FF7 Remake

How to Beat Airbuster | Boss Fight Guide (Normal & Hard Mode)

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Airbuster Battle

This is a guide to beating the Boss Airbuster in the game Final Fantasy 7 Remake. This article explains Airbuster's attack patterns, weaknesses, and tips and strategies for defeating it on both Normal and Hard Mode.

Airbuster Stats and Information

Basic Information

Airbuster Enemy Icon
Species Movement Type
Mechanical Grounded Boss


A large mobile weapons platform currently being developed by the Advanced Weaponry Division. Although still in the prototype phase, it was rushed into action to aid in the public execution of Avalanche members.

Assess (Tips)

Lightning attacks rapidly fill its stagger gauge.

Airbuster Stats

Easy Normal Hard
HP 18066 32848 87718
Attack 119 328
Magic Attack 119 328
Defense 126 342
Magic Defense 134 363

Airbuster Weaknesses & Resistances

Weakness / Status Ailments Lightning
Lesser Resistances -
Greater Resistances Stop
Immunities Poison, Silence, Sleep, Slow, Berserk, Proportional Damage
Absorbed Elements -

Stagger Rates

×0.75 ×0.75 ×0.75 ×1
×1 ×1.5※ ×1 -

Stagger Length

Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4
10 seconds 10 seconds 4 seconds 10 seconds

Changes form as it takes damage

Each time Airbuster takes a set amount of damage, it will change its form and its attack pattern. Keep these phases in mind as you fight to have a better shot at defeating it.

Summary of phases

Remaining HP Method of Attack
100% Attacks with lightning attacks
75% Will start charging and fire the Tankbuster attack
50% Will fly into the air and attack from afar


Easy/Normal Hard
Gil 550 2250
AP 10 30
Exp 550 4500
Items Dropped Titanium Bangle (100%)
Rare Items Dropped -
Steal AI Programming Core (12%)

Learnable Enemy Skills

No Enemy Skills can be learned from Airbuster.

List of Enemy Skills

How to Pressure Airbuster

Phase Situation
Phase 1 For 5 seconds after damage equaling 8% of its max HP has been dealt.
Phase 2 For 5 seconds after damage equaling 10% of its max HP has been dealt.
Phase 3 For 3 seconds after damage equaling 8% of its max HP has been dealt.
Phase 4 For 5 seconds after damage equaling 10% of its max HP has been dealt.

Breakable Parts

Name HP Details
Arms Easy: 2428
Normal: 4415
Hard: 11790
Airbuster's arms can only be reduced to 1 HP. Easily staggered by physical attacks.

Airbuster Boss Fight Guide

Airbuster Abilities and Attack Patterns

Name Element Blockable? Knockdown? Status
magical.pngFinger Beam
- Yes No
Stun (8 sec)
Shoots electric beams from its fingers.
physical.pngBig Bomber
- Yes Yes -
Opens its lower half and releases bombs after 6 seconds. Can be prevented by hitting its lower half with two abilities or a Limit Break while open.
physical.pngRear Machine Gun
Phase 1.jpg
- Yes No -
Aims its machine gun behind itself and fires at a target.
physical.pngRear Grenade
Phase 1.jpg
- Yes Yes -
Aims its grenade launcher behind it and fires grenades.
magical.pngEM Field
Phase 1.jpg Phase 2.jpg
- Yes Yes -
Releases electricity orbs onto the battlefield.
physical.pngFront Machine Gun
Phase 1.jpg Phase 2.jpg Phase 3.jpg
- Yes No -
Fires a machine gun from its front, hitting anyone in its path.
magical.pngEM Depth Charge
Phase 1.jpg Phase 2.jpg Phase 3.jpg
- No No
Stun (8 sec)
Scatters 3 depth charges (more in phase 2). After 2 seconds the depth charges will release orbs of lightning.
Divide and Conquer
Phase 2.jpg
- - - -
Detaches its arms.
Phase 2.jpg
- - - -
Reattaches its arms.
magical.pngTank Buster
Phase 2.jpg Phase 3.jpg Phase 4.jpg
- No Yes -
Charges its cannon for 3 seconds before releasing a wide wave of energy.
Phase 2.jpg Phase 3.jpg Phase 4.jpg
- Yes No -
Sprays flames from its hands.
magical.pngShoulder Beam
Phase 2.jpg Phase 3.jpg Phase 4.jpg
- Yes No -
Fires lasers from its shoulders. The lasers can change directions and go after targets.
magical.pngEnergy Ball
Phase 3.jpg
- Yes No -
Fires balls of energy from the cannon on its chest in all directions.
Phase 3.jpg Phase 4.jpg
- Yes No -
Hurls its fist at a target.
physical.pngHammer Blow
Phase 3.jpg Phase 4.jpg
- Yes Yes -
Charges its fist full of electricity and slams it down on a target. Will alternate fists hitting up to 5 times in phase 4.

*Status Effects and Ailments Guide

Airbuster Arms Abilities

Name Element Blockable? Knockdown? Status
magical.pngLightning Strike
Phase 2.jpg
- No No -
Moves close to the Airbuster and creates a wall of electricity.
physical.pngRocket Punch
Phase 2.jpg
- Yes Yes -
Charges at a target.
Phase 2.jpg
- Yes Yes -
Grabs a target and binds them in place during Tank Buster. Will let go if 1% of its total HP is dealt in damage or if hit by an ability.

*Status Effects and Ailments Guide

Best Characters for This Boss

Available Characters

Cloud IconCloud Barret IconBarret Tifa IconTifa

The Airbuster is encountered during Chapter 7. In this chapter, Cloud, Barret, and Tifa is available.

Best Equipment for Characters

Cloud Icon.jpegCloud Role: Attacker & Healer
Weapon: Buster Sword
Armor: Mesmeric Armlet
Accessory: Power Wristguards
Barret Icon.jpegBarret Role: Tank
Weapon: Light Machine Gun
Armor: Star Bracelet
Accessory: Crescent Moon Charm
Tifa Icon.jpegTifa Role: Attacker
Weapon: Sonic Strikers
Armor: Leather Bracer
Accessory: Power Wristguards

Best Materia for Cloud

Weapon (3 Slots)
Armor (2 Slots)

Use spells from the Lightning Materia to deal extra damage but remember to save some MP for healing and reviving. Summon Ifrit and spam Radiant Plume as soon as possible.

Best Materia for Barret

Weapon (3 Slots)
Armor (2 Slots)

Using Barret in this batte is slightly requires more work. As soon as the battle begins, use Overcharge for the ATB charages then have him cast Barrier on himself. Once the Barrier is up, accumulate ATB charges for Lifesaver then follow it with Steelskin. This will make Barret tank most of the hits taken by other members. If Barret needs healing, use his Chakra or have Cloud cast Cure (or higher if needed) on him.

Best Materia for Tifa

Weapon (4 Slots)
Armor (2 Slots)

Use Tifa as your main attacker during the first two phases and when the Airbuster comes close in Phase 3. After reaching Chi level 3 using Unbridled Strength for the damage boost, spam spells from the Lightning Materia since Tifa does not have any other spell to use. After this, use every ATB charge you accumulate on Focused Strike. Every time this ability hits fills up the ATB gauge so you can almost use it one after another.

Airbuster Attack Phases

Phase 1

Phase Highlights
1 Uses timed Lightning Mines, easily avoidable
2 Fires Machine Gun shots at you
2 Uses Big Bomber, can deal 1000+ damage

Phase 2

Phase Highlights
1 Will start to use Tankbuster, a huge laser with a wide attack range
2 Your Summon Gauge will start to fill
3 Detaches its Arms with Divide and Conquer
4 Left and Right Arms attack independently
5 The Arms can make an electric field between them
6 The Arms also shoot Fingerbeams

Phase 3

Phase Highlights
1 It will start flying with jet engines
2 From afar, it will attack with:
・Small homing missiles
・Lightning orbs
・Lightning Mines
3 When close, it will:
・Shoot Fingerbeams
・Use flamethrowers from its palms
・Punch several times with its Arms
・Shoot Tankbuster
4 It will use Big Bomber both when close and afar

Tips & Strategies for Beating Airbuster

Strategy Checklist
(Click to jump)

Use Key Cards to Dispose of Airbuster components

Use Key Cards to Cripple Airbuster

By using Key Cards on the 3 Consoles spread out in the Assembly facility, you can cripple the Airbuster's movements, damage output and ammunition. We strongly recommend removing the weapon components, AI Programming Cores or Big Bombers instead of getting items.

The Effects of Removing Components

Component Effect
AI Programming Cores ・Will use Fingerbeams less
・You will get stunned less
Big Bombers ・Will use Big Bomber less
・Will have less ammunition
・Damage will decrease a bit
M Unit ・Get a random item
・No effect on the battle

Where to Find Key Cards

Find Key Cards before the Battle
You can find Key Cards in the facility rooms with the consoles. These are all before the battle itself, so make sure you pick them up before you challenge the Airbuster.

Stagger it with Thunder

Staggered Airbuster
No matter the phase, Airbuster is weak to Thunder and can be Staggered by it. You only have few openings to go full power, so try to Stagger it as much as you can.

Avoid the Lightning Mines

Lightning mines that stun you
Airbuster will spread out a couple of Lightning Mines. These will be on the ground for a little while before unleashing a lightning field that will stun you, so you have the time to avoid them and definitely should!

Once it's got you stunned, it will fire Big Bomber at you. Depending on your level and difficulty, this can deal 1000 damage, so avoid the mines and rob him of easy targets.

Avoid the Tankbuster Beam

When you get it to around 75% health, Airbuster will shoot out a huge laser with its Tankbuster move.

It takes a while to charge and the Airbuster will place itself so you can take cover to the sides, so make sure to avoid it.

While it's shooting the laser, you can switch to Barret and get some good damage in.

Defeat the Arms First

Airbuster Arms
Airbuster will send off both of its Arms to attack you on their own with the Divide and Conquer move.

They both have the same weakness as the boss itself, Thunder, but they also don't take a lot of damage from normal attacks, so try to Stagger them or switching to Punisher mode for more damage output.

Attack with Barret when it's Flying

Flying Airbuster
At 50% health, Airbuster will bust out jet engines and fly out of reach. You won't be able to reach with Cloud or Tifa's attacks, so switch to Barret and rain bullets on it.

Use Close Ranged Attacks when it Comes Close

Unleash your Limit Breaks on the Airbuster

When it comes back to the railing you are fighting on, give it everything you got. Limit Breaks and Summons work especially well, and you can get in a lot of damage if you Stagger it while it's close.

Airbuster: Hard Mode Guide

Best Characters and Equipment

Cloud Icon.jpegCloud Role: Mage
Weapon: Mythril Saber
Armor: Force Bracelet
Accessory: Circlet
Tifa Icon.jpegTifa Role: Attacker
Weapon: Metal Knuckles
Armor: Force Bracelet
Accessory: Champion Belt
Barret Icon.jpegBarret Role: Healer & Tank
Weapon: Gatling Gun or Big Bertha
Armor: Supreme Bracer
Accessory: Survival Vest

Cloud as the Mage

Cloud has the best Magic damage output and potential with his Mythril Saber combined with the Circlet. You will want to use him whenever you need to stagger with the help of Lightning magic.

TIfa as the Hitter

Once Airbuster is staggered switch to Tifa and let her rip. Make sure you have max Chi lv. when you stagger it. Use Rise and Fall and Omnistrike to increase the stagger bonus damage and use True Strike for maximum damage.

Barret as the Healer

With Barret's large health pool and ability to fight from afar, he has the best chances of living the longest, making him an effective healer. Switch to him whenevery you need to heal, revive or simply need to attack from afar, especiialy during Phase 3.

Best Materia to Use

The number of slots in your Weapon may vary depending on your Weapon Level.


Weapon (6 Slots)
Armor (3 Slots)


Weapon (6 Slots)
Armor (4 Slots)


Weapon (6 Slots)
Armor (4 Slots)
How to Beat Airbuster on Hard Mode

Link Lightning and Elemental for Increased Damage

Elemental Materia.png

Due to being unable to use items on hard mode, you will have no way to recover MP outside of regeneration, so it is best to link up the Elemental and Lightning materias on each character's weapon to add lightning to your physical attacks.

Remove Its AI Cores


Throughout the chapter when you receive card keys, you want to focus on removing its AI Cores to prevent it from using its Fingerbeam attack. The attack is difficult to predict and will stun your characters for 10-15 seconds, so the less Airbuster can use this attack the better.

Watch Out for its Arms!


Just like in normal, when Airbuster uses Divide and Conquer it will detach its arms and send them to each side of the arena. A new mechanic in hard is that they can now grab you and bind you, leaving you wide open to taking the full brunt of Tankbuster when it uses it. When the arms appear focus one down as quickly as possible with all of your attacks to avoid this attack.

Beware of Tankbuster in the Final Phase

When its HP gets low, it will begin to use Tankbuster twice in quick succession. When it begins to charge the attack get away from its front and stay away until both go off. Getting hit by just one of these will deal massive damage on hard mode and leave you open to get hit by the next one.

Boss Fight Related Articles

List of Boss Battles

Major Story Bosses

All Major Story Bosses
Chapter 1 Scorpion Sentinel
Chapter 4 Roche
Chapter 5 Crab Warden
Chapter 7 Airbuster
Chapter 8 Reno
Chapter 9 Hell House
Chapter 10 Abzu
Chapter 11 Ghoul
Chapter 13 Failed Experiment
Chapter 14 Abzu (2nd Fight)
Chapter 15 The Valkyrie
Chapter 16 Specimen H0512
Chapter 17 Jenova Dreamweaver
The Arsenal
Chapter 18 Motor Ball
Whisper Harbinger

VR Mission Bosses

All VR Mission Bosses
Chapter 8 Shiva
Chapter 9 Fat Chocobo
Chapter 13 Leviathan
Secret Boss Bahamut
Superboss Pride and Joy Prototype

Story Sub-Bosses

All Story Sub-Bosses
Chapter 2 The Huntsman
Chapter 3 The Hoodlums
Chapter 4 Enigmatic Spectre
Chapter 12 Enigmatic Spectre
Chapter 17 M.O.T.H. Unit
Brain Pod

Monster Variants & Optional Sub-Bosses

All Monster Variants & Optional Sub-Bosses
Chapter 3 Doomrat
Cerulean Drake
Wrath Hound
Chapter 8 Hedgehog Pie King
Mark II Monodrive
Chapter 14 Rust Drake
Type-0 Behemoth
Chapter 17 Malboro

Intergrade and INTERmission Bosses

Intergrade and INTERmission Bosses
Chapter 1 Levrikon
Chapter 2 Scarlet & The Crimson Mare
Nero the Sable
Optional Ramuh
Weiss the Immaculate
Pride and Joy Mk. 0.5 (Top Secrets)


1 Anonymousabout 4 years

No card key video guide for this guy please.


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