Final Fantasy XIV is one of the biggest MMORPGs in the world. With more and more players becoming invested in the game, many are getting themselves involved with the acclaimed endgame. For those who love the skill aspect of the game, or are adventuring over from other MMOs, knowing how much healing or damage should become second nature. If you’re one of those players, then you are in luck, as the FFXIV ACT, aka the Advanced Combat Tracker, is an addon that tracks that information for your character.
Read Mode: How to manage FFXIV Mods with the TexTools software.
What is Advanced Combat Tracker?
Advanced Combat Tracker or FFXIV ACT for short is an addon that is designed to record and calculate statistics from live in-game data. Most players use this to record their individual DPS or HPS, with some going as far as to record their party’s or raid’s DPS and HPS. it is certainly one of the best ways to improve performance, especially when pushing FFXIV’s hardest group content.
Players can compare Jobs, people using similar builds and read how to improve, which is not available in Vanilla FFXIV. Not to mention, the pinnacle players get to see each other race when it comes to World First content, which adds a level of excitement for those interesting in that type of content. Also, different data centres can look up to idols who share the same data centre as them, adding a community feel to it. There are certainly pros that come from using the Advanced Combat Tracker.
Caution! Danger Ahead!
There are a few need-to-knows before reading any further. Square Enix has strict Terms of Service (ToS) when it comes to third party addons. While the publisher does say that they aren’t tolerated Square Enix are inconsistent about what they do and don’t ban people for. If any external mods affect multiple players, then Square Enix will put the banhammer on those caught using it. It does mean sites like FFlogs shouldn’t exist, but they do anyway. In short, when it comes to mods associated with FFXIV (or any game for that matter), we advise caution. Use at your own risk.
So where does the FFXIV ACT stand? Downloading the Advanced Combat Tracker isn’t necessarily against the rules. Downloading it to get a reading on your own DPS (Damage Per Second), HPS (Heals Per Second), or any other valuable statistic to improve YOUR own game is fine. However, if it does give an unfair advantage against other players, make them feel bad, or facilitate what might constitute bad behavior, then Squenix might have a bone to pick with it. Therefore, if you are looking to track your own character’s stats, remember to keep it solely for YOUR own performance and out of the game itself.
How to set up the ACT Mod
If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably interested in giving the FFXIV ACT a shot. Setting up the ACT is slightly complicated, but you can always download extra plug-ins to make the setup even easier.
- Firstly, you’ll need to get the Advanced Combat Tracker from its direct host or a reputable mod website and download the setup file.
- After the mod is installed, head over to the application’s install location and make sure it launches with administrator rights. All you need to do is right-click the exe file, click Settings, Compatibility and check the box that says run as administrator
- Next, you need to allow the ACT through your firewall. Head over to the settings for your firewall software and allow access for the [name of the exe file], which is in the [name] directory. This step is necessary so that the ACT’s networking can keep an eye on the FFXIV information.
- Now that you’ve downloaded it and set it up safely in your system, you’ll want to actually launch the ACT exe. The FFXIV ACT setup will then create an XML file on your computer, which it will use every time you boot it up.
- When the ACT launches, it will prompt you with a setup wizard screen. On this pop-up window, you’ll want to head to the parse plugin tab and use the FFXIV Parsing Plugin.
Installing Overlay Plugins
With the core of the installation done, you now have an external tool that records your stats. However, like most addons, you expect something in the game too. It is easy to set up, as all your need to do is follow a few more in-app steps.
- Open the FFXIV ACT exe once again.
- Click on the Plugins tab in the top row menu
- In the top right you’ll see a new button with blue text labelled as ‘Get Plugins’. Click it.
- A new scroll bar window will open with a few options. Click on the Overlay Plugin and press the Download and Enable button at the bottom-right corner of the window.
- When the download and enabling progress bar has finished, go to the Plugin window on the FFXIV ACT to see some new options. The section will have a few options. You want to select overlay plugin.dll and click the New button in the bottom left of that tab.
- In the new window, go to the Presets option and select your preferred overlay. Feel free to restart your FFXIV game client to update your UI with one of the new overalls until you are happy with an overlay plugin.
- Note that each plugin will need some UI setup in-game, but it should all be self-explanatory and the in-app boxes will prompt you for preferences before building itself.
Congratulations, you’ll have now finished setting up your Advanced Combat Tracker mod. Remember to keep the conversation about it out of the game; otherwise, you might be getting bonked by Square Enix in a ban wave near you.