Catching a Chocobo isn’t mandatory in Final Fantasy VII, but taking part in this side quest is the key to obtaining the most powerful Materia in the game. If you’re simply looking to traverse the map without enemy encounters, that’s another reason to catch one of these yellow-feathered friends.
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Why Catch a Chocobo in Final Fantasy VII?
Riding around the world map on a Chocobo will help you avoid all enemy encounters while speeding up your journey.
If you’re aiming to power up your party, however, catching a Chocobo can also lead you to the strongest Materia in the game. By obtaining these Materia, you’ll become strong enough to defeat any monster in the game, including the powerful Emerald and Ruby Weapons.
The most powerful of these Materia include Mime, Knights of the Round, and Quadra Magic. Knights of the Round is the strongest summon Materia in Final Fantasy VII, capable of striking enemies thirteen times in a row. By equipping Mime, a character can copy the exact action of the previous character whether they have the proper Materia equipped or not. Quadra Magic, when attached to another summon or magic Materia, will let you use that Materia 4 times in a single turn–all for the price of one cast.
Additionally, by winning Chocobo races at the Gold Saucer, you can snag countless items, from Counter Attack Materia and Megalixers to Hero Drinks and mountains of Gold Saucer GP.
Preparing to Catch a Chocobo
You can catch a Chocobo after your first visit to the Chocobo Farm, but you can’t keep a Chocobo until after the escape from Junon when Cid becomes the temporary leader of the party. For those playing the original release, this happens on disc 2.
If you catch a Chocobo without already having rented a stable, the Chocobo will run off once you dismount. After leaving the Great Glacier, stables become available. Head to the Chocobo Farm to reserve one for 10,000 Gil. Up to six can be rented, which will become useful for Chocobo breeding later.
Two items are necessary to successfully catch a Chocobo. First, the Chocobo Lure Materia. This needs to be equipped to encounter a Chocobo. The higher the rank of the Materia, the more likely you are to encounter a Chocobo.
You’ll also need to buy some greens before venturing out on your quest. These will keep the Chocobo from running away before you have a chance to capture it. A number of different greens can be purchased at the Chocobo Farm, with Gysahl Greens being the cheapest and least potent. Using these will only prevent the Chocobo from fleeing for a few turns, so it’s worth spending a bit more Gil for some higher-quality veggies if you’re able.
How to Catch a Chocobo
Equip your Chocobo Lure Materia and head to the world map. There are seven areas in the game where wild Chocobo roam, and you’ll know when you’re in the right place if you see some Chocobo tracks on the ground.
Search for Chocobo in these areas:
- Chocobo Farm Area
- Junon Area
- Gold Saucer Area
- Rocket Town Area
- Wutai Area
- Mideel Area
- Icicle Inn Area
Eventually, you’ll enter a fight with a Chocobo and, typically, a few other monsters. Once you kill all other enemies, the Chocobo will be yours. After a few turns, if you haven’t successfully killed the other monsters, the Chocobo will run away unless you feed him some Greens.
Be careful not to hurt the Chocobo. If hit, it will run away.
Once caught, you’ll be able to ride your fancy new Chocobo around the map. When dismounting, it will return to the stable if you rented one first.
About Chocobo Types
There are eight types of Chocobo in Final Fantasy VII. These types determine their speed, stamina, and other stats which are important for Chocobo racing.
When catching a Chocobo, its type isn’t immediately clear. To find out your Chocobo’s type, return to Choco Billy at the Chocobo Farm and select “Moving Chocobos.” He’ll then rate the Chocobo you’re caught by making a specific comment. Refer to the table below.
|Chocobo Type||Choco Billy's Description|
|Poor||"This one doesn't seem to be very good."|
|Weak||"I really can't recommend this one."|
|Mediocre||"This Chocobo's so-so."|
|Average||"This is a pretty average Chocobo."|
|Fair||"Mmm, this one's not bad."|
|Good||"Mmm, this seems like a good Chocobo."|
|Great||"This is a great Chocobo."|
|Wonderful||"This...is a wonderful Chocobo!"|
Specific types of Chocobo tend to appear in certain areas. Below, you can see what types are most common around the world map.
|Area||Types of Chocobo Found|
|Chocobo Farm Area||Poor, Weak|
|Junon Area||Poor, Fair|
|Gold Saucer Area||Average, Good|
|Rocket Town Area||Mediocre, Great|
|Wutai Area||Average, Fair|
|Mideel Area||Fair, Great|
|Icicle Inn Area (Snowy Field)||Weak, Wonderful|
Chocobo types won’t impact your ability to traverse the world map, but they matter when it comes to breeding and racing Chocobo.