Final Fantasy XIV has never been a PVP-focused MMORPG. It still isn’t, but the launch of Patch 6.1, Newfound Adventure, has shaken up the scene quite a bit. FFXIV‘s PVP has gotten a facelift and a brand new mode that’s drawing in record numbers of players — Crystalline Conflict.
Perhaps you’ve heard other players talking about how much fun they’ve having in PVP, or the promotional material piqued your interest. No matter your reasons, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about Final Fantasy XIV’s latest PVP craze.
How to Unlock PVP in Final Fantasy XIV
Before you can dive into a Crystalline Conflict match, you’ll need to make sure you’ve unlocked PVP. You can do this by completing your Grand Company’s version of the quest “A Pup No Longer,” which becomes available at Level 30. Hop on the ferry at the Moraby Drydocks in Lower La Noscea. A short boat ride will drop you off in the Wolves’ Den — Final Fantasy XIV’s PVP hub area. Speak to the NPCs around the pier to get the lay of the land and learn about the various elements of PVP.
Note the striking dummies and the large platform at the west end of the pier! These dummies will let you practice your PVP actions — which are entirely different from your usual job actions — and the platform is a dueling arena that will let you practice fighting against other players.
There are also striking dummies located on top of the ship. Just go into the belly of the ship where the vendors are located, hang a left, and follow the stairs all the way to the top deck.
Understanding Your PVP Actions
In order to level the playing field and work better with PVP gameplay, all jobs have their own set of PVP actions that can be found in the PVP Profile menu. These are similar but function differently from your normal job actions, and there are vastly less of them in total for each job. You may even find that some familiar combos have been condensed into a single button.
It should also be noted that Limit Break is not a shared resource in PVP. Your personal Limit Break functions like an ultimate ability, and it is yours to use as you please.
There are also a handful of common PVP actions that all jobs share:
- Standard-issue Elixir restores your HP and MP to maximum with a 4.5s cast time. Casting is interrupted if you take damage.
- Recuperate instantly restores your own HP with a cure potency of 15,000.
- Purify removes the status effects Stun, Heavy, Bind, Half-asleep, Sleep, and Deep Freeze. It also grants Resilience upon successful removal, nullifying all status afflictions.
- Guard lasts 5s and reduces damage taken by 50% and grants immunity to Stun, Heavy, Bind, Silence, Half-asleep, Sleep, Deep Freeze, and knockback/draw-in effects. It also slows your movement by 50% for the duration. You can end Guard at any time.
- Sprint increases movement speed and lasts until reuse or the use of another action.
Mastering your actions is the key to success in PVP! Make sure to read through your tool tips and practice on striking dummies in order to use your actions effectively on the battlefield.
PVP in Final Fantasy XIV does not allow free use of the chat. Instead, Quick Chat buttons are available in your PVP actions menu. Assign these to your hotbar to communicate with your teammates during matches.
The Basics of Crystalline Conflict
If you’ve ever played a payload match in a team FPS game, Crystalline Conflict will feel very familiar to you. Both teams start on opposite sides of the map, and the goal is to push the giant crystal in the center of the map to the other team’s base.
Crystalline Conflict matches last for a maximum of five minutes. They can be finished much quicker than that, though, and they can also go into overtime if there isn’t a clear winner when the timer hits zero.
Even after the gates swing open, you will not be able to immediately push the crystal. It will stay locked in place for a few more seconds before it becomes moveable. You need to be standing within the circle at its base to move it. If players from both teams are standing inside the circle at the same time, the crystal will not move. You have to take them out to push the crystal forward.
If the enemy team has pushed the crystal into your territory and you manage to take them out and start pushing back, the crystal will move slightly faster. It will also do this in the event that the enemy team manages to push it back to where they had it.
There is also a checkpoint between the center and each team’s base. When the crystal reaches this checkpoint, it will be stopped briefly, and you will have to defend against the enemy team until it starts moving again.
How Do You Win?
You win the match if your crystal reaches the enemy base, or if the timer runs out and you’ve pushed the crystal farther than the other team. If the match goes into overtime, the win conditions are slightly different. If your team is in the lead, you just have to get the other team off the crystal. But, if your team is behind, you will have to overtake the other team in order to win. In the rare event of a tie, one team will simply have to overtake the other.
You can play Crystalline Conflict in Casual or Ranked matches. Ranked matches will, of course, affect your ranking, which ranges in five tiers from Bronze to Crystal.
Crystalline Conflict Maps
Crystalline Conflict currently has three different maps: The Palaistra, Cloud Nine, and Volcanic Heart.
The Palaistra has no map events, but it does have speed lanes that make you move faster, and the playing field has different levels.
Cloud Nine features a map event called turbulence, which spawns tornadoes that fling players into the air and afflict fall damage. If you stay on top of the Chocobo icons that appear before the tornadoes spawn, you will receive a Chocobo feather that will negate the fall damage. Alternatively, using Guard will protect you from being thrown into the air.
Volcanic Heart features an event that spawns line AOEs that take up entire lanes of the map. You will need to dodge out of these or take damage. The AOEs spawn from Bombs, which leave behind Bomb Cores that can give you a damage buff and an LB boost.
What You Get From Winning (and Losing)
Whether you win or lose, you will see rewards! Your winnings are increased if you win.
Playing Crystalline Conflict matches rewards you with EXP, Series EXP, and Wolf Marks. Because you get EXP from playing, PVP is a great leveling method if you want to take a break from grinding dungeons.
Series EXP increases your Series Level, which in turn increases your Malmstone progress. PVP Malmstones typically reward you with an amount of Trophy Crystals, but there are some cool glam items in the Malmstone progression as well!
Wolf Marks and Trophy Crystals are PVP-specific currencies that can be exchanged with various vendors in the Wolves’ Den for things like glam, gear, weapons, and portrait customization.
Tips and Tricks for Crystalline Conflict
Before you dive into PVP, here are a few tips and tricks to help you on the battlefield!
💡 Practice your actions outside of matches! There are plenty of striking dummies around the Wolves’ Den that will allow you to get familiar with your moves.
💡 Communicating with your team will always help you better coordinate your assault. Mark high priority targets and use Quick Chat commands to let everyone know what you’re thinking. Make sure to pay attention to what they’re saying too!
💡 Use Sprint and take advantage of movement enhancements on the map! The Palaistra has speed lanes, and Cloud Nine has platforms that will shoot you along wind paths to get you to the action faster.
💡 Potions will spawn around the edges of the map. Picking up one of these will restore a ton of HP, and all you need to do is walk over it.
💡 If you’re playing a ranged job, try to draw enemies away from the crystal. At the same time, be ready to get up close and personal if you need to stop the other team from pushing further ahead.
💡 Fall back and regroup when necessary! Dying on the crystal isn’t the best option if you can help your team out by retreating and waiting on a coordinated push.
💡 Don’t hold onto your Limit Break. LB is not a shared resource in PVP, so use it when you can to get the upper hand!
💡 Don’t feel beat down by losses—especially because matches are short and queues are quick. Practice makes perfect! View each match as a learning experience whether you win or lose, because you can always jump back in for more as soon as you’re done.
💡 It won’t help you win, but customizing your Instant Portrait will help you look cool at the start of each match! You can find Portraits under the Character Menu.
Join the High Ground
That’s it for now! Crystalline Conflict is still a fairly new gameplay mode, so the meta and strategies surrounding it are still evolving. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media to get the latest updates on Final Fantasy XIV!