Final Fantasy 16's free PS5 update fixes the game’s most annoying flaw

Final Fantasy XVI will get a free update in April 2024 that will fix one of the game's biggest problems: the unbearable amount of backtracking.

Final Fantasy 16's free PS5 update fixes the game’s most annoying flaw
Lee Brady

Lee Brady


Final Fantasy fans on PS5 sure are getting spoiled in 2024. Not only are we set to receive more Final Fantasy XVI trophies alongside the game's second wave of DLC, but we have also learned that Final Fantasy XVI will receive a free update in April 2024. The update makes a significant change to how the game handles side quests, and it's a big deal because had it been there at launch, this feature might have bumped our Final Fantasy XVI review score up a digit.

Final Fantasy XVI patch cuts out repetitive side quest tedium

The free Final Fantasy XVI update was announced alongside details for Final Fantasy XVI The Rising Tide at Square Enix's PAX East 2024 presentation. We've embedded the full presentation below, but the main thing we learned was that Final Fantasy XVI will receive a free PS5 update on Thursday, April 18, 2024, alongside the launch of The Rising Tide.
The update includes a few desirable features that will be accessible to all FFXVI players, whether they own the game's DLC or not. For one, players will finally be able to customize the game's button layout — a feature that we've been requesting for almost a year at this point.

There will also be a few minor changes to the game's menus. Players will be able to more readily see which side quests are actually important, change abilities and accessories a little easier, and also a new Eikon ability set feature will allow you to try out Clive's new moves without losing his previous playstyle. However, none of that compares to the changes being made to side quests, which legitimately might save players — particularly trophy hunters — from having a bad time while playing the game.

FFXVI update

The new feature is called "Quick Complete" and it allows players to return to a quest giver immediately upon meeting the criteria of the quest. For those who have not endured the 20-hour slog that is completing all of Final Fantasy XVI's side quests, you now may never know just how exhausting it was to have to navigate back and forth to quest givers after completing objectives.

Now, I'm not the kind of gamer who starts to complain the moment a game has any form of backtracking in it. I've come to enjoy backtracking in a lot of modern games, as they often afford you a minute to really drink in a game's world. Personally, I'm a big fan of how some games, like The Witcher 3, will force you to put in a little legwork if you want to fast travel somewhere. It definitely helped me feel more immersed in Geralt's world, navigating to the local town to find a signpost after a mission.
However, one thing The Witcher 3 had was well-designed side quests — quests that would throw a few twists and turns at you as you played. Final Fantasy XVI, on the other hand, has an incredibly simple A-B formula for side quests. You walk to the destination, and then you either talk to the person standing there, or you kill the monster standing there, or you pick up the item lying there. Then, you immediately go back to whoever sent you to that destination.

It's a simple structure that lends itself to some quick and breezy gameplay. However, every time you want to complete a quest in FFXVI, you'll have to return to the same point of the Hideout and traipse your way around its winding, labyrinthine stairways to speak to whoever asked for your help. It's this walk through the same environment over and over again that I draw the line with. It's the worst kind of backtracking — the kind where your brain just goes numb as you simply go through the motions tens or dozens of times.
Soon, all of that will be gone, and what will remain is a simple button press to teleport directly to the quest giver. While that doesn't do me any favors seeing as I've already beat the game, I'm still grateful to see it implemented here for any new FFXVI players. That side mission backtracking so thoroughly burned me out in my playthrough that it genuinely spoiled the ending for me a little bit. I would hate for that to happen to anyone else, so I'm hoping this new feature will keep that from happening.

Final Fantasy XVI's next DLC chapter is set to have its own side quests too, and with this new "Quick Complete" option in tow, I can safely say I'm looking forward to them! In fact, at this point, I'd say FFXVI The Rising Tide is easily one of the most exciting upcoming PS5 games for me this year. How about you? Interested in the new DLC? Thrilled about the free FFXVI update? Let us know down in the comments below.
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee keeps one eye on the future (Shadow x Sonic Generations), one eye on the past (PS Plus Premium games), and his secret third eye on junk he really likes (Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts games). Then he uses his big mouth to blurt out long-winded opinions about video games.
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