The endless warring with the Dravanian horde forced Ishgard to get creative with their weaponry. While the Dragoons might appear to be the perfect dragon-killing machines, others would disagree. Stephanivien de Haillenarte, for one, is all about technological advancement, and he’s come up with a way to shoot those lizards right out of the sky. Don your aetherotransformer and grab your gun! This FFXIV Machinist guide will teach you everything you need to know about playing this job.

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Ranged DPS Role Basics

Machinist is a ranged DPS job, sitting in the company of Bard and Dancer. You have the freedom to roam the battlefield at range dealing uninterrupted damage, and you play a slight support role. Ranged DPS is great for players who hate sitting still and want an easier time performing their rotation during complex mechanics.

Out of the three ranged DPS, Machinist is definitely the greediest — meaning that it has the least support-focused abilities. Bard and Dancer are better options for those looking to play a true support DPS.

Machinist stands apart from its fellow ranged DPS due to its very set rotation. You won’t be relying on RNG to use your abilities here. It’s also a very easy job with a small number of buttons to press. If you’re a tank or healer who wants to try your hand at DPS, this could be a great job to start with!

Ranged DPS Role Abilities

Machinist shares a role kit with the other ranged DPS. It may look a little unfamiliar if you’ve been playing a melee DPS (and especially if you’ve been playing a caster DPS).

Ranged DPS Role Abilities
Role actions: don’t leave home without ’em! | Image: Square Enix via HGG / Joni Crawford

Leg Graze (LVL 6)

Leg Graze (LVL 6) afflicts the target with Heavy, slowing their movement for 10s. This is a useful action for solo play. The same goes for Foot Graze (LVL 10), which binds the target to the spot for 10s. However, if you damage the target after using Foot Graze, the effect ends immediately.

Second Wind (LVL 8)

Second Wind (LVL 8) will be familiar for all DPS players. It instantly restores a small amount of HP. This is your panic button if you’re low on health in any situation. 

Peloton (LVL 20)

Peloton (LVL 20) increases the movement speed of yourself and your nearby party members for 30s. It cannot be used during combat and will end immediately if you enter combat. Despite this, it’s a very useful skill for traversing empty stretches in dungeons (or running back to the final boss when you wipe).

Head Graze (LVL 24)

Head Graze (LVL 24) interrupts a target’s action. Interruptable actions are marked by a flashing red outline on your target’s cast bar. Arm’s Length (LVL 32) nullifies most knockback and draw-in effects (but not all). You can use this in a pinch to avoid doing certain mechanics.

The Machinist Job and Leveling

The Machinist Job and Leveling
For a job all about guns and machines, there’s a lot of acrobatic skill involved. | Image: Square Enix via HGG / Joni Crawford

If you’re familiar with your role abilities, it’s time to take a shot at the finer details of being a Machinist.

If you want to become a Machinist, you’ll need to be at least Level 30 in any combat job and have gained access to the city of Foundation in the Heavensward expansion. Talk to Stephanivien in Foundation (X:8, Y:10) to pick up the quest “Savior of Skysteel”. If you have trouble finding him, head to the Skysteel Manufactory.

Machinist Job Resources

The Machinist utilizes two resources in its rotation: Heat and Battery. Heat is generated by using certain weaponskills, filling a gauge that will allow you to use Hypercharge (LVL 30) and Overheat your single-target attacks. It also allows you to perform certain Overheated actions like Heat Blast (LVL 35).

Machinist Job Resources
Fill ‘er up! | Image: Square Enix via HGG / Joni Crawford

Battery, on the other hand, is a resource gained from using certain actions that will allow you to place your Rook Turret and Automaton Queen. These two are “pets” of sorts, each having their own command actions so that they can fight alongside you. The Rook Turret will turn into the Automaton Queen when you hit Level 80.

Both Heat and Battery are represented as simple meter gauges, and both will fill naturally as you perform your rotation.

General Tips for Playing Machinist

General Tips for Playing Machinist
What DOESN’T this thing shoot? | Image: Square Enix via HGG / Joni Crawford

Machinist has a fairly small kit, and it doesn’t have a lot of complex rotational requirements. The most important thing to remember is to not summon your Automaton Queen right when you hit 50 Battery. She’ll do more damage if you spend more Battery on her. As with most gauge-based resources, however, you don’t want to cap your Battery and sit on a full gauge. Your other actions will be generating Battery (and Heat) on a steady basis, so there’s no need to save that resource.

Single-Target Rotation

Single-Target Rotation
Open your rotation with a literal bang! | Image: Square Enix via HGG / Joni Crawford

Machinist has a basic three-part combo: Split Shot (LVL 1) into Slug Shot (LVL 2) into Clean Shot (LVL 26). Performing this combo will fill your Heat gauge. At later levels, these actions will upgrade to their Heated versions, increasing their potency and enabling them to fill your Battery gauge as well.

Other important weaponskills to hit will be Drill (LVL 58), Air Anchor (LVL 76), and Chain Saw (LVL 90). The first two are single target attacks, and the last is a line AOE. Using these in quick succession will ensure that their cooldown timers are close together. The order you use them in will be situational, but Chain Saw is best reserved for last. Reassemble (LVL 10) guarantees that your next weaponskill will be a critical direct hit, so it should be used on one of these three.

Reassemble (LVL 10)
It’s high noon. | Image: Square Enix via HGG / Joni Crawford

Hypercharge and Wildfire (LVL 45) create the burst damage windows in your rotation. You can perform Hypercharge when you’ve accumulated 50 Heat. This boosts your single-target damage and allows you to perform Heat Blast, which can be used multiple times during this window. Wildfire essentially plants a bomb on your target that will go off in 10s (or when you use the Detonator action). Every time you land a weaponskill hit on the target, the potency of the bomb increases. Thus, if you manage to align Wildfire and Hypercharge, you can deal a significant amount of damage to a single target.

Your Automaton Queen (or Rook Turret, at lower levels) can be summoned for 50 Battery. However, the potency of her actions will increase if you wait for your Battery gauge to increase further. It’s best to summon her around 90 Battery. She comes with her own set of actions, and will automatically perform Pile Bunker and Crowned Collider at the end of her sequence. However, you can order her to use Pile Bunker with Queen Overdrive (LVL 80) if you want her to get her big attack in before a phase change.

Hypercharge and Wildfire
Here she comes… | Image: Square Enix via HGG / Joni Crawford

Summary:

  • Perform your basic combo to generate Heat and Battery.
  • Utilize Drill, Air Anchor, and Chain Saw in quick succession to keep their cooldown timers on the same page.
  • Apply Reassemble to one of those three attacks.
  • Align Wildfire and Hypercharge to do lots of burst damage.
  • Summon your Automaton Queen with lots of Battery to deal higher damage to your enemy.

As with any job, weave in your Off-Global Cooldown abilities where you can. We’ll talk about what those are in a later section!

AOE Rotation

Machinist doesn’t have any AOE combos, but it does have a decent amount of AOE attacks for you to whip out on packs of enemies. As mentioned earlier, Chain Saw is a line AOE, so it’s best to apply Reassemble to it right out of the gate.

The rest of Machinist’s AOE attacks are cone-shaped, so be mindful of positioning when you use them:

  • Ricochet (LVL 50) has three charges.
  • Auto Crossbow (LVL 52) can only be executed when Overheated.
  • Spread Shot (LVL 18) turns into Scattergun at Level 82.
  • Flamethrower (LVL 70) requires you to stand still while using it.
  • Bioblaster (LVL 72) applies a damage over time effect for 15s.

OGCD Abilities

OGCD Abilities
Time to get heated. | Image: Square Enix via HGG / Joni Crawford

Your Off-Global Cooldown abilities operate on separate cooldown timers from your weaponskills. This means you can weave them between the actions that make up the meat of your rotation. We already touched on a few that have important timing, but there are a couple more you can toss in on a situational basis.

Gauss Round (LVL 15) is a simple single-target attack. Barrel Stabilizer (LVL 66) increases your Heat gauge by 50 and can only be used during combat.

And that’s it! Machinist really doesn’t have a ton of buttons, which is partly why it’s a very easy job to play.

Dungeon Pulls

This is where you’ll want to be using those AOE attacks! Optimal rotations aren’t super important in this kind of content. What is important is respecting your tank! As a ranged DPS, you might be able to hit enemies before your tank can, but it’s polite to let them initiate the pull so they don’t have to scramble to take aggro off of you.

Additionally, if your tank is running ahead to pull multiple packs, you’ll usually be able to DPS while you move. Your cone AOEs might not hit well in these situations, but you can use your basic combo and other single target attacks to wear down enemies while you’re on the move.

Trials, Raids, and Dungeon Boss Fights

Trials, Raids, and Dungeon Boss Fights -  ffxiv machinist guide
Let’s get straight to the point. | Image: Square Enix via HGG / Joni Crawford

Ranged DPS tend to have it a little easier than other job roles, as they have an unparalleled freedom of movement. The Machinist is capable of DPSing while moving, meaning that you can continue attacking while certain mechanics prevent melee DPS from doing so.

It’s a good idea to make a habit of standing further away from bosses. There’s no need to be in melee range! This will help if you encounter mechanics that require you to spread away from other players or move quickly to certain locations. It will also keep you well out of range of tankbusters and point-blank AOE attacks.

Keep in mind that your healer can only heal so far, though. If you hang out at the edge of the boss arena on the opposite side from them, they won’t be able to help you if you do get hit. Your healer will probably be standing at range from the boss anyway, so you can just stand with them to avoid this.

Stats and Materia Melding

Stats and Materia Melding - ffxiv machinist guide
Image: Square Enix via HGG / Joni Crawford

Machinist utilizes Aiming gear, so if you are leveling it with MSQ, you’ll want to select that option whenever possible. If you’re jumping into it as a secondary job and you previously leveled Bard or Dancer, you can use those same gearsets for Machinist.

At max level, you’ll probably want to start melding materia to your gear if you plan on using Machinist in high-end content. Melding materia increases various stats, and you can accomplish this by finding Materia Melder NPCs in major cities or by requesting melds from other players who are capable of melding. If you have a crafting class at Level 19, you can complete the quest “Waking the Spirit” in Central Thanalan to learn how to meld your own materia.

Meld priority for Machinist is as follows:

  1. Critical Hit (Savage Aim materia)
  2. Determination (Savage Might materia)
  3. Direct Hit (Heavens’ Eye materia)
  4. Skill Speed (Quickarm materia)

Your Determination and Direct Hit Rate should be pretty close to each other, but prioritize melding for Determination. Skill Speed will affect the timing of your rotation. It’s not a high priority, but it may be beneficial in certain high-end fights.

As always, melding materia is not worth it if you are not at max level with good gear. Don’t worry about melding your gear until you hit this point and want to use a job in high-end raiding content!

Join the High Ground

Whether you’re just now picking up Machinist or really sinking your teeth into the job after leveling it for a while, we hope this guide was able to pass on some useful information! This job is the perfect entry point into the world of ranged DPS in Final Fantasy XIV.

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Happy gaming!

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