All of the Final Fantasy XIV Classes Ranked
Allow me to start this off with an apology. I’m sorry that I didn’t pick your favorite class as the best one ever. There, on to more important matters. I’ve been playing a lot of FFXIV lately, and unlike my first few years playing the game where I only played Dragoon, I’ve diversified quite a bit this time around. And in my ongoing quest to alienate just about everyone who follows me, I’ve decided to create a ranked list of all of the Final Fantasy XIV classes. The criteria are simple. Is it fun? Is it effective? Does it feel like its own job? Here we go!
18. Blue Mage
Yes, this feels like a bit of a cop out. Does FFXIV’s attempt at Blue Mage play like a Blue Mage of old? Kind of. You do learn abilities from enemies, kinda. You do customize yourself to suit the situation, kinda. And Blue Mage is a for realsies job in FFXIV, kinda. Being Square Enix’s first attempt at a so-called limited job, the class feels more like an afterthought than anything else. If you want to try something kinda cheesy, give it a go, but in general you can skip Blue Mage.
Woof, where to start with Astrologian. Obviously, power levels of classes rise and fall with the patch, so I’m trying not to use their strength as a big judge of where they rank. That said, Astrologian is not in a great place right now and that might be influencing my perception a bit. Astrologian was Square-Enix’s first attempt at introducing a new healer, and it probably explains why we haven’t gotten another one since. There’s only so many interesting ways to flavor “restore HP to allies.” The divination theme is nice, but it ends up just being a lot of prep work before each fight to accomplish the same thing White Mages do.
Summoner checks in at number 16 not because it’s weak. In fact, it’s one of the stronger DPS in the game right now. The problem with Summoner is what it always has been. It really doesn’t feel like a Summoner. Going all the way back to Final Fantasy III, Summoner (called Sages and Evokers back then) has had a pretty simple concept. Summon a big beefy dude to deal a bunch of damage to your opponents. Flavor wise, it’s technically not a big leap from Black Mage. Expend lots of MP to deal lots of damage. Early days Summoner in FFXIV was awful, and while adding in Bahamut has definitely helped with the feel, the class still feels more akin to a Beastmaster.
The first tank on our list is Paladin. I like that it can throw a heal every now and then with Clemency. I like the Shelltron ability, even though it always makes me feel like they just wasted the limit break for a moment. My problem with Paladin is that it feels dull, but to be fair, so does Paladin in most games. It’s a meat-shield that can do some light curing. And that’s what it is in XIV as well. Effective, what I expect, but not fun.
Just… what? Bard was the first true victim of the holy trinity. Bard has been a pure support class in just about every Final Fantasy game it appeared in. So what do you do with it in a game that requires all jobs to be Healers, DPS, or Tanks? Spoiler: You don’t make it a freakin DPS. When I think about playing a Bard, I don’t think about archery. I picture singing songs to inspire my team forward.
This might be some of my personal bias here, but I hate Warrior. I hated it in XI, and I hate it in XIV. It’s dull. It’s bland. And it’s all the minutiae of Paladin without being able to toss the occasional cure. They’ve had eras of being incredibly powerful with Fell Cleave, and in fact, there was a time when 6 Warriors and 2 healers was a pretty broken combination. Maybe I’ve still got bad memories of that era. Sorry Warrior, you’re a great class in the game, but #13 on my list.
So as we move out of the lower third, we’re now squarely in the classes that are acceptable. And when I think of Ninja, that’s what springs to mind. If you want to live out your Naruto fantasies, Ninja is the class you’re looking for. It’s a difficult job to learn, and you’re rewarded with good, but not great damage. They have decent utility, and can be fun to play. Overall though, I still rank them pretty low as far as the DPS classes go.
Monk is a job that SE understands in theory, but can never seem to get right. They certainly didn’t benefit from being the ‘star’ of Stormblood like Dragoon did from Heavensward. Monk has always felt a little off-balance, which is ironic given the theme of the job. The good thing Monk has going for it is when you’re playing it right, the constant flow of punches and kicks makes you feel powerful. There’s very little downtime in the class, and that feels good.
Scholar is fine.
My roommate is a Samurai main who described it as “the weeaboo fantasy for idiots who can’t figure out Ninja.” Now that said, Samurai is also the DPS power-trip fantasy. It lacks utility, but it has a simple rotation that puts big pretty numbers up on the screen. More importantly, it does feel like Samurai should feel. It’s straightforward, and it bonks. What more could you want from your DPS?
I think Machinist stands as Square-Enix’s best attempt at a pet class in Final Fantasy XIV. Let it be know that it wasn’t always that way. At launch, Machinist probably would have placed lower on the list. These days, the job has really begun to come into its own. Machinist was one of the first other DPS I tinkered around with, and I found myself really enjoying the rotation. It also benefits from me not having a lot of context for what a Machinist should be in the Final Fantasy universe. It gets to create its own path forward.
Coming off of Dancer’s strange hybrid support/DPS role in FFXI, I had no idea what to expect from Dancer. I was certainly not expecting what I got. I’ll be the first to tell you that after months of playing a DPS role, your rotation starts to become boring and repetitive. Dancer’s almost mini-game like gameplay prevents you from just memorizing the best chain of abilities and instead forces you to be reactive. It’s engaging, but also can get a bit annoying when you just want to get through your 8 millionth leveling roulette.
6. Dark Knight
Square-Enix’s first new attempt at a tank went a lot better than their first new attempt at a healer. And color me surprised. Coming from a Final Fantasy XI background, I certainly did not expect Dark Knight to be a tank. I also struggled with how they were going to accomplish the ‘spend HP to deal damage’ theming of Dark Knights. They settled on running a more high-risk, high-reward gameplay style. The bad news about Dark Knight is you’re king of the edgelords. The good news about Dark Knight is you’re king of the edgelords.
If you had told me in 2015 that Gunbreaker would be in the game eventually, I’d have called you a liar. I had no idea what to expect for how this class would play, but I love what I ended up getting. A tank that focuses less on buffs and more on chaining together DPS combos? Yes please. The class is only okay at level 60, but once you hit level 70 and get the Continuation ability, it really kicks into high gear. Fast paced and fun, Gunbreaker takes our first slot in the top 5.
4. Black Mage
When you think about Black Mage, you expect a magic based job that does big nukes and makes your opponents turn to dust. And by and large, that’s what you get with Black Mage in FFXIV. The system focuses on switching between Astral Fire and Umbral Ice, one which deals the damage, and one which helps you restore MP quickly with which to do more damage. The Enochian ability is simultaneously what makes the job fun and challenging, but also endlessly frustrating. Still, you’ll never be bored playing Black Mage.
Full disclosure, I’m a Dragoon main. I wouldn’t main the job if I didn’t think it deserved to be fairly high on this list. I had to long ago accept that Dragoon in XIV wasn’t going to be like Dragoon in XI. Gone is the pet class, and here is a Dragoon that draws inspiration from its FF4 and FF5 counterparts. Jumps and lance tactics are the flavor of the day, with tons of Off-Global-Cooldown abilities to weave into your rotation. It never stops moving and jumping across the battlefield, and has kept me entertained for years.
2. White Mage
Ahh yes, White Mage. So to be clear, this list assumes you can find fun in all three roles. If you detest healing, obviously this class would be worse than number 2 for you. However, there is no greater example of a class being exactly what you expect it to be. I want my White Mage to be a healer, who can’t do much damage and keeps my allies alive. And the White Mage delivers exactly that. The AoE stun with Holy is a welcome addition to any dungeon, and gives White Mage the edge over the other healers. Incidentally, I have no idea how they’ll make Apothecary work if that is indeed what happens next.
1. Red Mage
I said no class is more representative of what it should be than White Mage, and that might be true except for Red Mage. Square-Enix had their work cut out for them with Red Mage. It needs to DPS, but also heal, and use a sword. But it also has to fit into the holy trinity. Somehow, they managed to pull it off. Red Mage can nuke, it can heal, it can toss a raise, and then it also dives into the front line and melees with its sword as well. Red Mage is often defined as a jack of all trades, and Square-Enix managed to make that concept work even here. Congrats Red Mage, you take the number 1 slot.
And there you have it. All of the Final Fantasy XIV classes ranked. I’m sure you’ll have your own opinions, and I’m sure most people are going to absolutely hate this list. Which is fine! I invite you all to share your questions, comments, criticisms, critiques, qualms, queries, and conundrums with us over on Twitter.
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Final Fantasy XIV: An absolute beginner’s guide
ESRB TEEN: Sexual Themes, Violence, Mild Blood, Language, Use of Alcohol
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers launches on July 2nd, 2019 - a grand new expansion that makes vast adventure even bigger. A little daunting perhaps, but it's a place that's never been more rich, diverse, detailed, and fun to explore.
Has the series' stunning visuals, expansive storylines, and opportunities for endless questing always appealed to you, but you've never known where to begin? Never fear, we've got you covered! This guide is for the uninitiated, so newcomers gather round and we'll bring you up to speed on everything you need to know to get started.
What is Final Fantasy XIV?
Set in the fantastical realm of Eorzea, Final Fantasy XIV is a sprawling online adventure where hundreds of players set out to conquer a vast world teeming with fierce monsters, powerful magic, and alluring myths.
In this massively mulitplayer online RPG, you’ll share your experience with countless other players who populate the world, either passing them a wave as you scoot by on your own errands, or teaming up to conquer dungeons or fell powerful enemies together.
As you quest, you’ll shape your character’s skills, appearance, and history, take on job roles and classes, pick up powerful weapons and armor, and help the denizens of Eorzea bring peace to the continent.
Choose your race
Final Fantasy XIV has diverse character creation options that allow you to define the look of your hero. Choose one of Eorzea’s six main classes to start crafting your character.
Eorzea’s most human-esque class, the Hyur will likely feel like your most natural avatar in the world of Final Fantasy.
An elegant, almost elven race, the Elezen are defined by their pointed ears and willowy physique.
Cute and diminutive, this gnome-like race might look harmless enough, but they're anything but.
Part human and part feline, the Miqo’te are slender and cunning warriors known for their regal tails.
These hulking goliaths are truly intimidating in stature and are unsurprisingly natural fighters.
A demonic humanoid race with horns and tails, the Au Ra were added as part of the Heavensward expansion.
Additionally, the Shadowbringers expansion adds two new races: the Hrothgar and Viera.
Know your role
There are many different character builds to be experimented with in Final Fantasy XIV, but they all fall into one of three simple groups: Tanks, Damage Dealers, and Healers.
Tanks are defined by their endurance. They’re not invulnerable by any means, but hardy enough to take a pummelling and keep on moving.
Damage dealers (DPS) offer raw power and are able to dish out powerful combat skills. Be warned though, they are far more vulnerable as a result.
Healers are invaluable when it comes to keeping the group on their feet, but are also able to do a little damage themselves.
Classes and Jobs
At the beginning of your journey you’ll choose one of eight basic classes: Arcanist, Archer, Conjurer, Gladiator, Lancer, Marauder, Pugilist, or Thaumaturge, each suited to a specific role and style of play. As you progress, these class will evolve into a much broader selection of specializations called ‘Jobs’, including:
A natural fit for Thaumaturges, Black Mages deal huge amounts of damage using powerful elemental magic.
An advanced Lancer class, Dragoons specialize in close quarters physical damage and high mobility.
Fleet of foot physical damage dealers, Ninjas are a progression of the base class 'Rogue' which can be unlocked at Lvl. 10.
A popular tank class known for wielding axes, the Warrior is a classic progression of the Marauder class.
Driven by faith, the Paladin job class is one of the toughest tank classes – a good fit for Gladiators.
Wielding a great sword, the Dark Knight is a special job class unlocked by completing Heavensward’s main story missions.
A popular and reliable healer class, White Mages are also capable damage dealers and a natural fit for Conjurers.
With a focus on defensive and protective magic, the Scholar is a more proactive healer class – good for Arcanists.
Focusing on buffs and special effects, the Astrologian is a specialist class added with the Heavensward expansion.
These are just a handful of FFXIV’s job classes. Others include Bard, Monk, Summoner, Samurai, Machinist, and Red Mage. The Shadowbringer expansion also adds two additional classes: Gunbreaker and Dancer.
The realm of Eorzea
Final Fantasy XIV features a sprawling interconnected world of diverse locales, home to all kinds of creatures. You’ll start out in one the three main territories: Limsa Lominsa if you chose a Marauder or Arcanist; Ul’dah if you choose a Pugilist, Gladiator, or Thaumaturge; or Gridania if you choose an Archer, Lancer, or Conjurer. These, however, are merely your starting points - you'll be free to travel to all three as you explore the realm.
The regal docks of Limsa Lominsa are the heart of Eorzea’s naval industry. Home to the wise Arcanists and brutal Marauders, you can also pursue your talents in fishing, blacksmithing, and cookery here.
The surrounding lands of La Noscea boast sweeping clifftop views and idyllic farmsteads, perfect for a chocobo ride. Just be on the look-out for pirates.
Ul'dah - Thanalan
The opulent streets of the merchant city of Ul’dah are home to guilds for Gladiators, Pugilists, and Thaumaturges, as well as the arts of weaving, goldsmithing, or mining.
Venture beyond the city walls to explore the burning sands of Thanalan – but beware. The desert can be as deadly as it is beautiful…
The lantern-lit paths of Gridania are where folk and nature exist in harmony. These labyrinthine woods play host to Lancers, Archers, and Conjurers, along with the studies of Botanists and the craftsmanship of Leatherworkers and Carpenters.
Investigate the mysteries of the Black Shroud beyond Gridania’s limits to encounter wonder and peril in equal measure.
An ever-expanding adventure
The information above should have given you a good idea of what to expect from your first foray into the world of Final Fantasy XIV, but it's just the beginning. With each expansion the world continues to grow, offering new places to visit, treasures to be sought, and adventures to be embarked upon.
It’s an enormous adventure, but it's yours to take at your own pace. Whether you wish to map every corner of the continent, collect the very greatest treasures in the land, or merely join friends for the occasional daring quest.
TRY FOR FREE
Play up to level 35
If you’re already chomping at the bit, download the free trial now from PlayStation Store. You’ll have access to Eorzea free for 30 days: build a character and start exploring now.
Includes all Starter Edition content, along with the Heavensward, Stormblood, and Shadowbringers expansions.
Includes all the original content from Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, including all free updates.
Final Fantasy 14 Job Guide: 14 Pro Tips For Playing A Black Mage
The Black Mage remains one of the most iconic classes in Square Enix's landmark Final Fantasyfranchise. And thanks toFinal Fantasy 14, fans of this spellcasting class can bring the Black Mage to an MMO environment. Staying true to its original appearances, the Black Mage brings in Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder Magic to the party. Additionally, coming from the Thaumaturge Class, the Black Mage Job serves as a powerful crowd control combatant with its arsenal of destructive single-target and AOE spells.
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Thankfully, the Black Mage of FF14contains a straightforward kit almost any spellcaster-oriented player can use. However, it does take time to get used to the Black Mage's intricate set of cooldowns and timing. Just how should players use this class efficiently?
Updated October 2021 by Rhenn Taguiam: The Black Mage is one of the most iconic classes in the Final Fantasyfranchise, and it remains the staple Job in Final Fantasy 14 when it comes to blasting opponents with powerful spells. And true to the fast-paced nature of FF14, the Black Mage takes a step away from tradition as the Job now boasts a more mobile toolkit. However, given the fragile nature of Spellcasters in the game, playing a Black Mage can get tricky for newcomers. Thankfully, its straightforward kit can have new players getting the groove of this Job’s destructive potential in no time.
When using a Black Mage, a player should always remember that this Job has perhaps one of the simplest core rotations in the game. It offers decent DPS regardless of the party composition. Thanks to their low number of global CDs, Black Mages have very low chances of double weaving and rendering their attacks useless.
Depending on the party's needs, the Black Mage can rely on utility skills to adapt their rotation to various situations — useful for leveling up in different areas. For instance, Xenoglossy and Triplecast allow Black Mages to unleash burst attacks while moving away from damage at the same time. Meanwhile, Manaward is a great way to train in new raids due to its added survivability.
Despite what the Job offers in sheer firepower, the Black Mage still needs teammates to compensate for defensive and survivability woes. For instance, the Black Mage is the only spellcasting class without a resurrection mechanic. This can make deaths in raids quite inconvenient, and at the same time demands a lot of mobility considerations for the player.
LIkewise, the Black Mage having to stand while casting spells puts quite a strain on their weak constitution. Without the proper setup, a Black Mage can become a sitting duck as they have to wait for their GCDs, leaving them vulnerable and not optimizing their damage potential. In these situations, a White Mage or another potent healing Job can ensure their survival.
12 Take Advantage Of Party Potential
At first glance, one might think that the Black Mage’s retention of decent DPS regardless of party composition makes them great soloists. However, it’s precisely because of their stable combat performance that makes Black Mages perfect for any party setup.
Their damage consistency even without buffs allows them to work with both coordinated and messy parties, a great solution to the chaotic compositions often found in the game’s dungeon finder. Likewise, a caster with a resurrection spell can ensure that the Black Mage can dish out its heavy damage attacks without fear of heavy retaliation from enemies.
11 Always Remember The Elemental Gauge
Like all Jobs, the Black Mage also has a unique gimmick that determines the efficiency of their spells. They come with an Elemental Gauge that frequently switches between Umbral Ice and Astral Fire depending on the element of the spell cast. Umbral Ice can recover MP at the cost of damage, while Astral Fire increases damage potency at the cost of AP.
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In turn, Black Mages need to form rotations in such a way that switching gauges becomes efficient for them. Ideally, they need to cast their damage dealers under Astral Fire to maximize their damage potential. Afterwards, switch to Umbral Ice to get back MP while the spells undergo CD. Remembering this core mechanic while switching spells can maximize resource usage for the Black Mage.
10 Always Cast Spells
Black Mages should remember that their strength lies in their sheer firepower. Unlike other DPS classes, Black Mages don't need to do a lot in order to deal massive damage. However, they do need the time to both cast their spells and wait for their damage-dealers to cool down.
Black Mages should take note of their abilities that can boost both their casting speed and their cooldowns. Triplecast and Swiftcast can add much-needed acceleration for Black Mages to cast their powerful attacks. When Black Mages find a few seconds where they don't do anything, they're likely doing something wrong with their rotation.
9 Patience Is Key
A lot of players consider the Black Mage one of the most powerful DPS-oriented Jobs out there. Unfortunately, not a lot of players use Black Mages due to their mobility limitations. Unlike other classes with more versatile equipment options, Black Mages benefit mostly from their staves. Thanks to their skill set, a Black Mage could theoretically deal the most damage out of other DPS classes. Of course, this factor becomes possible provided the Black Mage can stand for prolonged periods of time.
Unfortunately, other players don't like the Black Mage for this caveat. After all, the Black Mage can only dish out its more powerful spells while standing. Meanwhile, it's possible to dodge AOEs by moving, but it does hurt the usefulness of the Black Mage in the party. As such, pro players should do their best juggling the Black Mage's rotations and manage their cooldowns.
8 Fire First, Then Ice
In classic Final Fantasy games, Black Mages are recognized for their mastery of Fire and Blizzard. In FF 14, much remains the same for the Black Mage. Despite their unique set of abilities, Black Mages often follow a simple rotation: open with Fire, finish with Blizzard.
However, this suggestion isn't solely out of damage output but out of practicality. Fire-based spells tend to deal more damage at the cost of more MP. Ice-based spells make up for this with combos that steadily regenerate MP. As such, players should spend MP on Fire, replenish it with Blizzard, and repeat the cycle.
7 Integrate Umbral Heart
Some players might notice how the Black Mage seems to have some abilities and spells that work together really well. This factor gets vastly improved with Umbral Heart, which negates the MP cost increase of Astral Fire whenever Fire spells are cast. Since Black Mages get an Umbral Heart stack after Blizzard IV, this factor encourages element-switching whenever Black Mages go on rotation.
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With this in mind, a great Black Mage opener would be Blizzard 3, followed by Enochian, Blizzard 4, and Thunder 3. That way, Blizzard 3 starts MP regeneration, while Enochian opens the door for Blizzard 4. With Blizzard 4, players gather Umbral Hearts while Thunder 3 starts their damage-over-time.
6 Ice Gives Back
Thanks to Umbral Ice, Black Mages who cast Ice-based spells not only get to deal damage, but also restore their MP. It's best for Black Mages to maximize Umbral Ice as soon as they switch to their Ice Rotation. As such, Black Mages should cast Blizzard 3 (preferably with Swiftcast). If they possess Polyglot stacks, they should cast Thunder 3 in Umbral Ice mode in order to benefit from both the damage-over-time and MP regeneration benefits.
In the process, players should also cast Blizzard 4 to earn Umbral Hearts. If they complete this part of the rotation, they'll likely have dealt decent damage and regenerated their MP, all powered up for Fire-based spells. This rotation will most likely look like Blizzard 3 going to Blizzard 4, and then Thunder 3. Afterward, Black Mages should start casting their main Fire-based spells to gain Astral Fire stacks.
Black Mages who begin with an Ice rotation will likely get their MP back while getting decent Astral Fire stacks. As such, it's a good time to use up those stacks to power up powerful Fire spells, such as Fire 4. This part of the Ice-Fire rotation is much easier to understand, as Astral Fire simply powers up Fire spells for added MP cost.
Ideally, the spell rotation will most likely look like a set of Fire 4, Fire 1 to regain momentum, and then Fire 4 followed by Despair. After Despair, Black Mages should switch back to their Ice rotation.
4 Short, Effective AOE
Black Mages who want to make use of their spells early on to deal massive damage in AOE can thankfully rely on quite a short rotation. They should use Freeze, followed by Thunder 4 and Fire 3, ending with Flare. This short but straightforward rotation deals damage-over-time with Thunder, casting Flares quickly and more efficiently (preferably with Polyglot).
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With this combo, Black Mages can easily pick off pesky mobs in AOE and still have room to spice up their combo rotations.
3 Practice Slide Casting
Despite the sheer firepower of Black Mages, they do tend to lack a bit of mobility. Most Black Mages find themselves vulnerable to AOE attacks while casting spells. Unfortunately, it doesn't help that their weaker armor and smaller HP leaves them susceptible for quick KO's during crucial fights. However, more seasoned players might notice there's a technical workaround for this caveat.
Players commonly call this trick "slide casting," where spellcasters actually have a window to move just before they finish casting a spell. Normally, spellcasters who move in the middle of casting will interrupt their spell. However, moving just before the spell is cast will move the character but still trigger the animation, therefore unleashing the spell. Mastering this mechanic will enable Black Mages to cast spells without sacrificing mobility.
2 Leave Openings For Mobility Spells
In addition to from slide casting, Black Mages have spells that boost their mobility options. As such, it's extremely ideal for Black Mages to get a hang of their rotation and maximize their movement as much as possible.
Black Mages should use their extra time to cast Ley Lines to boost their spell cast and recast times. Moreover, Between the Lines enables Black Mages to zig-zag within their Ley Lines for the much-needed movement boost. Lastly, Aetherial Manipulation lets Black Mages rush to the aid of their allies– or perhaps rush to allies that can protect them.
1 Never Forget Research
Players serious in leveling up their Black Mage game should take note of how raids go before they even join one. Thanks to the internet, researching popular raids should be easy — and Black Mages shouldn't skip out on this.
While Tanks focus on finding the best position to attack bosses and mobs, Black Mages should focus on finding the safest positions to cast spells. They should also be mindful of how certain mobs and bosses behave, as AOE attacks can interrupt combos and ruin a Black Mage's rotation. Moreover, their squishy nature makes Black Mages extremely vulnerable, so they should pay close attention to their HP in flashy boss fights.
Final Fantasy 14 was released on August 27, 2013 and is playable on WIndows, PS4 and PS5, and OS X.
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Read NextAbout The Author
Rhenn is a Manila-based content writer with a love for all things geek and pop culture, and science and technology. He has a BA Journalism degree, and has since then pursued making content about geek culture. Rhenn used to write for a couple of geek and gaming publications, and also served as editor-in-chief for Philippines-based What's A Geek!. He constantly plays video games but also takes the time to try out older titles. If he's not playing video games, he's probably playing TTRPGs.
Final Fantasy XIV beginners guide: From Kefka to card games
Final Fantasy XIV may have launched in a buggy, borderline-unplayable state, but in the decade since its release, it’s grown into one of the best MMORPGs around. That’s thanks to a total overhaul called A Realm Reborn, which itself has been around for more than seven years now. Since then, developer Square Enix has continually improved the game, adding regular updates and more sporadic expansions that both change aspects of the base game and add brand new content and a continuing storyline. You can even pick up a Final Fantasy XIV free trial to get started.
With all that history behind it, it may feel difficult to jump into Final Fantasy XIV for the first time so long after its release. There’s a cluttered HUD with dozens of clickable elements, windows out the wazzoo, and a dizzying amount of content to get through. We’ve pieced together this guide to hopefully help you on your adventure across one of the first truly popular subscription-based MMOs since World of Warcraft.
Fortunately for anyone who’s still on the fence about Final Fantasy XIV, the game offers a generous free trial for newcomers. An update in 2020 greatly expanded the game’s trial, letting players get up to level 60 without a subscription. It also unlocked access to Heavensward, the first expansion to Final Fantasy XIV and one of the best parts of its story. Playing through A Realm Reborn and Heavensward and hitting level 60 can take well over 100 hours, and that’s not even factoring in content outside of the main story. Trial players are locked out of buying and selling items on the Market Board and joining Free Companies (the equivalent of guilds in other online games), but there’s still more than enough content in the trial to let you know if Final Fantasy XIV is a game you want to play in the long-term.
It’s possible to play through most of Final Fantasy XIV alone, and in fact, many main quests can only be tackled solo. However, there’s plenty of content that relies on teaming up with other players, and those are some of the most rewarding activities in the game. Fortunately, Final Fantasy XIV is well known for having an active and friendly community, so even loners can likely find a group they click with eventually.
The main way to connect with other players in Final Fantasy XIV is by joining a Free Company. Free Companies are groups of players that chat and play together, as well as provide mechanical bonuses like experience boosts. Free Companies can even buy their own houses, giving members a place to hang out together. Free Companies vary widely, from small groups of close friends to massive organizations with hundreds of members. If you play long enough without joining a Free Company, you’re bound to get invitations from groups looking for recruits, but it may be worth considering one before even starting the game.
Square Enix runs an official Community Finder, which allows players to search for Free Companies as well as more informal social groups called Linkshells, and Free Companies frequently recruit on the FF XIV Recruitment subreddit as well. Using one of these services will let you find a Free Company that sounds appealing to you so that you can make your character on a server it’s active on. Even if you decide to save this step for later, checking out one of these recruitment sites can be a good way to vet a Free Company before joining it. Just because Final Fantasy XIV players are a friendly bunch overall doesn’t mean that every Free Company will click with you, and there’s no shame in jumping ship if things aren’t feeling right with your current group.
The first thing you’ll need to do once you decide to take the plunge into Final Fantasy XIV is make your character. Since you may end up spending hundreds of hours with your new character, the choices you make in character creation are important, but maybe not as much as you’d expect. Before you embark on your adventures in Eorzea, you’ll first need to pick a race, appearance, and class, but these can all be changed later. Your class is actually the easiest of these to change, making the choice of a starting class less significant than it is in other MMOs. Your character’s hair and makeup can also be changed fairly easily once you’re in the game, making their race and other appearance options the most permanent choice you’ll make in character creation. Each race has slight differences in stats, but not enough to actually affect how they perform. Just pick the character you’re most excited about playing as, and you’ll be happier for it.
Classes, jobs, and roles
Classes are split across three (technically four) disciplines. Disciples of War and Magic are combat classes, and you’ll choose one to start as in character creation. Later on, you can take on additional Disciples of Hand and Land classes, which gather the world’s resources and turn them into useful items like weapons, food, and fancy plush couches.
Each combat class fulfills a certain role in battle; tanks soak damage, healers top up team HP, and DPS whittle down enemy HP. There’s no wrong class to start as, since even dedicated healers can take down enemies on their own, but picking a DPS class is generally easier. These classes are the most efficient at killing foes and they have the easiest time in early dungeons, though higher levels still demand mastery of lots of mechanics. A “Light Party” will usually consist of a tank, healer, and two DPS, while the “Full Party” teams used in more difficult content typically doubles those numbers to eight.
Available battle classes are listed below with the roles they’re designed to fill in a team. Initial names are classes, while those after are jobs. At level 30, you’ll unlock a job quest for whichever class you’re playing, which will give you access to more specialized tools for an upgraded version of your base class. You can begin your adventure as any of the classes included in A Realm Reborn. Those introduced in expansions must be unlocked through play. Once you hit level 10, you’ll unlock the ability to change your class by completing a quest at the appropriate trainer. From this point on, you can freely switch between any of the classes you have unlocked. For that reason, most Final Fantasy XIV players only have one character (as opposed to other games where alternate characters, or “alts,” are common).
Disciples of War/Magic
- A Realm Reborn
- Gladiator/Paladin (Tank)
- Marauder/Warrior (Tank)
- Conjurer/White Mage (Healer)
- Arcanist/Scholar/Summoner (Healer/DPS)
- Pugilist/Monk (DPS)
- Thaumaturge/Black Mage (DPS)
- Rogue/Ninja (DPS)
- Lancer/Dragoon (DPS)
- Archer/Bard (DPS)
- Machinist (DPS)
- Dark Knight (Tank)
- Astrologian (Healer)
- Red Mage (DPS)
- Samurai (DPS)
- Dancer (DPS)
- Gunbreaker (Tank)
Disciples of the Hand
Disciples of the Land
Final Fantasy XIV employs a fairly traditional MMORPG control scheme. You target enemies with a click or cycle through nearby mobs with a button and execute actions on the hotbar to dispatch them. Unlike most other MMOs, here you can choose between keyboard/mouse controls and a traditional gamepad.
Using a controller can be confusing and convoluted at first, but the game does an excellent job of easing you in as new spells — and thus buttons — are slowly introduced one by one. Executing complex combos will quickly become muscle memory. There are plenty of top-tier players using controllers in this game, so you won’t be thought less of for using one. Just pick the control scheme that is most comfortable for you. You might want to pick up a cheap wireless keyboard just to make chatting a little easier, though.
The world residing on the mother crystal Hydaelyn is vast and ever-growing, yet getting around only gets easier over time. The world is linked through interconnected “aetheryte” crystals, which can be found in major settlements around the map. You can instantly teleport to any large crystal you’ve touched before and freely teleport between a network of smaller crystals in capital cities. Of course, you’ll first have to travel on foot to reach aetheryte crystals and expand your transportation network, but once you do, traveling from one side of the world to another in Final Fantasy XIV is a breeze.
Aside from teleporting between aetheryte crystals, you also have the option of using airships and ferries to get around in Final Fantasy XIV. Both of these transportation methods allow you to travel between specific locations, such as major cities and the Gold Saucer amusement park, but you’ll often be able to connect to aetheryte crystals in those locations once you get there, making ferries and airships somewhat redundant.
At first, you’ll be exploring the continent of Eorzea on foot, but once you complete the level 20 story quest, you’ll unlock your first mount in the form of one of Final Fantasy‘s most recognizable creatures: A chocobo. From then on, you’ll find yourself saving your own legs for just casual strolls around cities where mounts are expressly forbidden. Throughout your journey, you’ll likely acquire a large stable of additional mounts, and hunting for rarer steeds is a common part of the endgame experience.
Even if you log into Final Fantasy XIV with no goal in mind, you’ll quickly find one. With around 25 classes to level up and tens of thousands of items to potentially collect, there’s always something to do. Progression isn’t inherently linear, and there are plenty of ways to advance toward your goals that don’t involve your main combat class at all, but knowing what you’re searching for at the end of the road will make the journey easier.
With battle classes, you’ll fight your way to the level cap through main quests and dungeons, and then you’re able to earn tokens from dungeons, raids, and boss battles to obtain the equipment needed to tackle the next leg of new, more difficult content. Gear can even be augmented with materia to boost stats further. It’s a similar deal for crafters and gatherers — you level up and use materials to earn or craft the gear needed to gather and craft the next big thing. Rinse and repeat! The best ways to level up are outlined in our Final Fantasy XIV: how to level grind guide, so be sure to check that out if you’re looking to get there fast.
In addition to — or instead of — leveling up, players often focus on acquiring certain pets or mounts, building the perfect outfit, or getting filthy rich by selling items on the Market Boards.
With years of patches and expansions under its belt, Eorzea has no shortage of things to do at this point. Grinding out levels is a breeze with a bit of planning, and there are enough challenging boss battles to keep you tackling something new and exciting any night of the week.
The end of each expansion tends to funnel players into a similar endgame. You run through co-op dungeons for Tomestones and exchange those for powerful gear that should see you through the next wave of new content. You can earn Tomestones from other battle content like Hunts, Maps, and Raids to add a bit of variety, but the core system remains the same.
Even-numbered patches tend to add more powerful gear and difficult raid content, while odd-numbered patches cater to the less hardcore with things like an easier “alliance” raid.
Your primary source of experience points when leveling your first class, quests are dotted all around the world. They’re used to progress storylines and unlock new content. Completing every single sidequest isn’t the best way to level up subsequent classes, but it’s a nice way to learn more about the world and its people. Quests marked with blue icons are especially important, as they’ll unlock new features ranging from class abilities to new dungeons.
Serving as breaks between traditional leveling content, dungeons are repeatable instances that pair players up into parties to take down more challenging foes than those found in the outside world. These breathtaking environments contain packs of enemies, large bosses, and useful loot. Early dungeons will help you level up, while max-level dungeons dish out Tomestones used to buy weapons and armor used in end-game activities. With more than 70 dungeons following the release of Shadowbringers, there’s a lot to explore here. Main quests will often send you into dungeons, giving most players their first taste of party-based gameplay in Final Fantasy XIV.
Separated into S, A, and B ranks, “The Hunt” is an open-world activity that tasks players with tracking down and defeating powerful monsters out in the field. Each zone has a handful of these with strict spawn conditions, leading many to form Linkshells (private chat channels) dedicated to scouting out and reporting the locations of these elusive enemies. Descend on the location and kill the target for rewards you can use to buy and upgrade gear or spend on interesting little trinkets.
Split into eight- and 24-player varieties, raids are a series of boss encounters designed to test players looking for a true challenge. All wrapped around an episodic side-story format, eight-player raids consist of a regular mode for ease of access, and a “Savage” difficulty mode for the more sadistic audience. Twenty-four-player “Alliance” raids, on the other hand, are there for almost everyone to enjoy.
An in-between for most players, Trial battles usually pit eight-player parties against the game’s signature bosses — Primals. You’ll learn a lot about the entities throughout the story, and you’ll see them just as much. Similar to raids, these typically come in several difficulties so that everyone can enjoy the attached story without having to grind their way through or learn intricate mechanics. Trials can be extremely challenging at higher difficulty levels, but many of them also offer some of the game’s most coveted cosmetic items, such as mounts.
Crafting and gathering
Like any good civilization, Final Fantasy XIV builds much of its economy around items found and created by its players. There are eight crafting classes and three gathering classes to train up, and there’s quite a bit of overlap when it comes to the items they produce. While it’s not at all necessary to go all-in with every class, you can very much be a jack of all trades in this game, and doing so will let you make resources you need for your other crafting classes without having to pay a premium on the Market Board.
Things have gotten a little more complicated over time, but the life of a gatherer mostly revolves around hitting trees, rocks, or fishing food for crafters to turn into finished products to sell to their customers. It’s a never-ending supply chain, and gatherers need only keep their eyes on the clock to harvest items that can fetch a pretty penny on the Market Board.
Likewise, crafters spend their days turning gathered materials into goods likes weapons, armor, and even furniture. It’s not for everyone, but crafting has its own expansive toolset that players have turned into a rather complicated game of numbers. It’s not easy, but it brings in the money. Crafters can even salvage raw materials from completed goods through “desynthesis;” yet another thing to level up if you want. Getting to a high level with a crafting class can be an enormous time sink, and many players choose to wait until they’re a good way through the main story of the game before embarking on the long, often expensive, process of becoming a master crafter.
Mini-games and pastimes
There’s a lot to see and do in Final Fantasy XIV. You could argue there’s too much if you’re a newcomer given the length of the proverbial checklist of content at this point. But when you shake off the need to grind levels and equipment, you’ll find plenty of more relaxing and fun-filled activities waiting on your doorstep.
The Gold Saucer
The sheer definition of extra in Final Fantasy XIV has to be the Gold Saucer. This throwback to Final Fantasy VII is a fairground designed as a reprieve from battle content. Home to around a dozen different mini-games, you could use your entire month’s subscription raising and racing your chocobo alone.
Challenging NPCs to rounds of the Triple Triad card game and pitting your collection of minions against your friends in Lord of Verminion are just a few of the things you can do here. Anything and everything you do will net you MGP; a unique form of currency used to buy anything from incredibly rare mounts to silly costumes. Spending time at the Gold Saucer is completely optional, but sooner or later, the lure of its neon lights seems to attract plenty of players.
Not really a single-player activity these days, treasure maps are a constantly-evolving part of Final Fantasy XIV. Gatherers can find one map a day in their nodes. Unravel it, cross-reference the location on the world map, and dig in the location to unearth some potentially valuable rewards with more being added with each patch.
With enough luck, you’ll open up a portal to a unique dungeon teeming with enemies and progressively more valuable loot. Players typically group up to tackle stockpiles of maps and reap the rewards. It’s battle content for sure, but it’s less about skill and more about luck.
Roleplaying and photography
Over time, Final Fantasy XIV has grown into a budding roleplaying hub. The developers have slowly introduced more and more ways to satisfy the growing community of roleplayers and creatives.
One of those is the constantly-evolving Group Pose (/Gpose) tool. It’s an in-game tool that allows players to manipulate animations, lighting, and the game’s camera to take some truly impressive photographs. Huge communities of photographers come together online to share their work, too. It’s almost a game in itself.
The introduction of player-owned housing also served to build a flourishing roleplaying community — and it’s only growing. Whether it’s breathing life into your character or performing in a variety of fun theater shows in someone’s basement, there’s no lack of creativity emanating from this game today. Hang out in the game’s central cities, and you’re bound to stumble across just some of these eccentric characters ready and willing to welcome you into their posse. Just keep an eye out for the impending erogenous antics some crowds seem to pride themselves on.
A developing understanding amongst the Final Fantasy XIV player base is that “glamor is the true endgame.” The game has a substantial amount of uncommon pieces of clothing and equipment (we’re talking in the hundreds and thousands). Creating outfits is a meaningful hobby these days.
Final Fantasy XIV players adore showing off their findings. There’s a crazy number of items to accumulate through almost every activity that currently exists within the game. From clothes to trading cards and mounts to minions, there’s something for everyone. Some even dedicate themselves to months of exhausting effort to unlock each of the grind-heavy “relic” weapons for each level. The truth is, it never ends.
Class guide ffxiv
Where is the Blacksmithing Guild? The Blacksmiths Guild is located in Limsa Lominsa, and is Headed by Brithael, who is pictured above. [City & Guild Locations]
If you’re new to crafting, you might want to check out Crafting General Guide / FAQ first, and our Crafting General Leveling Guide.
What do Blacksmiths craft? (End Game)
2h Axes (Marauder / Warrior Arms)
Swords (Gladiator / Paladin Arms)
Blacksmiths Cross-Pein Hammer (Main Hand)
Blacksmiths File (Off-Hand)
Armorsmiths Doming Hammer (Main Hand)
Armorsmiths Pliers (Off-Hand)
Leatherworkers Head Knife (Main Hand)
Leatherworkers Awl (Off-Hand)
Carpenters Saw (Main Hand)
Carpenters Claw Hammer (Off-Hand)
Culinarians Knife (Off-Hand)
Alchemists Mortar (Off-Hand)
Goldsmiths Chaser Hammer (Main Hand)
Botanist Hatchet (Main Hand)
Botanist Scythe (Off Hand)
Miners Pickaxe (Main Hand)
Miners Sledgehammer (Off-Hand)
Components used by other crafting classes
Ingots, Rivets, Plates
What classes should be Blacksmiths?
Marauders (Warriors) and Gladiators (Paladins) have the most to gain from Blacksmithing. However, from the list above, you can see the wide variety of crafting and gathering arms they can craft. Being a high-level blacksmith indirectly helps leveling up your other crafting classes, since almost all crafting and gathering arms come from them. In a sense, blacksmithing supports other crafting classes.
Again, every crafting class benefits / relies on other crafting classes for components, so it’s never truly useless to train Blacksmithing (or all crafting classes)
Every Crafting (Disciple of Hand) class shares a large pool of skills, four of which are unique to each class. Below are the Blacksmithing only skills.
Blacksmithing Skills Discussion
Ingenuity: Only good for attempting any craft above your current level. This “reduces” the “amount” of progress you need for completion and HQ. Can save you some CP…
Brand of Fire: Like any ‘brand’ skill, this is almost always better than any generic synthesis skill. As a cross-class skill, this of course depends on the element of the item you’re crafting. Use it if you the item you’re crafting is Fire element. (Determined by shard used?)
Ingenuity II: Technically useful for ANY craft, but really shines with end-game level crafts. This becomes a must have (Even worth it for level 50 crafts!) The low CP price is worth it if you save 2-3 steps worth of synthesis.
Overall, Ingenuity I and II are worth getting for the long haul. By experience, crafting anything above your level (Or level 70 crafts) are noticeably more difficult. You’ll never be sad to have one of them as a cross-class skill. Brand of Fire, like any brand, is great to have.
Blacksmith Leveling Guide
We suggest starting crafting by leveling all crafting classes to 15 at once.
Where are the Blacksmithing Levequests?
- Level 1-45 Levequests: Limsa Lominsa Adventurers Guild.
- Level 1-5: Red Rooster Stead
- Level 10: Swiftperch
- Level 15: Aleport
- Level 20 – 25: Quarrymill.
- Level 30: Costa Del Sol
- Level 35: Coerthas, Observatorium.
- Level 40: Coerthas, Whitebrim.
- Level 45: Mor Dhona, St. Coinachs Find.
- Level 50 – 60: Ishgard
- A crafting class which heavily supports other crafting classes.
- Gladiators (Paladins) and Marauders (Warriors) take the most from blacksmithing, but is essential to any person who is heavily invested to crafting.
- Blacksmiths skills are powerful, but only benefit the most difficult of crafts.
Check out our other crafting class guides:
Alchemist | Armorsmith | Blacksmith | Carpenter | Culinarian | Goldsmith | Leatherworker | Weaver
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FFXIV What Class Should You Play 2021
Just like most MMORPGs, FFXIV comes with a wide range of DPS, Healer, and Tank classes to select from. Unlike most games, though, FFXIV classes are at long last upgraded to jobs. Therefore, your task as a newbie is to select the best class to start.
If this system of Final Fantasy XIV seems somewhat confusing to you, worry less, you’re not alone. We’re here to put everything in perspective. You’ll also be in an excellent position to choose a class to start with. Better still, we’ll offer you our curated recommendation depending on the play style you prefer.
Every Final Fantasy XIV Starting Class
Below is a list of each Final Fantasy XIV beginning class, their complementary jobs – DLC job not included, and their class group -Healer, DPS, or Tank.
- Gladiator: Paladin (Tank)
- Marauder: Warrior (Tank)
- Pugilist: Monk (Melee DPS)
- Lancer: Dragoon (Melee DPS)
- Rogue: Ninja (Melee DPS)
- Archer: Bard (Ranged Physical DPS)
- Thaumaturge: Black Mage (Ranged Magical DPS)
- Arcanist: Scholar (Healer) or Summoner (Ranged Magical DPS)
- Conjurer: White Mage (Healer)
How to Select the Best Final Fantasy XIV Class
So, among the above class we have listed, do you think it will be your initial FFXIV class? Before offering you curated recommendations, you need to understand that it is absolutely fine to select a class based on lore or style. So, if you have a preferred playstyle already, just stick to it. Having that said, there’re some additional things you may need to consider, particularly if you are still undecided:
- Although you may replace base classes at the initial stage, you’ll need to stay with your initial option for some hours – based on your pace. So, be sure when selecting your base class in FFXIV.
- If possible, try out some FFXIV classes before embarking on the process of leveling with your suitable class. Possibly, it might be you’ll find a concealed ability for being a live shield.
- Even though you can opt to level each class one after another, you’ll have to spend quite some time doing this. After giving a try to some few, it’s ideal for concentrating on an individual class up until you open that initial job.
- Various base classes come with various starting locations. With the base classes, the cities include; Gridania (Conjurer, Archer, Lancer), Limsa Lominsa (Arcanist, Rogue, Marauder), and Ul’Dah (Thaumaturge, Pugilist, Gladiator).
FFXIV Classes & Jobs
Here is how classes or jobs work. While your initial option is among the 8 base classes visible on the character creation section, you need to be aware that these are essentially the starting classes. For instance, if you opt for Gladiator as your base class, you can move to the Paladin after attaining Level 30. However, after reaching level 30, these classes are entitled to upgrades to their respective jobs by handling the Quest.
Therefore, you own the base classes – with the Rogue being included when you attain level 10 with a different class and the elevated form of those classes. Besides that, there’re other expansion jobs included in Shadowbringers DLC Stormblood and Heavensward. Note that these jobs are not in any way connected to a particular class. But, for a new player, these jobs are nothing to worry you because you’ll need to attain a greater level of at least 50 to have access to any of these.
Speaking of options, it is paramount to note that your initial option of class and jobs isn’t an everlasting one. After you’ve attained level 10, you’ll be in a position to replace your base class. Ordinarily, that also implies that you’ll begin a journey in pursuit of a new job. Don’t fret regarding the cost; your former class progression is saved impulsively. As such, you can comfortably revert and keep up-leveling your past class anytime you want.
FFXIV What Class Should You Play 2021
Some FFXIV classes are ideal for newbie players, while others are not. Better still, some classes will result in better jobs. That said, here are some suggestions for the best Final Fantasy XIV classes to begin with:
Gladiator: Upgrades to Paladin
Our first-class on the look is Gladiator. This phenomenon class provides you with an excellent combination of tank abilities and attach power. Also, it isn’t as powerful as dedicated DPS classes, yet its resilience and sturdiness are so helpful and friendly on your initial Final Fantasy XIV quests. Ordinarily, the Gladiator features a top HP, and numerous shield abilities, making him a reputable party member. Moreover, the Gladiator shifts to Paladin when it is at level 30, known as one of the excellent jobs in FFXIV. If you’re a beginner and need a class to start with, then Gladiator offers you the best gaming experience. It provides a straightforward method of practicing tanking.
Arcanist: Upgrade to Scholar or Summoner
Are you looking for a straightforward FFXIV to start with? Look no further. An arcanist is an excellent option for you. This class is the easiest one of all the classes in Final Fantasy XIV. Also, it is a mystic Ranged DPS class at its center. However, you will acquire a pet familiar and essential healing spell. Compared to some base classes, this class is unique because it can upgrade to two distinct jobs: the Scholar – if offering shield and healing is all you want, and the Summoner – if you need to specialize as mystic Ranged DPS. This is good news since it implies that you will be working on two different jobs simultaneously. Gaming has never gotten exciting and enjoyable, thanks to the rise of the Arcanist class.
Conjurer: Upgrades to White Mage
If you’re already decided on being a healer, then this class will support your aspirations. While the Arcanist is suited to be hybrid, the Conjurer class is the only known base class in FFXIV dedicated to healing. Its upgrade named the White Mage is also a hassle-free and relatively easy-to-tackle job. Besides, it features some incredible environment of effects power and healing gradually. Additionally, the healing powers of the Conjurer are hot cake. As such, you won’t have trouble looking for a party. On the flip side, if you’re looking for a class you mostly play solo, this class will be unattractive. Also to mention, the Conjurers solely depend on Medica 2 and Core 2 for their primary healing abilities. Besides, Aero and Stone serve as their major offensive attacks. What’s more, this class will never let you down, you’ll not only emerge successfully, but also, you’ll stand out in your gaming tactics.
Lancer: Upgrade to Dragoon
Lancers are skilled in attacking and wielding polearms with hazardous speed. Because they’ll sooner shift to becoming Dragoon job, Lancers remain one of the reputed classes with Melee DPS. Again, this base class can hit a single target with ease. Additionally, Lancers put on armor, which makes them very defensive, just like other Tank classes. We also need to point out the attack speed shown by Lancers owing to their polearms. As such, this class can take on any damaged job without necessarily panicking about their overall health. Intriguingly, the base class brace players for additional mechanical aspects of the upgrade jobs of Dragoon. Many Lancer’s tricks depend on the positioning. If you want to play this game well, you need to know to position yourself on the sides of the enemies or on the rear to cause maximum damage.
Thaumaturge: Upgrades to Black Mage
If you’re looking for a top-of-the-class game, then the Thaumaturge class should be the next goal. Unlike the previous base classes, these class has all it takes for you to play like a pro. Or better, you might want your initial class to be the most potent DPS job ever in the game. The performance of these classes is comparable. By playing this game for a while, you’ll eventually open a load of mystic explosions dubbed the Black Mage. Aside from that, this class can even acquaint you with knowledge of Final Fantasy XIV’s combat system. Yet again, it is not the best option for a player who is just beginning.
And that brings us to the end of this collection of the FFXIV classes you should play in 2021. You can opt for a suitable class and immerse yourself in exciting and challenging job experiences with the above explanation. You should be aware of new jobs coming into play like Reaper and Sage jobs. So, what are you choosing? Are you going to settle with Conjurer or Arcanist? Whichever you start with, be sure to give your best as play. What’s more, select your preferred FFXIV class and begin leveling to your dream career!
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This FFXIV healer tier list is meant to guide you on which member of this savior style job is right for you! Group content just isn’t possible without proper healers, after all. And while players in some communities shy away from the responsibility, Final Fantasy XIV offers incentives like bonus Tomestones to get players healing.
Thankfully, in the build-up to Endwalker, healers are in a great spot right now. They’re all entirely viable while offering something unique. They better be, too, since we haven’t had a new FFXIV healer to grace this tier list since the original Heavensward expansion. That’s finally changing in Endwalker — alongside the basics of healing in general by the sound of it. But for the time being you can’t go wrong with the Scholar, White Mage, or Astrologian. Hopefully this tier list will instead give you a sense of which job is best for you. Whether you’re a first-time group leader, or looking to change things up, it’s time to give these benefic beauties a look.
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S Tier: Astrologian – FFXIV Healer Tier List
In terms of potential power, the Astrologian can’t be beat. At least not until the Sage and Endwalker balance changes mix up the meta. This is the most flexible healer of the bunch — capable of swapping between both raw and barrier-style healing available to Scholar and White Mage. It’s generally best to have both whenever possible (i.e. when in group with a second healer).
Amidst it all, the Astrologian also provides lovely damage buffs for the entire party. Veteran FFXIV players often put a premium on quick completion of early to midgame content: Duty Roulettes and such. That makes Astro a very flexible and potent job for high-level content and useful when you’re mindlessly grinding. It’s also very fun, active, and uniquely flavored, meaning it’s almost never boring to play.
Though there are some downsides… The Astrologian is cursed with being a class introduced via the Heavensward expansion; meaning it doesn’t unlock until dozens of hours into the game and forces you to grind 20 extra levels. You can’t even use the Main Scenario roulette or the more productive Beast Tribe quests to ride that road back to Level 50. It’s a punishing slog for new players, but not really a problem with the job, so much as the design of the game. Older FFXIV content has gotten better (and more condensed), but it’s still not perfect.
One actual issue with the itself is complexity. The job has been significantly simplified since its introduction (as have most FFXIV classes). Yet it still requires more rote memorization than the other healers on this tier list. The Astrologian draws magic cards to apply its damage buffs and you need to know, at a glance, which cards provide the most benefit to which players. It’s not as complex as, say, remembering the various Ninja mudra. It just takes some practice. And that’s stressful when you are literally the lifeline of your team in group content. At the same time, the potential power of the Astrologian puts it in the top slot.
A+ Tier: Scholar – FFXIV Healer Tier List
The margin between FFXIV healers is pretty slim. That’s why the Scholar gets a little plus sign next to its A rank on this tier list. There’s barely a difference in efficacy between any of these jobs. The Scholar gets a special nod in the middle of the pack for being fun and unique — as well as providing more beloved utility for group content.
Chain Strategem is a great support ability that increases critical hit rates against a target for a short time. That benefits the entire team without forcing you to take your eye off healing. In fact, there’s a bit of an awkward push and pull in the FFXIV community regarding just how much damage healers are expected to dish out. Some teams prefer a player who speeds up content (particularly midrange dungeons) by being a powerhouse. Others just want the support player to keep everyone alive. The mark of a truly good healer is knowing when the team really needs which, and when someone in party chat doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
Scholars are technically a “pet class” in MMO parlance. That means they have a tiny fairy friend who does stuff for them. Though the pet management has been heavily simplified compared to the base game, turning your fairy mostly into a source of passive healing. That provides a small safety net. If you get distracted dealing damage — or just get overwhelmed — then your fairy will have your back. There’s a subtle sort of comfort that comes from never feeling alone, too, that’s unique to jobs of this type.
There’s a bit of added complexity to the Scholar which balances out the passive pet healing. This is a “barrier healer,” which relies more on laying down defensive spells that absorb damage. As opposed to just casting Benediction over and over again. This keeps the job from feeling completely mindless. You need to learn and memorize boss patterns to be completely effective. Otherwise you’ll be too late to use half your skills effectively. This makes for a fun balance of challenge and comfort.
A Tier: White Mage – FFXIV Healer Tier List
White Mage throws out all that stuff about balancing damage and healing. This is currently the one “pure” healer of FFXIV — freeing it up to deal lots of damage for its role. It also has the skill Holy: an area-of-effect damage spell that comes with a stun. While not technically a barrier, this does effectively function as one during non-boss battles in dungeons and some raids. The monsters can’t hurt your tank if they can’t attack! That ethos continues throughout the White Mage job as it has the highest personal damage output of any healer in FFXIV.
There’s honestly very little else to say about the White Mage. They heal good and kill good. They’re also the easiest healer to wrap your head around. Though I almost wouldn’t recommend it as the first class for a beginner to play. The reason being that, for all its explosive power, White Mage is pretty dull to DPS with in early game content. It doesn’t get that much more interesting later, but the dungeons and other group content do, giving you more to do than just cast the same couple of damage spells through story missions.
On the other hand, White Mage is fantastic for first-time healers. It’s easy to learn with a great “get out of deep shit free card” in the form of a full heal. Mid-level group content also flies by with a White Mage — making it great for grinding and helping friends do the same.