‘Final Fantasy XIV’ on Steam Deck in 2024 Is an Amazing Experience

Right now, most people playing Final Fantasy XIV are likely ready for Dawntrail, the next major expansion due in about a month. All my friends playing the game have multiple characters or classes ready for the expansion, and they’ve all been looking at the various trailers and job details for what’s next in Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail. I’m not even close to Dawntrail right now, and have slowly been chipping away at Final Fantasy XIV’s main story for about a decade at this point. I was very slow getting through Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn on PS3 and PS4, and only really started properly playing it as much as I could about two years ago. I’ve been wanting to write about Final Fantasy XIV for a while though, and with how much it has impressed me not just for its story, but also with how it plays on Steam Deck, I decided to write about what you need to know to play Final Fantasy XIV on Steam Deck in 2024, and also why it is worth your time.

How to play Final Fantasy XIV on Steam Deck in 2024

If you’re just here to learn how to play Final Fantasy XIV on Steam Deck, it is pretty simple. If you own the game license on Steam or want to play the Final Fantasy XIV Free Trial on Steam, you can just claim it on your account and get started. Final Fantasy XIV is officially marked as Steam Deck Playable by Valve. This is because the game’s launcher requires using the touchscreen or mouse cursor and manually invoking the on-screen keyboard for text input.

If you’ve not installed GE-Proton yet, I recommend doing so just in general for your Steam Deck because it helps a lot of games run even better. GamingOnLinux has a step by step guide here on doing it. I’ve had a lot of folks who play Final Fantasy XIV on Steam Deck recommend using GE-Proton to play, and I’ve had zero issues using it.

One last thing to keep in mind is Final Fantasy XIV’s region lock and account system. On Steam, you can only access the version meant for your region. If you play using the standalone license, you have no restrictions like that. Most people I know play on NA accounts despite living outside NA or having moved outside NA. On Steam, they would be forced to create a new account and character for another region. Check the Steam game page for Final Fantasy XIV before logging in or making an account if you plan on playing via the Steam license. I recommend using the standalone license for flexibility. Even if Steam only serves you the PAL version and you want to play using the NA region account, the guide below will help.

Final Fantasy XIV on Steam Deck with standalone license

If you own Final Fantasy XIV through its standalone license or the Mog Station like I do, you can still play through Steam by following this guide. It uses no mods or plugins. This has worked perfectly for me for months now on both my Steam Deck LCD and OLED models. The only thing you need to keep in mind is making sure to type your password, then hiding the keyboard. Don’t press enter or click login here. If you do so, you get an error. Once you type your password and then hide the keyboard, move the cursor to the one time password field and then type that by invoking the keyboard. At this stage, hit return on the keyboard/right trigger. This will let you play without issues. I’m not sure what the problem is for clicking or not doing it this way, but I’ve tested multiple times and the only way to do this without any friction is hitting enter/return/right trigger after the one time password has been filled. You also need GE-Proton to ensure stability.

How does Final Fantasy XIV run on Steam Deck OLED

As of this writing, I’ve made it to about 10 hours into the Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood storyline. I have not played Shadowbringers or Endwalker yet so cannot comment on the content in those expansions, but everything in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Heavensward, patches, and whatever I’ve played of Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood so far is excellent on Steam Deck OLED, with it running well above 60fps almost all the time. I’ve even done dungeons with friends at 80-90fps.

While I’ve not done too many raids, I want to highlight that it does play really well even in Crystal Tower with all the effects and ran noticeably better than when I played on consoles. You just need to get used the clutter on the small screen. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well Final Fantasy XIV runs and plays on Steam Deck through the many dozens of hours I’ve put into it recently and in the last two years across updates.

Final Fantasy XIV Steam Deck graphics settings

I’ve been using the 150% UI setting, windowed mode, custom 1280×800 resolution (with 16:10 support), the 90fps frame rate limit, real-time reflections off, anti-aliasing at FXAA, transparent lighting quality and grass at normal, parallax occlusion and tessellation at high, map resolution at high, and glare off. For shadows, I have all displayed with LOD set to low-level. Shadow resolution at 1024p, cascading at the best preset, softening at strong, anisotropic texture filtering at 16x, and dynamic resolution off. I played with dynamic resolution on and off, so try both and see which you prefer. If you want to run at 60fps and not higher, you can turn a few options higher. Since Final Fantasy XIV is an online-only game, I’m usually playing at home or when I’m near my phone for hotspot, and I usually have a charge near me. This isn’t a game I prioritize battery life with.

Final Fantasy XIV control settings

The only thing I changed here was PS5 gamepad type controls so I could have the same button prompts I’ve been used to for years. I also enabled DualSense features for when I play on Steam Deck over the docking station with my DualSense controller plugged in. One thing to keep in mind here is that the controller ordering sometimes causes issues with which controller is active.

Final Fantasy XIV on Xbox Series X

Since Final Fantasy XIV hit Xbox Series X recently, I decided to also cover that version. Final Fantasy XIV on PS5 feels pretty close to the PS4 Pro version aside from some minor visual improvements. The big boost was to load times and the amazing DualSense haptics. On Xbox Series X, aside from the controller features being absent, it plays great and loads fast. I also appreciate having VRR support which I don’t have on PS5 when using my monitor.

The biggest advantage to playing Final Fantasy XIV on Xbox Series X is for my lazy side. Not having to type the password and one time password each time is great for getting me to play when I just want to boot up the game and do a quest or two. This is more of a laziness issue, but it is worth highlighting, and I hope the other systems have this added as an option.

How is Final Fantasy XIV in 2024 for a new player?

Despite having a character from around 2013, I still consider myself a relatively new player since I’m still playing story content that hit back in 2017, just with newer features added. Final Fantasy XIV is not only a fantastic Final Fantasy game, but it is worth your time even if you want to play solo. Almost all the content can be played with a party of NPCs, and when you do need to do some content that isn’t doable like that, the queue time is very short in my experience. If I had to count, I think I’ve had only about 5 instances of needing to play with others in all of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and Heavensward with patches. Playing with others is more fun for sure, but you can treat this as a single player Final Fantasy game, just one that is online-only.

While Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has its ups and downs for the story, I enjoyed almost all of it leading into Heavensward. Heavensward on the other hand is sublime for its narrative, characters, new locations, music, and more. Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward is in my top 5 Final Fantasy games of all time. It is absolutely worth experiencing.

Having played Final Fantasy XIV on a controller since the early PS4 days and even remote playing it on PS Vita if you believe it, I’ve always enjoyed the controller input method. What I didn’t know until someone in my free company told me, is the expanded hold controls and other crossbar options for a controller. This coupled with the Steam Deck’s Steam Input makes Final Fantasy XIV more enjoyable for me to play on Steam Deck than on PS5 and Xbox. It also helps that the game runs brilliantly on Valve’s handheld.

If you’re a longtime player and you just want to replay the story, there’s a NG+ option now, and that might be the best use case for experiencing the main story on Steam Deck. If you just want to use the Steam Deck to grind out certain things, that’s also an option. Having an excellent portable version of Final Fantasy XIV that even excels above the console versions will never get old.

The main thing I’d like to see addressed with Final Fantasy XIV on Steam Deck and PC in general, is the login system. Right now, Final Fantasy XIV on PS5 has you inputting your one time password to login. On Xbox Series X, it saves everything so you just need to boot the game up and can directly hit login and play. On PC, you have to input both the password and the one time password to login. Doing this is very annoying on Steam Deck. I hope we see the Xbox-style login option added on PC and PS5 in the future.

The music of Final Fantasy XIV

I’ve basically stuck to Final Fantasy XIV all these years because of Masayoshi Soken’s music. I’ve been listening to it well before getting the expansions or even reaching those points story wise in-game. I know this isn’t ideal, but the music in A Realm Reborn was too good for me to not listen to it constantly over the years. It was interesting seeing where each song was used in-game though. I decided to put a pause on that for Endwalker, and have been saving that soundtrack for when I hear it in-game. Soken’s music in Final Fantasy XIV is beyond incredible. I even love most of his work in Final Fantasy XVI, but I think the Heavensward and Shadowbringers music form some of the series best music of all time. It is that good. I’ve been making it a point to always buy Final Fantasy XIV music even if I’m not up to date with the game. I like it that much.

What’s next for Final Fantasy XIV on Steam Deck?

Next month, Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail with a graphics overhaul arrives. It might make some aspects of this article obsolete, but I can’t really say right now. I will try and keep this updated once Dawntrail releases so those looking to get into Final Fantasy XIV with the new graphics can still play it on Steam Deck. Stay tuned for that. I’ll hopefully also be covering Dawntrail in the future.

When I originally got the Steam Deck back in 2022, it took me a while to se tup Final Fantasy XIV because of how complicated all the guides were back then. In 2024, playing Final Fantasy XIV on Steam Deck is easier than ever, and there’s almost no friction involved. It feels excellent on the handheld, and is even playable over a phone hotspot in my experience.

As someone who is playing it only for the story and music, I’ve had a ton of fun with it on my Steam Deck OLED and Xbox in recent weeks. If you aren’t sure if it is something you will enjoy, at least get the free trial because Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward is easily one of the best Final Fantasy experiences I’ve ever had.

Post a Comment