FFXIV: What’s The Difference Between Classes vs. Jobs?

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Classes in Final Fantasy XIV are starting points for your character’s growth and abilities. Jobs are the specializations of that role that allow your character to settle into a specific high level play style.

It’s understandable that some of XIV’s terminology can be a little confusing for new players. Typically in an MMO, you’ll make a choice at the start of your adventure and that’ll be it for potentially years of play.

That’s not the case with Final Fantasy XIV.

Yes, you’ll pick a class right at the start, but before too much time has passed you’ll be able to change your mind.

You’ll actually never have to play your first choice again if you don’t want to.

It’s entirely possible to just abandon your starting class and begin again with something else.

This fluidity does result in a couple of complications, though.

For one, you can end up carrying a lot of gear around to accommodate multiple jobs. It can also be confusing – keeping track of what class turns into which job, and knowing what differentiates them in the first place.

I’ll lay all this out in a simple way further in this piece.

All you really have to know for now is that everyone starts with one of the basic classes, and expands into something else at level 30.

Jobs can be standalone, or “promotions” from classes.

But generally you’ll start with a class, and end up with a job.

Hall of Novice Attire / Final Fantasy XIV
Image source by NoDomino / © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.

Both classes and jobs are divided into disciplines.

For combat, this is Disciple of War, encompassing tanks, ranged DPS, and melee DPS.

Disciple of Magic includes magical DPS and healer roles.

Later on you’ll be able to acquire jobs in the Disciple of the Land/Hand categories, and these are for gathering and crafting activities.

I’ll be omitting Disciples of the Land/Hand from the rundowns below, since they don’t promote or upgrade like classes do.


What Are The Classes in FFXIV?

– Pugilist (Upgrades to Monk)
– Thaumaturge (Upgrades to Black Mage)
– Rogue (Upgrades to Ninja)
– Lancer (Upgrades to Dragoon)
– Archer (Upgrades to Bard)
– Marauder (Upgrades to Warrior)
– Gladiator (Upgrades to Paladin)
– Arcanist (Upgrades to Scholar or Summoner, allowing it to become either healer or DPS)

Once you reach level 30 on your starting class, you’ll be able to complete a job quest which gives you access to your respective job.

Think of the class as your training wheels.

Once you’ve gotten to grips with the basics, you’ll be able to specialize and gain access to more complex abilities.

If you decide you don’t like your starting class, you don’t need to make a new character.

Once you’ve gotten to the level ten job quest, you can change at any time.

This is as simple as heading to the class’ respective guild in any of the three main cities and picking up a quest.

Summoner with Level 50 Gear / Final Fantasy XIV
Image source by FierreAF / © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.

If you really want to, you can max out your starting class to level 80. One of my Free Company members got all the way to level 80 playing as a Pugilist because he’d completely ignored the Monk quest.

It’s not advisable, though, since you won’t have as much fun and you’ll miss out on a ton of vital abilities, but it can be done.

And unlocking your specialized job does not completely override your original class.

Once you complete the quest, you’ll receive a soul crystal which has its own section in the inventory screen.

Changing your job is as simple as changing the crystal you have equipped.


What Are The Jobs in FFXIV?

– Gunbreaker
– Paladin
– Dark Knight
– Warrior

– White Mage
– Scholar
– Astrologian

Melee DPS:
– Monk
– Dragoon
– Ninja
– Samurai

Ranged DPS:
– Bard
– Machinist
– Dancer

Magical DPS:
– Black Mage
– Summoner
– Red Mage
– Blue Mage (Limited Job, can’t be played in certain types of content)

And there’s two points to consider from that list.

One: there are way more jobs than there are classes. The bulk of available jobs don’t actually upgrade from a class – they’re picked up separately once your character meets a level requirement on any job or class.

Two: you might be wondering why there’s so much choice when the jobs ultimately fill the same roles as classes.

Even within the same roles, jobs can play totally differently from one another.

For example, Machinist is a ranged DPS that’s easy to play with a potentially high DPS output.

Bards would typically sacrifice a bit of that DPS for a more complex character that can provide the party with support in the form of songs.

Do you want to be a hardcore DPS machine, or do you want to be able to support your party in other ways too?

This allows you, the player, to specialize beyond the basic requirement of your chosen role.

SMN Glamour as a Unicorn / Final Fantasy XIV
Image source by Xenamori / © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.

Flexibility in FFXIV’s Job System

This type of job system allows XIV to expand all the different ways of how the game can be played, without sacrificing anything that players have already worked towards.

Whenever WoW has released a new class in the past, players have either had to level up an entirely new character, or pay real money to change it.

This inevitably means that they lose hours of work on their original class – and have to keep a small army of alts at hand to fill different roles.

So in XIV, pick your class based on what role you think you’d like to play.

Once you know just how you’d like to play that role, pick a job and specialize.

If you get bored or just want to try something new – change your mind at any time. It’s that simple.

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