Final Fantasy XIV is the second MMORPG to be released as a part of Square Enix's Final Fantasy series, following in the footsteps of Final Fantasy XI. The game in its current iteration is a fully redesigned relaunch of the original version, which was released in 2010. The relaunch, subtitled "A Realm Reborn" was released on August 27, 2013 on PlayStation 3 and PC. Following the release, versions for PlayStation 4, OS X, and PlayStation 5 would be introduced.
Since relaunching, the game has received several expansion packs, including Heavensward, Stormblood, Shadowbringers, and Endwalker. Each of these expansions has brought with it new character classes, new areas, and new campaigns. As of the 5.3 update, Heavensward was made free to all players, alongside all classes and quests present in the expansion.
Original Release and Reaction
Final Fantasy XIV "Version 1.0" began its first stage of alpha testing on March 10th, 2010, with a second stage on June 10th, 2010. Closed beta testing began on July 13th, 2010, and the game's open beta started on September 2nd, 2010. The game launched with a Limited Collector's Edition on September 22nd, 2010, and the standard edition launched on September 30, 2010 worldwide on Windows PC platforms. The game was not released as a part of Square Enix's PlayOnline service that Final Fantasy XI operates under, but under a new "Square Enix Account" system planned for use with all future Square Enix online titles.
Upon its release, Final Fantasy XIV was savaged by critics and players alike for dull, tedious, and outdated gameplay. The response was so severe that Square Enix president Youichi Wada publicly apologized for the game's quality. The game's development team was soon reorganized, with the free trial period being extended while the company made efforts to improve the title.
The PlayStation 3 version of the game was put on indefinite hold, while the title's many faults were addressed.
A New Leader and A Realm Reborn
Following the game's extremely negative reception, widespread internal changes occurred as the Final Fantasy XIV development team attempted to respond to the game's criticism. Among a number of other changes, this internal turmoil led the game's producer, Hiromichi Tanaka, and director, Nobuaki Komoto, to leave their roles on the game. Filling in both roles would be Naoki Yoshida, then a relative unknown among fans of Square Enix titles.
Following his appointment, Yoshida prioritized communication, both internally and with the playerbase, as well as researching modern MMOs rather than basing Final Fantasy XIV on its predecessor. Combined, these led many systems to be removed (Fatigue system, Physical levels, etc.) or reworked (Guildleves), in an attempt to fix the game's poor reception.
While the changes made to the original game were welcomed, many other changes could not be implemented due to limitations in the original game's engine and servers. These concerns, combined with the potential damage it would do to the Final Fantasy brand were the changes not fixed, caused the team to commit to completely rebuilding the game from the ground up, as a new client originally named Final Fantasy XIV: Version 2.0.
On November 11th, 2012, the original version of the game was shut down. Shortly before the servers were deactivated, a CG trailer was played which concluded the story of the original game while introducing the plot of its subsequent reboot, with Hydaelyn being battered by an onslaught of meteors and nearly being destroyed by Bahamut.
A few months after the shutdown of the original game's servers, Version 2.0, now known as "A Realm Reborn", entered extensive pre-release testing. Unlike the original release's beta test, where pre-release feedback largely went unanswered, the game underwent a great many changes while in beta testing due to player feedback.
A Realm Reborn, introduced numerous elements that were not possible in the original game. These include, but are not limited to:
- Major performance improvements.
- Completely rebuilt maps.
- A new party search feature and cross-server play.
- New player estates, including linkshell/guild housing.
- A completely reworked main scenario.
- A new UI for PC and a controller friendly UI for PlayStation 3, including the support of add-ons for both versions.
- Player vs. Player content.
- Delivery Services via moogles.
- The ability for players to jump.
The relaunched Final Fantasy XIV went on sale August 27, 2013 for Windows and PlayStation 3 in Japan, North America, and Europe simultaneously to nearly universal acclaim, alongside receiving praise for the complete turnaround the title made from the original release.
The Armoury System
Reminiscent to the job system used in previous Final Fantasy games, Armoury is the system through which player classes are chosen and swapped between. Rather than directly swapping between classes, however, this class system is tied to weapons. Each weapon type represents a different character class. Selecting a weapon type will grant you basic abilities for the class tied to it. As you fight with that weapon type and use the class abilities it grants, your skill with the weapon will increase, granting you new abilities. At any time, you can change your weapon, switching classes in the process. For example, equipping a staff will activate the conjurer class, while equipping a bow will activate the archer class, and equipping a fishing rod will activate the Fisher class.
Most classes have an advancement class, a secondary level featuring slight differences and a wider range of abilities. These advancement classes are typically accessible by using a Soul Crystal after reaching a certain level as the associated class. However, certain jobs lack advancement classes, due to being introduced in post-launch expansions, and thus lack advancement classes but begin above Level 1.
Classes within the Armoury system are further divided into four disciplines: Disciples of War, of Magic, of Hand, and of Land. The combat roles are then grouped into three sub-distinctions: DPS, tank, and healer.
Disciplines are the different paths of activity and skill that an adventurer may devote themself to. Using the Armoury system, one may switch between classes under all disciplines.
Disciples of War
Disciples of War is one of the two types of combat class, focusing on physical attacks. Disciple of War is the only type of class to feature tanks, however it lacks any healer class and has few ranged options.
|Weapon||Starting Class||Advancement Class||Role|
|Fists||Pugilist (PGL)||Monk (MNK)||Melee DPS|
|Polearms||Lancer (LNC)||Dragoon (DRG)||Melee DPS|
|Daggers||Rogue (ROG)||Ninja (NIN)||Melee DPS|
|Katanas||Samurai (SAM)||N/A||Melee DPS|
|Bows||Archer (ARC)||Bard (BRD)||Physical Ranged DPS|
|Firearms||Machinist (MCH)||N/A||Physical Ranged DPS|
|Throwing Weapons||Dancer (DNC)||N/A||Physical Ranged DPS|
|Greataxes||Marauder (MRD)||Warrior (WAR)||Tank|
|Swords||Gladiator (GLA)||Paladin (PLD)||Tank|
|Greatsword||Dark Knight (DRK)||N/A||Tank|
Disciples of Magic
Disciples of Magic is the second of the two combat class types, focusing on ranged spellcasting. Disciple of Magic is the only type of class to feature healers, and also prominently features ranged DPS, although it lacks a tank class.
|Weapon||Starting Class||Advancement Class||Role|
|Staves||Thaumaturge (THM)||Black Mage (BLM)||Magical Ranged DPS|
|Rapiers||Red Mage (RDM)||N/A||Magical Ranged DPS|
|Canes||Blue Mage (BLU)*||N/A||Magical Ranged DPS|
|Books||Arcanist (ACN)||Summoner (SMN)||Magical Ranged DPS|
|Books||Arcanist (ACN)||Scholar (SCH)||Healer|
|Wands||Conjurer (CNJ)||White Mage (WHM)||Healer|
|Star Globes||Astrologian (AST)||N/A||Healer|
Blue Mage is the first, and currently only, Limited Class. As a limited class, Blue Mages get increased experience from fighting standard enemies, but can not progress through Main Story Quests, and can not participate in certain activities, like Duty Roulette or PvP.
Disciples of the Land
Disciples of the Land encompasses every gathering class. Disciples of the Land can only be activated after a player reaches at least level 10 in any Disciple of War or Magic class, and can not participate in most combat situations such as Duties and FATEs. Disciples of the Land have unique secondary tools, but lack advancement classes.
|Tool||Secondary Tool||Class||Gathered Material|
|Hatchets||Scythes||Botanist||Plants and Wood|
|Fishing Rods||Fishing Tackles||Fisher||Fish|
Disciples of the Hand
Disciples of the Hand encompasses every crafting class. Like Disciples of the Land, a player can only become a Disciple of the Hand after reaching at least level 10 in any Disciple of War or Magic class, and can not participate in Duties or FATEs. Disciples of the Hand also lack advancement classes, but have secondary tools.
|Alembics||Mortars||Alchemist||Potions and Magic weapons|
|Hammers||Files||Blacksmith||Weapons and Tools|
|Saws||Hammers||Carpenter||Furniture and Wooden tools|
|Knifes||Awls||Leatherworker||Leather armor and Accessories|
|Needles||Spinning Wheels||Weaver||Light armor and Cloth accessories|
Final Fantasy XIV has a total of eight playable races to choose from in character creation. The races have different starting attributes, although these differences are slight enough to be negligible. Three races (Au ra, Viera, and Hrothgar) were added in expansion packs, and are only available to players who own the associated pack. However, since Heavensward was made free as of the 5.3 update, Au ra can be made by all players, since all players have Heavensward.
Thought to hail from Eorzea's neighboring continents, the Hyur are typically considered to be Eorza's most populous race. Their modest build is well-adapted to walking long distances.
Human in all but name, two major types of Hyur exist: the shorter, city-dwelling Midlanders and the bulkier, mountain-dwelling Highlanders.
A nomadic people who were originally Eorzea's only significant population, many Elezen still view the region as their divine right. Despite the comparability of the Elezen and Hyur in all fields save height, the Hyur were viewed by most ancient Elezen as a threat to be fought. Following this long conflict, the Elezen split and settled into two opposing views.
The two resulting groups were the fiercely defensive Wildwood Elezen and the reclusive Duskwight Elezen.
An unmistakably short kind, the Lalafell are often mistaken for children by the rest of Eorzea's people. However, the Lalafell come from a long tradition of agricultural skill and economic acumen, making them a valuable part of the realm's commercial history. In fact, it is largely due to Lalafellin involvement that Ul'Dah is as prosperous as it is.
Comparable to Final Fantasy XI's Tarutaru, Lalafell are typically categorized into the crafty Plainsfolk and scholarly Dunesfolk variants.
First appearing in Eorzea during the Age of Endless Frost, the Miqo'te were drawn to Eorzea in pursuit of migrating wildlife. Aiding their hunting-centric lifestyle, Miqo'te boast a strong sense of smell, stronger legs, and a long tail for balance. They are often considered to be a solitary people, even when living near large cities.
Popular due to their comparability to catgirls, Miqo'te tend towards two clans: the light-revering Seekers of the Sun and the night-prowling Keepers of the Moon.
In the original release of Final Fantasy XIV, only female Miqo'te were playable, despite male Miqo'te existing in the game's lore. This was changed in A Realm Reborn, where both male and female Miqo'te are now playable.
A bulky people, the Roegadyn are Eorzea's physically largest race by far. They originate from small islands, with most living either along the shoreline, acting as fishermen and sailors for the Sea Wolves Tribe, or near volcanoes, protecting what they view to be the entrance to the underworld alongside the Hellsguard. Despite the historical infamy both groups have garnered due to their fierce piracy and combat skills alike, they now enjoy an even greater reputation as skilled warriors, blacksmiths, and sailors.
Comparable to Final Fantasy XI's Galka, Roegadyn hail from either the Sea Wolves or the Hellsguard.
In the original release of Final Fantasy XIV, only male Roegadyn were playable. Beginning in A Realm Reborn, female Roegadyn were made playable as well.
The first post-release playable race, Au Ra were introduced in the game's main story after the launch of A Realm Reborn. However, they were not playable until the Heavensward expansion, and don't come to play a significant role until the Stormblood expansion.
Originally from the continent of Othard, the Au Ra have taken refuge in Eorzea following political unrest in their home continent. They feature scales, horns, and tails, leading some to believe they descend from dragons, however this claim is largely discredited.
Au Ra hail from one of two clans: the peaceful yet solitary Raen clan or the Xaela, a roaming warrior clan.
The Hrothgar were introduced in the Shadowbringers expansion, alongside the Viera.
Hrothgar originate from the distant nation of Ilsabard, and are a large, beastly kind, covered in fur from head to toe. Their appearance was initially frightening to many in Eorzea, however these fears were quickly alleviated upon communication between the Hrothgar and the denizens of Eorzea.
Hrothgar are often aligned between two clans: the Helions, whose lives revolve around a central queen, and the The Lost, who have left their original homes.
Upon their addition to the game, only male Hrothgar were playable, with female Hrothgar being said to exist, albeit very rarely. At Fan Festival 2021, it was announced that playable female Hrothgar would be introduced some time after the Endwalker expansion.
A returning race from Final Fantasy XII, the Viera were added in the Shadowbringers expansion, alongside the Hrothgar.
Residents of the Othard forests, Viera are a reclusive kind, often living apart even from each other. They are similar to Elezen, although they bear distinct, rabbit-like ears. Viera culture ties itself to the Green Word, a code condemning interaction with the outside world in non-emergency cases. Even more seldom-seen are male Viera, who tend to the shadows of the woods to protect their villages, due to the matriarchal nature of Vieran society.
As Viera spread to different forests, two clan distinctions arose: the jungle-residing Rava and the mountainous Veena.
Upon their addition to the game, only female Viera were playable, despite male Viera existing with the lore of both Final Fantasy XII and XIV. However, at Fan Festival 2021, it was announced that male Viera would be playable beginning with the Endwalker expansion.
Final Fantasy XIV is set in the fantasy world of Hydaelyn, although many of the games locations are regions of Eorzea, Hydaelyn's largest continent. Later expansions to the game have introduced entirely new regions, however, such as the Far East and Norvrandt. Within each region lie a central city-state, often being the largest city in the region and the focus of that region's society.
Far to the South, in the deserts of Aldenard, lies the bustling commercial hub of Ul'dah. Many walls and fortifications have been built up around the characteristic dome-shaped citadel at its center. The city is a well-known center of wealth, and as such, gambling and recreational activities form a large part of daily life. The sultan serves as a figurehead for the city's leadership, but it is the Syndicate, a group of six powerful merchants, who wield the real political power.
Limsa Lominsa is located off the southern coast of the island of Vylbrand, under the shadow of ancient cliffs carved by the relentless Rhotano Sea. The city is actually placed on many different islands or man-made formations known as sea stacks. Bridges span across each island in a kind of latticework pattern; a sight so beautiful, bards have named it "The Navigator's Veil." The goddess Llymlaen is said to have blessed Limsa Lominsa because she took pity on the sailors of a great armada that had to flee from battle. The rocks destroyed their ships and with no means to travel and no home to return to they settled in the islands using the remaining vessels that they had to begin construction. The people of Limsa Lominsa did not forget their old ways, but merely gathered strength to rebuild and adventure out again. Their influence soon spread throughout the five seas of Eorzea. These legends formed the backbone of their society and their country's leader is referred to as "Admiral."
The shipping industry is key to Limsa Lominsa's financial success. The Knights of the Barracuda secure the safety of mariners and ensure the safety and reliability of shipping route's. However, piracy, reaving and pillaging still runs rampant and other nations believe that the Knights of the Barracuda are actually working with local bandit pirates and are trying to make a profit off unwary travelers.
Gridania is located in the Eastern reaches of the continent, and is nestled among the great woodlands of the area. The architecture blends seamlessly with the surrounding natural beauty, and the inherent natural harmony of the setting has lead to Gridania's prominence in trades such as forestry, carpentry, and agriculture. Gridania is also home to many skilled leather-workers, and the fate of the city is governed by the will of the forest's elementals.
Bastion atop the mountains. A forest city-state located in Eorzea. A story in Eorzean history, "Tales of Bridges," describes Ishgard.
Aetheryte is the name placed upon large crystal shards found in the crystallized aetheric mist. They were precisely cut and fused to arcane machinery. These crystals are at the backbone of all everyday teleportation and are found throughout the realm, mainly in the individual city-states in which they are managed and operated. The origins and functions of these crystals is still very much a mystery. It is not known who constructed these crystals or what they were originally used for. Even though they are commonly used for teleportation, the actual process remains unknown. However, some have theorized that when a sentient presence approaches the crystal, it triggers the aether of the crystal and the body resonates with the crystal, breaking down into simple mass which then flows through the invisible aetheric streams of the planet. The person's soul is what actually guides the particles to the pre-determined destination and the crystal reconfigures the mist back into its original form. This is all instantaneous and this make easy travel to the far reaches of the world.
In the original release, teleportation through Aetheryte's was regulated through a concept called Anima. Your character would consume some of this for each teleport taken, and the greater the distance, the greater the Anima consumed. This was replenished at a very slow rate and limited its continuous use. This was changed in the transition to A Realm Reborn, and now Gil is used for teleportation.
The Athernet is made up of smaller scale Aetheryte crystals inside a city. They are used for quick travel between locations inside the city. As with the larger Aetheryte crystals, you have attune yourself to an Aethernet crystal in order to be able to teleport to that crystal's location. However, teleportation within an Aethernet is entirely free.
One of the character mascots of the Final Fantasy series, Chocobos are available as player mounts within the word of Eorzea. You can either rent a chocobo within the three city-states for Gil, or you can get your own personal Chocobo. You must attain an enlisted rank within one of the three Grand Companies of Eorzea, and have 1,000 Grand Company seals in order to purchase a Chocobo Whistle, which can be used thereafter to call upon your own personal "horsebird". This is usually around character level 25ish.
There are several sets of Barding for your Chocobo available in the game. This changes the look of your Chocobo. There are 3 slots for Barding. (head, body, legs) They are available through reputation grinds (Grand Company), Veteran Rewards or maxing out the spec which is explained below.
When you have your Grand Company Chocobo, you can consume a "Gyshal Greens" item and your chocobo will fight alongside you as a companion. It is considered a party member. Therefore if you and a friend are in a party and each have your Chocobo out, you're unable to invite anyone else.
Once you get your Chocobo. You have 3 options you can "spec" it into. Tank, Healer or DPS. There are 20 Ranks (Levels). The EXP you earn from killing monsters is split with the Chocobo if you have it summoned. The Chocobo earns points at each rank which you can put into each "spec tree". If you put all points into a speicifc rank you earn a Barding set based on the spec. (Paladin barding for Tank, Dragoon Barding for Damage and White Mage barding for Healer)
Along with chocobos, the game has a plethora of options available to players for mounts ranging from Magitek Armor, Goobbues, Fat Chocobos, Behemoths and more.
Subscription Information and Pricing
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a pay-to-play MMORPG, in much the same way as Final Fantasy XI and World of Warcraft. With the purchase of A Realm Reborn, players receive a thirty-day free trial.
Currently, the subscription fee follows this structure:
|Legacy||$9.99 / £6.89 / 9.99 €||8||40||30 days|
|$12.99 / £7.69/ 10.99 € |
($71.44 / £46.14 / 65.94 €)
|$13.99 / £8.39/ 11.99 € |
($41.97/ £25.17 / 35.97 €)
|$14.99 / £8.99/ 12.99 €||8||40||30 days|
|Entry||$12.99 / £7.69/ 10.99€||1||8||30 days|
* All subscription fees are subject to change in accordance with the terms of the FINAL FANTASY XIV User Agreement.
With the launch of A Realm Reborn, a legacy membership system was introduced to reward those who subscribed to the original version for at least ninety cumulative days during the time the game required a subscription fee to play. These benefits include:
- A specially discounted subscription price.
- An exclusive in-game Chocobo mount.
- The option to have their name be displayed in the credits.
- Early access to A Realm Reborn.
Veteran Rewards are special in-game item bonuses granted to players based on the total number of days they have subscribed.
|Rank 1 (30 Days)||Advent Attire Set (A cosmetic set themed after Cloud Strife's Advent Children appearance.)|
|Rank 2 (150 Days)||Tantalus Attire Set (A cosmetic set themed after Zidane from Final Fantasy IX.)|
|Rank 3 (240 days)|
Wild Rose Attire Set (A cosmetic set themed after Final Fantasy II.)
|Rank 4 (330 Days)|
Rewards are granted based on the number of days subscribed, rather than time played or subscription days used. For example, paying for 150 days of service at once will grant both the 30 day and 150 day rewards on the first day, rather than on day 30 and day 150 respectively.
The following methods can be used to pay A Realm Reborn's subscription fees.
|Credit/Debit Card||Accepts VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card, and JCB.|
|Square Enix Crysta||A site-wide currency offered by Square Enix, purchased at a one cent to one Crysta rate.|
|Prepaid Time Card||Sold through retailers, in either 30-day or 60-day variants.|
* Additional payment options may be introduced in the future.
Preorder/Collector's Edition Bonuses
A Realm Reborn
Upon preordering either the Collector's or Regular package of A Ream Reborn, a player received:
- Early Game Access
- Two In-Game Items: Cait Sith Doll Minion and a Mog Cap
Those who purchase the Collector's Edition of A Realm Reborn on either PC or PS3 receive 7 additional bonuses:
- Exclusive box art by Yoshitaka Amano
- "The Art of Eorzea - A Realm Re-imagined" - 80 page art book by Akihiko Yoshida
- "The Waning of the Sixth Sun" - DVD showcasing the stories leading up to the destruction of the original game world.
- Four In-Game Items -Players will receive the Helm of Light, a Coeurl Mount, Behemoth Barding for their Chocobo, and a Baby Behemoth Minion pet.
- "Sounds of Eorzea" - A Special soundtrack CD with music from the cities and fields of Limsa Lominsa, Ul'dah and Gridania.
- Art Card Set - Five art cards featuring art by Square Enix Visual Works.
- Themed Security Token - An "A Realm Reborn" themed Security Token which can been used to make your account more secure.
The PlayStation 4 Collector's Edition includes all the above bonuses as well as two more items.
- Wind Up Moogle minion
- Fat Chocobo mount
*These bonuses will also be applied to accounts of those who purchased previous Collector Editions
* Players will be able to upgrade their standard accounts to Collector's Edition status after game launch for $19.99/¥2,300 (EU Pricing not yet available). This purchase will give players the CE .
The Collector's Edition, released a full eight days prior to the release of the standard edition, contained the following in addition to those items included with the standard edition:
- Early Access
- Behind-the-Scenes DVD
- Security Token
- Travel Journal
- Right of Passage - A personalized certificate with a unique serial number
- Buddy Pass - Lets a friend play free for a limited time
|OS: Windows 8.1 64-bit or Windows 10 64-bit||OS: Windows 8.1 64-bit or Windows 10 64-bit|
|Processor: Intel Core i5 2.4GHz or higher||Processor: Intel Core i7 3GHz or higher|
|Memory: 4 GB||Memory: 8 GB|
|Graphics: NVIDIA GTX750 or higher, AMD R7 260X or higher||Graphics: NVIDIA GTX970 or higher, AMD RX 480 or higher|
|Network: Broadband Internet Connection||Network: Broadband Internet Connection|
|Storage: 60 GB available space||Storage: 60 GB available space |
|DirectX: 11||DirectX: 11 |
A 32-bit client, as well as DirectX 9 support were previously available, but were deprecated in 2019 following the release of Shadowbringers.
|OS: macOS Mojave 10.14, Catalina 10.15|
|Applicable Models: iMac (Late 2014) or higher|
|Memory: 4 GB|
|Storage: 60 GB|
|Graphics: AMD Radeon R9 M295X or higher|
|Internet: Broadband Internet Connection|