Romance.

I Went On A Virtual Date In A Video Game And Had A Great Time

Dating has changed a lot over the past year. With many of us all over the world doing our part to help keep the spread of COVID-19 to a minimum it means being kept away from loved ones. Even for those of us that live with their partner, there is still a limit to what you can do.

Travelling the world may be out of the question but that shouldn’t stop you from travelling fully. That’s why my girlfriend and I went on a virtual date night and had a great time!

What is a virtual date?

2 characters from Final Fantasy XIV posing in Costa Del Soul
Credit: GameByte / Square Enix

A virtual date is kind of what it says on the tin. It’s a date you go on virtually. Now obviously there are many ways to go on a virtual date that involves video games. Technically you can play any game you want and have a great time but for this date, we wanted an experience where we could do a whole range of things, so the game that was picked was Final Fantasy XIV.

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Final Fantasy XIV has come a long way since I started playing it back in 2014. It’s a game I’ve spent a lot of time with over the years and have many fond memories of. It’s also a game with a very generous free trial for new players these days that gives them access to the first expansion and allows them to play up to level 60.

For my date, we started in the beautiful marine city of Limsa Lominsa. Partly because it’s beautiful and partly because my girlfriend had a quest to complete there so it was convenient (romance). With the moon out and the night sky glistening with stars we exchanged presents, posed for some cliche couple selfies and went for a walk around the city, taking some time to explore it and go places she hadn’t been before.

Due to Final Fantasy XIV being an MMO it means there are often themed events that can change how it looks. Our date took place during Valentione’s Day. It meant some of the key cities in the game were spruced up with wonderfully romantic decorations and they had become a perfect spot to go on a romantic date on.

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The Issues With an Active Weather System

An image of 2 characters in Final Fantasy XIV with a heart behind them
Credit: GameByte / Square Enix

Unfortunately, with Limsa Lominsa, it seemed things were not timed to perfection as, what I was hoping would be a beautiful sunrise, turned out to be a grey morning start with plenty of rain. After accepting defeat we packed our metaphorical bags and jumped into my Regalia (yes, it’s the car from Final Fantasy XV) to make way to the, hopefully warmer, Costa Del Sol.

The beach environment is perfect to have a stroll around, even when you accidentally walk off a platform into the ocean below as I did. After a bit of a swim that involved me getting distracted by a shark that I wanted to see if I could fight (I could not), we ended our time in Costa Del Sol with some photos before deciding our next steps.

It made the most sense to see what the rest of the world was doing with their decorations for Valentione’s Day. We made our way to Gridania and Ul’Dah and explored the city, taking our time to joke around and explore. But exploring is only part of the fun of a date. What about entertainment?

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The Manderville Gold Saucer

An image of Costa Del Sol in Final Fantasy XIV with 2 characters posing on a rock.
Credit: GameByte / Square Enix

When it comes to entertainment in Final Fantasy XIV then the Manderville Gold Saucer is full of fun. If you’ve been missing arcades in lockdown then it can really help scratch that itch. The Gold Saucer part of our date saw us play on the arcade machines there, try our hand at Cactpot and even participate in a GATE. These are events that happen in the Gold Saucer and range from quite fun ones to… less fun ones.

Needless to say we got one of the less fun ones and tried our best to awkwardly jump from platform to platform in a Leap of Faith. It did not go well but at least we laughed more than we swore (just).

We ended the evening dancing around the arcades. For everywhere is a dancefloor as long as you dance.

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Virtual Dates in Other Games

2 characters dancing in the Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy XIV
Credit: GameByte / Square Enix

There are so many ways to go on a virtual date in gaming. It’s worth finding a game that you’ll both enjoy and can play together. There’s plenty of great games to play that are free to play, or have free trials, these days. Some that allow you to explore worlds together and some that allow you to cause mayhem and have fun.

If you live in the same house too there are so many wonderful multiplayer games you can play together. You can check out the GameByte Shop for some inspiration and if you try the free trial of Final Fantasy XIV and want to pick up the full game with all the expansions so far then you can do so on the shop as well!

Final Fantasy XIV will be getting a new expansion later this year called Endwalker. It will add even more to the game. Here’s everything you need to know about the expansion.

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Featured Image Credit: Square Enix