Wondering how to changeb instance in FFXIV? New expansion, Endwalker, means hundreds of players roaming through the same areas, which can cause long loading times and struggling servers. To address this, Square Enix has created multiple copies of each zone in the expansion to keep things running smoothly.
While FF14 does its best to keep you in the same instances as your friends or party members, it's still possible to be split up. I popped out of a dungeon with a pal only to find we'd both been placed in separate copies of the same zone, despite being in the same party. So here's how to check what instance number you're on, and how to get to the same instanced zone as your friends.
FFXIV change instance: How to make sure you're playing with friends
Whenever you load into a zone, the game will tell you in the chatbox what instance you're on. Each one will be the name of the zone followed by a number. So if you travel to Old Sharlayan, it will say Old Sharlayan 1, Old Sharlayan 2 etc. If for some reason it didn't pop up in chat or it's gotten lost, you can type '/instance' to be told where you currently are.
Unfortunately, there's no way of telling at a glance what instance number your friends are on. Drop them a '/tell' to double-check where they are.
How to move to another instanced area
If you and your friends are in the same zone, but in different instances, it's relatively easy to get on the same one. Simply teleport to the area's closest aetheryte, right-click on it and select 'Travel to Instanced Area.' From there, it'll list all the current instances available. Just click on whatever instance number your friends are on and it'll whiz you over to the same one as them.
Note that this only works if you're on the same server. If one friend is on Odin and the other is on Twintania, for example, you won't be able to meet up unless one of you travels to a different server—though with the ongoing Error 2002 problem it might not be ideal. The instanced areas also only apply to new areas introduced in Endwalker, as they're currently the most congested.