Final Fantasy XI Beginner's Guide, Day 2

We give you the tools you need to make a go of it, in a land of overwhelming adventure

Black Mage (BLM)
Role: Magic Damage, Weakening, Transportation
Best Weapons: Staff, Club
Recommended Support Jobs: White Mage, Red Mage

The classic Final Fantasy Black Mage returns, perhaps more powerful than ever. Black Mages rain down magical damage from the back ranks, but can die quickly if a monster notices them. For some reason, this doesn't stop many players from going all out - and dying anyway. In addition to their powerful Elemental Magic (think Fire, Blizzard, Thunder as per typical FF) Black Mages also learn other important spells, such as ones that send enemies to sleep or teleport characters out of dangerous dungeons.

White Mage (WHM)
Role: Healing, Transportation
Best Weapons: Staff, Club
Recommended Support Jobs: Black Mage, Summoner

The opposite of the Black Mage, the White Mage is a classical healer. White Mages hang out in the back and cast healing magic on the rest of the party. In fact, they're the only ones with spells for removing deadly status effects, like poison. Midway through the game they learn spells for teleporting their party around the world of Vana'diel and become absolutely essential for keeping your party alive.

Red Mage (RDM)
Role: Weakening, Support, Healing, Solo
Best Weapons: Sword, Dagger
Recommended Support Jobs: Black Mage, White Mage, Dark Knight, Ninja

The Red Mage is actually more gray than anything else, able to use Black Magic, White Magic and even get up close and personal with monsters, blade in hand. While the Red Mage's physical attacks aren't that great - or typically appreciated when partying with other players looking to earn experience points - they help make the Red Mage one of the game's best jobs for playing solo (especially if you use Ninja as a support job). While the Red Mage is always useful for weakening monsters with its superior Enfeebling Magic, at level 41 it becomes incredibly popular thanks to Refresh, a spell that causes its target to gradually regenerate magic points.