Final Fantasy XIII-2 Crystarium Primer (wip)
  • [CENTER]

    What is this primer for?


    This is not a guide on how to play the game according to me. I'm not here to tell you how to spend your expansion bonuses or what role levels you should be at by the 17th boss in the game. I'm not going to tell you how to build the ultimate monster pack. My goal is to hopefully drop some knowledge bombs that will help you understand the system and develop the party that you want, the way you want.

    Video Guide - Made by TheBratterz!
    This video basically sums up everything I am trying to say, but it does it in English. Thanks for letting me post here!

    What is the Crystarium?

    The Crystarium is a linear map of empty nodes that is shared between all six roles available to your characters. When you spend CP it "fills" the next empty node in the path with the role crystal that you have chosen and you gain a level. Every level you earn will give you a stat bonus (HP, Magic, Strength) and at certain milestones you will learn a new ability for that role. After gaining enough levels you will unlock a Cystarium Expansion which will grant you a new string of empty nodes along with an Expansion Bonus. Through these you can unlock new roles, additional ATB segments, role boosts and more.

    Within the Crystarium you will find both small and large nodes. When you advance to a small node you will simply gain the stats or ability associated with that specific role level. Large nodes give a Role Bonus in addition to the baseline stat bonus. Role bonuses are permanent stat increases. This means that you can give your character an extra boost of Strength, Magic, or even HP by simply staggering the order in which you level up you roles based on the size of the next empty crystal.


    The role bonuses are as follows:

    • COM +2 Strength
    • RAV +2 Magic
    • MED +6 HP
    • SEN +6 HP

    • SAB[e] +2 Strength
    • SAB[o] +2 Magic

    • SYN[e] +6 HP
    • SYN[o] +2 Magic

    [e] = even levels
    = odd levels
    Noel's baseline COM growth from level 1-10 (You start this role at level 2) assuming we use only small nodes.
    Magic Strength HP
    Level 1: 0 0 0 (Attack)
    Level 2: 0 0 0 (Ruin)
    Level 3: 0 2 1
    Level 4: 0 0 0 (Blitz)
    Level 5: 0 0 11
    Level 6: 0 2 0
    Level 7: 0 0 11
    Level 8: 0 0 0 (Blindside)
    Level 9: 0 2 1
    Level 10: 0 0 10

    Total: 0 6 34
    Noel's potential
    COM growth from level 1-10 (You start this role at level 2) assuming we use only large nodes.
    Magic Strength HP
    Level 1: 0 0 0 (Attack)
    Level 2: 0 0 0 (Ruin)
    Level 3: 0 4 1
    Level 4: 0 2 0 (Blitz)
    Level 5: 0 2 11
    Level 6: 0 4 0
    Level 7: 0 2 11
    Level 8: 0 2 0 (Blindside)
    Level 9: 0 4 1
    Level 10: 0 2 10

    Total: 0 22 34

    More examples comparing raw growth with potential role bonuses
    Here's an example using Noel, with his COM role advancing from level 2 to 3.

    Baseline bonus (Small Node): +2 Strength, +1 HP
    Baseline + Role Bonus (Large Node): +4 Strength, +1 HP

    SABoteurs and SYNgergists are a bit different. Odd and even levels will provide different bonuses.

    Here's an example using Noel, with his SAB role advancing from level 23 to 24[e].

    Baseline bonus (Small Node): +2 Magic, +2 HP
    Baseline + Role Bonus (Large Node): +2 Magic, +2 HP, +2 Strength

    Here's an example using Noel, with his SAB role advancing from level 24 to 25[o].

    Baseline bonus (Small Node): +1 Magic, +1 Strength, +22 HP
    Baseline + Role Bonus (Large Node):+3 Magic, +1 Strength, +22 HP

    Let's do a useless thought experiment and put our wicked math skills to the test. For science!
    -I want to Serah to have as much Magic as possible by end game.
    -I will mainly play her as a RAV.
    -I need a SAB to debuff bosses and hard enemies.
    -I need a proper MED because my cat in a sleeping bag sucks.
    -Noel is my main COM/SYN/SEN.

    Things to Know

    -Max role level = 99
    -197 Large nodes available
    -195 Potential Magic Bonuses
    -Three possible ways to get Magic bonuses.
    (97 from RAV, 49 from SYN[o], 49 from SAB[o])

    Priority System
    Large: RAV -- SAB[o] -- SYN[o]
    Small: MED -- SAB[e] -- COM -- SEN/SYN[e] --

    -I earn every Magic bonus available (195).
    -I progress quickly through both the RAV and MED roles, learning new abilities along the way.
    -I have the freedom to level my SAB role whenever I want without affecting stat growth.
    -I have not wasted points/potential bonuses in roles that I do not want to use.
    -I am not leveling roles I am not interested in just to optimize stats.
    What does this actually mean?

    If you're anal enough, you can greatly increase the stat growth of your characters. With around 200 large nodes you can mix and match the bonuses as you see fit. If you want to go for the super specialist route you can do that too.

    The below comparison shows the total stat growth of your characters once they are Level 99 in all roles. In other words these are the stats you will gain by progressing through all roles from 1-99. The figure on the left is guaranteed stat growth and the numbers on the right represent the absolute highest that stat can get from leveling/role bonuses alone. Although the odds of not gaining a single role bonus for a stat is incredibly low, it is possible. Your actual stat gains will probably fall somewhere in the middle.

    On the left, NO role bonuses for that stat. On the right, EVERY possible role bonus for that stat.


    --- 667
    --- 850
    - 7720

    520 --- 812
    375 --- 765
    8200 - 9670

    Potential Stat Gain: 292 Strength or 390 Magic or 1470 HP

    As you can see, any role bonuses that provide HP are not exactly awesome when compared to Strength and Magic. With that it mind it may be beneficial to focus on leveling your MED and SEN roles by exclusively using small nodes. Unless of course that potential 1470 HP or the influx of new abilities means more to you than the other stats do.

    If I've done my job right, you should at least understand that you have that choice now. :)


    You have to make a choice between the short term and the long term. You can spend all of your CP on a single role and you will unlock all of the abilities rather quickly, but my level 50 COM will outperform your level 99 with all else equal. Does that matter? Of course not. It's a single player game that you can steamroll through.
  • Thanks for this! The Crystarium in XIII-2 definitely has some intricacy to it.
  • Great post, thanks!
  • Great post! Unique in the forum too. Would love to see more of this kind of thing :)
  • You called it a cat in a sleeping bag :D I love hearing it!

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