FFXI Beginners' Guide  

Contents [hide]


FFXI offers a great deal of variety for each player to enjoy. Although the emphasis of the game is build around leveling one or more job combo's, lots of other possibilities are available for each player to explore. Because of this great diversity, it is not easy for a new player (mockingly called 'newbie' or newb), to find his/her way in the game.

This guide is aimed at players starting from scratch and as such with little to zero experience with the game. It tries to give a summary of the goals (milestones) each player should (mandatory or preferentially) achieve in building a standard FFXI job career. It does not deal with all the possible side activities (such as crafting, farming, HELM-ing, fishing, chocobo digging, gardening, Garrison, Ballista, Dynamis, Brenner, �). Instead it only focuses on those events directly or strongly related to building your main job career. It does assume you have selected your primary character, home nation, race and basic job and are ready to start playing the game.

Most of the milestones you will have to achieve in your FFXI career will require a certain job level to be able to successfully finish them. However, some aspects of the game require your continuous attention and effort. It is suggested to start as early as possible with these continuous efforts and put as much effort in them as you seem fit. The following list gives an overview of the continuous and level dependent activities each player will have to go through with an indication of the importance of each listed event (mandatory, recommended or optional).

If you are a new player.. and don't see what you need here, feel free to post on the Allakhzam main Final Fantasy Forum. Allakhazam Main Final Fantasy Forum

If your question deals more with a certain job, go to the job forums, and select the right forum for that job. Allakhazam Final Fantasy Job Forums

The first few minutes

  • There are many job choices in Final Fantasy XI. You will pick your very first job in character creation. This is where you pick your Race, Gender, Starting Nation, Job, and Server. All servers are roughly equivalent, so unless you know a friend on a certain server, you might as well close your eyes and randomly scroll to one.
A word of advice: During character creation make sure you really like your race and gender. You can not change these unless you make a new character. You can change nations and jobs, so it's not as important. I realized I hated my character model around level 60 on my first character. I played her for 3 1/2 years. Choose carefully, and you won't have that problem.

  • After you pick your nation, you will receive an opening movie for the nation you picked. Once that is over, you will actually be able to function as a player. You will "Spawn". (Cheers!!). If you're wondering why you are unable to do anything.. Or why these weird people are talking to you, it's because they are NPCs(Non player characters). Click the enter button on your keyboard or the X button on your PS2 controller. This is the A key on your Xbox controller. Read what they say, and answer the questions they ask you. Once you have scrolled through all the text, you'll be able to actually start the game. Basically, this is just and introduction to your Nation.
Note: Do not try to speak to these people. They will not answer back, as they are not real. All characters with green names are NPCs.

  • How to move: Weirdly enough this is actually confusing for the new player. If you are playing with a controller for xbox or ps2, you will be using the joy stick to move. On the PC you will use the number pad. 8 is up. 2 is down. 4 is left. 6 is right. If you are using a lap top, it's a little different, and takes some setting up.
Laptop- press your FN button. Usually it's a button with blue letters. FN stands for function. Press that button and hold it in while you press the blue - button. It is usually on the normal key ; or :. Once you have done that, your menu should open. Scroll down to Config>>>Misc. 2. From here you can enable the compact keyboard settings, which will enable WASD to move your character and the arrow keys and IJKL to move the camera. Specifically under the movement menu, you can set a custom key assignment.

Lia: "On my laptop I have it set with 8KUO as up down left right. This is useful for me, but you can do whatever you like. Next go back one menu and click compact keyboard. Again, this isn't the way you have to do it, but it's what I find easiest."

Twadd's Journey (The journey of a new player)- It is recommended that you read these posts before proceeding further as a new player. There is some really helpful information in these posts.

The Excitement

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Things to Remember Throughout Your Journey

  • You do not need a World Pass to play FFXI. Currently you may pick your server from a list during Character Creation.


  • Many items in your inventory can be sorted. This is good news because you will find your inventory filling up very fast. To sort inventory it's very easy. Open your menu by pressing the – button on your keyboard(for pc). Scroll down and select "items". Press the + button on your number pad. Select "Auto">>click enter>>>and select "Yes". Your inventory is now sorted.

  • /heal and ctrl-h allow you to heal yourself after battle. Be careful when doing this though. Make sure you are out of range of any mobs that are aggressive. (Aggro is the term used to when a mob is aggressive toward a player. "I got aggro" is what you would.) Sometimes even if a mob is too weak to be worth while, it can aggro you. If you are healing using /heal or ctrl-h this will happen if it is normally an aggressive mob.

  • At level Ten, people begin to party. This is Final Fantasy XI's main way of leveling. There are some jobs capable of soloing, but most of the time you will spend your time leveling in groups. The most common party spot from level 10-20 is Valkurm Dunes.

  • PT stands for party. A lot of times people will send you a /tell that just says "PT?". That means they want you to come party with them. When asking you to party you may also receive /tells that say "(Team up?}" Or "(Party}?" Those also mean they want you to come party with them.

  • What are those green and red () around some words when people are talking to me? Final Fantasy XI has an auto-translate function. Many of the players are from all around the world. FFXI is equipped with a Japanese/Germain/French/English translating system. So if you type "Hello"...then press the Tab key on your keyboard, it will show up the autotranslated version. Then if you send it to people who only speak Japanese/French/German they will understand what you are trying to say. There are many many words in the Auto-translate dictionary.

Continuous Achievements:

1) (Recommended) Do as many quests as you can. These will not only give you some (nice) items or gil, but will also yield you fame in your home town. At later levels, also do quests from other towns. For more information about fame, see: Everything you ever wanted to know about fame or Final Fantasy XI Fame Guide.

2) (Recommended) Try to get (buy, quest, coffer) as much of the maps of the different area's of Vana'diel as soon as possible. Ideally, you should have the map of every area before you need to go to or through that area. For more information about how to obtain the different maps, see: Final Fantasy XI Map Item Acquisition Guide.

3) (Recommended) Update your gear (weapons, armor) whenever you can. Don't try to party with gimped gear.

4) (Recommended) Once you have unlocked your sub job ability, select a suitable sub-job and start leveling your sub. Keep your sub leveled at all times. Don't try to party with a gimped sub job. Subjobs do not accumulate EXP unless they're leveled as your main job. Example: You level your first job to 18, (level 18war) and finish your Sub job quest. You must then return to a mog house and change your main job to the job you want as your sub job. So then you likely would choose your level 1 mnk or thf with your sub job as /war. Once you have leveled your sub job to half of your main job's level, you can change back to your main. You not have your sub job leveled, and are not gimped. It is recommended that you level your sub job a few levels higher than half your main, so that it is not under leveled when you gain a new level on your main job. 5) (Recommended) Always try to keep your most important combat skills capped (e.g. Warrior: Axe Skill capped, WHM: Healing Magic Skill capped, ...). Don't neglect the other skills. Participate to skill-up parties when possible (DD) or just go sit at the entrance of your mog house casting magic on yourself or other players.

6) (Optional) Research the capabilities and peculiarities of the mobs you will be fighting. Know their weaknesses and strengths, their special moves and attacks, their behavior towards linking, aggro and tracking.

7) (Optional) Learn the value of items that are dropped by the mobs you defeat. Some items are virtually worthless (copper ore from worms, for instance), other items are worth a small fortune (e.g. venomous claw from a certain Notorious Monster or NM). Never, ever throw away the beastman seals you find (or you will be for ever sorry later on in the game).

8) (Recommended if not Mandatory) Try to find a suitable way to earn money. Leveling any job not only takes time, it also costs gil (the FFXI alternative to money). Selling the items dropped by the mobs you defeat (especially crystals) will be your first source of income, but it will not be sufficient to fund your entire job career. Find additional money sources (such as farming, crafting, gardening, HELM-ing, fishing, digging, clamming, questing, ...).

Level dependent milestones:

Level 1 - 15: Exploring the job

The first 15 levels of any job can be considered as a first exploration of the job and its inherent abilities and game mechanics. These levels go by fast, since the amount of EXP needed to get to the next level is low, your chances to fight DC, EM and perhaps even T mobs and walk away from the fight are still above average and the amount of EXP lost when you get killed is negligible. Often, this range of levels is soloed but assuming this is your first job, try to join parties or form duo/trio groups as soon as you can to learn the intricacies of party communication and working together as a team. From level 1 to 15 you'll earn 28350 EXP net in total (3.5% of the total amount of 801350 needed to reach level 75).-This may seem like a lot of EXP, but don't get discouraged. You will have good times and maybe some bad times, but when you do finally ding 75..It will be well worth the time and effort you spent leveling.

Level 1 (Optional) Trade your Adventurer Coupon to the indicated NPC in your home town and collect 50 gil (earn your first money in the game and learn how to interact with and trade to NPC's). The NPC's (Non Player Characters) you can trade in your coupon are:

  • Bastok Markets: Reet (G-7)
  • South San d'Oria: Ailevia (I-9)
  • Windurst Woods: Jack of Spades (F-8)

Level 1-5 (Optional) Even if you find that questing is not your piece of meat, do at least the quests that allow you to exit your mog house to the part of town you want:

Level 5-10 (Optional) Once you have earned enough CP (Conquest Points), purchase a bonus ring to gain EXP faster (Chariot band or Empress band)

Level 10-15 (Highly Recommended) Start doing Supply Runs to secure basic Outpost Teleporting options North Gustaberg (D-10) West Ronfaure (G-9) West Sarutabaruta (H-6) Valkurm Dunes (H-7) Buburimu Peninsula (E-7) For more information how to obtain Outpost Teleporting: Outpost Teleportation

Level 12-15 (Highly Recommended) Acquire the Teleport Crystal of the Crag near your home town (and if possible of the other two basic Crags). Bastok: The Crag of Dem is located in Konschtat Highlands (I-7). San d'Oria: The Crag of Holla is located in La Theine Plateau (K-8). Windurst: The Crag of Mea is located in Tahrongi Canyon (I-6)).

Level 15-20: Party Time!

By the time you reach level 15 (or sooner depending on the job you picked), you will start have trouble soloing easily on anything higher than a DC mob. Fights will be longer, not to mention more challenging and dangerous, downtime will be longer and the amount of EXP you can get per hour drops significantly. This indicates it is time for you to find a party and fight mobs in a (hopefully) well balanced group of 5 to 6 people. A lot of people your level will, for this reason, gather in places like Selbina and Valkurm Dunes (Bastok and San d'Orian nations) or Mauhra, Buburimu Penninsula and Tahrongi Canyon (Windurst nation). Time to put your flag up there and wait for an invite to come your way (or start forming your own parties). The most important milestones in this level stretch are finishing the quest to unlock your subjob ability (allowing you to combine two jobs at the same time making you more powerful even) and obtaining your chocobo license to increase your mobility (a high mobility and a means to get everywhere you need to get fast is very important in this game). From level 15-20 you will earn an extra 20000 EXP, bringing your grand total to 48350 or about 6%).

Level 15-20 (Highly Recommended) Continue doing Supply Runs to secure other Outpost Teleporting options Meriphataud Mountains (E-5) Pashow Marshlands (K-6) Jugner Forest (I-8) Qufim Island (F-6)

Level 18-20 (Mandatory) Open the quest to get your sub job unlocked Mhaura: The Old Lady Selbina: Elder Memories

Level 20 (Highly Recommended) Get your chocobo license by doing the quest Chocobo's Wounds

Level 20-40: Learning to fly

These are the fun levels. A lot will happen in these 20 levels (like learning most of the job abilities, job treats, spells) and getting from one level to the other is still relatively fast. The most important milestones in this level stretch are getting your Khazam and your Nationwide Airship Pass (increasing your mobility beyond the Chocobo) and the ability to unlock the other (advanced) jobs FFXI has to offer. A lot of players will level specific jobs (which they intend to use as subjobs for their main) up to level 37, leaving that job stuck in this level range. From level 20-40 you'll earn an additional 114700 EXP, bringing your total to 163050 or 20% of the total needed to get to lvl75.

Level 20-... (Recommended) Become a member of the Tenshodo by finishing the quest "Tenshodo Membership"

Level 25-30 (Highly Recommended) Acquire the Teleport Yhoat Gate Crystal Telepoint in Yhoator Jungle (F-9)

Level 25-30 (Highly Recommended) Continue doing Supply Runs to secure other Outpost Teleporting options Tavnazian Archipelago (Lufaise Meadows at E-8) Yutunga Jungle (G-11) Eastern Altepa Desert (F-10) The Sanctuary of Zi'Tah (G-10)

Level 25-30 (Highly Recommended) Obtain your Khazam Airship pass See Airship Pass for Kazham or Kazham Airship Pass

Level 25-35 (Highly Recommended) Obtain Rank 5 in your home nation and get your Nationwide Airship pass

Level 25-35 (Highly Recommended) Obain your Race Specific Equipment (RSE) More info: Racial Gear or The Goblin Tailor

Level 30-... (Optional) Unlock the advanced jobs you would like as main or as sub (optional)

Level 30-... (Optional) If you have the expansion to the game called "Chains of Promathia" (CoP), try to finish the first three missions ASAP (Promyvion Mea, Promyvion Dem and Promyvion Holla). This will get you access to the Tavnazian Safehold and open up the remaining missions from the CoP expansion.

Level 30-35 (Highly Recommended) Acquire the Teleport Altep Gate Crystal at the telepoint in Eastern Altepa Desert (G-6)

Level 35-40 (Highly Recommended) Continue doing Supply Runs to secure other Outpost Teleporting options Xarcabard (H-9) Beaucedine Glacier (H-9) Yhoator Jungle (I-8)

Level 40-60: The Era of Artifacts

The most important events in this level stretch are obtaining your artifact weapon and armor (free gear!) and your introduction to a series of 5 battles known as Genkai (aka limit breaking quests). Going from level 40 to 60 you'll add another 195500 EXP to your total, bringing you at 358550 EXP or just below 45% (nearly half way) to lvl75.

Level 40 (Highly Recommended) Obtain your first piece of AF (artifact) gear: your weapon More info: Artifact Gear or Artifact I

Level 40-45 (Highly Recommended) Acquire the Teleport Vazhl Gate Crystal Telepoint in Xarcabard (H-8)

Level 50 (Mandatory) Do your first Limit Break (Genkai1) quest: In Defiant Challenge (Genkai 1)

Level 50-55 (Highly Recommended) Continue doing Supply Runs to secure other Outpost Teleporting options Cape Terrigan (G-8)

Level 51-55 (Mandatory) Do your second Limit Break (Genkai2) quest: Atop the Highest Mountans (Genkai 2)

Level 52 (Optional) Get your Job Specific Equipment (JSE) by finishing the quest "Brygid The Stylist Returns": or Brygid the Stylist Returns (FFXIclopedia) or Brygid the Stylist Returns (Allakhazam)

Level 55-60 (Highly Recommended) Obtain the rest of your AF (ArtiFact) gear. More info: Artifact Gear or Artifact I

Level 55-60 (Highly Recommended) If you have the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion, get your boarding permit for the Mhaura � Al Zahbi ferry (unlock access to the ToAU expansion areas). The Road to Aht Urhgan

Level 55-60 (Highly Recommended) Do the 4 nation "Lure of The Wildcat" quests. This will allow you later on to warp from these nations directly to Al Zahbi for only 300 gil.

Level 55-... (Optional) If you have the expansion Treasures of Aht Urhgan, unlock any of the three additional advanced jobs you would like as main or as sub.

Level 55-... (Highly Recommended) Unlock access to your Mog Locker. Unlock usage of the Staging Points. Unlock ability to get Sanction. Unlock ability to warp from all nations to Al Zahbi (also requires Lure of the Wildcat quest done). All this can be achieved by doing the first two missions of the ToAU expansion.

Level 55-... (Highly Recommended) Unlock the right to use any of the other staging points (use of the staging points is the Aht Urhgan equivalent of Outpost Warping):

Level 55-60 (Optional) Unlock the ability to access Assault missions and the use of the Runic Portal to warp to any of the unlocked Staging Points. This requires you to do the third Treasures of Aht Urhgan mission: AU3 - President Salaheem

Level 56-60 (Mandatory) Do your third Limit Break (Genkai3) quest: Whence Blows the Wind (Genkai 3)

Level 60-70: The Never Ending Grind

This is the ugly part of leveling a job. Usually not much is happening in these 10 levels (you have learned most if not all your job abilities, traits, spells, ...). Getting from one level to the other is slow, finding a decent party can be time consuming and frustrating and soloing is nearly impossible or annoyingly slow (except for some solo capable jobs like BST). However starting at 65 you can gain access to one of the so called 'end game' activities: Dynamis and start earning your second set of Artifact (or Relic) armor. You will have to bite through level grinding though and collect another 234000 EXP, bringing your total to 611350 or 76%.

Level 61-65 (Mandatory) Do your fourth Limit Break (Genkai4) quest: Riding on the Clouds (Genkai 4)

Level 65+ (Optional) Participate to Dynamis runs to collect your AFv2 gear.

Level 70-75: Growing up (and beating Maat)

The last few levels will allow you to build your main into what it will be for the biggest part of its career. You can now start working on getting your end level equipment (the kind of equipment that costs you an arm and a leg and will therefor never be replaced again). In case you haven't done so already, at these levels your macro's should have reached their final and most optimized/effective state. Before you can cross the line to level 71 and up, however, there is one last and difficult hurdle to take: fighting Maat (aka Genkai5). This is the one fight you cannot rely on others to help you! This is the one fight you are all on your own! This is the one fight that will prove if you are worthy of the job you are representing. In this final, 5 level stretch you will add the last 190000 EXP separating you from lvl75.

Level 70 (Mandatory) Do your final Limit Break (Genkai5, Maat fight): Shattering Stars (Genkai 5)

Level 71+ (Highly Recommended) Do the quest to unlock the final weapon skill (WS) of your main weapon.

Post level 75: Earning your Merits

Just as you rejoiced grinding for EXP was finally a thing of the past when you hit lvl75, FFXI opens another option for you to further improve your job. You can no longer increase your job level, but you can increase vital stats and abilities of it and even add abilities and spells unavailable before. This system is called the Merit system and you can switch it on and off to your liking. In Merit mode, you no longer gain EXP but you gain Limit Points. Every 10000 Limit Points automatically give you a Merit Point. These Merit Points can than be used to 'buy' additional abilities, spells, stat increases. Don't be surprised to find out that you can literaly invest hundreds of thousends of Limit Points in optimizing your char. The grinding never stops!

Level 75+ (Highly Recommended) Start collecting Merit Points. For more information, see: Merit Points (Koolaid) or Merit Points (FFXIclopedia]

End Game

Smirkingly also called 'the life after 75'. 'End Game' includes all activities that are generally reserved to players having at least one job at 75 (allthough some activities allow players to participate with lower level jobs) and are usually organized in specialized linkshells. Going into detail about end game activities falls beyond the scope of this guide (for some info see: What to look for / expect in an Endgame LS), but just to give you some ideas of what to expect once you reach lvl75:


This guide was written and published to help out adventurers that are starting to play FFXI for the first time. FFXI and all the options and possibilities it incorporates can be an overwhelming and chaotic experience. The above guide by no means intends to be the one and only way to obtain the final goal: a fully build lvl75 main character, and does not have to be followed 'to the letter' nor chronologically in the sequence presented. It does, however, intend to summarize the most important milestones players of FFXI are expected to succesfully finish in order to reach lvl75.

Good luck and most importantly: enjoy your journey to the top! Original Guide provided by Demetress (Hades) Input by Allakhazam userbase~

This page last modified 2009-01-18 18:05:12.