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Like its GameCube predecessor, Crystal Bearers features fully real-time combat ,but unlike its predecessor this one focuses in a single player action adventure sandbox gameplay. Enemies and regular civilians apparently are able to show emotion or status effects via symbols hanging over their heads, such as hearts for attraction or musical notes for satisfaction. The producers have suggested that enemies do not necessarily grow stronger as the game progresses, but that they gain a wider variety of tactics and abilities instead. It has also been shown that some enemies have the ability to hurt fellow creatures also opposing the player. This is part of a reaction AI system, in which different creatures react in unique ways to other creatures nearby and to the player's attacks.

Telekinetic abilities feature heavily in the game. The player is able to perform different combat actions via telekinesis, including moving certain enemies against their will,making them use there ability's against other enemy's and utilizing various objects as telekinetic projectiles. The player is also able to perform some type of reaction element with creatures that will affect them in different manners.

To further the telekinetic gameplay, the player is able to utilize his abilities to interact with the environment, such as to activate switches or even grab onto ledges from a distance via an energy-based grappling hook; furthermore, he is even able to perform such actions as moving civilians against their will. Some civilians also share a trait with enemies in that they are able to knock the player away with force.

Unlike other RPG final fantasy games this game, being an action adventure, does not have a level up system, instead the player can customize Layle's stats using accessories that the player makes using monster drops and other items that you find while exploring to enhance his kinetic abilities or even add special effects to Layle like double recover, rolling damage or static resistance. The player can also increment the characters maximum HP by clearing miasma stream fights and collecting the myrrh of each area .

Based on the most recent video trailers and the general setting of the game, fighting in the sky is also a feature of the gameplay. Quicktime events will also appear throughout the game, forcing the player to take necessary actions with the controller during certain events, such as aiming the remote and shooting demons while falling through the sky. It's been commented that while most of these events are for mere enjoyment, some must be completed in order to advance the story. Other gameplay aspects as hinted at by the trailers include participating in minigames, traversing the land on chocobos (which can ram through enemies and some background objects and also what appears to be chocobo racing), riding on trains, and swimming.