When Final Fantasy XIV originally launched in 2010, it was an unmitigated disaster on par with Kefka’s destruction of the world in FFVI. Scoring just below 50 on Metacritic, it was the kind of game that most publishers would have swept under the rug and speed walked away from.
But Square Enix wasn’t willing to let their flagship series go down like that. Had they abandoned it, FFXIV would likely have been the most final Final Fantasy. Instead, Square Enix handed the reigns off to the one man who could rescue it.
The true Warrior of Light himself: Naoki Yoshida.
Yoshida didn’t just steer FFXIV in the right direction. He sank the original ship with a meteor and rebuilt it from the ground up. And from the ashes of the worst Final Fantasy ever produced, a phoenix arose – Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.
Since then, FFXIV has gone on to become one of Square Enix’s most popular games ever and the single most profitable Final Fantasy game in the series’ history. But it hasn’t just gained success as a Final Fantasy game. It’s become one of the biggest, most well-respected MMORPGs on the market today.
Some fans will tell you that popularity is because of its incredible, engaging story. Others will praise its flexible combat classes and end game raids. And a whole different set of players claim that the real draw of FFXIV is its glamour system.
Navigating this List of FFXIV Mods
There’s something for everyone in this game. But it isn’t perfect. Especially not if you’re playing it for the first time in 2023. It is a decade old after all. And while FFXIV is a beautiful game that still plays great, there are a handful of great mods that can make your journey through Eorzea even more enjoyable!
To make this list as easy as possible to navigate, we’ve grouped these top FFXIV mods into four major categories: FFXIV mods that improve the game’s visuals, FFXIV mods that improve the UI and navigation, FFXIV mods that improve combat, and random FFXIV mods. We’ve also tried to order them from the most essential to the least essential within each category.
So, keep reading to discover the FFXIV mods that will make Final Fantasy XIV an even better experience than it already is! And remember, right now these mods can only be used on the PC version of the game. If you’re playing on your PS4 or PS5, you’ll have to be satisfied with what you’ve already got.
How to Install the Latest FFXIV Mods
You’ll find all of the following mods (along with a host of others) on the Nexus Mod site or Github. Unfortunately, this means that you won’t be able to use a single launcher (like the PC version of Final Fantasy VII’s launcher, 7th Heaven).
Fortunately, none of these mods require all that much technical know-how or effort. When you click the mods link, you’ll be brought to its Nexus Mod or Github page. There, you’ll find a tutorial that will walk you through the process of getting it up and running.
Occasionally, you’ll discover that a mod may require another plugin, like FFXIV TexTools to apply. In that case, you’ll simply need to follow the directions to download and install the required plugin. Most of the time, you’ll simply need to download the necessary files, place them in a specific folder, and boot your game up.
So, now that you’re ready to bring your copy of FFXIV into the year 2023, let’s get started by looking at some mods that will improve the game’s visuals.
I. FFXIV Mods to Improve the Game’s Visuals
When Final Fantasy: A Realm Reborn was released in 2013, it had some of the best visuals on any MMO. But that was nearly ten years ago and it’s starting to show its age. Fortunately, there are a handful of mods that can be used to improve the game’s textures, lighting, and other visual elements. With these mods in place, you’ll put the shine back into FFXIV’s graphical presentation in a big way.
1. Alive GShade Preset
If you’re looking to improve FFXIV’s overall visuals, you cannot go wrong with Alive GShade Preset. Simply put, it’s the single best all-in-one graphical upgrade mod you’ll find for Final Fantasy XIV.
Unlike a lot of other mods that address FFXIV’s visuals, Alive GShade Preset doesn’t just improve a single element of the game’s graphics. It offers a whole host of tweaks that, together, drastically improve the game’s presentation. Once you’ve applied this mod, you’ll feel like you’re visiting Eorzea and The First for the first time.
Alive GShade Preset offers a major overhaul to FFXIV, adjusting color settings, adding atmospheric fog, and more. As a result, it requires a meaty system to run it at full power. According to the developers, its max settings will leave you with a 20-30% performance tax.
You can learn more about Alive GShade Preset and download it here.
2. Face Defined
There are several graphical mods that are geared toward improving the look of in-game characters and NPCs. This is the first of these mods, Face Defined.
With this mod in place, most character models will receive upgraded textures, including every race and gender. While it’s not revolutionary, it does add a fresh paint of coat to FFXIV that keeps it from looking like the ten year old game it is.
You can learn more about Face Defined and download it here.
3. Hair Defined
Hair has always been notoriously difficult to render in video games. And yet, even the original release of FFXIV did a remarkable job on this front. But Hair Defined, another graphical upgrade mod, is designed to improve FFXIV’s hair even more, adding thousands of upscaled and enhanced hair textures.
This mod will leave your character and many NPCs looking like they just got back from the salon. It’s the perfect mod to pair with Face Defined.
You can learn more about Face Defined and download it here.
4. Eyeworks / Owl’s Eyes of Eorzea
While you may not have given your character’s eyes much thought, the creators of Eyeworks and Owl’s Eyes of Eorzea have. Both of these mods are designed to overhaul the eyes of in-game characters and NPCs, making them look more life-like.
Eyeworks simply enhances the game’s normal eye textures. Owl’s Eyes of Eorzea, on the other hand, is a complete reworking of every eye texture in the game, with the creator handcrafting each eye so it perfectly fits its specific race and gender.
If you only want an enhanced experience, try Eyeworks. If you’re looking for something truly dazzling, go with Owl’s Eyes of Eorzea.
You can learn more about Eyeworks and download it here.
You can learn more about Owl’s Eyes of Eorzea and download it here.
5. NPC Defined
Once your character is looking its best, you should consider giving your favorite NPCs a makeover as well. Make sure Alphinaud, Thancred, and Cid are all looking their very best by installing this mod.
Like Face Defined and Hair Defined, NPC Defined enhances all of your favorite NPC’s textures. That way your character model doesn’t stand out so much from the crowd of in-game characters.
You can learn more about NPC Defined and download it here.
6. Hrothgar and Viera Hats
Viera and Hrothgar characters have given the FFXIV developers a hell of a time when it comes to hats. Their oddly shaped heads and ears have made some hats impossible to render accurately because of the clipping. Fortunately, the FFXIV community of modders were up to the task of fixing this issue.
By downloading and installing Hrothgar and Viera Hats, your Viera or Hrothgar will be able to wear most hats and even take advantage of the equipment’s visor option. You should remember that, unless they have the mod installed too, others won’t be able to see your stylish hats.
You can learn more about Hrothgar and Viera Hats and download it here.
7. Flicker Optimization and V-Sync Stutter Fix
If you’ve got a beast of a computer and want to take FFXIV’s graphical settings to their limit, Flicker Optimization and V-Sync Stutter Fix is the crème de la crème. With this mod installed and your graphical settings on Ultra, you’ll eliminate flickering from terrain details like grass. With this mod installed on top of the previous ones, you’ll have a FFXIV experience like no other.
You can learn more about Flicker Optimization and V-Sync Stutter Fix and download it here.
II. FFXIV Mods to Improve UI & Navigation
Once you’ve gotten all the necessary graphical mods installed, you’ll want to consider these UI and navigation mods. These will make FFXIV even more playable and user friendly than it already is.
TPie is one of those mods that’s pure practicality. It’s the kind of add-on that should’ve been included in the game at launch. It allows you to access a ring-like hotkey, similar to that from games like Secret of Mana. It makes selecting actions, changing classes, performing macros, and more easier than ever. And it’s perfect for high-end raids and other moments when you’ve got to keep the buttons going non-stop.
This mod is completely customizable, making it a great fit for all kinds of situations. And if you’re at a loss for how to set it up, you’ll find plenty of presets available online that have been tested out by other players.
You can learn more about TPie and download it here.
If you’ve ever been wandering around Eorzea and thought, “This game could really use a compass like Skyrim’s,” then you are in luck! Compass is a mod that adds a Elder Scrolls-like compass to your HUD, giving you the ability to quickly see which direction you need to begin moving in order to reach your next destination.
You can learn more about Compass and download it here.
3. Moogle Maps
Whether you spend a lot of time treasure or monster hunting, Moogle Maps will make your life much easier. With this mod installed, you’ll be able to quickly see the zone hunts and treasure map areas. It’s a simple texture swap, but it can make a huge difference in the time you spend moving between maps and the main game screen.
You can learn more about Moogle Maps and download it here.
III. FFXIV Mods to Improve Combat
Adding a new coat of paint to FFXIV is all well and good. But what about the gameplay? The following mods streamline FFXIV’s combat system and gives you easier access to valuable information that can help you defeat even the toughest of enemies and raids.
1. Advanced Combat Tracker
Advanced Combat Tracker, or DPS Meter as it’s often known, is a mod that breaks down all of the combat information you could ever want to know. In particular, it measures metrics like DPS amount, healing amount, damage soaked, and more. It’s the number one way to refine your job rotation and “git gud.” Just don’t be a jerk if you notice your stats are a little better than your fellow adventurers. Nobody likes a showoff.
You can learn more about Advanced Combat Tracker and download it here.
XIVAuras is a helpful little mod that will prominently display all your buffs, including how long it will be active before it runs out. This allows you to buff yourself and your party more efficiently, improving your job rotation in the process.
You can learn more about XIVAuras and download it here.
You know how you sometimes have access to a single button that changes abilities depending on your rotation in PvP mode? Now, you can have buttons like that (and customize them to your heart’s content) all the time. XIVCombo gives you the ability to create custom combo buttons for your character. It’s especially helpful for those looking to get into the highest tier raids.
You can learn more about XIVCombo and download it here.
IV. Random FFXIV Mods
To close out this list of incredible FFXIV mods, we’re going to look at three random mods you may want to consider.
Have you ever wanted to remove pets from your view of Eorzea? Do you find Chocobos so annoying that you’d rather they vanish into thin air? Are you sick and tired of seeing all of those other adventurers out there? If so, you may want to check out VisibilityPlugin, a mod that lets you turn certain in-game models off, so they disappear completely from your screen.
While it can be used to remove unnecessary clutter, it’s also good for making yourself feel like the only Warrior of Light Hydaelyn ever needed.
You can learn more about VisibilityPlugin and download it here.
2. Hydaelyn UI
Hydaelyn UI is an understated mod that simplifies FFXIV’s menus. It removes the texture normally on them and eliminates the beveled border. You’re left with blue tinted, minimalist menus that are impossible to get distracted by.
You can learn more about Hydaelyn UI and download it here.
3. WHM Spells – VFX Replacements
Dissatisfied with FFXIV’s white magic animations? If so, then this is the mod for you. It reworks the animation for several of the most popular white magic spells, like Regen and Stone. If you’re a white mage main who’s been playing for a while and could use a little visual variety, why not give WHM Spells – VFX Replacements a try? It may be just what you need to spice up this classic job.
You can learn more about WHM Spells – VFX Replacements and download it here.