FFXIV: What is an Off-Tank & What Do They Do?

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An off-tank in Final Fantasy XIV operates as a secondary tank during content that requires eight players. The off-tank’s duties range from picking up adds to swapping tankbusters. Typically they’d be most useful in content where two tanks are needed, but in other content you might think of them as “second in command” tanks.

And sometimes their job is to just stand there. So all you off-tanks reading this, don’t worry, it’s OK to be a little lazy sometimes.

Honestly, a lot of an off-tank’s duties won’t even be super important unless you’re tackling some higher-end fights.

EX Trials and 8-person raids are the main culprits where off-tanks are needed.

When you’re in lower-tier content such as dungeons, you won’t even have enough tanks to designate, since there’ll only be one.

And 24-man raids, for the record, also only have one tank usually. The older raids have two, but they’re irrelevant now due to players being way over-leveled.

There are three main duties I can think of for an off-tank:

Swapping, add duty, and dishing out kills.

Let’s take a quick look at each of ’em.



Once you start hitting those harder fights, you’ll quickly find most of them can’t be completed without the help of a valiant tank buddy.

Usually, the more difficult bosses in FFXIV have something called a Tankbuster. This is an attack that’s made for tanks.

They’re devastating, and usually, any other party members caught in it will die. Immediately.

Occasionally, these Tankbusters will also have some kind of debuff attached to them. That’s where your off-tank friend comes in!

When the main tank is hit with the Tankbuster, it’s the off-tank’s time to shine.

The off-tank will provoke the boss and take him away from the main tank, effectively becoming the main tank.

The Tankbuster usually won’t go off again until after the debuff has worn off the original tank that got hit, so you’ll keep swapping roles between both tanks as much as necessary.

Red Battle Guard Tank Glams in FFXIV
Image source / © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.

Add Duty

Bosses will often spawn extra enemies that players must deal with in the middle of a fight.

These new enemies are referred to as adds. Because they’re ADD-ed in the middle of the fight. Get it? Yeah you do.

So what does the off-tank do with them, you might ask?

Well he grabs ahold of them and leads them away, allowing his comrades to remain safe!

A lot of bosses actually have an add phase. Which means that either tank can deal with them since the boss will be occupied.

If adds spawn while the boss is active, it will be an off-tank’s duty to catch their attention.

They’ll have to do this until either they DPS kill them, or until they lead them to whatever mechanic will deal with them.

This could be as simple as carting them away to explode, or could be as difficult as the off-tank needing to survive all by themselves while the party is busy dealing with the boss.

Two types of tank glam - dark and light
Image source / © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.

Kill Time

That’s right!

The third purpose of an off-tank is to fight to your heart’s content.

If you don’t have to deal with the boss or adds at the moment, kick some butt!

Yeah, essentially this boils down to “not off-tank” duty… but it’s still incredibly important!

If an off-tank successfully completes his duties, he can then operate as a fifth DPS.

This is great because it can help shorten fights. For some people, this is the hardest task.

Tank players usually prioritize… well, tanking. Can’t really blame them.

That’s what they chose to do.

Expert off-tanks, though, will know how to maximize damage when the time calls for it. They’ll usually have to switch in and out of a tanking stance.

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