Final Fantasy XIV is always-online, meaning players need to remain connected to Square Enix’s servers to do anything in the game. Their time in the MMORPG lives and dies on their network connection. That means any interruptions or issues can severely hamper their gameplay experience.
Over the past year, FFXIV players have complained about server lag and packet loss issues. The complaints were so frequent that FFXIV creative director and lead producer Naoki Yoshida addressed the problems in a Lodestone blog post last year.
“Since around the release of Patch 6.1, we have been receiving reports from players in Japan and other parts of the world stating that they have been experiencing network-related issues, such as a few seconds of network loss, or lag,” wrote Yoshida.
Fast forward to this week, with several Reddit users complaining about server connection issues. The issues are so rampant that Square Enix acknowledged the problem in a recent tweet. Some of the problems are on the server side, but others can be handled by making a few fixes at your own computer or console. This article will walk you through a few of the available fixes. Hopefully one or more will work for you.
Get an VPN
Since the connection issues have risen with Patch 6.1 and beyond, some players have gone an alternate route with their fixes. Some report that the issue might be the result of a bad node somewhere along the connection process. One way around this issue is to get a VPN. A VPN will re-route your online traffic and folks have stated that using one has fixed their server lag issues with regards to FFXIV.
The issue here is free VPN services are likely not going to fix the problem. This means you’ll probably have to get a subscription to another service. Many FFXIV players use either ExitLag or Mudfish, but you can also look towards major service providers like ExpressVPN. Other options include VPN-like services that provide high-speed, stable routes for gaming traffic, including WTFast and PingZapper. Many of the services have trial options, so test out a few before diving in.
Select a server in your region
We’ve come a long way since the dark times of very few location-based choices for servers, but we’re still short on regional servers. South America and Africa are still missing, but players just had the addition of the Oceanian data center. There are more options for players worldwide to connect with FFXIV and have solid ping.
Newer servers in existing data centers are also an option. These servers have lower overall traffic and many folks experience lag spikes during peak hours on major servers. It’s possible that switching to a newer server may alleviate some of the issues.
After logging into the game, click on “Data Center” and you’ll be presented with an option for data centers in North America, Europe, Japan, and Oceania. Note, if you have an existing character, you’ll need to do a Data Center Transfer, which costs $18 unless you switch to a New or Preferred World.
Check your internet speed and system specs
Another major cause of server lag is your hardware. If your internet connection is struggling, then your game experience in FFXIV is going to struggle as well. You can use a service like SpeedTest to test your current internet connection. If there are slow speeds here, you might want to try resetting your router.
As Final Fantasy XIV continues to be updated with each expansion, the minimum system specifications also go up slightly. Here’s the current recommended system specifications for the Endwalker expansion:
- OS: Windows 8.1 64 bit, Windows 10 64-bit, Windows 11 64-bit
- Processor: Intel Core i7 3GHz or higher
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: 1920 x 1080: NVIDIA Geforce GTX970 or higher, AMD Radeon RX 480 or higher
- DirectX: Version 11
- Network: Broadband Internet connection
- Storage: 80 GB available space
- Sound Card: A sound card which supports DirectSound
If you’re punching below these spec, your experience is going to suffer. Square Enix also notes that some players may want to set up their route to properly forward FFXIV traffic. Per the company: “If you are using a router, please set up your ports so that the below packets can pass through. Ports that may be used include TCP: 80, 443, 54992～54994, 55006～55007, 55021～55040.”