The best FFXIV mods for 2023

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Finding the best FFXIV mods can be a challenge. Unlike with Skyrim mods, Final Fantasy XIV is designed to be played without third-party tools. It's a shared-world MMORPG. It's meant to be identical for everyone living in it. Even so, there are lots of great mods you can use to customise your journey through Eorzea, providing QoL features, new clothing styles, and more.

While many players use mods, all of the following FFXIV mods should be used at your own discretion. They aren’t officially supported and are strictly prohibited by the game’s terms of service. However, the dev team also states that they can't check what programs are installed on your computer to enforce it. They more or less just ask that you don't tarnish the image of the game with your tweaking and largely keep your efforts to yourself.

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That advice aside, we’ve compiled a list of the best FFXIV mods to use in 2023 if you want to spice up the game a little. For more on the MMORPG, check out the FFXIV 6.3 hub to learn what's coming with the first update of the new year.

The best FFXIV mods for 2023

XIVLauncher

Tired of having to enter your login information every time you want to set foot in Eorzea? XIVLauncher has you covered. This custom launcher for FFXIV lets you save your username and password, allowing you to boot up and sign in with a click of a button.

It also hosts Dalamud, a plugin that allows you to browse, install, and update several of the mods on this list. XIVLauncher has other helpful features; such as Discord notifications for your retainers and duties. You can even be used to patch the game and get it working very well on Steam Deck.

Chat bubbles used by NPCs in FFXIV can be used by players with this mod.

Chat Bubbles

Downloaded via Dalamud inside XIVLauncher, the Chat Bubbles FFXIV mod lets you see who's saying what in big crowds in big crowds, giving each and every denizen of Etheirys the power to spout words from their skulls like the NPCs around them.

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The Chat Bubbles mod is a godsend for roleplayers especially, as FFXIV’s social events can quickly devolve into a scroll-fest. The mod can be used for duties, too, making it easier to tell when your party members are screaming at you to not stand in the fire and to stack under them for whatever version of Akh Morn is coming down to delete the team.

MaterialUI

FFXIV launched with deep UI customization already, with it improving in basically every patch. Even so, some might want things to be streamlined further.

MaterialUI offers a whole host of these changes, including adjustments to the mini-map, health bars, job gauges, casting bars, and more. If you couldn't live in World of Warcraft without a big UI overhaul add-on, you'll probably find something of worth with this one, too.

Just make sure to disable this addon if you’re posting any screenshots the team can identify you with. If there's anything there that might give you a competitive advantage against the fights they've designed, you'll face a fate worse than a relic grind in Sastasha.

6.2 gear in FFXIV.

XIVAlexander

XIVAlexander might be the most controversial mod on this list. While it’s designed to level the playing field by simulating low ping, it’s also technically ping spoofing. As such, this one comes with our biggest advisory. Using XIVAlexander to cheat will get you banned faster than a prize chocobo at the Golden Saucer, but it’s also a godsend for players who struggle with the game's badly-spaced data centres.

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Time for some technical talk: FFXIV relies on “weaving” off-global cooldowns (or oGCDS) between main abilities (or GCDs). With good ping, you can weave two to three oGCDS between each GCD, creating seamless combos that allow you to dodge intricate attacks without seeing your DPS nosedive.

However, at higher pings, FFXIV’s netcode can give you an animation lock while the server sorts itself out. This can stop you from activating your next GCD in time, leading to the scourge of any raider: “clipping.” Basically, lag can cause you to push fewer buttons, leading to less damage output and a potentially much harder fight for your team.

Though it can easily affect any class, some rotations feel it more than others. This can really be felt on jobs like the Machinist and Ninja, which become sluggish at anything above 80ms. XIVAlexander smooths out this process wonderfully. If you’re technically minded, you can read the nitty-gritty and download it via the link above.

Hrothgar and Viera Hats

Hrothgar and Viera have always suffered from a major nerf to their performance in FFXIV’s most important endgame: fashion.

Due to some technical limitations, many of the game’s headwear items are completely unavailable to our animal-eared friends. Despite player outrage, this injustice has carried on unchallenged. Fortunately, this mod solves that problem.

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Hrothgar and Viera Hats does what you'd expect: permit Hrothgar and Viera to don hundreds of previously unavailable pieces of headwear. Just make sure to be careful when you share pictures of your furry-eared fashionistas online: modded screenshots that can be traced to your account could put it at risk, even if this mod sorts out an issue that some say should have been fixed a long time ago.

Papachin’s MCH's Skill VFX Remake

FFXIV has some of gaming’s flashiest animations already, filling the screen with awe-inspiring magic blasts and earth-shattering axe swings. Still, if you want to up your arsenal, Papachin’s armoury of improvements to the machinist attack animation set is worth a look. It adds some oomph to the Auto Crossbow, some violent impact to the Chainsaw, and turns Tactician into a holographic spectacle.

While a lot of animation replacements change a job’s aesthetic entirely, we’re a big fan of this one because of how it adds to the job’s existing fantasy. It’s still the machinist abilities we know and love; they’ve just been buffed in the visual department. However, if you’re looking for more reskins, we can also recommend Papachin’s Devil May Cry Dark-Knight, which just oozes style.

So there you have it: just a few of the best FFXIV mods for 2023. Whether you’re looking to update your UI, fix ping issues, or just want your Warrior of Light to look good going into patch 6.3 and beyond, there's always something you can inject into your game files to get it looking how you always imagined it to.

If you’ve yet to catch up on your Island Sanctuary, you can read our full Island Sanctuary guide for some essential tips and tricks to speed the whole thing along. Or, if you want to add to your minion collection, you can check out our guide on how to get the Sponge Silkie as well.