If you’re getting started with Final Fantasy XIV, you’ll quickly find that there is a massive amount of content to discover. There are 20 jobs in the game, and since players can level them all up on the same character, it might seem confusing at first.
If you need some help choosing your main job in FFXIV, a cohesive list of the best jobs will be useful, but only to a certain extent. All classes suit a specific playstyle with their unique strengths and weaknesses, and they are well-balanced.
Some jobs perform better than others, but it’s only visible in the highest level of the game’s activities, Savage Raids. But, on the other hand, some jobs are clearly more popular than others among the player base.
Here is a list of the best jobs in FFXIV by popularity, complexity, strength in the meta, and overall design.
Best classes in FFXIV
There are a lot of DPS jobs in FFXIV, and it’s not easy to pick your favorite. They are divided into several categories: mages, melee, and physical ranged. The Dancer belongs to the latter, along with Machinist and Bard. It can only be picked up for Shadowbringers owners at level 60 in Limsa Lominsa.
While the Bard is the most-represented physical ranged job in high-end duties such as Savage raids, the Dancer has been incredibly popular in all other kinds of activities since its release.
The ranged job is fun to play thanks to its stylish dancing abilities while being easy to pick up and versatile. It can deal a decent amount of damage while providing utility to the team, and even has a lot of mobility. It can designate a dancing partner who will share its buffs provided by dance steps.
If you like this job or the Bard, you might also be interested in the other physical ranged job, because they’re quite similar. The Machinist, on the other hand, is different because it’s a much faster-paced job. It can be harder to master, so if you’re up to a challenge or like fast rotations, it is for you.
Related: Best DPS jobs in Final Fantasy XIV
There are four mage jobs in FFXIV: Black Mage, Summoner, Red Mage, and Blue Mage. The Blue Mage won’t be included in this list because it’s a job that follows a different progression system and can only be played with other Blue Mages, for the most part.
The Black Mage is the strongest magical ranged DPS job at the moment, due to the balancing changes brought by Endwalker which made it less challenging to play, especially in high-end duties. In the latest expansion’s dungeons, it’s the most-represented DPS job with the highest score, according to FFLogs. While it’s the only mage job without the Resurrection ability, it boasts higher damage than the others.
The Black Mage uses a mix of ice and fire elements to deal astonishing damage to its foes. It’s an upgrade of the Thaumaturge job, which can be picked up either during character creation or by heading to Ul’dah. Its main challenge is to grasp the mechanic of switching elements and deal with the spells’ long cast delays. It makes the Black Mage rewarding when mastered while remaining not too hard to pick up.
While Black Mage is the most popular magical ranged DPS job in high-level content, the Red Mage isn’t too far behind. The Red Mage is very different from the Black Mage but rather resembles the Summoner. They share the Resurrection ability, which is almost crucial in high-end duties and incredibly useful everywhere else.
The Red Mage has surpassed the Summoner’s popularity due to adjustments on its dash and Acceleration ability brought by Endwalker that made him a bit easier to pick up. On the other hand, the Summoner was entirely reworked but has lost most of its most complex abilities, which pushed some Summoner mains to switch to Red Mage.
This job can be unlocked at level 50 for Stormblood owners and is quite unique in FFXIV because it has both ranged and melee abilities. It can look intimidating at first, but once the players understand the mechanic of switching both weapons, it’s fun and easy to play in casual activities. It’s also a staple of the Final Fantasy license, which attracts many fans.
The Warrior has been one of the most popular classes since Endwalker’s release. It’s among the easiest jobs to pick up in the game, and it has received significant buffs with the expansion’s balance changes.
The Warrior is the evolution of the Marauder job, which can be picked up starting the character’s creation or by heading to Limsa Lominsa afterward. It wields a big axe and packs a punch with its Enraged mode while boasting survivability thanks to various self-healing abilities.
It was significantly strengthened by the changes brought by the expansion, which made it easier to play and gave it more self-healing. It’s the ideal job to begin tanking in the game. The Warrior is chosen by a lot of players for all kinds of activities, from low-level PvE to Savage Raids and the reworked PvP modes, whether it’s as off-tank or main tank.
If you’re more up to a challenge, the Dark Knight is more complex to master due to its shield ability and mana management. The Paladin has been highly underrepresented due to the few changes it received compared to the buffs of other tank jobs alongside Endwalker’s release, but it can provide much utility to the team due to its shields. Finally, Gunbreaker can suit the players who like fast-paced rotations since its cooldowns are lower than all other tanks. At the moment, it’s the second most-represented tank job in high-end duties.
Related: Best tank jobs in Final Fantasy XIV
The White Mage is the ultimate healing job in FFXIV. It has everything every enthusiast of the traditional support job needs, providing the best healing in the game, some shields, and mana regeneration spells. Its mana can be practically infinite when its rotation is mastered, and it has the best burst healing to save the most desperate situations. It’s also the easiest healer job to pick up in the game and can be picked up at the character’s creation as Conjurer.
The other regeneration healer job is Astrologian. It’s more complex due to card mechanics that require a bit of practice to get used to. On the other hand, its strength resides in its damage buff mechanics, which compensate for its healing abilities that are harder to get the most of. Its playstyle is very different from the White Mage, so you can test out one of both jobs even if you don’t particularly like the other.
Both other healer jobs are categorized as barrier healers. They are Sage and Scholar and are quite similar. They are more challenging to play, especially at a high level since they require anticipation of the foes’ mechanics to apply shields before the allies receive damage. If you’re up to a challenge, you might enjoy both of these more than regeneration healers. While the Scholar has a fairy to help it top up the players, the Sage is more damage-focused and can apply a permanent buff to the main tank, which can be very useful.
There are five melee DPS jobs, and while they all share some common elements, they all feel very different when played. Even players who don’t particularly enjoy melee jobs can find one in the category that will suit their playstyle. But the most popular of all since Endwalker’s release has been the Reaper, which is the latest DPS job to be introduced to the game.
The Reaper is highly popular in all kinds of activities because it’s the perfect introduction for melee jobs in FFXIV. Its rotation is fast to learn, and once the players have grasped it and trained for a few minutes on dummies, they can pack a punch. The Reaper remains rewarding to play thanks to its Enshrouded form, where the player becomes in control of its dark avatar and gets an upgrade on its abilities for a short duration of time.
It also features few positionals, which is the main complex mechanic proper to melee jobs in FFXIV. If you’re intimidated by melee jobs, the Reaper is a great start. On the other hand, other melee jobs are harder to pick up, especially the Samurai and Ninja, which feature combos that you must know by heart. The Dragoon has also risen in popularity since Endwalker’s balance changes that made it easier to play. It involves a lot of jumping around, so if it suits your playstyle, it can be incredibly fun, too.