The 5 best add-ons for Final Fantasy XIV
Use at your own risk.
Final Fantasy XIV has risen substantially in popularity over the past few years. Many players just venturing out into the game may find that it can, at times, feel like it is showing its decade-spanning lifespan. Square Enix and the developers have gone to great lengths to keep the game modern, but some PC players have taken it upon themselves to develop and utilize tools to adjust the game to fit their needs. Here are some of the best mods that have become popular in the modding community.
Please keep in mind that mods are officially against the terms of service in Final Fantasy XIV. Most players prefer to keep the game as vanilla as possible to avoid possible bans. While this list only shows add-ons that are extremely harmless, they are all still for use at your own risk. Mods are also not available for the console version of the game.
The 5 best mods for Final Fantasy XIV
By far the most impactful visual mod for Final Fantasy XIV is ReShade. Fans used to use a variation called GeShade, but after malware concerns they have returned to the original program. This mod has a plethora of filters that enhance the game’s colors, shadings, and graphics. While the program has a built-in library of suggested presets, players have also taken it upon themselves to host additional presets that they have made.
The image above is a quick example of what ReShade can do, but there are so many different ways to customize it that this is just a drop in the bucket of how it can alter the game’s visuals.
2. Advanced Combat Tracker (ACT)
The use of plugins that show the performance of everyone in a party is a very divided argument. While many believe that damage logs breed toxicity, others like to utilize them to hone their skills and improve as a player. Advanced Combat Tracker is a plugin that runs in the background during gameplay. It keeps track of many things during a fight, but most notably damage and healing output from everyone in a party.
Players utilize this information to improve their “parses” for a boss fight and can upload them to sites like fflogs.com. These logs can be used as a guideline for the skill level of a player compared to others of their same job. The plugin even comes with overlays to display the information in real-time on your screen while you play.
MaterialUI is a mod that replaces all of Final Fantasy XIV’s UI assets with crisp high-definition displays. It drastically improves font clarity, simplifies job bars, and much more. Even ability icons are made more visually striking. The minimap also receives some love with the addition of a cone to show which direction your character is facing. The mod is kept updated with every patch and just gives the game’s UI a more modern flair.
4. Hair Defined
A lot of players are heavily invested in their Warrior of Light’s physical appearance. While the in-game hair options are great for an aging MMO, there are mods out there that will improve them even more. Hair Defined replaces the vanilla hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, and beard textures for every race and gender in Final Fantasy XIV. This helps to reduce pixelation of hair and enhances the visual appearance of all characters in the game.
5. Face Defined
Those who utilize Hair Defined also will find Face Defined goes well with it. Face Defined replaces the vanilla face textures for every race and gender in the game and includes defined eye textures as well. The base faces of the game still look great, but they’ve shown their age a bit the same as hair has. This mod makes characters more visually crisp with brighter eyes.
Related: The Final Fantasy XIV plugin debate has reached a grim reality
Improving Final Fantasy XIV without mods
It has been revealed recently that Square Enix will be doing a massive visual upgrade for Final Fantasy XIV in the near future. Players who don’t want to alter their game or risk their account won’t have to wait much longer to get more modern graphics. Game director Yoshida Naoki has stated many times that the developers want to address UI and game problems over time to deter player’s from feeling like they need to use mods.