When new players first got into Final Fantasy XIV, they often looked to older players for a bunch of tips. Therefore, to help newbies get the most out of the game and be extremely useful in avoiding common mistakes, here are several FFXIV tips and tricks worth knowing.
1. Focus on your Main Scenario Quests (MSQ)
Main Scenario Quests (MSQ) appear on the top-left of your screen and make up the bulk of the Final Fantasy XIV leveling experience. These quests reward a generous amount of experience points, and you'll seldom need to do sidequests or grind for exp to hit the requirements for the next one.
2. Job Quests Should be Your Next Priority
Job Quests are sidequests required to unlock particular abilities for your job, and for new players, the level 30 Job Quest will upgrade your initial class into the complete job itself. Make sure to finish these as soon as they are available, so you don't miss out on crucial job abilities.
3. Accomplish the Hall of the Novice Quests
Hall of the Novice is the Final Fantasy XIV battle system gameplay tutorial. It'll teach you the game's basics – what are AoEs, how to handle enmity (aggro) as a Tank, how to heal your allies as a Healer, and the like.
4. Eat Food for Buffs!
Eating any food will automatically bestow a Well Fed buff to your character for 30 minutes, granting a 3% EXP bonus. It seems like a small amount at first, but it adds up eventually.
5. Always log out in a Sanctuary
Sanctuaries are significant cities, and players will receive an in-game notice whenever they step foot in one. Logging off in a Sanctuary allows players to come back to a temporary XP buff in the same way many other MMORPGs do.
6. Join a Free Company
Free Companies are the guilds of FFXIV, and they can often provide their members with significant bonuses like buffs to XP received. Most major FCs are always recruiting, and the community in FFXIV is a welcoming one. Don't be afraid to reach out in a major city's chat to see if any guilds want to guide a newer player to success.
7. Enjoy the game's many distractions
The Gold Saucer is a casino that features Chocobo races, Triple Triad, and more. Progressing through FFXIV and leveling fast is undoubtedly a good thing, but make sure not to miss out on the excellent side content Square Enix consistently supports with every expansion.
8. Unlocking other Features and Content
The same blue icon that marks out Job Quests is also used to mark quests that unlock different kinds of content, such as non-MSQ dungeons, Trials, and Raids. These should be your third priority, as opening them will grant you access to everything the game has to offer.
9. Learn what your skills do before using them
As you level up, you'll unlock new skills. Whenever you get a prompt telling you that you've opened a unique talent, read what it does. This is crucial to learning how to play your job – especially for skills that combo into each other or have specific interactions with your other skills.
You can also go to Main Menu > Character > Actions & Traits to look at your skills. You'll find a complete list of your current and future talents. Highlight the skill you want to check out and read the overlay that appears.
10. Do your Daily Roulettes
Roulettes are what make up most of your Final Fantasy XIV "dailies" – these are also accessible using the Duty Finder and will queue you up to a random dungeon, trial, or normal raid you've already unlocked, with an accompanying experience point and Final Fantasy 14 Gil bonus once a day.
11. Interact with Aetheryte for fast travel
At the beginning of FFXIV, you do a lot of running around. It isn't enjoyable until you find Aetheryte — crystals that act as fast travel points between the game's massive map.
Whenever you find a new Aetheryte, interact with it, and you'll become attuned to it, which means that it becomes a teleportation point. Once you do this, you can fast travel.
12. You Can Ignore Side Quests if You Want To
The game's plethora of regular sidequests are marked with a regular gold exclamation point icon, and they offer other small rewards such as experience or Gil. Still, these can largely be ignored (and the Main Scenario Quests and a few dailies should be enough to level you to cap anyway).
13. Changing Jobs
If you'd like a change of pace or feel like your current job isn't for you, you can unlock other jobs by simply accomplishing their respective Job Quest. After that, it's merely a matter of equipping the appropriate weapon (and job stone if you've already unlocked it!) to switch between jobs. If you constantly switch between different jobs, you can create gear sets from the character menu, save them, and even map them to your Hotbar for easier access.
14. Customize Your UI and Hotkeys
Final Fantasy XIV has extensive built-in customization options for UI settings and hotkey mapping, which you can access from the main menu. This might not be an immediate concern for the earliest hours of the game, but let me tell you, having a different UI set for regular gameplay and a more trimmed down one specifically for more complex instanced content was a gamechanger for me.
15. For Healers – Please Use Your DPS Skills During Downtime
This is an aspect of the game that's been talked about a lot, but in Final Fantasy XIV, healers also make up a significant portion of the party's expected DPS. If your party members are alive and topped up with HP, please do make use of your DPS skills when available. It's good to set up the habit of getting used to also dealing damage early, as it'll be a necessity for higher levels and more complex content.
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