Learn everything there is to know about FFXIV Mods.
If you're playing Final Fantasy XIV on the PC you've inevitably come across the whispers of mods. There are quite a few of them out there ranging from small gameplay enhancements that can improve your experience to sweeping changes to the game's visuals.
We've compiled everything you need to know about Mods in Final Fantasy XIV, what the terms of service are, and which ones might be worth the risk.
FFXIV Mods Explained
Before we start talking about Mods in FFXIV, we want you to be aware that any use of third-party tools in Final Fantasy XIV is against the terms of service. If you get caught using any kind of third-party tool you will be banned, maybe indefinitely.
Here's the kicker though, most tools for FFXIV work on the clientside. That means Square Enix has no way of checking if you're using anything illegal until it tempers with the net code sent back and forth. This is the gray zone most mods, plugins, and addons operate.
As long as they are not shown on stream, video, or screenshot without any clear indication that it is the critically acclaimed MMORPG, the rules won't be enforced. But since players from all walks of life tend to play loose with these rules, consider this a warning. But here are our recommendations to get you started.
We won't be linking any of those to remove ourselves from any responsibility, but most of these are just a short Google search away.
FFXIV Mod Recommendations
Active Combat Tracker
The Active Combat Tracker or ACT for short is a way to parse and calculate your damage output in Final Fantasy XIV. The combat tracker will read out the battle log stored on your machine and calculate in real-time both the damage to deal and the damage you contribute to the raid.
There are also a plethora of tools that are now available to you. The beloved FFLogs lets players upload and compare their parses with each other. It also offers a great suite of analytical tools to look at downtime throughout a fight and compare numbers and uptime.
Another is XIV Analysis which is filed by the data you upload to FFLogs. It will go through the entirety of the combat encounter and tell you where to improve in your rotation. If you're serious about getting better at Final Fantasy XIV this is the tool to improve.
But with great utility comes great responsibility. ACT is an extremely powerful tool once you make use of all its other features. You can set triggers that spell out incoming mechanics via bot or even create an overlay that will show you the most optimal rotation. Both of these things are frowned upon by the community, especially in the World First raiding scene.
When uploading logs to FFLogs you should also always ask for permission. In the past players have been harassed for their performances, alternatively, you can set these logs to private if you still want to make use of the analytical tools. Be responsible.
The XIVLauncher is a custom launcher created for Final Fantasy XIV. Technically it also breaks the terms of service but not really. On a surface level, it makes launching the much faster because it'll automatically log you on while launching the game but there is more to it.
The XIVLauncher will also install Dalamud which is a platform that allows you to install all kinds of plugins that will run on top of FFXIV. Plugins can be installed fairly easily from a carefully curated list that is guaranteed to work. Those could be something as simple as chat bubbles or entirely reworked UI elements.
The Penumbra plugin piggybacks off the XIVLauncher and is essential for anyone who wants to get into modding. This tool allows you to install and play around with visual mods and custom models without having to painstakingly install them in the right order.
So if you're looking for new animations, new hairstyles, or even a simple change to the look of your character, this is the mod to use. Once again, this is against the terms of service so please refrain from posting screenshots using mods with the XIV watermark for some deniability.
Anamnesis is a tool specifically created to take screenshots. It's a powerful standalone program that lets you manipulate virtually every aspect of Final Fantasy XIV in Group Pose. You can change the time of day, weather conditions, the position of the camera, and even aspects of your character.
The tool also lets you freely pose your character by hooking into the game's client. This way you can manipulate everything from facial expressions to individual limbs to create the perfect pose. You can even save poses, expressions, and setups and share them with other players.
If you're tired of FFXIV's somewhat washed-out color palette, look no further than ReShade and the abundance of different configurations available for it. It adds a number of post-processing effects to your game which can really up its visual fidelity while being relatively light on your GPU.
There are many, many different ReShade presets out there, some optimized for gameplay purposes others for taking screenshots at different times of the day.
XIVAlexander is a downright magical tool that allows you to shave down on latency. It allows you to play in other regions without any problem and even makes triple weaving possible. And while it is a very helpful tool, it can be manipulated to perform actions that are normally not possible.
Tempering with the options outside of the recommended settings will definitely set off the alarms at Square Enix so be careful. It is still a must-have tool for anyone who wants to take raiding seriously but you have to be aware of the fire you're playing with.
As you can see, there are a number of great mods and plugins that can improve Final Fantasy XIV. But once again we'd like to remind you that you're responsible for your own actions and misuse of these tools will get banned, potentially lifelong. So please be aware of the risks before installing any of these mods.
For more on Final Fantasy XIV, check out our dedicated section here, where you can find the latest on the critically acclaimed MMORPG including everything be know about the upcoming Dawntrail expansion and a summary of the 6.5 content patch.