What is The Novice Network in Final Fantasy XIV?

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The Novice Network is a mentoring system built into FFXIV. It has an in-game chat channel that gives newcomers (affectionately referred to as “sprouts”) a direct line to Mentors. All of the mentors in the Novice Network are experienced players that have met certain requirements, qualifying them to nurture the younger part of the community.

This system is both an incredibly valuable source of information for sprouts, and a way to meet new people of all levels and classes.

And losing your sprout naturally takes quite a bit of time and progress, so the Novice Network is not full of just completely green players.


How Can I Join The Novice Network?

It’s easy! In fact, most new players will probably be invited within their early days of playtime anyway.

Mentors are usually on the lookout for new sprouts in need of guidance. But if you haven’t gotten an invite yet, you can usually pick one up by simply asking in the chat channel of any major city.

You could also ask a Mentor directly – you can identify them by the special crown icon on their nameplate.

There are two different types of Mentors(Battle and Trade) each specializing in different areas, but all of them will be able to invite you to The Novice Network.

Don’t be afraid to ask – it’s what they’re there for.


What Can I Use This For?

Think of The Novice Network as in-game Google.

You can ask any question you want about game mechanics, quest locations, skill rotations for your job, and you’ll reliably get a ton of useful responses in a short space of time.

In The Novice Network, there’s (usually) no such thing as a stupid question. So it’s a great way to integrate yourself into the massive world of Eorzea.

Once you’ve joined, the channel’s messages will populate your chat window.

You’ll be able to ask questions and interact with other players in an environment specifically tailored for sprouts. You’ll also be able to see everyone else’s questions and chats, too.

Keeping an eye on it can really broaden your Eorzean horizons.

Yugiri's Purple Hood in FFXIV
Image source by u/Treantwuver

But The Novice Network is not just for help (although you can certainly just use it that way if you want).

There’s often lively conversations and potential friends to be met, if you want a more social experience.

FFXIV has, overall, one of the more pleasant and welcoming communities, with seasoned players often going out of their way to help sprouts.

Basically, if you have a question about FFXIV, there’s someone with the answer in The Novice Network.


What Shouldn’t I Use It For?

This really just comes down to common courtesy.

Don’t beg for items, gil, or assistance.

Don’t be rude to other players, and avoid using coarse language. You can be suspended temporarily for behaving inappropriately, and it’s probably best not to ostracize a community designed to help you!


Who Are The Mentors?

Mentors are players who have proven their worth by hitting a number of prerequisites.

There are two types: Battle Mentors and Trade Mentors.

Crafter/Gatherer Mentor Character in FFXIV
Image source by u/Decorous_Whisper

Battle Mentors will have completed at least 1,000 instanced raids, trials, or dungeons, receiving at least 1,500 Player Commendations in the process, and completed high level tank/DPS/healer achievements.

Trade Mentors specialize in Disciple of the Land/Hand. So think of all your gathering and crafting jobs. Getting Trade Mentor status requires gathering or catching 300 collectables, crafting 100 collectables, and hitting the level cap on any combination of gathering and crafting jobs.

Mentors are categorized by their specialization, making it easy to find one with the knowledge to suit your playstyle.

Needless to say, these players are experienced.

And they’ve joined The Novice Network to provide you with their expertise.

That’s not to say they’re all going to be completely knowledgeable, or even helpful all of the time. They’re playing a game too, after all.

But getting Mentor status takes some serious playtime.


How Do I Leave The Novice Network?

You’ll automatically be removed from The Novice Network when you lose your sprout, which will occur when you’ve finished the post-Stormblood story content (the last expansion before Shadowbringers) and reached over 160 hours played.

That might seem like a lot.

But even if you skip all the cutscenes, you’ll probably be pretty close to that many hours by the time you clear Stormblood.

Or let’s say you decide you want out of The Novice Network before then. Maybe you know everything you need to know. Maybe you’ve found a great Free Company, and you’re tired of The Novice Network clogging up your chat window.

Well you can exit by clicking on the leaf symbol under your chat window and hitting the “Leave” button.

If you just want to hide The Novice Network (but not leave it), head to your log settings by hitting Escape. Find the General tab, and navigate down to Log Filters (General). From here, hit the chat tab and uncheck “The Novice Network”.

Log Filters (General) Settings window in FFXIV
Image source

You won’t leave, but the messages will no longer show in your chat window. Which can be useful if you just want a little break.

You can also remove your new player status manually by typing /nastatus off.

Be aware that this cannot be undone, and it means your only way back in is by becoming a Mentor (which is a whole other article in itself).

That’s basically everything you need to know about Final Fantasy XIV’s Novice Network. It’s an extremely useful tool in any sprout’s arsenal, and with the ability to leave or hide it at any time, you really have nothing to lose by checking it out. Have fun!

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