Image Source: Square Enix
Image Source: Square Enix

Top 10 Tips For Beginners in FFXIV

The best ways to start your adventure in Eorzea!

Final Fantasy XIV has come a very long way over the course of now a decade to become one of the most renowned, beloved, ever-growing MMORPGs to date. For anyone starting anew in the game’s world of Eorzea, it can feel a little daunting to know just where to begin, and what all to keep track of and use to maximize your character’s potential. If you’re looking for a practical checklist of all those things, here is our carefully-crafted top 10 tips for beginners in Final Fantasy XIV.

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The Awesome Perks of FFXIV’s Free Trial

Final Fantasy 14 the perks of the game's free trial
Image Source: Square Enix

The free trial that’s offered for FFXIV is by and far one of the best there is, especially for a MMORPG, and it’s only continuing to expand further. As of Patch 6.5, which is releasing tomorrow morning, brand new players who want to try the Free Trial version first will get access to the base game, called ‘A Realm Reborn’, along with the first two major expansions: ‘Heavensward’ and ‘Stormblood’.

So essentially you can experience FFXIV’s main storyline all the way up to the end of Stormblood, and grind any classes you wish up to Level 70. You can play for an unlimited number of hours with no cut-off deadline, and have up to 300,000 gil at any given time, providing plenty of time for figuring out if FFXIV is the type of game for you.

However, there are of course strings attached to the Free Trial version. There are certain activities you can’t partake in, such as viewing and purchasing items from the Market Board, trading with other players, hiring retainers, joining a Free Company, assembling a party for Duties, or using certain aspects of the Chat feature. To get that full interaction with the rest of the community, you’ll need to purchase the game.

Make Use of Data Center Travel

Final Fantasy 14 what is data center travel
Image Source: Square Enix

Once upon a time, players in FFXIV were restricted to interacting only with those on their own data center. However, a technical overhaul was recently introduced by the developers that has since completely opened up the ability to freely travel to other data centers within the same world region. For example, if you establish your character in the Aether data center within the North American region, you can now travel to any of the other three data centers: Crystal, Dynamis (the newest), and Primal.

Not only that, you can also participate in duties with native players on any other data center, buy items from their Market Boards, etc. This has provided a very welcome solution to players who have friends on other data centers, and those who just want a more expanded social experience.

Note that players cannot travel to data centers in other world regions. Whether that will become a possibility in later expansions remains to be seen.

Pick a Fun Class to Start Off With

Final Fantasy 14 how to pick a starting class
Image Source: Square Enix

Before you dive into the world of Eorzea, the game gives you the opportunity to create your own unique character, not only in terms of their look, but also the class you want to start your adventure as. There are two main types of classes to choose from: a Disciple of War or a Disciple of Magic.

If you’re looking for a class that specializes in physical damage, then you can pick from any of the options under Disciple of War. Gladiators and Marauders are your starting ‘Tank’ classes that focus less on damage and more on defense and protecting the group, while Pugilist, Lancer, and Archer are your starting ‘DPS’ classes that focus on actually dealing damage.

On the other hand, if you’re wanting a class that specializes in magic, then you’ll want to pick an option from the Disciple of Magic category. You’ll have three options starting out: Conjurer, Arcanist, and Thaumaturge. Conjurers are a pure healing class, while Thaumaturge is a Magical Ranged DPS class. Meanwhile, Arcanist is a dual-type class that evolves into either a second healer job (Scholar) or Magical Ranged DPS (Summoner).

Whichever you choose, pick one that suits your personal affinity, one that you feel that you’ll enjoy learning and using in the long run. However, if it turns out to not be like you expect, you can always switch to a different starting class simply by visiting its respective guild and picking up its starting quest to unlock it.

Learn What Each Type of Quest Marker Means

Final Fantasy 14 what quest markers mean
Image Source: Square Enix

As you begin to explore each area of Eorzea, when you open your local map you’ll likely notice icons like the ones above scattered everywhere. These are your handy quest-related icons, and each one denotes a different type of quest and subsequent rewards/unlocks. Moreover, you’ll want to prioritize certain ones more than others.

The first icon that resembles a fiery meteor with an exclamation point in the middle (top left) represents a Main Storyline quest, otherwise known to players as “MSQ”. These are your utmost priority, as not only do they progress the game’s main story, they allow you to unlock all manner of new areas, duties, etc. If you lose track of where you are in the Main Story at any point, you have a very handy prompt in the top left corner of your screen at all times that denotes which quest you’re on, and where to find it when clicked on.

The second icon (top mid) that is blue with an exclamation mark and a plus symbol is always second in priority. These denote important quests related to any of your unlocked jobs, ones related to special event quests or side content like Tribal Alliance quests, or ones that unlock new dungeons, raids, etc. If you see one or more of these in a given area on your map, you definitely don’t want to pass them up.

The third icon (top right) that is gold with an exclamation mark, denotes all basic sideline quests found throughout the game. These are often bottom on the priority totem pole, because they don’t necessarily pertain to important lore, often don’t provide worthwhile rewards (meager gil & EXP), and there are so, so many of them found in just about every explorable area that it’s simply not worth the detour much of the time, especially early on in your adventure.

Finally, the fourth icon (bottom left) with the spinning arrow icon denotes quests that reset periodically. These are also fairly low priority.

Whenever you complete the objectives of a quest, the marker for it will turn green, meaning that it’s ready to be turned in. If you see a marker on a map that is red, that can denote either a quest that you aren’t yet qualified to undertake (due to level and/or job requirement), or one that cannot be completed due to you being set to a different job than the one you initiated the quest on. Simply switch back to that other job and it should turn green.

Understanding Gear Stats

Final Fantasy 14 how to understand gear stats
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As you level up and participate in more duties and acquire gear, it’ll become important to understand the stat-related aspects of gear items, and what makes one item better than other, and vice versa. Any time you examine one, you’ll see this type of window, which displays everything you need to know.

Starting at the very top, you’ll notice that this particular item is ‘Unique Untradable‘. This means that you cannot trade it to another player at any time, usually due to it being an item from a high-end duty or one acquired via a unique quest line. On the other hand, if it says ‘Tradable’, then you can trade it to someone.

Further down, you’ll see an item’s damage stat, along with its auto-attack stat and attack delay stat. The main one to pay attention to on this row is ‘Physical Damage’, as that denotes the average physical damage attribute the weapon has.

Next is another high-priority stat – the item level. As seen in the screenshot above, a gear item will have a given item level, which serves as an overall rating of the item’s given stats as a whole, or their “strength” in general terms. The higher the item level, the stronger it is overall. This is important to keep in mind, as high-end duties will have an “average item level” requirement that you have to meet in order to participate in them.

Below that is the list of numerical stat bonuses provided by the gear item. In the case of a crafting gear item seen above, it provides extra stat boosts to attributes like Craftsmanship and Control. Meanwhile, for a physical damage weapon it’ll feature stats such as Strength, Dexterity, and Vitality. For a magical weapon, you’ll see stats such as Mind, Piety, and Intelligence.

To help further increase those attribute boosts, you may be able to slot materia into it, which has its own sub-section. The number of materia you can add will be denoted by the number of circles.

Visit Your Grand Company Often

Final Fantasy 14 what a grand company provides
Image Source: Square Enix

Near the very start of the game, you’ll be introduced to three different organizational factions called Grand Companies that are found in different regions of Eorzea: the Order of the Twin Adder, the Maelstrom, and the Immortal Flames.

Upon reaching Level 20 with your starter class, you’ll be able to join the ranks of one of these Grand Companies at their respective headquarters. The Order of the Twin Adder is based in Gridania, while the Maelstrom is based in Limsa Lominsa, and the Immortal Flames are found in Ul’dah. You can choose any of them, regardless of your character’s city of origin.

Grand Companies provide an array of benefits for players on a daily basis, so visiting your chosen one as often as possible is encouraged. Engaging in supply and provisioning missions gives copious amount of EXP to your crafting and gathering classes. You get your very first mount (a chocobo of course) via a Grand Company quest at Level 20 called “My Little Chocobo”. You’ll also accrue Grand Company Seals, a unique currency that you can spend on anything that your Grand Company has to offer, according to your company rank.

Duty Roulettes Are Key to Efficient Leveling

Final Fantasy 14 how to use roulettes for leveling
Image Source: Square Enix via Twinfinite

Probably the single most important method of leveling your starter class/job, outside of doing the Main Story quest line, is your list of Duty Roulettes. These are special duty instances that you can find via the Duty Finder tab that queue you for a randomly selected dungeon or raid based on the type of roulette chosen. They give roulette bonuses that generally come in the form of tomes, and extra EXP and gil, versus just queueing directly for a specific dungeon or raid. You can take advantage of these bonuses once a day.

The roulette that consistently gives the largest amount of EXP by the end of the instance is the Main Scenario Roulette, which will queue you with 7 other random players for one of three possible duties initially played during A Realm Reborn: The Praetorium, Castrum Merdianum, or The Porta Decumana which is a Trial. The first two in particular are quite lengthy and feature a lot of unskippable cutscenes, so it’s mostly a matter of kicking back and waiting it out for those EXP gains (nearly half your level bar). Your class must be at least Level 50 to queue for this roulette, so it’s one you’ll encounter a little later on.

The best roulette overall for leveling quicker is called, unironically, the Leveling Roulette. This one will unlock as soon as your first class reaches Level 16, and you complete at least the first dungeon of the game. This roulette randomly chooses any dungeon between Level 16 and Level 90, and will place you with a Light Party of 4 players to complete it.

Other roulettes on the list provide smaller, varying percentages of EXP, gil, and even grand company seals, but completing as many as you can on a daily basis will overall give you quite a boost to your pace of leveling.

Check Out & Visit the Gold Saucer Often

Final Fantasy 14 what the Gold Saucer area is
Image Source: Square Enix

When not out in the wilds battling monsters, one of the key pastimes for Eorzeans is frolicking around the Manderville Gold Saucer. This special area of the city of Ul’dah provides a variety of fun mini-games for players to engage in and earn a special currency called MGP (Manderville Gold Saucer Points). It can be used to purchase a wide variety of reward items from various vendors at the Gold Saucer’s Entrance Square. These range from eccentric outfits, to weapons, minions, mounts, hairstyles, and more.

To obtain MGP, you can participate in various mini-games like the Mini-Cactpot, which is basically a scratch-off style game that can net you up to 10,000 MGP per ticket (maximum 3 per day). There’s also a regular Cactpot drawing that takes place weekly, and if you pick the right set of numbers, you may end up with at least 1,000,000 MGP.

Other notable games include the weekly Fashion Report, which tasks you with different glamour-related challenges, Chocobo Racing, Triple Triad, Doman Mahjong, and various GATE events that occur every 20 minutes in different areas of the Gold Saucer.

Make Sure to Log Out in a Sanctuary/Inn Area

Final Fantasy 14 how to use inns in the game
Image Source: Square Enix via Twinfinite

Get as many EXP bonuses as possible early on in your adventure is a big priority, and thankfully there are a variety of ways for doing so. One such one that can easily be forgotten about is your local inn. These are found in all major cities, now including Ishgard, and act as a free and comforting retreat for your character at the end of your routine playtime.

Simply speak to the local ‘Innkeep’ in any of the cities to rent a room (free every time), and it provides a variety of amenities such as a Summoning Bell to access your retainers, an Aesthetician to change your hairstyle and makeup, a Glamour Dresser to create and change your Glamour Plates, and of course a bed to sleep in.

Upon logging out in an Inn Room, the next time you log in you’ll receive a Well-Rested EXP bonus that’s denoted by your EXP bar turning blue with a moon symbol to the right of it. You’ll get bonus EXP in any battle or quest-related content while this is active. Plus it’s just nice and immersive to call it a day in an actual inn.

Alternatively, you can also get the bonus if you log out in a ‘sanctuary’ area, which generally refers to a main city near an aetheryte.

Keep Track of Your Achievements

Final Fantasy 14 how to redeem achievements in the game
Image Source: Square Enix

There are numerous different ways to obtain rewards in FFXIV, and one that can be easily overlooked is your in-game achievements. These are found under the ‘Achievements’ Menu, and unlocking them involves a variety of objectives that are categorized by content type. They can range from battle, to crafting, to leveling your companion (as seen above), and many more.

You can select certain achievements that you want to focus on at a given point to your ‘Watchlist’, that way they’re easy to access. The default reward for all achievements in the game is Achievement Points, which you can exchange for Achievement Certificates from an NPC named Jonathas by the waterfall in Old Gridania (X:10.6, Y: 6.2). Those certificates can go towards a pre-selected list of rewards, such as minions, mounts, bardings, etc.

Some achievements give extra, unique rewards in the form of special titles you can put above your character’s display name, as well as special mounts, minions, gear, etc. The game doesn’t notify you outright when an achievement has been completed, so you’ll want to check your Achievement Tab often, and keep your Watchlist updated as often as possible. Whenever you have a new unique reward to claim, you can do so straight from your Achievement menu.

This can be a very worthwhile means of obtaining special items that you can’t otherwise obtain by other means such as the Market Board. That means while it’ll take some time to fulfill some of the objectives, you don’t have to spend a single gil if you’re on a budget.

That concludes our guide of the top 10 tips for beginners in Final Fantasy XIV. We hope you find this helpful as you begin your journey through Eorzea, and let us know if there’s something you think that should be included on this list that we didn’t mention.

Be sure to check out all of our other guides for Final Fantasy XIV, such as the best jobs to start with.


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Author
Stephanie Watel
Stephanie Watel is a freelance writer for Twinfinite. Stephanie has been with the site for a few months, and in the games media industry for about a year. Stephanie typically covers the latest news and a variety of gaming guides for the site, and loves gardening and being the bird lady of the neighborhood. She has a BA in Writing from Pace University in NY.