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Final Fantasy XIV jobs guide: which job is right for you?

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is widely accepted as one of the most beginner-friendly MMOs. During its opening hours – and even beyond – it does a great job of introducing new features and mechanics so that new players are able to engage in everything its sprawling world has to offer without feeling lost.

However, that’s not to say the game is without complexity or confusing elements entirely. In particular, its expansive selection of jobs may prove a bit overwhelming for those starting the game for the first time, as there are simply so many options available. In this breakdown, we’ll tell you how to access each job and what prerequisites may stand in your way, as well as explain their role in a party and give you an idea of how difficult they are to use for the average player.


Healer | Difficulty: Hard

The Astrologian uses a unique card system to heal, buff, and shield the party – however, it’s a job that requires a lot of skill and quick thinking. Unlike an easier healer, such as a White Mage, you’ll have to put in much more work here to get similar results. That being said, the creative design and compelling risk/reward tactics of the Astrologian can make them an exceptionally rewarding class to play.

Unlock requirements: You must own the Heavensward expansion and reach level 50 in the main story to gain access to the first Astrologian quest.


Ranged Physical DPS | Difficulty: Medium

The Bard brings a bow and the power of song to fights, leveraging their music as a way to buff party damage alongside their own piercing arrow attacks. They’re known for being easy to pick up but difficult to master, making them a great option for casual players and diehard raiders alike. They have the added bonus of being able to play a variety of instruments, meaning you can hang around capital cities and serenade your fellow players.

Unlock requirements: Begin the game as an Archer, then upgrade to the Bard job at level 30.

Black Mage

Ranged Magical DPS | Difficulty: Hard

The Black Mage is a powerful glass cannon job that does huge damage by using all of the fire and ice spells you’ve come to know and love throughout the franchise’s history. It is perhaps Final Fantasy XIV‘s most straightforward job, but it’s also one of its hardest to perfect because of long cast times and limited mobility options, so they require significant levels of fight knowledge and planning to play well at higher tiers.

Unlock requirements: Begin the game as a Thaumaturge then upgrade to the Black Mage job at level 30.

Blue Mage

Ranged Magical DPS | Difficulty: Easy

The Blue Mage copies enemy abilities for use against new foes, but they are a strange job in that they can only be used when playing solo, can’t be used to progress the main story, and have a maximum level of 70. This makes them a specialized job wherein the primary goal is mostly to fill out your spell book. This can be a great time if you’re into exploring and casually fighting enemies, but because they aren’t able to do much cooperatively, you’ll be stuck playing entirely alone.

Unlock requirements: You must reach level 50 in the main story to gain access to the first Blue Mage quest.


Ranged Physical DPS | Difficulty: Easy

The Dancer throws chakrams and performs a variety of dances that buffs their damage. Due to the fact that their rotation is much less rigid than that of other DPS jobs, they can be quite easy to play and enjoy casually while still putting out fairly solid damage. However, mastering their kit for high-tier content will still take some effort, meaning there’s plenty to keep both casual and hardcore players occupied.

Unlock requirements: You must own the Shadowbringers expansion and reach level 60 in the main story to gain access to the first Dancer quest.

Dark Knight

Tank | Difficulty: Hard

The Dark Knight uses darkness alongside their massive greatsword to mitigate damage and dish it out. This results in some visually enjoyable attacks which can be a lot of fun to use and weave together, but their multiple resources to manage and sometimes punishing rotation can make them a challenge to play. If you’re willing to invest in learning their kit, though, they can be a perfectly viable (and sinister) tank option.

Unlock requirements: You must own the Heavensward expansion and reach level 50 in the main story to gain access to the first Dark Knight quest.


Melee DPS | Difficulty: Medium

The Dragoon uses a massive lance to attack enemies, often using high jumps into the sky and landing on foes for some flashy combat maneuvers. This makes them very fun to play and watch, but their rotation can often need to take positioning into account quite a bit, meaning you’ll need to move around enemies with frequency. If you can handle that, though, you may find they’re one of the most exciting melee jobs in the game.

Unlock requirements: Begin the game as a Lancer, then upgrade to the Dragoon job at level 30.


Tank | Difficulty: Hard

The Gunbreaker is all about being a cool gunsword-slinging tank, and its rotation is full of explosive attacks and visually interesting mitigation skills. While they’re a challenging job that requires a very full bar of skills, you may be surprised at how well it all flows together once you understand the rotation. If you’re willing to engage with the job to its fullest potential, the Gunbreaker is a high-damage tank that most players will be happy to have on their team.

Unlock requirements: You must own the Shadowbringers expansion and reach level 60 in the main story to gain access to the first Gunbreaker quest.


Ranged Physical DPS | Difficulty: Easy

The Machinist uses guns and a variety of mechanical tools to dish out damage to foes, so if you’d like to fire a giant drill, play alongside turrets, and explode everything you see, this might be your cup of tea. It’s worth keeping in mind, however, that the job doesn’t provide a lot of party support and is often viewed as a “selfish DPS.” Even so, a good Machinist can be an incredible addition to a team, so don’t be discouraged by being all about the pew pew.

Unlock requirements: You must own the Heavensward expansion and reach level 50 in the main story to gain access to the first Machinist quest.


Melee DPS | Difficulty: Hard

The Monk uses their fists to pummel enemies into submission, which can be a great time and make you feel like a god. That being said, the Monk is notorious for having a high skill cap and an occasionally unwieldy rotation, so if you plan to give this job a go, be prepared that it may take quite a time investment to learn how to play them optimally. If punching and kicking your way to victory is your preferred method, though, it’ll be worth it in the end.

Unlock requirements: Begin the game as a Pugilist, then upgrade to the Monk job at level 30.


Melee DPS | Difficulty: Hard

The Ninja is pretty much what you’d expect from the name – they slice and dice with daggers and use ninjutsu for ranged attacks. They’re similar to the Monk in that their rotation requires a significant amount of button presses and a lot of skill to pull off optimally. If you’re down to put in the time and effort, they can output some extraordinary damage, so don’t let the initial challenge dissuade you from being the ultimate shadow-stepper.

Unlock requirements: Begin the game as a Rogue, then upgrade to the Ninja job at level 30.


Tank | Difficulty: Medium

The Paladin is the quintessential sword and board tank, using a selection of shield-based attacks and blocks alongside a smattering of magical abilities to aid in both offensive and defensive situations. While they may not have the “cool” factor of certain other jobs, they more than make up for it by being one of the most well-rounded and versatile of the tanks. Learning their late-game rotation can be a bit of a task, but it’s not too bad once it clicks.

Unlock requirements: Begin the game as a Gladiator, then upgrade to the Paladin job at level 30.


Melee DPS | Difficulty: Easy

The Reaper is all about using a scythe to cut through baddies and summoning a dark avatar to dish out some hefty damage in between. This job is relatively easy to pick up and play with an easy-to-understand rotation, thus they shouldn’t pose a substantial challenge for most melee-loving players. But it’s worth keeping in mind that choosing to play one means accepting that you’ll have to stay mobile around enemies.

Unlock requirements: You must own the Endwalker expansion and reach level 70 in the main story to gain access to the first Reaper quest.

Red Mage

Ranged Magical DPS | Difficulty: Medium

The Red Mage has a rotation that has firing magic at a distance from foes while occasionally needing to dive in to poke and slice with their rapier, making them a wonderfully engaging job to play. They aren’t particularly difficult to use, but finding the flow between weaving together different attack types has a learning curve in the beginning. If you stick with it, you’ll be loved in any party for your solid damage and mid-fight resurrection ability.

Unlock requirements: You must own the Stormblood expansion and reach level 50 in the main story to gain access to the first Red Mage quest.


Healer | Difficulty: Hard

The Sage uses magic to heal and provide barriers to their team while being one of the most visually distinctive healers. Their spells can be a lot of fun to use, and they can also dish out a surprising amount of damage when they’re not healing – but they also provide one of the most challenging healing rotations in the game. Because of this, they may be a bit overwhelming for those who aren’t already experienced healers.

Unlock requirements: You must own the Endwalker expansion and reach level 70 in the main story to gain access to the first Sage quest.


Melee DPS | Difficulty: Hard

The Samurai uses a katana to slash through enemies, and their rotation can be a blast to use with a lot of visual flourish. They dish out a staggering amount of damage when optimized, but don’t expect to understand everything about their kit immediately. Everything flows together, but it can take quite a bit of time to figure it all out and know when to use what as you manage your resources.

Unlock requirements: You must own the Stormblood expansion and reach level 50 in the main story to gain access to the first Samurai quest.


Healer | Difficulty: Medium

The Scholar uses a book and a fairy to heal and provide barriers to other players. Historically, this job has been considered slightly lackluster compared to other healers, but that shouldn’t deter you from diving in if playing as Scholar appeals to you, as they can be perfectly viable at any level of content. With plenty of enjoyable spells and a cool magical theme, you’ll have a good time once you nail the basics.

Unlock requirements: Begin the game as an Arcanist, then upgrade to the Scholar job at level 30.


Ranged Magical DPS | Difficulty: Easy

The Summoner calls forth pets to fight alongside them – many of which you’ll recognize from the greater Final Fantasy mythos, such as Carbuncle, Ifrit, and Bahamut. Their straightforward rotation makes them fairly simple to use, but their damage is nothing to sneeze at. If you’re interested in visual spectacle and managing a rotating cast of powerful summons, this is the job for you.

Unlock requirements: Begin the game as an Arcanist, then upgrade to the Summoner job at level 30.


Tank | Difficulty: Easy

The Warrior uses a massive axe to beat enemies senseless while employing a wide variety of mitigation and self-healing techniques that have made them the long-standing “best tank” by many veterans of the game. At the very least, their high survivability coupled with a user-friendly rotation makes them the best option for anyone new to tanking, and you’ll find that you will always have a spot in a party.

Unlock requirements: Begin the game as a Marauder, then upgrade to the Warrior job at level 30.

White Mage

Healer | Difficulty: Easy

The White Mage heals parties using familiar spells while also tossing out some decent damage. They’re considered the most beginner-friendly of the healers while also being a favorite for bringing along due to their above-average healing power. You really can’t go wrong with the White Mage, though those looking for a bit more intensity may find their kit ever so slightly underwhelming – at least until you get to cast Holy. Whew!

Unlock requirements: Begin the game as a Conjurer, then upgrade to the White Mage job at level 30.

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Billy Givens
Billy Givens is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience writing gaming, film, and tech content. His work can be…
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