About This Guide
Final Fantasy XIV has one of the most robust controller setups for an MMORPG. However, the game doesn’t have an easy way to learn all of the ways you can control and customize your character on controller. There isn’t a list of all button shortcuts available in the game, or an explanation of the differences between “Target Circle” and “Target Select”. This is where this guide comes in. It will explain:
- All of the known existing button combinations (ex: screenshot, sheathe/unsheathe/etc..)
- Explain the various character configs and what they do
- Also explain from a theorycrafting perspective some of the pros/cons for whether to choose one style of configuration over another.
First though, let’s tackle some common concerns people have about controller play.
Do I need to play on console?
No. PC and Mac players can also play using a controller. Depending on the controller you are using, some might require a more difficult way to get Final Fantasy XIV to recognize it.
On PC, Final Fantasy XIV will natively recognize an Xbox controller (Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S). It should also be able to natively recognize the PS4 controller, though without full touchpad functionality.
Unfortunately for Mac users, this guide has not been tested on the Mac version of Final Fantasy XIV. Although most of the things about “PC” should apply to the Mac version as well, there are no guarantees. It should, however, be the same between those using the Square Enix Store PC version and those using the Steam version unless otherwise specified.
Is it awkward to play on a controller?
To answer that, try to think about mouse & keyboard players. Some players who leave everything as the default, using standard hardware, might find some difficulty using the 9 or 0 key on their keyboard. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for players to use a MMO mouse with 12 side buttons, or to remap their keybinds to use G or T. In other words, even for mouse & keyboard players, it’s important for players to find a style that fits them personally.
The same is true for controller players - there are many ways to customize the controller to fit the player’s preferences. There are top-tier World First raiders who play on controller, and others who play on mouse & keyboard. There are even players who play solely on keyboard! It’s up to you to put in the thought and practice to make your chosen method viable.
Is it easy to switch if I’ve been using a mouse and keyboard?
Everyone’s learning curve differs, but do expect to have a hard time at first. This is normal. If you’ve been playing Final Fantasy XIV, or even other MMORPGs, via mouse & keyboard, you will have a lot of muscle memory and preferences already built up. When you switch, you will need to build new muscle memory, and that might take extra time if it’s your first time playing a MMORPG using controller.
It can take several days before it becomes comfortable. Don’t give up after just an hour or two! Some common ways people ease into controller play:
- Making a new character
- Learning a new job
- Starting with gatherers
- Playing a job with less actions (ex: White Mage, Machinist)
- Squadrons, Trusts, Deep Dungeon solo, or Fates with the chocobo - anything that can be done solo but requires more targeting practice than a training dummy
- Doing easy content like dungeons and normal raids
- Ignoring part of your actions temporarily while trying to focus on learning more core actions. (For example, if learning controller on Astrologian, you could temporarily ignore the cards until you’re more comfortable with your more basic healing and damage spells). This method would usually be combined with solo or very easy content, so as not to be a burden on other players in harder content.
Going straight into a proper max level DPS rotation is not recommended if you have no previous controller MMORPG experience, as you could end up building bad muscle memory while you are still figuring out your style. Because of this, healers or tanks, which do not have large rotations, are especially good for practice.