From keyboard to D-pad: My experience with the FFXIV PS5 beta

Up until a few weeks ago, Square Enix was running a beta for Final Fantasy on the PlayStation 5. I knew it had been coming after the livestream where they announced Endwalker, but I’ll admit, I was only marginally interested in that. After all, we didn’t have a PS5 yet, and I had no idea when we’d get one!

Luckily, though, we managed to get our hands on a PS5 just before the beta ended. So can you guess what the first thing I downloaded onto the new console was?

That's right: FFXIV.

For those of you who’ve followed my years-long obsession with all things FFXIV, especially my YouTube tutorials, you may know that I’ve always been exclusively a PC player. 

Though there are some games where I’ll switch between PC and console, like Minecraft, I’ve always found more complex games like FFXIV to be more fun and easier for a self-identified supernoob on PC. I love having all the extra control (like over my camera) and customization with the HUD that you get on PC.

I did think it would be fun to learn how to play on console though, given how many questions I get about housing tutorials for PS4 players.

And though it was tricky to learn, I think it went well!

I’ll be honest, it took me a while to get the hang of it. I’d never even used a controller with my PC, so I had absolutely no knowledge of what the buttons were. I couldn’t even get to the menu that tells you what they do at first!

It got easier once I started to get the hang of the cross hotbar. So far, I’ve managed to set up a reasonable facsimile of my dancer build, and can play it well enough to do top-level FATEs without dying. I’m working on the same for my machinist, but it’s a slow process!

As I played, though, I found there were core parts of how I play on PC that were missing. 

For example, I have a macro set up on one of my hotbars that acts as a fast menu for every class, mounts, my crafting macros, favourite emotes, and even things like parasols and Dig. It’s incredibly handy, and saves me opening a lot of different menus. But it doesn’t work at all with the cross hotbar, so instead I had to assign classes to four different hotbars.

I also had fun getting to know the virtual mouse, which so far seems to be the only possible way for a PS4/5 player to access things like doors in houses where the door’s been covered.

One thing I haven't figured out? Housing.

Ironic, I know, given my main purpose was to learn how to do housing tutorials for PS4/5 players. But honestly, I do not know how anyone accomplishes anything in houses with a controller.

I’m seriously tempted just to plug in a mouse and keyboard, but that would defeat the whole purpose!

On the plus side, the camera is much smoother than anything I can accomplish with a mouse and my irreparably shaky hands. So while I can’t seem to build anything on the PS5, I’m thinking it could be incredibly useful for video tours.

Have you ever tried playing a game you enjoyed on more than one platform? How did it go?

One thought on “From keyboard to D-pad: My experience with the FFXIV PS5 beta

  1. Hey! I actually just purchased a copy of Endwalker/FFXIV for my PS5 after having played strictly on PC with a mouse and keyboard since ARR, and it’s been pretty jarring to say the least.

    I have found menu navigation and the Cross Hotbar to be the most challenging things to get right. Cheers and I wish you the best in your journeys across Eorzea and beyond!

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