Do these things before you play FINAL FANTASY XIV: Dawntrail

The new expansion launches July 2, 2024, or June 28, 2024 with early access. Here are some things you can do to prepare for the big day!
By Duncan Heaney

The world of FINAL FANTASY XIV Online is about to get bigger!

On July 2 (or June 28 for those who preorder), the next expansion, Dawntrail will be released, bringing with it a massive amount of new content to the game. We’re talking a new story in a beautiful new setting, a new player race, new jobs, new quests, new dungeons, new raids and loads more fun (and yes, new) stuff.

Final Fantasy XIV Dawntrail art

It’s all very exciting - and an agonizing wait for some of you, we’re sure. But rather than just twiddling your thumbs, there are some things you can do to get ready for all the new adventures that await.

Such as:

Complete all Main Scenario Quests

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. Before you can start the story of Dawntrail, you must have completed all of the main scenario quests up to this point. Some of you may be caught up already, but if you haven’t played for a while there may be main scenario quests released in updates that you need to finish. That’s a good thing though, as they're pretty exciting.

Once you have finished all main scenario quests of the Endwalker expansion, you’ll be ready for Dawntrail’s story - and there’s a lot to look forward to. This new tale sends your Warrior of Light and the Scions of the Seven Dawn to the faraway continent of Tural - a land of blue seas, clear skies, and boundless possibilities.

We’ll say no more for fear of spoilers, but suffice to say this sunny sojourn is not without its dark corners…

Prepare to level up

Dawntrail introduces two new jobs: the pictomancer and the viper.

The artistically-inclined pictomancer is a magical ranged DPS job that lets you use a specialized brush to bring wonderous creations to life - from creatures and weapons to stunning landscapes.

The viper is more to the point - literally. It’s a melee DPS job and uses dual blades that deal swift strikes or can be combined into a single powerful weapon.

As with other jobs, you’ll need to level these new ones up, so stockpiling various means to do so faster could be to your benefit. For example, fill your saddlebags with food for an EXP bonus, get ready to grab some “The Heat of Battle” Free Company buffs, and use your rested EXP bonus to level them up more efficiently.

You could also prepare some level 80 to 90 casting gear for your pictomancer and scouting gear for your viper, so you’re ready to dress to impress with stronger builds right from the get-go.

One final tip - the pair of Azeyma earrings grant a 30% increase in EXP gained by defeating enemies when worn through level 90 . They’re available as a bonus if you pre-order Dawntrail, so get it before release if you want the handy boost.

On the subject of pre-orders…

If you have preordered on PC or Mac, make sure to register your Early Access code!

By preordering Dawntrail, you’ll be eligible to play the game from June 28, 2024 - four days earlier than its official release date of July 2, 2024! To do so on PC and Mac, you need to make sure you register your Early Access code.

Simply head over to the Mog Station and on the Service Account Dashboard (i.e. the Home (Manage your Account) screen) select ‘Enter Pre-order Bonus Code’. Then simply add your Early Access code and you’ll be able to play from June 28.

PlayStation and Xbox players don’t need to enter an Early Access code - preorder bonuses are automatically linked to the account when you preorder the game.

For full details on how to register your Early Access code, check out this article on the Square Enix Support Center site:

Have a big clear out

A new expansion means new loot! Your pockets are soon going to be filling up with new weapons, armor, items, and clothes, so before that happens why not have a bit of a de-clutter?

It could be a good idea to clear some space in your inventory and your armoury chest to prepare for new levelling gear, quest rewards and all the other lovely goodies that will be coming your way.\

But what to do with all your old stuff? If there’s something you want to keep, you can leave it with retainers or even drop it in the glamour dresser and armoire.

If you have unwanted items (and if you’re anything like us, there will be some junk in the trunk), then it’s the perfect opportunity to sell it and line your pockets with gil.

Try out the Windows PC benchmark to test your rig…

If you have a Windows PC and want to see how the game will run on your rig, you should check out the Dawntrail Official Benchmark.

This uses actual maps and playable characters from the expansion and will assign a score to your PC to rate its performance. It will help you test the performance of the game and allow you to adjust the settings you’ll need to get optimum performance when the full expansion releases.

Plus, you’ll get a glimpse of some new areas early. It’s worth it just for that.

... get a sneak peek at the new graphical update…

A new graphical update comes to FINAL FANTASY XIV alongside Dawntrail - and you can get a preview of some of the enhancements in the PC benchmark.

For example, the game will receive improved texture and shadow resolution, better material qualities, improved character models and more - all while preserving the distinctive visual style of the game.

In other words, Hydaelyn’s about to get a whole lot prettier.

…and use the new player race in the character creator

One more cool thing you can do with the PC benchmark - create your first female Hrothgar!

It’s something many fans have requested since the male Hrothgar were added as a new race in FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers and they’re nearly here. The benchmark tool will let you experience the new customization options available and preview your character in actual in-game environments.

Female Hrothgar art

A new quest will become available with the release of the Dawntrail in which you can obtain a Fantasia for free, so if you’re really proud of your new Hrothgar, you can use the appearance data saved in the Benchmark and carry her into the full game at no extra cost!

Those were just a few tips for ways to get ready for FINAL FANTASY XIV: Dawntrail. The new expansion launches July 2, 2024, with early access available June 28, 2024 for players who preorder.

To stay up to date with news and updates about the game - or to share your own preparations for Dawntrail - be sure to follow FINAL FANTASY XIV on social media: