Raids are endgame duties found in Final Fantasy XIV, of which there are 8-player and 24-player varieties, the latter of which are called alliance raids. With the exception of The Crystal Tower raid series, raids are not required for completion of the main scenario, and represent the majority of high-end content in Final Fantasy XIV.
Normal and Savage raids
8-player raids are short duties culminating in a single boss encounter. Unlike trials, earlier raids sometimes featured short dungeons to navigate with regular enemies or mini-bosses along the way, however these fights were instead made into solo duties that the player only ever had to complete once as part of the story for Stormblood's raids, and have not been present for Shadowbringers and later. Raids are found exclusively at the max level for their expansion. Raids are also released in groups of four instances, unlike trials, and are meant to represent a larger dungeon divided up into separate duties. Normal-difficulty raids are similar in difficulty to Normal/Hard-difficulty trials but are easier than Extreme trials.
Raids feature higher difficulty versions called Savage raids, which are the primary focus of most high-end players. Modern Savage raids follow a set difficulty curve, with the first two encounters in a tier being comparable or slightly higher in difficulty to Extreme difficulty trials, and the last two encounters being significantly more difficult. The damage needed to defeat the boss before it enrages also increases with each encounter. Since Stormblood, the fourth floor of each Savage raid tier contains a new phase that is not found in the Normal mode of the fight and usually includes a checkpoint, allowing the party to restart the fight from the new phase if they wipe to it after defeating the first phase. However, resetting the instance will require defeating the first phase again.
Normal raids drop artifacts that can be exchanged for gear at specific vendors. Current Savage raids drop coffers that can be used to obtain the highest item level equipment available at the time (20 item levels higher than the respective normal raid gear), augmentation items that can be used to upgrade tomestone equipment, exclusive mounts, and books that can be traded for specific Savage equipment pieces or augmentation items.
The Raid roulette includes all normal difficulty 8-player raids, with the exception of the Binding Coils of Bahamut which are generally considered on the level of the Savage level raids introduced later.
List of Normal and Savage raids
A Realm Reborn
|Name||Level||Min Item Level||Boss||Unlock||Tomestones||Release|
|Asphodelos: The First Circle||90||565||Erichthonios||Where Familiars Dare||20 10||6.01|
|Asphodelos: The Second Circle||90||565||Hippokampos||Under the Surface||20 10||6.01|
|Asphodelos: The Third Circle||90||565||Phionix||The Fires of Creation||20 10||6.01|
|Asphodelos: The Fourth Circle||90||565||Hesperos||Who Wards the Warders||20 10||6.01|
|Asphodelos: The First Circle (Savage)||90||570||Erichthonios||Nemjiji||30||6.05|
|Asphodelos: The Second Circle (Savage)||90||575||Hippokampos||Nemjiji||30||6.05|
|Asphodelos: The Third Circle (Savage)||90||580||Phionix||Nemjiji||30||6.05|
|Asphodelos: The Fourth Circle (Savage)||90||580||Hesperos||Nemjiji||30||6.05|
Alliance raids feature three groups of 8 players for a total of 24 players, navigating large dungeons with 4 bosses and a number of minibosses or enemy packs. Alliance raids are around the same difficulty as Normal raids and trials but take longer to complete due to comprising multiple encounters in a single instance. Area-of-effect spells and abilities that are specified to only affect party-members, such as Medica, will only affect a player's party of 8 rather than the larger alliance, and players have a more limited interface view of the status of players in other groups. However, players can still target people in other alliances with abilities.
The Level 50 alliance raid series, called the Crystal Tower, is required for progression of the main scenario. However, subsequent alliance raid series are optional.
Alliance raids are released between Savage raid tiers and drop equipment that are meant to be "catch-up" for players not acquiring Savage raid gear, being 10 item levels lower than gear from the previous Savage tier. Alliance raids are also a source of exclusive minions, orchestrion rolls, and Triple Triad cards.
The Alliance Raid roulette includes all 24-player raids.
List of alliance raids
|Name||Level||Min Item Level||Final Boss||Unlock||Tomestones||Release|
|The Labyrinth of the Ancients||50||50||Phlegethon||Labyrinth of the Ancients||100||2.1|
|Syrcus Tower||50||70||Xande||Syrcus Tower||100||2.3|
|The World of Darkness||50||90||Cloud of Darkness||The World of Darkness||100||2.5|
|The Void Ark||60||175||Echidna||To Rule the Skies||100||3.1|
|The Weeping City of Mhach||60||205||Calofisteri||The Weeping City||100||3.3|
|Dun Scaith||60||235||Diabolos Hollow||Where Shadows Reign||100||3.5|
|The Royal City of Rabanastre||70||305||Argath Thadalfus||A City Fallen||100||4.1|
|The Ridorana Lighthouse||70||335||Yiazmat||Annihilation||100||4.3|
|The Orbonne Monastery||70||365||Ultima, the High Seraph||The City of Lost Angels||100||4.5|
|The Copied Factory||80||435||9S-operated Walking Fortress||On the Threshold||100||5.1|
|The Puppets' Bunker||80||465||Compound 2P||Everything You Know Is Wrong||100||5.3|
|The Tower at Paradigm's Breach||80||495||Her Inflorescence||Brave New World||100||5.5|
|Aglaia||90||565||Nald'thal||The Realm of the Gods||100 20||6.1|
Ultimate raids are a type of 8-player raid introduced in Stormblood. They are high-end raids that host a gauntlet of bosses from previous duties that must be defeated in a single attempt. Failing will usually reset the entire gauntlet. They are intended to be of even higher difficulty levels than the Savage raids that previously represented the game's hardest content. These raids require players to have completed the Savage difficulty-level of the previous raid section to even unlock. Due to their high difficulty, Ultimate raids are not intended to be "progression" content for the majority of the player base, and are designed solely for those seeking a challenge.
Ultimate raids have thus far been strictly recreations of older content, with the Unending Coil of Bahamut being based on the Binding Coil of Bahamut raid series, The Weapon's Refrain being based on the climactic battles of the A Realm Reborn main storyline, The Epic of Alexander being based on the Alexander raid series, and Dragonsong's Reprise being based on the climactic battles of the Heavensward main storyline.
Ultimate raids reward exclusive achievements, titles, and totems that can be traded at specific vendors for weapons with unique particle effects. These weapons are of the same item level as the weapons from the previous Savage raid tier but contain an additional materia slot, making them marginally stronger.
List of Ultimate raids
|Name||Level||Max Item Level||Final Boss||Unlock||Tomestones||Release|
|The Unending Coil of Bahamut (Ultimate)||70||345||Bahamut Prime||Complete Deltascape (Savage)||100||4.11|
|The Weapon's Refrain (Ultimate)||70||375||The Ultima Weapon||Complete Sigmascape (Savage)||100||4.31|
|The Epic of Alexander (Ultimate)||80||475||Perfect Alexander||Complete Eden's Gate (Savage)||100||5.11|
|Dragonsong's Reprise (Ultimate)||90||605||Dragon-king Thordan||Complete Asphodelos (Savage)||30||6.11|
Behind the scenes
8-player raids had not yet settled on a difficulty structure in A Realm Reborn, with the Binding Coils of Bahamut being exclusively high-difficulty when released. The Second Coil of Bahamut was the first series to feature a Savage mode of even higher difficulty. Beginning in Heavensward, the difficulty of new normal raids was toned down to make them more accessible, while the Savage difficulty was retooled to represent of the original difficulty, though the Binding Coils remained at their original level.
Unlike other content, the development team currently has no plans to increase the Level or Item Level syncs on Ultimate raids, or allow the them to be run unsynced. This is to preserve the difficulty level as it was when initially released, even as players become more powerful as the game progresses, and ensures that all Ultimate content, both existing and forthcoming, will remain the hardest content for the remainder of the game's lifespan. While job changes, stronger consumables, and higher gear substats from syncing down higher item level gear have decreased the difficulty of Ultimate raids over time, they remain the some of the most difficult battle content in the game.