Unlike many of its contemporaries, Final Fantasy XIV allows players to max out all of their jobs on a single character. If you want to level a healer after maxing out a DPS, you don’t need to create an entire alt character — simply switch jobs by equipping a different weapon. There are nineteen regular combat jobs and one limited combat job, and all can be leveled on a single character.
If that sounds like a lot, don’t worry. You get a wealth of new playstyle options this way, and there are plenty of fun and efficient ways to level your alt jobs. Nobody expects you to spend hours just grinding out low-level mobs. We’ve got a handy guide to help you level your alt jobs in FFXIV (the fun way) in this Final Fantasy XIV Leveling Guide!
Main Job, Main Scenario
Though it may be obvious, it must be said — the Main Scenario Quest is the best way to level your “main” job for a given expansion. You don’t have to stick to a single job for the entirety of MSQ, but it can be a good idea if you’re playing through the game for the first time. MSQ offers tons of EXP and tends to over-level you in some areas of the story.
You can absolutely switch jobs from expansion to expansion, but if you haven’t leveled them up in advance, you’ll have to grind a bit before you can continue the story. If you find a job you really want to dedicate yourself to, use the MSQ to cruise all the way to Level 90.
Most of the game’s content is locked behind story progression, so you won’t be able to fully utilize many of the other methods in this guide until you complete MSQ. While it’s absolutely okay to stray from the beaten path and explore the game at your own pace, keep in mind that you won’t be able to unlock certain pieces of content until you reach them in the narrative.
Before we dive into the methods themselves, here are several ways to boost your EXP gain as you level in Final Fantasy XIV.
Eating food gives you 3% EXP boost that lasts for thirty minutes and can be stacked up to an hour. All food in the game applies this buff, so you don’t need to try and find the fanciest meal out there. Many players carry huge stacks of Boiled Eggs for this purpose because they’re easy to craft and cheap to buy. You should have a food buff up whenever you’re actively leveling!
The Rested Experience buff applies to anyone who logs out in a sanctuary area. This can be a city-state or any settlement with an aetheryte. You can tell if the buff is applied when a crescent moon symbol appears beside your EXP bar. The amount of rest EXP you gain varies. It works by applying a bonus 50% EXP from however much you have stored whenever you gain EXP from an activity.
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself on a preferred server, you’ll receive the Road to 70 bonus. This boost doubles all EXP on a character up to Level 70 within the first ninety days of character creation.
There are a handful of items that boost EXP gain. The two that everyone can easily get are the Brand-new Ring and the Friendship Circlet. The Brand-new Ring is given to you as a reward for finishing the Hall of the Novice training and gives you 30% bonus EXP up to Level 31. The Friendship Circlet is obtained by using a friend’s referral code when you subscribe to FFXIV, or by having a friend use your referral code. Either way, you’ll receive the circlet (and some other goodies) after the new player has been subscribed for thirty days.
There are other EXP boost items, but they’re all pre-order bonuses for expansions. If you pre-ordered Endwalker, you should have received Menphina’s Earring, which gives you a 30% EXP boost up to Level 80.
Players who are part of a Free Company (Final Fantasy XIV’s version of a guild) can receive EXP buffs if their FC chooses to use them. The Heat of Battle buff comes in three tiers that apply 5%, 10%, and 15% EXP bonuses. The first level is free, but the second two will cost your FC to apply them. Many FCs advertise having active buffs, but don’t join one just for the EXP! Make sure you find an FC that suits you and your goals for playing the game.
Lastly, the Armory Bonus is a built-in feature of the game made to help you level alt jobs. This bonus gives an EXP boost to your lowest-level jobs based off of your highest-level job. For example, if you have Paladin at Level 70 and decide to switch to a Level 15 Lancer, the latter would receive an 100% EXP bonus until you hit Level 70 and surpass your Paladin level. This bonus gives you 100% boost below Level 70, and 50% boost from then on.
Starting from the Bottom
If you’ve chosen an alt job that starts at Level 1, you won’t be able to queue for any duties until you hit Level 15. How do you get to Level 15 without MSQ? You could theoretically run around the starting areas and do sidequests, but there are more effective ways to go about this.
Final Fantasy XIV provides you with quite a few logs, and completing the tasks within them can reward with you with EXP. One such log that’s important to pay attention to at low levels is your hunting log.
All jobs with starting classes have hunting logs. These logs are lists of specific enemies you can kill to get large amounts of EXP. When you can’t run dungeons at low levels, completing your hunting log is a good activity to get you to Level 15.
If your hunting log isn’t quite getting you there, you can always fall back on levequests. You unlock levequests as part of the very early MSQ, and you can accept them by talking to NPCs with “Levemete” under their name. Levemetes will require you to complete a trial leve for them first, and then you can take on leves to your heart’s content.
That is, as long as you have the allowances to do so! Players receive three levequest allowances every twelve hours, and they can stack up to 100. If you’re just grinding out a few leves to hit Level 15, you probably won’t run out.
The Simplest Methods
While there are tons of ways to level alt jobs in FFXIV, you might be looking for the easiest options. The following methods can be a bit monotonous if you use them exclusively. However, they are the most straightforward and easy-to-access leveling options if you just want to grind it out. Even if you want to diversify your leveling portfolio, these methods are a great place to start.
Once you’ve hit the end of the MSQ, you’ll have unlocked a good chunk of the game’s dungeon and trial content and a handful of daily roulettes. These can be found in the Duty Finder under the Roulette tab.
Roulettes select a random duty for you to complete from a specified category. They will only queue you for duties that you have unlocked and meet the level requirements for on your current job. There are several different kinds of roulettes:
- Expert: This roulette currently places you into one of the game’s max level dungeons. It’s good for farming max level currencies to upgrade gear.
- Level 50/60/70/80 Dungeons: As the name implies, this roulette puts you into any dungeons at the specific levels. This means this roulette includes end-of-expansion dungeons and post-expansion patch dungeons.
- Leveling: This roulette places you in any dungeon below Level 50 and all of the dungeons not included in the Level 50/60/70/80 roulette.
- Trials: This roulette places you in a random trial. It includes “hard” difficulty trials, but no difficulties above that.
- Main Scenario: This roulette currently places you in Castrum Meridianum or The Praetorium. As these dungeons will be reworked in future patches, the exact content in this roulette will change slightly, but it will not be removed.
- Guildhests: This roulette places you in a random guildhest. Guildhests are short group quests designed to teach mechanics to new players. This roulette can place you into guildhests you have unlocked but not completed.
- Alliance Raids: This roulette places you into a random twenty-four-man raid that is not part of the current raid series.
- Normal Raids: This roulette places you into a random eight-man raid that is not part of the current raid series. It does not include The Coils of Bahamut.
- Frontline: This isn’t exactly a roulette; it’s considered a “daily challenge.” It puts you into a random Frontline PVP map.
Roulettes give you all kinds of completion rewards outside of EXP. You can get things like Tomestones of Poetics, gil, and Grand Company seals. If you’re close to or at max level, you can receive Cracked Clusters and Tomestones of Aphorism and Astronomy, which are used to purchase end-game gear and items.
These rewards can be retrieved once per day, but you can get bonus rewards if you queue for roulettes with a role “in need.” All roulettes will show a DPS, tank, or healer icon, signifying that a given role is “in need” for that type of duty. You can get the benefits of this bonus even if you have already completed a daily roulette.
Running Dungeons, Trials, and Raids
After completing daily roulettes, the simplest way to get good EXP is by completing the highest level content you have available. Running any duty will give you EXP no matter what level you’re at, but completing the highest level dungeon, trial, or raid you have on offer will give you as much as you can get. Dungeons are your best choice for leveling, as they offer more EXP in total than other content.
If you haven’t unlocked all the raid series for a particular level, it can be a good idea to work through them on an alt job. They won’t provide a ton of EXP, but you’ll be able to experience an engaging story as you work through them and add more to your roulette roster. Here’s a quick cheat sheet for Final Fantasy XIV’s raids:
- Level 50: The Coils of Bahamut (Normal Raids — not included in roulettes), Crystal Tower (Alliance raids, unlocked in MSQ)
- Level 60: Alexander (Normal Raids), Shadow of Mhach (Alliance Raids)
- Level 70: Omega (Normal Raids), Return to Ivalice (Alliance Raids)
- Level 80: Eden (Normal Raids), YoRHa (Alliance Raids)
- Level 90: Pandaemonium (Normal Raids — not included in roulettes), Myths of the Realm (Alliance raids — coming soon, will not be in roulettes)
There are also a handful of dungeons that are unlocked through side quests. To figure out which ones you might be missing, check out this list.
The last “simple” leveling method is one you won’t unlock until you reach Shadowbringers, but it can be very useful for getting from Level 70 to 90. All of the MSQ dungeons from Shadowbringers and Endwalker can be run with a party of NPC avatars through the Trust system.
Trusts are a great option for players who don’t want to wait in duty queues or simply don’t like having to play with random people. They’re also a great way to farm loot from these high-level dungeons. The downside to trusts is that they will run slower than a dungeon with real players. This is because the NPCs don’t perform AOE rotations, and if you die, you’re automatically sent back to the beginning of the dungeon.
Trusts also require you to level up the NPCs. You may find yourself running dungeons more than you need to in order to bring an NPC up to the right level.
Despite this, trusts can certainly be fun. The NPCs have unique dialogue for all dungeons and varying party combinations. They’re also programmed to act in character. For example, if you run a Trust with Alphinaud and Alisaie in the party, he will prioritize healing his sister over you. On the other hand, G’raha Tia will always prioritize healing you — even if he’s the tank.
Whether you want to play alone or enjoy the company of Final Fantasy XIV’s stellar cast of characters, trusts are a great, easy leveling method at high levels. The devs have announced that the trust system will be extended throughout the rest of the game’s dungeons in future patches. Trust support for A Realm Reborn is slated to launch this year in Patch 6.1!
We’ve covered the most basic leveling methods, but there are endless options for leveling alt jobs in Final Fantasy XIV. Some of them are great for grabbing extra EXP while waiting for a queue to pop, and others can be your entire leveling strategy if you like them enough!
FATEs are timed battle encounters that spawn across leveling zones. They require you to perform a certain objective that usually involves killing enemies, but can also include collecting items or defending a point.
Grinding FATEs exclusively is probably not the best way to level a job, but they are a great way to snatch up some extra EXP as you’re traveling throughout Eorzea. They become a more viable method at higher levels, especially as certain FATE chains can also give you exclusive rewards.
If you’re running around the world on an alt job and see a FATE spawn, jump in and help out! Even if you have to level sync for it, you’ll still net some good EXP and you’ll only have spent a few minutes of your time doing it.
Similarly to FATEs, the Hunt can be a great way to grab some extra EXP fast or fill time while waiting on a queue pop. They also provide you with a chance to nab other exclusive rewards.
In order to unlock the Hunt, you have to be a Second Lieutenant in your Grand Company. You then should find a quest called “Let the Hunt Begin” in your Grand Company Hall. You complete hunts by picking up mark bills that give you the target monster and all the other necessary details.
Hunting can be a big social activity in FFXIV. Hunting marks spawn randomly and it can take some coordination to get the elite marks targeted at higher levels. Players will form hunt trains that travel around the world, taking down marks and reaping the reward. FFXIVHunt is a great resource for those looking to learn more about the Hunt!
The Bozjan Southern Front
The Bozjan Southern Front is an instanced area with its own story added to the game during Shadowbringers. In order to access it, you will need to have completed Shadowbringers MSQ and the Ivalice raid series from Stormblood. Bozja serves as both a leveling zone and the method for Shadowbringers’ relic weapon creation. You have to be Level 80 to unlock access to Bozja, but you’ll be able to use it to level alt jobs from Level 71 to 90.
The Bozjan Southern front contains far too much content to cover in a few paragraphs. You can learn more about the content and mechanics here.
PVP is an often overlooked leveling method in Final Fantasy XIV. It’s not as popular a feature as it is in other MMOs, but there is still a thriving PVP community. In fact, upcoming patches are going to contain new PVP content, so there’s no better time than the present to start participating in it. PVP gives great EXP even if you don’t perform that well. We say this so that you aren’t afraid to try it — please don’t queue for PVP content with the intent to throw the match!
Many players are wary of PVP because it utilizes a different set of actions from PVE content. If this makes you nervous, don’t worry! The Wolves’ Den Pier area in La Noscea has striking dummies where you can test out your PVP hotbars and arrange them to your liking. They aren’t super different from your normal actions and are greatly simplified, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble to figure it out and start queuing for matches.
Each expansion has its own set of daily Tribe Quests to complete. These were formerly referred to as “Beast Tribe” quests, but the name has been changed with the release of Endwalker.
Here’s a list of the tribes that provide battle quests and their corresponding levels:
- Amalj’aa: Southern Thanalan, near Little Ala Mhigo
- Sylph: East Shroud, near The Hawthorne Hut
- Kobold: Outer La Noscea, near Camp Overlook
- Sahagin: Western La Noscea, near Aleport
- Gnath: The Dravanian Forelands, near Anyx Trine
- Vanu Vanu: The Sea of Clouds, Ok’Zundu
- Ananta: The Fringes, near The Peering Stones
- Kojin: The Ruby Sea, Tamamizu
- Pixie: Il Mheg, Lydha Lran
Two more tribes will be added in future Endwalker patches!
In FFXIV, deep dungeons are a special type of randomly generated content with its own level progression system. The progress you make in a deep dungeon is separate from the rest of the game, but the EXP you earn isn’t!
There are currently two deep dungeons: Palace of the Dead and Heaven on High. The former is unlocked in New Gridania at Level 17, and the latter is unlocked in The Ruby Sea at Level 61.
Both PotD and HoH function similarly to a rougelike game. You enter at Level 1 regardless of your current job level, and you gain levels as you progress through the randomly generated levels and defeat monsters. Deep dungeons have their own gear sets and specific mechanics, but the abilities you have at each level are the same as they would be in the normal game. You can also quit a deep dungeon run and save your progress to return to it later.
Deep dungeons can be an interesting way to mix up your level grind. If you find you have a knack for it, there is a community of players dedicated to solo-clearing this content. If you want to learn more about how deep dungeons work, check out this guide!
We did mention that the trust system will be coming to A Realm Reborn in the next patch, but it sort of already exists in a much more convoluted way.
Command missions are available through your Grand Company. You can unlock them by becoming a Second Lieutenant and picking up the quest “Squadron and Commander” from your Company’s Personnel Officer. You’ll need to be at least Level 47 to do this.
Before you can do command missions, you’ll have to form and level up a Squadron. Squadrons are formed from randomly generated NPCs that can be recruited inside the barracks of your Grand Company. It takes a bit of work to get a squadron to the point where they unlock command missions. Thankfully, you don’t have to do anything besides assign them missions to take on.
Command missions operate similarly to trusts. The squadrons don’t use their AOE rotations, so it’ll still be slow going. The difference is that you are their commander, and you will have to issue orders to them as they progress through the dungeon. It is possible for them to complete dungeons without you lifting a finger, but it’s not exactly ideal.
Try out this leveling method if you enjoy the idea of trusts but don’t have the patience for them to come to A Realm Reborn in the next patch, or if you just really love your Grand Company!
Join the High Ground
Leveling up alt jobs can be a pain, but it doesn’t have to be! Final Fantasy XIV provides you with so many different ways to gain EXP. If you’re sick of running the same dungeons over and over again, mix things up with one of the methods we talked about. When you’re tired of the grind, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media!