One of the most exciting pieces of post-game content in Final Fantasy 7 Remake is the Shinra Combat Simulator. Structured as a series of increasingly challenging arena fights, the Combat Simulator truly tests the mettle of any player. We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks for beating the Shinra Combat Simulator challenges in the FF7 Remake. Read on for a full breakdown of the fights and a few helpful hints.

Locating the Shinra Combat Simulator in the Post-Game

Shinra Combat Simulator Challenges FF7 remake

During the campaign, the Combat Simulator was located deep within the latter portion of the game and completing its first challenge was mandatory to progress in the story. In the post-game, the Combat Simulator is in a different location. To access it, use the chapter select menu to start up Chapter 17. Speed through its opening minutes as usual until you run into Chadley after the first combat encounter. After a few lines of dialog, you’ll have the option to either head toward the elevator where you meet Red XIII in the story or enter a door to Chadley’s right. Go through there, and you’ll be greeted with the relocated Combat Simulator.

Combat Simulator Overview and General Tips

The Combat Simulator challenges are divided between four, five, six, and seven star fights. Four star fights can be played on classic, easy, or normal difficulty. Anything five stars or above can only be played on hard difficulty, so be prepared for some tough fights. An added stipulation in these challenge fights is that no items can be used, so it is important to prepare accordingly.

Make sure that you have Cure Materia equipped during any challenge, and during the team challenges, make sure someone in your party has the Auto-Cure Materia as well. The challenges are wave based, with only a portion of HP and MP restored between waves. Fight smartly and precisely, making every attack count. As with any combat scenario in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, leveraging weaknesses and staggering opponents is critical. Make sure you bring the Assess Materia into these challenges as well, to make sure that you know the weaknesses and tactics of each opponent. You can’t equip different Materia between waves, so make sure that you’ve slotted in the correct Materia before entering each challenge.

Four Star Challenges

Vs. SOLDIER Trainees: For all of the missions, regardless of which character you play as, you’ll face the same enemies. Make sure you have Fire and Thunder Materia equipped to cover all enemy weaknesses. One enemy can cast Reflect, so make sure you have Breach Materia as well. You will encounter, in order:

  • Sahagin Prince
  • Phantom
  • Grungy Bandit
  • 3-C SOLDIER Operator
  • Cutter

Two-Person Team vs. High Flyers: Cloud and Barret are a good combination. Cloud’s abilities and Barret’s range make short work of the challenge. Make sure you have Aero, Thunder, and Blizzard Materia equipped to cover all the enemy weaknesses. You will encounter, in order:

  • Bugaboos
  • Slug-Ray + Byobapolis
  • Monodrive + Terpsicolt
  • Elite Helitroopers
  • Rust Drake

Three-Person Team vs. Team Ragbag: Pick the party combination most suited to your playstyle. This challenge is tougher, so having Aerith to heal is a viable strategy. Make sure that you have Blizzard and Thunder Materia to account for enemy weaknesses. You will encounter, in order:

  • Abzu Shoat
  • Trypapolis + Varghidpolis
  • Hellhound + Bloodhounds
  • Smogger + Ringmaw
  • Blast-Ray + Sweeper Prototype
Shinra Combat Simulator Challenges FF7 remake

Five Star Challenges

Vs. 3-C SOLDIER Candidates: Much like the “vs. SOLDIER Trainees challenges,” these challenges feature the same enemies regardless of which character you play as. Having both Blizzard and Thunder Materia equipped will be enough to cover the weaknesses of the enemies you’ll encounter. You will encounter, in order:

  • Unknown Entity + Enhanced Shock Trooper
  • Zenene
  • Sledgeworm
  • Armored Shock Trooper
  • M.O.T.H

Two-Person Team vs. Dynamic Duos: Any team of two will suffice, however running Cloud and Aerith isn’t a bad idea. Fire and Thunder Materia are a must for this challenge, and having Breach Materia as well is worthwhile, as you’ll face-off against enemies who can cast Shield and Reflect. You will encounter, in order:

  • Phantom + Ghost
  • Elite Shock Trooper + Elite Helitrooper
  • Grungy Bandit + 3-C Soldier Operator
  • Hellhound + Zenene
  • Sweeper + Queen Grashtrike

Six Star Challenge

Three-Person Team vs. Monsters of Legend: This is a true gauntlet, so be prepared. Make sure that you have Aerith on your team, as her healing abilities (particularly her healing Limit Break) will be incrtedibly valuable. The enemies you face down also don’t have any traditional, elemental weaknesses, so use your Assess Materia right away, figure out your plan of attack, and play smart! You will encounter, in order:

  • Bomb
  • Tonberry
  • Type-0 Behemoth
  • Bomb + Tonberry
  • Malboro

Seven Star Challenge

Vs. Top Secret: This challenge can only be taken on once you’ve done all of the prior challenges, fulfilled all of Chadley’s Battle Intel, and defeated all of the Corneo Colosseum Challenges too. Once you’ve done all that, brace yourself. You’re in for a tough one! You will encounter, in order:

  • Shiva
  • Fat Chocobo
  • Leviathan
  • Bahamut
  • Pride and Joy Prototype

With all of this intel at your disposal, you’re ready to take on the Shinra Combat Simulator challenges in the FF7 remake. If you’re still having trouble taking down any of these foes, check out our Final Fantasy 7 Remake combat tips guide right here.