FFXIV Gladiator (GLD) Leveling Guide & Rotation | ShB UPDATED

How to level up your Gladiator (GLD) fast! Learn all about your skills, role actions, and how to level up HERE!

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Hello aspiring Gladiators! Lemme thank you in advance for adding tanks into the pool for shorter queues! If you’ve come here then you’re likely in need of advice for leveling your Gladiator. Thankfully this is, in fact, a Gladiator Leveling Guide! Read on!

This page is strictly for Gladiator – focusing more on GLD 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.

Gladiator: Unlocking, and other basics

How to unlock the GLD Class?

Location: Ul’dah – Steps of Thal, Gladiators’ Guild (x:6, y:10.6)
NPCs: Lulutsu, Mylla
Related Quests: (all in the same place)
> So you want to be a Gladiator
> Way of the Gladiator
> My First Gladius
Others: You may also begin the game as Gladiator

Gladiators are Tank classes, falling under the Disciple of War category. Tanks have two “main stats”. STR increases damage dealt (Which is important while leveling… speeds things up). VIT is your other main stat which boosts your HP – making dungeons and raids easier for your healers.

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

You may also want to check out our Gladiator 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 Gladiator.

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!

Gladiator Leveling – 01 to 30

If this is your first character:

L1 Skill UnlockedFast Blade: This is your basic attack, and eventually all of your combos start from the humble Fast Blade! “Spamming Fast Blade” is your only means of offense right now.

L1 Skill UnlockedFight or Flight: A generic DPS cooldown (physical damage only). Use as often as you can! Obviously, don’t pop it when majority of its duration will be wasted.

L4 Skill UnlockedSavage Blade: This combos from Fast Blade – giving us a significant boost in kill speed. It also generates a large amount of enmity, which is notable for dungeons.

L5 GLD Class Quest – check in on your guildmaster in Ul’dah – Steps of Thal – Gladiators’ Guild. These spawn every 5 levels up until 50, and can give you notable rewards (besides, you NEED to do them to become a Paladin).

L6 Skill UnlockedFlash: An AoE enmity generation skill. Keep in mind that this blinds all enemies it affects! Keep this blind in mind when you eventually speedrun dungeons, every little bit of mitigation helps in gigantic pulls.

L8 Role Actions unlocked!

So you’ve unlocked your first role action as Gladiator. 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 Paladin by then.

For a glimpse into the future, see: Tank Role Actions Guide.

L8 Role Action slot I unlockedRampart: is a generic damage reduction cooldown. While it’s decent in solo content, it shines in dungeons and, eventually, raids.

L10 Skill UnlockedRiot Blade: This combos from Fast Blade. THIS IS STRONGER THAN SAVAGE BLADE! Keep this in mind! If you have enough aggro on a mob (or are soloing) – Go Fast Blade into Riot Blade. Every bit of value counts!

L10 GLD Class Quest – check in on your guildmaster in Ul’dah – Gladiators’ 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 unlockedLow Blow: is amazing in low levels where you almost never pull more than 3 mobs. Stunning a mob in a pack of 2 is a 50% damage reduction! In a pack of 3 it’s 33%! Stunning one guy is 100%!

L15 GLD Class Quest unlocks Shield Lob: check in on your guildmaster in Ul’dah – Gladiators’ Guild.

Shield Lob is a generic ranged skill which gives bonus enmity.

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.

Tanking Gear and YOU

So by now you may have noticed that some left-side pieces are for “Disciple of War”. These generic pieces are often bad for you. Why? The tanking class specific gear (usually “usable by GLD MRD etc etc”) have vastly higher armor and magic defense ratings. Get those!

This info is important from here on, since doing dungeons/roulette is a very good source of EXP.

If you’re one of those “pure POTD” types. Well. Back in the hole for you, I suppose!

L16 Role Actions Slot III UnlockedProvoke: is a godlike tank role action, and one you should familiarize yourself with as early as now. It gives you top enmity on a target mob, but only by a single point. Always follow it up right after – the usual is Provoke into Shield Lob. While it’s crap for soloing, it’s a MUST HAVE in any other type of content.

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 UnlockedShield Bash: Ah, this skill is actually amazing in the lower levels. An on-demand stun is very powerful in dungeons. I used it as “pseudo mitigation” – stunning multiple mobs in a pack severely reduces your damage taken.

L20 Trait UnlockedEnhanced Vitality

L20 Role Action Slot IV UnlockedConvalescence: increases incoming heals. It’s obviously quite bad as we don’t really have access to healing skills right now (it does affect your healer Chocobo!).

L20 GLD Class Quest – check in on your guildmaster in Ul’dah – Steps of Thal – Gladiators’ Guild.

L24 Role Actions Slot V UnlockedAnticipation: Increases parry rate. This is an amazing cooldown when facing 3 or more mobs.

L25 GLD Class Quest – check in on your guildmaster in Ul’dah – Gladiators’ Guild.

L26 Skill Unlocked Rage of Halone: a combo finisher! Rage of Halone combos from Fast Blade > Savage Blade into Rage of Halone.

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

L30 Class quest unlocksShield Swipe, and the prereq for Paladin:

Shield Swipe: is an “off-gcd” skill which does some DPS and pacifies. It triggers whenever you block. Use it whenever it procs!

Completing this quest marks your final class quest as Gladiator. You now have the right to become a Paladin!

How to become a Paladin?

The quest to become a Paladin is Paladin’s Pledge, found in Gladiators’ Guild. Completing this quest gives you Soul of the Paladin, and the skill Shield of Oath.

Soul of the Paladin is your job soul crystal. To become a Paladin 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 Gladiator again.

And with that YOU’RE DONE WITH LEVELING Gladiator! Congrats! Feel free to proceed to the Paladin Leveling Guide. Hopefully our Gladiator Leveling Guide helped you out. Never break the oath, friend.

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7 thoughts on “FFXIV Gladiator (GLD) Leveling Guide & Rotation | ShB UPDATED”

  1. Do I have to keep on going through the main scenario as a gladiator or can I do it as a paladín now since I have the soul crystal ?

  2. Excellent guide, short and sweet. (Issue: Says at the end that you need lvl 15 marauder for paladin instead of conjurer)

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