Building lovely homes in Final Fantasy XIV is a fun project—but it’s a wildly time-consuming one, too. And I can tell you from experience, it’s an incredibly heartbreaking thing to have to go and tear something down when you’ve just finished it.
So something I’ve been trying to be more mindful of lately is how to plan ahead and properly lay out my designs, so I can fit everything I want in without feeling like any of it was an afterthought. Because well, that happens. A lot.
Here’s what I’ve learned, and what to keep in mind when you’re planning your home’s layout.
What rooms do you want to include?
You probably have an idea of what you’d like your home to have, but I find it’s always good to make a solid plan before you get started. This is mostly because ideas are usually more ambitious than FFXIV housing will allow for, so you’ll need to know what you absolutely want so you can plan the resources you’ll need to allocate.
For example, I build pretty detailed houses, so in my medium, I can usually only fit a kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and possibly another feature—like a nice entryway—of some kind. With simpler designs, you could probably fit a bit more, or be able to do similar layouts in smaller homes!
How do you want those rooms to flow?
If you’ve ever watched a renovation show of any kind, you’ve probably heard them talk about flow. The whole idea here is that you want to consider how rooms transition into each other and how you’ll be able to move around between them.
For example, when I’m planning where rooms will go, I always picture a line, and then mentally draw that line from room to room. That’s my path, and I always try to think about how I can draw the line so my path will feel natural to walk around on. It does end up being pretty subjective, but it certainly helps make sure you don’t end up with any afterthought rooms!
What features and attributes of your house do you need to consider?
Each home in FFXIV will have unique features you need to consider when you’re planning how you want to lay out a design. These features, which can include trim, doors, windows, and even stairs, will affect where and how you can build!
For example, if you’re covering a door with your own design, you’ll need to consider your materials. You can click through things like cabinets and white rectangular partitions to use the door, but not stage panels! And if you’re working around stairs, you’ll need to consider whether you can build over them, or will need to build around them instead.
How many slots do you have to work with?
Each house size in FFXIV comes with a predetermined number of slots for housing items that you’re allowed to use, and this has a major impact on any design you come up with. Detailed designs, especially custom cabinets and windows, can take up a huge number of slots very quickly–so you’ll need to weigh your options and figure out how you want to prioritize your slots.
For example, you could decide to do an incredibly detailed custom kitchen, which may mean you can’t add that extra room you were hoping for—or you could find a simpler design that lets you spread out your resources more.
Will you be using housing glitches?
This may sound like a weird consideration, but hear me out. If you’re working with multiple floors, especially in small and medium houses, then using glitches will often reduce the amount of space you have to work with overall. Partitions, cabinets, and even wall-mounted items will all clip through the floors and ceilings!
For example, let’s look at the kitchen I made for my cottage build a little while ago.
Because I used partitions for the cabinets, they ended up clipping through the ceiling above and into the upper floor. But I didn’t think about that when I was building, and ultimately, this forced me to build a weird afterthought bathroom that I never really enjoyed.
Bottom line: Try to place any highly glitched features into areas where it won’t cause a headache for you later!