Connecting with Windower

Let’s go over setting up Windower. Windower is generally designed for retail servers; connecting to private servers requires a bit more work.

Installing Windower

Windower is available for free at http://windower.net/ and xiloader.exe is available for free at https://github.com/DarkstarProject/xiloader/releases.

Windower provides the connectivity and addon interface and xiloader.exe provides the launcher required to connect to a private server (DarkstarProject is the name of the private servers and the loader is maintained by their developers).

Current Versions

  • Windower: v4.3
  • xiloader.exe: v1.0.5
  1. Download xiloader.exe and place in your \Program Files (x86)\PlayOnline\SquareEnix\PlayOnlineViewer folder. This acts as the “PlayOnline” loader for private servers.
  2. Download the Stable release of Windower and place it in a folder on your computer. It will automatically download the components it needs, so be sure it’s not simply sitting on your desktop. For this guide, we’ll assume you’ve placed it in \Program Files (x86)\Windower4.
  3. After installation is complete, open Windower to generate your initial settings.xml file. Once it has launched, click the x in the top right to close Windower for the next step.

Windower Settings

Configuring Windower

Unfortunately, Windower is targeted at the Retail servers and requires a bit of extra work to get working for a private server.

  1. Navigate to your Windower installation directory. This is usually at \Program Files (x86)\Windower4.
  2. In this directory, you’ll see a settings.xml file, open it up in Notepad (or NotePad2, if you want proper line endings).
  3. For a new installation, your settings.xml will empty. See below for examples of the key values and descriptions.
  4. Save settings.xml and re-launch Windower; you’ll see the new Nocturnal Souls listing. Double-click to begin connecting and the xiloader.exe will appear.
  5. The first time you connect to Nocturnal Souls, you’ll need to press 2 create a new account. If you already have an account, you can press 1 to login and continue (or use the autologin if you’ve added your username and password to the settings.xml).

Xiloader Login

If you find you cannot save the settings.xml file when editing it, try opening Notepad (or your text editor of choice) as an administrator.

default, empty settings.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<settings>
  <profile name="">
    <consolekey>Insert</consolekey>
    <uiscale>1</uiscale>
  </profile>
</settings>

updated, example ready settings.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<settings>
  <profile name="Nocturnal Souls">
    <consolekey>Insert</consolekey>
    <mipmaplevel>6</mipmaplevel>
    <alwaysenablegamepad>false</alwaysenablegamepad>
    <args>--server connect.nocturnalsouls.net</args>
    <executable>xiloader.exe</executable>
  </profile>
</settings>
keyvaluedescription
args--server connect.nocturnalsouls.netrequired connect.nocturnalsouls.net is the address of Nocturnal Souls.
executablexiloader.exerequired Bypass the default PlayOnline launcher and use xiloader.exe to connect to a private server.
consolekeyInsertrequired Specifies the key that pulls up the in-game lua console. Insert is default.
mipmaplevel6optional Overrides the default FFXI configuration; 6 being the highest and will render high resolution textures at the farthest distance. You can reduce this based on performance.
uiscale1.5optional The base scale of the UI (menus, chat boxes, etc.). At resolutions higher than 1920x1080, 1.5x UI scale is recommended or menus and chat boxes become extremely small.
alwaysenablegamepadfalseoptional If you do not use a gamepad to play FFXI, this prevents the game from constantly querying for it which can lead to lag on some systems. If you do use a gamepad, set this to true.

To configure Windower to automatically log in, update the args to include your credentials.

Example: --server connect.nocturnalsouls.net --user YourUserName --pass YourPassword

That’s it! Welcome to Nocturnal Souls!

Configuring Plugins

Windower provides a vast array of fantastic plugins and addons. Please review our server guidelines regarding plugins and third-party applications to ensure those you are using are allowed.

When Windower plugins are added, they are automatically added to the player’s init.txt script.

If you’re looking for a place to start, checkout the following:

  • battlemod - customized, shorter chat messages
  • enemybar - adds a large, customizable health/target bar
  • macrochanger - automatically swap macro books on job change
  • shortcuts - allows players to type shortcuts to quickly use abilities, such as `//cure2 bob
  • delaymenot - removes the popup delay when for the macro bar
  • weathermon - create alerts and status checks for weather events
  • renamer - required, ensures you see the proper names of mobs and NPCs. (see here)
  • findall - allows you to find items in any bag/inventory
  • xivbar - display a floating HP, MP, and TP bar similar to FFXIV
  • tparty - shows the group’s TP next to the party window

NOTE: At this time, the following plugins are known to cause players to not be able to open the game/connect.

  • Windower: xivbar
  • Windower: enemybar
  • Windower: giltracker
  • Windower: weathermon

Configuring config.xml

Config is a default plugin that comes bundled with Windower. There are several vital items to update it in. The configuration settings are located at \plugins\settings\config.xml. Open it up in a notepad or your text editor of choice and you’ll see similar information. These are the recommended settings.

<settings>
  <global>
    <!--If set to true will automatically determine the correct aspect ratio-->
    <AdjustAspectRatio>true</AdjustAspectRatio>
    <!--Explicitly define the aspect ratio; ignored if "AdjustAspectRatio" is enabled-->
    <AspectRatio>1.77778</AspectRatio>
    <!--If set to true will automatically lock onto a target after engaging-->
    <BattleAutoTarget>true</BattleAutoTarget>
    <!--Only integer values, 3 being the lowest and 0 the highest-->
    <AnimationFrameRate>0</AnimationFrameRate>
    <!--If set to true will enable footstep effects (both display and sound)-->
    <FootstepEffects>true</FootstepEffects>
    <!--Time in minutes of inactivity until a disconnect, 0 to disable-->
    <AutoDisconnectTime>0</AutoDisconnectTime>
    <!--The maximum map draw distance, 1 being the game's maximum setting-->
    <ClippingPlane>1</ClippingPlane>
    <!--The maximum map distance, old setting, but still in use? Have both maybe?-->
    <MapDrawDistance>2</MapDrawDistance>
    <!--2 for 30 FPS, 1 for 60 FPS, 0 for uncapped frame rates-->
    <FrameRateDivisor>1</FrameRateDivisor>
  </global>
</settings>

If you’re having trouble connecting, be sure to check out our Common Errors and Solutions section.