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So You Want to Play the FFXIV Open Beta

by: Rachael ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Sad to say, at this point it doesn't matter if you want to play the beta - you can't! The beta ended on 9/19/10, in preparation for the game's full release at the end of September.

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    The Open Beta Is Dead, Long Live the Full Release!

    The open beta ended on 9/19 - but fear not, that only means the full release of the game is coming soon!

    Those that have pre-ordered the special edition of the game will be able to get online on 9/22. For everyone else, Eorzea opens up on 9/30 for all new adventurers!

    While FFXIV beta keys are obviously no longer an option, the information on this page about download issues (unless they make a wild and necessary change to their torrent utility) and graphics settings will likely still be pertinent for the full release, so please read on.

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    The Next Adventure: the FFXIV Beta Download and Its Issues

    Checking version... If you follow the instructions in your e-mail, you'll end up with the installation files for the FFXIV open beta. Fire up your Final Fantasy XIV beta version, and a window will pop up and do a version check. It will immediately begin to install the first of two patches. One of the patches will be quite small; however the other will be the beta itself, and will be nearly 5GB in size.

    Download Problems

    The biggest FFXIV beta download issue is the snail-like pace of the torrent. Often the download will time out and you will have to restart the program – which can be very disheartening when you see that error in the morning.

    First – make sure that your firewall, whether you use the Windows firewall or another application – is allowing FFXIV access to the internet. After that, it becomes a little more complicated.

    There's an extremely good forum post over at FFXIVCore regarding how to deal with the slow download problem (as well as a few other FFXIV beta download issues). Port forwarding can solve some of the speed problems; however, the post also contains links to direct downloads and the official torrent, which will allow you to use a different application to download. Either the direct download or the torrent will speed things up a great deal.

    Time to log in! Another problem that often gets lumped in under slow downloads is that when a patch finishes downloading, the installation hangs around 90%. This is normally caused by anti-virus software. Either make certain that FFXIV is completely allowed by your software, or temporarily disable the software while you finish the installation.

    With all of your patches installed, you get the ultimate reward – logging in to Eorzea!

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    The Last Word(s): Graphics Settings

    Where the config application is hiding... Final Fantasy XIV is, to put it bluntly, a beast. It's impossible to say how the graphics will differ between the beta and the release – it's possible that they'll be able to do some tweaks to make the game a little friendlier toward computers at the bottom of the system requirements. One thing that will help your beta experience if your graphics card isn't new and top of the line is to turn down some of the graphics settings. This can be a little challenging, since the settings aren't actually accessible in the game.

    The actual configuration menu. Exit the game, go to the Square Enix directory, and pick the configuration application. From the window that opens, choose general, then go to the graphics tab. From there, you can experiment with tuning the graphics settings, though it's a sometimes laborious process.

    Even with the graphics set as low as they will go, the Final Fantasy XIV beta is absolutely beautiful.

Final Fantasy XIV Reviews & Previews

A sneak peak at the new Final Fantasy XIV beta.
  1. The Early Days of Eorzea: Impressions of the FFXIV Open Beta
  2. So You Want to Play the FFXIV Open Beta