FFXIV leveling guide to hit max level fast

ff xiv leveling guide
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This FFXIV leveling guide is all about reaching the level cap of 90 in Final Fantasy 14 fast. It can be a slow process but there are lots of ways to make the journey much faster. For starters, your first or main job (or class) should easily hit level 90 through story quests alone, but with all of the jobs available on just one character by simply switching weapons it’s worth trying a few out to see what you gel with best. And we can help you unlock all the FFXIV combat jobs, FFXIV crafting jobs or FFXIV gathering jobs to see what fits you. 

While getting your first job to 90 may be straightforward, getting other Jobs to the same level is a little harder. Thankfully there are a lot of bonuses, gear and tips to help you get through it faster.

It’s worth noting that some buffs apply to all the different ways to gain EXP including quests, while others work just through battle experience.

How to level up fast in FFXIV

ff xiv leveling guide

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There are three main things you can do to boost your level in FFXIV which mainly involve using buffs, equipment and completing certain quests and activities. 

  1. Use all the FFXIV levelling buffs and bonuses you can get you hands on.
  2. Get and equip various FFXIV level boosting items and special equipment.
  3. Pick the right FFXIV level boosting quests for the level you're currently at.

FFXIV levelling buffs and bonuses

ff xiv leveling guide

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There are several bonuses you can take advantage of to gain EXP fast, though some of these require you to be on certain servers, partied up with the right people, or in a Free Company (basically a guild) to get them.

Let's run through all the ones that will help you level up fast: 

Road to 80

ff xiv leveling guide

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This buff is only available on new or preferred servers when you first make a character or transfer one to the server. It’s a way to encourage you to join certain servers to even out the population and grants an 100% EXP buff on all sources of experience up to level 80 for 90 days. You’ll earn double EXP just by playing normally with this buff so it’s super handy, but it will wear off eventually once the 90 days are up or you hit level 80.

The Heat Of Battle I/II/II

ff xiv leveling guide

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This buff is only available if you join a Free Company and they use an action to put it up for everyone. Luckily it’s a very commonly used buff by most Free Companies and you’ll easily find people recruiting in Limsa Lominsa. There are three tiers (I, II, III) that give you a 5%, 10% or 15% EXP boost respectively in battle. Heat Of Battle I and II can be bought from Grand Companies, while III needs to be crafted on an aetherial wheel in player housing.

Armoury bonus

This buff applies to any job below the highest level of your main one. For example, if you have a level 86 Samurai, the bonus will apply to any other Job you have that is level 85 or below. It’s an 100% EXP increase from levels 1-79, but drops to 50% from 80-90. It also only applies to EXP earned through battle, be that on the field, in dungeons or during FATEs etc.

Rested Bonus

You can gain an additional 50% EXP bonus by logging off in sanctuaries - basically any town that has an aetheryte or any of the major cities. However it does only apply for a certain percentage of experience you can potentially earn rather than from a set amount of time. You’ll notice it on your EXP bas marked as a dimmer orange extension of your current amount, or a blue one if it’s enough to carry the buff through to the next level. It may not last long, but every little helps.

FFXIV level boosting items and special equipment

ff xiv leveling guide

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Some buffs can be applied by using certain items or wearing selected gear. However it’s worth mentioning that some of the items were pre-order bonuses and are no longer available, but they also tend to add an updated version to preorder the next expansion that happens every 2-3 years.

All food items

ff xiv leveling guide

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Any item of food you eat, no matter how low level, will grant you a 3% EXP bonus through battle for 30 minutes. High level dishes crafted by culinarians will also give you other stat buffs which are nice, but if you’re just after the EXP then just shovelling in a load of eggs will do.

Squadron Battle Manual

An item that can grant you a 15% EXP bonus in battle for 120 minutes, but it doesn’t stack on top of any Free Company Actions. It’s essentially the equivalent of Heat Of Battle III, it’s also a little tricky to get as it’s only available from certain Squadron Missions that unlock after ranking up through whichever Grand Company you chose earlier in the game.

Helm Of Light

A Realm Reborn Collector’s Edition item that grants 20% EXP up to level 10. You can still get this if you upgrade your version of the game to the Collectors Edition through the moogle shop.

Friendship Circlet

Grants a 20% EXP boost up to level 25 but is only available through the ‘Recruit a Friend’ campaign which is still ongoing. It involves giving a code to a friend to use when they sign up to give you both the bonus and they buy an additional 30 days of play time.

Brand New Ring

Will give you a 30% EXP boost in battle up to level 30 and is earned by completing the ‘Hall Of The Novice’ (explained further down and unlocked at level 15) tasks. This is really worth chasing down as it is easily available.

Bozjan Earring

Gives you a 10% EXP boost up to level 80 and is earned from completing the ‘Lost and Found IV’ achievement which is only available from the Bozjan Southern Front area of the game which is only available after completing the Shadowbringers story. You’ll also have to get 1,000 Forgotten Fragments appraised during your time there. It’s still possible to get, but takes a long time to earn.

FFXIV level boosting quests

Now that you have all of the bonuses and buffs you can get your hands on mastered, it’s time to get down to the best way to level in Final Fantasy XIV. Each levelling group has slightly different ways to get the most out of your time.

Levels 1-16

In the low levels you won’t have any access to dungeons, but you can still do level appropriate FATEs and start your hunting log for some bonus EXP while out on your adventures. It’s also worth picking up any side quests on whatever map you’re on for another little boost.


FATEs are large-scale events that happen on all maps and are marked out by a blue area on your map. You’ll know when you’ve found one as the music will change and you may be asked to sync your level to take part. Complete the objectives within the timeframe (usually involves killing a certain number of enemies) and you’ll get a tidy lump of Bonus EXP.

Hunting Log

You’ll unlock this early on and it will add a little symbol over certain enemies in the wild. Take down the require amount of them (usually 1-5) and you’ll be granted bonus experience points. The hunting log goes up to level 50, but each Job has their own log and you can stick to the lower levelled monsters to start.

The Hall of The Novice

ff xiv leveling guide

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The most important thing to do when you reach level 15 - The Hall Of The Novice acts as a guide to the various different Job types in FFXIV: Tank, Healer,and DPS. Each section will grant you a nice lump of EXP and a piece of gear, with the last piece being the Brand New Ring which will give you a 30% EXP buff up to level 30. It’s worth running through it for every Job type you pick up as the tasks and gear rewards are different for each one.

Filling in the map

A bit of a weird one this, but every time you uncover a new area on any map you’re given a little hit of EXP. It’s not much, but every little helps.

Levels 16-50

At level 16 you unlock your first dungeon and more levelling opportunities become available to you. You’ll still want to do your hunting log and complete FATES as you go along, but there are also a lot of new ways to get more experience.

Duty Roulette: Levelling

ff xiv leveling guide

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This is one of the best features of FFXIV as it grants players a load of bonus experience points every day while running old content which in turn helps newer players get through things by keeping queues short. This unlocks after you’ve completed the first two in-game dungeons; satasha and Tam-Tara Deepcroft and will select a random dungeon for you to play through from the pool of dungeons you’ve unlocked so far. It grants bonus EXP once a day, but if you’re an ‘Adventurer in need’ (usually healers or Tanks) then you’ll be granted a further bonus.

Highest level dungeon

After you’ve finished roulettes, queuing for the highest level dungeon available to you is the fastest way to gain more EXP. In theory you could run dungeons solo using the Trust system that lets you team up with NPCs, but dungeon runs are usually faster if you join a queue to play with others. The downside is queues can be much longer for DPS Jobs but are usually under 15 minutes so you can still do other tasks while you wait.

Challenge log

This unlocks when you reach level 15 and complete the quest ‘Rising to the Challenge’. It adds a list of tasks that grant you bonus EXP or gil when you complete them and resets once a week. It includes things like ‘Complete 5 dungeons’ and ‘complete 5 FATEs’ - all things that you’ll tend to do naturally while playing. It’s worth keeping an eye on your log for anything you’re close to though to give you that little extra EXP push.

Palace Of The Dead

ff xiv leveling guide

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This is a little empty now, but if you can get a group of 4 together it’s a great way to level up quickly. You unlock it from the level 17 quest ‘The House That Death Built’ in New Gridania in the Carline Canopy (the big tavern). It’s a completely different to typical dungeons so has a separate levelling system inside, but it also grants you extra EXP outside. Each level is randomised and you can enter with any party composition so every run is completely different making it a really fun way to level. 

You challenge yourself by taking on 10 floors at a time (1-10,11-20 etc up to level 200) with each floor being filled with monsters, traps and treasure. You’ll have set items within the dungeon that you can use that have effects like making traps visible, or increasing the number of treasure chests on the next floor. On the last floor of each section you’ll fight a boss and then step outside so you can gather yourself and get your haul appraised before taking on more floors.

The good thing about Palace of the Dead is that because the levelling system and gear is scaled inside you don’t have to worry about switching up your gear as you level. It’s worth running at least up to level 50 so you can eventually unlock Heaven-On-High (a similar system for higher levels later in the game). 

Tribal Quests

Formerly known as ‘Beast Tribe Quests’ Tribal Quests can be unlocked from the level 41 quest ‘In Pursuit of the Past’ which you’ll encounter as part of the main scenario. Each faction in the game will offer you quests that will grant rewards such as EXP, gil and reputation points that will help you eventually unlock things like bonus mounts. You can only take on 12 quests a day, but they’re a handy option to do while queuing for other things.

Levels 50-60

FFXIV level 50-60 is the level range that sees you in the Heavensward section of the game. Like in the previous section you’ll want to continue doing your challenge log, Duty roulettes and  queuing for the highest level dungeon available to you to get the most EXP, but there is also another extra way to get experience points. The Samurai and Red Mage jobs also start at level 50 so it’s worth keeping these tips in mind when picking them up.

Clan hunts

Hunts are essentially a list of monsters to kill that will grant you extra EXP and Centurio seals to spend on gear, music and minions. You’ll need to be a second lieutenant in your Grand Company of choice and have done the quest ‘Let The Hunt Begin’ from your Grand Company. After that you can head over to Ishgard to pick up ‘Let the Clan Hunt Begin’ quest to pick up daily and weekly hunt lists of varying difficulty. It’s a good idea to pick these up even if you’re not actively seeking them as you’ll often spot monsters on one of your hunt lists as you’re travelling around doing other activities. 

Every expansion area has its own rank of hunt to look out for and occasionally you’ll even find Elite A and S rank hunts that specially spawn and are much harder to kill but give great rewards. You’ll want to shout the location of any you find to gather a group of people to take them down, or jump at an opportunity to join a hunt train if you see someone shot about one in your area.

Levels 60-70

FFXIV levels 60-70 covers the Stormblood section of the game, and like always you’ll want to be doing your daily Duty Roulettes and challenge logs etc, but you’ve also got some new things to try.


ff xiv leveling guide

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This is essentially the Stormblood equivalent of Palace of the Dead and similarly places you in a group of four to take on groups of levels at once. It has the same rules of synching gear inside, but is only available after you reach level 61 and complete the main scenario quest ‘Tide Goes In, Imperials Go Out’ and then pick up the ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’ quest in The Ruby Sea area. It’s slightly busier than Palace Of the Dead but is generally rather quiet so it may be hard to find a group to run it with.

Wondrous Tails

A fun way to earn rewards and encourage you to run old content, Wondrous Tails is a weekly journal full of tasks such as completing certain raids or dungeons that then give you stamps in a random space in a grid. Line stamps up like a bingo sheet and you’ll earn rewards - the higher the number of lines you get, the higher the number of rewards. Doing each task won’t give you any bonus EXP, but handing in a full journal will grant you a nice chunk of experience points to any job over 60. You can unlock it in Idyllshire at level 60 from an Unctuous Adventurer with a quest called ‘Keeping Up With the Aliapohs’.

Levels 70-80

Once again you’ll want to be queuing for the highest level dungeon you can as well as doing your daily roulettes, challenge log and hunts etc. There’s only one new area to try for this part of the levelling journey. This covers the Shadowbringers portion of the game.

The Bozjan Southern Front

Originally, this was an area created for the Shadowbringer relic weapons but also doubles up as a really good levelling spot. It’s an area with its own storyline that covers on ongoing conflict between the Garleans and Bozjans who are trying to reclaim their homeland. It’s an instanced area that up to 72 players can join and sees you taking part in Skirmishes (essentially FATEs) and Critical Engagements that only allow a small number of players in to take on tougher fights. It syncs all characters to level 80 even if you’re below or above that so everyone is on an even playing field. 

To get the most out of it you’ll want to try to part up with others then take on any Skirmishes you see until a Critical Engagement pops. As well as being a great way to earn EXP quickly you’ll also pick up lots of gil. It’s still a pretty active area of the game, but you can’t queue for any dungeons etc while you’re in there so it can get a little repetitive.

You can unlock it when you reach level 80 and after you’ve completed the Shadowbringers scenario quest ‘Vows of Virtue, Deeds of Cruelty’ and run all the the Ivalice alliance raid. After that head over to Kugane and look for an NPC called Keiten with a quest called ‘Hail to the Queen’

Levels 80-90

It’s the final stretch! Levels 80-90 are probably the hardest to get as it’s the most recently added section covering all of Endwalker. Also a lot of the EXP bonuses and items will have worn off.

Again your best bet as always is taking part in all of the Duty Roulettes you can as well as seeking out Tribal Quests, challenge logs and hunts. The Bozjan Southern Front is still a useful option, but unfortunately there’s not much here to help ease the levelling process… Yet. A new Deep Dungeon like Palace Of The Dead and Heaven On High is planned for patch 6.3 which will probably release some time in December and will likely become the best place to level from 80-90 in the near future, but until then you’ll just have to be patient while getting those last few levels.

Freelance Writer

Daniella is a freelance consultant, writer, and editor, who was formerly deputy editor at Official Xbox Magazine before its closure. Her words have appeared on the Guardian, Eurogamer, PC Gamer, and GamesRadar, among others. She's a Final Fantasy 14 aficionado.