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FFXIV leveling guide: how to gain experience fast

FFXIV leveling guide
(Image credit: Square Enix)

This FFXIV leveling guide will help you gain XP and level up fast as you play. One of the great things about Final Fantasy XIV leveling is the possibility to level any class and job on the same character. The only downside is the huge amount of time it takes. No matter if it’s your first or your tenth class, these tips about FFXIV leveling methods are going to save you a lot of time.

In short, Final Fantasy XIV experience comes from killing enemies, doing quests, completing challenges, and clearing dungeons. However, some of those activities are much more rewarding than others. Furthermore, the best leveling methods depend on your overall progress in the game.

We’ll go over some of the best experience buffs, followed by the fastest way to level your first FFXIV class, and ending with the best ways to quickly level your alts as well. Let’s get ready for the grind!

FFXIV Classes | Earn FFXIV Gil fast

FFXIV experience bonuses: rested, food and Free Companies

FFXIV leveling guide

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Before we do anything else, let’s take a look at the FFXIV experience buffs. First of all, you should always make sure you’re in a Sanctuary before logging off. If you leave your character in one of these places while you’re offline in Final Fantasy XIV, you will gain a ‘rested’ bonus the next time you log in. This bonus is pretty important as it grants an additional +50% battle experience.

Sanctuaries can be found in cities and several smaller towns and outposts. You recognize these places by the big blue Aetheryte crystals (see picture). You’ll also see a text message telling you that you’ve entered a Sanctuary, as well as crescent moon icon next to your experience bar.

Next up is the food buff. The only thing you need to do, is buy yourself the cheapest food you can find at the nearest shop (even water will do). Just consume it to get a 3% experience bonus from kills. This bonus lasts for half an hour and has two stacks. The experience boost is tiny, but given how easy it is to have this buff on you at all times, it’s recommended that you use it. 

Finally, you can join a FFXIV Free Company. The Free Companies are basically player guilds. These guilds can activate experience bonuses of up to 15% that apply to all members. The strength of this bonus depends on the Free Company, but it can’t hurt to have a look around if you wish to gain another experience boost.

FFXIV equipment bonuses

FFXIV leveling guide

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Besides the rested and food bonuses, you can equip an item blessed with an experience bonus of 20% to 30%. Unfortunately, such items are rare. Most of them can only be obtained by pre-ordering Final Fantasy XIV expansions. Leaving out the ones from previous expansions, here’s an overview of items that can help you level up faster: 

  • Brand-New Ring. Grants you a 30% experience bonus until you reach level 31. It’s highly recommended that you get the Brand-New Ring, as you only have to do the Hall of the Novice challenges. If you’re new to FFXIV, these short challenges are also a great introduction to the combat system.  
  • Friendship Circlet. You get a 20% experience bonus by recruiting an friend (using the FFXIV invite system) or by being recruited yourself and staying subscribed for thirty days. This bonus lasts until level 26.
  • Menphina’s Earring. Obtained by pre-ordering the Endwalker expansion. It will give you a 30% experience bonus until you reach level 80.

How to level your first FFXIV class

FFXIV leveling guide

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Now that we got all those experience bonuses sorted out, here’s how you start actively leveling your first FFXIV character. If this is your first Final Fantasy XIV class, the best way to gain experience fast is by following the Main Scenario Quests and the Class Quests.

Gaining experience through the main storyline is fun, fast, and it will help you progress through the game in other ways too (by unlocking new locations and gameplay features, for example). Doing these will give your character a massive experience boost, so you don’t really need anything else for now.

Your current Main Scenario Quest can easily be recognized in your Journal by the fiery frame surrounding the quest icon. Likewise, you can recognize the Class Quests by the class icon. Both the Main Scenario Quest and Class Quests are frequently displayed in the upper left corner of your screen as well.

How to start level a FF XIV alt class

FFXIV leveling guide

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Let’s start with some excellent news; every secondary class below the level of your highest class gets the ‘Armoury Bonus’. This means you will get a 100% experience increase until your lower-leveled alt class reaches level 70. From then on, the alt class gets a 50% bonus. So, once that first job reaches a high level, every new one will be a lot quicker.

Here are some of the best ways to increase a new class’s experience right from the start:

  • Class and Job Quests. If you start a new class, you’ll get new Class Quests (that will eventually turn into Job Quests). Keep doing these as soon as they become available for a big chunk of experience. 
  • Hunting Log. Every base class and Grand Company has a log with a certain number of enemies to defeat. This usually involves making a few extra kills in areas that you have to visit anyway, so it’s not a lot of work in return for a high experience boost.
  • Challenge Log. These challenges vary from clearing certain dungeons to completing FATE’s. You get a high experience reward on top of the individual dungeon/trial rewards, so it’s well worth the time investment. Unlike the Hunting Log, the challenge Log resets every week.
  • FATE’s. These random events pop up on your map every now and then. Although it’s not really worth your time to go look for them, they can award a nice chunk of experience based on your level and contribution. If you happen to stumble upon a suitable one, it’s a good idea to participate.

The alt class experience grind in FFXIV

FFXIV leveling guide

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Once you’ve made a good start on a new class or job, it’s time to expand your experience grind by completing Duties in the FFXIV Duty Finder. There are many Dungeons, Trials, and Guildhests to choose from, but not all of them are suitable candidates for your experience grind. Here are some good options:

  • Duty Roulette Leveling. This type of Duty Roulette places you in a random trial or dungeon. As compensation, you’ll get a much higher experience reward (as opposed to picking that same dungeon by hand). Duty Roulettes are especially great for players below level 50. Besides the Leveling Roulette, try to do the Alliance and Trial Roulettes as well.
  • Guildhests. These combat challenges are short and easy to complete. They don’t reward massive experience, but they’re ideal for lower level classes (until level 20 or so) that don’t have access to better dungeons yet.
  • Dungeons. Just do the highest level dungeons you can find. Note that you get an experience bonus for first-time completions. You can do the Deep Dungeons as well, but keep in mind that the best experience rewards for Heaven on High are between floors 21 to 30, and the those for Palace of the Dead are between 1 to 10 and 51 to 60.

Unfortunately, the queue times for dungeons can be quite long, especially if you’re a DPS. It’s wise to find some other source of experience to keep yourself busy while waiting, such as side quests or nearby FATE’s. You can also check whether your current character has any Hunting Log entries left.

And that concludes this Final Fantasy XIV leveling guide. Happy hunting/questing/dungeon crawling!

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.