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New Final Fantasy 14 benchmark shows improvements before Dawntrail

The Final Fantasy 14 benchmark update is here ahead of Dawntrail and the 7.0 graphics overhaul, and it looks absolutely fantastic.

Final Fantasy 14 benchmark update: a man with long silver hair looks down while holding a drink in a pineapple

The controversial Final Fantasy 14 Dawntrail benchmark has now been updated after players found the tool underwhelming ahead of the 7.0 graphics overhaul. The free download for the FF14 benchmark update, which contains the new expansion’s female Hrothgar race in the character creator and a look at the MMORPG’s new graphics, was initially met with disappointment by players. Square Enix promised to fix things. Now, you can try out the 1.1 version of the tool yourself.

With the Final Fantasy 14 Dawntrail release date inching ever closer (I’m trying to catch up but starting to get worried there’s too much to do) the new 7.0 graphics update is about to arrive, too. The lighting, visuals, and settings are all getting a free overhaul alongside the next Final Fantasy 14 expansion. Now, the revamped benchmark tool gives us our best look so far at all the coming changes.

The first version of the MMORPG’s benchmark was criticized by players for having flat-looking models, lifeless eyes, and glossy visuals in certain weather conditions. This was down to an old lighting system being used in the benchmark character creator, which director Naoki Yoshida apologized for while promising an update.

Now the 1.1 version of the Dawntrail benchmark is here, and it makes a whole host of improvements. Character models have been updated, the character creator lighting has been fixed with an entirely new option added, ambient lighting has been adjusted, and to improve overall quality, the texture filtering option has been removed. You can see some close-up snaps of new faces below.

Final Fantasy 14 benchmark update: two close ups of characters in the new FF14 benchmark

After taking the updated benchmark for a spin myself I can definitely see the difference, especially in how shadows are cast on the Warrior of Light. If this indicates what the 7.0 graphics overhaul looks like for all our characters, I’d start getting excited.

A lot of thought has clearly gone into addressing the complaints about lifelessness and lack of detail in what we’ve seen of 7.0 so far, and I’m happy to report that what we’ve seen and tested of the new benchmark tool looks fantastic. You can try out the FF14 benchmark update for yourself right here.

Considering you can’t actually play FF14 in the benchmark, after toying with the options you might fancy diving back into the game. If so, Square Enix is currently running a free login campaign ahead of Dawntrail if you’ve been unsubbed for a while, giving you a few days of game time at no cost.

With ongoing DDoS attacks and Dawntrail right around the corner, we’ve got the current Final Fantasy 14 server status, alongside a breakdown of each Final Fantasy 14 class in case you want to try a new one – I just picked up Reaper myself and adore how flashy it is.

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