Status effects have always been a key part of all Final Fantasy games. Final Fantasy X has a similar set of status effects to other versions of the game, though modified slightly for the unique combat mechanics of this game. Negative status effects generally are more dangerous to your party than to enemies, because enemies are more likely to be immune to them. The following guide to negative status effects in Final Fantasy X will help you avoid the nastiest effects and use them on enemies when appropriate.
Berserk – This is a status effect that you pretty much can’t inflict on an enemy, but can be inflicted on your characters. When affected, your character acts more quickly and deals more damage, but does nothing other than attack a random enemy every turn. This lack of control is especially bad when this is inflicted on a spell caster. There isn’t any specific cure to this effect, so you will need an Esuna spell or a Remedy. Make sure you have at least two characters capable of providing those options, in case one gets hit with Berserk. If a character is hit with Berserk that was just going to attack anyway, like Tidus or Kimhari, don’t bother removing the effect unless you are concerned that other characters will get hit with it as well and you will lose all control.
Confuse – Confuse is an absolutely brutal status effect. Like Berserk, you lose control of the Confused character. Unlike Berserk, a character under the effect of Confuse attacks one of your characters instead of the enemy. Thankfully this attack does not deal increased damage. You will again need either Esuna or Remedy to remove this effect.
Curse – Curse prevents a character from using overdrives. This is actually close to meaningless in a majority of battles and is easily removed with Holy Water. You should generally ignore this status effect except in boss battles. Keep a stock of at least 10 Holy Waters at all time and this should never negatively affect you.
Darkness – This is one of the rare status effects that you can easily inflict on an enemy, using either Darkness Attack or Darkness Buster. When a character is hit with this, the accuracy of that character plummets drastically. This has absolutely no effect on spells, so you have no reason to both removing it from a primary spell caster. It only affects physical attacks. Eye drops will remove this from your party members and they are cheap. You generally want to have 20 or more in your inventory since this is a common status effect. When using Darkness on enemies, remember to only use it on enemies that use physical attacks.
Delay – There is absolutely no way to remove Delay, which makes it a very dangerous status effect. You can counter it, partially, by casting Haste on the character affected by it or by casting Slow or Slowga on enemies, but you can’t directly remove the effect. A Delayed character will miss one or more turns. Conveniently, you have two attacks that can Delay enemies, Delay Attack and Delay Buster. In this case, the inability to remove this status effect helps you.
Doom – Doom puts a countdown timer over a character’s head. At the end of the timer, the character dies. Haste actually makes this timer move more quickly, so be careful of this status effect when you are speeding up your characters. Thankfully it is easily removed by Holy Water. Alternatively, you could cast Auto-Life on the character with Doom if you don’t have any Holy Water, though that is a much more expensive option than Esuna, which also works.
KO – This is the status that your character gains when it runs of out hit points. An enemy will never gain this status. All enemies simply disappear when defeated. For an ally, you can remove this status with a Life spell, a Full-Life spell, or using a Phoenix Down. You can also preemptively prevent the status by casting Auto-Life on the target. If all allies have this status you lose the game and when an ally recovers from this status, all effects that were on the character before the KO are gone.
Petrify – Effectively, this is an alternate version of KO, except it requires different spells or items to cure. Soft is the primary cure for this effect, though Esuna and Remedy will also work. It is best to keep about a dozen Soft items in your inventory at all times, because they are cheaper than the alternatives.
Poison – Poison is an effect that simply deals damage to a character. The damage is dealt every turn the character acts. The damage is 25% of the character’s total health, so it will kill quickly. A Hasted character will die even more quickly, which means you do not want to cast Haste on an ally that is affected by Poison. Regen will directly counter this effect healing the same damage that Poison deals and you can also remove it with an Antidote, which is dirt cheap. If a battle will finish before a Poisoned character will act next, you can safely ignore the effect. You can also put this effect on enemies with the Bio spell, but the damage limit prevents it from devastating bosses in four rounds.
Silence – Silence is the bane of all spell casters. A character affected by Silence can’t cast black magic or white magic spells. If you see a spell casting enemy, hit it with a Silence effect and you have all but nullified the enemy. The same is true when your allies are hit by this effect. Silence can be removed with an Echo Screen and completely ignored by any ally that doesn’t cast spells.
Sleep – Sleep is essentially a weaker version of KO or Petrify. One advantage of Sleep over KO is that any effects on the character are not removed when the character is awoken, so the character will still be Hasted or affected by Protect, for example. Any physical damage will break a Sleep effect and you can remove it with Esuna or Remedy. Unfortunately, there is no item specifically designed to remove Sleep. If you use a skill to put an enemy to Sleep, remember to only attack the enemy with spells once it falls asleep.
Slow – This effect reduces the speed of a character to roughly half the normal rate. You can inflict this effect on an enemy with the Slow or Slowga spell and enemies will try to inflict it on you. The Haste spell directly neutralizes this effect and it can also be removed with Esuna or Remedy.
Zombie – Zombie is a moderately meaningless status effect. The affected character takes damage from healing effects rather than heals. In a boss battle, this is incredibly meaningful, but in a normal battle, it means almost nothing. You can usually win most normal battles without every having to heal and enemies rarely heal themselves. You can conceivable use this effect to let your allies cast Cure spells on enemies to hurt them, but it is easier and more effective to teach some black magic to any ally with white magic. Holy Water will directly remove this effect in any battle that matters.