Final Fantasy XIV Patch 6.25 was released on October 18, 2022 and brought many new quests and improvements to Square Enix’s MMORPG. The biggest addition to patch 6.25 is the arrival of Variant and Criterion dungeons. First introduced in Live Letter 71, these are two brand new content types for groups of four players. Whether you’ve already exhausted the endgame or are still climbing the ladder to level 90, these dungeons are a test of skill you’ll want to be prepared for.
What are variant dungeons in Final Fantasy XIV?
Variant dungeons offer some mechanics that make them very different from regular dungeons. FFXIVExisting dungeons. They’re the first dungeons in the game to scale in difficulty based on how many players are in your party, meaning solo dungeons and full parties of four can reasonably take them on.
These dungeons also have no role restrictions, so if you want to round up four white wizards and just dazzle everything to death, you’re free to give it a try. You can even switch jobs while in the dungeon, another first for FFXIV – and adjust your tactics on the fly.
To make unconventional party compositions more viable, you’ll have access to Variant Actions when you’re in the new dungeon. Like Bozja’s Missed Actions, Variant Actions allow you to take skills your job wouldn’t normally be able to learn to round out your skill set. Tanks and healers get damaging moves, healers and DPS get damage mitigation, and DPS and tanks get healing spells.
Variant dungeons are also the first to FFXIV to provide branching paths. Depending on the choices players make within the dungeon, they will open up different paths to the end. If you want to get the full story of a Variant Dungeon, you’ll need to go through multiple runs and see all of its different routes to put it together.
The first variant dungeon, added in patch 6.25, is called Sil’dihn Subterrane. The dungeon is located below the city of Ul’dah, and Sultana Nanamo will join you on your journey there.
What are Criterion Dungeons in Final Fantasy XIV?
If you want an even bigger challenge, you’ll want to check out Criterion Dungeons. The first, Another Sil’dihn Subterrane, is also part of patch 6.25. These new dungeons are much more traditional, requiring players to use a balanced party and progress along a set path. You’ll need a tank, a healer, and two DPS to enter Criterion Dungeons, just like any normal dungeon.
However, unlike a normal dungeon, Criterion Dungeons is extremely unforgiving. All normal methods of reviving a downed player are disabled in Criterion Dungeons. Instead, you have a limited pool of revives that any player can use to revive an ally. Once you’ve burned through all of your revives, you need to start over from the beginning. In standard difficulty Criterion Dungeons, enemies won’t respawn if your party disappears, so as long as you don’t run out of time or revive, you can pick up where you left off.
There is also a Savage version of Criterion Dungeons that ups the difficulty even further. In Savage Criterion Dungeons, there is no way to revive at all. Fall in battle and you’re finished. If the entire party dies, all enemies in the dungeon will reset, so you’ll have to try everything again. If that’s not enough, enemies will get stronger if you spend too much time in the dungeon, so you’ll need to balance good tactics with a fast pace to get out alive. FFXIVThe developers at Savage Criterion say that dungeons are currently the most difficult content in the game for groups of four players.
Unlock requirements and rewards
To unlock Variant and Criterion Dungeons, you just need to complete the new quest A Key to the Past in Old Sharlayan, after finishing the walker main scenario missions. Along this quest line, you unlock the new V&C Duty Finder, which allows you to queue for Variant and Criterion Dungeons.
To enter the first Variant Dungeon, you need an item level of at least 575, and to enter Criterion you need to have an item level 610. That puts them roughly on the same level as walkerThe wild raids of Asphodelos and Abyssos.
Completing variant and criteria dungeons earns you a new type of currency, which you can exchange with vendors at the entrance for gear, mounts, and other unique rewards.