FFXIV: What is a Free Company? (And Why Join One)

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Free Companies in FFXIV are in-game, player operated organizations you can join or create yourself, typically with a specific playstyle in mind. They’re essentially the same as guilds or clans in other games. Free Companies have tons of features to enhance both the gameplay and the social aspects of FFXIV.

Free Companies are also different than the Grand Companies you encounter as you progress through the game.

Grand Companies are organizations established in Final Fantasy XIV’s storyline, and although you can join them, they’re not created or managed by players, and they don’t operate in the same way.


Why Should I Join A Free Company?

Joining a Free Company (commonly referred to as an “FC” in-game) isn’t mandatory. You can totally play through the entire game without one.

But this is a massively multiplayer game, after all. You’ll be required to complete dungeons and trials (boss fights with up to eight players) to progress.

People can help with that.

XIV does have a matchmaking system, but often leaves certain classes (especially DPS) with long queuing times.

It can be easier and far more entertaining to do it with your Free Company comrades.

But joining a Free Company brings a wealth of benefits to FFXIV.

Screenshot of dress-up FC characters in FFXIV
Image source by u/PrinceofEntropy / © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.

Free Company Perks

Free Companies can purchase FC estates, which are housing plots you can buy and build your very own room.

They also offer Company Actions, which are buffs that can increase EXP gains, reduce travel costs, or buff stats across the entire roster.

And a Free Company might also pool resources like gil and crafting materials in their Company Chest, which is basically a bank of cash and items that contributes towards the FC’s goals.

If you’re interested in crafting and gathering, Free Companies might have members with professions that compliment your own, allowing everybody to progress and reap the rewards together.

Or if you’re looking for adventuring friends, a Free Company is the best place to start. Good companies will have members that look out for each other, and usually extend their socializing beyond the game to platforms like Guilded and Discord.

If you want to, you can even make real friends beyond Final Fantasy just from Free Companies, which can add a ton of value to your time in the game.

Basically, a Free Company that’s right for you can massively enhance your time with FFXIV and give you a solid base of like-minded people to play with.


Are There Different Types Of Free Companies?

Free Companies are usually founded with a specific goal in mind.

Some may be looking to build and develop ‘static’ teams for high-end content (core teams of regular players).

Some will be trying to grow a community of social players for low commitment fun. A decent Free Company can nurture players in a way similar to The Novice Network, but with the potential to last beyond learning your way around Eorzea.

To get the most out of Free Companies, you’ll want to have a vague idea of which aspects of XIV interest you.

Group of Free Company characters sitting in FFXIV
Image source by u/KittenKoder / © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.

Do you want to hang out with likeminded people and chat? Master crafting and gathering? Or clear challenging end-game content for huge rewards?

Free Companies can help you achieve all those goals, depending on which one(s) you join.

It’s also worth remembering that Free Companies are entirely player-operated, so it’s not just a case of finding one that’s the right fit for your in-game objectives.

It’ll come down to the people, too.

This might be as straightforward as certain FCs only speaking certain languages, but you might find that one group has a sense of humor that doesn’t work for you. Or their active time in the game might not match up with yours.

Luckily, The Lodestone (and the in-game Free Company information) will give you important information up front. But there may be some trial and error involved in finding FCs you like.

Also be aware that trial accounts are unable to join Free Companies – the feature is only available to subscribers.

As of last year, the trial period now runs up to level 60, including the game’s first expansion Heavensward.

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