Every Final Fantasy game ever published has a different set of mechanics than the other games. In Final Fantasy X, the primary mechanic for increasing the power of your characters is the Sphere Grid. The Sphere Grid is a partially free form method of boosting character stats and gaining new abilities. Used in the simplest ways, it is designed to allow characters to follow paths that roughly equate to classes from other games. Using certain tricks, you can actually sidestep those expectations rather thoroughly and give your characters unexpected abilities. The following tricks to the Sphere Grid in Final Fantasy X will help you create the characters the way you want.
Blitzball – As odd as it may seem, the best way to improve your characters on the Sphere Grid is by participating in a mini-game that has nothing to do with the Sphere Grid. The reason for this is that you can earn a handful of spheres by winning Blitzball leagues. Blitzball leagues can potentially reward you with a Level 1 Key Sphere, a Teleport Sphere, or a Return Sphere.
Level 1 Key Sphere – Since you can start getting these spheres in multiples early in the game, you can traverse paths the game doesn’t expect you to traverse. For example, with just five of these spheres, Rikku, Wakka, Tidus, and Lulu can all move to each other’s portion of the Sphere Grid and can also all learn the Scan ability.
Teleport Sphere – In some ways even more powerful than the Level 1 Key Sphere, the Teleport Sphere lets one character jump to the any position on the Sphere Grid that another character has unlocked. Since you can use Blitzball to get these early, you can easily have a whole party full of white magic users from almost the very start of the game, if that is what you wanted.
Return Sphere – If you are using Teleport Spheres, this sphere is critical for building character stats. It lets a character jump back to a place on the Sphere Grid that the character has already unlocked. This lets a character return to a previous grid area after delving into other abilities. Since it prevents the need to backtrack, it will save you lots of ability points and greatly speed up how quickly your characters improve.
Level 2 Key Sphere – About halfway through the game, in Macalania, you will find your first Level 2 Key Sphere. A Level 2 Key Sphere will never get you access to an area that a Level 1 Key Sphere can’t already get you access to, but it can speed up your progress on getting to really good abilities. The main skills that this sphere gives you quick access to are Hastega, Curaga, Firaga, and Mug. The last is not particularly useful, but it can greatly speed up your path to the Bribe skill. There are other skills it can also give you quicker access to, but they aren’t as useful.
Bribe – There are three spheres that can almost exclusively only be obtained through use of the Bribe skill. These three spheres are the Ability Sphere, Black Magic Sphere, and White Magic Sphere. These are particularly precious because you can use them to activate an ability for a character that any other character has activated, without actually jumping to that spot. This is best used for ultimate abilities. Because these spheres are so powerful, you want to learn Bribe as early as possible on at least one character. Besides the above mentioned spheres, the Bribe skill can also be used to acquire every Key Sphere in the game.
Level 3 Key Sphere – Just like Level 2 Key Spheres, the Level 3 Key Sphere basically just gives you fast access to abilities that previously required a lot of work to reach. There is a single exception to this rule, though. The Entrust skill can only be acquired by spending either a Level 3 Key Sphere or a Level 4 Key Sphere. Since the former is less valuable, use it to unlock Entrust.