Overview of VPN Usage in FFXIV
If you play Final Fantasy XIV at a distance from the servers, you may be experiencing some lag while in game! This guide offers information and advice on VPN usage, as well as explains how high ping can affect gameplay.
VPN Usage for FFXIV
If you play at any distance from the servers, you may experience a decent amount of lag while playing this game. I am not going to go too in-depth, as that is not the intent of this guide, but due to the way animation lock in this game works, anything over a certain amount of ping can result in something we call "clipping." This is not necessarily detrimental to your rotation if the amount of clipping is small. Most classes, even with micro clipping, can double weave without issue. Other classes have the ability to go fast enough where all they can do is single weave even with perfect latency. Clipping is not an issue until the ping is so bad that weaving in oGCD skills puts your animation lock + ping above your SkSp/SpSp timer. The real issue comes in when a class like Machinist is forced down to 1.5s GCD withand the amount of wiggle room with single weaving is severely shortened. Micro clipping can cause you to miss crucial GCDs in the rotation and drop your DPS by quite a bit over the course of an encounter.
For a side by side comparison to see an example of what's being discussed, take a look at the video below. One video is a standard connection of someone with 180 ping, and the one next to it is the same connection but this time using a gaming VPN.
While your physical distance to the server can not be fixed, there is one aspect that can be manipulated that falls within the safe bounds of Square Enix's Terms of Service: Routing. Depending on your Internet Service Provider, there is a chance, due to multiple reasons, that they are routing your connection to the servers in a less than optimal way. The further you are from the server, the more likely this is to happen. If you care to check the routing for yourself, the following steps can be taken. Regardless if you are on console or PC, this will be accurate.
- Open Command Prompt in Microsoft Windows by opening the Start Menu and typing in 'cmd.'
- In the Command Prompt, type 'tracert' followed by the IP address of your Data Center and press enter.
- For North America, the IP address will be 184.108.40.206
- For Europe, the IP address will be 220.127.116.11
- For Japan, the IP address will be 18.104.22.168
- For Oceania, the IP address will be 22.214.171.124
- This will return with each 'hop' in the route and let you see exactly where the connection is being handed off at each step heading to your server.
What a VPN (Virtual Private Network) normally does is disguise your online identity for safe web browsing. In the case of 'gaming VPNs,' they attempt to resolve the poor routing done by your Internet Service Provider to establish not only a quicker connection with less ping, but to also reduce packet loss and increase network stability.
Choosing a VPN for FFXIV
A quick Google search will return quite a few results for VPNs. It may be enticing, but avoid free VPNs at all costs. They just do not work at all as intended, and there is a chance you will unknowingly download malicious software along with them. When it comes to paid services, there is going to be varying rates. Some VPNs will charge you a monthly rate, while others charge you based on the amount of data you use through the specific game you are playing. In regards to FFXIV, this game uses very little data, so either payment option is viable, and usually the 'pay per traffic' payment method will be extremely cheap.
The only consideration left at this point is your own individual connection. Years of playing this game has shown me that different VPNs should be used for different locations. Every connection is different, so testing out multiple VPNs is ideal for finding the right one for your own connection. Most, if not all, of the suggested VPNs will have a free trial period, and these should be utilized to ensure you have selected the proper one. Below you will find guides to suggested VPNs and how to set them up.
- 01 Jun. 2022: Guide added.
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