Although hard to believe, it’s been almost a decade since Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn was first released. Since then, we’ve been treated to four expansions, each of which has added a huge story campaign, exciting new jobs, epic new zones, dungeons, raids, and plenty more besides.
Whether you’re a Final Fantasy 14 veteran or are jumping into the game for the first time, we’ve put together an overview of all Final Fantasy 14’s expansions in order.
And don’t worry, this overview is spoiler-free!
Also Read: The 16 Best FFXIV Mods to Use
Final Fantasy 14 Expansions
As the first major expansion for the game, Final Fantasy 14: Heavensward had a lot of work to do. While the base game was very well received, fans and critics alike had the same questions:
- How were Square Enix going to handle expansion content for such a story-driven MMO?
- How were they going to build a game that would keep players coming back every month?
- And, how were they going to learn from both the successes and limitations of the base game?
Heavensward was the answer, and was released to universal acclaim. Set in the cold, inhospitable, and previously inaccessible realm of Ishgard, Heavensward sees the Warrior of Light and their companions venture through the frozen wastes on a quest to stop an army of pretty angry dragons from incinerating everything they hold dear.
We don’t normally associate MMOs with having particularly good stories. A Realm Reborn’s story was great by MMO standards, but it still didn’t match the quality of many single player Final Fantasy games or other single player RPGs.
Enter Heavensward, which features a thirty-or-so hour campaign that is some of the best storytelling in the medium. While we’re not going to spoil anything here today, this high-stakes, emotive, and incredibly climactic storyline is worth experiencing, even for gamers who aren’t overly fond of MMOs.
Besides the main story, Heavensward raised the level cap to 60, and brought a new city, The Holy See of Ishgard, and several new zones set in the homeland of the dragons and beyond. Furthermore, players were treated to a playable new race, the Au Ra, and three new jobs, the unyielding Dark Knight (Tank), the savvy Machinist (Ranged DPS), and the studious Astrologian (Healer).
The expansion added several new dungeons and Primal encounters, with a noticeable step-up in quality from the base game. The dungeons were more varied, the boss encounters better designed, and the big fights provided greater spectacle. This aspect of the expansion was further improved with patch content.
There was also a host of new features that would act as a foundation for future expansions, such as new and improved Beast Tribe factions, flying mounts, and much more.
Heavensward Patch Content
- Patch 3.1 (As Goes Light, So Goes Darkness)
- Patch 3.2 (The Gears of Change)
- Patch 3.3 (Revenge of the Horde)
- Patch 3.4 (Soul Surrender)
- Patch 3.5 (The Far Edge of Fate – Part 1)
- Patch 3.56 (The Far Edge of Fate – Part 2)
By the time Final Fantasy 14’s next expansion, Stormblood, rolled along, FF14 had secured itself the position as one of the best MMORPGs on the market. Given the immense success of Heavensward, Stormblood had lots to live up to.
Stormblood exchanges frigid peaks in northern Eorzea for a far more pleasant climate in the eastern area of the world. The Warrior of Light travels to the oriental-themed Far East to help unite the regions of Gyr Abania and Othard against the Garlean Empire, who usurped large areas of the former region two decades earlier. As the rebellion grows, an even greater threat begins to unravel.
While the consensus is that Stormblood isn’t quite as good as the expansion that came before it, it was still a fantastic addition to the Final Fantasy 14 catalogue. Most of the criticism is aimed towards a main story that doesn’t quite reach the highs of Heavensward.
That said, the quality of the story is still extremely good, and the post-release story that was introduced in the patches is arguably some of the best in the whole game.
Along with a chunk of new story to experience, Stormblood brought a series of massive, beautiful new zones that were inspired by the real far east as well as the African plains. In addition, players were treated to a new city, the bustling port city of Kugane, as well as new dungeons, a raid, and two Primal fights, each of which really switched things up a bit in terms of mechanics and environmental design.
You’ll immediately be able to see the step up in graphical fidelity in these new areas, as it marked the end of Playstation 3 support for the game.
Other new additions included a new level cap of 70, two new jobs, the noble Samurai (Melee DPS), and the jack-of-all-trades Red Mage (Magic DPS), as well as the ability to explore underwater environments.
Stormblood Patch Content
- Patch 4.1 (The Legend Returns)
- Patch 4.2 (Rise of a New Sun)
- Patch 4.3 (Under the Moonlight)
- Patch 4.4 (Prelude in Violet)
- Patch 4.5 (A Requiem for Heroes – Part 1)
- Patch 4.56 (A Requiem for Heroes – Part 2)
In the build-up to Shadowbringers, it was clear for players that the story was going to take an unexpected turn. While we aren’t going to spoil anything here – it certainly did.
In Shadowbringers, The Warrior Of Light travels beyond Eorzea for the first time. It’s a truly epic story that’s on a much grander scale than anything Final Fantasy 14 players had seen before, an adventure of cosmic scale and enormous consequence.
We’re being vague on purpose, as it’s in this expansion that players get a first glimpse of the endgame of the MMORPG’s first main story arc. As such, it’d be a crime to spoil any of the story beats in this article. It was, however, widely lauded by fans and critics, who praised the plot, character development, and the ambition of the story.
Shadowbringers brought far more to the Final Fantasy 14 universe than just story, however. In typical fashion, players were treated to six new zones to explore, which, for reasons we won’t spoil (again), provided tons of fan service for the loyal players who stuck with the game until this expansion.
This time around, there were two new cities, rather than one. An enormous major city, The
The Crystarium, and a smaller city, Eulmore.
As with previous expansions, more jobs were added to the roster; the steadfast Gunbreaker (Tank), and the elegant Dancer (Ranged DPS). Two new races were also included at release, the bunny-like Viera, a female only race, and the lion-like Hrothgar.
In addition to a wealth of new dungeons and two new Primal fights, there were also two raids, one of which was designed by NieR masterminds Yoko Taro and Yosuke Saito. It was based on the game NieR: Automata.
Shadowbringers added plenty of new gameplay features to the table too, including a new level cap of 80, New Game +, an NPC Trust system which allowed dungeons to be run with NPCs rather than other players, new Role Quests to replace Job Quests, a new crafting activity called Restoration of the Holy See of Ishgard, and much more.
Shadowbringers Patch Content
- Patch 5.1 (Vows of Virtue, Deeds of Cruelty)
- Patch 5.2 (Echoes of a Fallen Star)
- Patch 5.3 (Reflections in Crystal)
- Patch 5.4 (Futures Rewritten)
- Patch 5.5 (Death unto Dawn)
- Patch 5.55 (Death Unto Dawn – Part 2)
By the time Endwalker was released in 2021, Final Fantasy 14 was at peak popularity. Square Enix began offering a generous free trial, allowing players to check out the base game and Heavensward for free, resulting in an influx of new players.
Furthermore, during the lead-up to Endwalker’s release, its main rival, World of Warcraft, was struggling. At the time, WoW’s content updates were being poorly received by fans, and Activision-Blizzard were in the midst of having numerous allegations of sexual harassment being made against senior staff at the company. Naturally, many WoW veterans had migrated over to Final Fantasy 14.
It’s safe to say that there was a lot of hype in the months before Endwalker’s release. Not only were millions of more players involved in the game, but Endwalker was to conclude the first ‘Arc’ in the FF14 storyline.
We’re going to keep plot-points extremely light again, because we do not want to spoil anything about the story should you decide to play the game. Endwalker did, however, satisfyingly tie up the vast majority of the story arcs that had been developing since the base game, and offered some huge character payoffs, devastating moments, and enormous surprises.
This time around, players were given two new jobs: the venerable Sage (Healer) and the powerful Reaper (Melee DPS). There was also one new race this time around, the male version of the bunny-like Viera.
As was tradition by this point, there were six new zones to explore, as well as two new cites Old Sharlayan and Radz-at-Han, two new Primal fights, eight dungeons, and two raids. New gameplay features included the Island Sanctuary (which actually hit a short-time after launch), a new PvP mode, a level 90 level cap, and more.
Endwalker Patch Content
- Patch 6.1 (Newfound Adventure)
- Patch 6.2 (Buried Memory)
- Patch 6.3 (Gods Revel, Lands Tremble)
- To be continued!
Which Final Fantasy 14 Expansion Is Your Favourite?
With almost 10 years worth of expansions and patches, Final Fantasy 14 is truly a game to get lost in. We can’t wait to see what Square Enix has in store for us next!