Picking a Job to commit to is not an easy ordeal. Especially not since Final Fantasy XIV has (as of the latest expansion Endwalker, excluding Blue Mage) 19 different ones to choose from. Luckily, you can play each and every Job on a single character, but you still level them separately—and slowly. This guide will serve as an overview of the Jobs in FFXIV and their unique playstyles, to give you a good idea of what you can expect. Let’s take a look.
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Brandishing a sword and shield, the Paladin is the embodiment of what makes one a tank. They are the stalwart protectors of their groups and come packed with a ton of utility to fulfill this duty. But protecting is hardly all they can do. Paladins also come packed with not only their sword—but also strong and flashy holy abilities that they unleash onto their enemies.
A Paladin’s playstyle revolves around starting with a physical damage phase, and then swapping into a magical damage phase. Once the magic phase concludes, it loops right back into the physical phase…and so it repeats. If you’re looking to be that strong, unyielding defender in Final Fantasy XIV, then Paladin might just be the Job for you.
Dark Knight (DRK)
Wielding a big hunk of sharp metal as a greatsword, the Dark Knight stands for all that is edge. They draw from the darkness within themselves to enhance their attacks and vanquish their foes, or keep their teammates from harm.
With a burst phase strong enough to put DPS to shame, the Dark Knight is no stranger to big numbers. They are very active in said burst phase, but in between these you have a lot of room to breathe. Dark Knights can also help out the party with their unique magic defense utility and their strong individual shield. Whether you like “Berserk” or not, you can’t deny that a Dark Knight just looks plain cool.
It’s hard not to feel badass whilst swinging around an enormous axe that could seemingly cleave someone in half. Indeed, the appeal is there to be that unstoppable juggernaut jumping into the fray without a care. The Warrior is not fueled by holy power or darkness, but instead relies on good simple anger to get the job done.
Warriors tend to have a very reactive playstyle, rather than a set rotation. They have a big emphasis on cooldown management and building up their resources to do massive hits during their burst phases. Strangely enough, they also possess a lot of party utility such as healing and party shields. If real life has got you angry and upset, perhaps you should turn that into damage in FFXIV with the rage-fueled Warrior Job.
If you cannot decide whether you want to shoot or stab someone, why not both? The Gunbreaker Job in Final Fantasy XIV allows you to weave in flashy explosions from your gunblade in between your normal attacks, making for a fun and fulfilling experience.
Similar to Warrior, Gunbreaker also has a priority system rather than a full rotation. They are the most busy tank Job in their burst, not even having time to mitigate without sacrificing damage for it. Gunbreaker is comparable to a DPS from how they function, so if you want to feel like a DPS without suffering DPS queue times, maybe consider the GNB.
White Mage (WHM)
White Mage is the staff-wielding cookie cutter healer Job of FFXIV. This is by no means a bad thing as they are a great gateway into healing for a beginner. With easy to understand abilities and a well-rounded toolkit, there is nothing left to be desired. They also possess the unique ability to “blind” their own party with a particularly flashy AOE spell.
WHM is considered to be a regen healer, meaning that they focus on keeping the party at full health as opposed to shielding incoming damage. Speaking of, for a healer White Mage has very high and straightforward damage…be that in bossfights or mob packs. If you’re new to healing or just want something straightforward, White Mage is a great pick.
The polar opposite to the White Mage, Scholar is anything but simple. With a fairy to accompany them and a helpful spellbook by their side, big brains aren’t the only thing in their arsenal. The cool, calculating Scholar has a solution to every situation up their sleeve. They also have their trusty fairy to help them out.
Scholar, as the name suggests, requires knowledge. They are considered to be a shield healer, and focus on preventing damage rather than healing it back. SCH is a Job much more reliant on their cooldowns than other healers in Final Fantasy XIV—and they have a lot of them. As such, it is imperative that one understands what to use in the situation, as well as how much is necessary. Going overboard will soon leave you with nothing left. Because of this difficulty, however, Scholar ends up being incredibly rewarding to play correctly and has you feeling like no situation can overwhelm you.
Brandishing a deck of cards, the Astrologian is a magician when it comes to making the party’s health bars reappear. With some preparation and a quick gaze at the stars, the AST can prepare healing preemptively even before it’s necessary.
Astrologians are the other type of regen healers, though they do have the occasional shielding moments as well. Their gameplay is very fast-paced and they are generally busy throwing out cards to buff their teammates around the clock. To play AST properly, you must be able to predict the near future (which is on brand for them), to be able to prepare your heals for when the damage does arise. If you believe in the heart of cards, Astrologian is definitely your draw.
Being a new Job in Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker, Sage tosses books and cards aside for a pair of magical short-staves called Nouliths. Have you ever wanted to heal your friends with magical bullets? Well, SGE gives you a chance to do so without winding up in jail. Incredible.
Sages are shield healers, but also have a mechanic completely unique to them: healing through the damage they deal to enemies. This gives them ample time to throw out more attacks without worrying about the tank’s health. Their shields also shield for a lot more when the recipient is on low health, allowing for a more safe recovery. It’s a nice change of pace as a healer, and brings some much needed diversity to the Jobs of FFXIV.
With lance in hand, the Dragoon leaps in and out of the fight with pinpoint precision. As the old protectors against dragons, Dragoon draws a lot of its style from their age-old war. They are able to harness the power of dragons and use it to fuel their attacks. With an aerial style of combat, they are rarely seen just standing still.
Dragoons are not so much about big burst phases, but rather do constant damage. They can be considered to have a slow rotation, although they have a ton of buttons to weave between their standard rotation to spice things up. Pairing that with flashy and sick-looking abilities, DRG is just a ton of fun. If you want your big attacks to steal the show, Dragoon has got your back.
Who needs weapons when you have two perfectly fine fists already attached to your body? The Monk Job in Final Fantasy XIV makes use of fist weapons (though all the cool ones only use their plain old fists) to deal with whatever stands before them. They are lightning fast and extremely versatile.
A Monk’s playstyle is not so much a rotation as it is a matter of priority. By swapping between different stances through their abilities, they must decide which choices fit the situation best. MNK is easily the fastest Job in FFXIV and you’ll be mashing buttons like no tomorrow to keep up. In their burst, they have to follow certain specific patterns to build up a single massive attack at the end. If you want to lose the paint on your keyboard buttons, Monk is the definitely the pick.
A Ninja makes good use of their twin daggers, which they hold in a backwards grip (of course) for extra cool points. Above all, they are assassins, but that is not all there is to them. By combining different signs, Ninjas conjure up a variety of “Ninjutsu” spells to unleash onto their opposition for massive damage.
Ninja, similar to Monk, is a very fast job. Ninja has a massive and intricate burst phase, but their rotation is quite simple outside of said burst. They can also create a shadow clone of themselves to mimic their attacks, or use buffs to upgrade their next Ninjutsu into a much more powerful version. Naruto fan or not, NIN is definitely a fun and unique Job to play.
Being the second Eastern-influenced Job in FFXIV, Samurai wields their katana with pride. They’re all about building up to those big hits and unleashing them onto whatever poor soul is on the sharp end of their blade.
Samurai’s playstyle, as mentioned above, is very much about getting to those massive attacks that make the happy brain chemicals go crazy. They are considered to be a “selfish” Job, not bringing any party utility aside from their very high damage. There is not much available optimization or variation in their playstyle, but their massive flashy attacks more than make up for this. It’s hard not to feel badass while playing a SAM, whether you care for their aesthetic or not.
The second Job added in FFXIV Endwalker, the Reaper cuts through enemies with their haunting scythe. They also have a bit of a dark side to them, hiding an avatar of the void within themselves. A Reaper can call on this avatar to strengthen their attacks, or to unleash devastating moves themselves.
A Reaper’s playstyle revolves around building themselves up to a big burst phase where they merge with their void avatars to become even more powerful together. In this form is where a large bulk of a RPRs damage lies, although they cannot maintain the form for very long. With flashy modern aesthetics and an overflowing amount of style, Reapers sow their names into the battlefield.
Ranged Physical DPS
Not only armed with the power of music, the Bard also wields a bow in combat. Whilst playing a variety of songs to bolster their allies in different ways, they also fire out a barrage of arrows and flashy attacks into their foes.
Bards are all about keeping up their songs. They have three of them, and there should always be one playing during combat at all times. These do not only work to buff their party though, as they give strong individual buffs to the BRD as well. Bards have a ton of buttons to press at all times and it makes for great fun if you can keep up. All-in-all they bring decent damage and incredible party utility, and would be a boon to any group.
As the resident “selfish” Job of the Ranged DPS in FFXIV, Machinist uses a gun to uh…shoot things. As the co-protectors of Ishgard (alongside Dragoons), MCHs have a wide arsenal of contraptions and inventions to blow up their enemies with. They’re mechanical geniuses that can summon a mech to help them in fights and shoot out high-damage drills. Also…bombs.
Machinists are very fast-paced and unfortunately require a good connection to play properly. They have a ton of buttons to press in their burst with short time in between. Although they have no real party utility, their individual damage is a lot higher to make up for this. Looking to fight alongside your very own mech and burn enemies with flamethrowers? Then maybe take a look at Machinist.
A Dancer wields more than just their sick moves…they also carry a pair of chakrams with them. With a dance technique constructed specifically for fighting, a Dancer’s flashy actions are definitely more than just for show. Cut people apart from afar and look good doing it.
A DNC is not only there for damage—in fact, it’s hardly even the main reason. They can select a dance partner within their group with which to share their incredible buffs with. This alone gives them a lot of utility, but they also have heals and party-wide mitigation available to them. Dancers also have specific dances that they can perform to increase the damage of them and their partner, or their entire group. It’s a little RNG reliant, but quite straightforward otherwise and probably has the best mobility of any Job in Final Fantasy XIV. If you’re looking to super buff your group, Dancer is a great choice.
Ranged Magical DPS
Black Mage (BLM)
The Black Mage is here for one thing, and one thing only: big explosions. They wield their staff with the determination to move as little as possible in any given fight. The reason for this is their insanely long cast times, but the payoff for these casts are well worth the wait. A Black Mage is able to unleash controlled devastation wherever they tread.
It’s not uncommon for a BLM to die because of greeding out a cast while standing smack dab in the middle of an incoming AOE. This Job is difficult to master—the most of any Job in FFXIV. While they are not hard to pick up, mastering Black Mage takes effort and time. Their playstyle consists of juggling between two phases—one in which they spend all of their mana on massive hard-hitting attacks, and a weak one to regain that mana. It also takes a considerable amount of effort and awareness not to let their buffs run out, if you’re still new to it. If you are looking for a serious challenge, Black Mage has got your number.
Red Mage (RDM)
Can’t decide if you want to be melee or a caster? You’re in luck! A Red Mage not only use a rapier, but also a focus for their spellcasting. They wield both black and white magic, and keep a careful balance of the two during their fights.
A Red Mage’s playstyle revolves around building up and balancing both white and black magic. After amassing enough of both, the RDM can jump into melee for a strong and hard-hitting melee burst that spends all of the built-up magic. They also have a unique mechanic where their every second spell can be instant cast. Red Mage is fairly easy to get the hang of and might be a good introduction into casting. If you want a bit more of a lightweight caster, or maybe just love their blazing aesthetic, Red Mage could be the Job for you.
Newly reworked in Endwalker, Summoner carries with it a handy spellbook similar to its class-mate Scholar. Unlike SCH with its tiny fairy though, SMN instead invokes the power of the enormous primals in battle and channels them into their own attacks.
A Summoner’s playstyle revolves around summoning the elder primal Bahamut as well as a flaming Phoenix, and looping through the other primals outside of their burst. Each summon gives the SMN unique abilities and constantly spices up their otherwise-simple gameplay. While they are not the hardest of Jobs in Final Fantasy XIV, their over-the-top visuals definitely make them a lot of fun. Summoner is the Job for you if you’re looking to command epic beings to do your bidding.
If you want to check out each Job’s unique “Limit Break”, check out Final Fantasy XIV’s own video right below:
I hope that this guide has given you some new insight into what you might want to play or try out. If all else fails, listen to your heart. Farewell for now, Warriors of Light.