Final Fantasy 14: Dawntrail is horrifically broken on Xbox

Final Fantasy XIV Dawntrail promotional screenshot
Estinien duelling with Galool Ja Ja the Dawnservant (Image credit: Square Enix)

What you need to know

  • Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail, the fifth expansion to Square Enix's long-running MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV, has launched in early access ahead of its July 2, 2024, release and is unfortunately wrought with technical issues and bugs.
  • These issues include causing the Xbox version to become unresponsive when transitioning to new areas, mechanics in certain boss fights not working properly, and character animations and emotes not functionally correctly.
  • Square Enix is aware of these issues and is working on a hot fix to correct them as soon as possible.

Over the weekend, Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail, the fifth expansion for Square Enix's popular MMORPG, Final Fantasy XIV, launched in early access allowing players who pre-ordered it to play it ahead of its full release on July 2, 2024, for consoles and PC. 

Unfortunately, there have been reports that this early access build of Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail is riddled with technical issues causing the game to crash and freeze a lot, especially the Xbox Series X|S version.

We have confirmed an issue in the Xbox version where the game client may become unresponsive when transitioning between locations, such as field areas and cities. Our preliminary investigation suggests that this issue is likely due to a phenomenon known as memory fragmentation.

Naoki Yoshida, Square Enix

According to a Final Fantasy XIV Lodestone news post by Naoki Yoshida, Final Fantasy XIV's producer and director, one of the biggest issues that fans have pointed out is that the Xbox version becomes unresponsive whenever players transition to different areas.

The developers have confirmed this report to be true, as the game client does indeed become unresponsive on Xbox when players move to different zones. Their initial investigation suggests that this problem is likely caused by memory fragmentation.

Square Enix plans to examine this problem further and implement a patch for the game client, but Naoki Yoshida says that this process may take several days to complete. In the meantime, he suggests players play on World data servers with low player populations like Dynamis, Shadow, or Oceania as the chances of encountering memory fragmentation are lowered when playing on servers with fewer players.

This temporary solution isn't perfect however as there have been reports on Reddit that freezing on Xbox can still have a chance to occur during Solo duties, group instances, transitions into cutscenes and even loading screens.

Comment from r/ffxiv

Another issue that players have been encountering that Square Enix has identified is that certain boss fights in Final Fantasy XIV have new issues where mechanics related to freezing are not functioning properly. These bugged Raids include Dragonsong's Reprise (Ultimate), Minstrel's Ballad: Shinryu's Domain, and Delubrum Reginae (Savage).

The Syrcus Tower Alliance Raid's bosses have also been having these freezing-related mechanic issues, but Square Enix says they have dealt with it now. Right now it is focused on fixing Dragonsong's Reprise (Ultimate), Minstrel's Ballad: Shinryu's Domain, and Delubrum Reginae (Savage) via a client patch.

Lastly, Square Enix has confirmed players' findings of animation and display glitches regarding certain playable races when performing certain emotes and the Scholar Job action, Seraphism. Naoki Yoshida says this is likely caused by incorrect values being input for the aforementioned animations when the developers were fine-tuning Final Fantasy XIV's big graphical update and other bug fixes.

Sadly, by the time the developers had found these issues, it was too late, and they were unable to fix them in time before Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail launched in early access.

Naoki Yoshida says the developers have classified all these issues as high-priority problems and are quickly working on a hot fix to remove them, which will likely be implemented sometime this week after Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail is fully released to the public.

Early-access woes strike again

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When games launch in early access there is a high chance that players will encounter bugs, glitches, and other technical hiccups that are still being worked on before their full release, and sadly Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail is one of them. 

Hopefully, the developers will be able to fix these fixes as quickly as possible so that both PC players and Xbox players can enjoy the next exciting chapter of Final Fantasy XIV without any technical hiccups. 

Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail is scheduled to launch on July 2, 2024, for Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC via Steam and Square Enix Store.

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Alexander Cope

Alexander Cope is a gaming veteran of 30-plus years, primarily covering PC and Xbox games here on Windows Central. Gaming since the 8-bit era, Alexander's expertise revolves around gaming guides and news, with a particular focus on Japanese titles from the likes of Elden Ring to Final Fantasy. Alexander is always on deck to help our readers conquer the industry's most difficult games — when he can pry himself away from Monster Hunter that is!