FINAL FANTASY XVI: Everything you need to know

We go over all the details you need to know about the massive new Action RPG, including story, characters, combat and more.
By Duncan Heaney

FINAL FANTASY XVI has arrived!

This rollercoaster ride of an Action RPG is available to buy physically and digitally for PlayStation 5 right now:

It's an incredible game full of memorable characters, exhilarating action and unforgettable moments. And yes, the goodest boy Torgal as well.

Read on and we'll tell you all about it, starting with a question that still regularly comes up from those new to FINAL FANTASY…

Can you start with FINAL FANTASY XVI?

You definitely can… and you should!

Every mainline FINAL FANTASY game is a standalone adventure with its own world, characters, story and gameplay mechanics. There’s no narrative carried over between them, and even the common elements like certain monsters and the iconic chocobos are redesigned between games.

The truth is, you can start with any FINAL FANTASY game, and FINAL FANTASY XVI is a particularly great starting point - especially if you like mature stories, action-packed combat and eye-melting spectacle. Plus, it’s all been hand-crafted to the highest standard - so if that sounds exciting to you, start with XVI!

What’s the setting for FINAL FANTASY XVI?

The game is set in the realm of Valisthea. This once glorious land is home to the Mothercrystals, whose abundant aether people rely on to fuel the magicks they use in their everyday lives.

Now, though, the aether is fading. As it does, lifeless deadlands spread further across the land, and the tentative peace between the nations of this world begins to fracture. This is known as the Blight.

Adding to the escalating conflicts are Eikons - the most powerful and deadly creatures in Valisthea. Each one resides within a Dominant - a single man or woman is able to call on their power. Eikons are very dangerous, and each nation views their Dominants differently - in some they are treated as royalty, while in others they are forced into service as weapons of war.

What’s the story of FINAL FANTASY XVI?

The protagonist of this tale is Clive Rosfield, firstborn son to the Duke of Rosaria, and older brother of Joshua Rosfield - the Dominant of the Phoenix.

He was originally expected to inherit the Phoenix’s flame, and become the Dominant himself, but destiny chose his brother Joshua for this burden. Instead, Clive acts as the protector for his powerful - but vulnerable - younger sibling.

However, Clive’s life and family are changed forever during an unexpected attack on his home, and his promising career as First Shield of the Ducal Army ends In tragedy at the hands of a mysterious new Eikon: Ifrit. This devastating event sets Clive on a dangerous journey of revenge… one that will change him and Valisthea forever.

The characters of FINAL FANTASY XVI

Over the course of the game, you’ll encounter a wide cast of characters. Some will stand with you, others will stand against you, but all are richly drawn and memorably complex. Here are just a few of the key players in this tale:

Clive Rosfield

  • Voiced by: Ben Starr

Having been passed over by the power of the Phoenix, Clive has instead dedicated himself to mastering the blade. At just 15 years of age, he wins the ducal tournament and is dubbed the First Shield of Rosaria - tasked to guard the Phoenix and blessed with the ability to wield part of its fire.

Clive is the main character of the game, and who you’ll control through the action. You’ll take him through multiple stages of his life and see how he goes from a naïve young man to a hardened hero.

Joshua Rosfield

  • Voiced by: Logan Hannan

Joshua is the second son of the Archduke of Rosaria, and Clive’s younger brother by five years.

He’s also the Dominant of the Phoenix, but despite the power, respect and burden of the role, he treats all his father’s subjects with warmth and affection. He deeply admires Clive, and often regrets that it was he, rather than Clive, who was bestowed command of the firebird’s flames.

After all, while Clive is brave and outgoing, Joshua is frail and will quail at the sight of a carrot on his dinner plate. But vegetables are the least of his concerns when he too, is swept up in the tragic events of the story…

Jill Warrick

  • Voiced by: Susannah Fielding

Jill is a childhood friend of Clive and the Dominant of Shiva.

Although she was born in the Northern Territories, Jill was taken from her homeland at a young age and raised as a ward of Rosaria. She grew up alongside Clive and Joshua and was considered part of the household.

When the three of them are torn apart, the bone-chilling power of the Eikon Shiva awakens within her.


This faithful hound is another outcast from the Northern Territories taken in by House Rosfield.

Torgal was found alone in a snowfield during one of Archduke Elwin's expeditions to the freezing north, and gifted to his sons upon his return. After somehow surviving the disaster that nearly ended the Rosfield line, he reunites with Clive over a decade later, and serves his master with the same fierce loyalty he did when he was but a pup.

Yes, you can pet him.

Cidolfus Telamon

  • Voiced by: Ralph Ineson

Known to his friends as "Cid," this soldier turned outlaw wants to build a place where persecuted magick-wielders and exploited Dominants can live and die on their own terms.

But he’s not just a fighter, he’s a man of science. Cid conducts research into how one might live in the deadlands - as he and his band of fellow heretics are forced to.

Cid’s also the Dominant of Ramuh, and it was no doubt this power that raised him through the ranks of the Royal Waloeder Army… where it seems he crossed paths with a certain Benedikta Harman.

Speaking of whom…

Benedikta Harman

  • Voiced by: Nina Yndis

Coldhearted and ruthless, Benedikta is the Dominant of the Eikon Garuda - the Warden of Wind.

Her talent for swordplay and subterfuge has led her to command Waloed’s elite intelligencers. While on a mission to find the elusive second Eikon of Fire, she encounters Clive and is forced to face her past.

Hugo Kupka

  • Voiced by: Alex Lanipekun

Once he was a nameless foot soldier in the Republican Army, but awakening as the Dominant of the Eikon Titan thrust Hugo to the forefront of Dhalmekian politics.

His newfound position as Permanent Economic Adviser makes him the most powerful man in the republic, able to exert influence over both the military and policy-making… and amass a personal fortune in the process.

It may sound like he wants for nothing, but Benedikta Harman teaches him that money and power are not all that the world has to offer…

Dion Lesage

  • Voiced by: Stewart Clarke

Dion is the Crown Prince of the Holy Empire of Sanbreque and leader of its noblest and most feared order of knights - the dragoons.

Dion is loved and respected by both his people and his troops, not least for the many times he has turned the tide of battle in their favor. Songs of the heroism of the warrior prince and his Eikon Bahamut, King of Dragons, are common amongst Sanbrequois bards.

But all is not well in the empire, and the gathering shadows may yet be enough to quell Bahamut's light...

Barnabas Tharmr

  • Voiced by: David Menkin

Arriving on the shores of Ash as a wanderer with no land or title, Barnabas's skill with a blade won him a kingdom. When the local beastmen rose in revolt against his rule, Barnabas called on the power of his Eikon, Odin, to quell their rebellions almost single-handedly. In doing so, he brought the entire eastern continent under the Waloeder banner.

Now he has an army and navy that rival any in Valisthea at his disposal, yet he is still drawn to where the fighting is thickest. He rides into battle atop his spectral steed and sunders foes with his fabled black blade… or you may see him simply observing the chaos from the sidelines, a grisly gleam of fascination ever in his eyes…


FINAL FANTASY XVI takes combat to exhilarating new heights with fast-paced real-time battles. You control Clive, using his strength, agility and a massive selection of attacks to overcome hordes of enemies, both human and monstrous.

Clive is able to call upon the power of the Eikons, as he earns them, giving him access to an enormous selection of offensive and defensive abilities. For example, he can tap into the Phoenix’s power to shift towards enemies instantly or launch them into the air with a flaming strike.

Over the course of the adventure, he’ll earn even more Eikonic abilities - he can call on Titan’s powers over the earth, launch electric attacks with the power of Ramuh, give enemies the cold shoulder with Shiva’s ice attacks and more. There’s an enormous amount you can do, and you can switch between these different powers with the push of a button, keeping combat fast-paced and exciting.

It’s not just Clive fighting alone though. At certain points, he’ll be joined by allies, who will automatically fight alongside him. He can also call upon his trusty hound Torgal in battle, directing him to attack enemies, heal him and more.

As we said, he’s a good boy.

Eikon battles

When Dominants face off, epic battles between their Eikons ensue! You’ll take direct control in these massive battles - each with their own unique mechanics. You’ll command the Phoenix in fast-paced shooter sections, take on Garuda with Ifrit in earth-shattering hand to hand combat and much, much more!

The full destructive force of these powerful entities is on full display in these visually spectacular clashes. The scale is off the charts - so get ready for some truly mind-blowing encounters!

You can fight your way

But what if you’re not as comfortable with action games, or you’re more into the adventure for the story than the challenge?

FINAL FANTASY XVI has been specifically designed to be playable by players of all experience and skill levels thanks to special accessories you can equip that change how the game plays.

For example, the Ring of Timely Strikes will easily let you perform combos with a single button, the Ring of Timely Evasion lets Clive automatically dodge most attacks, while the Ring of Timely Healing will make the hero gulp down a potion automatically if at critical health.

There are a total of five timely accessories to choose from immediately at the start of the game. Mix and match depending on what fits your comfort level.

FINAL FANTASY XVI is a game for everyone!


The quality of FINAL FANTASY XVI should be no surprise - it comes from an impressive collection of developers with extensive experience under their belts:

  • Producer - Naoki Yoshida (FINAL FANTASY XIV Online, DRAGON QUEST X, DRAGON QUEST: Monster Battle Road)

  • Main Director - Hiroshi Takai (FINAL FANTASY V, SaGa Frontier, THE LAST REMNANT)

  • Creative Director & Original Screenplay - Kazutoyo Maehiro (FINAL FANTASY XIV Online, FINAL FANTASY XII, THE LAST REMNANT)

  • Localization Director - Michael-Christopher Koji Fox (FINAL FANTASY XIV Online, FINAL FANTASY XI Online, FINAL FANTASY VII Dirge of Cerberus)


  • Combat Director - Ryota Suzuki (DEVIL MAY CRY 5, Dragon’s Dogma and MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 2 (All published by CAPCOM))

  • Character Design - Kazuya Takahashi (FINAL FANTASY XIV Online, FINAL FANTASY XI Online, FINAL FANTASY X)

  • Composer - Masayoshi Soken (FINAL FANTASY XIV Online, Nanashi no Game series, Mario Hoops 3-on-3 (Published by Nintendo))

Is there a demo available?

Yes there is!

The FINAL FANTASY XVI demo is available to download now on PS5. It not only lets you experience FINAL FANTASY XVI’s explosive opening act, but also allows you to carry over your progress to the full game!

Not only that, but once you have completed the prologue, you can also get a taste of what to expect from combat later in the game with an additional 'Eikonic Challenge', which gives you access to more of Clive's amazing abilities. Naturally, progress doesn't carry over from this section, but it's a great look at the incredible action to come!

For more information on the demo, including tips and tricks, check out the blog:


FINAL FANTASY XVI launched June 22, 2023, and is out now:

Three editions are available - here’s rundown of what’s included in each edition:

FINAL FANTASY XVI Standard Edition (physical and digital)

This edition, as you’d expect, contains:

  • The full game

It's available now:

FINAL FANTASY XVI Deluxe Edition (physical only)

This version of the game includes:

  • The full game
  • A Special Clive Rosfield SteelBook Case
  • A cloth map of Valisthea - where the story unfolds

It’s available now on the Square Enix Store:

FINAL FANTASY XVI Digital Deluxe Edition (digital only)

This edition includes:

  • The full game
  • A digital mini artbook that features some of the stunning illustrations from the game
  • A digital mini soundtrack showcasing a selection of incredible tracks from composer Masayoshi Soken

It’s available now from the PlayStation Store:

We hope you’re excited to start your adventures in Valisthea. To stay up to date with news and information about the game follow FINAL FANTASY XVI on social media: