Everything you need to know about Final Fantasy XIV on PlayStation 5 as FFXIV open beta launches
The FFXIV open beta has hit PlayStation 5.
Yes, that means Square Enix’s phenomenal MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV is now on Sony’s brand new console.
But what does the upgrade bring, what is Final Fantasy XIV all about and how do you take part in the FFXIV open beta?
Here’s everything you need to know about the latest game in the epic Japanese and long-running science fantasy franchise.
Tell me about Final Fantasy XIV
The fourteenth game in Square Enix’s long-running series, Final Fantasy XIV is their second online only MMORPG (after XI). That means you play online with others, paying a monthly subscription for access (more on this later).
The game is set in the world of Eorzea and sees your custom character encountering the threat of the Garlean Empire and the Primals – towering, magical beasts summoned into the world. You’ll undertake story quests (on your own or with others) and “duties”, which are dungeons and bosses you must face with a party of other players.
Your character will take on a job that dictates their class, abilities and weapons. There are tanks who excel in defensive tactics, DPS (damage per second) classes who focus on flashy attacks, and healers who buff and heal the team. Each is inspired by similar jobs from previous games in the series.
The base Final Fantasy XIV game was initially poorly received but later revised into A Realm Reborn (2013). Square Enix have since released a number of patches with updated content, plus full expansions every two years that continue the story. Those expansions are Heavensward (2015), Stormblood (2017), Shadowbringers (2019) and the forthcoming Endwalker.
Together, these expansions have turned Final Fantasy XIV into one of the most popular and accessible MMORPGs available.
What about LGBT+ representation?
While there aren’t any specifically queer characters in the game (Square Enix doesn’t have a great history of that), the community around the game is incredibly LGBT+ friendly.
The Final Fantasy series has always been popular with the LGBT+ community for their immersive worlds and richly relatable characters. The XIV community welcomes all new players with open arms.
Although the character creation remains based in the gender binary, there are plenty of options to dress up your avatar and represent yourself how you like. There are LGBT+ focused Free Companies (essentially player created teams). And there’s even marriage with other players. Check out the Gayorzea community to meet others in the game.
What’s new in the PlayStation 5 update?
That means that anyone can join. If you already play the game on PS4, simply update the game on PlayStation 5 and you’re all set. And if you’re new to the series, you can jump right in. Square Enix will launch the game officially on PlayStation 5 once the open beta concludes and all progress will carry over.
As expected, the PlayStation 5 version brings enhanced graphics. The world of Eorzea is now available in 4K with much improved frame rates – Square Enix are aiming for 60fps, but that depends on the area and number of players.
Along with these graphical improvements, the UI has also been overhauled for a sharper, crisper display of menus.
As with all PlayStation 5 games, Final Fantasy XIV uses the console’s SSD for vastly improved loading times. In a game that has you teleporting around its vast world, this is a massive improvement.
As well as visuals, the audio experience has also been enhanced. The game now utilises 3D audio for increased spacial awareness – turn the camera around your character and hear the sounds shift position accordingly.
Lastly, the game makes use of the Dual Sense controller’s haptic feedback. Vibrations differ depending on the mount you’re riding, for instance, though effects are kept to a minimum during battles to not distract.
More is coming too: Square Enix has promised refreshed trophies and gradual improvements to the graphics. Considering the base game is ten years old, there are plenty of assets that need detailed work.
Watch the trailer below to see the game running in all its glory on PlayStation 5.
Ok I’m interested – how do I access Final Fantasy XIV?
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Whether you play on PC or PlayStation consoles, Final Fantasy XIV is available initially as a free trial. That includes the entirety of A Realm Reborn plus the first expansion Heavensward, taking your character up to level 60.
That is hundreds of hours of content, all for free!
Alternatively you can buy the Complete Edition, which includes the base game and all expansions released so far, for £44.99 on PlayStation or £34.99 on PC. This includes a 30 day free trial.
After your free trial period expires (from the free trial or the Complete Edition), you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription of £8.99 for continued access.
The forthcoming expansion Endwalker will be released this autumn with all new story content and a brand new job, the Sage. Check out a trailer below.