First thing’s first, stop reading here if you’d prefer not to be spoiled on a few events that happen in Final Fantasy XV. This is your only warning!
During the course of Final Fantasy XV, there are several party members that will join Prince Noctis and his retinue as they travel the world of Eos. Classified as “guests”, they’ll only show up for a certain amount of time in the story. One such character is Aranea Highwind. We won’t go too deep into the how and why she joins your party — but later on in the game, as you travel about the world, there’s a certain chance that Aranea will appear overhead in her dropship and join the battle.
Of course, curious players have been messing with this feature, and a few have stumbled upon a way where Aranea can join your party near permanently. Youtube user Whimsic al documents the steps in order to accomplish this in the video below.
Here’s how they claim it works:
This method uses the boundaries of enemy encounters, the camping system, and saving system. In the Leide region, it’s possible under certain conditions, to spawn and Iron Giant in a specific location north of Cotisse Haven after midnight. It’s here that Aranea has a pretty good chance of showing up overhead. As soon as you spawn this enemy, duck out of the combat perimeter and fast travel back to the nearby haven while Aranea’s dropship approaches.
Once you return, hit up the camp menu as fast as possible before her descent animation plays. Here you can swing the camera around to verify if Aranea’s ship did indeed show up. After she jumps down, select “Camp” from the menu and hit the hay. In the morning everything should be normal, but reloading the auto-save should find you with a brand-new party member at your side.
(You can check out more detailed instructions in the video’s description.)
Some reported drawbacks are that you won’t be able to activate “On Tour” segments when you camp with her. You also won’t be able to level her or change her gear, just like other guests — and no, she can’t squeeze in the Regalia either. In order to get rid of Aranea, if you so choose, players have found that continuing main story quests and cutscenes will remove her. If you’re in the post-game you’ll need to head toward the final events of the game in order to kick her out.
If you’re not down with this method of recruiting Aranea, your patience may be rewarded. Director Hajime Tabata detailed earlier this month that later patches to the game would introduce the possibility to make important characters playable. Whether that means that they are returning guests or are full-on playable, level-able, or customizable remains to be seen, but we imagine Aranea has to be high on the list of possible candidates.