What is Dalamud for FFXIV and How to Use it

by J.T. Isenhour
Image: Attack of the Fanboy

Although Final Fantasy XIV offers plenty of little quality-of-life features that players enjoy, there are still a few features that players are always asking for. This is where the community comes in with Dalamud, the framework for plugins to use. Let’s go over what Dalamund is and if it is safe to install as well as how to use it in Final Fantasy XIV.

What is Dalamud for Final Fantasy XIV

While veterans of the Final Fantasy XIV franchise might recognize the name Dalamud as a location in the game, that is not what this current iteration of Dalamud we are talking about. The Dalamud most people are talking about right now is a piece of framework software that is used with a custom Final Fantasy XIV launcher to allow custom plugins.

Related: How to Uninstall FFXIV Gshade to Remove Malware

What is a Framework

Unless you are into coding and creating software, you might not know what a framework is. To explain it simply, a framework is an application that can read the decrypted data that Final Fantasy XIV creates and convert it into easily readable data for other plugins to use.

This is why many current plugins for Final Fantasy XIV require Dalamud to work. Many plugins will be designed to simply read the data Dalamud will put out instead of creating a framework from scratch for the plugin to use.

How to Install Dalamud for Final Fantasy XIV

Getting Dalamud installed isn’t too hard but you won’t be searching specifically for Dalamud to get it. You will want to look at getting a custom launcher for Final Fantasy XIV instead. many of the custom launchers for plugins come with Dalamud included so you don’t have to get it separately.

Just be a bit careful when you are dealing with a third-party launcher for Final Fantasy XIV as those do come with a bit of risk. Since they are not verified by Square Enix, you do run the risk of a shady one stealing your account.

How to Find a Safe Launcher to Use

Try asking around the Final Fantasy XIV community to see what launchers they use and take their recommendations. If multiple people all use the same launcher it is most likely safe to use.

People in the community may also go out of their way to help you find some useful plugins to get as well since many people in the community love to be helpful to newer players or veterans alike.

What Plugins You Should Get

Once you have a launcher installed and verified that it is working right, you can start to hunt down some plugins to use. Most raiders and dungeon players tend to get DPS trackers to keep track of where they stand in the party. Crafters and gatherers have plenty of plugins to aid in their trades as well.

As long as you stick to plugins that don’t alter the game files you shouldn’t have to worry about being punished in any way. Even if you do use a few texture modifications like many do, as long as you don’t use it for cheating you should be fine.

- This article was updated on March 8th, 2023