Variant Dungeons (and their bigger, meaner sibling Criterion Dungeons) were introduced to Final Fantasy XIV in Patch 6.25, and with them came a feature that was rarely before seen in other Duties – choice. These dungeons are a unique spin on the type of content that players have grown accustomed to and allow more freedom by having branching paths, multiple endings, and Variant Actions that can change the makeup of the party’s composition.
At the time of writing, there is one normal difficulty Variant Dungeon, The Sil’dihn Subterrane, and its more difficult Criterion Dungeon counterparts, Another Sil’dihn Subterrane and Another Sil’dihn Subterrane (Savage). The base version can be unlocked with the quest “A Key to the Past” and must be completed before the tougher versions can be accessible.
How to unlock the Sil’dihn Subterrane
To unlock the Sil’dihn Subterrane, Warriors of Light that have a Disciple of War or Magic job at level 90 and an item level of 575 must first have completed the Main Scenario Quest “Endwalker” before taking the quest “An Odd Job” from Osmon in Old Sharlayan (X: 12, Y: 13.4). This quest isn’t really a quest at all, since it completes after having a quick chat with the NPC. This unlocks the Variant and Criterion (V&C) Dungeon Finder, but you haven’t unlocked the Variant Dungeon itself yet.
Upon completion of “An Odd Job,” the quest “A Key to the Past” is now accessible by talking to Shallow Moor just nearby in Old Sharlayan (X: 12.0, Y: 13.3). You will unlock the Sil’dihn Subterrane after just the second step.
How to unlock Mount Rokkon
Mount Rokkon was added in Patch 6.45 and can also be unlocked in Old Sharlayan from the Shallow Moor at X: 12, Y: 13.3. Players must have already spoken with Osomon to unlock the previous Variant Dungeon before they can unlock Mount Rokkon. The quest to access this Variant Dungeon is called “Mononoke Aware”. Once you’ve completed the quest, which requires players to go into the dungeon and complete at least one of the paths, the V&C Dungeon Finder will add Mount Rokkon.
How to unlock Aloalo Island
In order to unlock Aloalo Island, added in Patch 6.51, players will need to head back to Old Sharlayan to the same Shallow Moor that unlocked Mount Rokkon. Once you take the quest "Stranger from Paradise", you will have access to the Variant Dungeon. You can choose to head into it over and over again before completing it, but you can't unlock the higher-tier versions of it until you've turned in the quest.
If you need some help, here's a guide to all 12 routes.
How to unlock Criterion Dungeons
Criterion Dungeons at their core are the same as their base versions, but their difficulty is compared more to Extreme Trials, or as the Criterion (Savage) name implies, Savage Raids. Enemies deal significantly more damage, the bosses have more mechanics, and Variant Actions are much more restricted.
After completing a run of Sil’dihn Subterrane, speaking to Osmon again in Old Sharlayan (X: 12, Y: 13.4) will unlock Another Sil’dihn Subterrane. Parties will need to be much more prepared as this dungeon’s requirement jumps to item level 610.
Each Criterion Dungeon’s Savage modes are unlocked in a similar fashion to the previous version. Once a party has completed the Criterion Dungeon, speaking to Osmon once more will grant access to the Savage version.
This article was edited by Jessica Scharnagle on July 17, 2023.