What Are Variant and Criterion Dungeons in Final Fantasy XIV?

What's new in the dungeon scene.

by J.T. Isenhour


Final Fantasy XIV plans on adding yet another form of high-level end-game content. From raids to Savage Trials there is plenty of large group end-game content but there is not too many activities small parties can do together and that’s where the new dungeons come in. While Criterion Dungeons have been talked about in the past, they have been changed a bit with the addition of Variant Dungeons to Final Fantasy XIV.  Let’s go over what each of these new dungeon types are as well as when you can expect them to be added to Final Fantasy XIV.

What Are Variant Dungeons in Final Fantasy XIV

Although the name is new, Variant Dungeons have been talked about before as an addition to Final Fantasy XIV. When they were mentioned before, they went under the name Criterion Dungeons. This means all of the content you expected from Criterion Dungeons will be found in Variant Dungeons.


They will be difficulty tuned dungeons for up to four players. that you can either enter with a premade party of less than four or use Duty Finder to enter with a full party. The enemies inside will have their health and damage tweaked based on how many players are present. You can also freely change your job once inside and there are no job restrictions.

The dungeon is intended to be very story-heavy and your party will be accompanied by a very talkative NPC according to Yoshida. The path you take through the dungeon will change based on the choices you make. You will have to do multiple runs of the dungeon to experience the full story.

Overall this is more of a training and story mode for the Criterion Dungeons, you can run this with friends and goof around with no limitations on what jobs you bring. Of course, you can’t bring in crafting jobs, but you could run a full party of tanks or a full party of healers in Variant Dungeons if you wanted to.

What Are Criterion Dungeons in Final Fantasy XIV

If Variant Dungeons are the training mode, then Criterion Dungeons are hard mode. You will be running a similar dungeon to what you experience in the Variant Dungeon but it won’t be story focused. All the enemies will be tougher and you will have new mechanics to deal with. You will also have to enter with a fixed party of one Tank, one Healer, and one DPS.


You won’t have the luxury of being drawn into the story this time around. You and your party will need to focus and work together to handle the enemies in this dungeon and not make any mistakes. If you do mess up and die, a normal healer resurrection spell won’t work. Instead, your party has a limited number of revives that can be used before it is a full wipe and reset.

There will also be a savage mode available for Criterion Dungeons. This mode will feature no resurrections for your party to use, you each get one life. If everyone in the party dies it will be a full reset of the dungeon with all the enemies respawn. You also have to work quickly as enemies have an enrage timer. Take too long and you will most likely have to reset.

This will add a raid-like experience for groups of friends to go through without needing to get a bunch of randoms together. You will most likely need to eat the best food and have the best gear for your jobs equipped if you want to make it through the Criterion Dungeons.

When Will Variable and Criterion Dungeons Come Out

The new dungeon types are set to be added to the game in Patch 6.25 this could be delayed when the date gets closer but we still have a bit of time to wait since we just got Patch 6.18. The devs want to try to have Patch 6.2 drop sometime in later August so the earliest we could expect to see Patch 6.25 and the new dungeon types should be around a month after that in September or October.

As the release date gets closer, we should receive more news about the new dungeons. Like the rewards and more detailed looks at the encounters. If you need any more help with Final Fantasy XIV make sure to check out our other guides.

Final Fantasy XIV is available now on PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.


Trending on AOTF