Final Fantasy XIV is a tale of redemption rarely seen in gaming circles. Originally released in 2010 it was a huge critical and commercial flop.
Indeed it was so bad the whole thing was shuttered and re-released in 2012 with the tag “a realm reborn”.
Since then the game has become an MMO behemoth capable of taking on the big boys like World of Warcraft.
However, no game is perfect so I’ve compiled a list of mods to make your FFXIV experience even better.
If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, you can buy it here.
So Why Mod FFXIV?
FFXIV is a great game but at this point, it’ll soon be celebrating its tenth birthday. Unsurprisingly this age is starting to show, despite regular hefty updates.
You can easily sink hundreds of hours into games like FFXIV. When you’re putting this kind of time into a game, janky graphics can start to be a real pain in the butt.
This is why I’ve compiled a list of the top FFXIV mods available into 2021. They’re all free and they all help refresh a game that can feel a little dated at times.
Before we begin- a warning.
Firstly, FFXIV is an MMO which means all the FFXIV mods on this list are cosmetic only. This isn’t GTA V people.
Secondly, you install these mods at your own risk. Since they’re only cosmetic mods that are installed on your side you should be ok. But just keep in mind when it comes to MMO’s the devs tend to frown upon modding of any kind.
Finally, be warned if you go hunting for FFXIV mods on your own a lot of them are NSFW. I’ve kept this list nice and clean.
20. Touch of Real
Our first mod focuses on facial textures. Out with the old dated ones, in with the new.
Your characters won’t look like they’ve come from a AAA title from 2021 but they will look a hell of a lot better. You’ll probably want to combine this with some other mods to make your characters pop.
This is two mods, one for male textures and one for female but I’ve combined them into one entry on this list.
One of the defining characteristics of any Final Fantasy game is its summons. Summons date back to the earliest entries in the series. I can remember being blown away as a child by the summon cutscenes in FF7.
This mod gives the summons in FFXIV the love they deserve. Like so many mods on this list, this is mainly a texture upgrade.
This FFXIV mod provides a pretty major change and you’ll either love it or hate it.
This mod makes the graphics cel-shaded similar to those of the Borderlands games. It’s a pretty major overhaul and it isn’t perfect. For example, the creators note problems with long-distance weather outlines.
However, after dozens of hours grinding away at FFXIV I personally find the change refreshing. The performance hit for such a major change is surprisingly small to boot.
Ludite is a pretty huge graphical upgrade that makes a lot of changes.
It improves the color palette and gives the game a nice Cyan-tint. The creator has tried to replicate FFXV in the visuals.
It also plays around quite a bit with lighting and contrast. Importantly, whilst it makes the lighting better, it still ensures you’ll get all the visual information you need during dungeons and raids.
Finally, it features Ray Traced Global Illumination. Of course, right now Ray tracing is all the rage so this is a big one. If you have the hardware to support it this could potentially be a huge graphical upgrade.
If you have a good enough rig Ludite could be for you. It’s a pretty major graphical upgrade but unsurprisingly it can come at a pretty hefty performance cost.
That performance cost is the only thing stopping it from being higher on the list.
None of these mods are going to magically turn FFXIV into a completely new experience. But they might just breathe a little breath of fresh air into a game that at this point you’ve probably been playing for years.
But these upgrades don’t come without risk. Remember that even though the servers shouldn’t detect any of these mods you’re still technically breaking the rules.
DO NOT mention the fact you’re using mods in-game unless you want to see your account potentially banned.
FFXIV is a great game and it’s awesome to see so many modders still supporting it as it nears its tenth birthday.
Q. Are mods allowed in FF14?
We’ve already mentioned this (a lot) but it’s worth repeating. No! Mods aren’t technically allowed. Mods make it harder for publishers to sell you shiny new cosmetics and anything affecting gameplay could destroy the balance.
However, the mods on this list were chosen because the creators all assure their users that FFXIV’s servers won’t pick them up.
This is because you’re only changing your local files so it won’t affect other users’ gameplay experience.
You’re breaking the rules but nobody is getting hurt. Still, it’s best not to mention mods in-game, ever. The fact you’re not hurting anyone won’t stop moderators from banning you.
Q. What is Textools?
Textools is a Modding Framework first developed in 2016. It’s used both to create mods and install/ use them.
It’s the tool you use to install mods for FFXIV and you’ll need to install and set it up before downloading any mods. Don’t worry, it’s easy to use.
Q. Does Final Fantasy 14 have add-ons?
Final Fantasy 14 has no official add-ons. Producer Naoki Yoshida once stated that Square was considering including add-ons as long as they didn’t hurt the game. But that plan seems to have been completely shelved.
As you can see above there are plenty of mods you can download if you don’t mind breaking a few rules. BUT you do so at your own risk.
Q. How do I get more hairstyles in FFXIV?
You can unlock them through gameplay. This might be through quest rewards, dungeons, or raids. These can take a lot of work to unlock however and don’t always feel worth the effort.
Of course, if you’re feeling lazy you can also download hair mods that will provide you with a range of choices.
However, these hairstyles will only be visible to you. Everyone else will only be able to see your stock hairstyle.
Q. Is Gunbreaker fun in FFXIV?
Yes! FFXIV’s newest tank can be a blast to play. The Gunbreaker is a jack of all trades that does decent damage balanced with good defense and healing capabilities.
This jack of all trades approach means you always have something to do and you’ll never be stuck on the sidelines waiting to step in. Better yet the Gunbreaker is fun to play in solo play as well.
On top of this, it just looks cool.
Q. Where do you put Gshade?
This isn’t as difficult as it might sound.
– Download Gshade – Run the installer – When it asks where you should install it, click browse – Find Final Fantasy XIV’s exe location. It will probably look something like this: C:\Program Files (x86)\SquareEnix\FINAL FANTASY XIV – A Realm Reborn\game\ffxiv_dx11.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FINAL FANTASY XIV Online\game\ffxiv_dx11.exe
– Select it and click next.
If this is all a bit scary I suggest following the official Gshade visual guide here.