You’ll have to make many choices when starting fresh with Final Fantasy XIV—and one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is your server. You’ll have to select it before creating your character.
Whether you bought the game or are on a free trial, you should bear in mind that you can create characters on different servers and switch during your game sessions.
This initial choice is still important, though. It’ll be considered your Home Server and you’ll have to pay a small sum of money to change it or join an underrepresented or new server to get a free transfer.
If you need help choosing your Home Server for your character, here are the best servers to join in FFXIV.
Whatever server you join, the first criteria to consider is the ping. You should aim to choose the closest server from your geographical location. Here is the list of all servers per region.
The second criteria is the server’s population. It can be hard to grasp this information, however, as the population evolves constantly. The developer specifically puts efforts into balancing out the population on all of their servers. For this reason, players won’t be able to add a new character on the most crowded servers and will get significant bonuses if they create one on an underrepresented server. The servers status is regularly updated by the developer to adjust to the evolution of their player base. It can be found here.
If there’s a red sign on the right of the server’s name, you won’t be able to create a new character because it’s overcrowded. There should also be the term “Congested” on the side.
On the other hand, the servers offering bonuses, which include a double XP boost for all jobs for a significant amount of time, will have the status “New” or “Preferred.” Following Endwalker‘s release last December, there are no new or preferred servers since the number of active players has significantly risen, except for all servers from the Oceanian Data Center, which opened in January. But this could change later this year.
There are some advantages to joining a more crowded server, such as getting lower prices on the Market Board, but it will likely feature longer login queues. A less-crowded server will have shorter queues and more accessible housing, but usually higher prices on the Market Board.
The last criteria that can determine your choice of server is the trends pushed by the community. Some are more focused on role-playing or PvP, and others are mainly populated by players speaking certain languages. Here is the list of the servers with those particular trends:
- North America
- Aether: Favors Hardcore Raiders
- Crystal: favors role-playing oriented players
- Cerberus: favors Russian-speaking players
- Moogle: favors French-speaking players
- Shiva: favors German-speaking players
Although there are trends on those servers, the developer has never declared a server officially oriented towards a playstyle or a language. In addition, thanks to server travel, it’s easy to switch servers when playing. This has diminished the differences of identity of each server, so its location and population remain the main criteria to help you make your decision.