Final Fantasy 14 is a fantastic MMORPG that will keep you busy for hours with a brilliant story, tons of content, a great community, and plenty of other activities and ways to enjoy the game.
However, like with every MMO, it can be very daunting jumping into such a big game, and you may be unsure of where to start or what to do when you begin playing.
To help you get your bearings, we’ve put together this guide with tips on how to get started in Final Fantasy 14 and details on some of the core gameplay and system you will need to know, including what content to expect, classes, and some advice to make your experience with the game a fun one.
First things first, if you are considering jumping into Final Fantasy XIV, you absolutely should download and start with the free trial version of the game. Why, you ask? Because with the free trial, you can play more than half of the game without paying for it.
The free trial gives players access to everything in the game until the second expansion, Stormblood, including the dungeons, trials, main story quests, and jobs, so you can expereince a large amount of the game’s content without paying any money or subscription.
Of course, it comes with some restrictions like limited communication, an in-game currency cap, the inability to use features like the market board or join free companies, and a few more listed on the support website. But, if you don’t mind those, you should start with this trial in case the game isn’t for you.
Making your Character
Once you are in the game, the first thing you’ll be doing is making your character. There are six races to choose from: Hyur, Elezen, Lalafell, Miqo’te, Roegadyn, and Au Ra, with Hrothgar and Viera locked behind expansions, and each has different clans that have various customization options. This does not affect your character’s abilities or the story; it’s purely up to how you want your character to look.
Choosing a Class
Along with choosing your character’s looks, you will also need to pick its class or job, as they are called in Final Fantasy 14, which can be a daunting choice since the game has quite a few.
Like most MMOs, your class falls into one of three categories: Tank, DPS, and Healer. Each performs a different role in a party, with tanks being the defensive walls that protect the party, DPS focused on dealing as much damage as possible, aiding with mechanics if needed, and healers who heal and support the party.
Additionally, at level 30, these classes will evolve into their more powerful versions after completing a dedicated questline, which unlocks more abilities and takes the class further in terms of what you can do. You also have several classes you unlock later on that start at higher levels, though these are tied to expansions, so you will need to progress before unlocking them.
Below, we have listed the classes available at the start of the game and their respective jobs and roles:
- 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 – Summoner (Ranged Magical DPS) or Scholar (Healer)
- Conjurer – White Mage (Healer)
Thankfully, Final Fantasy 14 doesn’t lock you into your choice, and at level 10, you can learn and swap classes to any that you choose, though they will have different gears, weapons, and their own levels, so you’ll need to put in some work to get the leveled up again. But this means you don’t need to worry about getting locked in and can try other classes when you want.
Our advice would be to think about what kind of role sounds more interesting to you and pick the class that fits that role while being the one you think sounds and looks the coolest. Beyond that, you can play them, see if they gel with you, and see which one you have the most fun playing.
Types of Quests
Now, you have your character, picked a job, and are loaded in and ready to take on the world. But where do you start, and what should you do? For Final Fantasy, that would be quests.
There are three main types of quests in Final Fantasy 14, which are as follows:
- Main Scenario Quests (MSQ) – These are your main focus in Final Fantasy 14, as they are the main questline that will push the story forward into each expansion and unlock a ton of the game’s content. This is denoted by the meteor-looking symbol over an NPC head, and you can see which quest you are on and check the information by clicking the MSQ tracker in the top left corner of the screen.
- Content Quests – These should be your second priority and picked up when you find them. These blue-marked quests will unlock new features and content as you complete them, such as the ability to dye gear, actions, dungeons, raids, and a host more, so taking the time to complete them is well worth it.
- Side Quests – Basic side quests have a golden marker and are usually not worth taking, as they generally give no new content or have meaningful rewards. These can be done while leveling a new class or if you want to explore more of the game, but in our opinion, they aren’t worth the hassle.
Generally, you should focus on the Main Scenario Quests and Content Quests as you progress since they will give big EXP rewards and unlock all the game’s content as you go.
As you level up and play through Final Fantasy 14, you will come across some quests and content that’s a little different from the usual quest line called Duties. There are four main types, which are listed below:
- Instances – These are key moments in the main story that will require you to enter an isolated version of the game world, which tends to have slightly different environments and are designed to immerse you in a certain moment without other players being in the way.
- Dungeons – These are 4-player pieces of content that require you and your party to explore an area and defeat enemies and bosses along the way. These will often be tied to the main story and need to be completed to progress. In these, you will have a Tank, 2 DPS, and a Healer.
- Trials – Similar to dungeons, these 8-player tasks will see 2 Tanks, 2 Healers, and 4 DPS take on a larger, more powerful boss together in an epic clash. These tend to be big moments in the story and require teamwork and focus to complete, as these bosses will be strong, have special moves, and mechanics you need to learn and handle through the fight.
- Raids – These will come a bit later in the game and are often some of the most challenging content to complete. These combat encounters have you take on one or a couple of bosses in challenging encounters with plenty of mechanics to learn and avoid, and enemies to defeat. There are two kinds of raid: A normal raid, which is 8-player and similar to trials, and Alliance Raids, which are huge dungeon-like missions that have 24 players split into three teams and are some of the longest content in the game.
You will encounter each of these as you level up and progress, and will use the Duty Finder to sign up and find other players to take on the content with you. Don’t worry if you are sure what to do; players in Final Fantasy 14 are very friendly and will be willing to help or explain something if you ask.
Like any good MMORPG, you will earn EXP as you complete content and battle, and with that, you’ll level up and unlock more abilities, content, and progress through the game’s story. Most of your EXP and leveling up will come from the Main Scenario Quests and the content that comes with that, including dungeons and trials. However, you might occasionally hit a wall and need to level up to advance the story, or you might decide to try another class and need a way to level them up. Thankfully, the game has plenty of ways to earn EXP, with these being the best options for you to do. There are:
- Fates – These are randomly appearing world quests you will find as you explore an area and complete other content. Thanks to their pink icons on the map and minimap, you can spot them. These tend to be pretty simple, like collecting an item, killing a boss, protecting an area quest and usually have a time limit. Completing these will give you EXP and some currency for special vendors.
- Hunting Logs – These are small tasks that each of the starting classes will have and require you to kill a certain number of enemies found in the early zones of the game; as you complete more and clear ranks, the bigger the rewards and challenges will get.
- Levequests – These repeatable quests players can do to earn rewards and EXP. In this case, you can talk to a Levemete, which has a silver card-like icon over their head, go to the location the quest specifies, activate it, and once completed, hand it in. You have an allowance of how many of these quests you can do, and you get 3 Levequest allowance every 12 hours.
- Daily Roulette – After completing several pieces of cooperative content, you will be able to do daily roulettes, which are playlists that throw you into a random dungeon, trial, or raid you have completed that you can replay, and doing so will get you a HUGE amount of EXP for your first one of the day. This is a great way to level up any character and one of the activities you will be doing in the endgame, so it’s worth getting used to doing these early and using them to your advantage.
None of these are really required, but for the EXP, Gil, and resources you unlock from them, they are worth doing as you level up, if not only for the fact they will keep you at the level needed to progress the story. Make sure you eat food too, since this will give you a 3% EXP buff. It’s not a lot, but every little helps.
Tips for Your Adventure
Now you know what to expect when you start the game, a bit about classes, the content you will be playing, and some ways to level up and progress.
So, with all that said, it only seems right we leave you with a few tips to make your time in Final Fantasy 14 an enjoyable one, including ways to get around the game world easier, some tips on how to learn about your role and class, as well as ways to meet players and get the most out of the game.
Attune to Aetheryte
Getting around the world of Final Fantasy 14 can be tedious, but there is a much faster way to handle traveling between areas and in the major cities by using Aetheryte. These giant crystals can be attuned to and allow you to teleport back to them for a small Gil fee, making getting around the game world much easier and faster. In cities, you can find smaller Aethernet Shards that can teleport you to certain locations too, saving you from marching across the whole city.
There will always be one Aetheryte in every area, so make sure to find them and attune to them as soon as possible to save you a journey, and make the game quicker to navigate.
Get Your Mount and Make It Fly
At level 20 and choosing a Grand Company, you will see an extra quest called My Little Chocobo under your Main Scenario Quest tracker. You should complete this quest immediately, as this is how you unlock your first mount.
We don’t need to tell you how helpful this can be. It makes getting around faster, and at later levels, you can make it a companion to help you while questing with some abilities to boot. Plus, they can even fly once you unlock the ability; though this comes later and can be a lengthy process, but once again, it is worth doing when you can.
Join a Free Company
Free Companies are Final Fantasy 14’s version of guilds and are a great way to meet players and make friends, which is also easy in a game full of great people.
The community is very welcoming, willing to help, and will be able to guide or help you if you get stuck or unsure of what to do, it is well worth finding a Free Company you gel with and consider joining. If nothing else, they also tend to have EXP bonuses and other benefits too, so it can help in gameplay as well as being a good way to meet people.
Visit the Smith and Complete the Hall of the Novice Training
Once you reach level 15, you can visit and talk with an NPC called The Smith in each main city’s Adventurers’ Guild and register for the Hall of the Novice. This will give you several tutorials about your role and class to help you understand how they work, their abilities, their role in the party, and a general overview of some gameplay elements.
On top of that, they will give you some decent rewards, including armor that will last you a few levels, and a ring that will increase your EXP gain by 30% until level 30, making it a worthwhile distraction.
Learn Your Skills, Read Your Tooltips
The best way to understand and play your class to the best of your ability is to understand what everything does, and to do that; you should always read your tooltips and look at your skills and spells.
More often than not, some will work better after specific skills and add additional effects to enemies. They might have modifiers that cause them to do more damage in different positions or perhaps heal more depending on resources.
You could miss out on crucial information that can turn you from a good player to a great player if you don’t take a second to read and understand your class, so take the time to learn all you can, and it will not only improve your gameplay but make the game more fun as well.
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