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The difficulty of duties in Final Fantasy XIV can roughly be divided in relatively easy story-mode duties (most content in the game) and difficult but optional high-end duties, aimed at skilled and experienced players.

This distinction is relevant as long as duties are played "synced", that is, without the option "Unrestricted Party" enabled in the Duty Finder. If that option is enabled, duties from past expansions designed for a lower maximal level can become trivially easy to clear or even alone by players with a maximum-level character.

Moreover, lower-level duties are generally easier than duties designed for the current maximum level, because in lower-level duties players' gear will almost always be at the maximum power allowed for by the level sync mechanics.

In North American and European data centers, players can use Duty Finder matchmaking to complete story-mode duties. However, for all high-end duties (regardless of their level), players form temporary premade groups in Party Finder or more permanent raid groups ("statics") that meet at scheduled times.

Story-mode difficulty

Duties required to complete the Main Scenario QuestMain Story Quests and therefore to advance in the game represent the easiest level of difficulty. These include normal Dungeon Dungeons and Trial Trials (including those misleadingly labeled "Hard"), as well as solo duties required by job or main story quests, and, at level 90, variant dungeons. These duties can be cleared easily "blind", that is, without prior knowledge of the duty.

The first two duties of the level 50 Alliance Raid Alliance Raids are also very easy, as they were designed for significantly lower power levels than the ones available to players now.

Higher-level normal Trial Trials, normal Raid Raids and Alliance Raid Alliance Raids, most of which are associated with side story quests, are slightly more challenging but can still be completed blind, although there may be a few wipes if most of the party is new. These may include mechanics that have somewhat less obvious AoE telegraphs. For example, players may need to look at the boss's animation or cast bar to find the safe area for an attack, and the AoE indicator will only briefly appear before the attack resolves. Alliance raids may be somewhat easier than normal raids because the large number of players allows to compensate for mistakes more easily.

Higher-level dungeons tend to be easier than dungeons below level 50, because of their streamlined layouts, stricter limits on the number of enemies that can be pulled at once, and the greater availability of healing and mitigation abilities for tanks and healers.

Gear required: Tank role.png Tanks and Healer role.png healers should equip gear close to the character level for which the duty is intended, or there may be the occasional failure. DPS role.png DPS players should do likewise or enemies may take longer than necessary to kill. Generally, all players should equip the highest Item Level gear available to them. For duties at the current level cap, this may include the best craftable HQ icon.png high-quality gear purchased from the Market Board, or the gear available from the current weekly limited tomestone currency. More information can be found in the Endgame Gear Guide.

Preparation required: None. (Consulting a guide beforehand may help somewhat, but can spoil the story.)

Consumables required: None.

High-end difficulty

The following duties are considered "endgame" content, representing increasing levels of difficulty, and are aimed at skilled and experienced players. Their difficulty stems not only from the high level of damage incurred by players, and by their increasingly complicated mechanics, but also from the following features:

  • Lack of telegraphs. Many damaging effects will no longer be announced in advance by glowing areas on the ground and must be anticipated from visual cues or reading the cast bar to avoid them.
  • Party coordination is required. Players must often take specific positions depending on their role. Such coordination can occur through external voice chat tools (e.g, Discord), but no encounter requires voice communication. In Party Finder, the party leader should mention the strategies used in the party description. In North American data centers, players will assign roles by positioning around waymarks. In European data centers, the party leader will provide a slide deck in an external site (e.g. a "raidplan" or "toolbox") or macro summarizing roles for each mechanic, after which each player will call their role in chat. Roles are MT (main tank), ST or OT (off tank), H1 (healer 1), H2 (healer 2), D1-D4 (DPS 1-4; this may also be given as M1-2 for melee DPS 1-2 and R1-2 for ranged DPS 1-2).
  • Enrage timer. If the boss is not killed in a given time - designed to correspond to the damage output of a competent party - it will "enrage" and kill the party.
  • Low tolerance for error. The mechanics of these duties are often designed such that the entire party, or most of it, will be killed if only one player does not follow the mechanics correctly.
  • Mechanical knowledge required. For the above reasons, endgame duties require generally all players to have a good understanding of the entire fight and its mechanics. This is possible because the fights are "scripted", in that the mechanics usually follow the same order, even though they will often contain a degree of random variation.
  • Party mitigation required. While party mitigation is essentially optional (but highly recommended) for bosses in story-mode content, raidwide damage in high-end duties, especially later-floor savage raids and ultimate raids, will often kill DPS and healers in one hit unless if there is sufficient mitigation. "Tank buster" abilities will also kill tanks in one hit if they do not use enough mitigation or invulnerability cooldowns. For particularly challenging duties, it is common for groups to follow a spreadsheet or a macro containing a mitigation and cooldown usage plan.

For these reasons, high-end duties are considered "prog" content, from "progression": Players are not expected to clear a high-end duty on their first try, but will normally require many attempts, each of which ideally represents some amount of progress into the fight. In the Party Finder, high-end duty "prog" parties are labeled with [Practice] and their description indicates the mechanic that all players have already experienced; this is the party's common "prog point".

It is important to note that high-end difficulty encompasses a very large spectrum: for example, the first extreme trial released in an expansion is significantly easier, even at minimum item level, than the final savage raid, which itself is significantly easier than any recent ultimate raid.

8 players (full party)

Full party duties consisting of 8 players are the most common form of high-end duties in the game.

Extreme and unreal trials

Trial Extreme trials are the endgame content most accessible to newer players. They are more difficult versions of the corresponding regular trial. The most current extreme trial will drop weapons that are more powerful than the ones otherwise accessible outside of savage raids. Trial Unreal trials are older extreme trials that have been scaled up to the current level cap and have a strict item level sync, preventing players from out-gearing them.

Extreme and unreal trials are usually 10-12 minutes long. The damage output requirements for extreme trials are relatively lenient: a typical party should not fail because of the enrage timer unless there are many deaths. Due to the item level sync, the DPS checks in unreal trials are usually tighter than for extreme trials.

Gear required: All players should equip the highest item level gear available to them, enhanced with the best materia available. Gearing is less important for unreal trials due to the low item level sync.

Preparation required: It is possible to beat an extreme or unreal trial "blind" (i.e., figure out the mechanics on your own without any outside assistance) with some trial and error, and blind progression in the Party Finder is usually possible. However, most players will prepare for the trial with a video guide, unless if the trial is brand new.

Consumables required: Players should consume the highest-level food that boosts the attributes required by their job.

Savage raids

Raid Savage raids represent a medium difficulty within the scope of endgame content. They are much more difficult versions of the corresponding normal raid. The most current savage raids will drop weapons and gear that are the most powerful available in the game, which are also often required to progress from one savage raid to the next. The level 50 Coils of Bahamut raid series is of savage rather than story-mode difficulty, even though not labeled as such.

Compared to extreme trials, savage raid mechanics place a greater emphasis on individual responsibility and have relatively few mechanics that can be resolved by following the rest of the party. There is also a greater emphasis on understanding different debuffs, which are usually specific to the fight. Savage raids are similar in length to extreme trials but have higher DPS requirements, although these become more lenient with time due to better gear. The fourth floor of a savage encounter with early gear usually contains the tightest DPS checks in the game.

Gear required: All players should equip the highest item level gear available to them, enhanced with the best Materia available, and aiming for a "best in slot" setup consisting of a mix of tomestone and raid-dropped gear.

Preparation required: Most players will prepare for the raid with video guides or annotated diagrams in order to clear in a timely manner, and blind progression groups are rarer. Blind savage progression usually requires a "static" and is not feasible in Party Finder outside of the first week the raid is released.

Consumables required: Players should consume the highest-level Food that boosts the attributes required by their job. They should also consume Medicines, commonly called "potions" or "pots" by players, (ex Grade 7 tincture of strength icon1.png  Grade 7 Tincture of Strength) as often as possible during the fight.

Ultimate raids

Ultimate Raid Ultimate raids are exceptionally challenging duties, harder than savage raids. Their rewards are only cosmetic in nature.

Ultimate raids are very long (14-20 minute) encounters against a gauntlet of bosses. Mechanics are more intricate than in savage raids and test the player's ability to react to random variation to a much greater extent. For example, a savage mechanic may require a player to know only one or two positions based on their role, but an ultimate mechanic may require them to know all 8 positions due to the mechanic not being role-restricted.

DPS requirements for older ultimate raids are relatively lenient, comparable or even less than that of a current extreme trial. Ultimate raids in the current expansion have more notable DPS requirements, but these are usually more lenient compared to fourth-floor savage raids in low item level gear. Some phases in an encounter have much stricter DPS checks than others, requiring the party to budget their damage resources, while other phases may require the party to balance their DPS between multiple bosses. Individual mistakes are much more punishing compared to easier content, especially for the level 90 ultimate raids.

Gear required: For the newest ultimate raid in the current expansion, all players must equip "best in slot" gear at the highest level available in the game, obtained from savage raids. For ultimate raids that were released earlier in the expansion, players should use "best in slot" gear that matches the item level sync, so materia melds will be applicable. Specific gear sets are less important for ultimate raids released in previous expansions, and players can simply equip current item level gear which will sync down.

Preparation and consumables required: As per savage raids, above. Mechanics in ultimate raids can be exceptionally cryptic to solve, so the vast majority of groups will use guides, and "blind prog" groups are very rare, especially for older ultimate raids. In addition to guides, there are various online practice tools and simulators made by the playerbase which can be especially useful for practicing mechanics later in the encounter.

4 players (light party)

Later floors of deep dungeons

The later floors of deep dungeons, such as floors 101+ of Deep Dungeon Palace of the Dead, and floors 31+ of Deep Dungeon Heaven-on-High / Deep Dungeon Eureka Orthos are designed as challenge modes for solo players to premade light parties. The main source of difficulty lies within navigating the dungeon and regular enemies, which are much more dangerous than in earlier floors and often have AoEs that will instantly kill anyone hit, in addition to heavy-hitting auto-attacks. Hidden traps can also quickly wipe unsuspecting parties. Notably, solo achievements for deep dungeons require completing the entire dungeon without dying. These feats require an in-depth understanding of each deep dungeon's mechanics and a judicious usage of "pomanders", consumable items that grant various enhancements, to both survive and clear each set of floors before running out of time.

Gear required: Regular equipment is irrelevant for deep dungeons, but players should aim for as high of an aetherpool level for both their weapon and armor before tackling later floors. Maximum aetherpool levels are required for solo runs.

Preparation and consumables required: Food should be used to increase survivability. Damage-increasing and HP restoring potions are usually required for solo runs, depending on the job. Each deep dungeon has a type of potion associated with it that grants a powerful HP regeneration effect, allowing non-tanks to handle the later floors solo.

Criterion dungeons

Criterion Dungeon Criterion dungeons are high-end versions of variant dungeons but have a fixed layout. Their difficulty is comparable to extreme trials or savage raids. Normal resurrection actions are disabled, but players are allowed to revive other party members with Variant Raise II.png  Variant Raise II. Each party member may only use this action once, but it will be replenished upon completing an objective for the dungeon or if the party wipes. Regular enemies in criterion dungeons deal significantly more damage and require more strategic ways of engaging them than those in other dungeons. Bosses are similar in mechanical difficulty to extreme trials or savage raids but are shorter (5-6 minutes vs. 10-14 minutes). Similar to other high-difficulty content, each boss must be defeated in a certain time limit, or it will wipe the party with an enrage ability.

Gear required: As per savage raids.

Preparation and consumables required: As per savage and ultimate raids.

Savage criterion dungeons

Savage criterion dungeons are of a difficulty comparable to some ultimate raids. They have additional rules to make them harder than regular criterion dungeons: Revive abilities are disabled completely and no variant actions may be used. If the party wipes, all enemies will respawn and players must restart from the beginning. Players who disconnect from the game will be incapacitated upon reconnecting to the dungeon. Matchmaking is unavailable for Savage Criterion dungeons. Players must have a premade party of four people to enter them.

Boss mechanics are identical to those in criterion dungeons, but all enemies have higher health and deal more damage (especially non-bosses). Many AoE indicators from non-boss enemies that were present in easier difficulties are removed or significantly shortened, and being hit by these avoidable attacks will usually deal lethal damage.

Upon engaging the first enemy, a timer (~24 minutes) will begin, which can be seen next to the duty objectives. If the party does not complete the dungeon before the timer finishes, all enemies will receive the Sewer-dwelller icon1.png Sewer-dweller or Powerful buff, greatly increasing their damage dealt while reducing their damage taken, which is essentially a dungeon-wide enrage. This timer will reset if the party wipes. Because of this global enrage, the party will need to budget their cooldowns considering the length of the dungeon. The duration of the dungeon and the degree of punishment for mistakes make savage criterion dungeons closer to ultimate-difficulty.

Gear required: As per ultimate raids.

Preparation and consumables required: As per savage and ultimate raids.


There are currently two large-scale high-end duties in the game: The Forbidden Land Eureka The Baldesion Arsenal and Save the Queen: Blades of Gunnhildr Delubrum Reginae (Savage), intended for up to 56 and 48 players, respectively. Both of these are associated with a specific field operation series, each with their own unique mechanics. Similar to criterion dungeons, normal resurrection actions are disabled in these duties, but players can still be revived through more limited means (see individual pages for more details).

Due to the high degree of coordination needed for successful runs, participation in most data centers is usually through various Discord servers. In the Baldesion Arsenal, boss mechanics are comparable to normal raids/trials to extreme trials, while in Delubrum Reginae (Savage), mechanics are of extreme trial to savage raid difficulty.

While coordination is needed, one impact of the large number of players participating is that there is more leeway for individual mistakes. Most boss mechanics can be dodged by listening to the raid leader's callouts, although Delubrum Reginae (Savage) features more individual responsibility mechanics where players need to solve their own debuffs.

Gear required: Typically no special requirements, although some gear can provide duty-specific bonuses. However, obtaining said gear usually requires completing the duty first.

Preparation and consumables required: Varies by duty, but food and potions should be used.

Duty actions required: Appropriate Logos Actions and Lost Actions are required for the Baldesion Arsenal and Delubrum Reginae (Savage), respectively, depending on the raid organizer's specifications.