Choosing a Datacenter and Server

After you download the game and create a character, you need to choose a data center and server for your character before you can play.

Log Into the Game Client

After you get the game, you need to run the game and log in with your Square Enix account. If you have not set up a One-Time Password, leave that field blank. Please note that there is occasional server maintenance, during which the game is unavailable. Please check The Lodestone for news about maintenance.

Selecting a Data Center

FFXIV is an online game, which runs on servers located in different parts of the world. A data center is a collection of servers located in a particular part of the world. As of November 2022, there are four North American data centers, four Japanese data centers, two European data centers, and an Oceania data center.

The farther away you are from your chosen data center, the slower your connection will be, which could adversely affect gameplay, so it is recommended to choose a data center in or near the region where you live.

If you know other players and want to play the game with them, you can choose the same data center that they are on, or choose a data center in the same geographic region as their characters, e.g. if they are on a North American data center, be sure to also create your character on a North American data center. However, be aware that some social features are limited when you are visiting another data center. For more details, read the official Data Center Travel System Guide.

Selecting a World

After you choose a data center, you can click the World button to select the world (a.k.a. server) to create a character on. If you know other players, you may wish to create a character on the same world as their characters. If you create a character on a different world from them, you can still play together with them, but there are some restrictions to activities that players on different worlds can participate in together. For more details, read the official World Visit System Guide.

Server Status

Be aware that some worlds may be temporarily unavailable for creating new characters. Please check the official server status page to find out if character creation is available on a given world. That page is updated throughout the day. If character creation is unavailable on your desired world, you may need to try again at a time of day when fewer players are online. Be aware that "Congested" means that you will not be able to create characters on that world, no matter what time of day it is. Congested worlds may become available again at a later date. If so, it will be announced in the notices section of the official FFXIV news page on the Lodestone.

New and Preferred Worlds

Certain worlds may be designated as New Worlds or Preferred Worlds. These worlds have incentives to joining them, such as faster leveling, and bonus items that you can exchange for gear.

Standard Worlds

Most worlds are designated as Standard Worlds. There are no special bonuses for joining them.

Congested Worlds

As mentioned above, some worlds may be designated as Congested Worlds. If a world is congested, it is not possible to create a new character there. Congested worlds may be changed to Standard or Preferred at a later time. Updates to world status are periodically announced in the notices section of the official FFXIV news page on the Lodestone.

Home World Transfer

The world you select is not permanent. You can pay* to transfer your character to a different world using the Home World Transfer Service. To begin the transfer process, log into the Mog Station web site, click Additional Services, and choose Home World Transfer Service.
* Most transfers cost a service fee, but transfers to New worlds, and transfers from Congested worlds to Preferred worlds, are free.

Create a Character

After you select a Data Center and World, you can click New Character to create a character. You can choose Load Appearance Data to load characters you have saved, if any, including any characters created with the Windows benchmark tool. You can continue the process by clicking the check mark, which also allows you to optionally save your character's appearance data for later.

Selecting a Starting Class

After you create your character and choose a nameday and guardian deity, you can choose your character's starting class. Your character can learn the other classes afterward; your starting class does not place any restrictions on other classes that you can learn.

Each class has a specific role in combat. If you are new to MMOs, you may wish to read the Job Roles page to understand your role in combat for your chosen class.

Depending on the starting class that you choose, you will start in one of three major cities: Ul'dah, Limsa Lominsa, or Gridania. You will go to the other cities as the story progresses, and can visit them at any time after starting the game (but travel can be risky at first because of the monsters in the way).

Naming Your Character

After you choose your starting class, you will be asked to confirm the world that you are creating your character on. You can choose a different world at this point if you wish, or stay with the same one if character creation is allowed on that world at that time (see the server status section above for more information).

You are then asked to name your character. You can click the 🎲 icon to generate a random, lore-friendly name, or enter a name of your own. If another player is using your desired name, you will have to choose a different name. If you would like to create your own, lore-friendly name, see below for links to the official naming conventions of the different races in the game.

Beginning the Game

After you have chosen and confirmed the name for your character, you can begin a new game.