Final Fantasy 14 on Xbox is banning players for speaking in chat

Xbox’s chat moderation AI is a little overzealous
Square Enix

Final Fantasy 14 on Xbox is a bit of a mess at the moment, as Xbox’s chat moderation AI keeps banning players in the MMO game for crimes they didn’t commit. It’s also censoring normal conversations and treating simple phrases, such as “was stuck” or even “harvest dance,” like slurs and other inappropriate language.

Censoring language makes conversation between players difficult, and, ironically, often makes it look like people are saying far worse things than they actually are.

Bans are a more serious problem, though. Free Companies are Final Fantasy 14’s version of player guilds, where people team up for hunts, raids, and generally anything outside the main story. The phrase comes up frequently in chat, and company leaders will often use the “shout” feature – which broadcasts a message to all nearby players – to advertise companies looking for new members in some of the game’s population hubs.

Xbox is treating “free company” as a solicitation phrase and bans anyone who uses it. Some player accounts remain banned several days after the initial action, even after the affected users submit support tickets and explain the situation. 

The issue only happens on Xbox and mirrors complaints of similar situations in other multiplayer games that have cropped up since late 2023, when Microsoft rolled out its Community Sift feature. Community Sift is an AI-powered moderation tool that Microsoft praised during GDC 2024 for its ability to understand context around phrases and only ban or censor material that’s actually inappropriate.

Xbox evidently got a bit ahead of itself there. What plans it has to fix the situation are unclear, though, as the company has yet to make a statement on the matter.

Josh Broadwell


Joshua Broadwell is a freelance writer with bylines for GameSpot, NPR, Polygon, and more.