Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker release date, new classes, early access and more

Final Fantasy 14 has been steadily going strong since its A Realm Reborn relaunch in 2013, but the MMORPG is now seeing a huge surge in its player base ahead of the release of the game's fourth expansion, Endwalker.

Previously, Final Fantasy 14's third expansion, Shadowbringers, represented a watershed moment for the game, but the player base has continued to grow exponentially since then, largely due to an influx of players coming in from other online games such as World of Warcraft, as well as users converting to subscribers after playing the generous free trial content.

Due to release in December, 2021, Endwalker looks to wrap up all the major plot threads that have been evolving since A Realm Reborn and even beforehand. We’ll be visiting a handful of enchanting new locales, as always, but we’ll also be leaving the star of Hydaelyn and heading for the moon.

Releasing almost half a year outside of the typical expansion window due to delays incurred by the Covid-19 pandemic, Endwalker’s December 7 release date does at least give new players plenty of time to catch up with the main story, as well as previous content such as raids, optional dungeons and trials.

Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker release date and price

Final Fantasy 14's Endwalker expansion will release on December 7, 2021, but those that pre-order the expansion can experience it a few days earlier on December 3.

Originally set to release on November 19, director and producer Naoki Yoshida confirmed the delay at the beginning of the most recent Letter from the Producer Live, a semi-formal presentation of new content coming to Endwalker.

A number of versions of the Endwalker expansion are available for purchase. The standard digital edition costs $39.99 / £29.99 / AU$52.99 and includes pre-order bonuses such as the aforementioned early access.

If you'd like a few extra in-game bonus items, then you might consider the Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker digital collector's edition, which costs $59.99 / £44.99 / AU$79.99. This version grants an exclusive mount, minion and weapon when the expansion releases.

Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker trailer

Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker Launch Trailer
During the November 5 Letter from the Producer Live, director and producer Naoki Yoshida debuted the launch trailer for Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker. The emotional trailer features several in-game snippets of new characters and locations, interspersed with dialog from key characters and narration from Shadowbringers villain Emet-Selch.

The trailer confirms the return of vocalist Jason Charles Miller, who previously lent his voice to multiple tracks in the Shadowbringers expansion including its main theme.

Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker Full Trailer
The Final Fantasy 14 Digital Fan Festival 2021 opened in spectacular fashion with the debut of the full Endwalker trailer. At nearly six minutes in length, the extended version of the initial teaser trailer from February did not disappoint, giving Warriors of Light a much greater insight at what to expect in December when the expansion finally releases.

The trailer's music was just as impressive as the visuals, with Shadowbringers' Amanda Achen returning to perform vocals. Sam Carter, lead vocalist of British metalcore band Architects also lends his voice to the main theme, and the results are nothing short of stunning.

Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker classes

On February 5, Final Fantasy 14 director and producer Naoki Yoshida presented an announcement showcase for Endwalker, which was fans' initial exposure to the expansion.

During the announcement showcase, the first of two new classes (jobs) was revealed. That being Sage, a new Healer job and the first of its role to be added since Astrologian all the way back in 2015 with the release of Heavensward, Final Fantasy 14's first expansion.

Fighting enemies and healing allies via a set of floating turrets called Nouliths, Sage looks to be a pretty unique take on the more traditional healer archetype, and looks like it could be more focused on attacking than its peers.

During the keynote showcase during the 2021 Digital Fan Festival on May 15, Yoshida revealed the second of the two jobs. This being the melee DPS Reaper, a scythe-wielding job that calls on the power of the void for support.

The job certainly created a strong first impression, and had fans wondering what the class's story will be like. Especially considering that Endwalker's antagonist, Zenos, has also taken up Reaper as his chosen class.

From the trailer below, it looks like we'll have control of a voidsent creature. It complements our scythe attacks with its own, and appears to be able to fuse with the Reaper, augmenting their abilities even further.

Both Sage and Reaper will be available from the launch of Endwalker on December 7 (or December 3 if you pre-ordered for early access). Both classes will begin at level 70, so you'll have a bit of levelling ahead of you if you want to play one of those jobs for Endwalker's main scenario.

Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker new race

Viera, the lagomorphic race added in Shadowbringers, was an extremely popular addition. Debuting in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, the fan-favorite race currently has just a female variant in Final Fantasy 14. During the Fan Fest keynote, however, we got our first look at male Viera, which will be added as a playable option in Endwalker.

Director Yoshida also said that female versions of the Hrothgar - another race added in Shadowbringers that currently only has a male variant - will be added sometime after the release of Endwalker. A release date for this wasn't confirmed, and isn't likely to be announced any time soon.

Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker content

One announcement that really stuck with players was the Island Sanctuary. This was billed as more casual, laid-back content for any player to enjoy. Most likely it won’t be dissimilar to farming sims like Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon.

Sadly, not much was revealed during the May 15 keynote, besides that the content will periodically see updates through the 6.x patch cycle, meaning that the development team likely has a lot planned for Island Sanctuary as a long term piece of side content.

A welcome reprieve from the impending calamity! (Image credit: Square Enix)

Not much is known about this new mode currently, except that we will be put in charge of our very own instanced island paradise. It’s also a place where the player’s minions (collectable critters that follow you around the overworld) can roam free, and potentially perform tasks themselves.

Scant details were revealed about the new raids that will feature in Endwalker. Firstly, the new eight-man raid series will be titled Pandaemonium, the announcement of which was accompanied only by an ominous piece of key art. 

Endwalker's 24-man raid series will be known as Myths of the Realm. Once again, this will feature a trilogy of large raids released in every other major patch throughout the 6.x series.

In terms of new trials, (Final Fantasy 14’s term for major boss fights) fans were treated to a key art of Anima. The fan favorite boss is making a return from its appearance in Final Fantasy 10.

This was joined by concept art and in-game screenshots of some new dungeons and overworld areas including Garlemald, the Imperial capital players have been eager to visit ever since A Realm Reborn.

The Imperial capital has definitely seen better days... (Image credit: Square Enix)

Rounding out the announcements were details on the upcoming downscaling of numbered values throughout the game. Yoshida went into minute detail of what will be happening here. Essentially, the numbers the game is currently handling right now are far too big (bosses have HP values in the hundreds of millions, for example) and their bloated size is causing bugs within the game.

Yoshida was adamant in explaining that while numbers across the board will be downscaled, it’s all relative. Even though our damage numbers will be significantly lower, players themselves aren’t getting any less powerful. It’s one way the team is future proofing itself for all content in the coming years.

Finally, players will see their belts removed. No, not like that. Belts have been something of a bane to players for years. They’re not visible on characters at all, and they offer negligent stat bonuses compared to the more valuable gear pieces. As a result, Square is doing away with them entirely. 

The slots belts currently occupy in the Armoury Chest will instead be allocated to primary weapons and ring slots, with some storage being held in reserve until the team knows what it wants to do with them.

Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker benchmark trailer

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker benchmark

If you're a PC gamer looking to get into Final Fantasy 14, but are unsure as to how well your rig will handle the game upon release, then you should absolutely check out the Endwalker benchmark tool.

Available to download from the official site, the benchmark is roughly six minutes long and plays various scenes that act as stress tests for your PC. From busy towns to even busier battles, the Endwalker benchmark will demonstrate Final Fantasy 14's engine at its most intense.

At the end of the benchmark, you'll be given a score indicating how well your PC performed, which should give you a decent idea of how well you'll be able to run Final Fantasy 14 and the Endwalker expansion upon release.

As an added bonus, the game's character creator is included with the benchmark, allowing you to insert your existing character into the benchmark video. But more importantly, you'll get to preview the male Viera customization options ahead of release, which is what we're really here for, if we're being completely honest.

How can I play Final Fantasy 14?

Interested now? You’re in luck. Square Enix offers a free trial to all new players that haven’t subscribed in the past. The free trial is incredibly generous, allowing new Warriors of Light to experience the base game and the first expansion Heavensward in its entirety, with a level cap of 60. There’s no time limit on the free trial, either, so feel free to explore the land of Eorzea at your leisure.

If the free trial made a good impression, the Complete Edition is available for purchase on Windows, Steam and PS4. This retails at $39.99 (£34.99 /AU$50) when not on sale, and features all the game’s content up to and including the latest expansion, Shadowbringers. Keep in mind that the Complete Edition does go on sale somewhat regularly, usually for 50% off, so consider that if you’re on the fence.

Final Fantasy 14 does employ a monthly subscription fee of $12.99 (£8.99 /AU$10) if you want to enjoy the game long term, past the free trial restrictions.

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