Final Fantasy XIV has a new benchmarking tool ahead of the release of the Dawntrail expansion

My custom character in the FFXIV: Dawntrail benchmark, Elvis VonWanglethorpe
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy XIV is now nearing the release of its fifth expansion, Dawntrail, this July 2, and Square Enix has released a benchmarking tool to help potential players find out what sort of performance to expect when they explore the sunny beaches and dense jungles of Tural this summer.

It's a fairly hefty 3.9GB download, but what you'll find inside is a character creator that lets you build a custom avatar that makes an appearance in the benchmark itself. Once inside, you'll see your carefully crafted creation—or, let's face it, an absolute mess if you're anything like me—make their way through a vast array of tropical jungles, sweeping vistas, flowing waterfalls and rocky climbs.

Of course, there's the inevitable beastie-fighting to put your system to the test, with plenty of blur effects, bursts of sparks, colourful spells and heroic grunting to enjoy, alongside some more crowd-heavy scenes to give your CPU a bit of a workout, too.

Personally, I've never been all that enamoured with Final Fantasy XIV, but this certainly looks like a significant graphical update, and it's worth a go even if you're not planning on playing the expansion itself. It's a pretty looking thing, and at the end, you'll receive an overall score and performance rating, which again, if you're anything like me, you'll run at 1080p with dynamic resolution enabled just for the thrill of seeing your performance rank as "extremely high".

Look, sometimes you just need the ego boost, ok?

In all seriousness, there are plenty of options to play with in the settings menu to get the most out of your system, ranging from NPC movement physics adjustments to a choice of upscalers and anti-aliasing settings.

It's a fairly comprehensive thing with plenty of performance-focussed options and suggests that despite the graphical improvements, Square Enix has spent some time giving the new expansion plenty of ways to tone down the prettier settings so it runs on a variety of hardware, something I'm always pleased to see, particularly in a game as beloved as this one.

I have named my character Elvis VonWanglethorpe, and seeing as I don't really play FFXIV, I doubt you'll ever see him in the game. What I do like though is a good benchmarking tool to pit my system against, and this one's worth a shot, if only for the giggles of the character creator alone.


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Andy Edser
Hardware Writer

Andy built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 12, when IDE cables were a thing and high resolution wasn't. After spending over 15 years in the production industry overseeing a variety of live and recorded projects, he started writing his own PC hardware blog for a year in the hope that people might send him things. Sometimes they did.

Now working as a hardware writer for PC Gamer, Andy can be found quietly muttering to himself and drawing diagrams with his hands in thin air. It's best to leave him to it.