So, you wanna play Final Fantasy XIV? I bet you do! The hype for this game, seven years into its (rebooted) life, has never been stronger. And with the recent expansion of the game’s Free Trial, which lets you play up through the first expansion at no charge, there has never been a better time to start. But there’s a lot of information to sift through at this point. For example, choosing a starting Class, and a Job to focus on after that! Luckily you can play as any Class and Job whenever you want on a single character, so you can try ‘em all. But where to start?

A Guide to Classes and Jobs in Final Fantasy XIV

Classes

When you look at the list of Jobs in Final Fantasy XIV, you’ll see stuff that sounds familiar, simply from other Final Fantasy games. There are a few new ones here and there, but most of it is familiar. But when it comes to Classes, you’ll see labels you’ve never seen before. What’s the deal, and what’s even the difference between the two terms? Long story short, Classes lead to Jobs.

When you start Final Fantasy XIV for the first time, you have to choose a Class. These are basically Jobs, that introduce you to the game’s mechanics and basic gameplay loops for most of the familiar Jobs. Before you can choose a Job, you have to reach level 30 in a Class. And some Jobs require specific Classes. And further on, some of the newer Jobs require you to spend time as an older Job first. It’s a whole thing, but we’ll lay it out for you.

Classes are set into four groups: Disciples of War, Disciples of Magic, Disciples of the Hand, and Disciples of the Land. The first two groups are your combat Classes, which you’ll be using to advance the main story and unlock the Jobs. The latter two are crafting Classes, which you’ll stick with separately in a more long-term capacity. If you’d rather make important items yourself instead of emptying buckets of gil into the Marketplace, those are your routes.

Related: Final Fantasy XIV Mentor Guide

Disciples of War is a group of six classes, all based on physical combat skills. Each of these Classes serve as prerequisites of specific Jobs, which we’ll get to later. For now, here’s a list:

  • Gladiator - This is your sword and board class, which will lead you down the path of a tank.
  • Pugilist - A DPS class that uses martial arts, and will teach you about unique mechanics such as positionals.
  • Marauder - Another tank class, but a little more rugged compared to the Gladiator. Uses axes!
  • Lancer - Another DPS with movement-oriented skills. You know what this leads to.
  • Archer - One of your routes to ranged, non-magic DPS, and some pretty tricky later gameplay.
  • Rogue - Daggers and trickery! If you want to be a true keyboard warrior, pick a Rogue and go on the path of complicated offense.

There are only three Disciples of Magic, because there’s only so much you can do with magic in a Final Fantasy game. At least until you get into the big leagues, anyway. If you want to wave a stick around and fill the screen with nonsense as you get stronger, here are your first choices:

  • Conjurer - This is the basic healer Class, a path only attractive to the overly kind and the subte sort of sociopathic. Go down this road if the idea of holding your allies’ life and death in your hands. 
  • Thaumaturge - This one make stick go explodey. DPS magic all the way.
  • Arcanist - This is the more wispy form of magic, that can take different forms and even do things like summon Carbuncle!

Now it’s time for the fun stuff. Once you get pretty deep into the Realm Reborn story and hit level 30, you can embark on a quest to upgrade from a Class to a Job. And Job has never been more appropriate, as in this game every Job has a job to do in multiplayer dungeons, lest the whole party wipes. There are different categories and subcategories of Jobs, due to the expansions. So we’ll separate these into “Basic” and “Advanced based on their requirements.

Basic Jobs

  • Paladin - Tank - Requires lvl 30 Gladiator
  • Warrior - Tank - Requires lvl 30 Marauder
  • White Mage - Healer - Requires lvl 30 Conjurer
  • Scholar - Healer - Requires lvl 30 Arcanist
  • Monk - Melee DPS - Requires lvl 30 Pugilist
  • Dragoon - Melee DPS - Requires lvl 30 Lancer
  • Ninja - Melee DPS - Requires lvl 30 Rogue
  • Bard - Physical Ranged DPS - Requires lvl 30 Archer
  • Black Mage - Magic Ranged DPS - Requires lvl 30 Thaumaturge
  • Summoner - Magic Ranged DPS - Requires lvl 30 Arcanist

Advanced Jobs

For these Jobs, which were all released post-Realm Reborn, unlocking them requires you to reach level 50 or higher in a Disciple of War or Magic Job. Basically, once you choose a “Basic” Job, you can swap over to something a little more off the beaten path. These don’t necessarily overtake the Basic Jobs in terms of utility; they mostly just change up the gameplay you’ve poured dozens of hours into at the point of level 50. These Jobs are:

Level 50 Required:

  • Samurai - Melee DPS
  • Dark Knight - Tank
  • Astrologian - Healer
  • Machinist - Physical Ranged DPS
  • Red Mage - Magic Ranged DPS

Level 60 Required;

  • Gunbreaker - Tank
  • Dancer - Physical Ranged DPS

Limited Job:

  • Blue Mage - Magic Ranged DPS, lvl 50

The Blue Mage is referred to as a “Limited Job.” This means that if you want to play as a Blue Mage, you’ll be locked out of certain normal content, such as Duty Roulette or most PVP modes. However, in exchange there are many challenges that were added to Final Fantasy XIV uniquely available to Blue Mage. You can complete weekly challenges alongside what the Blue Mage content offers by default, and the Blue Mage Log feature also includes an even tougher Prime Target in addition to the weeklies. Basically, if you really want a change of pace, try out the Blue Mage and you’ll have a totally different experience!

That’s all! We didn’t want to get too in-depth here, as this guide serves more of a purpose for someone just starting out. Knowing the roles and requirements of each Job will help you choose a Class, especially if you prefer a specific style of play in MMOs. From there, once you get your footing and surpass the base game’s content, you can specialize even further within your role. It’s a lot of fun to explore every possibility, and Final Fantasy XIV makes it easier by letting you do it all with one character.

Are you a new Final Fantasy XIV player, or someone still deciding if they want to hop in or not? Which Jobs are you considering? Do you have a favorite from classic Final Fantasy, or does one of the stranger paths intrigue you more? Let us know over at the Prima Games Facebook and Twitter channels!