FFXIV crossplay is one of the better (if more expensive) examples of the modern trend to let games play with each other across systems. The system is as seamless as one could hope for, while the game runs great with a controller. So whether you play on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, or PC you’re pretty much good to go. But there are a few things to note about the process — including the way you purchase the game across multiple platforms. Meanwhile, significant quality-of-life improvements have made cross-save easier than ever. Let’s take a look at it all in our FFXIV crossplay guide!
Does FFXIV Have Crossplay Support?
As you can probably guess from the introduction to this guide: yes. FFXIV has crossplay! Though there are some pretty major caveats and even a couple hurdles to jump if you want to hop between consoles. If you’re willing to be patient and put in the effort, though, there’s basically nothing you can’t do with other players between console and PC. The tricky part is more to do with transferring your progress — or more accurately your settings and content. That’s covered in the next section.
Does FFXIV Support Cross Saves?
The short answer these days almost entirely, yes! There’s just a bit of manual work involved in the process. Your character profile, items, levels, story progress, and all that associated jazz carry over pretty much seamlessly. Even on PlayStation consoles, FFXIV boots into a discrete launcher when you start the application. From there you can log into your Square Enix account just as you would on PC — and vice versa. From there the game knows exactly who you are and what you have, since all of that data is stored on a server.
Some FFXIV information is still stored “client-side,” however. That mostly includes player preferences, hotbars, and settings. For example, a lot of FFXIV players set the game to not display allied abilities (or at least to produce toned down versions of them) in the Character Configuration menu. That setting is not saved between versions of the game. Neither is spell and ability placement on the user interface.
This used to be a major pain for cross-save management. Changing or adding anything at all — particularly hotbars — had to be done twice. Every. Single. Time. Once on PC and once on PlayStation. Nowadays, it’s a lot simpler, but a bit difficult to find if you don’t know where to look. You need to hit the “Back Up Character Settings” button next to your character name on the login screen (shown in the screenshot above). This lets you manually upload, and later download, all such settings when next you log into another device. You have to click the button manually, but speaking as someone who used to redo all their actions and settings on two platforms, I can confirm it’s much better.
Does FFXIV Support Cross Buy?
The unfortunate answer to this question is no. None of your expansion purchases carry over from one console to the next. Square Enix tracks which systems you own which expansions on via the FFXIV website, where you can tell for yourself if you’ve already bought them. It’s a dark spot on an otherwise slick system. On the bright side, your subscription fee does count for both PC and PlayStation. So you don’t have to pay for monthly access twice over.
FFXIV also has an extremely robust “free trial.” That’s actually a bit of misnomer, since it’s much more than a trial. The demo includes the entire base game and the vast majority of its first FFXIV expansion, Heavensward. Purchasing the most recent expansion also includes all past content. For example, buying Shadowbringers (the fourth expansion) will net you a copy of Stormblood (the third expansion) at no additional cost. Calling it a free-to-play model would be quite a stretch, but it’s an interesting hybrid nonetheless.
The State of Crossplay and Cross Platform Support
Crossplay support only gets more popular with time! Odds are that it will be the norm before too long. Until then, though, the majority of cross platform multiplayer games don’t fully include it. When they do, it’s often restricted to players on one console playing with those on PC. Microsoft and Sony seem to view the PC as neutral ground.
Microsoft in particular has extra incentive in the form of its “play anywhere policy.” Typically, if you buy a digital copy of a Microsoft first-party exclusive, you get to own it both on Xbox and PC — free of additional charge. At that point there’s really no reason not to let folks play together. Throw in services like Xbox Game Pass (which is now on PC) and things get even easier.
Sony has historically taken pretty much the opposite approach. The company was far and away the sales leader on the last generation of consoles. That incentivized it not to play well with others — nor allow its partner studios to do so on its hardware. Historically, Sony first-party exclusives basically never come out on PC. It was PlayStation or nothing. Though that’s slowly changing with the likes of Horizon: Zero Dawn.
Even so, Sony has announced its crossplay solution has exited “beta” and should be freely available to all. And FFXIV has been benefiting from a special arrangement for some time. At the same time, it’s removing even more barriers to playing with your friends via its Endwalker expansion. Players should be able to interact with each other no matter what server or “data center” they call home. Here’s hoping FFXIV crossplay only gets better over time.