FFXIV Arcanist (ACN) Leveling Guide & Rotation | ShB UPDATED

How to level up your Arcanist (ACN) fast! Rotation, skills, reminders, and the best places to be in any level – HERE!

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Lured in by the pets? Don’t sweats. Our Arcanist leveling guide can help you out! Since leveling up fast is why you found this page, I assume!

This page is strictly for Arcanist – focusing more on ACN specific info like skills, traits, and playstyle notes. The GENERAL PROCESS that you should be following is outlined in our GENERAL LEVELING GUIDE: Which you should be using ALONGSIDE THIS GUIDE.

Arcanist: Unlocking, and other basics

How to unlock the ACN Class?

Location: Limsa Lominsa Lower Decks, Arcanists’ Guild (x:6, y:10.6)
NPCs: Murie, Thubyrgeim
Related Quests: (all in the same place)
> So you want to be a Arcanist
> Way of the Arcanist
> My First Grimoire (all in the same place)
Others: You may also begin the game as Arcanist

Arcanist are the only “Hybrid class”. For the intents of queueing up pre L30, they are Healers. Their main stat is INT, but many pieces of gear give them incidental MND stat which helps healing.

You should be using a DPS or Tank Chocobo companion (maybe a hybrid of the two).

You may also want to check out our Arcanist General Guide & FAQ for other basic info.

Leveling Methods, References and Reminders

In these boxes, I’ll put info that you’ll likely be referring to (or discovering) while leveling up your Arcanist.

EXP Grinding Methods

Here’s a generic outline of what you should be doing at any given time. The higher it is, the more value it is for EXP.

Leveling ActivityUnlocks & Notes
Main Scenario QuestIf this is your first character. Only stop and go down the list if you’re locked out.
Duty Roulette: LevelingComplete Sastasha and Tam-tara Deepcroft in the main scenario.
Palace of the DeadUnlocks at L17 for your first character, and you can zone in at L1 thereafter.
FATESThe baseline activity for gaining incidental EXP.
GuildhestComplete each one ONCE for each class. Roulette version optional.
Hunting LogGives some decent EXP if you’re bored or in queue. Terrible if you skip a tier.
Challenge LogUnlocks at L17 for your first character. Best done “passively” until nearing week end.
Dungeon GrindGrinding dungeons via Duty Roulette: Leveling or straight queue.
LevequestsHonestly, Battlecraft leves are only so-so… Where? See: Levequests Guide

I give you many options because sanity, boredom, and changing it up are important to many people. Again, more detailed info can be found in the General Leveling guide.

Bonus EXP and other EXP effects

There are a few bonus EXP items you can equip for some minimal gains.

Heat of Battle (Free Company Action) 10/20/30%
Eating ANY FOOD BUFF +3% (You can buy from NPC IE Boiled Egg)

Moogle Hat until L10
Friendship Circlet until L25
Brand-new Ring until L30
Ala Mhigan Earrings until L50

These mainly work for monster kills, so don’t sweat it if you don’t have ‘em. Your journey is long, and killing monsters isn’t that large of a source of EXP.

Last but not least of these reminders, always logout at a sanctuary. It’s noted by the moon icon on the right side of your EXP bar. You gain rested EXP in these areas!

Arcanist Leveling – 01 to 30

If this is your first character:

L1 Skill UnlockedRuin: For all intents and purposes, it’s your basic attack. It does a pitiful amount of damage…

L2 Skill UnlockedBio: Your first Damage over Time (DoT) spell! Use it when opening on new enemies, but don’t refresh it if they’re nearly dead.

L4 Skill UnlockedSummon: Blue Carbuncle is a ranged DPS pet. ALWAYS HAVE A SUMMON OUT! They’re a source of easy, brainless, and FREE damage!

L4 Skill UnlockedPhysick: A run of the mill heal. Notice how generic Disciple of Magic gear has Mind on it, which improves healing.

L5 ACN Class Quest – check in on your guildmaster in Limsa Lominsa Lower Decks – Arcanists’ Guild. These spawn every 5 levels up until 50, and can give you notable rewards (besides, you NEED to do them to become a Summoner or Scholar).

L6 Skill UnlockedAetherflow: The core of your future as an Arcanist. Aetherflow restores mana and gives you “Aetherflow“, which you expend to use special skills.

L6 Skill UnlockedEnergy Drain: Is one of those skills that use Aetherflow, coincidentally gained on the same level… It’s an off-gcd (OGCD) spell that damages enemies and gives you a bit of mana back. Realistically, in low level scenarios – just use it to do more damage.

L8 Role Actions unlocked!

So you’ve unlocked your first role action as Arcanist. If you’re new, you access this by pressing (default) P > Role. Slots for role actions are unlocked at 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24 for base classes. Technically you unlock more at 32 onward, but you should advance to Summoner or Scholar by then.

Here’s the list of all Healer Role Actions.

L8 Role Action slot I unlockedCleric Stance: Quite an irrelevant skill this early on… 5% is 5%, I suppose, but don’t split hairs over it.

L10 Skill UnlockedMiasma: Your second DoT! Against new enemies, it’s smart to open with both DoT’s. Refresh them only if the enemy will survive for a significant portion of the duration.

L10 ACN Class Quest – check in on your guildmaster in Limsa Lower Decks – Arcanists’ Guild.

L10 Hmm... Guildhests?

Are guildhests worth it while leveling? Note that you get a large bonus EXP for the first time you complete a guildhest with that class. This is pretty worth it!

I mention this now at level 10 since we have a special guildhest – Under the Armor. It’s the fastest guildhest and people use this as the unofficial hest to queue up for to nail the Challenge Log entries quickly. It also helps for the quick completion of the “Player Commendation” entry.

The roulette is so-so. I like it very early on when the hests are limited to the extremely easy ones.

L12 Role Action slot II unlockedBreak: Slowing your opponent before reaching you… well… It’s not like enemies in this level range are that threatening. Not a very good skill.

L15 ACN Class Quest unlocks Summon II: check in on your guildmaster in Limsa Lower Decks – Arcanists’ Guild.

Summon II: Topaz Carbuncle is OP. It’s a tank type pet that you should be using when soloing (DO NOT USE IT IN DUNGEONS). Use Physick on it when he’s low. As you can see, given all your tools as an Arcanist – they’re pretty OP in the leveling department.

L15 Unlocks - Duty Roulette Leveling

DR Leveling is an insane source of EXP and you shouldn’t let a day pass without doing it!

However, in this day and age there is a problem.

There are people who are the “Pure Palace of the Dead all the way BBY” types (nothing wrong with that), who may shun doing DR Leveling simply because they have no gear to speak of.

Don’t be dismayed due to a lack of gear! Grand Company seal gear is more than enough during this phase of the leveling period. It’s essentially FREE! NQ’s or cheap pieces from the market board can supplement the blanks. You can even buy from NPC’s!

These dungeons aren’t tuned to be very punishing, and being at a lower item level isn’t the end of the world.

L16 Role Actions Slot III UnlockedProtect: VALUE. Rearrange your Role Actions to have this one in the first slot. Free defense and magic defense for no cost. Always keep this up, solo, in a party, raid…

L17 Unlocks - Challenge Log

Keep in mind it unlocks at L17 FOR FIRST TIMERS, but if you do have it unlocked, the Challenge Log can be abused from L1 for other classes.

The Challenge Log is a great way to gain EXP on the side. You should seek to complete as many relevant entries as you can before the week resets – at which time try to chase the good ones before it’s too late!

Not all entries are equally good – check the General Leveling Guide for tips.


L18 Skill UnlockedResurrection: Good ‘ol rez. It can be used in combat but the cast time is staggering. It’s best used in tandem with Swiftcast.

L20 Role Actions Slot IV unlockedEsuna: Put this in the second slot of your Role Actions. Esuna clears removable debuffs – they’re noted by a white line above the debuff icon.

L20 Trait Unlocked – Aetherdam II: Adds another Aetherflow charge for a total of 2. A notable passive to remind you of, especially since Bane is now in the mix.

L20 ACN Class Quest – check in on your guildmaster in Limsa Lominsa Lower Decks – Arcanists’ Guild.

L24 Role Actions Slot V unlockedLucid Dreaming: Put this in the third slot of your Role Actions. Lucid Dreaming is a great source of mid-combat MP Regeneration.

L25 ACN Class Quest – check in on your guildmaster in Limsa Lominsa Lower Decks – Arcanists’ Guild.

L26 Skill UnlockedBio II: Your Bio automatically gets upgraded to Bio II to deal more damage. I ain’t complaining!

Once you hit level 30 FULL STOP! It’s time you evolve into a job class – in your case that’s Summoner or Scholar (SMN or SCH)! The prerequisites to unlocking the quest are simply finishing ALL ACN class quests up to level 30.

L30 Class quest unlocksBane, and the prereq for Summoner or Scholar:

Bane: Oh BOY. Finally! Bane SPREADS all your DoT’s afflicting your target, to all nearby enemies. This is an amazing AoE skill in dungeons at the low low cost of 1 Aetherflow. Keep in mind that DoT’s have a short settling time – BE SURE TO SEE IT ON THE ENEMY BEFORE YOU BANE. You’ll get what I mean in due time, once you’ve made this mistake enough times…

Completing this quest marks your final class quest as Arcanist. You now have the right to become a Summoner or Scholar!

How to become a Summoner or Scholar?

(REMEMBER: You can unlock both!)

The quest to become a  Scholar is Forgotten but not Gone, found in Arcanists’ Guild. Completing this quest gives you Soul of the Scholar, and Adloquium skill. Scholars are purely a healing class, specializing in shields & mitigation. Your eventual Guildmaster is still located in Limsa.

The quest to become a Summoner is Austerities of Flame, also in the Arcanists’ Guild.  This gives you the Soul of the Summoner and Summon III skill. Summoners are a DoT and pet-based caster class. Get ready to stretch your keybinds. Your eventual guildmaster is located in Gridania.

(Gaining EXP as SCH counts towards SMN and vice versa!)

Arcanist leveling OP - read before you proceed

Arcanist can somehow get the best of both worlds.

While soloing, doing easy FATES or whatnot, you can use Summoner since your DPS is a lot better (+Titan Egi to tank for you!). Summoners are stupidly good for soloing.

When it comes to anything with a queue, or difficult content which you would like to tackle “slow and safe” with healing – just go SCH. Queuing up as DPS sucks, man. Luckily you have an option.

However, don’t be “that guy” who plans to main SMN, and queue up SCH with horrendous gear and are clueless. Practice as early as L30, man.

Soul of the Summoner or Scholar is your job soul crystal. To become a Summoner or Scholar you merely have to equip it (it’s on the lower right most equipment slot). Equipping the soul crystal is a tiny bit of a hassle since you have to rebind your skills, and reconfigure your equipment set. But it’s okay since you’ll likely never be a Arcanist again.

And with that YOU’RE DONE WITH LEVELING Arcanist! Congrats! Feel free to proceed to the Summoner or Scholar Leveling Guide. Hopefully our Arcanist Leveling Guide helped you out

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8 thoughts on “FFXIV Arcanist (ACN) Leveling Guide & Rotation | ShB UPDATED”

  1. Thank you soo much! I’m a newbie in this game and ACN is my favourite class. This guide really helped me out :)

  2. Hi, nice guide! A bit late here :D. I was wondering what’s the best job choice to go for if I’m with a friend in a party that has a MRD/WAR ?

    1. You can’t go wrong with a healer, I suppose..? White Mage is the more upfront one. Avoid tanks since he is one. DPS ain’t bad either, maybe a Black Mage for AoE dungeoning (but requires some patience to master for raiding)

  3. I’m new to this awesome game and arcanist so this has realy helped me out.ThankyouI’m also a blackmage which I’m also loving!

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