A Warrior of Light in Final Fantasy XIV holding a mug and toasting the camera.

Final Fantasy XIV: 10 Tips for New Players

Don't let the world of Eorzea scare you.

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Carley is a professional JP-EN translator and writer currently based in Des Moines, Iowa. She has written hundreds of articles for popular sites such as Siliconera, Gameranx, and Otaquest, and has been playing games nonstop since 1996.

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

Key Takeaway

Keeping these tips in mind can make it much easier to start your Final Fantasy XIV adventure:

  • Do the MSQ (Main Story Quests)
  • Use your retainers
  • Always be well-fed
  • Equip high-level gear
  • Pay attention to class quests and feature quests
  • Rearrange your HUD
  • Daily duty roulettes give the most EXP
  • Read your tooltips thoroughly
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  • Try playing the game solo

Jumping into a game as overwhelmingly massive as Final Fantasy 14 as a beginner can seem daunting without a guide. The MMO has an endless supply of minigames, side quests, and collectibles to discover, but starting your adventure in Eorzea doesn’t need to be stressful.

Table Of Contents

    Do the Main Story Quests to Unlock Features and Goods

    At the heart of Final Fantasy XIV is the MSQ, or Main Scenario Quest. Along with being one of the most powerful stories in the Final Fantasy franchise, embarking on this vital quest chain will unlock dungeons, boss battles, gear upgrades, mountains of EXP, and much more.

    Your next story quest can always be found at the top left corner of your screen if you’re unsure where to go or what to do. These important quests are symbolized by a fiery yellow mark.

    Rarely, you may be unable to do the next Main Scenario Quest because your level is too low. If this happens, do a few side quests or run a dungeon or two to prepare. While doing the MSQ is the most important part of Final Fantasy XIV, we’d also recommend doing a side quest here and there to make sure you’re bolstering your experience.

    Use Retainers for Money and Item Management

    A player calling upon a Retainer to sell things on the market in Final Fantasy 14.

    Instead of selling goods on the marketplace yourself, Retainers do the dirty work for you. Think of these customizable NPCs as your bank in Final Fantasy XIV. They can sell things for you, hold on to your gil if you don’t feel like carrying too much around, and carry items. They’re also fully customizable!

    Players can also assign each Retainer a class and send them out on Ventures to bring back items, which can occasionally be rare and valuable.

    You can hire two Retainers for free by speaking to Retainer Vocates in a major city after reaching Level 17 in the MSQ. An additional three can be purchased on the MogStation for $2.00 per month (each). A Retainer can sell 20 items at a time and store 175 items.

    Players on the Free Trial cannot hire Retainers.

    Eat Food Often for EXP and Stats Boosts

    This may seem like a silly piece of advice, but keeping a few snacks in your inventory can help give you a bit of an experience boost each time you’re in battle. Eating food grants an additional 3 percent EXP for 30 minutes.

    The type of food you consume can also grant bonuses to your Skill Speed, Vitality, and other stats, so be sure to check before chowing down. You can only have the effect of one meal at a time.

    Always Equip the Highest-Level Gear

    Characters wearing different pieces of gear in Final Fantasy XIV.

    If you’re a level 25 character, equipping level 25 gear makes sense. However, in Final Fantasy XIV, each piece of gear you equip has its own separate item level. For example, you may find two pieces of armor, each for a level 25 character. One may have an item level of 25, while the other may have an item level of 28. The latter is the better choice.

    Each piece of equipment also has its own substats. These boost certain qualities like Strength, Tenacity, Intelligence, Direct Hit Rate, and more. Tanks will want to favor boosts to Strength, while Ranged DPS classes should focus on Dexterity. Casters would do well to cultivate their Intelligence stat, and Healers favor Mind.

    Some equippable items can give a boost to EXP, including the Brand-new Ring which can be earned by completing the Hall of the Novice quest for your class. Additionally, pre-ordering the upcoming Dawntrail expansion will reward you with Azeyma’s Earrings which give a 30% EXP bonus up to level 90.

    Do Class Quests and Feature Quests to Learn New Skills

    Outside of the MSQ, Class Quests will teach you new skills and how to play your job. 

    Every five levels, you’ll unlock a new Class Quest. These will appear on the upper left side of your screen below the current MSQ quest. Completing these will occasionally reward you with level-specific gear and new abilities, so it’s important to do them immediately when they unlock. Each class also has a unique story to enjoy.

    Feature Quests appear as blue quest bubbles with a plus sign beside them. These will unlock new content like dungeons, raids, skills, and items, so pick them up when you spot them.

    Rearrange Your HUD to Suit Your Preferences

    The HUD editing screen in Final Fantasy 14.

    If the standard HUD in Final Fantasy XIV feels lacking, don’t be frustrated. All aspects of the HUD can be customized, as well as your key binds. This depends on your preferences, but as you learn more skills and come across more content, it can be helpful to rearrange things to streamline your experience.

    To alter your HUD, open the System menu by hitting the Escape key or clicking the ‘XIV’ icon at the bottom right of the screen and click HUD Layout. Here, you can add icons to your screen, remove any that you don’t need, and move things around to your heart’s content. It’s worth messing around with this to find what works best for you when you have a spare moment.

    Participate in Daily Duty Roulettes to Get More EXP

    Along with doing the MSQ, participating in your daily Duty Roulette will give you heaps of bonus gil and EXP. To pull up the Duty Finder, press the “U” key or navigate to it by clicking the exclamation mark button at the bottom right. As a Final Fantasy 14 beginner, getting more EXP is crucial and can guide you down a more pleasant path. No one wants to spend excessive amounts of time grinding!

    Each day, players can participate in randomized duties out of those they have unlocked. These are divided into different categories like Main Scenario, Leveling, Trials, and more. Simply complete a duty to reap the rewards. Remember, you can only get additional EXP and rewards once a day for each roulette.

    Read Your Tooltips Carefully for Great Battle-Related Advice

    Tooltips are descriptions of your skills that appear when hovering your mouse over the skill in question. We’ve highlighted an example of a tooltip in red below.

    An example of a skill's tooltip in Final Fantasy XIV.

    While some of these descriptions may be lengthy, it’s important that you read and understand all of your tooltips to be the most effective in battle. Don’t just click buttons randomly!

    Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

    The friendly Final Fantasy 14 community is known for welcoming and offering a guide or two to beginner players. If you have questions or need help with specific content, the player base is often eager to help.

    Players with a crown icon next to their name are Mentors. This means that they have leveled at least one Tank, Healer, and DPS job to 90, completed at least 1,000 dungeons, and received 1,500 player commendations. They can likely answer any questions you have!

    Use the in-game chat feature to pose a question in a crowded area, or message users directly by right-clicking on them and selecting Send Tell. It can feel a little scary to engage with strangers at first, but longtime FFXIV players often jump at the chance to help newcomers. After all, they want everyone to enjoy the game as much as they do!

    Try Playing the Game Solo for a Different Experience

    Preparing to run a dungeon with a group of NPCs in Final Fantasy XIV.

    Many fans of the Final Fantasy series like to say that they’ve played every mainline title—except for XI and XIV. The reason? Some people simply don’t like MMOs. Producer Naoki Yoshida has been looking for ways to lure these skeptical players to the game, and over the past few years, he’s managed to do just that by making many of the title’s MMO elements optional.

    Rather than entering dungeons with random players, it’s now possible to run almost all main story content with a group of NPCs. Trials and Raids still require you to team up with other players, but this is a small portion of the game’s content. If you’re more introverted, Final Fantasy 14 can still be for you as a solo beginner—but maybe bookmark a guide in case you want some help.

    To run content with a group of NPCs, click the exclamation point button at the bottom right of your screen and select ‘Duty Support.’

    Final Fantasy XIV is filled with content meant to be enjoyed at your leisure. The game’s producer, Naoki Yoshida, has gone on record to explain that the MMO isn’t meant to feel like an obligation—it’s simply meant to be fun. If you just feel like fishing one day, fish. If you feel like trying a difficult trial, do it, and don’t be afraid to fail. Eorzea is welcome to all Warriors of Light, so if you decide to subscribe, don’t worry. The community is always here to help.

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