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Final Fantasy 14’s next expansion is Dawntrail, a heroic summer holiday out next year

It's a bit of a change in tone from Endwalker, to say the least

Alisae prepares to bite into a fruit in Final Fantasy 14 expansion Dawntrail
Image credit: Square Enix

Final Fantasy 14’s fifth expansion has a name, a (rough) release date and a first look at what seems to be a notable shift in tone from the apocalyptic climax of Endwalker. Dawntrail will be a summer-themed continuation of FFXIV’s story into a “new story”, bringing new jobs, various content additions and a major visual revamp for the MMO.

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Dawntrail was revealed during this week’s Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest in Las Vegas, with game director Yoshi-P (or Naoki Yoshida) revealing its first details and a trailer during the event’s keynote.

In a stark contrast to the morbid existentialism of 2021’s Endwalker - heralded as the finale to the Hydaelyn-Zodiark arc that had played out since A Realm Reborn’s original release in 2013 - Dawntrail’s trailer shows a whole lot of familiar faces sailing ships over bright azure seas, exploring lush green forests and chowing down on tacos.

Those familiar faces look especially sharp, too, with the likes of Estinien, Y’shtola and Alisaie helping to showcase what Yoshi-P said would be a major graphics bump and even prettier NPCs with the release of the 7.0 patch. He even managed to get in a sly wink to Endwalker’s iconic low-poly grapes, which will contrast against the highly detailed and dense vegetarian of new area Tural, found across the ocean to the west of Eorzea. Serving as Tural’s new player hub will be the city of Tuliyollal.

If a lot of blue seas and sand bring to mind Final Fantasy X, you wouldn’t be wrong. Just as Endwalker drew plenty of inspiration from Final Fantasy 4, it seems that the adventures of Tidus, Yuna and friends will be a key inspiration on Dawntrail. That will include the introduction of Pelupelu - the bird-masked tribe first seen in X and X-2 - but not Blitzball, Yoshi-P made sure to address upfront.

The sun sets over the water and docks of a new area in Final Fantasy 14 expansion Dawntrail
Image credit: Square Enix

As with past FF14 expansions, Dawntrail will bump the maximum level cap for classes up to 100 from Endwalker’s limit of 90. The usual loadout of new skills for jobs will accompany some brand new jobs, including a melee DPS and a ranged magical DPS.

Of course, there’ll also be the standard addition of new dungeons, raids, gear, enemies local to Tural and other in-game cosmetics and content. Smaller tweaks releasing as part of the big patch will include the ability to apply multiple dyes to a single piece of gear, the option to equip eyeglasses as well as helmets, and an increase to the limit on house furnishings - which joins a general increase to how many objects other areas in the game will be able to display.

Sun pours between trees onto a monster with its arms raised in a rainforest-themed dungeon in Final Fantasy 14 expansion Dawntrail
Image credit: Square Enix

As Dawntrail prepares to launch next summer, Yoshi–P confirmed that Final Fantasy XIV’s legendarily generous free trial will expand to include the whole of the game’s second expansion Stormblood, in addition to the story of A Realm Reborn and first expansion Heavensward.

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