It takes time to grind MMORPGs and Final Fantasy XIV is probably one of the most time-consuming. The game has been out for around ten years now, and that means there's a lot of content for new players to work through. Even if you set yourself the humble goal of finishing the main story, A Realm Reborn, you're looking at an investment that'll leave you with little space for other games. If you want to complete it with any measure of speed, that is.
It is possible to skip A Realm Reborn, but then there are still four major expansions to contend with, each of which adds a whole extra game in terms of hour count. That said if you've suddenly found yourself with a surplus of time, and an urge to take on a massive game world filled with quests and storylines, Final Fantasy XIV might be a perfect choice.
In this guide, we'll explain how long it takes to complete Final Fantasy XIV and its expansions. We'll also cover how to skip A Realm Reborn if you really want to fast-track your progress, or aren't especially bothered about the overarching narrative.
How long does it take to complete Final Fantasy XIV?
Final Fantasy XIV is a massive game, and it's only gotten bigger over the years. If you just want to complete the main story, A Realm Reborn, you're looking at roughly 120 hours of playtime, and that's not including any of the expansions. Since its release almost a decade ago, Final Fantasy XIV has received a variety of additional content through patches which have increased the game's overall size.
After completing A Realm Reborn, you'll have the option to play the game’s four expansions: Heavensward, Stormblood, Shadowbringers, and the recent Endwalker. Each of these adds around 50 hours to the game, meaning you'll need a further 200-ish hours if you want to complete the main game and its DLC. Outside of that, a full playthrough of every piece of Final Fantasy XIV content would constitute well over 1,000 hours. It’s probably more than anyone is willing to commit without having already played the game for a while.
Can you skip A Realm Reborn in Final Fantasy XIV?
While playing A Realm Reborn is the best idea if you want to get used to the game and learn about the world of Final Fantasy XIV, it is possible to skip the main story… for a price. Tales of Adventure are passes sold in the online store that let a character skip over the main story. These are also available for Heavensward, Stormblood, and Shadowbringers, letting you jump all the way to Endwalker if you choose. In total this would cost you around $70, though only skipping A Realm Reborn would cost $11.
These passes are more intended for players who've already completed content once before but are using alternate characters. It's worth noting that the Tales of Adventure skips don't increase character level either, so you'd have to buy an extra Tales of Adventure to level your chosen job and character for a further $25. Without this, you wouldn't be able to start any of the expansion scenario quests anyway.
Needless to say, if you want to play Final Fantasy XIV and get invested in the game, it's probably better to at least try A Realm Reborn and level a character yourself rather than shell out a load of money right away. You can always skip content later if you get invested but find certain expansions or scenario quests boring.