Final Fantasy 14has had one of the best redemption arcs in video game history. A complete failure at launch, it’s grown to challenge even the MMO titan World of Warcraft.
More than a decade after its release, new players are still flocking to FF14in droves, and they may be wondering whether to go at it with a sword and shield, magic wand, or their bare fists.
You can switch classes at will in FF14, so you don’t need to stick with your starting class, but it can still define how you learn the game and experience its early levels.
Here’s every Final Fantasy 14 starting class, ranked for beginners
For MMO newcomers
MMO lingo can be dense. Classes are divided into Tanks that soak up damage and keep enemies away from everyone else; Healers who keep everyone alive; and DPS (damage-per-second) thatfocus on taking down targets.
The Marauder isn’t a bad class; It just has less defense and a less satisfying attack pattern to start with than the other beginner tank.
At level 30, Marauders unlock the Warrior job, turning them into damaging-dealing powerhouses with immense health pools.
The Lancer is a popular melee choice, but it’s slow going at low levels and doesn’t start unlocking its full ability kit until much later in the game.
Past level 30, Lancers can become Dragoons — mobile fighters capable of unleashing incredibly powerful spear attacks.
The Thaumaturge is an extremely powerful, fun class with a unique mechanic that requires balancing fire and ice spells. On the other hand, it’s most effective when standing perfectly still, which makes it poor for learning how to dodge attacks.
At level 30, a Thaumaturge can become a Black Mage. This classic Final Fantasy class is a glass cannon, able to dish out blistering damage in exchange for low health.
The Pugilist isn’t the most popular class, but it’s excellent for learning. Heavily reliant on positioning and building combos, the Pugilist will teach you everything you need to know about melee in FF14.
Starting at level 30, Pugilists can become Monks, opening up more hand-to-hand combat techniques. Monks are simple and mobile, but are one of the least popular end-game jobs.
The Archer is an extremely mobile class, and its range makes it easy to keep the whole battlefield in view. On top of that, it’s great for teaching how to keep damage-over-time effects active.
The Bard, unlocked at level 30, adds party buffs and support skills to the Archer’s damage-dealing repertoire (not to mention playable musical instruments).
Tanking can be a lot of responsibility for a new player, but if you’re up for the challenge, pick Gladiator. It’s tough to kill, has a balanced suite of offensive and defensive abilities, and is a lot of fun to play.
At level 30, the Gladiator becomes the Paladin, an extremely high-defense tank with low damage but access to limited healing spells.
There’s only one Healer at the start of the game, and it’s one of FF14’s easiest classes. Solo content will go slower as a Conjurer, but you’ll enjoy near-instant queue times for dungeons and hold the power of life and death over your fellow players.
At level 30, Conjurers unlock White Mage, one of the most iconic classes in Final Fantasy. White Mages excel at throwing out massive heals to keep the party alive.
The Arcanist has it all: ranged attacks to help you learn battlefield awareness, more mobility than other magic users, and a cool pet that’s always by your side.
At level 30, Arcanists get access to the Summoner DPS class and the Scholar Healer, making it a great choice for the indecisive — or prospective Healers who want to play DPS through the early grind.