FFXIV Classes and Jobs Overview

Final Fantasy XIV handles its class system a bit differently than most MMOs. Some FFXIV classes are just classes, but many of them build into “jobs,” which represent a mastery of the archetype. So what’s the difference between disciples, classes, and jobs? We’ll be covering just that in this FFXIV Classes and Jobs Overview.

Let’s get started!

Related Reading:

FFXIV Class System Overview

Here’s a brief overview of the class system in Final Fantasy XIV.

  • Classes: The unique skillsets, each with a specific role, that players can assume in FFXIV.
  • Jobs: “Mutations” or “evolutions” for classes, offering some classes the opportunity to acquire new skillsets or modify their role. Not all classes have a distinct Job.
  • Disciples: Groups that assist in clarifying the classes’ purpose and abilities — Disciples of War, Disciples of Magic, Disciples of the Hand, and Disciples of the Land.
  • Roles: The classic MMO archetypes that classes fall into: Tank, Healer, and DPS. Final Fantasy XIV categorizes their jobs into five distinct roles: tank, healer, melee DPS, physical ranged DPS, and magic ranged DPS. You can see this on their official site here.

FFXIV Classes, Disciples, and Jobs — Oh My!

FFXIV classes in the combat realm are organized into two main groups: Disciples of War and Disciples of Magic. Don’t worry about that too much — it’s pretty much what it implies on the tin. Disciples of War mainly deal damage through brute force and razor-sharp steel, while Disciples of Magic favor spells and mana management.

A White Mage stands in the Arcanists' Guild, looking down his nose at them - FFXIV Classes and Jobs
Image Credit: Square Enix via HGG / Mitch Gentry

We’ll pause here a minute to give you the opportunity to try and say “mana management” three times fast. All done? Great! Now let’s talk about the classes themselves, and what your Job means for you.

Some classes are their job. Other classes become their job. Suffice it to say, early in the development of FFXIV classes were built with the Job system in mind. This has been a staple system of the Final Fantasy series. It pioneered the idea of a character swapping classes on the fly in an RPG to level through different content and handle class-specific problems.

As FFXIV matured, the developers realized it was a bit cumbersome both on the development side and player side to juggle both classes and jobs. So new classes added in the expansions starting with Heavensward begin as their job — a sort of convenient fusion — while the core A Realm Reborn classes must grow into their jobs.  

How Classes and Jobs Work in FFXIV: An Example

Let’s shed some more light on the situation with an example scenario:

In this example, say you want to play a Ranged DPS class. You’d likely gravitate toward the Archer — one of the A Realm Reborn classes. You pick up the Archer class and start questing through Gridania, merrily slaying monsters and generally saving the day. Upon reaching Level 30 and completing the appropriate Main Story Quest (“Sylph-management”), you’ll unlock the Job Quests, the first of which for the Archer is “The One That Got Away.”

A Miqo'te Bard at war in PvP
Image Credit: Square Enix via HGG / Mitch Gentry

Finishing that quest would net you a Soul Crystal, which unlocks the Bard Job for the Archer Class. Thus, the Archer Class is augmented by the Bard Job, granting you new tools like the Bardic Songs, which serve to buff yourself and your teammates. You’d still use your bow as your main weapon along with arrow-related weaponskills, but in practice, things look a bit more magical than when you were just an Archer. And you’ll mainly stick with the Bard Job from here all the way through the endgame content.

Of course, you could unequip the Soul Crystal and revert to being a mere Archer, but why would you?

Become One with the Job

Like we mentioned before, not all classes have a job. Some classes are their job. New classes added with the expansions, like Heavensward’s Dark Knight and Stormblood’s Samurai are both class and job combined. No messy Soul Crystal unlock system means it’s just more streamlined for play.

We’ve said it before, and we’re saying it again: the key to maximizing your potential with your job is to keep up with your Job Quests! Many of your job’s unique abilities are tied to those. Including those of the expansion class/jobs.

The Land of Hand

Once you’ve had your fill of combat, perhaps you’ll seek to settle down with the simple pleasures of the harvest and working with your hands. It’s time we talked about the other Disciples in FFXIV: The Disciples of the Hand and Disciples of the Land.

A Miqo'te Miner considers a resource node
Image Credit: Square Enix via HGG / Mitch Gentry

The Disciples of the Hand are the FFXIV classes for crafting, while their Land brethren are the gathering classes. Both must work in harmony to turn the raw material bounty of Eorzea into functional weapons, armor, and consumable items. But, because this is a Final Fantasy game, you can just switch between them on the fly and become a one-Miqo’te economic army.

Unlike the War and Magic Disciples, there are no jobs for the crafting and gathering classes to acquire. It’s just you, your tools, and the fruit of your labor. But there are still a slew of Class Quests and other minigame-like mechanics to help you level on your way. Try the daily Hand and Land provision quests for your Grand Company once you’ve aligned with one. They’re great experience and one important key to power leveling.  

Disciples of War and Magic Overview

A Miqo'te Paladin stands in front of an Aetheryte - FFXIV Classes and Jobs
Image Credit: Square Enix via HGG / Mitch Gentry

So now you know your class from your job. If you’re new to Final Fantasy XIV, or perhaps looking for your next alt class to level, let’s take a moment to inspect the options from a birds’ eye view. For classes with a job, we’ll list the class first and the job second.

Class (Code)Job (Code)DisciplineRoleSpecializationDifficultyExpansion
Gladiator (GLA)Paladin
(PLD)
WarTankMain TankNovice/
Intermediate
A Realm Reborn
Marauder
(MRD)
Warrior
(WAR)
WarTankOff TankIntermediate A Realm Reborn
Archer
(ARC)
Bard
(BRD)
WarPhysical Ranged DPSBurst Damage, Party BuffsNovice/
Intermediate
A Realm Reborn
Lancer
(LNC)
Dragoon
(DRG)
WarMelee DPSChains, Positional CombosIntermediate A Realm Reborn
Pugilist
(PGL)
Monk
(MNK)
WarMelee DPSChains, Positional CombosIntermediate A Realm Reborn
Rogue
(ROG)
Ninja
(NIN)
WarMelee DPSPositional CombosIntermediate/
Expert
A Realm Reborn
Arcanist
(ARC)
Summoner
(SMN),
Scholar
(SCH)
MagicMagical Ranged DPS (ARC/SMN), Healer (SCH)Magical Burst Damage, PetsIntermediate/
Expert
A Realm Reborn
Thaumaturge
(THM)
Black Mage
(BLM)
MagicMagical Ranged DPSGlass Cannon Burst DamageIntermediate/
Expert
A Realm Reborn
Conjurer
(CNJ)
White Mage
(WHM)
MagicHealerSingle Target and AoE HealsNovice A Realm Reborn
Astrologian
(AST)
N/AMagicHealerCard Combo HealingIntermediate/
Expert
Heavensward
Dark Knight
(DRK)
N/A WarTankOff Tank, Burst DamageIntermediateHeavensward
Machinist
(MCH)
N/A WarPhysical Ranged DPSBurst Damage, CombosIntermediateHeavensward
Red Mage
(RDM)
N/A MagicMagical Ranged DPSFlexible RoleIntermediate/
Expert
Stormblood
Samurai
(SAM)
N/A WarMelee DPSBurst Damage, CombosExpertStormblood
Blue Mage
(BLU)
N/AN/AMagical Ranged DPSLimited Job, Flexible RoleExpertPatch 4.5 (Stormblood)
Dancer
(DNC)
N/A WarPhysical Ranged DPSCombo DamageIntermediate/
Expert
Shadowbringers
Gunbreaker
(GNB)
N/A WarTankOff TankIntermediate/
Expert
Shadowbringers

Disciples of the Hand and Land Overview

A Miqo'te Fisher hooks something! - FFXIV Classes and Jobs
Image Credit: Square Enix via HGG / Mitch Gentry

Ready to be productive? Consider picking up one of the Disciples of the Hand or Land classes.

Class (Code)DisciplineSpecialization
Alchemist
(ALC)
HandPotions and crafting consumables
Armorer
(ARM)
Hand Heavy metal armor and crafting items
Blacksmith
(BSM)
Hand Metal weapons and crafting items
Carpenter
(CRP)
Hand Wood weapons and crafting items
Culinarian
(CUL)
Hand Food consumables for stat buffs
Goldsmith
(GSM)
Hand Jewelry, magical weapons, and crafting consumables
Leatherworker
(LTW)
Hand Light and medium leather armor and crafting items
Weaver
(WVR)
Hand Light cloth armor and cosmetic items
Botanist
(BTN)
LandWood, textiles, and consumable item reagents
Fisher
(FSH)
LandFish
Miner
(MIN)
LandOre and gems

Classes, Disciples, and Jobs in FFXIV

A Miqo'te Carpenter saws a length of wood
Image Credit: Square Enix via HGG / Mitch Gentry

Whether you want to sling arrows, swing swords, channel spells, or just kick back and till the earth, FFXIV classes cover all that and more. And with the Job system, classes can grow and evolve along with you on your journeys across Eorzea. Find a skillset that you’re passionate about — or a class with the flashiest spells and best cosmetics — and when you’re ready, you’ll be able to seamlessly sidestep into your next class and all new adventures.

Just don’t forget to keep up with your Class Quests!

Join the High Ground

We hope you have fun trying out all the different FFXIV classes and becoming a master of all trades. If you liked this guide and want more content like it, be sure to give us a follow on Facebook and Twitter. Questions, comments, or concerns? Voice them in the comments section below. 

As for us, it’s about time we take an aetheryte over to Gridania for a player-orchestrated concert. We’ll catch you next time.

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