What class should you start with in Final Fantasy XIV?

Pick the class that’s right for you!

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So you just downloaded Final Fantasy XIV. Congratulations! Eorzea is a massive world filled with quests to complete and monsters to defeat. Though you’ll start by learning the basics of adventuring, you’ll be slaying dragons and god-like beings before you know it.

That said, before you can do anything in Final Fantasy XIV, you’ll need to pick your starting class. For those of you new to MMORPGs, Final Fantasy XIV separates its classes into three essential roles. This will determine your main responsibility in a party, even if you use Duty Support to play with NPCs. These roles are as follows:

  • DPS: Damage dealers who focus solely on offense.
  • Healers: Mages who prioritize healing allies while dealing damage when they can.
  • Tanks: Defensive fighters who grab the attention of enemies to protect their party members.

At level 30, every base class can be upgraded into a job from the classic Final Fantasy series. These are wholesale power boosts, so don’t get confused if you see players refer to “classes” and “jobs” interchangeably.

Picking your class and your party role can be overwhelming, but don’t worry; Final Fantasy XIV lets you freely change your class very early in your adventure. What’s more, every class is easy to learn, so choose the option that appeals to you the most. For many players, leveling every class in the game is a major goal. There are even achievements and special titles you can unlock by maxing out every class and job on one character!

Having said that, if you’re truly lost deciding which starting class is right for you, consider one of these options.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Arcanist

If you want to test out a couple different playstyles at once, Arcanist is a fantastic starting class. In the early game, you’ll be classified as a DPS but have access to a pet and a healing skill. This makes it easy to explore and clear bosses in the overworld by yourself, even though you’ll get ample experience just by doing the main story quest. More importantly, Arcanist is the only class that can become a dedicated DPS or healer after reaching level 30. The Summoner and Scholar jobs are both based on Arcanist, meaning you can freely swap between the two jobs as long as you have gear for both.

For the player who likes to deal damage and provide support, Arcanist is a great pick to start with.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Marauder

If you are interested in tanking, Marauder is arguably the best classes for learning the role. Its playstyle is one of the most straightforward of all the tanks, even at high levels. Additionally, as you level Marauder higher and advance to the Warrior job, you’ll gain access to powerful self-sustain capabilities. This class’ healing potential makes it easy to take on massive amounts of enemies at once at higher levels, even if your healer is struggling. You won’t learn Warrior’s major self-healing skill until level 56, but until then, you’ll have an easy time learning the basics.

If you’d like to try tanking but feel anxious thinking about it, definitely consider Marauder.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Archer

Archer is an incredibly accessible DPS class. It can target enemies from long distances, and it can freely move and fight without any consequences. This makes dodging attacks a piece of cake, especially as you learn the kinds of moves enemies can use. Archer is the only ranged physical DPS class you can start with, making this a great choice if you want to play Dancer or Machinist later on. Archer will eventually become a Bard, giving it a slew of party buffs that will help teammates hit even harder.

If you want a class that feels more active to play, consider giving Archer a spin.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Conjurer

Conjurer is a starting class that becomes a White Mage at level 30. If you’ve played a Final Fantasy game before, then this class is exactly what it sounds like. Not only is Conjurer one of the easiest healers to learn, it is the only class that starts as a healer from level 1. You’ll quickly get access to basic damaging spells as well as essential curative spells, allowing you to attack and heal like a champion. While all classes are viable for the solo battles you’ll face in the main story quest, White Mage’s access to respectable offense and healing on demand allows it to pass these encounters with remarkable ease.

Anyone who knows they want to heal right off the bat should pick Conjurer as their starting class.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Pugilist

Final Fantasy XIV has many melee DPS classes to choose from, and all of them have their pros and cons. For new players wanting to learn the ins and outs of melee DPS, Pugilist is your best starting option. You’ll get access to your core combo attacks earlier than the other options, which means you’ll learn basics like using some moves on the side of the enemy or behind the enemy to deal bonus damage. Pugilist even gets earlier access to damage skills that target multiple enemies, which gives them an edge over their early game counterparts.

By the time you become a Monk at level 30, you’ll know if this role is right for you.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Experiment with classes!

As mentioned above, Final Fantasy XIV lets you freely change the class or job you play by equipping a different weapon. While descriptions of each class can aid your decision making process, the best way to figure out the best class for you is to try anything that strikes your fancy. Experience points are very easy to come by in the early game, so don’t feel like you’ve “invested” in one class because you got it to level 20.

As you continue your adventure, you’ll unlock many advanced jobs as well. Dark Knight, Machinist, and Astrologian are all included in the free trial as part of the Heavensward expansion. For players who own all the expansions, you’ll have six more jobs to unlock on top of that! Every class and job in Final Fantasy XIV is viable for virtually all content in the game, so don’t worry about picking the “best” option. Choose anything that you have fun playing first and foremost. Enjoy your time in Eorzea!

About The Author
Timothy Monbleau
Guide Editor - Timothy started writing community blogs for Destructoid in 2012. He liked it so much he decided to write articles for the site professionally. His love for RPGs and the Ys series will endure forever.
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