FFXIV - Which Starting Classes To Choose


First, I would like to congratulate you. Every good decision starts with a first step and since you are here, it means you are about to make a great decision, to venture into the world of Final Fantasy XIV.

Welcome to Eorzea, a rich world within the Final Fantasy universe that carries a story that shouldn't belong in an MMORPG, but it does. You may have decided to try FFXIV because of the extended trial, which allows characters up to level 60 and to progress until the end of the first expansion, Heavensward - considered by most the best expansion of the game.

Or because you were curious by how a MMO with a monthly fee is still thriving and evolving.

Regardless of your reason, hop on aboard. And as soon as you log into the game, you will face a choice that every MMO player comes up against: character creation.

The Three Roles

Like any good RPG game, Final Fantasy brings classes with different roles: tanks, healers and damage dealers. Let's start saying that there is no better class than any another. What you should consider is a blend between your style, your preferred gameplay and your tastes. After that, I will advise you to consider choosing a Lancer, that will eventually turn into a Dragoon, which is the most wonderful job in the entire universe (did I mention my main character is a Dragoon?).

There are 9 starting classes, divided between the 3 roles, but all sharing the same dream of becoming the next Warrior of Light.

Tank Classes

Also known as meat shields, tanks have more defense and HP than other classes, but also pack some punch. Tank tends to be the most difficult class to play, especially in parties. You will have the function of soaking damage, leading your teammates through the dungeons and ensuring that the only HP flashing red is yours. There will be a lot of information to absorb when you're fighting a boss and four minions.

One of the advantages is that your dungeon queues will be very fast, sometimes instant and solo PV, that is easier because of its high survivability.

Gladiator

Full armored Gladiator Hyur

When you think of a gladiator, do you imagine a fighter, usually a slave, destined to spend the rest of their life fighting to entertain people while living on bread crumbs?
Well, I thought so, but boy, was I wrong. Here, Gladiator is the most noble class in the game - or at least, on track to become it. Gladiators use one-handed sword and shield as weapons, they are the classic knights and amazons of the royalty.

Why choose Gladiator:

  • Simple combos and high resistance makes it easy to progress the main story
  • Unlocks an AOE attack, Total Eclipse, at level 6, which makes tanking way easier in dungeons
  • At level 15, unlocks a ranged attack to attract enemy aggro and save your healer
  • At level 30, you can become a Paladin and spread the sacred word throughout the world of Eorzea

Marauder

Roegadyn Marauder

Who knew that this giant sharp axe would be more appropriate to protect than to kill, right?

Marauder is the second class of tank. The difference between the Gladiator is that it does more damage, but their abilities are more selfish, not targeting the party, and AOE attacks are slightly worse, with less "area" on the effect. Due to this, it's harder to tank with the axe-wielder colossus.

Why choose Marauder:

  • Tanks while dealing good damage at the same time, faster and easier story progression
  • Your AOE, Overpower, covers a smaller area, but does more damage. More damage equals more monsters attacking you and not your party
  • Some skills recover your own HP, increasing survivability and helping the healer
  • At level 30, you can become a Warrior and have a badass axe the size of a Chocobo

Healer Classes

Good news here, if you like to heal, the choice is easy: we only have one healer class.

Healer here works like in other RPGs, you have a range of support spells, such as healing, AOE healing, healing over time and resurrect spells. It has some damage spells because you also need to progress in the main quest of the game and you can't heal your enemies to death... unless they are zombies.

Like tanks, your dungeon queues will be faster, as we all need a healer, but nobody wants to be one.

Conjurer

Hyur Conjurer with full set

The lone class of healers - or should I say, healer? Although Conjurer has few attack magics, one direct and one DOT, it is the class with the highest survivability. Your MP is unlikely to run out, so you can attack enemies while keeping your HP high with your powerful healings. What's more, every party loves having a healer on their side.

Why choose Conjurer:

  • If you like healers, well, it's your only option
  • Low damage, but high survivability, you will hardly die in solo quests
  • You learn resurrect at level 12 and have a second chance if you fail to heal your friends
  • At level 30, you can become a White Mage, healing and resurrecting random players around the world and you also get an unicorn as a mount!

DPS Classes

The choice of most players and, consequently, more classes. DPS classes are separated into three categories: Melee DPS, Physical Ranged DPS and Magic Ranged DPS.

Melee DPS are hand-to-hand combatants, dealing damage while risking their skin on the front lines against a giant boss.

Physical Ranged DPS is safe from a distance while providing fast and accurate attacks, but that does not mean you will be standing still shooting like a turret. Well, sometimes it does.

Magic Ranged DPS use spells, elementals and summons to damage enemies. Although most spells have a casting time and you will probably cancel them while running away from a mob, the damage makes up for that wait.

Melee DPS

Lancer

Female Hyur Lancer ready for combat

BEST. CLASS. EVER.

I mean, a class that uses spears and polearms as tools of mass destruction. Lancer is the most straightforward DPS class in the game, with its simple combos, low cooldowns and high damage. Its strongest attacks consist of reaching the last step of the combo, buffing yourself to enhance its damage and delivering a final powerful blow. Repeat the steps until your enemy is flat on the ground.

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Why choose Lancer:

  • One of the easiest classes, little movement and straightforward combos
  • You learn Life Surge skill at level 6, which deals massive critical damage and recovers HP
  • Fast progression in the main story due to high damage
  • At level 30, you can become a Dragoon and look at other classes with an air of superiority while you use dragon powers to solo kill bosses.

Rogue

Miqo'te Rogue in battle position

If you like to hide in the shadows and surprise your enemies with a dagger in the middle of their ribs, this is your class. Rogue is a fast class that uses two daggers as weapons and trickery as support. With the Hide ability, you are invisible and undetectable by enemies with levels close to yours and allow you to use Trick Attack, which if you hit an enemy from behind, causes bonus damage. Most Rogue attacks do additional damage from behind… psycho.

Why choose Rogue:

  • Start battles by attacking the enemy from behind and dealing great damage
  • With the Mug skill, learned at level 15, you increase the chances of the enemy dropping an item
  • You can avoid fights with Hide if you want to move through the map quicker
  • At level 30, you can become a Ninja, specializing in Ninjutsus and following your dream of becoming a Hokage

Pugilist

Hyur Pugilist

You know the drill. You don't need weapons, your hands are your weapons. Pugilist is the martial arts class of Eorzea. Of the starting classes, it is the most complicated melee DPS. Many of the attacks depend on whether you hit the enemy's rear or flank, so it requires a lot of movement. In addition, with each hit, you change Form during the combo, enabling new attacks. If you miss the combo, start over. But if you manage to execute the combo perfectly, be prepared to annihilate your opponents.

Why choose Pugilist:

  • If performed well and in the correct direction of the enemy, powerful combos and high damage
  • Dynamic and fun combat, you need to move around a lot while pressing buttons
  • The only melee DPS class with an early AOE attack, Arm of the Destroyer, at level 26
  • At level 30, you can become a Monk, turning your entire body and mind into a lethal weapon

Physical Ranged DPS

Archer

Majestic Elezen Archer

Any good RPG does not leave an archer class out. The archer's biggest advantage is keeping his distance while it rains death under enemies. With evasive abilities like Repel Shot, which makes you jump 10 yards away from the target, when your enemy gets to you, all he'll want to do is ask for mercy before you finish him off with a headshot.

Why choose Archer:

  • The only starting physical ranged class, has quick attacks at distance without having a casting time
  • Most skills have a chance to reset cooldowns of stronger attacks. If it does, the damage increases a lot
  • No combos, attacks are straightforward and do direct damage
  • At level 30, you can become a Bard and play instruments around the world while winning thousands of fans (yes, there is a real mechanic of playing instruments in the game)!

Magical Ranged DPS

Thaumaturge

Lalafell Thaumaturge burning his hands

I have no idea what a Thaumaturge is, but in the world of FFXIV, it's magicians who specialize in killing their enemies with fire, ice and thunder. With very powerful spells, only hindered by the casting time, they have a system similar to combos that can eliminate the casting time and eliminate your enemies before you spell KO.

The Thaumaturge has several AOE and DoT spells and it has a mechanic where you choose to cause more damage and consume more MP with Astral Fire or regenerate your MP faster with Umbral Ice. But remember, young mage, balance is everything, because if you run out of MP in the middle of a fight, you will be totally vulnerable.

Why choose Thaumaturge:

  • One of the highest - if not the highest - damage among DPS classes
  • Has AOE and DotS spells that can eliminate enemies quickly
  • In a party and protected by a tank, they are absurdly strong and unstoppable
  • At level 30, you can become a Black Mage and conquer the elements and if you want, the world too

Arcanist

Elezen Arcanist and her pet Carbuncle

The most versatile class among the starters and a good choice if you are in doubt. Arcanist has direct magic damage, DoTs, can use healing magic, can resurrect friends AND summon a pet to fight alongside you. Amazing, right? Oh yeah, the pet can tank for you while you suffocate your enemies in poison and miasma.

But, like all jack of all trades, although it does a little bit of everything, the class is not an expert on anything. It doesn't heal as good as a Conjurer or hits hard as a Thaumaturge, but you use a book as a weapon, so you're never bored.

Why choose Arcanist:

  • The most versatile class, ideal for those who are in doubt and want to explore the game
  • Progression of the main quest is easy with the help of pets supporting you
  • In dungeons, you are a Joker card. You can do some damage and also assist the healer if they aren't doing their job properly
  • At level 30, you have two options. You can become a Summoner and focus on dealing damage alongside powerful summons or choose the Scholar's path and become a fulltime healer, while keeping the books

Starting Locations

Flag of Gridania, Limsa Lominsa and Ul'dah

Depending on the class you choose, you will start your game in a different city. After attaining level 15 and doing some quests, the other cities will open to you and travelling between then will be easy.

That said, here are the cities where each class starts.

  • Ul'dah, an enormous trading city in the middle of the desert. Harsh climates, bustling market and walls built in the economy houses the guilds for the Gladiator, Pugilist and Thaumaturge.
  • Gridania, a city in the heart of a forest. The city has a natural climate, a more magical appearance and is home to classes that are based on hunting, survival and nature harmony like Lancer, Archer and Conjurer.
  • Limsa Lominsa, if you like the sea and pirates, yaar, here's your city. Next to a gorgeous beach, and the marine life, Limsa harbors the guild of Marauders, Rogues and Arcanists.
Murillo Zerbinatto
Murillo is a passionate lover of role-playing games, fantasy books and super powers' anime. Also plays a lot of RPGs on Twitch from time to time with his alias, Ryu Akechi.