7 Tanking Tips for Beginners in FFXIV

With these 7 tips for beginners, you'll get a solid grasp on the basics of tanking in FFXIV! Tanks play a vital role when tackling any form of grouped content in FFXIV. They set the pace for enemy encounters and ensure the party's survival, so tanking is a pretty big responsibility.

7 Tanking Tips for Beginners in FFXIV

Final Fantasy XIV has a variety of classes or “Jobs” to choose from as you adventure through the land of Eorzea. Each of these jobs can be classified into three different roles – Tank, DPS, and Healer. Whether you’re new to the game, new to MMOs, or new to the role, tanking might seem like an intimidating position to fill. After all, you’ll be playing a big part in the party’s survival.

Tanks in FFXIV have plenty of tools to make sure they do their job right, but using them isn’t always as straightforward as one would hope. In this post, you’ll read up on 7 tanking tips for beginners in Final Fantasy XIV.

Always check your Tank Stance

FFXIV uses an enmity system to determine which party member enemies will target. Actions in battle like using offensive abilities or healing will contribute to your enmity towards each enemy, and whoever has the highest value will be their focus. Every tank in FFXIV has a tank stance ability that they learn at level 10. When it’s activated, the enmity generation from using actions will be boosted by a significant amount.

A Paladin activating his Tank stance inside a dungeon - Tanking Tips FFXIV

FFXIV Tanking Tips Check Tank Stance

So, at the start of every dungeon, trial, or raid, remember to check if it’s on since even some of the most veteran players forget to do this at times. You can see if your tank stance is on by looking at your buffs or your job-specific gauge. If you forget toggle your tank stance, you’re dropping to the bottom of the enmity list right away. Of all the tanking tips in this post, this one is the most basic and arguably the most important, so always keep it in mind!

Tooltips in FFXIV provide beginner tanking tips

Much like when you buy a new device or appliance, you’re going to want to learn how to use the abilities in your kit. Fortunately, the actions you acquire in FFXIV come with instructions! Well, sort of. By going to your Actions menu and hovering the cursor over any particular skill, you can read tooltips that give you basic information about it. It provides info like cooldown time, MP cost, and what that skill actually does. 

Beginner Tanking Tip Familiarize Your Kit

Beginner Tanking Tip Familiarize Your Kit

As a tank, you’re expected to know which skills are for attacking, pulling enemies, and most importantly, mitigating damage. You can also practice your actions on Striking Dummies or in the Hall of the Novice if reading the tooltips aren’t enough. Remember, even if you’re clad in the heaviest of armor, you won’t be able to weather an entire pack of enemies without using your abilities properly!

Pace yourself for pulls

Pulling refers to the act of engaging enemies with an ability to start a battle. You might come across a term called “wall-to-wall” when learning how to tank in FFXIV. This term is used to describe pulling all enemies within a set portion of a dungeon. You’re actually going to want to refrain from doing this as a beginner tank.

Beginner Tanking Tip Pace Yourself

Beginner Tanking Tip Pace Yourself

Pulling too many mobs in one go isn’t recommended for newer players since there’s a good chance they’ll struggle to keep up with the enemy’s damage output. Pulling one pack at a time is the way to go. This allows you to get a better feel for how your abilities work as you go along. Also try to keep track of whether or not your healer is having a hard time keeping your health up. They might be new at their job, too!

Check the enemy list

During battle, a list of enemies that are actively engaged by the party will appear. You can change its position in the HUD Layout menu, but it shows up near the lower left corner of your screen by default.

FFXIV Tanking Tip Check Enemy List

FFXIV Tanking Tip Check Enemy List

Each enemy will have a simple icon next its name to indicate its enmity level towards you. These icons include a green circle, a yellow triangle, an orange triangle, and a red square. The green circle indicates that you have the lowest enmity from this enemy while the red square means that you are currently its target. As a tank, every enemy in this list should have a red square. If you see any enemy drop down to even an orange triangle, get its attention immediately! You can click on an enemy name in this list to target it for a quick Provoke.

Cycle through damage mitigation

Now that you have the enemy’s attention, it’s time to use your damage mitigation abilities. These are skills that reduce incoming damage by weakening enemies or bolstering your defense. Examples of these skills include Rampart, Reprisal, and Arm’s Length.

A Marauder using the Rampart ability for damage mitigation - Tanking Tips FFXIV

FFXIV Tanking Tips Cycle Mitigation

Damage mitigation abilities are best used when fighting groups of enemies or in anticipation of a boss’s offensive ability. That being said, using these skills one at a time is more efficient than stacking their effects. Cycling through these abilities will increase the uptime of your damage mitigation. 

Minimize your movement

Melee DPS jobs in FFXIV have moves in their kit known as positionals. These are offensive abilities that deal extra damage when done from a certain position. For example, a Pugilist’s Snap Punch normally has a potency of 250, but it’s bumped to 310 when performed from the target’s flank.

FFXIV Tanking Tips Minimize Movement

FFXIV Tanking Tips Minimize Movement

Remember, as the tank, the enemy will be facing you, so if you move, their orientation will shift. Moving around too much may cause your party to miss out on those damage bonuses from positionals. You should definitely still move out the way of incoming AoE attacks, but try to return to your original position as soon as you know it’s safe. You can think of limiting your movement as another way for tanks to contribute to the party’s damage output.

Communicate with the party

This last tip applies to anything in life that’s done with a team so why would FFXIV be any different? If you’re still feeling a bit nervous about tanking for a party, just give your teammates a heads up. A simple “I’m new to this job” or “this is my first time tanking here” at the beginning of a dungeon will do. FFXIV players are generally very understanding of newbies, so don’t hesitate to speak up! Some of them might even offer some tips of their own along the way.

FFXIV Tanking Tips Communicate

FFXIV Tanking Tips Communicate

The communication shouldn’t stop after you’ve let your party know that you’re new. It helps to let them know what is going on during a run so that they can make adjustments when needed. All your damage mitigation skills are still on cooldown? Let your healer know so they can ready their big boy heal! Or who knows, maybe one of the DPS has a damage mitigation ability they can throw out. At the end of the day, you’re in that dungeon with a team. And as we all know, teamwork makes the dream work!


So there you have it, 7 tanking tips for beginners in Final Fantasy XIV. Hopefully, this post helped you silence that voice in your head that’s telling you tanking is scary. Even if you forget some of these tips during a dungeon run, don’t worry! Just remember to learn from your mistakes and try again. Happy tanking, and most importantly, have fun!

Having trouble deciding which specific job to go with in FFXIV? This post will help you choose your job! And, if you’ve memorized your tank abilities but still have trouble using them on a controller, you might want to check out this video by Bun Boss FFXIV:

Practical FFXIV Controller Guide Setup! (Watch This Before You Play With A Controller!)

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