target with 25% of Max HP. Yuna

Black Magic

Spell MP Cost Description Sphere Grid Section
Fire 4 Minor Fire elemental damage. Lulu
Blizzard 4 Minor Ice elemental damage. Lulu
Thunder 4 Minor Lightning elemental damage. Lulu
Water 4 Minor Water elemental damage. Lulu
Fira 8 Moderate Fire elemental damage. Lulu
Blizzara 8 Moderate Ice elemental damage. Lulu
Thundara 8 Moderate Lightning elemental damage. Lulu
Watera 8 Moderate Water elemental damage. Lulu
Firaga 16 Major Fire elemental damage. Lulu
Blizzaga 16 Major Ice elemental damage. Lulu
Thundaga 16 Major Lightning elemental damage. Lulu
Waterga 16 Major Water elemental damage. Lulu
Bio 10 Inflicts Poison and non-elemental damage. Lulu
Demi 32 Reduces HP of target party by 1/4. Lulu
Death 20 Inflicts Death. Lulu
Drain 12 Steal HP from target to restore own HP. Wakka
Osmose 0 Steal MP from target to restore own MP. Wakka
Flare 54 Extreme non-elemental damage. Lulu
Ultima 90 Extreme non-elemental damage to target party. Kimahri

This article uses material from the "Sphere Grid" article on the Final Fantasy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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