Do you love FFXIV and also have way too much time on your hands? Why not make an alt, so you can relive the thrilling experience of unskippable cutscenes, returning to the Waking Sands, and barely having any skills on your hotbar.
Ok obviously I’m not going to sell anybody on this except those who are already seriously considering it.
Anyway, I recently levelled an alt on a different Data Center, so today I thought I’d at least discuss some of the reasons you might want an alternate character, and some tips on how to minimize the pain so you can stick it out to your alt’s intended purpose.
Why Make an Alt in FFXIV?
One of the key selling points that FFXIV has over other MMORPGs is that you can play every Job on just a single character. No stats or skill points to adjust, you just equip a different weapon. It seems obvious then to ask: why do people make alts in FFXIV at all?
Well, most people don’t. But here are some of the more common reasons some people do play on alts:
Playing on a Different Server or Data Center
Maybe you have friends who play in another region, or even just on a different Data Center in the same region. You may want to have a character over there so that you can hang out in game and play together.
There are a couple of things you need to be on the exact same home world for: Free Companies and weddings. Many people are hoping this changes in the future so they’ll at least be able to attend weddings on other servers.
Other than those things, if you’re trying to pick a server to play on, just being on the same Data Center as your friends is fine. Try to choose one with the Preferred server status for faster levelling to get you caught up.
I don’t roleplay in game, but plenty of players do, and some people are just not ok with their pious White Mage occasionally pulling out a pistol and raining cold, metal death upon their enemies as a Machinist.
You might also enjoy playing as a different race from time to time because its aesthetic fits better with your vision for a character or its Job choice.
A Lalafell Ninja and a Hrothgar Ninja are two very different looks but both are valid and we love them equally so stop making fun of my lion who thinks nobody can see him if he just hunches down a little more.
Endgame Raiding on Multiple Jobs
This is a pretty niche reason, but because of how the endgame content cycle works, you can only really gear up your main Job or Role while progressing through the most recent savage raids.
Of course you can get multiple Jobs to the item level needed to enter the content, but when it comes to the higher level weekly locked loot and tomestones, you’ll have to make a choice about which Job to spend them on.
If you’re the kind of person who really loves raiding and you want to experience it on different roles while it’s fresh, then you might benefit from having a second character. That way you won’t have to wait the month or two it takes to start getting spillover gear for your secondary Job.
It also lets you raid in two static groups while still maintaining two chests of loot for the first clears of the week.
Testing Character Creation
This is not really the same as having a real alt that you actually do stuff with, but I figured I’d mention it anyway.
If you’re thinking of using a Fantasia on your main character, you might want to test those changes on a new character before you commit to the change. Play around on a different race for like 15 minutes to test out voices, animations, and emotes before going through with the potion.
You can also find video showcases on Youtube of the battle voices or emotes, but some people still like to feel stuff out for themselves.
How Many Alts can you Have?
There are two types of subscriptions in FFXIV. If you have the Entry subscription you can have a maximum of eight characters, and they all have to be on different worlds. If you have the Standard subscription then you can have a maximum of 40 characters, with up to eight characters being on the same world.
If you have multiple characters on the same world and later switch down to an Entry subscription, all of them will still exist, but you’ll only be able to log in on one of them (the oldest created one).
Also you can’t log in on two characters at once on the same Square Enix service account. It’ll just kick out the one that logged in first. You would need a separate registered license/subscription for another service account.
Tips for Bringing up Alt Characters
You may take some of these things for granted, but you’ll want to make sure you have what you need to get your alt up and running smoothly.
Have a Clear Purpose for the Alt
First of all I want to advise you that if you are planning on making an alt, try to have a clear idea of what its purpose is.
It can be very easy to get sucked into every little side activity you come across and then you end up burning yourself out on the game by trying to do too much.
If you want an alt for endgame raid content for example, probably don’t try to level up all the crafting Jobs while you’re still working through ARR’s story.
Is your goal just to meme around Limsa in a bunny outfit? Then get to the Gold Saucer and do those G.A.T.E.s every 20 minutes like clockwork. You’ll be good to go in no time, and the Ascians may do as they please for all you care.
Pick a Preferred Server for the Road to 70 Buff
Kind of obvious, but if you want to get the alt up ASAP, a preferred server will help with that, especially if you want it to play multiple Jobs. The Road to 70 buff gives +100% to all experience gains on Jobs below level 70. Check server status on the Lodestone before picking a world.
Of course, if you’re picking a server because it has your friends on it then you might happen to be out of luck on Road to 70, but at least you’ll have friends there to make the levelling less painful.
Copy Character Settings Over to an Alt
I highly recommend copying over your HUD layout and keybinds, since they were probably a pain for you to set up the first time.
Navigate to This PC > Documents > My Games > Final Fantasy XIV – A Realm Reborn. You’ll see one or more character folders labelled FFXIV_CHR004000XXXXX.
If you’re not sure which folder has which character, check the date modified (you may have to right click and change the view to show details). Your main character will probably be the oldest folder. If you’ve done any damage parsing through ACT and uploaded logs, that character will also have a ‘logs’ subfolder in there next to the .DAT files.
Find the one that belongs to your main character, open it up and copy the .DAT files inside. Then open the folder for your new character, delete its .DAT files, and paste the ones from your main character.
Note that copying over gearset data to a new character acts a little weird, since they won’t have all the same jobs unlocked, and you’ll just have a bunch of gearsets that don’t do anything. It might be better to skip that file.
If you’ve got several character files and are worried about accidentally deleting your main character settings, you can always just make a copy of the folder before deleting it, just in case.
For some reason, your alt will still store newly obtained items in the Armoury Chest by default, so go to Character Configuration > Item Settings and untick that box to make your inventory less of a disaster later on.
You may also still have to retick all the boxes to skip cutscene playback in Character Configuration > Control Settings > General.
User Macros don’t have to be copied over as long as you make use of the 100 slots in the ‘Shared’ tab of the User Macros window. All your characters have access to those.
Check your Moogle Mail
While you’re running around your starting city, go check your Moogle Mail for several items that come from veteran rewards, pre-orders, or recruit-a-friends.
If you’ve recruited a friend who played for at least 30 days, there’s a stack of Aetheryte Tickets waiting for you, which come in really handy at early levels.
Some of the items are just cosmetic like glamours, emotes, and minions, while other items like the Friendship Circlet and Aetheryte Earring can actually help you level up faster.
If you’ve got the Aetheryte Earring from the Shadowbringers pre-order, you can also go ahead and ignore most earring rewards while questing, taking another equipment piece or gil instead.
Attune to Every Aetheryte
Speaking of gil, don’t spend all your money on a stack of raisins right away like I may or may not have done. Just buy what you need; gil is precious early on.
Time is also precious, so attune to every Aetheryte you pass by, and if you got a stack of Aetheryte Tickets in your Moogle Mail, USE THEM.
If you can’t afford even a 150 gil teleport, just use the Aetheryte Ticket because my god is travel slow in those early levels before you have a mount.
After a while I tend to only use them for more expensive teleports (500+ gil), but if you’re annoyed by the pop up message then just use them every time.
Semi-related: in the expansion zones, try to grab all the Aether Currents while you pass by them during the MSQ so you don’t have to come back later. Some Job quests (I’m looking at you, Scholar) actually require flying in a zone to progress.
Just do MSQ
This is probably the most important tip, because it will give you the fastest ROI out of your alt. Unless you’re replaying the story for your own enjoyment at the same time, levelling your alt will likely feel like a chore. The MSQ at this point is already daunting and takes many hours, so don’t burn yourself out by adding more crap to your to-do list.
Consider buying a story skip from the Mog Station if you really think the catchup process would burn you out. Otherwise, have some shows or movies ready to watch while you skip over all the exposition and cutscenes.
If you’re going for efficiency and only doing the MSQ then you rarely even need to go out of your way to keep your equipment in order. Just Need/Greed everything you see in dungeons, use the weapon coffers, and pick MSQ rewards to replace your lowest item level pieces.
HOWEVER, there are a few exceptions to the MSQ-only rule. Here are some sidequests I recommend doing because they’re very short and unlock stuff that will benefit your alt.
Unlock Dyes and Glamours at level 15 in Vesper Bay, Western Thanalan. You simply must have glamours; this is non-negotiable and if someone spots you running through Doma Castle while still wearing mismatched armor you can expect to be hauled off straight to gaol.
Unlock the Challenge Log at level 15 to passively earn extra experience and gil. This is available as soon as you finish the MSQ ‘Call of the Sea’.
Unlock Mounts at level 20 after joining your Grand Company.
Unlock your Chocobo Companion at level 30 in Camp Tranquil, South Shroud.
Unlock Khloe’s Wondrous Tails as soon as you get to Idyllshire for some extra experience and Tomestones of Poetics.
Also note that at level 50 certain ‘sidequests’ are actually required to progress the MSQ, including the Crystal Tower Alliance Raids and the 8-man fights of Ifrit, Garuda, and Titan.
Grab Job Gear and Poetic Weapons
I know the MSQ can sometimes FEEL like a Job, but you still have to do your actual Job Quests. Again, non-negotiable, and if you neglect them you’ll suffer an even greater punishment than not unlocking glamour. These quests give you important abilities to use, and you don’t want to be without the most fun tools in your toolkit anyway.
If you’re overlevelled from the Road to 70 buff, this will be a source of gear above the level of your early MSQ duties.
The level 45 Job quest gives you a few pieces of ilvl 50 gear, the best at that level. Shortly after, the level 50 quest gives you a set of ilvl 90 gear. Find at least a level 45ish weapon (you’ll get a weapon coffer during the MSQ) and that should be enough to get you to the ilvl requirement for the two duties at the end of ARR.
After you finish getting hard carried through the two 8-man MSQ dungeons, use the 600 Tomestones of Poetics you got from them to buy yourself an ilvl 130 Augmented Ironworks weapon from Revenant’s Toll in Mor Dhona. Now you’ll be a little more useful in combat.
And that’s it. That’s all the ‘extras’ you need to go out and get yourself. Job quests and the Tomestone weapon. Don’t worry about the other ilvl 130 Augmented Ironworks pieces; You won’t earn enough Poetics from the post-ARR MSQ duties to buy much anyway.
The MSQ will keep you geared up, as the MSQ rewards will give you two sets of ilvl 110 pieces, which is good enough to go into Heavensward with. I recommend picking two sets that you plan on using on that character. Because of how the rewards are split up, you can pick one set of Tank/Melee and one set of Healer/Ranged/Caster.
This pattern continues into the expansions. Get through it with the equipment the MSQ gives you, do your Job quests, and buy the next level cap weapon with Poetics when that zone’s endgame hub unlocks. You shouldn’t have any trouble being undergeared during duties.
Join a Large FC
You know the one. That unsolicited FC invite that comes with a copy-pasted whisper. Join that FC, as long as it’s big. You can quickly check by searching up the Free Company stats here.
One of the things that can slow an alt’s progress is queue times. Playing through MSQ on a Tank or Healer can alleviate this somewhat, but you’ll still have some queues that just feel like nobody’s around.
You may find it useful to have a large pool of friendly players you can ask for help, especially if you’re a DPS Job. Be sure to mention that you’ll be running the duty with the first time bonus, since other party members will get extra Tomestones of Poetics from that, as an incentive to join.
You’ll probably receive a few of these random FC invites anyway, might as well take advantage of them. I mean…yay friendship!
Turn off New Adventurer (Sprout) Status
If you don’t want people to treat you like a newbie, you don’t actually have to keep that little sprout icon above your head.
Type ‘/nastatus off’ to turn it off, or just ‘/nastatus’ to toggle it on/off.
Or you can leave it on for fun and just make people feel like they ran into a sprout that was surprisingly competent. People are generally nicer to players they think are new anyway, in my experience.
Manage your Commitment to the Alt
This ties back into having a clear purpose for the new character and preventing burnout.
If your goals for the alt don’t motivate you to actually play on the alt, don’t force yourself to log in and do it like a chore. Just enjoy playing how you want to play, and pick it back up again later when your interest is sparked again.
If you’re trying to do endgame progression on two jobs simultaneously, then be ready to cap your weekly tomestones on two characters. This might not sound exhausting at first, but an extra expert roulette a day might sound less and less appealing over time.
Food and potions will also cost gil, so make sure you play enough on it to earn that gil. If your alt is on the same data center as your main character, you could transfer items and gil through clever marketboard sales, although you’ll lose some of the gil to sales tax.
Making an alt in FFXIV is very time consuming (or expensive, if you just do story/level skips), so I would only consider it if you have a good, clear reason to do so that will enhance your playing experience.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that if you’re comfortable in combat, you don’t need to worry about equipment much at all. The MSQ, Job Quests, and a Poetics Weapon were all I needed to get through everything on my alt without issue, so I could just put my head down and power through the story.
I’ve heard people complain about trying to keep on top of two (or more) characters for things like weekly tomestones and limited-time event rewards. So if that sounds like something that your FOMO would burn you out from, I suggest you steer clear of additional characters.
I can definitely see them being fun to play around with for RP though, which may not require as big of an up front investment.
Have you ever tried to build up an alt character? If so, what do you use it for, and did you run into any struggles? Let me know in the comments.