FF8 Weapons Monthly locations are some of the most important pieces of information available in the entire game, yet, as with many of its other features, it's not something that's communicated to the player very clearly from the beginning. For those unfamiliar with how magazines work in FF8, the various flavors all have a different effect on content the players gain access to - with Occult Fan, players get information on the UFO? sidequest, while each issue of Pet Pals teaches Angelo new combat tricks.
While those two shouldn't be missed, they're ultimately not going to affect a player's ability to progress to the end game. That's not true of FF8 Weapons Monthly magazines, which will eventually allow the player to unlock character's Ultimate Weapons. If the name wasn't a big enough clue, Ultimate Weapons in Final Fantasy games will typically be the best option for each character by a wide margin, and almost always unlock before the final sequences of the game's narrative, making final bosses much easier to deal with. While FF8 SeeD Rank can help sort money problems and properly training GFs can give players an advantage, they're not quite as satisfying as seeing a character end their journey with the coolest-looking weapon they could possibly have.
Luckily, FF8 Weapons Monthly magazines are fairly easy to pick up if players know where to look, which this guide will showcase. Even if a magazine is missed, there will be options in either Eshtar or by using the Tonberry GF's Item-related abilities to find them - but delaying their acquisition delays the best weapons in the game, and in particular, Squall becomes a much better character with each new gunblade that he acquires.
All FF8 Weapon Monthly Locations and Upgrades, Explained
FF8 - Weapons Monthly March Issue
- Location: Dropped by Elvoret, the boss at the top of the Dollet Communications Tower. Impossible to miss.
- Weapon Upgrades: Chain Whip (Quistis), Flail (Selphie), Metal Knuckle (Zell), Revolver (Squall)
FF8 - Weapons Monthly April Issue
- Location: After the SeeD graduation ball, Squall will wake up back in his room. Squall's desk will have the Weapons Monthly April Issue on it.
- Weapon Upgrades: Valiant (Irvine), Maverick (Zell), Pinwheel (Rinoa), Shear Trigger (Squall)
FF8 - Weapons Monthly May Issue
- Location: Before the attack on Edea, players can climb down the manhole outside the Presidential Residence and go left to find the Weapons Monthly May Issue.
- Weapon Upgrades: Slaying Tail (Quistis), Ulysses (Irvine), Valkyrie (Rinoa), Cutting Trigger (Squall)
FF8 - Weapons Monthly June Issue
- Location: Obtained automatically after defeating BGH251F2, a giant war machine that will spit out a crew after being beaten. Once the team mops up those enemies, they'll automatically earn Weapons Monthly June Issue.
- Weapon Upgrades: Morning Star (Selphie), Gauntlet (Zell), Red Scorpion (Quistis), Flame Saber (Squall)
FF8 - Weapons Monthly July Issue
- Location: Explore Balamb Garden's Training Center after the Battle of the Gardens. The left path will contain Weapons Monthly July Issue visibly laying on the ground.
- Weapon Upgrades: Bismarck (Irvine), Crescent Wish (Selphie), Rising Sun (Rinoa), Twin Lance (Squall)
FF8 - Weapons Monthly August Issue
- Location: At the Gargoyle Fountain in Galbadia Garden, the Weapons Monthly August Issue magazine is on the ground at the edge of the screen.
- Weapon Upgrades: Ehrgeiz (Zell), Cardinal (Rinoa), Save the Queen (Quistis), Punishment (Squall)
FF8 - Weapons Monthly 1st Issue
- Location: During the final Laguna sequence, the player will gain access to Dr. Odine's lab. The Weapons Monthly 1st Issue is lying on the lab floor. This is entirely missable - it's the only opportunity for players to grab it.
- Weapon Upgrades: Exter (Irvine), Strange Vision (Selphie), Shooting Star (Rinoa), Lion Heart (Squall)
FF8 Weapons Upgrades Explained
FF8 weapons aren't usually bought, but they're rather upgraded using materials earned while playing the game. It's a departure from usual Final Fantasy equipment and one that Final Fantasy 9 refined to be a bit more forgiving, but in FF8, collecting materials from rare monsters is often the main method in acquiring better weapons.
But there are ways around that. Players don't even need to specifically know which materials or enemies they're targeting as long as they follow one golden rule: learn the Card ability from Quezacotl as early as possible, and cast it as often as the game will allow. Then, get the Card-RF ability from Quezacotl as well. These two in combination will mean that players will acquire a huge amount of Triple Triad cards over the course of the game while also keeping their level down - beating enemies with Card doesn't give EXP, but still provides AP. This is good for two reasons - cards can be refined into materials, many of which are hard to find otherwise; and enemies scale with level in FF8, so avoiding needlessly acquiring levels is beneficial.
Beyond that, make sure to keep Squall's SeeD Rank as high as possible, because it will increase his monthly stipend from Balamb Garden, which will in turn give the player access to more money. Some materials can be bought, especially once players gain access to the Cactuar GF. Beyond that, though, more money means less need to sell items like materials when Squall gets cash-strapped. As FF8 can make things difficult for players early when it comes to Gil, getting to hold onto materials from the beginning will make sure weapons upgrades are much more painless than they would be otherwise.
Finally, it's okay to miss weapons upgrades for characters players know they're not that interested in. FF8 does force party configurations on a somewhat frequent basis, but the player will typically have access to their chosen ones more often than not. Grinding materials in FF8 can be a nuisance, and if the cost is not enjoying the game for what it is, then no Ultimate Weapon is worth it - except maybe Lion Heart, which is one of the coolest weapons ever made in a Final Fantasy game and remains a topic of discussion well past FF8's time in the spotlight. Good luck acquiring all the weapons and make sure not to miss any Weapons Monthly Issues!