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Final Fantasy 14 Endgame: What to Do After the Story

There's more to FFXIV than clubbing?

Victoria Rose Updated: Posted:
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Most come into Final Fantasy XIV for one of two things: the continuously award-winning story, which just won a DICE award this weekend, and socializing. And if you’re one of these types of players, chances are that you’re going to catch all the way up on the Main Scenario Quests in good time, maybe make a friend or few, level up an extra class here or there. 

And once you do that… now what are you supposed to do? Most video games provide some kind of achievement hunting or grinding for you to chase—so does FFXIV provide that? 

The good news is, most MMORPGs provide some kind of “endgame” content, meaning goals and activities to tackle once you’ve completed the bulk of, or all of, the primary content. And FFXIV is no exception and has no shortage of it! Its development team at Creative Business Unit 3 even prides itself on providing diverse content for players of all levels. 

So whether you’ve just hit the endgame, just came to get up to the endgame, or are wondering if you should start at all (which we think is a resounding yes), here’s what FFXIV has to offer. 

Standard “Casual” Raids, Alliance Raids and Trials  

Ready to step into your first big-kid MMORPG content? Your first aim should be to knock out the Raids, Alliance Raids, and Trials for each expansion. Don’t be too scared; these duties aren’t terribly hard. You essentially just go in and take down a boss (and maybe a few small enemies). 

It’s basically like the Trials you’ve been doing, but it steps up the difficulty level a little bit, making sure you’re paying attention to the boss mechanics and your own difficulty at the same time. So long as you think you’re competent with your job and how you dodge mechanics with it, you’re probably ready to give it a shot. 

All these duties are also packed with relevant game-enhancing narrative and Final Fantasy franchise throwbacks. So far, each main eight-man Raid series has tied into the main story without being absolutely necessary, and all the Trial and Alliance Raid series have been exciting supplements to the story. The Crystal Tower is now just mandatory, the Ivalice raids are considered semi-canon and are great fanservice for Tactics fans, and the NieR raids are straight-up canon to other NieR games. They’re notably some of the most popular lore in the wider fandom, so definitely give all these a shot before you look up too much fanart. 

This content for each expansion is as follows: 

  • A Realm Reborn: The Binding Coil Raids, The Crystal Tower Alliance Raids, no independent Trials 
  • Heavensward: Alexander Raids, Shadow of Mhach Alliance Raids, Warring Triad Trials 
  • Stormblood: Omegascape Raids, Return to Ivalice Alliance Raids, The Four Lords Trials 
  • Shadowbringers: Eden Raids, YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse Alliance Raids, Sorrow of Werlyt Trials
  • Endwalker: Pandaemonium Raids, Myths of The Realm Alliance Raids, no independent Trials (yet) 

You can only do these duties with other players, as it’s considered relatively standard MMORPG content (emphasis on “Massively Multiplayer Online” here). If you haven’t done any multiplayer duties, it’s not that hard; we recently got into how to prepare for your first multiplayer duties

Nonstandard Gameplay Duties: Roguelikes, Open-World Duties, Variant Dungeons, etc.  

Done with the big story content with the group content above? Nope. There’s actually a ton of really cool content, both gameplay-wise and narratively, packed into some of the modes and offerings throughout FFXIV

The earliest you can unlock is Palace of the Dead in The Black Shroud, which is a rogue-like that generates random dungeon layouts and has an independent leveling system up to level 50. It’s one of the most popular ways to grind early levels of classes, so definitely give it a shot. If you enjoyed it, there’s Heaven-on-High through Stormblood, and soon it seems we’ll be getting an Endwalker version, Eureka Othos, in the current patch cycle. 

If Eureka sounds familiar, that’s because it’s one of two unlockable open-world grinding opportunities: Eureka Pyros and Bozja (Save The Queen, which also has Zadnor). Both have unique leveling systems and prizes, with a series of events, special bosses, and more that keep things interesting. They’re often low-population, especially for Bozja’s large-scale duties, but Discord groups and more may be willing to team up to help you get through. 

If that’s not enough, there’s also Variant Dungeons, an Endwalker add-on which is basically a mini choose-your-own-adventure dungeon. It lasts about 15 minutes, with a two-boss format and a series of small choices and clues that hint at other paths’ puzzles. Right now it’s mostly done for lore and prizes, but then, what content isn’t? 

Finally, don’t miss Hildibrand’s quest. It’s slapstick humor not made for everyone, but it’s got some deep-cut Final Fantasy references and a lot of hidden trials to tackle. 

High-End Duty Raiding 

Many of the duties already mentioned have a High-End Duty version. When people talk about “savage raiding” in the wider community, this is what they mean! These are wicked-hard versions of the aforementioned duties that add new mechanics, damage output and damage caps that make for an added challenge. 

If you’ve never done these, you’re going to start with Extreme Trials, which are the stepped-up versions of the Trials. They’re far more difficult than standard content, adding unique spins to MSQ and optional Trials that keep you on your toes. The community considers these training wheels for other difficult modes, as they’re not often as difficult, but they certainly sort out whether you’ve got your job rotation sorted out. 

When you’re ready, you’ll start learning Savage Raids, the difficult version of the standard eight-man Raids; like the standard Raids, they’re divided into four fights per “tier,” so you’ll spend weeks or even months learning the ins and outs of them. Groups get pretty serious about this, but there are often “static groups,” or consistent game night groups, that come together to learn together. (If you want a bit of insight about what that’s like, I’ve written a bit about my laid-back static’s experiences!)

There’s also Ultimate Raids, which are entirely separate duties from the above. They run off the same principles as Savage Raids, but are even more difficult. They run longer in playtime, have multiple phases, and require much tighter execution of gameplay. And in lore, they’re literally fanfiction of previous events. I’m not even kidding. 

Finally, there’s the Unreal Trials. Did you notice some Savage raids sync you up at a lower level? Once each patch cycle, the dev team chooses an old Savage raid to sync up to level 90 for a challenge. 

And what do you get from all these? Shiny weapons and, for Ultimates, cool titles. Which is the true endgame of FFXIV, of course. If you’re looking to get into these, I’ll be giving a guide in the future, so keep an eye out. 

Crafting & Gathering (and the Player Economy) 

Crafting and Gathering, or jobs in the Disciple of Hand and Land respectively, are serious business. I’m serious. In both gameplay and the real endgame (glamouring), there are a lot of items that can only come into existence through crafting, driving the player economy. 

This is especially the case in raiding, which warrants a lot of crafting high-quality versions of items, especially tinctures (Alchemist) and meals (Culinarians), and gear at the start of the raid tier. Further, these items, at times, can only be made with items gathered by, well, Gatherers at the start of each patch cycle. This means that being an endgame crafter is a whole expert skill set and grind on its own. 

The same goes for a lot of character glamour and housing items! Certain items take expensive or just time-consuming items to gather and craft; one item may need three or four crafting classes to construct due to intermediate components. (For example, some outdoor furniture requires literally Culinarian-crafted tea to complete.) With housing demolitions continuing on most servers, the housing market will likely become a mainstay once again. 

And honestly? Once you’ve found the flow of it, I realized a while ago that it’s actually pretty chill. You can just pop on Netflix and hit a few buttons. 

Just… Please, when you sell, don’t undercut your fellow players by thousands of gil at a time. I’m begging you. It hurts everyone by lowering the value for yourself and your peers. Maybe do 5 to 25 at a time.  

Farming, Hunts, Bingo and More 

From here, I’m going to recommend a few more popular, recurring endgame items that are relatively casual. 

Hunt Marks & Hunt Trains are one of the most consistent, well-organized ways to get endgame rewards. In-game Linkshells and Fellowships, and especially out-of-game Discord servers, will have “scouts” spawn high-tier bosses. For SS-tier, you just meet and take it down; “trains,” on the other hand, travel throughout the expansion’s areas to take down A-tier. Don’t forget to get each expansion’s Hunt guild so you can earn the associated currency for prizes: your Grand Company in ARR, Clan Hunt in HW, Veteran Clan Hunt in StB, Nutsy Clan Hunt in ShB, and Guildship Hunt in EW. 

Island Sanctuary is unlockable after beating Endwalker and is a cute little Harvest Moon/Animal Crossing-style farming simulator. It’s independent of all other progress, and you can earn some really adorable stuff from it.  

Khloe’s Wondrous Tails, a biweekly (that’s every two weeks) “bingo” board of new and old duties. It fills out a bingo board at random using earned “stickers,” but if you get nine stickers, you’re guaranteed a prize regardless. You can unlock this at level 60 in Heavensward, and it’s a great way to earn MGP, EXP, minions, and more. 

Treasure Hunts, aka “Maps,” in which you gather (or buy) treasure maps and search for rare, often even exclusive, glamours, minions, and crafting items. Get your friends, because there’s a good chance you get into a Portal with chances to win these and even large amounts of gil. 

Loot Farming is when players grind to try to get items from certain bosses, typically weapons, mounts, and crafting items, by doing certain duties repeatedly to try to get the items to drop. Regardless of who earns the loot, players get a Totem that can be saved to buy the items that would otherwise drop. 

Finally, Player Versus Player (or PVP) has a cool set of modes to try: Frontlines and Crystalline Conflict are frequently-utilized, but there’s also Rival Wings, which is a little less-loved. You can grind these for levels and/or cool items to pick up. 

This is all, of course, aside from leveling up all your classes, doing the Golden Saucer, socializing, roleplaying, and just sitting around on Limsa Lominsa looking cute with the real endgame: making the best glamour. 

What do you do (or want to try) with your FFXIV free time ? 


Victoria Rose

Victoria's been writing about games for over eight years, including small former tenures with Polygon and Fanbyte. She mostly spends time in FFXIV, head-deep in roleplay campaigns or stubbornly playing Black Mage through high-end raids. Former obsessions include Dota 2 and The Secret World (also mostly roleplaying). Come visit their estate: Diabolos (Crystal DC), Goblet, Ward 4, Plot 28.