Like most players, you’ve probably ignored PvP in Final Fantasy XIV for as long as it’s been around. However, the game’s latest expansion, Stormblood, has gotten players to give the game’s PvP features a look (or second look), if for no other reason than it just so happens to be a great way to level up Jobs. But we know PvP in FFXIV can be a bit confusing, so we’ve got you covered with a guide to the basics to help you get started.
WHAT’S ON OFFER
The Feast: an 8v8 (or 4v4 mode in ranked) where the goal is to loot the medals off the opponents you kill to increase your team’s score. Whoever has the most medals at the end of the time limit wins (or meets the required score total outright). If you’re carrying too many medals, you will take additional damage, scaling up from +12% damage at 150 medals to +120% damage at 250 medals.
There are four types of crates that spawn in the Feast, offensive, defensive, Wolf’s Heart, and Adrenaline. The offense and defense crates spawn alongside each other and only at the beginning of the match, granting an offense or defense buff to whoever blows them up. The Wolf’s Heart Kit and Adrenaline Kit will spawn periodically throughout the course of the match with the Wolf’s Heart restoring HP and MP over time while the Adrenaline kit will fill up your Adrenaline (Limit Break) gauge. Taking proper advantage of these kits and crates will significantly boost your chances of winning, so be sure not to neglect them.
There’s a sort of shot clock called Culling Time, which kicks in if a player hasn’t been killed in a while. This will make all players take additional damage (scaling upwards for each stack).
Frontline: Frontline is a sort of instanced RvR type of PvP mode for 72 players and broken into three teams of 24, corresponding to each of the game’s three Grand Companies.
Queuing into Frontline will place you with the team corresponding to your character’s Grand Company (unless you select Freelancer in the Duty Finder settings). Queuing as a group will force all players to be Freelancers, though you’ll all be placed together on whichever team the game selects for you.
Racking up consecutive kills will either grant you a buff called Battle High (for four consecutive kills) or Battle Fever (for eight consecutive kills). These buffs will increase your damage and Adrenaline gauge fill rates, but you’ll also have an icon next to your name letting other players know you are under its effects. Killing players under the Battle High or Battle Fever effect will be worth bonus data to your team.
There are three maps each with their own game mode available for Frontline:
The Fields of Glory (Shatter):
The goal here is to acquire data (points) through holding the map’s three Allegan tomeliths and destroying Icebound tomeliths scattered around the map as they activate. Kills will also add points to your team’s score (and deplete points from the enemy’s total).
Seal Rock (Seize):
The goal with Seize is to capture-and-hold Allegan tomeliths which activate similarly to the Icebound tomeliths in Shatter. Tomeliths of greater rank (from B to S) are worth more data, so it’s important to choose which ones to focus on holding the ones worth the most points, instead of trying to contest everything available. Kills will also grant (and reduce) data totals in Seize.
The Borderland Ruins (Secure):
Secure is a very straightforward capture point PvP map. The more points held, the faster your team’s score will tick up. There are also creatures that can be killed on the map, earning your team additional points. Like the other two modes, killing other players will increase your team’s point total as well.
HOW DO I PLAY?
First things first, you’ll need to be level 30 and in a Grand Company. Once you’re level 30 you should have a quest called “A Pup No Longer” available at your Grand Company. This will send you to the Wolves’ Den, which is the game’s main PvP hub. You can take the Ferry from Moraby Docks (Lower La Noscea) to get there. Once you’re level 50, you can unlock Frontline by accepting the quest “Like Civilized Men and Women” from your Grand Company. All modes can be found in the Duty Finder under PvP once unlocked.
It’s important to understand that everything works differently in PvP, too. Stormblood separated PvE and PvP Job actions, so you’ll have a limited and pre-selected set of Job actions for your Job (and a special dedicated PvP hotbar) once you enter the Wolves’ Den or any PvP map. It’s a good idea to head to the Wolves’ Den and familiarize yourself with your abilities on the training dummies. If you open up your PvP Profile under the Character menu, you can also select two Role actions and three traits. This is the only gameplay customization offered in PvP. All players are on even footing other than the choices made here. Your stats in PvP are determined entirely by your Job and players are all scaled to level 70 (there are no brackets).
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
Well, the most universally applicable reward to PvP right now is the great source of experience. Currently, the Armory bonus for having leveled other Jobs does not apply to PvP (we’re unsure if this is intended or an oversight), so it may not be as worthwhile to you as Palace of the Dead or dungeons pre-60, but from 60-70 it’s one of the best sources of experience out there and like PotD, it doesn’t care if you’re a DPS class.
Aside from experience, you’ll also earn Allegan Tomes and Wolf Marks. Allegan Tomes are a common endgame currency that can be used to purchase a variety of PvE items from gear, to pets, and so on. Wolf Marks will allow you to buy items from the PvP vendors at the Wolves’ Den. You can purchase items here purely for glamour or from the older ARR and Heavensward sets which also offer stats up to iLevel 205.
The Feast also features a ranked season where top players on each data center can earn some pretty cool stuff, including special mounts.
PRO TIP: If you want to do better at PvP in FFXIV, make sure you're listening to the right music while fighting.