Playing Final Fantasy XIV with a controller

Earlier this week Sony put the PS4 client for FF XIV on sale for $20. A few of my friends picked it up but voiced some issues with playing the game with a controller. I thought I’d put together a post of tips but I hadn’t been playing in a while. By the time I refreshed my memory my friends had moved on to other games!

But I want to start collecting tips anyway because when I take a break for a while I forget how to do things. I’ll be adding to this document in bits and pieces. For the most part this will be focused on the PS4 version.

Changing the size of the Map and Chat Windows
One of the first things I want to do when I start a new character is expand both the Map and Chat Windows. Both have a little ‘handle’ you can grab to do this, but how to do it? You can move a mouse cursor around with the PS4 trackpad but I never have figured out a way to ‘grab’ with it.

So forget the touchpad and look to “Virtual Mouse” mode. To get into this mode, close all active interface elements (mostly this means close the map because if you’re anything like me you think about doing this the first time you open the map) and then hit L1+R3 (press the right analog stick for R3). That toggles Virtual Mouse mode. Now open your map by tapping Square, use the right analog stick to move the cursor to the size handle (bottom right corner of the map) and press L2 to grab it. In Virtual Mouse mode L2 is the left mouse button, R2 is the right mouse button. Drag it to whatever size you want and let go. Same thing with the Chat Window. To exit virtual mouse mode hit R1+L3 again.

The reason you have to close stuff before entering virtual mouse mode is because so many controls are context sensitive. With the map open, L1 is used for something else so you can’t use it to enter virtual mouse mode.

Alternatively you can just plug a mouse into your PS4 for initial set up, but that means getting up off the couch and who wants to do that?

Take control of your weapon
There’re a few things about your character that can change depending on if your weapon is sheathed or unsheathed, and they’re pretty handy. Because of this I like to turn off the ‘auto-sheath weapon’ feature and manually sheath and unsheath my weapon (pressing the left stick does this). It feels like a good habit to get into.

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