Skip to main content

Best FFXIV classes for new players

FF XIV classes
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Let’s talk about the best FFXIV classes for new players. Like most MMORPG’s, FF14  has a variety of Tank, Healer, and DPS (melee, ranged physical, or ranged magical) classes to choose from. Unlike other games though, Final Fantasy 14 classes are eventually upgraded to ‘jobs’. Your task as a beginning player is to choose the best starting class while also considering your next employment (which can be anything from Ninja to Bard).

If the Final Fantasy XIV class system sounds a bit complicated to you, don’t worry; you’re not the only one. We’re here to explain the difference between classes and jobs, and why you don’t need to worry too much about choosing your first. We’ll also give you some recommendations based on your preferred playstyle.

FFXIV XP leveling guide | Earn FFXIV Gil fast

FFXIV classes and jobs 

FFXIV classes and jobs

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Before we get to the best FFXIV beginner classes, here’s how the class/job system works. While your first choice is between the eight ‘base classes’ you’ll see on the character creation screen, you should know that these are just the starting classes. Once they reach level 30, the classes can be upgraded to their corresponding job (by doing the Job Quest). For example, if you choose the Gladiator as your Final fantasy 14 base class, you can switch to the Paladin job after reaching level 30. 

So you have the base classes (one of which, the Rogue, is added when you reach level 10 with another class), and the upgraded versions of those classes. On top of that, there are some expansion jobs added in the Heavensward, Stormblood, and Shadowbringers DLC. These jobs are not linked to a specific class. However, as you need to reach an even higher level (50 at least) to unlock any of these, new players can ignore them for now.

Speaking of choices, you should know that your first choice of class and job is not a permanent one. After reaching level 10, you’re able to switch your base class. Naturally, that also means you’ll start a path towards a different job. Don’t worry about the cost; your previous class progress is saved automatically, so you can switch back and continue leveling your old class whenever you want.

Every FFXIV starting class

Every FFXIV starting class

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Here’s a list of every FFXIV starting class, their corresponding jobs (leaving out the DLC jobs), and their class type (Tank, DPS, or Healer).

  • Gladiator – Paladin (Tank)
  • Marauder – Warrior (Tank)
  • Pugilist – Monk (Melee DPS)
  • Lancer – Dragoon (Melee DPS)
  • Rogue – Ninja (Melee DPS)
  • Archer – Bard (Ranged Physical DPS)
  • Thaumaturge – Black Mage (Ranged Magical DPS)
  • Arcanist – Summoner (Ranged Magical DPS) or Scholar (Healer)
  • Conjurer – White Mage (Healer)

How to choose the best FFXIV class

How to choose the best FFXIV class

(Image credit: Square Enix)

So, which of those should become your first FFXIV class? Before we start recommending things, you should know that it’s perfectly fine to choose a class for reasons of style or lore. If you already have a strong preference, just go for it. That said, there are a few more things you might want to consider, especially if you’re still in doubt:

  • Even though you can switch base classes pretty early on, you’ll have to stick with your first choice for at least several hours (depending on your pace). So don’t be too hasty when choosing your base class in Final Fantasy XIV.
  • Consider trying out a few FF14 classes before continuing the leveling process with your favorite. Who knows; maybe you’ll discover a hidden talent for being a living shield. 
  • Of course, you can choose to level every single class one by one, but this would take an incredible amount of time. After trying out a few, it’s best to focus on a single class until you unlock that first job.
  • Different base classes have different starting locations. For the base classes, those cities are Ul’Dah (Gladiator, Pugilist, Thaumaturge), Gridania (Lancer, Archer, Conjurer), and Limsa Lominsa (Marauder, Rogue, Arcanist). 

Even though you can switch base classes pretty early on, you’ll have to stick with your first choice for at least several hours (depending on your pace). So don’t be too hasty when choosing your base class in FFXIV.

Consider trying out a few FFXIV classes before continuing the leveling process with your favorite. Who knows; maybe you’ll discover a hidden talent for being a living shield. 

Of course, you can choose to level every single class one by one, but this would take an incredible amount of time. After trying out a few, it’s best to focus on a single class until you unlock that first job.

Different base classes have different starting locations. For the base classes, those cities are Ul’Dah (Gladiator, Pugilist, Thaumaturge), Gridania (Lancer, Archer, Conjurer), and Limsa Lominsa (Marauder, Rogue, Arcanist). 

The best Final Fantasy XIV classes for new players

FF XIV classes

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Some Final Fantasy XIV classes are more suitable for beginning players than others. On top of that, some will lead to better jobs than others. Here are some recommendations for the best FFXIV classes to start with:

  • Gladiator (upgrades to Paladin). This Final Fantasy 14 class offers a great combination of attack power and tank abilities. The Gladiator is not as strong as specialized DPS classes, but its sturdiness is very helpful on your first Final Fantasy XIV adventures. Naturally, the Gladiator has a high HP and plenty of shield abilities, making him a popular party member. On top of that, the Gladiator transitions to Paladin at level 30, which is generally considered to be one of the best jobs in Final Fantasy XIV.
  • Arcanist (upgrades to Summoner or Scholar). This is an excellent choice for a Final Fantasy 14 starter class as it’s easily one of the most varied ones you can find. The Arcanist is a magical ranged DPS class at its core, but you’ll also get a basic healing spell and a pet familiar. Unlike other base classes, the Arcanist can upgrade to two different jobs: the Summoner (if you want to specialize as a ranged magical DPS), or the Scholar (if healing and providing shields is more your thing). This is great news, because it means you’ll be leveling two jobs at the same time. 
  • Conjurer (upgrades to White Mage). This support class is the best choice if you’re already set on being a healer. As the Arcanist is a hybrid, the Conjurer is the only base class in Final Fantasy 14 fully focused on healing. It’s upgrade, the White Mage, is an equally straightforward and relatively easy job to play. It has some amazing area-of-effect skills and healing over time. As a bonus, the Conjurer’s healing powers are always high in demand, so you won’t have any trouble finding a party. It can be a less attractive first FF14 class if you’re planning on playing mostly solo though.
  • Thaumaturge (upgrades to Black Mage). Maybe you’re not looking for an easy FF14 beginner class at all. Maybe you just want your first class to become the most powerful DPS job in the game. If that’s the case, the Thaumaturge is the best option for you. It will eventually unlock the master of ranged magical explosions: the Black Mage. This class can also teach you a lot about FF14’s combat system, but again; it’s not the most beginner-friendly class on this list.

So, will it be the Conjurer? Or are you going for the Paladin job? Let’s pick a Final Fantasy XIV class and start leveling towards that dream career!

Marloes Valentina Stella

I’m a freelance journalist who (surprise!) kind of has a thing for videogames. When I’m not working on guides for GamesRadar, you can probably find me somewhere in Teyvat, Novigrad, or Whiterun. Unless I’m feeling competitive, in which case you should try Erangel. You can also find my words on PCGamesN, Fanbyte, PCGamer, Polygon, Esports Insider, and Game Rant.