Final Fantasy XIV: An absolute beginner’s guide

 
 

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers launches on 2nd July - a grand new expansion that makes vast adventure even bigger. A little daunting perhaps, but it’s a place that’s never been more rich, diverse, detailed and fun to explore.

If its stunning visuals, expansive storylines and opportunities for endless questing have always appealed, but you’ve never known where to begin then, never fear: we’ve got you covered. This guide is for the uninitiated, so newcomers gather round, and we’ll bring you up to speed with everything you need to know to get started.

 
 

What is Final Fantasy XIV?

Set in the fantastical realm of Eorzea, Final Fantasy XIV is a sprawling online adventure, where hundreds of players set out to conquer a vast world teeming with fierce monsters, powerful magic and alluring myths.

As an massively-mulitplayer online RPG, you’ll share your experience with countless other players who populate the world, either passing them a wave as you scoot by on your own errands or teaming up to conquer dungeons or fell powerful enemies together.

As you quest, you’ll shape your character’s skills, looks and history, taking on job roles and classes, picking up powerful weapons and armour, and helping the denizens of Eorzea bring peace to the continent.

 
 

Choose your race

Final Fantasy XIV has diverse character creation options that allow you to define the look of your hero. You’ll need to start however, with one of Eorzea’s six main classes.

Hyur

Eorzea’s most human-like class, the Hyur will likely feel like your most natural avatar in the world.

Elezen

An elegant, almost elven-looking race, the Elezen are defined by their pointed ears and willowy physique.

Lalafell

Cute and diminutive, this gnome-like race might look harmless enough, but they're anything but.

Miqo’te

Part humanoid and part feline, the Miqo’te are slender and cunning warriors, known for their regal tails.

Roegadyn

These hulking goliaths are truly intimidating in stature and make unsurprisingly natural fighters.  

Au Ra

A demonic-looking humanoid race with horns and tails, the Au Ra were added as part of the Heavensward expansion.

On top of this, the Shadowbringers expansion adds two further races: the Hrothgar and Viera.

 
 

Know your role

There are a great many different character builds to be experimented with in Final Fantasy XIV, but all fall into one of three simple groups: Tanks, Damage Dealers and Healers. 

Tanks are defined by their endurance. They’re not invulnerable by any means, but hardy enough to take a pummelling and keep on moving.

Damage dealers (DPS) offer raw power and are able to dish out powerful combat skills. Be warned though, they are far more vulnerable as a result. 

Healers are much as the name suggests: invaluable when it comes to keeping the group on their feet, but also able to do a little damage too. 

 
 

Classes and Jobs

At the beginning of your journey you’ll choose one of eight basic classes: Arcanist, Archer, Conjurer, Gladiator, Lancer, Marauder, Pugilist or Thaumaturge, each suited to a specific role and style of play. As you progress, these will evolve into a much broader selection of specialisations called ‘Jobs’. These include: 

Damage dealers (DPS)

Black Mage

A natural fit for Thaumaturges, Black Mages deal huge amounts of damage using powerful elemental magic.

Dragoon

An advanced Lancer class, Dragoons specialise in close quarters physical damage and high mobility.

Ninja

Fleet of foot, physical damage dealers, Ninjas are a progression of the base class 'Rogue' which can be unlocked at Lvl. 10.

Tanks

Warrior

A popular tank class known for wielding axes, the Warrior is typical progress of the Marauder class.

Paladin

Driven by faith, the Paladin job class is probably one of the toughest tank classes – a good fit for Gladiators. 

Dark Knight

Wielding a great sword, the Dark Knight is special job class unlocked via Heavensward’s main story missions.

Healers

White Mage

A popular and reliable healer class, White mages are also capable damage dealers and a natural fit for Conjurers.

Scholar

With a focus defensive and protective magics, the scholar is a more proactive healer class – good for Arcanists.

Astrologian

Specialising in buffs and special effects, the Astrologian is a specialist class added with Heavensward.

These are just a handful of FFXIV’s job classes. Others include Bard, Monk, Summoner, Samurai, Machinist and Red Mage. Shadowbringers also adds two further classes: Gunbreaker and Dancer.

 
 

The realm of Eorzea

Final Fantasy XIV features a sprawling interconnected world of diverse locales, home to all kinds of creatures. You’ll start out in one the three main territories: Gridania if you choose an Archer, Lancer or Conjurer; Ul’dah if you choose a Pugilist, Gladiator or Thaumaturge; or Limsa Lominsa if you chose a Marauder or Arcanist. These however, are merely your starting points, and you'll be free to travel to all three as you explore.

Limsa Lominsa

The regal docks of Limsa Lominsa are the heart of Eorzea’s naval industry. Home to the wise Arcanists and brutal Marauders, you can also pursue your talents in fishing, blacksmithing and cookery here.

The surrounding lands of La Noscea boast sweeping clifftop views and idyllic farmsteads – perfect for a chocobo ride. Just be on the look-out for pirates.

Ul'dah - Thanalan

The opulent streets of the merchant city of Ul’dah are home to guilds for the Gladiators, Pugilists and Thaumaturges, as well as the arts of weaving, goldsmithing or mining.

Venture beyond the city walls to explore the burning sands of Thanalan – but beware. The desert can be as deadly as it is beautiful…

Gridania

The lantern-lit paths of Gridania are where folk and nature exist in harmony. These labyrinthine woods play host to Lancers, Archers and Conjurers, along with the studies of Botanists and the craftsmanship of Leatherworkers and Carpenters.

Investigate the mysteries of the Black Shroud beyond Gridania’s limits to encounter wonder and peril in equal measure.

 
 

An ever-expanding adventure

The above should have given you a good idea of what to expect from your first foray into the world of Final Fantasy XIV, but it’s just the beginning. With each expansion the world continues to grow, offering new places to visit, treasures to be sought and adventures to be embarked upon.

It’s an enormous adventure, but it’s yours to take at your own pace. Whether you wish to map every corner of the continent and collect the very greatest treasures in the land, or merely join friends for the occasional daring quest.

Try for free

Play up to level 35

If you’re already champing at the bit, then download the free trial now from PlayStation Store. You’ll have access to Eorzea free for 30 days: build a character and start exploring now.