New PS4 players of the fantastic Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn may be confronted with troubling tidings right out of the gate. The immense popularity of the game, combined with the influx of new players, has left many servers (Worlds, in A Realm Reborn's lingo) closed off to new character creation during certain times of day. Being disallowed from immediately jumping in to play with veteran friends or a particularly good community can be frustrating, but with a little know-how, you can increase your chance of hopping onto the server you want in the next 24 hours!
That's because just about every server opens to new character creation at some point each day--the restriction is put in place when too many players are logged in at one time, meaning off-peak hours are your best bet for the restriction being lifted. Think about where your preferred server is located and go from there--EU servers are busy at different times of day than North American servers and Japanese servers, for example.
Once you've got the whole time zone thing figured out, here's what you do:
1. Attempt character creation between 3 am and 7 am, local time.
Anecdotally, this is the least busy time of day for any given server's territory. Even the up-all-night warriors will be logging off to catch a few winks, and normal-bedtime folks will have closed the game hours ago. It's also in a dead time of early morning when few people are likely to be waking up--and if they are, they could be going to work. Which leads to:
2. Attempt character creation on weekday mornings, between 7 am and noon.
The added benefit of a weekday morning is that you've effectively guaranteed three major MMO groups won't be playing: adult workers, college-aged kids, and younger students who (most likely) have class to attend. Getting online before noon will help assure that you don't have lunch-break log-ins ruining your attempt. It may seem overly cautious, but some servers (like Excalibur, a North American Legacy server) are really that tough to break into!
3. Attempt character creation shortly before a scheduled maintenance period begins.
Square Enix takes down servers for two-hour maintenance periods fairly frequently, sometimes even once a week or more. Players online when a server goes offline (in North America, this often falls at midnight PST) are unceremoniously ejected from the game, so many players will wrap their business and log off a little before maintenance kicks in. This is your golden window of opportunity--a half hour before maintenance, continuously refresh the server status from the character creation screen (after you've selected your class) and hope that a good number of players are tossing the towel a bit early.
To check on upcoming scheduled maintenance periods, watch the Maintenance tab of the news posts on Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIV Lodestone. And refresh this list of servers throughout the day--every four to six hours, Square updates the list with a server's current status, but there could be open times in-between that you'll only see in-game.
Have you had trouble getting into a certain server to play Final Fantasy XIV on PS4? Read our review yet?