Final Fantasy XIV features a variety of compelling cultures and races you can play to explore the fantastical world of Eorzea. Examples include the heroic Hyur, the adorable and industrial Lalafell, the mighty Roegadyn, and many more. In addition to Jobs, Final Fantasy XIV allows gamers to create their very own Final Fantasy-inspired hero.
Since there are many races to portray in this game, you might be hard-pressed to decide which one your character should be. So, we have compiled a list of all the playable races this game has to offer. We will be showcasing their looks and giving background information on their place in the world of Final Fantasy XIV to help inform your decision.
Final Fantasy XIV playable races: Race primer
When creating your character, you have seven races to choose from: Hyur, Elezen, Miqo'te, Lalafell, Roegadyn, Viera, and Hrothgar. Each race is split into two variants which come with their own characteristics and cosmetic features that their respective counterpart does not. We will go over the specifics of each race later.
While each race has different base stats, they are so minor they have no impact on your character's performance in combat or crafting. It's their currently selected Job and equipped gear which define their stats. It's also worth noting that the races of FFXIV don't have racial abilities, unlike other MMOs. All this means is that you are free to pick whichever race appeals to you most without worrying about messing up your character's build.
Final Fantasy XIV playable races: Hyur
The Hyur are Final Fantasy XIV's version of humans. They are the most numerous race of Eorzea and the most diverse in terms of skill and personality. While this has resulted in a lack of a unified cultural identity among the Hyur, they do share a common goal of defending freedom for their fellow man.
The Hyur come in two variants; Midlander and Highlander.
Midlanders comprise half of the Hyur population in Eorzea. Compared to other races, they have an average height and build and are commonly seen throughout the realm's cities, most notably Gridania.
Highlanders make up the remaining half of Eorzea's Hyurs and they are taller and beefier than Midlanders. Highlanders originally hailed from the mountainous region of Gyr Abania, but they were cast out of their homeland after the Garlean Empire conquered their capital city, Ala Mhigo. All the surviving Highlanders now take refuge in the arid region of Thanalan and built a small settlement they dubbed Little Ala Mhigo, in honor of their former home.
Final Fantasy XIV playable races: Elezen
The Elezen resemble your typical medieval fantasy elves, complete with pointy ears, tall and slender physiques, and an extremely long lifespan. Once upon a time, the Elezen were the sole inhabitants of Eorzea but as time progressed, more races migrated to the continent which the Elezen didn't take too kindly at first, believing them to be invaders. After initial bitter conflicts with the Hyur and negotiating, the Elezen eventually opened to co-exist with the other races for the betterment of all.
There are two types of Elezen to play as: the Wildwood Elezen and the Duskwight Elezen.
The Wildwood Elezen reside within the forests of the Black Shroud region. They are proud warriors who will protect their homeland from all invaders. Though some Wildwood Elezen have ventured beyond their homelands to seek out a living in the urban cities of Gridania and Ishgard.
Duskwight Elezen meanwhile are a reclusive, hermit-like variant of the species that like to avoid nearly all contact with the other races by living in caverns. They prefer isolation because it grants them peace, and they believe living life in the cities stifles their freedom. But rest assured, if their brethren or livelihood is threatened in anyway, they will fight to defend them in earnest.
Final Fantasy XIV playable races: Miqo'te
The Miqo'te are a race who look very similar to Hyur, but they exhibit traits which belong to cats like cat ears, tails, and vertical slit-like irises. These traits aren't just for show; they heighten a Miqo'te's sense of smell, sight, and hearing, which they use to aid them with hunting the wildlife of Eorzea. The drawback of their animal traits is that they're extremely territorial by nature, preferring to live in solitude.
Miqo'te migrated to Eorzea a long ago during the Age of Endless Frost. This ice age deprived the Miqo'te's homeland of their food supply, so they traveled to different countries in hope of finding new food sources to survive.
You have two different Miqo'te to choose from: Seekers of the Sun and Keepers of the Moon.
Seekers of the Sun
As their name implies, The Seekers of the Sun Miqo'te revel in the light of the sun. Outgoing and extrovert, Seekers of the Sun long for adventure while proclaiming their devotion to their sun god, Azeyma the Warden. Seekers of the Sun can be seen in the maritime city of Limsa Lominsa and the Sagolii Desert.
Keepers of the Moon
By contrast, the Keepers of the Moon Miqo'te shun the daylight hours and prowl the realm during the night. After offering prayer to their patron goddess, Menphina the Lower, goddess of the night, the Keepers of the Moon go on nocturnal hunts. However, their nighttime hunting activities dropped these Miqo'te into hot water with the citizens of Gridania, being accused of poaching. Thankfully in recent times, the Keepers of the Moon Miqo'te have managed to peacefully resolve their dispute with Gridania to the point where they're allowed to live there.
Final Fantasy XIV playable races: Lalafell
The Lalafell are the smallest of Eorzea's races that migrated to the realm from the southern seas. They have often been mistaken for Hyur children due to their small bodies and eternally youthful faces, making it hard for non-Lalafell to tell just how old these tiny people really are at a glance. But beneath their childlike appearance lies a cunning and brilliant mind rarely found in other races. Most Lalafel are exceptional craftsmen, engineers, and merchants who will jump at the chance to form relations with others. Be warned, don't let their size fool you into thinking they're not suitable for combat, Lalafel warriors and mages are just tough as any race out there.
There are two types of Lalafell: Plainsfolk and Dunesfolk.
The Plainsfolk are a laidback and friendly type of Lalafell that likes to relax and work as farmers in the fields of La Noscea. They can also be seen in Limsa Lominsa working as fishermen or becoming officers in the city's security force, the Yellowjackets.
Dunesfolk Lalafell are the Plainsfolk's hard working and commercially obsessed counterpart. They live in the harsh region of Thanalan but that didn't stop them from making a profit in a seemingly parched land. This led the Dunesfolk to found the city of Ul'dah and become its de facto leaders, opening up trade routes with the other regions, allowing the area to prosper when other settlements would've quickly fallen apart.
Final Fantasy XIV playable races: Roegadyn
The Roegadyn are largest and most intimidating race in Eorzea. They are extremely muscular, tough, and dangerous in a fight. If you enrage a Roegadyn, they may cut your life short using the business end of an ax. But if you earn their trust and respect, you will find no companion more loyal or passionate than the Roedgadyn. Before coming to Eorzea, the Roegadyn traveled the high seas as sailors, fishermen, and even pirates. Once they made landfall, they quickly made a name for themselves by boasting some of the mightiest warriors Eorzea had ever seen.
You have two Roegadyn clans to choose from: Sea Wolves and Hellguard
The Sea Wolves were originally a notorious gang of Roegadyn pirates who terrorized the high seas long ago. But thanks to Limsa Lominsa's leader, Merlwyb Bloefhiswyn, outlawing piracy, the Sea Wolves no longer prey upon hapless travelers and have instead become their protectors. Working as navy officers, fishermen, or mercenaries to help the maritime city survive in a realm filled with savage Beastmen.
The Hellguard is an atypical variant of Roegadyn which has adapted to the harsh and unpredictable climates of the Abalathia's Spine mountain range. Their homeland offered little in terms of food and comfy livelihoods, so they set out into the wider world to better their chances for a brighter future. They can be mostly seen in the merchant city of Ul'dah, earning themselves a living as mercenaries or soldiers in the city's military company, the Immortal Flames.
Final Fantasy XIV playable races: Au Ra
When the first expansion, Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward came out, it introduced a new playable race called the Au Ra. Hailing from the eastern continent of Othard, the Au Ra are a mysterious race that resemble Hyur but are covered in scales, have horns protruding from their necks, and possess a lizard-like tail. Their looks have often caused debates suggesting the Au Ra are the descendants of dragons, but there is no evidence to support these wild accusations.
There are two types of Au Ra to create your character: The Raen Au Ra and the Xaela Au Ra.
The Au Ra legends tell of two godly beings who created them called the Dawn Father and the Dusk Mother. The Raen Au Ra believe they descended from the Dawn Father due to their bright white scales. Like the Duskwight Elezen, the Raen are a peaceful clan of Au Ra who like to live sheltered lives in the valleys of Othard, only on rare occasions visiting the outside world.
By contrast, the Xaela are a wild and daunting breed of Au Ra who believe they possess the blood of the Dusk Mother because of their black scales. The Xaela Au Ra live nomadic lives, journeying from one locale to another in search of adventure, hunts, and conflict as their ancestors had done before them.
Final Fantasy XIV playable races: Viera
The Viera are a race that display traits of the Hyur and Elezen but with the unique addition of having rabbit ears. Viera are one of the more recently added playable races which premiered in Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers. Viera are one of the rarest civilized races of all Eorzea because they follow a strict code known as the Green Word, which forbids them from leaving their homes. If a Viera breaks it, they would be exiled, never to return to their village.
For the longest time, male Viera were unplayable because once they come of age, males are assigned to stick to the shadows and protect the females from all threats. However, players will finally be able to play as male Viera in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker.
There are two kinds of Viera to hop into the shoes of: the Rava and the Veena.
Rava Viera hail from the treacherous jungles of Golmore. They are hardened hunters who constantly struggle for survival against the dangerous wildlife and the neighboring nation of Dalmasca that seeks to conquer them. Nonetheless, they have beaten back every threat before them and managed to maintain a stable grip on their homeland.
The Veena Viera live in the snowy forests of the Stakey Range. These Viera are also skilled hunters, fighting to defend their homes from foreign threats but have much difficulty due to the cold climate. Many Veena Viera have lost their lives during these battles, and many have traveled to Eorzea in hopes of attaining a better life away from constant strife.
Final Fantasy XIV playable races: Hrothgar
Making their debut in Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, the Hrothgar are the most bestial race to play as. Unlike the Miqo'te and Viera, which inherit minor animal traits, the Hrothgar are full-blown anthropomorphic lionlike creatures originating from the continent of Ilsabard. As you can imagine, when the Hrothgar arrived on Eorzea's shores, the local populace was terrified, mistaking them for Beastmen. After some skirmishes, the Hrothgar learned how to speak the language of Eorzea's people and dash away any misunderstandings and fears they had. Over time, the Hrothgar were accepted into Eorzea and allowed to live alongside all the other races.
Like the male Viera, female Hrothgar were unavailable to play as when the race was first introduced. The developers have stated they plan to make female Hrothgar playable in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, but they won't be ready at the launch like the male Viera and will be added in a post-game update.
There are two kinds of Hrothgar to play as: the Helions and the Lost.
The Helion Hrothgar are stout protectors of their brethren, particularly the queen of their tribes. They used to only reside in southern regions of Ilsabard but have recently begun to make themselves known throughout every corner of Eorzea.
Meanwhile, the Lost Hrothgar do not serve any queen and spend their lives traveling the world as nomads. How these Hrothgar became Lost varies from person to person, each with an interesting story to tell. You would often see a Lost Hrothgar working as a sellsword, worker, and many more professions to make ends meet.
What race will you pick?
And that concludes our list of playable races in Final Fantasy XIV. No doubt from what you have just read, you can see that Final Fantasy XIV has a rich and diverse cast of races to play as. Personally, my favorite race is the Hrothgar because I enjoy playing as monsters or beast-like creatures in RPGs. This is one of the many gameplay features which has made Final Fantasy XIV one of the best multiplayer games on PC.
The next chapter in Final Fantasy XIV, Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker is now available for purchase for PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5. This expansion features an epic conclusion to a ten-year long saga, major Jobs changes, new mounts to obtain, new enemies to fight, new locales to explore and much more.
Onward to Eorzea
Become the hero you've always dreamed of.
Final Fantasy XIV is the 2nd MMORPG in the Final Fantasy franchise and is one of Square Enix's biggest games to date. Travel to the realm of Eorzea, become a Warrior of Light, and team up with your friends to fight evil deities and empires alike.
Alexander Cope is a writer for Windows Central and iMore that has been gaming since the 16-bit era.
Really underwhelming diversity in races compared to other current MMOs, has to be said.
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