FFXIV: What Are The Cairn of Passage & Cairn of Return?This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
The Cairns of Passage and Return in Final Fantasy XIV can be found in Palace of the Dead, the first Deep Dungeon. They can teleport the player to the next stage of the instance (Cairn of Passage) or resurrect fallen party members (Cairn of Return).
Deep Dungeons are procedurally generated instances with roguelike elements. You’ll plunge into the depths of a forgotten labyrinth or climb a tower that stretches into the sky.
The Cairns are there to help you along the way, by teleporting you to the next floor, or reviving any fallen party members.
A similar system exists in the second Deep Dungeon, Heaven-on-High. In that instance they’re referred to as “Beacons” of Passage & Return.
How Do I Use The Cairn Of Passage?
There’s Cairns of both types on every individual floor.
Once you’ve found one, it’ll be highlighted on the map with an obvious key icon.
The key icon’s color indicates whether it’s ready to use or not. If it’s grayed out, the Cairn is inactive. If it’s yellow, it’s nearing activation.
The Cairn of Passage is ready to use when the icon is white.
You’ll need to kill monsters to activate the Cairn. The game doesn’t give you the exact number, though. So it’ll be a case of clearing rooms and keeping an eye on the icon if you want to track it.
But the game will give you a helpful notification when the Cairn is good to go.
When you’re ready to leave the floor, the entire party must stand within the Cairn of Passage’s glowing light to trigger the teleport.
And once you’ve left, you can’t go back, so make sure you’ve done everything you wanna do on that floor first!
The Cairn won’t teleport you if anyone is in combat, either. So you’ll need to kill any attacking creatures first.
It also won’t work if a member of the party is dead, which brings us to our next point.
How Do I Activate The Cairn Of Return?
The Cairn of Return is super important to Palace of the Dead.
Deep Dungeons don’t require a traditional party composition, so it’s entirely possible to play it in a group of four tank or DPS jobs.
As a result, you may not have healing or resurrection spells at hand.
Since the Cairn of Passage won’t take you to the next floor if someone’s dead, you’ll want to make sure the Cairn of Return is active too.
Luckily it activates in the same way as the Cairn of Passage. Kill monsters & track its progress by the icon (which looks a little like a flower with three petals).
In my experience, the Cairn of Passage usually activates slightly before Return, so it should be available to you in no time at all on earlier floors.
To use the Cairn of Return, you’ll simply have to approach it and it’ll revive any fallen party members.
Obviously if you’re soloing Palace of the Dead (which can be done) it won’t be of much use to you.
But you may find you don’t need to use it all until you get past floor 50, where the real challenge begins.
The Cairn of Return can really save the day on later floors, and gives you the freedom to stack your party however you like.
You don’t need to tick the traditional tank/healer/DPS roles, so if you want to have your party composed of DPS heavy hitters, you definitely can.
It actually makes more sense to do so, as the challenges you face in Palace of the Dead are pretty much unique to the Deep Dungeon itself.