Of course, the general consensus is that you shouldn’t level up in Final Fantasy VIII. At least not in the traditional way. But many ways exist to get powerful in Final Fantasy VIII. You can level up:
- Elemental armor and weapon power by junctioning magic to increase your stats.
- Weapon by purchasing/finding parts for it.
- Your Guardian Forces.
- Items into magic (also known as refining).
And you can also grind in several different ways. The most traditional way to grind is through battling, but this has a way of increasing your character’s levels. You can enter a battle, only to draw magic (whereby once junctioned, you’ll get stronger). You can grind through card battles to get more cards and refine them into magic or items. And if you want to purchase items instead, you can take a test to increase your gil income. Studying and taking tests are a type of grind.
If you didn’t have a guide finding the many ways to level up would have been satisfying. But many used a strategy guide.