Critical Mode is the latest game difficulty added in Kingdom Hearts 3’s version 1.04 update. When playing in Critical Mode, your HP and MP are halved and enemies become extremely powerful. The mode is aimed at players seeking a challenge. Critical Mode can be started from a new game file or from a cleared game save.
Critical Mode implements a variety of changes, as indicated below.
- Maximum HP and MP are halved.
- The chances of triggering Situation Commands are lower
- Damage dealt by enemies is greatly increased
- Certain pre-unlocked abilities can be equipped at the start
- Critical Mode-specific abilities are added
- Automatically equipped with Soldier Earrings at the start
Critical Mode Abilities
These abilities can be equipped when playing in Critical Mode and will be helpful throughout the playthrough.
|Critical Counter||Deal extra damage with reprisals by blocking right before an enemy attack lands.|
|Critical Recharge||Fill the situation command gauges more quickly while recharging MP.|
|Critical Converter||Green attraction indicators no longer appear, but filling the gauge always produces a formchange command. Indicators may still appear for certain battles.|
These abilities will be usable at the start of the game on Critical Mode. You will also have around 70 AP to equip abilities that will help you progress through the story.
|Aerial Recovery||Press the circle button after taking damage in the air to right yourself.|
|Counter Slash||Press the X button after a successful block to slash nearby enemies. Reprisal ability.|
|Counter Impact||Press the X button after a successful block to send surrounding enemies flying. Reprisal ability.|
|Counter Kick||Press the X button after a successful block to attack distance enemies. Reprisal ability.|
|Final Blow||Press the X button after performing a reprisal attack to instantly move next to the enemy and continue attacking.|
|Risk Dodge||Press the circle button right after an enemy breaks your gaurd to perform special evasive actions. Press the X button to perform a counterattack while risk dodging.|
|Rising Spiral||Press the circle button to launch enemies into the air during a combo|
|Groundbreaker||Press the circle button to slam enemies to the round during a combo.|
|Air Slide x3||Tilt the left analog stick and press the square button while in the air to air dash and evade attacks.|
|Superslide x3||Tilt the left analog stick and press the square button to air dash a long distance. Stack the ability to increase its effect. Flowmotion ability.|
|Combo Master||Continues combos even if your swings miss the enemy.|
|Damage Control||Halve the damage you take when your HP is at 25% or below. Stack the ability to increase its effect.|
Tips for Clearing Critical Mode
Clear the game on other difficulties.
It is recommended to clear the game at least once on other difficulties before attempting Critical Mode. This allows you to gain some familiarity with enemies, especially bosses, encountered in the main story. Doing so also lets you to import Keyblades you have obtained in the cleared game save, as implemented in the version 1.05 update.
The Ultima Weapon, for instance, gives you access to the Ultimate Form. This form possesses the Second Chance and Withstand Combo abilities for greater chances of survival. The Ultima Weapon’s Situation Boost ability also increases the chances of triggering Situation Commands in battle.
Clear Objectives for Lucky Emblems, Photo Missions, and Collector’s Goals
Equipment obtained from collecting Lucky Emblems and clearing objectives in Photo Missions and Collector’s Goals are extremely useful in Critical Mode. Give yourself time to acquire them as you progress through the main story.
|All Lucky Emblem Locations||Photo Missions|
Attack groups of enemies with magic.
Try to avoid getting swamped by enemy mobs as much as possible when attacking with your Keyblade. Most enemies, even non-boss ones, are capable of taking you out in one or two hits. Isolate your target from the group and defeat it before picking off another target. Use magic to deal with enemies if they clump together.
Eat cooked meals.
Bonuses gained for eating cooked meals helps you deal increased damage against enemies in Critical Mode. Take the time to cook whenever you can.
Use healing items.
Having a good supply of potions will help you survive tough encounters. You will want to keep your HP nearly full at all times since enemy attacks will deal massive damage in Critical Mode. Stocking up on ether is also recommended as you are likely to find yourself out of MP more often in battle.