FFXIV Leveling Guide for ANY CLASS & JOB – ShB Updated!

How to get EXP fast and powerlevel any DoW or DoM! Get to max level as fast as possible with the least BOREDOM :)

403 Issues SHOULD BE SOLVED: After a very convoluted hunt to discover why and how this was happening - I took a rather extreme approach to squash the problem. There should be no more of this issue going forward.

Hello there and WELCOME to our General Leveling Guide for ALL CLASSES. This guide, as a whole, aims to educate on two main points. 1) Tell and remind you all of the ways, systems, tips and tricks to gain EXP – and which ones are good. 2) As you level up, some level ranges (IE “tiers”), have some specific changes or notes to be aware or – these notes are in the subsequent pages. Without further ado – LET’S POWER LEVEL QUICKLY!

Just to clarify, this guide only applies to ALL “COMBAT CLASSES”.
We have separate leveling guides for DoH and DoL classes.

FFXIV Leveling Guide for ALL CLASSES – Navigation:
P1: Methods, and tips for leveling up at any tier.
P2: A Realm Reborn Tier – 1 to 50 | P3: Heavensward Tier – 50 to 60 (Under review)

So here in Page 1 we’ll focus purely on information regarding all activities and systems regarding gaining EXP, which is relevant no matter where you are on your journey. This is VERY LOOSELY ORDERED by “importance”, but make no mistake knowledge on all of ’em is useful.

Also we have Base Class Leveling Guides to use alongside this one:
ACN | ARC | CNJGLD | LNC | MRD | PGL | ROG | THM

Main Scenario Quest

“As long as you have an MSQ, do it”.

That says it all. As long as you CAN do a Main Scenario Quest, you SHOULD be doing it. Only if you do not meet the quest level requirements do you go down this list.

EXP, Rewards, progression, and unlocks… MSQ is king. The only time you should consider going down this list and finding other sources of EXP is when you aren’t allowed to do MSQ due to not meeting the MSQ level requirements

Sidequests alongside MSQ?

Sidequests WHILE hammering our your Main Scenario Quest is great value.

Not all sidequests are equal, and not all sidequests should be done if you’re looking for “speed” or “efficiency”. I know a lot of people, and myself included that ended up completing all sidequests after a few toons. Ultimately, it’s up to you – but augmenting your MSQ with “value sidequests” is amazing.

TLDR Value rating:  High if alongside MSQ. Don’t be afraid to drop ’em if you move onto another area or something. Can’t be perfect about it, but don’t be too stubborn either.

TLDR Value rating:  EXTREME. Main Scenario Quests are without doubt the highest priority in your list of activities.

Passive EXP Buffs

I mean, seriously, “Why Not?”

This is more of a reminder than anything else. Try to get as many EXP increasing buffs as you can – you might as well right? Every small bit counts. These typically only work UP TO A CERTAIN LEVEL, and typically only work on monster EXP (Amazing for dungeons).

Here’s a few examples of the common EXP bonus buffs:

Passive EXP Buffs

Armory Bonus: Gives you a large EXP bonus (mainly on killed mobs) IF you have another class at a higher level level than your current one. This is why you should focus on reaching max level of one combat class ASAP.

+EXP Equipment: These are tied to various pre-orders and such so If you have ‘em great. Example is the Moogle Hat, or Aetheryte Earring.

Food Buff: +3% EXP for ANY food buff (even Boiled Egg from NPC). Stats might make your leveling experience faster but that’s negligible.

Heat of Battle FC Buff: Your guild can activate this Free Company action which gives a % based EXP bonus on kills.

TLDR Value rating: Extreme, seeing as these are mostly passive bonuses which require little to no effort to retain.

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This is really high up on the list as getting massive chunks of EXP for next to zero effort is… how do I put it… “We take those”.

Duty Roulettes

Your daily injection of EXP crack.

Roulettes are daily “quests” that require you to do a certain type of content, and get bonus rewards (notably EXP) for the first completion every day. Various roulettes rise and fall in value depending on which leveling tier you’re in, but generally speaking they will be one of your main sources of EXP.

I will talk about each roulette type more specifically in each leveling tiers notes, as there are roulettes you should avoid or prioritize depending on where you’re at in the leveling tiers.

But, basically speaking, if you’re leveling ALTS. Roulettes are THE HIGHEST PRIORITY IN GAINING EXP. Not all of ’em, but likely multiple of them will always be.

TLDR Value rating: Extreme, but also extremely volatile. Each roulette type has its ups and downs, and be forewarned: some dungeons or trials are terrible.

Rested EXP

Imagine being paid extra for something you’re already doing.
Like Michael Jacksons documentary, “This is it“.

This one’s quite important as it can heavily change what your next best activity down the line is. Rested EXP is present in many MMORPG’s and FFXIV is not an exception.

Rested EXP augments kill EXP. Simple as that. This of course pairs EXTREMELY WELL with Dungeons.

I don’t need to go into detail of Rested EXP mechanics here, but I must remind you that the best way to GAIN IT is by logging out in a Sanctuary – signified by the Crescent Moon icon near your EXP bar.

TLDR Value Rating: Extreme when paired with activities that use it up quickly. It’s straight up passive EXP. Be wise about how to use it.

When your Rested EXP runs out? It’s the opposite feeling…
Like the Michael Jackson documentary, “Leaving Neverland“.

Challenge Log

Another source of “Free EXP” with little effort.
Sadly I ran out of documentary puns.

If you like gaining random EXP out of nowhere for things you’re already doing – then the Challenge Log is your friend! For the most part, you don’t have to specifically CHASE these so it’s another source of, technically passive, EXP.

Each entry is not equal. While all rewards typically give a percentage of your current level – there are rewards that stop scaling after certain levels. It’s not all that straightforward or clear, but I’ll do my best on the best advice tier by tier.

Chasing after the more obscure ones (IE, 10x Guildhest) isn’t always the best idea, so I wouldn’t sweat being a completionist in this regard. Also, be careful on accidental completions like “Clear Dungeons 5 times”, or “Duty Roulette Dungeons 3 times”. Mistakenly hitting those on a max level class is a mistake i’ve done dozens of times.

TLDR Value Rating: Extreme, but don’t get too excited… not all entries are worth chasing. Get the ones you barely have to work for – or the ones you don’t even notice completing.

Dungeons

Essentially the baseline for gaining EXP. You’ll often hear,
“Is it better or worse than dungeons?”

Doing dungeons, ideally as part of a roulette, is obviously value right? But how about “raw”, like just queueing up for a dungeon straight up? It’s still intense value. 

Ideally you’re completing dungeons that are closest to your level.  These give you MASSIVE EXP, and even loot that inevitably strengthens your character for further leveling.

Even if dungeoning “raw” is value – you typically have rested EXP which skyrockets to near untouchable levels of valuetown. It’s also something you’ll inevitably run into doing roulettes. It’s just great all around.

TLDR Value Rating: Godly. Dungeons + Rested EXP (and hopefully chain bonus) is hard to beat. Even without rested and chain, they’re an engaging source of EXP which is “fun”, and allows improving your personal class mastery.

There are also a few dungeon-related subsystems


Squadron – Command Mission

Allows you to enter certain dungeons with chosen members of your Squadron.

This allows you to skip queue times, and potentially improve your AoE clearing speed depending on what DPS class(es) you bring. Double Thaumaturge / Black Mage seems to be a good idea for the most part.

Sadly, I’m well aware not many players bother to advance their squadron as it can be quite a pain to do so – so this option isn’t available to everyone. I suggest building them up slowly over time so you can one day use Command Missions if you so desire.

I’ll get into more detail about this subsystem in the tiers they are relevant.

Trust System

Allows you to enter certain dungeons without other players, instead going in with set NPC’s. Introduced at the Shadowbringers tier, this is a great inclusion if you need to get into dungeons and skip queue times.

Honestly, it’s not even slow. They’re better than noobs. It’s also a great way for you to familiarize yourself with a dungeon if you’re the type to be afraid of a new dungeon and don’t want mean players to criticize you. Can’t hurt to try out a dungeon first.

I’ll get into more detail about this subsystem in the tiers they are relevant.

Deep Dungeons

“It’s always changing”

Examples of these are the ARR “Palace of the Dead”, and Stormbloods “Heaven on High”. These Deep Dungeons really run it either hot or cold with the FFXIV community.

These are short encounters which DO NOT USE your current gear levels (that’s one reason why some people do ‘em), but instead use their own intrinsic gear level system (that’s another reason some people DON’T do ‘em). Starting from scratch surely feelsbadman. 

Mahiko Sans PERSONAL NOTE and OPINION

The above quote is from my friend Raika Tsunami. It's true! My opinion on Deep Dungeons is, too, "Always Changing".

Always changing from BAD TO WORSE. Every time I think "Hey, maybe it won't be so bad", and every time I end up saying "It's worse than I remember!". There are player types that can tolerate this. But Halone help me... I ain't one of 'em.

And while I know he's memeing. My friendship level with him will always be changing as well, as long as he "promotes" Deep Dungeons.

I know I’m not the fairest proponent of it, but I recognize they do have a place, and when it comes to gaining EXP – Deep Dungeons are certainly in the upper half of options.

TLDR Value Rating: Great, but personally, it somehow achieves being super boring but super involved… IDK maybe I’m biased… While I recognize the good EXP gains it’s a very poor experience when “grinding it out”.

FATEs

“Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant”
– an actual IRL quote on Fate. Lol.

Ah good ‘old FATEs. What can I say? Love ‘em or hate ‘em, I still consider FATEs a very practical source of EXP. They have their place!

FATE’s are great EXP but they suffer from being super inconsistent in terms of many little variables. Fates getting too chunky? You’re too alone? Too many people? Not getting to and getting max rewards from fates? The map you’re in isn’t the best for you right now? Can’t fly? There’s a lot of factors here…

What’s so good about fates? You can do them while queued up. You can do them while watching other things. It’s a low commitment activity that can be done on the “side”. Hell, even ACTIVELY doing FATE’s isn’t bad if you get many variables in your favor.

FATE’s get a bad rep from many older players due to how many subsystems were tied to it back in the day, and it being the clear cut BEST source of EXP too. Times have changed, but I’m keeping the quote up there for all of our painful memories. Remember Atma? Yeah, neither do I.

TLDR Value Rating: Great, but highly variable…

Proper Rotation, Use of skills, etc

Sadly, the git gud reminder has to be mentioned.

Properly playing your job, and subsequently gaining the wisdom of when and how to adjust your playstyle and rotation to fit the content your doing is practically the baseline for “gains”. While this seems like a basic fact for many, it bears stating here. Let’s look at two examples.

Imagine you fudge your AoE rotation in dungeons. There’s definitely a loss of speed there right? With equal gear, a party with better class knowledge will be faster than one that isn’t. Simple.

Let’s say you don’t adjust your rotation to beat up random overworld mobs. Your DoT is unnecessary as you don’t need enough of the DoT to kill it, instead of just straight up attacks? You could lose a little time on each mob. Adjust accordingly!

TLDR Value Rating: Important in many ways. Gaining EXP as a player and human is important too.

Sidequests

Great EXP when LITERALLY in the side.
But as a main focus? hmm

I spoke about this in the MSQ segment. And this one is WILDLY VARIABLE. Basically, sidequests value is highly tied to your Main Scenario Quest. If you can complete them while MSQ-ing great! Drop them if you stray too far.

But of course, you can do sidequests OUTSIDE your MSQ. And, honestly, the wild variance doesn’t disappear in this case either. They can be good or bad. Tagging FATE’s along the way helps, I suppose.

I do know quite a few people who love wiping them out eventually. I did this over the course of many many character leveling cycles.

TLDR Value Rating: Mixed.  Use your gut feel, but my advice is to focus mainly on MSQ tied Sidequests. If you wanna do ’em outside MSQ stay within a +/-2 level range.

Battle Chocobo

Soloing a little faster for a microscopic cost?
You’d have to be a bird brain to refuse.

Combat Chocobo’s help you heal and dps (let’s not talk about the tanking part) while not in an instance – this is great for FATEs, beast tribes, and even MSQ!

While not everyone has a super powerful chocobo – you have to start somewhere right? And honestly even a level 1 combat chocobo is better than nothing. The cost is so minimal as well.

You can’t tell me a couple Gyashl Greens and the occasional Thavnairian Onion is stopping you from maximizing your feathery friend?

TLDR Value Rating: It’s a passive boost to soloing speed and greatly helps with healing, especially for FATEs.

Beast Tribe Quests (Repeatable)

“Rewarding”, but not typically “beast” in terms of EXP.

Mainly good for “getting something done ALONGSIDE something else”, or for “completion”, IE getting mounts and pets. While they can be a decent source of EXP they’re limited, and designed to be a little more annoying to complete compared to other EXP sources. Also, you’re gonna be tied to the map they’re in and the level ranges of the quests you’re allowed to do.

It’s wildly varied from tribe to tribe and tier to tier as well! The sheer difference of happiness (or unhappiness) from, let’s say, Sylph to Ananta is staggering!

TLDR Value Rating: Not so hot for EXP, kinda random, but great for hitting two birds with one stone. Or two Sylphs with one keyboard.

Hunt Bills

Get your maps ready.

Every tier (Honestly, while this can be done in the ARR tier, I consider this system to be practically active at the Heavensward tier onward) you can get Hunt Bills from various cities which require you to kill enemies listed on these hunt bills to get bonus EXP. This is kind of like the Hunting Log, but repeatable everyday for the basic marks.

This is so-so for me. You get certain currencies that help you buy certain things… but the EXP is supplemental at best. If you can knock ’em out while walking around, why not?

Tryharding to complete these logs daily for EXP purposes is, IMO, purely an anti-boredom mechanic or something to do in queue.

Levequests (Battlecraft, Grand Company, Temple)

Better saved for DoH or DOL – but can be a filler

Either Battlecraft or GC Levequests are a, uhh, “viable” source of EXP but is fraught with some limitations. Levequest TYPE and even more on a micro level, SPECIFIC LEVEQUESTS can either be terrible or godly and change in between every tier.

Example… There are some amazing GC Leves which require killing one “elite” boss-type enemy… these are amazing! There are terrible “beckon leves” with NPC’s which are, for a lack of better words, “SLOW AF” – these are terrible! See what I mean?

Combat leves simply STOP EXISTING after a point

Battlecraft Levels stop at L58 (Level 58 levequests have no penalty to EXP until after you hit level 60). Similarly, GC levels stop at L45 (Level 40 Levequests have no penalty to EXP until after you hit level 50). While you technically can do these after their EXP penalty kicks in, I hope I don’t have to tell you NOT TO.

Basically, after Ishgard (in Stormblood and Kugane tier) battlecraft levequests simply vanish. GC leves vanish upon reaching Ishgard (Heavensward tier).

Temple Levequests? Are simple “fat” leves found ONLY in the Heavensward tier that require 10 Leve allowances for a higher reward. But not 10x the reward. They’re simply a way to dump excess levequests. Not bad if you’re leve capped.

Quite simply, only consider using leves if you’re capped on leve allowances or don’t need ’em for DOH or DOL. Otherwise, I would be wary using them.

TLDR Value Rating: Greatly variable. Can be “quite good”, or “straight up bad”. Takes allowances from better uses such as leveling DoH or DoL.

Hunting Log

An interesting and cute subsystem that sadly went away…

Personally, I do these before I “graduate” into the next tier. So I make sure I complete it every 10 levels. Is it worth it? If you’re in queue why not. Do FATE’s along the way.  Also, I typically do these when I’m a little short and need to level up to unlock a new dungeon or something.

But these are only up to L50, only for base classes and jobs which evolve from them. It’s something to note.

I know doing these unlock certain things like GC ranks or something? IDK, it’s been a while. Completing it on at least one character is recommended…

TLDR Value Rating: Meh. Great for newer curious players.

Guildhests

Better than nothing. Almost.

You unlock a new guildhest at Level 1, 5 and every 5 levels afterward. These give you bonus exp for, take note, “Your first completion for each new class you did it on”.

So for example you did “Under the Armor” with Pugilist, you gain a chunky EXP bonus, then doing “Under the Armor” again with Gladiator gives you chunky EXP bonus again.

However, past this point Guildhest usefulness and efficiency falls off a cliff. They’re only used past this to knock out Challenge Log entries (OF WHICH THESE ENTRIES ARE QUITE POOR).

TLDR Value Rating: Great for every first completion per class, and almost utterly useless afterward. (This uselessness extends to Challenge Log guildhest entries and Duty Roulettes)

Basic Grinding

It’s bad.

Absolute worst way to gain EXP. Never “grind for the sake of grinding”, killing overworld mobs. Killing random monsters without a higher goal should never be considered a viable source of EXP.

I have it on the list for one reason: to tell you how bad it is. THAT’S how bad it is. It’s not good. Don’t do it. Avoid this at all costs.

Really, I’m not kidding. It sucks. As much as I would like to express this using a more grandiose vocabulary, I can’t be bothered. It just plain sucks.

Summary & Closing

As important as Tychus Findley’s advice on gaining EXP is,
“Hell, it’s about time”
My own quote should be taken with equal measure…
“Hell, it’s about sanity too”
– Mahiko San

That’s about it for Page 1 of this guide. If you have any suggestions feel free to let us know. Again, this portion of the guide is meant to be a glossary or reminder of sorts as to what mechanics, activities and other tips and guidance for GAINING EXP FOR YOUR COMBAT CLASS. Level “range” of “tier” specific advice goes in every page going forward.

 

FFXIV Leveling Guide for ALL CLASSES – Navigation:
P1: Methods, and tips for leveling up at any tier.
P2: A Realm Reborn Tier – 1 to 50 | P3: Heavensward Tier – 50 to 60 (Under review)

Also we have Base Class Leveling Guides to use alongside this one:
ACN | ARC | CNJGLD | LNC | MRD | PGL | ROG | THM


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12 thoughts on “FFXIV Leveling Guide for ANY CLASS & JOB – ShB Updated!”

  1. You missed a very important one.

    JOB QUESTS

    Job quests are very important to do. If you have a job quest available and you have to do a dungeon for MSQ, DO THE JOB QUEST FIRST. There are no exceptions to this, other than the level cap quests which are optional (and after you hit level cap anyway).

    That said, this is a good guide, otherwise. It’s far faster to level your second+ classes, too, because of the EXP boost.

  2. Nice guide always good to find tips like this for leveling. So sickk of grinding. i broke down and just bought it from mmogah.

  3. Just got FF14 and didn’t even created a class, I started with a good summary of all the classes and now I am down to 3 classes.
    Then I found your guide for those classes and that’s how I get here :)
    Thank you for everything but one thing is missing I think :
    Which server to choose ? Because I heard that some servers are really elitist and unless I like getting insulted I should NOT get into those ones.

  4. I’m not on my home computer (I’m at work! Shhhh….)

    But the company turn ins (The ones that change daily, I think?) give nice chunks of exp, espcially with HQ items – this is only for crafting classes, though. It lists certain amounts of items for the classes, and you turn them in once and then you’re done for the day. Doesn’t matter what class you turn them in with, the exp will go to the proper class using this system. EX: You could be in Monk and turn in the items and you will “gain X Alchemist EXP”.

    I think there is a similar system to turn in the green/pink items from dungeons to get credits and exp, but I haven’t done it in a long time (haven’t played in 3 months, just came back!) – I’m pretty sure that works the same way. it MIGHT just be company credits. Worth looking into?

  5. Just signed up for FF14 and found your site. Thanks for the helpful info for new players, I shall be using this information and site well for my FF14 needs :) your awesome.

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