Monsters in the party can be renamed and equip decorative items that change their appearance in battle.Monsters grow by using items, unlike the human characters who use Crystogen Points.The defeat of the human characters in the party results in a game over.Characters grow via a revamped Crystarium system, and they have levels unlike the previous game, gained by moving through the Crystarium.Players can customize a monster's stats via leveling up through items, and adornments can be given to monsters to change their appearance.
The gates are activated by finding artefacts in various ways, such as in hidden treasure chests using Mog.
Though the player still controls one out of a three-member party, they are able to initiate the Change Leader option to switch the party member they control during battle.
If the current party leader is KO'd, the party leader is automatically switched to the other human character.
One new gameplay element, called the Mog Clock, has been added, where the player must attack monsters on the field before the time is up to get the upper hand in the ensuing battle.
When the player attacks a monster, the screen lights up and the scene switches to a battlefield, marking the start of a battle.