Final Fantasy 14's first shapeshifting mount will let you blow yourself up, and it's free until October

FF14 Dawntrail
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy 14 has a lot of cool mounts up for grabs—there's a cosmic jellyfish that makes your character tiny, the Regalia from FF15, a tiny fluffy sheep, and even one where your character gets trapped in a T.V. They all share one thing in common, though: your character's there, either riding them or caged inside them like the victim of some cautionary fairy tale. 

That rule's being broken this year with the upcoming in-game event The Rising 2023, which celebrates FF14's ten year anniversary. These happen annually, usually featuring some fireworks and a cute thank-you cutscene with characters that look suspiciously like the dev team.

This year you'll be able to claim the Rising Phoenix mount. Instead of keeping your poor warrior of light trapped in some digital prison, though, it'll turn just straight-up turn you into a bird. All traces of your adventurer vanished, consigned to a feathery fate. The implications are somehow more concerning than being locked behind a T.V screen. 

"Take a good look at this mount. Notice anything in particular?" asks community team member Minaryne in an official blog post. "If you noticed that no one is riding it, you have quite a keen eye! You become the phoenix!" Minaryne also showed off a screenshot of the mount's special action, 'A Flame Reborn', which lets you blow yourself up.

An image of the upcoming pheonix mount from Final Fantasy 14's special action, which lets it explode in a fireball.

(Image credit: Square Enix)

I'm experiencing a faint feeling of dread at the prospect—dozens of players, all spamming fireballs during hunt trains. Mercifully, you can turn effects from other players off in the options menu, and I think the mount overall looks pretty sweet. It's certainly an improvement over The Rising 2022, which gave you a tiny Emet Selch to eternally judge you for your choices.

The event will also feature a new minigame for your inn room called Kupo Kupo Adventure, as well as a permanent sidequest relating to Lousioux, whose canonical sacrifice was a part of Final Fantasy 14's reboot way back in 2013. You can also snag yourself some orchestrion rolls and a wall decoration, but who cares about that—I'm gonna be able to turn into a bird on command, and then I'll explode.

The Rising 2023 will run from August 27 until the release of patch 6.5, which should be arriving in October, so you have until then to claim your free bird form. Patch 6.5 will release its story in two parts, wrapping up our current journeys in preparation for Final Fantasy 14: Dawntrail, which is planned for summer 2024.

Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.