Maybe you’re new to Final Fantasy XIV. Or maybe you aren’t new, and have mostly just been making your way through the obvious content, like the main scenario and sidequests. But, you may eventually find yourself wondering if the Minions, the cute, little followers you can earn from various means, actually do anything. Are they purely cosmetic, or is there some kind of extra function off the beaten path? Turns out there totally is something you can do with your Minions, and that’s Lord of Verminion.

How to Play Lord of Verminion in Final Fantasy XIV

First of all, we should probably explain what the heck the words “Lord of Verminion” even mean! Like most other elements in Final Fantasy XIV, this minigame’s title is a reference to a different part of the Square Enix IP family. It’s a goof on Lord of Vermillion, which is an arcade-only card game that has been running in various iterations for several years now. If you live in North America, you may be familiar with PSP action game Lord of Arcana, which is based on the world and lore.

In the actual Lord of Vermillion games, players use a combination of the arcade machine, and actual real-life collectible cards to play. The goal is to defeat the opponent’s team by using your cards to destroy their crystals, in almost pre-MOBA-like fashion. And in Final Fantasy XIV, that similar play concept is carried over to Lord of Verminion. You’ll use your collection of Minions to populate the battlefield, attack your opponent’s crystals, and defend your own. The Minions do the dirty work automatically; you just have to issue directions.

To play Lord of Verminion, you have to have earned at least three Minions. This is incredibly easy in the current state of Final Fantasy XIV, and you’ll have several of these things by the time you even reach the Gold Saucer. And yes, this game’s version of the classic Gold Saucer is where you’ll play Lord of Verminion, along with most of the other minigames in Final Fantasy XIV.

Related: A Guide to Classes and Jobs for Final Fantasy XIV

Lord of Verminion can be played a few different ways. You can hop into a tournament, which are scheduled and come with their own rewards for doing well. You can also challenge other players in matches for Rank Points, or for fun in matches that don’t count towards your ranking. There are also PvE challenges, that not only teach you how to play but give you opportunities to hone your skills.

Your main concern is going to be cost. Each Minion has a cost value, and when a round starts, you have 20 seconds to queue up your first group of units. You can duplicate them, so even if your roster is small you can still play. As the game progresses you can send out more Minions, but there is a limit to how many can come out at once. Once they’re on the field you can select one Minion at a time, select a group of them, or select them based on like creatures. Once they reach their destination they’ll attack whatever’s in their vicinity automatically.

Minions have Types, and like many strategy-oriented RPGs, there is a weakness and resistance triangle, with a neutral type in the middle. Here’s a visual for the triangle:

Finally, the remaining broad feature is the Special Action. Minions build up action points as they battle, and you can see how many they have in a little ring underneath them. If you can get four Minions of the same type together with full action meters, you can unleash a Special Action, which varies by Minion.

Those are the basics of Lord of Verminion, a minigame in Final Fantasy XIV that lets you have some fun with your whole collection. And if you’re in Japan, it’s a cute reminder that Lord of Vermillion exists. Have you been collecting Minions in Final Fantasy XIV but without knowing what they can do? Are you a fan of Lord of Arcana? Let us know over at the Prima Games Facebook and Twitter channels!