Abilities are special powers that each character possesses, and are gained by equipping equipment that has said abilities. Abilities generally fall into two categories: action and support.
Signified by a red jewel icon, action abilities allow your characters to attack with special moves that they would otherwise be incapable of performing. Usually, these abilities cost MP, but not all of the time.
Signified by a blue-green jewel icon, these are special abilities that support and protect characters during battle. For support abilities to be functional, you must equip them with magic stones. Similar to MP, the maximum number of stones a character can use to equip abilities increases as the character levels up. The Main Menu shows two numbers for magic stones: the remaining number and the maximum number. The first number shows the remaining stones and will decrease as you equip support abilities. The second number indicates the maximum number usable by the character and increases as a character levels up.
To set magic stones on support abilities, select Ability in the Main Menu, and then select Equip. There are circles next to each support ability. The skill or guard is equipped if a magic stone appears to fill the slot. The Status Menu shows which support abilities have been equipped. A darker icon indicates that the ability is not equipped.
In general, you must equip items to learn abilities. Most items hold special powers that help draw out a character's innate abilities. Select Equip in the Main Menu to check which abilities a character can learn from items.
You can use action and support abilities as soon as you equip the item. However, you can't use them if the item is removed or replaced with another. To use abilities without equipping items, the character must learn them by gaining enough AP (Ability Points) for each ability. You gain AP by winning battles.
Each ability has an AP Gauge. This shows how many AP have been earned toward permanently learning the ability. When the ability is being learned, a green bar fills the gauge to a certain point, and a ratio indicates exactly how many points have been gained toward learning that ability. If the gauge appears in red with three stars, then the character has gained enough AP to use the ability without equipping an item.
You can press the X button while in the Status Menu to view all of the abilities that a character has learned. Continue to press the X button to page through the learned abilities.
It takes a different amount of AP to learn each ability. The same item that teaches one character an ability may not teach all other characters the same ability. In most cases, the other character must equip a different type of item, such as an Add-on, to learn the ability. Also, one character may learn an ability for 30 AP, whereas another character may need 50 AP to learn the same ability.
The following table describes Support Abilities.The Items section covers which items teach the corresponding abilities.