The FFXIV Graphics Update will land with the release of the new expansion, Dawntrail. Here is everything we learned from the most recent keynote.
Dawntrail, the latest expansion of the critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV will release in Summer 2024. While that is still almost a year off, it is for good reason. While we can expect the usual slew of new Main Scenario, new dungeons, and locations, 7.0 might be the most ambitious update to FFXIV yet.
The release of the new expansion is the starting point of a graphical overhaul of the entire game. And that's not just reworking the shaders and shadows, all pieces of equipment and even older areas will get a complete redo.
While we won't get everything at once, the new areas and gear will be up to the new standard with the rest to follow throughout the 7.0 patch cycle.
So here is everything we learned about FFXIV's big graphics update:
FFXIV Graphics Update – Everything You Need to Know
So what is this Graphics Update all about? Generally speaking, a lot of Final Fantasy XIV's shaders will be completely reworked which means we'll get more detailed shadows, more realistic reflections, and more realistic materials.
Many of the newer assets, notably later Shadowbringers and the new Endwalker gear will see some minor overhauls. Mostly adding shaders that will accurately portray their materials.
We've seen in a clip that the Endwalker Paladin armor now has different reflections depending on the metal type and cloth of its various textures.
It's safe to assume that a lot of the tech used in Final Fantasy XVI which was released earlier this year will pop up in some shape or form in FFXIV in the near future.
Character models will also be completely overhauled. New face textures, new hair textures, and both of them with completely new shaders. The Au Ra horns for example have a lot more detail and don't look like they've been glued to their faces anymore. Hair textures will also see a significant increase in resolution and detail.
But the team behind the MMORPG wants to make sure that while the graphical fidelity is being bumped up, the general art direction will remain the same.
Just do keep in mind that older gear sets will be slowly updated as patches roll out, but they will still see some benefits thanks to the new shader tech. Something similar is also expected for special characters and monster models, characters such as Zenos or Emet-Selch will probably be reworked in later updates.
The zones will also benefit immensely from this. Of course, older areas will be completely reworked in the same vein as the dungeons have been reworked during the 6.x patches. Adding more detail, redoing some of the textures, and maybe fixing some little errors here and there.
A change you will notice imminently is the new foliage system. Grass, flowers and so on will now be generated by AI with new basic models. Improving their overall look and coverage while being less taxing in your GPU.
Lighting will also see a big rework. Light will now bounce off surfaces more realistically and will also feature multiple colors that can then light your character and affect your shadow. We'll learn more about that as we approach 7.0.
Last but not least, it seems like Final Fantasy XIV is finally getting volumetric fog. While only seen in some of the screenshots that have been shown off, the difference is night and day. This kind of fog in combination with some shader ticks can create a depth of field effect FFXIV has been lacking for quite some time.
FFXIV Graphics Update Requirements
Here are the new PC Requirements for Final Fantasy XIV, coming with the release of the Dawntrail expansion. It's quite a bump from the last maximum Requirement Update we had back with the release of Stormblood.
As for consoles, Final Fantasy XIV will still support the PlayStation 4 as well as the PlayStation 5 with its faster load times and 4K support. The upcoming Xbox release of FFXIV will also support 4K resolution on the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S will probably be 1080K or 1440K resolution.
That sums up everything we learned from the new graphical updates for Final Fantasy XIV, for more all around the Las Vegas Fan Fest 2023 make sure to keep an eye on our FFXIV page.