Published on March 21st, 2022 | by Adrian Gunning

FFXIV Beginner’s Guide – Tips and tricks on getting started in Eorzea

Starting an MMORPG fresh can be daunting, especially one with such volume of lore as FFXIV, so we wanted to share a helpful guide filled with advice and tips to make the game feel more manageable. 

The FFXIV Beginner’s Guide covers tips and tricks to help new players get comfortable with game terminology, easy levelling strategies so you’re not grinding for eternity, and how to play your role.

A Beginner’s Guide to Final Fantasy XIV Online

Final Fantasy XIV Online (FFXIV) is a critically acclaimed fantasy, massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG). With award winning expansions and, it boasts an immersive world for players to inhabit and explore.

Players are called to become the Warrior of Light and fight to deliver the realm from certain destruction. Choose the job that suits your style, and team up with friends to overcome challenges destined for heroes.

Jump into the free trial, where you can play through the first expansion, Heavensward, up to level 60!

Terminology Index

Adds: Secondary monsters that spawn in boss fights.

Aetheryte: Crystalline devices that appear throughout the world of Hydaelyn, used for instantaneous, long-distance travel between major cities.

Aetheryte Shards: Smaller crystalline devices resembling Aetherytes used for instantaneous local travel within cities.

AoE: Area of effect, an attack, spell, or ability that affects an area, rather than just targeting one or more enemies.

Buff: A temporary enhancement to a target (player, monster, equipment), typically cast as a spell or the effect of consuming food.

Cleave: An attack that hits within the front cone of a monster.

Debuff: A temporary enfeeblement to a target (player, monster, equipment) typically cast as a spell.

DoT: Damage over time, Damage from an attack, spell or ability that is distributed across a specific duration, rather than all at once.

DPS: Damage per second, often referred to as the role or players responsible for dealing high amounts of damage. Also the rate at which a player outputs damage.

Enmity: Also referred to as Hate or Threat, the amount of focus the mob has on the player

Flank: The left and right sides of targets, used for attacks with positional bonuses.

HoT: Healing over time, healing from an attack, spell or ability that is distributed across a specific duration, rather than all at once.

HP: Health points, a numeric representation of a character’s life.

MP: Magic points, the resource used to cast spells. MP slowly regenerates over time in and out of combat.

Mobs: Derived from abbreviating ‘mobile objects’, monsters that attack player characters.

NPC: Non-player character, characters that are controlled or created by the computer, such as vendors or quest givers.

Positionals: A bonus on Melee attack abilities granted by attacking from either the Rear or Flank of a target.

Pull: To lure a monster to a desired location, such as the back to the party.

Sapling/Sprout: A new FFXIV player, indicated by the sprout icon next to their character’s name.

Wipe: Death of an entire party or alliance, usually within the context of quests, missions, or major battles.

Tips and tricks to help with leveling

When starting out, keep in mind these helpful tips to ensure you enjoy your time in Eorzea, and you’re able to get the most out of FFXIV.

To get used to your role, complete the Hall of the Novice training and some early Guildhests to get used to the basics of your role. Guildhests are small instances that give decent experience points at low levels, in particular for your first completion.

Guildleves or Levequests are repeatable quests players can perform to earn experience, gil and items. Unlike regular quests which can only be completed once per character, Guildleves can be performed again and again to claim the rewards.

There are more ways to gain experience as you level. Remember to complete your Daily Duty Roulettes. These are a random duty that you’ve already unlocked that will give you additional experience and rewards. These are some of the fastest ways to generate experience, if you remember to complete them daily.

Other ways include Dungeons and Fates where additional items may also be unlocked.

While this extra content can bolster your levelling, the Main Story Questline (MSQ) is the best way for you to level and progress through Final Fantasy XIV. These quests are marked specifically with MSQ icons, meaning you’ll always know which quests will progress you through the story.

Grinding mobs, or monsters in the wild is the least effective way to level your character. That’s just not how FFXIV works! With a strong focus on storyline, completing quests offers a better return.

Quick hint: eating food offers you an additional 3% experience rate gain, in addition to replenishing your health!

So you’re playing a healer

While healers primarily ensure that their party are healthy and happy in fights, their arsenal of damaging abilities means that they can make a difference in combat as well. While you’re not healing, make sure to cast damaging spells to help with party DPS and remember to keep your DoT active. Overall, make sure you’re always casting unless you’re out of MP.

As a healer, your priority is the tank. Keep yourself and the tank alive, before focusing on other party members.

Getting new healing skills doesn’t automatically make your old ones obsolete. Make sure to read new skills’ tooltips and MP costs carefully to determine whether upgrading is the best choice for you.

You can even assist allies with more than just healing. Rescue allows you to pull allies to your side. This can help them avoid enemy attacks, AoE damage, or if they’re just going the wrong way.

When you’ve mastered the basics of playing a healer, start to think about maximising your spells and abilities with Slide Casting. Casting allows you to move while finishing a spell without it being interrupted. Use this to stay agile, and reposition when necessary. Put this into effect and try to keep all your party members within range of your AoE spells.

Quick hints:

  • Debuffs with a bar above them can be cured with Esuna.
  • Make sure to use your MP regeneration skills often.
  • Use Swiftcast in conjunction with Raise to instantly raise someone
  • Avoid putting HoT effects on the tank while they’re pulling- It might cause the mobs to run to you!

So you’re playing a Tank

A tank’s most important attribute is their tank stance; make sure it’s always toggled on when you’re the main tank. Keep in mind, it gets toggled off automatically when you’re being level synced.

In dungeons, it’s more important to use your defensive cooldowns on mobs, instead of bosses. Remember to space out your defensive cooldowns, don’t use everything on the same pull.

In addition to absorbing damage, a tank’s role includes pulling mobs – making sure you engage monsters so that they target you before they have the chance to target anyone else.

Use Sprint before you start pulling. Using it outside of combat will double the duration from 10 seconds, to 20 seconds. Stack up mobs as close together as possible so AoE skills can hit all of them. This goes for both damaging AoEs that will affect enemies, and friendly AoEs that will benefit yourself and melee allies. Once engaged with enemies, try to move mobs as little as possible.

Remember to turn mobs away from the group, so your party members aren’t damaged by cleaves or directional AoE. You can break line of sight to get ranged mobs to come closer to you.

Pulling Wall to Wall means gathering all mobs until you hit a wall in the dungeon. This is how high level dungeons are usually played. Check with your party at the start of an instance to see how they’d like the dungeon played.

When engaging enemies, including bosses, remember that many low level bosses can be stunned; use this to your advantage and interrupt mechanics. Enemy casts which can be interrupted using interject will flash red.

Quick hints:

  • Arm’s Length slows down the attack speed of enemies hitting you. Use it to mitigate damage.
  • The best time to use reprisal is when the boss casts unavoidable AoE damage on the party. You can still use it during normal mob pulls as well.

So you’re playing DPS

Melee DPS is often affected by positionals. Positionals are damage bonuses when used in a certain position in relation to your foe, for Melee it’s usually flank, being the sides of the target, or rear being the back.

In dungeons or raids, when allied tanks pull enemies, they’re able to assign numbers in sequential order to the enemies. This is an indication of which enemies to focus. Similarly, symbols including an X, indicate an enemy should not be attacked. Generally, you can always attack the same target the tank is attacking.

Be aware of your surroundings when in dungeons and raids. Moving around, or wandering through the raid could potentially pull or chain pull patrolling mobs. It could be considered good advice to stand next to the healer if you’re ranged.

Enmity determines which target an NPC should be actively attacking, which is generally the target with the highest enmity. This is shown in your Enmity counter.

Pay attention to the enmity counters on the party sidebar. Tanks should have the highest enmity from enemies, if your bar is filling up shift, temporarily your focus to another target that has lower enmity on you.

If you start getting attacked, keep calm and stay close to the tank. Rather than running away, trying to avoid the enemy, allow the tank to pick up enmity on the enemy, shifting its focus off of you.

At a certain level, all DPS jobs will get skills that do an AoE damage to multiple enemies. If you find yourself facing a large group of enemies (usually 3 or 4+), it is normally a damage increase to use these AOE skills instead of your single target attacks.

About the Author'

Adrian lives in Melbourne Australia and has a huge passion for gaming, technology and pop culture. He recently finished his a Bachelor of Journalism and is currently focusing on games journalism. When not writing and playing video games, Adrian can be found in Comics 'R' Us debating the pros of the DC Universe and cons of the Marvel Universe.

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