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. A PlayStation 4 version was released on April 14, 2014. An OS X version was released on June 23, 2015.
Since relaunching, the game has received several expansion packs, including Heavensward, Stormblood, and Shadowbringers. 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Upon its release, Final Fantasy XIV was savaged by critics and players alike for dull, tedious, and outdated gameplay.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 reorganized and the free trial period was 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 Producer/Director and A Realm Reborn
On December 10, 2010, a massive shakeup occurred amongst the development and planning teams of Final Fantasy XIV, in wake of the game's extremely negative launch.
Naoki Yoshida, a relative unknown amongst fans of Square Enix titles, stepped in to the role of both Producer and Director, replacing the positions held by Hiromichi Tanaka and Nobuaki Komoto respectively. With this and other staff changes made at key positions, an air of change began in the development of the title. Yoshida opened lines of communication with the players through players polls, and new official forums. This kind of communication with players was unheard of in the series' previous MMO, Final Fantasy XI. Player feedback has became a top priority, and since his arrival, many game mechanics that players found arduous and non-friendly were removed (Fatigue system, Physical levels, etc.) or given totally new roles (Guildleves changing from the main crux of the game's content, to being a method of easier solo-play).
While many of the changes to the original game were welcomed by the game's player base, there were many other changes that the team could not implement due to limitations in the original game engine and servers. So, it was announced in late November 2011 that the game would be completely rebuilt from the ground up, and become an entirely new client. This project was originally named Final Fantasy XIV: Version 2.0.
The introduction of Version 2.0 brought numerous elements into play that were not possible in the original game. These include, but are not limited to:
- A completely new game engine based off of Square Enix's Luminous engine, allowing for better scaling of graphics, and therefore lowering the games' high PC requirements.
- Completely new geography to the maps, eliminating the original maps' repetitive nature.
- New party search feature to allow for cross-server play.
- New player estates, including linkshell/guild housing.
- New main scenario.
- 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.
- Players being able to jump while traveling on foot, or on chocobos.
On November 11th, 2012, the original version of the game was shut down, and a CG trailer showed the conclusion of the "Seventh Umbral Era" storyline which is being used to explain the massive changes in the world which came with the game's relaunch. Now labeled "Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn", the new game client went through extensive alpha/beta testing through the first half of 2013.
Unlike the original release's beta test, where nearly no feedback was taken into account, the game underwent a great many changes while in beta testing due to player feedback.
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 and praise for the complete turnaround the title made from the original release.
The Armoury System
The Armoury is a system reminiscent the job system used in previous Final Fantasy games. Rather than gaining experience and levels, however, this class system is tied to weapons. Each weapon type represents a different character class (for example, if your character picks up a one-handed sword, he becomes a Gladiator). 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, accessible by using a Soul Crystal after reaching a certain level as the associated class. These advancement classes have access to a variety of new abilities compared to their starter variants.
Classes within this system are further divided into the role distinctions of DPS, tank, and healer.
Some jobs, such as Samurai, Red Mage, and Dancer, were introduced in post-relaunch expansions, and as such lack advancement classes but start above Level 1.
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 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.
The Elezen are nomadic people whose race used to lay total claim over the land of Eorzea and predated all the other races on the lands of Eorzea. Beleiving this prominence to be ordained by the gods, they came to develop an esteemed sense of honor and pride. The Elezen are a characteristically tall, sporting slim physiques and large ears, which are so sensitive they can discern the squeak of a field mouse from several malms out.
Elezen players can choose between the "Wildwood" and "Duskwight" variants.
The diminutive Lalafell were originally a group of agriculturalists that used to live in the south seas. Thanks to transmarine commerce they found their way through the trade routes of Eorzea." Their race now is one of the most populated races in the region of Eorzea. Lalafells are extremely agile and are able to travel long distances due to their legs. Many of the Lalafells are also very intelligent and highly developed individuals. This race continues to be one of the friendliest races welcoming any outsider.
Lalafell players can choose between the "Plainsfolk" and "Dunesfolk" variants.
Lalafell are similar to the Tarutaru race from Final Fantasy XI.
The Hyur traveled across the sea to Eorzea from neighboring continents. Three massive migratory waves gave this race the highest population in the land of Eorzea. The Hyur brought massive amounts of technology to Eorzea and drove the cultural and technological progress for all those that reside in Eorzea. They also brought a very complex ethos. The Hyur are extremely focused on the individual and this initially caused a large conflict with the Elezen. Hyur can be found mainly among the Highlanders in the mountainous areas and the Midlanders who live in the lower elevations.
Hyur players can choose between the "Midlanders" and "Highlanders".
Hyur are Human in all but name.
The Roegadyn are found in the northern areas of Eorzea. This is where they came from when they landed on the shores of
Eorzea and remain a maritime people. Members of the race have a large muscular build and highly value competitiveness and unflinching courage. Most Roegadyn remain seaman located in the Limsa Lominsa area. Many have adventured out into the world to become bodyguards, mercenaries and even pirates by trade. Some Roegadyns have moved high up into the mountains of Ul'dah and become known as the Hellsguard, Roegadyn that have mastered magical arts.
Roegadyn players can choose between the "Seawolf Tribe" and the "Hellsgaurd Tribe" factions.
Roegadyn are similar to the Galka race from Final Fantasy XI.
Beginning in A Realm Reborn, female Roegadyn characters were introduced, and are a playable variation of the race.
The Miqo'te originated from hunting tribes that found Eorzea's seas turning the "Age of Endless Frost". At that time the land was covered by ice and passage between the islands was possible, which lead to an influx of foreign fauna which were hunted by the descendants of the Miqo'te. The Miqo'te belong to two different groups, the Seekers of the Sun and the nocturnal Keepers of the Moon. Both groups share an olfactory sense and powerful leg musculature which evolved from their past hunting and predation.
This race chooses to be very isolated and avoids contact with the other races even when they reside in the large populated cities.
Miqo'te players can choose between the "Seekers of the Sun" and "Keepers of the Moon" factions. Players who play as Miqo'te originally could only play as a female character, despite Square Enix stating that male Miqo'te do exist in the lore of Final Fantasy XIV. This was changed in A Realm Reborn, and male Miqo'te are playable, alongside female Miqo'te.
Miqo'te are popular among players, due to their similarity to catgirls.
The first post-release playable race, Au'Ra were introduced in post-relaunch updates, but were added as a playable race in the Heavensward expansion, and play a more significant role in 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, and are implied to descend from dragons.
Au'Ra players can choose between "Raen" and "Xaela" variants.
A returning race from Final Fantasy XII, the Viera were added in the Shadowbringers expansion. Residents of the Othard forests, Viera are a reclusive kind, often living apart even from each other. They are similar to Elezen, although feature long, rabbit-like ears.
Viera players can choose between "Rava" and "Veena" variants. Viera players can only play as a female character, despite male Viera existing in the lore of Final Fantasy XII and XIV alike.
Added in the Shadowbringers expansion, alongside Viera, Hrothgar originate from Ilsabard. They are a large, beastly kind, covered in fur.
Hrothgar players can choose between "Helions" and "The Lost". Hrothgar can only be played as male characters. Female Hrothgar are said to exist, although are said to be exceedingly rare.
The game takes place in the fantasy world of Hydaelyn. Players begin their adventures in the region of Eorzea, which is comprised of the continent of Aldenard and its surrounding islands. The region contains several city-states, including Limsa Lominsa, Ul'dah, Gridania, and Ishgard. Limsa Lominsa is a bustling port with a strong naval tradition, Ul'dah is a mining city located in the desert, Gridania is found deep in an ancient forest, and Ishgard is in the high mountains.
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.
The Aetheryte is the name placed upon the 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 abolished 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.
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.
A legacy membership program was instituted with the launch of A Realm Reborn as a bonus which provides several benefits for 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 and bonuses 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 that are awarded to players based on the total number of days they've been 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)|
Leonhart Attire Set (A cosmetic set themed after Squall from Final Fantasy VIII.)
Rewards are granted based on the number of days subscribed, not time played. 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 Cards or Debit Cards
Accepted are VISA, MasterCard, American Express, DISCOVER, and JCB from directly within the SQUARE ENIX Account system.
Square Enix Crysta
Crysta can be added to a Square Enix account using a payment method such as a credit card, PayPal, or Ultimate Game Card (PayPal and UGC available through the "UltimatePay/PlaySpan" option) and then used for various services such as subscription fees.
Prepaid Time Card
Prepaid time cards are also available upon game launch at retailers. They offer 30 or 60 days of play time for the appropriate price in each region the game is available.
* 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|