Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers launches on July 2nd, 2019 - a grand new expansion that makes vast adventure even bigger. A little daunting perhaps, but it's a place that's never been more rich, diverse, detailed, and fun to explore.
Has the series' stunning visuals, expansive storylines, and opportunities for endless questing always appealed to you, but you've never known where to begin? Never fear, we've got you covered! This guide is for the uninitiated, so newcomers gather round and we'll bring you up to speed on everything you need to know to get started.
Set in the fantastical realm of Eorzea, Final Fantasy XIV is a sprawling online adventure where hundreds of players set out to conquer a vast world teeming with fierce monsters, powerful magic, and alluring myths.
In this massively mulitplayer online RPG, you’ll share your experience with countless other players who populate the world, either passing them a wave as you scoot by on your own errands, or teaming up to conquer dungeons or fell powerful enemies together.
As you quest, you’ll shape your character’s skills, appearance, and history, take on job roles and classes, pick up powerful weapons and armour, and help the denizens of Eorzea bring peace to the continent.
Final Fantasy XIV has diverse character creation options that allow you to define the look of your hero. Choose one of Eorzea’s six main classes to start crafting your character.
Eorzea’s most human-esque class, the Hyur will likely feel like your most natural avatar in the world of Final Fantasy.
An elegant, almost elven race, the Elezen are defined by their pointed ears and willowy physique.
Cute and diminutive, this gnome-like race might look harmless enough, but they're anything but.
Part human and part feline, the Miqo’te are slender and cunning warriors known for their regal tails.
These hulking goliaths are truly intimidating in stature and are unsurprisingly natural fighters.
A demonic humanoid race with horns and tails, the Au Ra were added as part of the Heavensward expansion.
Additionally, the Shadowbringers expansion adds two new races: the Hrothgar and Viera.
There are many different character builds to be experimented with in Final Fantasy XIV, but they all fall into one of three simple groups: Tanks, Damage Dealers, and Healers.
Tanks are defined by their endurance. They’re not invulnerable by any means, but hardy enough to take a pummelling and keep on moving.
Damage dealers (DPS) offer raw power and are able to dish out powerful combat skills. Be warned though, they are far more vulnerable as a result.
Healers are invaluable when it comes to keeping the group on their feet, but are also able to do a little damage themselves.
At the beginning of your journey you’ll choose one of eight basic classes: Arcanist, Archer, Conjurer, Gladiator, Lancer, Marauder, Pugilist, or Thaumaturge, each suited to a specific role and style of play. As you progress, these class will evolve into a much broader selection of specializations called ‘Jobs’, including:
A natural fit for Thaumaturges, Black Mages deal huge amounts of damage using powerful elemental magic.
An advanced Lancer class, Dragoons specialize in close quarters physical damage and high mobility.
Fleet of foot physical damage dealers, Ninjas are a progression of the base class 'Rogue' which can be unlocked at Lvl. 10.
A popular tank class known for wielding axes, the Warrior is a classic progression of the Marauder class.
Driven by faith, the Paladin job class is one of the toughest tank classes – a good fit for Gladiators.
Wielding a great sword, the Dark Knight is a special job class unlocked by completing Heavensward’s main story missions.
A popular and reliable healer class, White Mages are also capable damage dealers and a natural fit for Conjurers.
With a focus on defensive and protective magic, the Scholar is a more proactive healer class – good for Arcanists.
Focusing on buffs and special effects, the Astrologian is a specialist class added with the Heavensward expansion.
These are just a handful of FFXIV’s job classes. Others include Bard, Monk, Summoner, Samurai, Machinist, and Red Mage. The Shadowbringer expansion also adds two additional classes: Gunbreaker and Dancer.
Final Fantasy XIV features a sprawling interconnected world of diverse locales, home to all kinds of creatures. You’ll start out in one the three main territories: Limsa Lominsa if you chose a Marauder or Arcanist; Ul’dah if you choose a Pugilist, Gladiator, or Thaumaturge; or Gridania if you choose an Archer, Lancer, or Conjurer. These, however, are merely your starting points - you'll be free to travel to all three as you explore the realm.
The regal docks of Limsa Lominsa are the heart of Eorzea’s naval industry. Home to the wise Arcanists and brutal Marauders, you can also pursue your talents in fishing, blacksmithing, and cookery here.
The surrounding lands of La Noscea boast sweeping clifftop views and idyllic farmsteads, perfect for a chocobo ride. Just be on the look-out for pirates.
The opulent streets of the merchant city of Ul’dah are home to guilds for Gladiators, Pugilists, and Thaumaturges, as well as the arts of weaving, goldsmithing, or mining.
Venture beyond the city walls to explore the burning sands of Thanalan – but beware. The desert can be as deadly as it is beautiful…
The lantern-lit paths of Gridania are where folk and nature exist in harmony. These labyrinthine woods play host to Lancers, Archers, and Conjurers, along with the studies of Botanists and the craftsmanship of Leatherworkers and Carpenters.
Investigate the mysteries of the Black Shroud beyond Gridania’s limits to encounter wonder and peril in equal measure.
The information above should have given you a good idea of what to expect from your first foray into the world of Final Fantasy XIV, but it's just the beginning. With each expansion the world continues to grow, offering new places to visit, treasures to be sought, and adventures to be embarked upon.
It’s an enormous adventure, but it's yours to take at your own pace. Whether you wish to map every corner of the continent, collect the very greatest treasures in the land, or merely join friends for the occasional daring quest.
If you’re already chomping at the bit, download the free trial now from PlayStation Store. You’ll have access to Eorzea free for 30 days: build a character and start exploring now.
Includes all Starter Edition content, along with the Heavensward, Stormblood, and Shadowbringers expansions.
Includes all the original content from Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, including all free updates.