There’s something charming about owning a little piece of a game you love. For Final Fantasy XIV players, nothing represents that charm better than joining the hunt for player housing. You get a gorgeous estate in lovely residential districts themed to the locale, which you can decorate to your heart’s content and show off to your friends and other visitors. Free Companies and roleplayers have also found a variety of functional uses for them.
But there’s a little-known alternative option that’s actually far easier to acquire: instead of purchasing a whole plot, you can buy your own apartment. Located in every housing district in FFXIV, apartments offer a cheaper way to have a little room away from the hustle and bustle of… well, everywhere else in an MMORPG.
It’s easy to get swept up in the hype of player housing. And it’s certainly justifiable, given the perks: you can buy chocobo stables, Summoning Bells, gardening plots, work benches with perks for crafting, and more.
So why would you “downgrade” to an apartment? For most players, it’s a far better deal — here’s why.
It’s almost the easiest FFXIV “luxury” to get
While housing is coveted, it’s also a bit of a difficult process, whereas apartment-hunting is pretty easy. The non-gil requirements for both are pretty much the same: have a level 50 job, do the housing quest, and get Second Lieutenant in your Grand Company. Probably the biggest hurdle for both is getting the Second Lieutenant rank, which may involve some grinding.
But the estate search itself is obscenely difficult nowadays. With the uptick in FFXIV players, very few servers, if any, have any empty plots casually hanging out, open for purchase, and those who do find them do so by luck. House-hunting has become a new task on its own, and negotiating sometimes takes place out-of-game, before the plot has a chance to show up on markets. It’s also a strain on one’s wallet. Assuming you even find a plot of land, you’ll run over 1.4 million gil for the cheapest, smallest plots out there, and that’s before the cost of the house itself.
Apartments, on the flip side, always seem to be available at a stable price of 500,000 gil. Each apartment building permits 90 tenants, and most wards have two buildings, with one per “division.” And with regards to the cost, if you’re not a heavy spender, you’re likely already swimming in more than enough by Stormblood. Heck, there are in-game cosmetics more expensive than an apartment.
Apartments are less overwhelming to decorate
Have you ever actually tried to decorate a real-life house? Just moving in the cabinets is difficult. Heck, buying cabinets is difficult. In FFXIV, housing is a massive vanity project of both aesthetic and financial significance, so you’re likely going to put a lot of time, money, and effort into decorating your new “living space.”
Apartments are easier to fill with furniture, so decoration is a lot more low-key. Sure, it’s about the size and dimensions of a generous New York studio, which is still kind of a “shoebox.” That makes it that much easier to coordinate a general “theme” or “look” without overwhelming yourself as easily.
Plus, chances are if you’re buying an FFXIV estate, you’ve also put aside the money for furniture. But if you’re considering an apartment, you probably don’t have that wiggle room. Naturally, if you need to buy less furniture, you save more. That’s a little more gil left in your pocket for other things.
Sadly, you can’t use outdoor items, but that’s still less gil and effort out of your pocket.
You won’t accidentally lose an apartment
An apartment has no penalties for inactivity. Period. That means if you need a small break between patches, or just pivot to another game for a month, your investment and home away from home stays safe and sound. (Obviously, if you delete your character or account, the apartment will be cleared.)
On the other hand, if you or a Free Company don’t enter an estate for 45 days, the estate is demolished. The player or FC responsible gets 80% of the estate price back, with all the furnishings and such stashed away. An estate is basically a luxury, privilege, and responsibility given to players who intend on staying in the game in the long run. That’s a lot of money to put on the line, and not one most of us can afford.
And while an apartment-like “Private Chamber” in a Free Company estate is cheaper at 300,000, it still runs some risk. If you want to leave your FC for any reason, and you bought a room, you need to clear it out and leave — and you don’t get your money back.
Use it to prepare for actual house-hunting
Are you still a little underwhelmed by the whole apartment affair? If you’re still gunning for a house, an apartment can benefit you greatly anyway. For one, you can use your apartment to try out furniture and see what matches and what doesn’t. Think of it like a staging room for your future real estate and interior design endeavors.
Equally importantly, much like an estate, an apartment comes with a bunch of space for stashing that furniture you aren’t using — up to 100 in the case of an apartment. It’s pretty much an entire new inventory box for all your interior design knick-knacks.
For the ambitious homeowners out there: yes, you can own both an apartment and an estate at the same time. Only one of each per character, though. At least if an estate doesn’t work out, you’ll have another home to fall back to.
It’s just a more quaint experience
Plot-focused housing in FFXIV is straight-up, overall, an overwhelming and stressful endeavor nowadays. Between the hunting and spending, the decorating and staying active to keep it, it’s a lot for many of us to manage. It’s touted as the pinnacle of luxury and hardcore dedication to the game, but it requires an almost-always-active attitude towards the game. Apartments require almost none of that stress, save for the Grand Company grinding and a relatively middle-class investment.
Once you’re settled in, it’s a nice spot for some peace and quiet. If you’re queueing and want to dip out of the hectic player hubs, you can just slide into your apartment. You can get your own Summoning Bell, Orchestrion, and more. There’s also the removed pressure of trying to make your exterior look nice for the neighborhood. The best part is that it really becomes your little piece of the game. It’s a low-pressure getaway that you own as long as you choose to play FFXIV. If you’re looking for a way to really make yourself comfortable in the game, this isn’t a bad goal to chase.