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FFXIV: All Expansions In Order

FFXIV: All Expansions In Order
Images via Square Enix

Written by 

Jaimie Ditchfield

Posted 

15th Sep 2022 12:10

If you're playing FFXIV, you might be wondering which expansions to play, and in which order. With an expanded free trial, you can play through the entirety of A Realm Reborn and the award-winning Heavensward expansion up to level 60 for free with no restrictions on playtime.

However, you may feel a little bit overwhelmed by Final Fantasy XIV and are confused about the order of expansions, which could potentially be the reason why you’re hesitating to play it. If that’s the case, then there’s no need to worry, as we’re going to explain the order of expansions in FFXIV – allowing you to get started as easily as possible.

  • Want to know how to change Jobs in FFXIV? Check out our guide here.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Patch 2.0)

FFXIV ARR
Click to enlarge
A Realm Reborn Title Screen

The base game, also known as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, is your first stop on your long adventure throughout the land of Eorzea and its surrounding areas. Many people, including myself, found A Realm Reborn to be tedious at times, but it’s a required step to get to some of the better content in the game. Although it’s not bad by any means, a lot of the quests can be described as basic fetch quests, which can really test your patience.

During my playthrough of ARR, it took roughly 50 hours to get through – not including other activities such as levelling up individual jobs. If you want to spend time doing side quests and other miscellaneous tasks, then you can easily double the time required for completion.

Post-ARR Quests (Patches 2.1-2.55)

Although you’ve now technically completed the base game, there’s still more to do before you can progress onto the next expansion, Heavensward. This will be the same for every upcoming major expansion, with the third or fourth patch typically advancing the plot towards the direction of the themes of the upcoming content. However, this will not be the case with FFXIV: Endwalker according to recent reports.

Each patch adds a bunch of new story content, which also includes new duties and trials to tackle. This is where the story really starts to pick up some momentum and is where most people fall in love with the game. If you can make it to patch 2.5, you will likely become an FFXIV addict like the rest of us.

Heavensward (Patch 3.0)

FFXIV HW
Click to enlarge
Heavensward Title Screen

Heavensward is considered to be one of the best stories in modern Final Fantasy and I have to agree with that sentiment. This expansion features some very important story beats that receive further development later on – and contains my favourite trial in the entire game. Additionally, there is one moment which broke FFXIV players across the globe, so you might want to pack a tissue or two before you start this adventure.

Post-HW Quests (Patches 3.1-3.56)

Following on from Heavensward, the post-story content is just as heart-wrenching as its predecessor. “Dragonsong” is a beautiful composition by series composer Nobuo Uematsu that really managed to nail the themes of the expansion through its lyrics and instruments. This is where the game started to slide its way into my top ten list – due to its emotional storytelling and phenomenal worldbuilding.

Stormblood (Patch 4.0)

FFXIV SB
Click to enlarge
Stormblood Title Screen

Stormblood is often seen as the lesser expansion compared to the others, primarily because of the dramatic shift in pacing. Nevertheless, Stormblood still manages to explore the effects of war on two different civilisations by utilising effective villains to motivate your quest to liberate those factions. Compared to the other expansions, the adventure is a lot slower and aims to get you ready for some of the best stories in FFXIV to date.

Post-SB Quests (Patches 4.1-4.56)

Although SB was slower, the post-story quests decide to crank things up to eleven, especially when you get towards patch 4.3. Overall, this is some solid content that aims to continue the trend of developing its cast of characters, while also introducing key plot points that players have come to respect as some of the franchise’s best.

Shadowbringers (Patch 5.0)

FFXIV SHB
Click to enlarge
Shadowbringers Title Screen

One brings shadow, one brings light. Those opening lyrics to the main theme of Shadowbringers are powerful words that are simply unforgettable. If you were to ask an FFXIV player about their favourite expansion, it’s probably this one. Avoid spoilers at all costs, you will thank us later.

Post-SHB Quests (Patches 5.1-5.55)

If you thought the emotional rollercoaster was over, you might want to prepare yourself for what’s to come. The consensus for the story following Shadowbringers is just as positive as the main campaign, so again, please avoid spoilers.

Endwalker (Patch 6.0)

FFXIV EW
Click to enlarge
Endwalker Title Screen

The most recent expansion, FFXIV: Endwalker, has been received just as positively as its predecessor and aims to conclude aspects of a saga 10 years in the making. For FFXIV players, this expansion was essentially the Avengers Endgame of Final Fantasy, and it paid off massively.

Post-EW Quests (Patch 6.1 - ???)

If you’ve made it past Endwalker, congratulations, you’ve essentially caught up with the latest happenings in FFXIV. At the time of writing, patches 6.1 and 6.2 have been released, adding more story content and fun gameplay features. Now, it’s time to start running raids with your friends to gear up for some of the game’s most difficult pieces of content.

That’s all of the expansions listed in order for Final Fantasy XIV. If you’re new to the game, this roadmap should help you keep track of where you’re currently at in the main scenario quest. In my own playthrough, it took me just over 200 hours to reach Shadowbringers – but that included extra activities on top of the main story quest. Nevertheless, if you can get past its somewhat tedious opening act, you’ll find one of the most addictive experiences available on the market.

For more Final Fantasy guides, be sure to keep reading GGRecon.

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