Final Fantasy 14 Beginner's Guide: Get Started in Eorzea 1

Welcome to our beginner's guide for Final Fantasy 14. With Final Fantasy 14's latest expansion Dawntrail finally in the hands of eager players around the globe, there's never been a better time to finally take the leap and give Square Enix's acclaimed multiplayer RPG a go for yourself. But where do you even start with a game as massive as Final Fantasy 14?

We've created an overview of what Final Fantasy 14 is and the major differences and similarities it has to single player titles in the franchise as well as information on how the free trials and subscription payments work. We've put together some character creation help as well as a brief outline of what each class does, as well as a guide covering what you should do first once you actually start playing the game. Finally, we've even got a selection of ten tips and tricks to make your time with Final Fantasy 14 a little easier.

Final Fantasy 14 Guide: The Basics Explained

In this first part of our Final Fantasy 14 beginner's guide, we're going to explain the MMO and how it works, covering its core concepts and entry points. This includes how the title relates to other Final Fantasy RPGs, its monthly subscription, and free trials.

What Is Final Fantasy 14?

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Final Fantasy 14 is an MMORPG — or Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game — based on the Final Fantasy franchise. It's got all of the usual trappings of a standard Final Fantasy title but it's a multiplayer game, and so you'll see other players in your world as you play, and co-operate with them at certain points in the story.

Final Fantasy 14 originally had a tumultuous launch, garnering dreadful reviews and upsetting fans of the franchise. In the wake of the backlash, Square Enix made the unprecedented decision to secretly rebuild the entire game, and kill off the beleaguered original version in an in-game storyline. The new build of the game was released in 2013 as Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn for PS3 and PC, receiving positive reviews, and the reputation of the game has only grown with each major expansion.

It was later ported to PS4, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S, and today Final Fantasy 14 has 30 million registered users, is Square Enix's most profitable game, and is widely considered to be one of the best MMOs ever made.

Do You Need to Have Played Any Other Final Fantasy Games to Enjoy Final Fantasy 14?

You don't need to have played any other Final Fantasy games to play and enjoy Final Fantasy 14. It's a self-contained story. There are references to other games in the series that you won't understand, and there are some crossover events with other Final Fantasy games that won't mean much to you, but other than that, the entire story of Final Fantasy 14 is new to this game, and you won't miss anything by not having played other games in the series.

Is Final Fantasy 14 Like a Normal Final Fantasy Game, Only Multiplayer?

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Final Fantasy 14 shares a lot of similarities with most modern Final Fantasy titles. It's got all of the usual trappings you'd expect from a Final Fantasy game, like moogles, chocobos, ridiculous baddies to take on, and a massive fate-of-the-world-hangs-in-the-balance storyline. If those are the things you like about the series then Final Fantasy 14 ticks all of the boxes; it's just a multiplayer title.

Which Final Fantasy game Is Final Fantasy 14 Most Like?

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Final Fantasy 14 shares the most similarities with Final Fantasy 16, which is unsurprising given many of the same people worked on both games. Final Fantasy 14 has a much different tone to 16 — it's a more traditional, T-for-Teen Final Fantasy game, with less blood and swearing. But in terms of the storytelling, they feel similar. Final Fantasy 14's story is a vast tale featuring many, many characters and lots of different factions, with plenty of behind-the-scenes plotting and politics. It's just a little more cheery than Final Fantasy 16.

Style-wise, Final Fantasy 14 is one of the more traditional Final Fantasy games, like Final Fantasy 9 or 12. While there are technologically advanced people in the game and some hi-tech areas you'll explore, it doesn't have the cyberpunk vibes of Final Fantasy 7 or the more modern, slightly more grounded look of Final Fantasy 8. Final Fantasy 14 is a world of swords, shields, mages, and uses phrases like "By the Twelve!" a lot. It's classic Final Fantasy.

What Are the Biggest Differences Between Final Fantasy 14 and the Single Player Games in the Series?

Final Fantasy 14's combat is unlike any single player game in the Final Fantasy series. Final Fantasy 14's real-time battles will likely be the biggest shock to the system for fans of the franchise. The combat isn't too difficult to get to grips with, and you'll never face anything too tough by following the main storyline — the hard battles are mostly optional.

It's also quite unusual for a Final Fantasy game to have a main character that you create yourself, which could be a positive or a negative depending on how much you value customisation. Your protagonist here won't speak, and thus isn't much of an actual character, but you do get to design them yourself which is fun in its own right.

Can You Play Final Fantasy 14 in Single Player?

The short answer is no, you can't play Final Fantasy 14 on your own. You'll always be online. You'll always see other people running around in your world. And you will need to cooperate with other players at certain points in the story in order to progress.

But that doesn't mean that you're constantly interacting with other players. You can play some of the traditionally multiplayer content using AI companions, and you never need to actually speak to another person if you don't want to. There's no voice chat so you won't hear other people. And a lot of the story content is solo, without any multiplayer component.

For an always online, multiplayer-only game, Final Fantasy 14 can be a surprisingly solitary experience, if that's the way you want to play it. And so we'd say that even if you don't traditionally like multiplayer games and you're only considering playing Final Fantasy 14 because you love the Final Fantasy series, don't let the online requirement put you off. This isn't Call of Duty.

Is It Worth Playing Final Fantasy 14 Just for the Story?

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Yes! In fact, many players play Final Fantasy 14 purely for the story. While it's true that Final Fantasy 14 is an online multiplayer game, that shouldn't lead you to believe there's not a deep narrative in the game. There is, and it's widely regarded as one of the best stories in the entire Final Fantasy franchise.

Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn is set five years after the event that destroyed the original Final Fantasy 14. You play as The Warrior of Light — a character you create — and you're a lowly adventurer just trying to find your fortune in the land of Eorzea. But after experiencing a strange vision it becomes apparent that you're more than just another sellsword, and that there are bigger threats to Eorzea than even the calamity from five years ago.

What follows is a classic Final Fantasy adventure with a cast of wonderful characters to interact with, amazing locations to visit, terrible foes to vanquish, and some scene-stealing villains. You should be prepared for a bit of a slow start as there are a lot of characters to introduce and a lot of worldbuilding to do, but once it gets going it's one of — if not the — best stories in the Final Fantasy franchise.

Does Final Fantasy 14 Have a Free Trial?

Final Fantasy 14 has a robust free trial that allows you to play an outrageous amount of content for absolutely nothing, but that does come with some caveats that are worth taking note of.

In the free trial, there's a cap on how much money you can hold at any one time, you can't trade with other players, and you can't interface with the market at all. You can't join a Free Company (guild) and you can't form parties outside of dungeons. You can't own a house, hire a retainer (a personal butler, of sorts) and there are reduced chat options. You can't take part in PvP content either.

On the plus side, the free trial allows you to play the game until you hit level 70. That's enough to get you through the base game as well as the Heavensward and Stormblood expansions, or approximately 150 hours of story content and potentially hundreds more in side quests, optional battles, crafting, and more.

Is Final Fantasy 14's Subscription Worth It?

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You get a lot of bang for your buck in Final Fantasy 14. You can upgrade from the free trial by purchasing the Final Fantasy 14 Starter Pack (usually around £10) as a one-off fee. Then once you own the game a subscription is £8.99 / €10.99 / $14.99 per month, and for that, you get a fully featured version of the game with no restrictions. That means you can buy a house you can decorate, you can be part of or form a Free Company, and you can make millions by selling wares on the open market.

We'd argue it's worth paying the subscription fee even if you haven't finished the free trial because the extra in-game money you can hold will be invaluable later in the game if you want to level up crafting classes, purchase a house, or just buy some cool clothes from the market. If you're a social gamer, then the subscription will allow you to be part of a Free Company with other players, as well as use private messaging functions and form parties at will.

You can cancel your subscription at any time in a relatively pain-free process by visiting the Final Fantasy 14 Mog Station website, signing in, and selecting "Manage Service Options". If you re-subscribe at a later date, you won't have lost any progress.

How Do Expansions Work in Final Fantasy 14?

Each Final Fantasy 14 expansion adds approximately 50 hours of main story content, as well as new gear and weapons, new classes to play as, multiple new locations to visit, dungeons and raids to complete, and more.

An expansion typically costs £30 / €35 / $40 at launch, and unlocks all previous expansions as part of the bundle. For example, if you've purchased the Starter Pack, which unlocks A Realm Reborn, Heavensward, and Stormblood, you can then just purchase Dawntrail and it'll automatically unlock Shadowbringers and Endwalker too. You don't need to buy each expansion individually.

A new expansion is released approximately every two years to three years, and is then supported by multiple patches further expanding the story and bridging the gap to the next expansion.

What's the Latest Final Fantasy 14 Expansion?

Final Fantasy 14: Dawntrail is the latest expansion to the game. It released on 2nd July 2024 and started a new saga for Final Fantasy 14 after the previous expansion Endwalker finished the storyline that began in A Realm Reborn in 2013. It currently costs £30 / €35 / $40.

Final Fantasy 14 Guide: Class Selection, Race, and Servers

For this second section of our Final Fantasy 14 beginner's guide, we are covering all the class types, races, and server selection to help you wrap your head around what's what.

What's the Best Server to Choose in Final Fantasy 14?

Selecting a world server is one of the first choices you'll make in Final Fantasy 14, no matter whether you've downloaded the free trial or paid for the full game. But which server is the best? It might seem like a trivial decision, but there are a couple of things you need to be aware of before you make your choice.
When you pick a server, it means you'll share that world with everyone else who also chose the same server. These will be the people you'll see when you're walking around a town, visiting shops, or enjoying a break at the Gold Saucer casino.

But they'll also be the people you can form a Free Company with, and so if you have friends playing the game, then you should find out what server they're on so you can choose the same one. You can change server later, but doing so requires a visit to the Final Fantasy 14 Online Store and costs £12 / €14 / $18, so it pays to get it right the first time.

If you don't have friends playing the game then you should consider choosing a Preferred World. Since some servers are more congested than others, Square Enix tries to make the less popular ones more attractive to new players by giving them Preferred World status, indicated by a little star next to their name. Players on a Preferred World get quite significant experience boosts so they're the wise choice for solo players.

Does It Matter Which Race You Choose in Final Fantasy 14?

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It doesn't matter which race you choose in Final Fantasy 14 beyond aesthetics, and so all you really have to do is decide which race you think looks coolest. The only real difference between the races is that some have different hairstyles unavailable to the other races — you can look at these in the character creator — and the Viera and Hrothgar races have fewer headgear clothing options than the others.

What's the Best Final Fantasy 14 Class?

For the most part, there isn't a best class in Final Fantasy 14. They're all viable, and you can finish the main storyline in its entirety as any of them. Classes in Final Fantasy 14 broadly fit into three different categories: Tanks, Healers, and DPS (Damage Per Second), and each has a different role in battle. Deciding which class you'd like to play hinges mostly on what role you'd like to fulfil during the multiplayer dungeons.

What Are Tanks in Final Fantasy 14?

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Tanks are the de-facto leaders in battle in Final Fantasy 14's dungeons and other multiplayer combat encounters. Their role is to draw the attention of enemies and keep them engaged while the other members of the party attack and heal. Tanks soak up a lot of damage due to the nature of their role in combat, so they need to manage self-preservation skills alongside attacks, buffs, and skills designed to keep enemies focused on them rather than the weaker members of the party.

Tank classes you can choose at the beginning of the game are Gladiator (which can later evolve into Paladin if you complete a level 30 quest) and Marauder (which becomes Warrior).

What Are Healers in Final Fantasy 14?

Healers specialise in healing skills. Their main role in combat is to keep the tanks alive as they soak up damage, heal any party members that are hurt, revive knocked-out party members, and apply buffs to the team. Healers also have limited attack options and can hurt enemies between bouts of healing.

The only Healer class you can choose at the beginning of Final Fantasy 14 is Conjurer (which later becomes White Mage). The DPS starting class Arcanist can also evolve into the healing class Scholar at level 30.

What Are DPS Classes in Final Fantasy 14?

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DPS (or Damage Per Second) are attacking classes in Final Fantasy 14. Their main role in battle is to attack enemies and apply buffs to themselves and the team. DPS classes are further split into Melee DPS, Physical Ranged DPS, and Magical Ranged DPS.

Melee DPS classes perform physical attacks at close range. The Melee DPS classes you can choose at the start of the game are Lancer (which becomes Dragoon at level 30) and Pugilist (which evolves into Monk).

Physical Ranged DPS classes attack with weapons from a distance. The only Physical Ranged DPS class you can choose at the start of the game is Archer (which later becomes Bard).

Magical Ranged DPS classes attack with spells from a distance. The Magical Ranged DPS classes you can choose at the start of the game are Thaumaturge (which becomes Black Mage at level 30) and Arcanist (which is unique in that it can evolve into two different classes at level 30: either the Magical Ranged DPS class Summoner or the Healer class Scholar).

What's the Easiest Class to Play in Final Fantasy 14?

Generally speaking, it's easier to play as a DPS class in Final Fantasy 14. Tanks and Healers both have more responsibility in battle, and if either of them are knocked out it can sink a party very quickly. If you're looking for less responsibility, or if you're concerned about your skill level during combat, then a DPS is probably the best starting point for you.

Arcanist is also a good option. It's got a simple skillset to get to grips with and can evolve into either the powerful and simple-to-use Summoner DPS class, or the healing Scholar class if you fancy a change of pace.

How Do You Change Class in Final Fantasy 14?

Final Fantasy 14 is an incredibly flexible MMORPG and you can change classes almost at will once you reach level 10 in your starting class and finish the first Class Quest. If you want to change class, you just need to go to that class' respective guild and accept the quest to unlock it. Once you've unlocked a second class, switching between your classes is as simple as changing the weapon you have equipped to one associated with the class you want to switch to. For example, if you equip a bow, you automatically become an Archer (or Bard).

What Are Gathering Classes in Final Fantasy 14?

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Gathering classes are non-combat classes in Final Fantasy 14. Gathering classes harvest resources from the natural world that can then be used in crafting, or sold on the market board.

Botanists use axes and scythes to gather resources from bushes or trees. Miners use pickaxes and sledgehammers to mine ore veins and rocky outcrops. Fishers use a fishing rod and bait to catch fish from rivers or oceans.

Each of the gathering classes gain experience from harvesting materials rather than killing monsters, whether that be logs, ore, or fish. They all have Class Quests, too. Each gathering class can be started once you've completed the level 10 Class Quest for your starting class.

What Are Crafting Classes in Final Fantasy 14?

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Crafting classes are non-combat classes in Final Fantasy 14 that are used to craft items out of other items, either for personal use or profit by selling them on the market board.

Armorers, Blacksmiths, and Goldsmiths work with ore and metals to create ingots, weapons, armor, accessories, and more. Carpenters work with logs to create lumber, wooden weapons, and furniture. Leatherworkers work with monster and animal skins to create leather and armour. Weavers work with cotton and other threads to weave clothing. Alchemists create potions out of various ingredients. And Culinarians prepare meals using meat, fish, vegetables, and more.

Each of the crafting classes gain experience from crafting wares rather than killing monsters, as well as from Class Quests. All crafting classes can be started once you've completed the level 10 Class Quest for your starting class.

Final Fantasy 14 Guide: Getting Started, Quest Types, and Clans

In this third part of our Final Fantasy 14 beginner's guide, we'll talk you through actually getting started in the MMO, the types of quests you'll encounter, and how clans work.

What Should You Do First in Final Fantasy 14?

The first thing you should do in Final Fantasy 14 is start working on the Main Story Quests (MSQ) until you get a feel for the game and begin to understand its various systems and quest types. There's an astonishing amount of content in the game and it's easy to be overwhelmed if you don't begin with the basics.

As a general rule, following the MSQ should be a priority since these quests unlock a huge portion of the content in Final Fantasy 14. For example, a level 10 MSQ unlocks the ability to rest at inns, completing the level 15 quest "It's Probably Pirates" will unlock your first dungeon, and another level 15 MSQ unlocks airship travel between cities.

You'll also get a hefty amount of experience points and money following the MSQ, as well as access to more locations, dungeons, raids, and jobs, so if you're ever in doubt it makes sense to continue with the story.

How Do You Know What's a Main Story Quest in Final Fantasy 14?

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All quest givers have an icon floating above their head to indicate that they have a quest available for you. The MSQ icon is easily recognisable. It's black and gold and resembles a meteor with an exclamation mark at its centre.

By default, there's an icon telling you what your next Main Story Quest is in the top left of your screen at all times, and clicking on it will bring up a map to show you the location of the quest. As a general rule, your next MSQ will begin close to where your last one ended.

What Are Class Quests in Final Fantasy 14 and When Should You Do Them?

You should always prioritise your Class Quests. As you level up a class, you'll begin to unlock Class Quests for that job. These are class-specific, and each class has their own questline to follow with its own story and combat encounters. If you have a Class Quest available, it will be shown under the MSQ icon in the top left of your screen.

These quests are important because completing them unlocks new skills for the class they relate to, and some of these skills are among the best in the game. You'll be at a disadvantage in combat if you don't finish your Class Quests, so make sure you see these off as soon as you unlock them.

What Are Feature Quests in Final Fantasy 14?

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Feature Quests are quests in Final Fantasy 14 that are not a part of the main story but unlock something. Feature Quests could unlock a new job to play as, a new dungeon to explore, features like glamours or materia melding, and more. You can recognise a Feature Quest by its icon which is a blue and gold speech bubble with an exclamation point in the centre and a "+" icon on its left-hand side.

You should try to finish a Feature Quest whenever you see one, since unlike Main Story Quests or Class Quests, there's no icon permanently on screen to remind you about where they are and certain important features are unlocked this way, including endgame raids and the Gold Saucer.

What Are Side Quests in Final Fantasy 14?

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Side quests are quests in Final Fantasy 14 that offer experience points and money as a reward, but you won't unlock anything important by completing them and they aren't required to proceed with the main story. These quests are useful if you've got a small amount of experience points required to reach the next level and you need to level up before you can accept the next Main Story Quest. Otherwise, these quests offer a little bit of lore and worldbuilding, but you're safe to ignore them if you want.

When Should You Start Gathering and Crafting in Final Fantasy 14?

If you're interested in the gathering and crafting classes, then it makes the most logistical sense to start all of them at the same time at level 10, and then level them up alongside your main combat class.

The items you can harvest using the gathering classes will typically mirror the Main Story Quests, in that a level 20 item you can harvest will be located in an area you'll be exploring at around level 20 in the MSQ. It's not an exact science, but it's broadly correct. Similarly, the level 20 items that a crafter can craft will use ingredients that a level 20 gatherer can gather.

That said, spending hours levelling multiple crafting and gathering classes between story beats isn't the most intuitive way to enjoy the narrative of Final Fantasy 14, and we understand that. We just levelled the crafting and gathering classes much later in the game between expansions. What we're saying is, what's technically the best option might not be the best for you. Whether you level up crafters and gatherers as you go, at the end, or you ignore them entirely is totally up to you.

What Is a Grand Company in Final Fantasy 14?

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A Grand Company is an organisation akin to an army. You can join one by completing the level 20 quest "A Hero in the Making". Once in a Grand Company, you can earn Company Seals by completing certain activities in the game, and these seals can be traded at the Grand Company HQ for items. There is a Grand Company in all three of the starting cities — Gridania, Limsa Lominsa, and Ul'Dah — and you can join any of them. The choice doesn't really matter beyond a few cutscenes.

Once in a Grand Company, you can level up your rank within the organisation by collecting Company Seals, and later by training AI recruits in combat, and even entering dungeons with them.

What Is a Free Company in Final Fantasy 14?

A Free Company is Final Fantasy 14's name for player-run guilds like you might see in other MMOs. A Free Company is essentially a group of players with shared interests that form an organisation that they govern themselves. Some Free Companies are specifically created for players interested in engaging in endgame content, while others are casual groups with a focus on chatting or in-game fashion. There are even Free Companies for players that want the benefits of being in a Free Company but don't really want to talk to other players.

Joining a Free Company has many benefits. The leaders of the Free Company can choose bonuses that members of the group can all enjoy, such as increased rewards from Gold Saucer games to cheaper travel prices. A Free Company can also pool resources into a community chest, including money or crafting materials, and so they can organise to maximise crafting output by having some members gather materials and others craft wares.

How Do You Join a Free Company in Final Fantasy 14?

You can join a Free Company by either accepting an invite from another player or applying for membership. You'll likely be invited to join Free Companies by other players at some point while playing Final Fantasy 14, but you can also find one yourself that suits your playstyle using the Community Finder.

The Community Finder is a page on the Final Fantasy 14 website where you will find advertisements for Free Companies posted by the leaders of those organisations telling you a little about what their group does together and what type of qualities they look for in new recruits. It's an excellent tool for finding a Free Company that suits you regardless of whether you're interested in tackling challenging combat encounters or just hanging out with online friends.

What Is the Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy 14?

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The Manderville Gold Saucer is an in-game casino/amusement park based on the Gold Saucer from Final Fantasy VII. You unlock access to the Gold Saucer by completing the Feature Quest "It Could Happen To You". This is a level 15 quest that you'll find in the area Ul'dah — Steps of Nald.

The Gold Saucer features its own currency called MGP which can be used to buy unique items, such as weapons with a cactuar theme and exclusive mounts to ride around Eorzea. You earn MGP by taking part in games and attractions at the Gold Saucer.

At the Gold Saucer, you can take part in Chocobo racing, you can play the card game Triple Triad from Final Fantasy VIII, there's assault courses, mah-jong, arcades, a lottery to enter, and even a weekly fashion contest in which you must dress up to fit a theme and you'll be rewarded with MGP depending on how well you do.

What Are Glamours in Final Fantasy 14?

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Glamours allow you to make a piece of armour look like another piece of armour in Final Fantasy 14. Glamour Plates let you set up an entire ensemble and instantly transform whatever outfit you're wearing to look like the outfit that you've saved on the Glamour Plate. It's a way of ensuring that when you're wearing your highest level armours you still look cool. You can unlock this feature at level 15.

Glamours in Final Fantasy 14 are incredibly popular. There are many clothing items available for purchase in the game that have absolutely no practical value as armour and exist only to be used as Glamours. There are Free Companies that regularly hold Glamour contests with prizes awarded for the best costume and entire websites dedicated to players showing off their favourite looks.

What Are Mounts in Final Fantasy 14 and How Do You Get One?

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Mounts in Final Fantasy 14 are rideable creatures or vehicles to make travelling across Eorzea a little quicker while also looking incredibly cool. You unlock the ability to use mounts by completing the Feature Quest "My Little Chocobo" which you can accept at level 20 after the Main Story Quest that introduces you to Grand Companies.

New mounts can be acquired in many ways in the game, including as rewards from Feature Quests, from certain dungeons or raids, or they can be purchased for real money from the Final Fantasy 14 online store.

What Are Minions in Final Fantasy 14 and How Do You Get Them?

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Minions are pets that you can summon and they'll follow you around as you explore Eorzea. These can take the form of dogs, cats, birds, and other animals, or they can be small versions of classic Final Fantasy monsters like cactuars, marlboros, behemoths, and the like. They won't help you in battle in any way. You can acquire minions in many ways in the game, including as rewards for completing quests or from finishing dungeons or raids, or you can purchase them from the Final Fantasy 14 online store.

What Are Seasonal Events in Final Fantasy 14?

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Seasonal Events are quests that are available for a limited amount of time that yield unique rewards. These events traditionally line up with specific real-world holidays such as Valentine's Day, Halloween, and Christmas, and rewards are themed around those holidays. Rewards are usually costumes, various decorations for your in-game home, special emotes, and more.

There are also special events not tied to specific holidays, such as crossovers with other games. A Fall Guys collaboration unlocked Fall Guys-inspired assault courses in the Gold Saucer and on-brand clothing for purchase in-game, and crossovers with other Final Fantasy games have allowed players to pick up costumes that let you cosplay as Clive from Final Fantasy 16, Noctis from Final Fantasy 15, and more.

Can You Change the HUD In Final Fantasy 14?

Customising the UI is probably something you'll want to do early on in your Final Fantasy 14 adventure as there's a lot of information displayed on the screen, and some of it will be more useful to you than other bits. There's a list of active quests, the time in the real world, the time in Eorzea, a minimap, how much money you have, a hot bar displaying available combat skills, a chat box, and more.

By hitting the options button and then opening the configuration options on the far right, you can customise your HUD as you see fit, moving each individual component to a place on the screen that suits you, or removing them entirely if you find that you'd prefer a less cluttered playing area.

Can You Use a Mouse and Keyboard in Final Fantasy 14 on PS5?

Yes, you can control Final Fantasy 14 on PS5 with a mouse and keyboard if you want, but there's also a control scheme tailored to DualSense and it works surprisingly well. Playing with a keyboard and mouse means that the game will control in essentially the same way that it does on PC.

Using a controller is a little complicated at first, but the game has been translated as well as it could be, and the controls will likely become second nature after a while. We've played endgame content on a controller and it was fine. Whether you use a controller or mouse and keyboard is entirely down to you.

Final Fantasy 14 Guide: Combat and Dungeons

This part of our Final Fantasy 14 beginner's guide is dedicated to combat, its mechanics, and the dungeons you'll explore throughout the MMO journey.

How Does Combat Work in Final Fantasy 14?

Final Fantasy 14 has a real-time combat system based on cooldowns, skill rotations, and player positioning. When you start the game you'll only have one or two basic skills, and these will have a cooldown. A basic attack skill, for example, might have a cooldown of two seconds, meaning you can use it and then two seconds later you can use it again.

As you level up you'll unlock more skills, and these skills will have their own cooldowns or share cooldown timers with other skills. Some cooldowns will be short and others, for more powerful skills, will be very long. The key to combat is using the skills in sequence, based on their cooldowns, in what's known as a rotation so that you're always doing something in combat. These rotations do become second nature after a while, and you'll likely find your fingers moving without even thinking about it.

How Do Dungeons Work in Final Fantasy 14?

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Dungeons are four-player combat encounters in Final Fantasy 14. The first dungeon is unlocked during a level 15 quest called "It's Probably Pirates", and more are unlocked as you progress through the story, with others unlocking as part of optional Feature Quests.

The party in a dungeon is made up of one Tank, one Healer, and two DPS players. You can find a party through automatic matchmaking or enter a dungeon with a party of friends if you're a subscriber — or for most dungeons, you can enter with a team of AI companions.

Each dungeon is broken up into multiple stages. You'll have to wander through the dungeon with your party, killing foes as you go before eventually reaching a boss battle. Most dungeons have three of these bosses, and after each, there'll be a treasure chest containing loot that you can either try to claim for yourself or pass on so another player can take it.

Boss encounters usually have unique mechanics, and these become increasingly more complicated as you work through the story. At its most basic, an indicator will appear on the ground to demonstrate where the boss will attack and you need to move out of the way. Later, enemies will introduce attacks that require the party to gather at a single spot to share damage, ones that will push you from one side of the arena to the other, and status effects that you'll need to contend with.

What Are Trials in Final Fantasy 14?

Trials are eight-player combat encounters against a boss enemy. The first trial is unlocked during the level 20 quest "Lord of the Inferno". Typically, a party in a trial is made up of two Tanks, two Healers, and four DPS players. These function in largely the same way as the boss battles you'll face in dungeons, except there are twice as many people in the party and you'll only take part in one battle per trial.

Boss mechanics in trials tend to be more complicated than those you'll see in dungeons. Many have unique features that you'll need to learn to succeed in battle, such as using a special skill only available in that fight to survive an otherwise lethal attack, or quickly killing an additional enemy that appears to weaken the main boss.

What Are Raids in Final Fantasy 14?

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Raids are endgame content in Final Fantasy 14. Each expansion features its own set of raids with their own storylines to follow and these can be unlocked once you hit maximum level, finish the story content for that expansion, and complete the requisite Feature Quest. The first raid can be unlocked at level 50 by accepting the Feature Quest called "Labyrinth of the Ancients".

Normal raids are similar to Trials, and consist of an eight-player party working together to take down a large foe. Alliance Raids are similar to dungeons in that you work through a series of smaller groups of enemies before fighting larger boss enemies, only an Alliance Raid party is made up of twenty-four players split into three eight-player teams.

Later, you can unlock harder variants of Raids, and these combat encounters are considered the toughest challenges in Final Fantasy 14. Taking on Savage or Ultimate Raids will require practice and teamwork, and finishing one can yield unique rewards.

What Is the Duty Finder in Final Fantasy 14?

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Once you start unlocking multiplayer battles in FF14 you'll unlock the Duty Finder. The Duty Finder is essentially a matchmaking facility. You can select up to five dungeons, trials, or raids — referred to collectively as duties — and then apply for matchmaking. The Duty Finder will match you with other players looking for the same activity and give you a notification when it's found a party for you.

You can carry on playing Final Fantasy 14 while the Duty Finder is matchmaking, but some activities are off-limits until you either withdraw from matchmaking or find a match and complete the duty.

What Is the Duty Roulette in Final Fantasy 14?

Duty Roulette uses the Duty Finder to randomly select a duty from the ones you've already unlocked and you won't know which one you'll be doing until it loads. The Duty Roulette comes with a bonus to both experience points and gil earned for completing the duty that can be collected once per day, and there are Duty Roulettes for different activities, such as Trials, Normal Raids, Alliance Raids, and helping another player through a MSQ combat encounter.

What Are FATEs in Final Fantasy 14?

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FATEs — or Full Active Time Events — are a series of events that take place across Eorzea that can be completed solo or with other people both in and out of parties, and can include bosses, waves of enemies, and escort missions.

To enter a FATE, all you need to do is see one on your map and enter the light blue circle that indicates the area the FATE takes place in. Once there, the objective of the FATE will appear on the screen, be it take down a giant boss creature, kill a certain number of smaller enemies, collect items, or more. You can attempt a FATE alone or with a party you're travelling in, or you can see a FATE in progress and just join in to help another player even if you don't know them.

Rewards for FATEs include gil, experience points, Grand Company Seals, and more.

Final Fantasy 14 Guide: 10 Tips and Tricks for Beginners

We're finishing our Final Fantasy 14 beginner's guide with 10 general tips and pieces of advice to help those just getting started on their MMO journey.

Prioritise Main Story Quests and Class Quests

Main Story Quests and Class Quests give a lot of experience points, unlock skills and other features, and advance the story of Final Fantasy 14. When you're first starting the game it can be easy to be overwhelmed by the size of the world and the sheer amount of things to do, and so sticking with Main Story Quests and Class Quests will likely help you keep your bearings.

Use Hunting Logs for Easy Experience Points

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Each class has its own Hunting Logs in Final Fantasy 14. A Hunting Log is basically a list of enemies that you need to kill, and how many of each one. Killing the requisite number of enemies yields bonus experience, and then completing the Hunting Log yields more bonus experience. There are various Hunting Logs for each class based on level, and it's worth doing them all since they're a quick and easy route to a decent amount of experience.

Don't Waste Money on Weapons or Armour

You might be tempted to spend your hard-earned gil on exciting new weapons or armour, but it isn't worth it. You can find new weapons and armour at a steady pace while working through the Main Story Quests and Class Quests as well as in dungeons. Your gil will be of much greater use being saved up to spend much later in the game on more interesting things like a house, fancy clothes, or crafting materials if you intend to level up crafting classes.

Eat Before Taking on Dungeons

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Eating food in Final Fantasy 14 gives you small buffs to certain stats as well as experience bonuses, and while the buffs aren't substantial and are typically irrelevant outside of endgame, max stat content, the experience bonus is worthwhile. Eating a meal usually nets you a 3% bonus to experience points earned while the buff is active, which across an entire dungeon makes for a nice little bonus.

Dungeons Are Much Better with Friends

Even if you're someone who generally doesn't like multiplayer games, we'd advise playing the dungeons in Final Fantasy 14 with real people rather than A.I. companions. Real people are generally much better than the A.I. friends you'll be stuck with, and if you're using A.I. and you're knocked out the entire party is sent back to the last checkpoint whereas another human can revive you. Dungeons are a much better time with real people even if you don't speak to them, and even better still if you're friends with the people you're adventuring with.

Don't Skip the Raids

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You won't be able to unlock raids until level 50, and most raids are optional content in Final Fantasy 14 but that doesn't mean they should be skipped. Not only do raids offer unique rewards including Triple Triad cards, minions, clothing, and more, they also feature some of the most interesting crossovers and jaw-dropping boss battles in the game. There are raids themed around Final Fantasy 8 and Final Fantasy 12, and even a NieR Automata crossover that features spectacular battles and Nier-themed rewards like minions and clothing so you can cosplay as 2B if you'd like.

Always Do Your Dailies

There are activities within Final Fantasy 14 that can be completed once per day, such as certain quests for Beast Tribes, and of course, the Duty Roulette for the bonuses. It's worth doing the Duty Roulettes each day since the bonus experience points that they grant are substantial. You can also go to the Gold Saucer to take part in the Mini-Cactpot lottery to earn a little MGP for a small amount of effort once per day, too.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask Other Players

Final Fantasy 14 has an unusually friendly player-base, and after thousands of hours logged in the game we can genuinely count the number of unpleasant interactions we've had on one hand. If you're ever confused about anything, such as a particular mechanic during a dungeon or how to find specific items or quests, don't be afraid to just type your question into the chat. Someone will undoubtedly help you.

Take a Break When You Need It

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Most players probably won't want to binge the main story of Final Fantasy 14 in one go since it's three hundred hours plus of game time. You can take a break and play other titles and maybe just occasionally do your dailies to keep acquainted with the game. You can even enjoy some more casual activities within Final Fantasy 14 to take a break. Go to the Gold Saucer, play Triple Triad and work on your card collection, create fun clothing ensembles for your character, or join a casual Free Company and hang out with other players who just like hanging out.

Don't Worry About Anything — Just Enjoy Yourself

The best tip we can give you is to just play Final Fantasy 14 at your own pace and enjoy yourself. Don't worry about anything. None of the choices you make are binding in any terrible way, and nothing in the game is missable. It doesn't matter if you hate your starting class, pick a server none of your friends are on, or wish you'd picked a cute cat person instead of a pointy-eared Elezen — everything is fixable. So relax, don't worry, and just enjoy yourself. Eorzea is your oyster.

That brings our Final Fantasy 14 beginner's guide to its conclusion. Do you have any further tips and tricks you'd add on top of our guidance? Share them in the comments below.