FFXIV - Playing an MMORPG as a Single Player Game

FFXIV has a lot of ways for players to enjoy it Solo

FFXIV has a lot of ways for players to enjoy it Solo

MMORPGs are some of the most popular video games in the world and Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV) is no exception. For a person who enjoys single-player titles like myself, however, these games can be quite intimidating, locking us off from some of the best storytelling in the industry.

Or so I thought. I recently decided to pick up FFXIV for myself at the request of some close friends and was surprised. Not only by my enjoyment of its multiplayer gameplay but by how playable it is solo and how Square Enix has been embracing single-player options for it.

Let's talk about the ways that FFXIV is the MMORPG that's worth trying solo.

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FFXIV - The MMO That You Can Play Solo

FFXIV is a game that lets you enjoy a lot of its content with or without friends.
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When it comes to FFXIV, a lot of the main story quests available are already perfectly playable solo from my experience. The narrative is interesting and can be quite gripping, even in its early stages of A Realm Reborn, often seen as the weakest part.

Before the 6.1 patch was implemented, players would face a roadblock at level 15, however, as dungeons are introduced. This is where players would need to partner up with friends or strangers, something which can be a little intimidating if you're new to MMOs.

Luckily, this is no longer the case as FFXIV introduced the Duty Support system. This feature lets you play main scenario duties with a party of NPCs instead of searching for players.

The obvious upside to this is not having to wait around for a party to play with if you don't happen to be a healer but for newer or less experienced MMORPG players? It's also the perfect way to ease yourself into this style of gameplay without the pressure playing with strangers can provide.

FFXIV NPC Dungeon Parties can be found by a gold logo over the entrance
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There are two major ways of doing duties with NPCs. The first is by approaching any entrance with the gold hexagonal logo and picking the option when it pops up. If you want to run a dungeon back, however, you simply need to click on "Duty Support" in your duty menu.

While my experience has been mostly multiplayer in nature for duties, I have used the NPCs multiple times when playing alone and really enjoyed the experience.

When playing with other players who I didn't know personally, I found myself a little more stressed about doing a good job in my role despite being new to the game.

The use of the Duty Support system allowed me to adjust to the dungeon-crawling experience at my own pace. This has been a much-needed step in my journey with FFXIV.

As someone who easily gets overwhelmed and lost when on-screen visuals are too busy, the slower NPC experience has eased me into the combat and I've felt more confident when playing with strangers since then because of it.

Variant Dungeons changed the way that FFXIV dungeons operate
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It doesn't end with NPC companions either, the 6.25 patch introduced a brand new dungeon type known as Variant Dungeons, a versatile duty which can be played completely solo.

These dungeons change based on how you approach them, meaning that a solo player will have absolutely no disadvantage to their experience. Players can even change their jobs during Variant Dungeons, letting them play how they want to play.

Right now, only one of these dungeons is available in FFXIV and it's an endgame duty but more will likely be added in future updates.

The most unique solo-oriented content was introduced in the 6.2 patch, however, as FFXIV brought island sanctuaries to the game.

The Island Sanctuary is like FFXIV meets Animal Crossing or Harvest Moon. Once you've completed the quest to gain access to the sanctuary, you can take a break from the grand adventures and simply enjoy the slow life.

Here you can build different accommodations, grow crops, harvest materials and even raise your own animals all while letting your minions run around freely with you.

It's a great feature that I think really sums up FFXIV as a game. It's an MMORPG at its core but it's a title that's going out of its way to ensure that it has something for everyone and that its players can approach the game however they want.

In my short time with FFXIV so far, I've gone from a sceptical single-player gamer who thought they'd be only playing this title with friends to actively playing it solo in my spare time.

I look forward to continuing my journey through Eorzea and I'm excited to see where Square Enix takes this push for more content that I can enjoy as a solo player when not adventuring with friends.

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