In “Final Fantasy VII”, stats effect everything from physical damage, magic damage, defense, to even the speed of the ATB bar. And there are only a select few ways to raise these precious stats. The most common of which, is through leveling up.
As a character levels up, he or she becomes stronger, and the way that the character becomes stronger is through the increase of stats. With each level up, a character obtains a random amount of HP, within specific boundaries, as well as a number of other random stat increases. The maximum number that any specific stat can have, excluding HP, is 255. This means if one character's Strength stat was 255, then that character would be doing the maximum amount of damage possible in the game, though damage caps out at 9999 and therefor 255 Strength is not needed to achieve this damage. In addition, the cap on HP is also 9999, meaning if a character with 255 Strength got the Confused status and attacked an ally for 9999 damage, he or she would instantly die, regardless of defense or HP.
However, there is another way to raise stats and make characters stronger, and that is through the use of Sources. Throughout the game, the player will find Source items such as Guard Source which raised the Vitality/defense stat or Mind Source which raises the Magic Defense stat. These items can be found quite often in certain chests or hidden areas of specific dungeon-type sections of the game. Though the player is not simply limited to the rare, non-renewable ones found as the game progresses.