Despite a not exactly sparkling launch, over the years Final Fantasy XIV, thanks to substantial updates and expansions of the highest quality, he has managed to earn a place in the Olympus of MMOs, to the point that today with over 30 million players around the world he can challenge even that sacred monster called World of Warcraft.
If you've never played Final Fantasy XIV, there's probably no better time to start. Thanks to free trial anyone can venture into Eorzea and tackle all of the content from the base game, A Realm Reborn, and the first expansion, Heavensward, up to level 60. Basically we're talking about potentially hundreds and hundreds of hours of completely free content. And if you want to continue the adventure you will also have time to prepare properly before the release of the highly anticipated new expansion Endwalker, due out in November.
If this is your first time entering the world of MMOs, you may initially be blown away by the mechanics of Final Fantasy XIV and the many activities it offers. For this reason we have created one guide with 10 useful tips for all those who start their adventure in Eorzea now, but who will also be useful for more advanced activities, such as dungeons, trials and raids.
Character creation, world choice and starting class
The first thing to do once you start Final Fantasy XIV is, of course, create your alter ego virtual. You can choose between various races, divided in turn into two ethnic groups. Each offers a different perk bonus, but it's such an insignificant extra that you can just ignore it. The same also applies to the patron deity. Instead, focus on creating an avatar that fully satisfies you. Advancing in the quests of A Realm Reborn will unlock the services of the Aesthetician, which allows you to change the hairstyle and some traits of your character. However, to change the avatar's physical characteristics, race or gender, you'll need to use a Fantasia vial. One will be given to you by completing the main story arc of A Realm Reborn, but if you want more you will have to spend real money in the Square Enix store. In short, it is definitely worth investing an extra ten minutes to create the perfect avatar.
In addition to the aesthetic aspect, the other crucial choice to make when creating the character is that relating to world and the Data Center. The first is simply the server to which you will connect with your character and has a specific name inspired by the Final Fantasy saga, such as Ragnarok, Moogle and so on. Each world belongs to a Data Center, which is a macro set of servers, linked to a specific region: Europe, North America and Japan. If you play in Spain or any European country, then we recommend that you choose the Chaos or Light Data Centers. For the world instead, as far as we know you should be able to find a good number of Spanish players on Ragnarok, Moogle, Phoenix and Zodiark. However, keep in mind that players from different servers can play together as long as they are part of the same Data Center.
Finally, there is the choice of starting class of your character. The options are many, but the game does not offer an overview of the abilities and peculiarities of each of them. Not bad, because our advice in this sense is not to dwell too much on the choice of class. In Final Fantasy XIV, in fact, it is possible to use them all with a single character once level 10 is reached. Indeed, as we will see shortly, it is the game itself that entices players to try and use more different classes.
Use multiple classes
As mentioned in the previous paragraph in Final Fantasy XIV you can use all classes / jobs combat with a single character. Each of them has a separate level, for example you could be a level 50 Warrior and a level 37 White Mage at the same time. This means that you will have to level each class separately, but that's not a big deal. By simply tackling the main and secondary quests, in fact, you will get an amount of experience that is far too generous for a single class. This is because developers indirectly entice players to try and use multiple roles.
What we recommend therefore is to try other classes as well as the initial one. In this sense, you could evaluate the idea of having at least one class for each role: Tank, DPS and Healer. Even if "when you grow up" your goal is to be Eorzea's strongest damage dealer, playing as a healer or tank gives you a broader view of Final Fantasy XIV's gameplay mechanics. will make players better overall. We also recommend that you save the equipment set of each of your classes. Once done, assign them to your hotbar / cross hotbar commands, so that you can switch between jobs in an instant.
As fun as it is to play all 18 Final Fantasy XIV classes / jobs, beginners should stick to a little smaller number. By making an estimate, in our opinion you can play very well with at least two classes, probably even three, without ever having to engage in boring farming sessions, but simply by completing the main and secondary quests. At the most, if you need experience points, you just need to participate in duty roulette from time to time: the first daily completion guarantees a considerable bonus in terms of exp and guil.
The main story quests are your gym
Most of the main and secondary quests of Final Fantasy XIV - A Realm Reborn face each other in single player and they are really a walk: you will hardly lose consciousness during a battle or miss a goal. Different speech for the mid and endgame contents, such as Raid and Dungeon, which are designed for multiplayer and offer a much higher level of challenge, where often it is not just a question of beating enemies but also of implementing more complex strategies, interact with the game environment or position yourself specifically on the battlefield. The first experience in a dungeon could be unsettling, not only due to the aforementioned mechanics, but also due to the chaos on the screen given by the greater number of players and enemies. In these cases having to stop and think "ok, now what skill do I use?" not really the best.
To get prepared for the hottest activities of Final Fantasy XIV we therefore recommend that you tackle the single player portion as if it were a gym to train yourself in using the skills of your class correctly. If at the beginning you have few skills, once you reach higher levels, especially when your class evolves into a job, you will have dozens and dozens of different skills. Some have high cooldowns and should be used in specific situations, while others, if activated in a particular order, increase power and gain additional effects. Slowly you will realize, especially if you play as DPS, that there are skill rotations ideal for different scenarios, such as single target, multiple targets or hit and run assaults for when the mechanics of a boss prevent prolonged attacks. Learning the rotations by heart, without even having to look at the hotbars to perform them, makes the difference between the smart player and the inexperienced one.
Learn your role before trying your hand at multiplayer
Another tip to get ready for multiplayer activities is to understand yours perfectly role in battle. The Tank has the task of attracting the attention of all the enemies by increasing the Enmity, or "aggro" if you prefer, and favoring the companions by positioning the enemies or the boss on duty so that he gives his back to the team, avoiding the at the same time unnecessary travel. The DPS, as you can guess, have the task of inflicting as much damage as possible, but also of dealing with specific mechanics of a boss fight where necessary. Finally, the Healer has the main objective of keeping the Tank and the other party members alive, without forgetting to use the offensive skills.
If on paper the role of your class is easy to understand, applying everything in combat, especially if you are a beginner, could be confusing. Thankfully, the developers have thought about budding players by introducing the tutorial missions of the Hall of the Novice. These are unlocked at level 15 by speaking to one of the "The Smith" NPCs found in large cities. Don't worry too much about looking for them, as the main game will take you to the Hall of Novice just before facing the first dungeon, Sastasha. Once unlocked, you can instantly start the tutorial missions through the appropriate item in the Duty menu. Each role (Tank, DPS, Healer) has a series of different "exercises", thanks to which you will learn the basics of your role. We strongly advise you to complete them all, not only because they are very useful for learning the basics, but also because they will reward you with a really good set of equipment, as well as a great ring that will come in handy at least up to level 30.
Take advantage of the text chat
The core experience of Final Fantasy XIV are multiplayer activities, most of which can be tackled via matchmaking. It is therefore important to be a little communicative, especially if you are still a beginner. The Final Fantasy XIV community is renowned for being one of the most sociable and positive, in short, no one will bite you if you ask a question in the text chat or make a mistake.
Especially when you are facing a dungeon boss or a particularly difficult stage of a raid for the first time, don't hesitate to ask the party for information. Unless you've come across a team of gruff or shy people, there will always be someone willing to explain the mechanics of a boss fight to you if necessary. After all, it is always better to lose a couple of minutes for explanations, rather than throwing away numerous attempts because someone does not know the dynamics of a boss fight. If you play on PS4 and PS5 keep in mind that you can connect any USB keyboard to the console and use it to write in chat (and not only).
Don't forget your class's quests
Each Final Fantasy XIV class has a set of quest dedicated. As optional as they are in terms of main quest advancement, we strongly recommend that you tackle them as soon as they become available. You will unlock a new quest for your class every 5 levels, then at level 5, 10, 15 and so on. In addition to giving away weapons and pieces of armor, these missions can sometimes unlock new abilities.
The level 30 quest also allows you to evolve your class into a job, for example the Gladiator becomes Paladin while the Rogue becomes the Ninja, thus unlocking a greater number of skills. From that moment on, the class quests allow you to unlock new skills every 5 levels, while those of level 45 and 50 bestow specific armor sets for your job (the ones you see in character creation so to speak) so good that you will also accompany in the early stages of the A Realm Reborn endgame.
Gold Saucer, the park of wonders
If between quests, dungeons and raids you feel the need to catch your breath every now and then, there is nothing better than taking a tour of the Gold Saucer, the amusement park of Final Fantasy XIV. You can access it once you reach level 15 of the main quest and tackle the side mission "It Could Happen to You" in Ul'dah.
The Gold Saucer offers many secondary activities, thanks to which you will get MGP with the unlocking rewards, such as costumes, minions and special mounts. Among the activities there are basic mini-games, but also recurring limited-time events (for those who love Final Fantasy X, there is also a nice challenge starring Yojimbo). If that's not enough, you can also try your hand at Chocobo competitions, with a whole breeding system in its own right, as well as access the Triple Triad, the card game inspired by that of Final Fantasy VIII, which alone could offer you dozens of hours of fun by challenging NPCs and other players to get the rarest cards.
Crafting e Gathering
In addition to the combat classes, such as Warrior and Black Mage, in Final Fantasy XIV there are also the classes of Crafting and Gathering. The former allow the use of various materials to create weapons, armor, accessories, dishes and furnishing objects. The Gathering classes, on the other hand, are essentially used to obtain the materials to be used in crafting. As fascinating as the prospect of being self-sufficient and crafting your own gear, as well as racking up avalanches of gold, is to pursue these two categories, it takes a lot of time and patience. In fact, players who try their hand at crafts must level and use multiple crafting and gathering classes to obtain satisfactory results. For example, to make a light armor you may need both iron ingots obtained from an Armorer and fabrics worked by a Weaver, and consequently the related raw materials obtainable with the Botanist and the Miner.
Furthermore, if you are playing with the free trial of Final Fantasy XIV you will also not be able to access the market between players or retainers, an essential resource to be able to cope with the limits of the inventory, which makes everything even more complicated. Our advice, therefore, is to try your hand at crafting and gathering only if in the future you decide to actually buy the game or to do so at least once you have unlocked the rewards of the Grand Company. In fact, among these there are "manuals" that accelerate the accumulation of experience for the crafting and gathering classes beyond belief.
Teleport, mount and… fly!
During the first few hours of Final Fantasy XIV, you may notice other players whizzing past you on board a Chocobo or bizarre mounts such as giant Cactuses, sports cars and various monsters. These others are none other than the mount, a godsend to move quickly in the vast play areas. Unfortunately, before you can unlock them you will need to reach level 20 of the main quest and complete the optional mission "My Little Chocobo". Once you have completed the final mission of the narrative arc of A Real Reborn (of which we do not report the name to avoid spoilers), your mounts also get the gift of flight. Yes, you got it right, you can flit in the skies of Eorzea, which speeds up travel even more.
Before getting the mounts, you will be forced to move on foot and make the best possible use of the cooldown linked to the sprint. For this reason we recommend that you activate Aetheryte as soon as you see one. We are talking about the gigantic blue crystals found in cities or small settlements, hard not to notice them. Once you "tune in" to one of them, you can teleport there in an instant and at any time in exchange for a sum in gil which varies according to the distance covered. A small price to pay for great convenience. Also keep in mind that you can register up to three destinations as "favorite", thus halving the fare for fast travel.
in big cities, like Ul'dah and Gridania, you will also find a smaller version of the Aetheryte, thanks to which you can quickly reach points of interest such as the market or the guilds of the various classes. By unlocking all the mini-Aetherytes of a city you will also unlock the teleportation to the main entrances / exits, another convenience that you should not deprive yourself of.
Retouch the HUD and experiment with the settings
The last piece of advice we give you to start your adventure in Final Fantasy XIV in the best possible way is to tinker with the various game settings, especially if you play on PS5 and PS4, and tweak the HUD, or the game interface. This may seem like the least useful tip of the article, but in reality it is quite the opposite.
Through the settings you can activate or deactivate many more or less useful functions. In particular, we recommend that you change the options relating to hotbars and crosshotbars. If you play with a controller, we suggest you activate the option that allows you to expand the action slots by double pressing the analog triggers and with the combination R2 + L2 (or the equivalent of your controller). In this way you will double the number of commands visible on the screen at the same time and you will be able to activate them more quickly. The 16 standards available may seem quite initially, but will prove inadequate when your class has 20 or more different skills at their disposal. Another particularly useful option is the one that allows you to limit the visual effects of teammates' skills, thus significantly limiting the chaos on the screen in the most heated clashes.
The options related toHUD offer great versatility. In fact, you can zoom in, out and move every single element of the interface, as well as eliminate what you consider superfluous (for example the grid of slots available in the inventory). In the same way it is possible to opt for a stylized version of the Job Gauge, aesthetically it is not the best but it is less invasive. Having a clean interface, with all the elements in the right place and with the central part of the screen completely free, will prove to be a godsend when the battlefield is crowded with enemies and teammates, visuals and more. In any case, we advise you to experiment and find the configuration that best suits your style of play.