During battles, each unit (player and enemy) has an invisible, swift countdown gauge. When it hits 0 (zero), that unit gets to make their move. The initial wait time is affected by:
- Occasional preordained wait count; there are battles in which a certain enemy is scripted to have very few wait counts, or none at all, giving them the first move.
- The units' AGL (agility).
After the initial moves, the wait is then affected by the attack being used, and the formation. With some exceptions, stronger skills and slower units will have longer waiting periods. The Wait penalty for a given skill will be displayed to the left in battle or when the skill is viewed via the inventory. The unit's AGL stat and the skill used are calculated to determine how long it will take before they can move again. The countdown halts for everyone until the current turn is over, then it continues again until the next unit's gauge decreases to 0, allowing them to move next.
The durations of status effects, both positive and negative, are also controlled by the Wait counter.
There are a number of skills that alter the target's wait time, affecting their movement opportunities. Said skills inflict one of the following Wait-changing statuses:
- Wait -x: Deducts x counts from the target's Wait Gauge, allowing that unit to move sooner.
- Wait +x: Adds x counts to the target's Wait Gauge, delaying their movement. Skills that cause this effect often add more Wait to the user, to prevent an infinite Wait lock.
- Invert: This will change the target's Wait to Max Wait-Current Wait. For instance, if the target is at 5/35 Wait before having their Wait inverted, they will then be at 30/35 Wait. This can help or hinder the target depending on their original Wait.
The status conditions Sleep, Freeze and Stone will freeze the wait gauge of the affected character until they are cured. Their Wait can still be modified with skills, but they will not act until the condition is lifted even if a skill sets their Wait to zero.
- There is actually an in-game way the player can see the wait gauges, but at the sacrifice of not seeing the status reminders. One must open the battle menu, go to Config, and from there, it can be toggled between Wait and Status.
Wait is similar in functionality to its Riviera incarnation, though some tweaks have been introduced to work with the Action Sequence system. The gauge system has been replaced with a more straight forward value system that is affected by the unit's equipment. Unlike Riviera, units do not need their Wait time to reduce to zero in order to act again. Units who have zero wait will be labeled with READY. Units who are made to act before their wait is completely reduced are penalized with a percentage of HP loss based on the wait value, as well as a loss in VIT.
The accumulated weight of the unit's equipment greatly affects their Wait. Ridding them of unneeded items to reduce their Wait can be helpful. Delay, though similar, has its differences and the two work hand-in-hand.