- This article is about the automatic group matching tool. For the manual invite grouping tool, see Party Finder.
Duty Finder, abbreviated as DF, is a tool players can use to register for, automatically form parties, and enter most instanced group content (duties) in the game. This includes dungeons, guildhests, trials, raids, PvP, some Gold Saucer minigames, as content types; and alternatively the joining of a Duty Roulette that will select a random instance of a given content type for the player. Duty Finder as an interface unlocks at the same time as the player's first matched duty. For most players this is likely to be either a Guildhest or the MSQ It's Probably Pirates. Other content and categories will be automatically added to the Duty Finder after they are unlocked.
Registration and Matchmaking
Players need to unlock the duty first before they are allowed to register for it. Players who register for a duty by themselves (or with a party smaller than specified by the "duty requirements" at the bottom of the right-side pane) will be matched with other random players from different servers in the same data center, until the party is filled to its maximum. The term duty finder, when used by players, is often synonymous with matched parties, even though a fully premade party can still use duty finder to register for and enter a duty.
Once the party is filled, the players will be given a prompt labelled to enter the duty. Hit "Commence" to confirm entry; "Wait" will minimize the window to a notification and "Withdraw" will cancel registration. As a notification, the game refers to this as the "Duty Participation Confirmation". Players who register for duties with a premade party that matches the party size requirements will automatically be prompted to enter the duty upon registration.
The queue time, which is the time spent matching with a party, varies depending on the popularity of the duty, the roles required, and current player traffic on that data center. Tanks and Healers tend to get faster queues, but even for DPS in most content, many queues are quite reliably short. However, as an alternative to grouping with other players, the Duty Support or Trust tools can also be used in certain duties with NPC party members instead taking the role of party members.
Duty Finder Usage
- Main article: Party Finder
Players use Duty Finder to enter most instanced group content, regardless of whether they are queuing solo or with a premade party. However for PvE content, Duty Finder's matchmaking function is typically only used for content of story-mode difficulty, such as dungeons, guildhests, normal and hard trials, normal raids, and alliance raids. PvP and some Gold Saucer minigames are required to use matchmaking functionality to find opponents.
As such, in North American and European data centers, matchmaking is strongly not recommended for higher-difficulty content (e.g. extreme/"Minstrel's Ballad" trials and savage raids, including the Coils of Bahamut). In addition, higher-end content is typically absent from Duty Roulettes (with only extreme trials appearing in Duty Roulette: Mentor) which leads to very long queue times. Manually forming or joining premade parties through Party Finder or other means is therefore preferred by most players who wish to do higher-difficulty content, as it allows for a much greater customization in forming a party, recruiting other players with common goals and similar experience in the duty, and agreeing on encounter strategies, which are important in successfully completing high-end content.
- Only Japanese Data Centers use Raid Finder (the Duty Finder category for current high-end content) matchmaking to "farm" the newest extreme trials, with the expectation that all players have previously cleared the fight. Practice parties and older trials are expected to be hosted in Party Finder.
Due to its low population, players in the Materia Data Center (Oceania) will often use Party Finder instead of Duty Finder to form groups for all types of content, including story-difficulty content.
Duty Finder Content
Duties are organized by category, which can be navigated on the icons near the top of the interface. In the order presented in-game, these include:
- Duty Roulette
- Dungeons (ARR, Heavensward, Stormblood, Shadowbringers)
- Dungeons (Endwalker)
- Trials (ARR, Heavensward, Stormblood, Shadowbringers)
- Trials (Endwalker)
- Raids (ARR, Heavensward, Stormblood, Shadowbringers)
- Raids (Endwalker)
- Gold Saucer
Duty Finder Settings
Duty Finder settings were introduced in patch 3.0. Players can access settings from the gear wheel icon, which is found above the "Duty Finder" menu name (on the top left corner of the Duty Finder menu/window) and inside the yellow bar. These settings allow for party leaders and solo players to adjust their matchmaking with "special participation requirements" for duties. Note that if the player is in a party, only the party leader's setting will take effect.
Join Party in Progress
The player has an option to join duties that are in progress but with one or more party members having left the duty. Does not disable matching with newly formed parties at the start of a duty. When the duty entrance prompt appears, players will be told how long the duty is in progress if they are refilling a party. Players who join a duty in progress are free to leave the duty without incurring a 30 minute penalty.
Unrestricted Party (formerly undersized party, referred to as unsynced by the community) allows players to participate in Duties with below minimum party member requirements. For example, running Sastasha with 2 players. In this setting, level sync, item level sync and role requirements are ignored. This setting allows players to more easily complete older content. Most duties allow unrestricted parties, except for duties released in the current expansion, Hall of the Novice exercises, guildhests, deep dungeons, Adventuring Forays, treasure hunt dungeons, Masked Carnivale stages, and Ultimate Raids. Alliance raids require at least one person per full party alliance (three players total) to enter using an unrestricted party. Matching with other players is disabled if this setting is enabled.
- Defeating enemies will grant no EXP or item drops. Spiritbond also will not be gained. However, any items in chests still appear, and their drop rates are not affected. Because almost all loot in duties comes from chests, this setting will not affect loot farming outside of very specific drops. Triple Triad Cards will still drop from enemies, along with other items that may be rewarded directly to the player's inventory upon completing the duty.
- Players will still receive first time completion bonuses (such as tomestones), EXP from completion of quests, and satisfy any quest, Wondrous Tails, A Realm Reborn or Heavensward Relic Weapon objectives, or unlocking Duty Roulette: Mentor that require completing the duty.
- After the stat squish with the launch of Endwalker, Unrestricted Party also grants players an Epic Echo buff: "Maximum HP, damage dealt, and potency of HP restoration actions are increased beyond what even you thought possible." up to +300%. This allows players to "unsync" duties similarly as before the stat squish.
- It is not possible to enter a duty with a lower level than the minimum level. However, it is possible to enter with a lower average item level than the minimum item level.
- It is not possible to enter with a larger party size than the maximum size allowed (e.g., an 8-man party in a 4-man dungeon).
Enables level sync to the level the duty was designed for in unrestricted parties, allowing for EXP and spiritbond gain. This setting is only available when "Unrestricted Party" is selected. Otherwise, level sync is enabled by default if "Unrestricted Party" is not enabled.
Minimum IL or item level reduces the item levels of the entire party to that of the minimum item level requirement of the duty. It is intended for players who wish to be challenged by the duties to a somewhat similar degree as when the duties were first introduced. Players can select this setting in conjunction with Undersized Party setting. Matching with other players is disabled if this setting is enabled. This setting provides no tangible rewards except for increasing the drop rates of faded Orchestrion Rolls in extreme trials (other loot drops are unchanged).
- It is worth noting that this is something of an misconception, as older duties from past expansions especially would have had drastically different abilities for jobs. This leads to an easier experience overall due to potency creep and job overhauls, which have significantly simplified lower level job kits. In many circumstances, item level sync even to minimum item level would not reflect the power level of players in appropriate period gear, which was made worse by the Endwalker patch 6.0 non-linear stat-squish. So while "Minimum ilvl, no Echo" or MINE runs are done by sections of the community, it is not accurate to say that it offers "the original level of challenge." This is also the exact criticism that Faux Hollows was introduced to solve.
- Because most player stats come from gear, players can simulate older fights at lv 90 (i.e., "unreal") with stats that approximate when the fights were current content, taking into account the patch 6.0 stat squish, by equipping weak gear and not equipping accessories. Gear guidelines for older savage raids downscaled at lv 90 can be found here. The unrestricted party (level sync disabled) and silence echo settings would be used, but minimum item level would not be enabled. This affords player stats that are lower than minimum item level while allowing use of their full job kits.
Prevents accumulation of The Echo, which is a buff that is given to all players in older trials and raids to make them easier to complete if the party wipes, or automatically given at the start of the duty. Similar to minimum IL, silencing Echo is another challenge option for older content, with no tangible rewards. However, some Achievements require completing extreme trials and certain savage raids with a full party of Blue Mages with level sync and silence echo enabled. Matching with other players is disabled if this setting is enabled.
Explorer Mode was released in patch 5.4 in Shadowbringers. It allows players to freely explore previously completed dungeons with no enemies or obstacles. Matching is disabled if this setting is enabled.
Limited Leveling Roulette
When queuing for Duty Roulette: Leveling with a full premade party of four, enabling this setting will ensure a duty within eight levels of the lowest-leveled party member is selected. Has no effect if the player is queuing without a party of four.
Example: A Level 81 player enables this option and queues for Duty Roulette: Leveling. They can receive any duty they have unlocked from Sastasha (Lv. 15) to The Tower of Zot (Lv. 81) because they are queuing by themselves.
Example 2: The party leader of a party of four players, ranging from Lv. 81 to Lv. 85, enables this option and queues for Duty Roulette: Leveling. The party can receive any duty all members have unlocked from Dohn Mheg (Lv. 73) to The Tower of Zot (Lv. 81).
Normal: Regular loot rules that enables Need, Greed and Pass system for all drops.
Greed Only: All party members must select Greed.
Lootmaster: Party Leader determines loot distribution. For each drop, party leader can manually distribute the loot to an individual party member or make the entire party choose Greed only.
- Loot Rules cannot be changed once entering a duty.
- Loot Rules can only be enabled by fully premade parties. They are always Normal when random players are matched by Duty Finder.
The selections Japanese, English, German (Deutsch), and French are available, and the player's current client language will be underlined. Generally, in automatic matchmaking the Duty Finder prefers to match players with people of a similar language, which may reduce the people available to form a group and affect queue times, especially on EU Data Centres. The languages of any buttons that are lit up will be considered for matchmaking. If the player is confident that they do not expect to need much coordination, or does not mind using Auto-Translate or similar features to translate, then they may be able to select all languages in order to maximise potential partners.
Duty Finder Penalty
Players who withdraw three times in a day from the "Duty Ready" entrance prompt after matchmaking is complete, or who are the first to leave an automatically matched party inside a duty before it is completed will receive a 30 minute penalty that will prevent them from registering with Duty or Raid Finder (or other instances such as field operations, gathering forays, and Variant and Criterion Dungeons) until the time expires.
This penalty may not always apply in certain situations. For example, fully premade parties which include Unrestricted Parties ("Vote abandon may be used at any time"), or Duty Support. However, queuing through any Duty Roulette is an exception in order to discourage players in premade parties from "fishing" for more desirable duties. Players who are not the first to leave, or have joined the party in progress, will also not receive the penalty if they abandon the party, and players who have been vote dismissed or were in a party that voted to abandon a duty will also not receive the penalty.
With the penalty, the party leader of a premade party in which at least one player currently has the penalty will not be able to register for duties while they are in the party, until the penalty expires. The duration of the penalty is fixed at 30 minutes and will not increase from taking multiple penalties in succession or leaving Duty Roulette: Mentor.
Raid Finder is an extension of Duty Finder that allows players to register for high-end trials and raids. By selecting a desired raid and matching requirements, players who queue in with less than a full party will be matched automatically with other players spanning multiple Worlds within the same data center. Premade full parties will enter the instance with the existing party, and no matchmaking will be performed. The Raid Finder will be unlocked when speaking with the NPC who would normally unlock the entrance to the specified instanced raid. It can be accessed via the Duty tab of the Main Menu or from the High-end Duty tab of the Duty Finder interface.
Not all high-end raids and extreme trials are accessed via Raid Finder. Each major patch, the raids and trials which are to be found in the Raid Finder will change to include only the newest high-end trials and raids. Older content that was previously in the Raid Finder is moved to the Duty Finder after one major patch (for Extreme Trials) or two major patches (for Savage Raids). Ultimate Raids are always accessed through Raid Finder. Each major patch, the current unreal trial will be permanently made inaccessible and replaced with the newest unreal trial.
Raid Finder Unlock
Players need only to have access to either the latest Extreme Trial, have Unreal Trials unlocked, have the latest savage tier unlocked, or have any Ultimate raid unlocked. Please keep in mind, however, that the Raid Finder will become inaccessible when the next series of Savage raids or Extreme trials is introduced. At that time, players must unlock the next Savage or Extreme trial to gain access to the Raid Finder, if they have not unlocked any Ultimate raids.
Raid Finder Usage
In North American and European data centers, players who wish to form parties to practice and complete high-end content do not use Raid Finder matchmaking, instead preferring Party Finder. Raid Finder matchmaking is only routinely used in Japanese data centers, and typically only for duty completion instead of practice. Note that only matching is not commonly used in most data centers; full premade parties must still register for high-end duties through Raid Finder.
Raid Finder Content
The following raids and trials are available through High-end Duty via Duty Finder:
- Anabaseios: The Ninth Circle (Savage)
- Anabaseios: The Tenth Circle (Savage)
- Anabaseios: The Eleventh Circle (Savage)
- Anabaseios: The Twelfth Circle (Savage)
- The Unending Coil of Bahamut (Ultimate)
- The Weapon's Refrain (Ultimate)
- The Epic of Alexander (Ultimate)
- Dragonsong's Reprise (Ultimate)
- The Omega Protocol (Ultimate)
Matchmaking is unavailable for ultimate raids. In order to register, players must have a full premade party of eight people. It is also not possible to enter with an Unrestricted Party.
Raid Finder Settings
- Duty Complete - Players must have completed the selected raid at least once.
- Duty Incomplete - Completion of the selected raid is not required to participate.
- Duty Completion - Only available to players who have yet to claim weekly rewards.
- Practice - When this option is selected, players can specify which phase of the battle they wish to practice.
Practice Phase Selection
This option is available only when selecting Practice. Players can then choose First Phase or Final Phase.
- Practice phase selection does not entail the actual skipping of phases, i.e. players cannot skip to the mechanic they want to practice.
- If party members have already completed the duty for the week, the number of rewards will be reduced (for Savage raids only).
When queuing solo or with less than a full party, the Raid Finder will match together 2 tanks, 1 pure healer, 1 barrier healer, 1 ranged physical DPS, 1 ranged magical DPS, 1 melee DPS, and 1 other DPS. The fourth, unspecified DPS class or job to be matched will depend on the settings selected when registering for a raid.
When selecting Duty Completion, the unspecified DPS player cannot be the same class or job as other players to be matched together in a party.
When selecting Practice, the unspecified DPS player can be the same class or job as other players to be matched together in a party.
Please note that the above composition requirements are not imposed upon preformed parties.
- Players who have yet to complete the selected raid will take priority in the queue.
Language settings from the Duty Finder will be carried over to the Raid Finder
- Loot rules can only be changed when registering as a full party.
Other matchmaking tools
Not all multiplayer duties are accessed through the Duty Finder or Raid Finder interface.
- Adventuring Forays and Gathering Forays can only be entered by speaking with an NPC in a specific lobby zone. For Delubrum Reginae and Ocean Fishing, matchmaking will be performed if a party of fewer than 24 players queues at once.
- Variant and Criterion Dungeons are entered through a separate interface, the V+C Dungeon Finder, which also allows for matchmaking.
- If a player is currently under the Duty Finder Penalty, they will not be able to access these duties until the penalty expires.