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You’ve heard all the hype around Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers and you’re thinking about jumping into the game yourself? That’s great news, especially because Final Fantasy XIV is easily one of the best MMORPGs right now.
But be warned: this can be an intimidating game when you’re first getting up and running. Fortunately, with the tips and tricks I’m about to share with you, you can start off with an advantage right from the beginning. These are the things I wish people had told me when I first purchased FFXIV.
1. Buy the Right Version of the Game
This one might seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but it is possible to overpay for Final Fantasy XIV if you don’t buy the correct version of the game. If you accidentally purchase just the base game, then you’ll need to buy the expansions as well, which will end up hitting your wallet for more than the $60 that is necessary to get started.
If you’re playing on PC, make sure go here and get the Final Fantasy XIV Online Complete Edition, or here for the same version of the game on PS4. Both of these include the base game, all of the expansions (including the newly-released Shadowbringers), and a month of game time.
2. Stick With Your Starting Class
In FFXIV, your starting class isn’t the class you’re forced to play throughout, as you can simply change weapons to try out a different class. However, we recommend that once you grind your first class up a few levels, that you stick with it, as you’ll be starting over from level one with a new class.
That means choosing your starting class (which will eventually transition into your job) is incredibly important. You’ll need to first decide if you want to be a tank, healer, or DPS. From there, you can narrow it down to the class you want to roll with for the next couple hundred hours.
- Gladiator (Paladin)
- Maurader (Warrior)
- Arcanist (Summoner for DPS, Scholar for Healer)
- Archer (Bard)
- Thaumaturge (Black Mage)
- Lancer (Dragoon)
- Pugilist (Monk)
- Rogue (Ninja)
- Conjurer (White Mage)
The class in parentheses is what you’ll become when you unlock your job later in the game.
It’s also worth noting that the class you choose also affects in which city you start. This isn’t a huge deal, as the whole world opens up at around level 15, but it’s still something to keep in mind.
3. Join a Free Company ASAP
A Free Company in Final Fantasy XIV is basically the same thing as a guild in World of Warcraft. It’s a large group of players who can communicate and play together.
But there’s another benefit that’ll really help out new players: the FC can get a buff that increases the amount of XP you get. That’s right, you don’t have to do anything other than get into a fun social group, and you’ll get bonus XP. In addition, many FCs offer free food, which gives you a further 3% boost to your XP gains. If you want to level up your class quickly, joining an FC is something that needs to be on your radar.
If you’re not sure how here’s a helpful guide that’ll teach you everything you need to know to hop into your first FC.
4. Play the Main Scenario Quest
While a lot of MMORPGs tend to be more about opening up a branching path and letting the player do whatever he or she wants, Final Fantasy XIV actually puts a tremendous amount of weight behinds its story. In fact, many of the game’s most critical features are locked behind the Main Scenario Quest (MSQ), so you’re going to have to go through it at some point.
It makes sense to play the MSQ first because it gives lots of EXP, so playing it when you’re already at the level cap will be a waste. Plus, you’ll be missing out on unlocking all kinds of dungeons and other content that’ll help you level. You can most certainly veer of the MSQ as you play, but you should use it the backbone of your initial leveling experience to maximize efficiency.
5. Know Which Quests Are Important
In the world of FFXIV, there are a few different types of quests, but only certain ones are actually important. As mentioned, the MSQ ones are all but required. They’re marked with a flaming exclamation point.
The other important quests have a blue exclamation point and these unlock something. They may unlock a new dungeon, a raid, a side event, a new type of quests, or something else. If you see one of these, you’re probably going to want to do it at some point, so you may as well pick it up.
6. Prepare for Dungeons at Later Levels
When you first encounter a four-person dungeon in FFXIV, you might think they’re pretty easy. And they are at the beginning of the game. There isn’t much in the way of mechanics, and you’ll mostly just be running through them without much through.
That changes once you get in the upper thirties, though. Then, the dungeons start coming with more advanced mechanics that’ll vary depending on whether you’re DPS, healer, or tank. As such, you have two options: let the group know that you’re new and see if they’ll give you a quick walkthrough of the mechanics, or hit YouTube for some quick guides. If you choose the latter, simply search for the dungeon name on YouTube and you’ll find plenty of guides to choose from.
7. Bookmark These Helpful Websites
Final Fantasy XIV is a deep game. It’s an MMORPG that’s pushing ten years old at this point, so there are layers and layers of content. Following the advice above will certainly help, but you’re going to have questions. You’re going to need to look up which NPC gives the quest you want. And while the game does feature plenty of tutorials, there will be times you need to turn to the internet to get the answers you seek.
That’s where our old friend the internet comes into play. These wikis will be there when you need to know something:
This is probably the most important tip I could give any new player to this, or any other MMO, and that’s to have fun! Remember, while there’s a lot of grinding in these sorts of games, it’s not a job. Take your time and enjoy. In the case of FFXIV, take the time to watch the cutscenes and experience the stories. The road to level 80 is a journey, not a race!