Damn Yoshi-P wasn't lying, Final Fantasy 14's servers really are beefed up and Dawntrail-ready

A Viera Warrior of Light.
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Despite Naoki Yoshida's assurance to me—and no doubt countless other journalist and content creators during the Final Fantasy 14: Dawntrail media tour—that servers were jacked and ready to tackle the horde of players coming in at launch, I was admittedly still apprehensive. 

Flashbacks to Endwalker's queues that would consume my entire evening, pleading with my housemates to waggle my mouse while I nipped to the shops so my character wouldn't succumb to the 30-minute AFK timer and thus initiate the four-hour wait all over again. Getting oh-so-close to finally playing, only to get the dreaded Error 90002 and realise that maybe the universe doesn't want you to run dungeons tonight. Anyone who lived through it—or some lesser yet equally painful issues like Stormblood's affectionately dubbed Raubhan (Savage)—will remember how much of a massive pain in the arse it was.

So forgive me for being a little cynical, but thank goodness I was proven wrong as I dove into Dawntrail the exact minute it launched. I held my breath for how many players were ahead of me, and at the time my heart sank a little seeing the number: 1,059 in queue. Not a giant number by any means, but one that could still take a hot sec if the servers were on fire as I patiently waited my turn to sail to Tural.

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Yet 10 minutes later with zero fuss and there I was, stood outside my house and ready for adventure. Only 10 minutes! This would have been a far-fetched dream two-and-a-half years ago. The process has been significantly smoother this time around, and it seems like I'm not the only one. Fellow PC Gamer writer and Final Fantasy 14 enjoyer Harvey Randall had around 700 people in the queue and took around five minutes to log in over on NA servers, while a couple of my friends in Europe shot through queues of around 2,500 in around 15 - 20 minutes.

It's definitely a pleasant change from the torture folk endured during Endwalker, even if there have still been a couple hiccups. Taking a peek at the Dawntrail megathread over on the Final Fantasy 14 subreddit and most queue-related comments seem to confirm that it's an overall smooth process, though there have been one or two instances of the dreaded Error 90002 rearing its ugly head.

I have seen some folk claiming—either jokingly or with a twinge of seriousness—that it's because people aren't fussed about the expansion. It's worth remembering what Yoshida said about launch queues during the media tour: that smoother queues aren't an indictment on the game's popularity, but moreso a good sign that the team has done its job right. "'Well, there isn't that congestion, so it must mean that people have dropped out of Final Fantasy 14 right?' Well, I would really appreciate it if you could inform those types of people that it's just down to the fact that we have been putting in a lot of effort and a lot of preparation to help our players." 

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.