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New to Final Fantasy? Want to know how to fully control your gaming experience and are tired of accidentally running face first into goblins?
Used to play Final Fantasy but you’ve either forgot the controls or using a new system. Or perhaps you are still playing but would like to know your options?
Some of the controls should be either inside your FFXI manual or on a sheet that came with the game.
Let’s start from the top.
Strange to the majority of MMORPG players is that Final Fantasy is generally played using only the keyboard controls. However they are easily adapted to and there are other options available to you such as using the mouse or a gamepad other than just creating macros.
To be able to interact with your surroundings on Final Fantasy you will first need to get to grips with and make full use of your characters motor controls and to an extent the menu system.
Strange to the majority of PC MMORPG players is that Final Fantasy is generally played (on the PC) by use of the keyboard with little or no help from the mouse.
Using the number pad:
8 moves the character forward
You can only move in a forward direction or combine it with another key to move diagonal slightly – your character will never run backwards with the basic character controls.
2 moves the character back
Not backwards! The character will automatically turn around and begin running in a straight line towards the camera.
4 moves the character left
In a forward direction the character runs towards the left of the screen. By holding this key down you will find your character runs around in circles.
6 moves the character right
Again in a forward direction your character will run towards the right of the screen. By holding this key down you will also find your character runs around in circles (this never gets old).
7 auto-runs your character
Auto run is your character running forward in a straight line without you pressing any additional keys. All you need to do is hold down the forward key (8), press auto-run (7) and it will be activated. You can also control directional changes by pressing the other keys such as left (4) and right (6).
To cancel the auto run you only need to press 7 once more. You can also accidentally cancel the auto-run by making a harsh turn to the left or right or turning your camera angle to make it quick turn.
/ on the number pad
Makes your character move at a slower speed, the animation changes to show you are now walking instead of running. To return to running press the / key again.
These change the camera angle in all directions. The directions are self explanatorily, for example left arrow rotates the camera left around your character.
If you engaged in a fight with a monster you will need to hold down the shift key in order to rotate the camera, but you will be limited to around 180 degrees behind your character. In a fight you cannot turn the camera to see your characters front.
Other than simple movement your character needs to be able to interact with NPCs (Non-playable Characters) and PCs (Playable Characters – aka other players). NPCs can be friendly or hostile, so you will need them to activate quests or to defend yourself against them.
Using either the Tab Key or the 0 on the number pad
You can cycle through targets using these keys going from left to right and it starts with the closest target to the front of your character. Additionally if you hold down the Shift Key you cycle backwards through the targets (right to left).
Return key (Enter) and Enter on the number pad
Confirms a selection. If you have tabbed to a target and have pressed enter it then brings up a mini menu in the bottom left corner of your screen. You get a different set of options on different types of items to interact with. Such as a “???” or “!” target you get no options and just usually a line of text appears, an NPC you can talk with, a PC you can trade or cast friendly magic on or check and a hostile NPC you can select to Attack, cast magic on or check and these options also change when you engage in battle with the enemy.
To select one of the options on the menu you only need to click the return or enter key again.
The Return key is a confirm or “yes” key.
Escape (Esc) key
Cancels a selection, closes a menu or stops a conversation with an NPC. Generally used as a cancel or back button.
5 on the number pad
Changes the character view from third person to first person, and can restore it to third person as well. You will notice in this view you can look forward and run backwards (which gives the impression you are running backwards). This is not the case, you are simply looking through the back of your players head.
First person controls vary from third person. For example 4 and 6 no longer control left and right movement but they are now left and right rotation and you use 8 to move forward in those directions.
- on the number pad has two functions
Function 1: Makes your character kneel, or sit (whatever animation your type of character has) and you will begin resting HP and MP back. It will not regenerate but instead will happen in ticks, so do not worry if you don’t think it is working – give it time. For example, _after_ 20 seconds you will instantly get 10 HP back – you will not get 10 HP back every 2 seconds for 20 seconds.
To cancel resting move in any direction, interact with anything or press the * key again. Any character interaction movement will cancel resting.
Function 2: While having anything targeted using the main (golden) arrow if you press * you lock-on to it. Your character will always be facing the locked on target similar to a battle but without your weapon drawn. The only methods for becoming unlocked from the target is by pressing * again or them walking out of range.
+ Key tabs through the menus. Such as chat logs, buffs/debuff details (cancelling debuffs can be done by tabbing to them with the + key, selecting the desired buff with the arrow keys then pressing Enter).
Will always target your character.
F2, F3, F4, F5 and F6 keys
Target the other characters if they are playing in a party with you. For example F2 targets the second from the top. F6 Targets the last. If you want to target the top person you press F1, as you always appear at the top of the list to yourself.
Is also a means of self-target.
<<<Check with manual>>>
Targets objects, NPCs and PCs. Such as the auction house counter, a monster or a friendly NPC.
Always targets the closest player in front of your character and does not cycle through targets.
Additionally you can create your own Shortcuts, also called “hotkeys” and in Final Fantasy they are called “Macros”.
There are a choice of default setup ones that can be viewed by holding down the Ctrl (control) key or for a different set the Alt (alternative) key, then activated by pressing the corresponding number. Also you can cycle through pages of macros with the up and down arrow keys.
- key on number pad and menu
Brings up the main menu with a big list of options, you can cycle through to a second list of options by pressing the arrow keys left or right. To move the highlighted option you move the arrow keys up and down with return or enter to select one.
The rest of the keyboard controls remain the same. Caplock changes all letters to uppercase etc. However in order for screenshots to work you need to press the Scroll Lock key and then the Prt Scrn/Sys Rq (Print Screen) key in order to take a screenshot. The use of scroll lock will remove any menus from the screen and once the image has been saved there will be no menus too. They are automatically saved to a folder within the FFXI directory and to return the menus to the screen Scroll Lock is pressed again or the Esc Key.
The mouse is an optional choice when playing FFXI that not many users tend to go with. The majority of other MMORPGs out for the PC tend to use the mouse as the primary input from the user.
Holding down the right mouse button while dragging
Will Result in your character running in the direction of the cursor. The cursor also changes direction, shape and shade of gold. The direction it changes to is the same as the one you drag and is where your character is running.
Holding down the left mouse button while dragging
Causes the camera to move in the direction you drag. The cursor also changes to suit the direction you drag and changes it’s shape and colour to blue.
Right mouse click
Is a method of selecting targets as simply as you would click on a hyperlink on the internet and can also be used to select menu options. When the menu appears the cursor is automatically pulled over to the menu options.
The rest of the controls are limited to the user having to use the keyboard. Such are for talking to other players, using commands and macros.
A lot of Final Fantasy fans approved of the classic play station and the play station 2 controllers and wanted a similar experience with their PC. So SE included a piece of gamepad configuration software that you can use when you have a gamepad installed.
To be able to use the gamepad you have to play FFXI you will need to go to the FFXI config program and under the General Tab select “Gamepad Settings (P)”.
Next you must tick the option “Enable Gamepad” in the top right and select what buttons you wish to do what function one by one. These controls are very much down to the user’s preference due to their customisation possibilities.
There are setups of default control options you can select with the “Default setup” and “Alternative setup” buttons and a test mode to try out the controls. There is also a help section included if you get stuck.
The PS2 does not come with a keyboard/mouse so the controls have been designed to work with the gamepad. You have to purchase the keyboard separately.
PS2 players use the control pad the majority of the time when playing FFXI and only use the keyboard to type to other players or use commands such as /wave.
The xbox 360 like the PS2 has no use for a mouse and comes with a gamepad (the keyboard you buy separately too) so the controls have been adapted for the gamepad.
Like the PS2 the xbox 360 users also use the control pad to play FFXI and only use the keyboard for talking to other players (as xbox live head sets do not work over FFXI) and commands such as /wave.
Left analog stick
This moves the character in all directions. You cannot walk backwards but instead the character will always face forward in the direction you push.
Pressing down of the analog stick results in your character resting or locking on to the targeted object. The only way to unlock is to press the thumb stick again or the lock is broken by the target becoming out of range.
To make your character walk instead of run you simply need to not move the analog stick all the way
Right analog stick
Controls camera movement in all directions the same way as the character movement is controlled.
Brings up the miniature menu in the bottom left corner of your screen to display basic actions such as on a monster you can select attack, magic or check. On players you can select to cast friendly magic, check or trade and with NPCs you can talk and trade. The A button is generally considered to be the “confirm” button.
Cancel or back button. Use to close menus, remove the target or exit a conversation with an NPC etc.
Brings up the main menu. Which contains multiple options such as status, party and logout. It is cycled through with the D pad.
Tabs though the menus. For example you can select your chat log and expand it by pressing enter or tab to your buffs and remove them by pressing enter – or see the information on a debuff.
Like the classic gamepads for consoles and computers alike there are D pads, which are similar to arrow keys but are on a circular button. Whatever area of the button you press is the direction of the D pad. Think of it as a flat analog stick.
The D pad can be used to highlight different options on a menu, switch between menus or cycle through targets.
Known control problems
Pressing of the windows key can result in the Start bar becoming clear and FFXI becoming windowed. However playing FFXI windowed is not possible without some means of a third party program – which are against the rules. So the Windows key causes the game to close instantly with no logging out process or crash in some way. Your character will eventually disconnect and you will have to log back in with a warning message. Pressing the Windows key is best to be avoided.
However if you find yourself accidentally pressing it you can turn off the function. This can be done with editing the windows registry.
If you do not know how here is a website that will do all the work for you. This does not break any of the FFXI rules and in fact will make you playing FFXI a safer one.
Please read everything detailed on the website clearly so that you understand it. And back-up any and all data you wish to keep before even thinking of modifying windows.
Alt and Tab
Alt and Tabbing through windows while playing FFXI is also not supported and will crash the game in the very same way.
Enter key while zoning
A PC fault reveals itself if you press the Return key at the exact moment of jumping to a new area (zoning) it has been known to crash the game too. Unfortunately there is no method to fix this other than trying to your best to avoid pressing enter while zoning.
Occasionally for some players the mouse tells the character to move continuously in one direction and is difficult for them to stop the mouse doing it. Sometimes this is triggered by low battery on a wireless mouse or accidental hitting of the mouse but it has been know to randomly start with no reason as to why.
A quick fix for this would be if you’re using a keyboard to play FFXI, unplug the mouse. This stops all communication from the mouse and it will no longer affect your game play as you continue to use the keyboard.
The surface you use your mouse on can affect the performance and make it randomly appear on your screen too. A flat surface ensures a better result, ease of use and a longer lasting mouse.
PS2 and Xbox 360
Without purchasing a USB keyboard the player is forced to use an on screen keyboard to type out each letter one at a time. This is a very slow process and can bring you to a disadvantage over players that do use a keyboard.
Especially if you have a roller ball mouse it is vital you keep the ball and rollers on the inside of the mouse clean. This can be done by unscrewing the small circle underneath the mouse, dropping the ball out and cleaning the insides – then putting it back together. Without this dirt will clog up your mouse and you may find movement of it difficult.
Gamepads and keyboards are similar. If you get dirt between the keys or under the thumb sticks of pads movement may become sluggish or keys not always respond.
Software for PC
Always insure you have the latest drivers for your hardware. Some keyboards, mice and pads come with additional buttons and features and it’s best to insure you have the latest drivers for them. Usually the instructions/software on how to do this will be included in any manual or packaging that came with the product but you can usually find working drivers by going through these steps:
1) Either the official website of the company/brand that your product has come from may contain the latest drivers for your hardware.
2) If that doesn’t get you any working drivers right mouse clicking on “My Computer” and select the option “Properties”. Next go to the Hardware tab and click the “Device Manager” button.
Next another window should appear listing the full spec of your PC. Scan for hardware changes by clicking the small icon in the top right row of icons that looks like a computer with a magnifying class over it. Next locate your mouse/keyboard/gamepad etc and click the update driver icon – it looks like a pile of grey and green computer parts. Hovering your cursor over the icons should tell you what the icons do if you cannot make out the icons.