How to Choose the Best FFXIV Class

Preference and style play a part

The choice of classes in any game is a tough decision, especially for FFXIV account holders. Although their character can freely switch and master all the available classes, they don’t have to go through all of them to decide.

The class you choose is an important decision because it determines the role you play in a party and how you play the game. Even then there are differences in play style as each class in each role has different mechanics and skills. For example, while the Paladin and Warrior are both melee tanks, Paladins use holy magic that can heal allies or deal burst damage. In contrast, Warriors taunt enemies and heal themselves rather than allies. Sometimes these differences determine how well they can farm FFXIV Gil.

The general process of choosing a class (or sub-class) to play is:

  1. First, choose a role
  2. Decide on how you want to do it (melee, ranged, or magic for DPS)
  3. Find the class that meets your criteria

Choosing a Role

There are three primary roles in a party, the Tank, the Healer/Supporters, and the DPS. The Tank grabs the attention of the enemies and receives most of the incoming damage, protecting weaker members of the party. Mages, Healers, and some DPS classes usually can’t take too many hits, which make Tanks an essential part of any party.

Healers keep their allies in tip-top shape, either through healing or buffing them. Buffs come in a variety of flavors, from increasing damage or increasing defense to even a heal-over-time effect. Most of the classes do have some party-wide or self-buffs they can use, but not many have significant healing abilities.

DPS classes are the ones that defeat enemies. They focus on decreasing the target’s health through their attacks and skills. For some players, this is the role that they enjoy the most. Seeing the damage numbers go up every level is a sight they can’t pass up on.

Since most players go for DPS classes, Healers and Tanks are almost always in demand in raid groups. However, all three roles are important to ensure a party’s success. Without a skilled DPS, it’ll take a longer time for Healers and Tankers to defeat enemies. A party with only Tanks and DPS characters will die once all the tanks fall. One consisting of only Healers and DPS characters would fail very quickly as well because they’ll die too quickly to make a significant dent in the enemy. 

Methods of Execution

Check out how each class performs its role. Read the mechanics and decide if it’s for you. Sure, nothing beats trying them out for yourself, but time is fleeting, and you’ll need to pick a class so you can enjoy it for most of your game.

Choose whether you want a magician, a melee fighter, or a ranged one. Do you want to be agile or stay relatively stationary (you’ll still have to dodge, after all)? Fights have many moving parts and interconnected mechanics, so choose something you’ll enjoy playing.

Another part of this is the weapon they use. Do you want to wield giant swords or light rapiers? For ranged users, do you prefer bows, guns, or magic? Sometimes, this decision goes first before choosing a role.

The Classes

Here are the classes in the game, the main weapon they use, and a short description. They are organized by the general role they play in a party:

Tanks

Paladin (Sword and Shield) – Holy Warriors who can also heal the group and deal damage as they defend allies.

Warrior (Greataxe) – Warriors are great for players who have played a melee DPS class and want to try tanking. Focuses on taunts and self-healing as well as dealing damage.

Dark Knight (Greatsword) – Requires some management of job resources (mana and blood), but when successful, they have the most damage mitigation abilities of tanks.

Gunbreaker (Gunblade) – A straightforward class that can chain combos together to either increase DPS or create shields. Reminiscent of Squall from FFVIII.

Healers

White Mage (Wands and Canes) – An easy to master healer class, and the staple of every FF game. They have an array of great healing abilities and heal-over-time skills.

Scholar (Books) – A Scholar relies on fairies to either heal, buff allies, or deal damage. They work a little like Summoners.

Astrologian (Star Globes) – It’s a stance-shifting class to either dish out fast heals or shield allies. They also either use magic (for healing or shielding) or cards (for buffing).

DPS

Melee

Monk (Fists/Claws) – A polarizing class that only a few like and play, due to its high floor of micromanagement and reliance on RNG. Fun when it works though.

Dragoon (Polearms) – They have specialized Jump abilities that can backfire but work very well when executed correctly. A little difficult to master.

Ninja (Daggers) – Another class that most players don’t like playing. However, if you are patient enough, they can top the DPS charts easily.

Samurai (Katanas) – A ‘selfish’ class that relies on self-buffs to deal damage. Has a quirky ability to use during downtimes, but otherwise performs slightly worse than other classes.

Ranged

Bard (Bows) – Bards are both DPS and Support, with more focus on the latter. It’s possible to build a DPS bard, but they’re already plenty useful with only their buffs.

Machinist (Guns) – Aside from their firearms, they use turrets in battle. Manage their Heat and Battery well to deal massive damage.

Dancer (Throwing Weapons) – Dancers are as beautiful as they are deadly. They’re a little random which makes using them a little difficult, but lucky times can mean super buffs or lots and lots of damage.

Magic

Black Mage (Scepters and Staves) – Black Mages are the poster child for wide-ranged AoE spells with great damage potential. Has the downside of needing to stay still when casting.

Red Mage (Rapiers) – A jack-of-all-trades class that can heal, revive, and deal damage. Sure, their effectiveness doesn’t match up to specialized classes, but they’re great in an emergency.

Summoner (Books) – Summoners can ask for the help of one battle pet to aid in fights. This allows them to be a versatile class that can even revive allies. 

Additional Notes and Conclusions

The upcoming Endwalker expansion is set to overhaul some of these classes, such as the Monk. That means that some of the information will change once the expansion is out. Maybe then some of the unlikeable aspects of these classes will change.

At any rate, it’s important to choose well since it would be a waste of time to keep switching between classes. Yes, it’s as easy as going into the FFXIV store and buying an FFXIV mount, but the time to do so is better used to enjoy the game. Have fun in your adventures in Eorza!

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