FFXIV has a vast roster of playable jobs, something that you’ll find in any good RPG game. This variety is especially huge in the DPS role as you can choose between three sub-categories: Melee, Physical Ranged & Caster. Each of the jobs has its own unique design along with pros and cons. In our FFXIV Best DPS guide, we will go over these jobs and break them down so that you have a better idea as you pick one to play.
Stats for all the classes:
Related: FF14 Class Tier list
Casters – Magical Ranged DPS
If you’ve played any fantasy RPG, you’ve no doubt seen some mages. With their skill set, they’re able to cast destructive magicks from afar. However, while every mage casts a spell, it isn’t part of the same discipline. We will first focus on the three Caster jobs in the game and will go over them in our FFXIV Best DPS guide.
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Out of all the Caster DPS jobs, Red Mage offers the most balanced in terms of damage and utility. Being one of the two DPS jobs that can raise incapacitated party members and heal themselves with a GCD skill, Red Mage is a great choice for anyone who is new to playing casters while being enjoyable for veterans.
Red Mage was added to the game back in 2017 with the release of Stormblood. It’s designed around balancing your White and Black Mana represented by the Balance Gauge. It incorporates the job’s ability to Dualcast magic spells – every other spell that a Red Mage uses is instant.
This allows you to start casting your short spells and follow them up with hard-hitting spells that have a longer cast time. As a Red Mage, you also need to alternate between your astral and umbral spells to balance your mana levels.
Every job has a purpose, and in a raid, you are often supported by your party members via buff skills. Red Mage brings a decent level of utility in a raid as it is not only a mobile job, but it also has party-wide offensive and defensive buffs with a respectable cooldown timer. The job has two raid buffs in its arsenal, and we’ll break them down first in our FFXIV Best DPS guide.
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One of the two buffs a Red Mage possesses – Embolden increases the damage dealt by you and the party. It increases your magic damage and the damage dealt by the rest of the party by five percent. To expand upon its description in-game, it buffs your magic damage, but it buffs the universal damage for the rest of the party.
The second raid buff of a Red Mage unlocked at Level 86 – Magick Barrier focuses on defense, as the name implies. It mitigates incoming magic damage by ten percent while increasing HP restored via healing actions by five percent.
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Verraise & Vercure
|MP Cost||2,400 MP|
Red Mage is one of the two DPS jobs capable of raising incapacitated party members. What makes this even better is that it can do this without the long cast times that healers and Summoners from. Of course, you can use Swiftcast to negate it, but Summoner needs it for its rotation. Red Mage’s Dualcast trait helps alleviate this issue as you can pretty much instant-cast Verraise. While it does result in a bit of DPS loss, it’s still minimal compared to hard-casting a raise spell.
|MP Cost||500 MP|
Furthermore, Vercure allows a Red Mage to heal itself in critical moments. The spell has a short cast time, and being creative can allow you to live in situations where you may not be receiving heals. Vercure has a potency of 350 and is unlocked at Level 54.
Currently, Red Mage has a decent standing among the casters in terms of personal and raid DPS. Its rotation involves a melee burst phase that relies on your Balance Gauge and then continues with three hard-hitting spells.
By building up your Mana through casting spells, you reach a balance point where your burst phase begins. The decent damage output combined with its raid utility makes Red Mage a favorite for many players.
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Next in our FFXIV Best DPS guide is the Summoner. The job has received a massive rework with Endwalker, and its identity is no longer the same. While it’s now more true to its name, Summoner has become an overly simplified job with great utility and a respectable DPS output. While some people have their issues with the job for varying reasons, Summoner is now even more fun to play than before.
Summoner brings a measure of utility in a raid as well. Arguably, it’s a bit inferior to Red Mage, but it still does a good job. Summoner as of Endwalker may be the most mobile Caster job owing to the massive rework. Not only that, it has one offensive raid buff and one support buff that we will go over first in our guide. As a Summoner, you always need to have your Carbuncle invoked because it’s mandatory for your rotation and buffs.
An offensive raid buff that can only be used when you have your pet summoned. It increases the damage dealt by yourself and the entire party by three percent. Keep in mind that the buff only affects people within a certain range, so be aware of the party members when you use the skill.
Everlasting Flight (Demi-Phoenix)
One of Summoner’s support skills is executed when you summon the Phoenix as part of your rotation. All party members within a certain radius will get the Everlasting Flight buff which gradually restores HP. Also, note that it can’t be set to the hot bar.
The last of Summoner’s support skills that can be used on you or a party member. Rekindle gives the targeted player a buff that restores HP or gives a regenerative buff depending on your HP threshold and buff timer.
|MP Cost||2,400 MP|
We’ve stated that only two DPS jobs are able to raise incapacitated party members. Summoner being the second job, is able to use Resurrection to do just that. It increases its significance in a raid setting; however, you would lose out against a Red Mage due to the job design and Dualcast trait.
|Max Charges||2 Charges|
A Summoner can order its Carbuncle to cast a mitigative barrier on it, which does fairly well. You get two charges on Radiant Aegis upon reaching Level 88, and the barrier can only be used on yourself.
In patch 6.08, Summoner now holds a competitive position among casters for damage output. The rotation includes five summoning phases; Bahamut, three Primals, and Phoenix. Weave Energy Siphon, Energy Drain, Fester, and Painflare during these phases, adjusting based on the situation. Save Ruin IV procs from Energy Skills for optimal use.
Spells during the Bahamut, Phoenix, Titan, and Garuda phases have no casting time. Garuda reduces Gemshine spell recast time. For Ifrit, Swiftcast is reserved for Ruby Rite/Ruby Catastrophe due to long cast times. Summoner’s DPS, initially low in Endwalker’s early weeks, improved with patch 6.08, making it engaging, though somewhat simplified.
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One of the most iconic jobs in the franchise, Black Mage, will be next in our FFXIV Best DPS guide. If you’re a Final Fantasy fan, then you already know what Black Mages are capable of doing, and that’s no different in FFXIV. The job is a walking nuke and has the highest damage output among the casters.
Black Mage is designed to control the Astral and Umbral elements – Fire, Ice, and Lightning. You mainly stay in the Fire phase nuking enemies at the expense of Mana depletion, then shifting to Ice to regenerate your Mana and repeat the process.
At face value, it sounds simple but due to the long cast times of the spell, playing Black Mage requires knowledge of the encounter and a high skill level.
While it isn’t meant to bring utility to a raid, its DPS and mobility make up for it. Black Mage has a solid kit, and we will go over some of the skills that make it an engaging job with a decent skill-ceiling.
|Quest Requirement||Facing Your Demons Quest|
Unlocked at Level 30, Manaward is a defensive action. Giving you a barrier that mitigates damage totaling thirty percent of your maximum HP. Knowing when to move and when to stay still and cast spells is something you need to consider as a Black Mage. Being able to analyze which attacks warrant the usage of Manaward is another element you need to consider.
A movement-based skill that allows a Black Mage to close the distance between them and a targeted party member in a matter of seconds. It has a working range of 25y. Do keep in mind that you can’t use this when you’re bound. An example of this would be the platform rotating mech in Zodiark’s boss fight.
Between The Lines
Another of Black Mage’s utility skills. Between The Lines uses a different target to teleport, this being its Leylines. A Black Mage uses Leylines to decrease spell cast and recast time, but they may move out of them for mechanics. Between The Lines allows them to instantly move back into the Leylines and continue casting the nukes.
Combining Aetherial Manipulation and Between The Lines allows for some swift evasive maneuvers.
|Max Charges||2 Charges|
A crucial tool in the arsenal of a Black Mage – it gives you three charges with a fifteen-second duration during which your spells will have no cast time. You get two charges for this skill, and using them well can be extremely rewarding.
Black Mage is in a really good place when it comes to its damage output. Overall it’s in the top three, and when we talk about the casters, it’s at the top spot.
Black Mage is a walking nuke but to nuke your opponents, you’ll need to learn its workings. The payoff is there, so if you’re the kind of player who wants a challenge and a rewarding experience as you nuke enemies with magicks, Black Mage is the job for you.
Physical Ranged DPS
These are the more “normal” counterparts of the Magical Ranged DPS. They use weapons and skills that do not involve traditional offensive magic and have the freedom of movement during combat.
Unlike Casters that utilize slide-casting to dodge mechanics, Physical Ranged DPS jobs can attack as they move, which gives them an edge in certain situations. However, their individual DPS is relatively lower but still perfectly viable to clear content. We will now go over these jobs in our FFXIV Best DPS guide.
With a gun as its weapon of choice, a Machinist rains bullets, drills, and anchors from afar. A counterpart of Black Mage due to the fact that it brings little to no utility to a raid besides a ten percent mitigation buff, Machinist is intended to be a selfish physical ranged DPS.
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Machinist’s design is based on two gauges – Heat Gauge and Battery Gauge. You build up these two resources over the course of an encounter and utilize them during and outside of your burst window. Machinist’s burst phase is up every two minutes, and it includes the use of a skill called Wildfire.
In terms of utility, Machinist gives a ten percent damage mitigation buff to the party. The Tactician skill has a cooldown of 90 seconds and a duration of 15 seconds. It leans more towards the DPS aspect among the three Physical-Ranged jobs.
Currently, Machinist tops the charts for personal DPS among the three Physical Ranged jobs. The evaluation considers metrics like personal and raid DPS. Raid DPS reflects the party’s damage output under the influence of your raid buff, such as Bard’s Radiant Finale.
While Machinist lacks offensive raid buffs, unlike Bard and Dancer, it excels in personal damage. If you prefer jobs with high personal damage output, Machinist is a solid choice.
Next in this section of our FFXIV Best DPS guide is Bard. One of the three Physical Ranged DPS jobs with offensive and defensive raid utility. Bard uses a bow and arrow as its weapon and plays various melodies or songs of battle to buff the group’s stats.
Bard’s design revolves around its battle songs. Its job gauge is represented by a musical pattern with three symbols/codas on the side and a Soul Gauge underneath it. You basically use each of your songs during combat to boost the party’s stats, use some of your abilities, and gain a Coda.
Furthermore, your Soul Gauge increases by five every couple of seconds while a song is playing, which enables the use of a specific skill. Once you gain three Codas after playing your songs, you’re able to execute a skill that increases the damage dealt by the party.
Bard brings a good degree of utility to a raid with its various buffs and support skills. Along with its RNG-focused rotation and engaging gameplay, Bard’s utility makes it a good choice for content. Even though it does fall a bit short in comparison to what Dancer brings to the table, Bard still holds up well.
Mage’s Ballad, The Wanderer’s Minuet & Army’s Paeon
|Action Name||Mage’s Ballad||The Wanderer’s Minuet||Army’s Paeon|
|Recast||120 secs||120 secs||120 secs|
|Quest Requirement||A Song Of Bards And Bowmen Quest||The Stiff And The Spent Quest||Bard’s Eye View Quest|
The three main raid buffs that form the basis of Bard’s rotation, each song provides a different stat boost to self and party members within a certain range. Each song has a duration of 45 seconds and has an 80% chance to grant a Repertoire.
- Mage’s Ballad increases the damage dealt by the group by one percent.
- Army’s Paeon buffs the party’s Direct Hit Rate by 3% while also having an 80% chance of granting you a Repertoire.
- Lastly, The Wanderer’s Minuet increases the party’s Critical Hit Rate by 2%. It also has an 80% chance to grant a Repertoire which allows you to execute a skill called Pitch Perfect.
Nature’s Minne, The Warden’s Paean & Troubadour
|Action Name||Nature’s Minne||The Warden’s Paean||Troubadaur|
|Recast||120 secs||45 secs||90 secs|
|Duration||15 secs||30 secs||15 secs|
Three of Bard’s utility skills with a focus on support and defense.
- Nature’s Minne can be used on yourself or a targeted party member increasing the healing they receive via actions by 20%.
- The Warden’s Paean is another support skill that works in the same way as a healer’s Esuna minus the cast time. The skill removes a removable debuff from self or a targeted party member while also preventing the next debuff till the duration of the skill procs.
- Lastly, we have Troubadour. It provides a 10% damage mitigation with a cooldown of 90 seconds.
Utilizing the Codas you gain when playing one of your three songs, Radiant Finale increases the party’s damage dealt by a specific value based on the number of Codas consumed. By consuming one, two, or three Codas, you can buff the party’s damage by 2%, 4%, and 6%, respectively.
Being a job designed to provide raid buffs, Bard’s damage output is respectable. In terms of personal and raid DPS, it’s currently in the second spot.
Having a rotation reliant on RNG, Bard’s performance can be a hit or miss at times, but it’s not too big of a drawback as there is a pattern you follow. Nevertheless, Bard’s is perfectly viable for content and gets the job done.
The third of the three Physical Ranged DPS, Dancer, is next in our FFXIV Best DPS guide. It’s a support-oriented damage dealer focusing on providing party-wide buffs to both offense and defense combined with great mobility.
Dancer’s design is heavily reliant on RNG. Using your GCD actions gives you a proc which allows you to execute special GCD actions. Using those has a chance of granting you Feathers that enable the use of Fan Dance skills. Furthermore, Fan Dance skills also have a chance to grant you a proc which allows you to use more skills, and it just goes on.
The job brings a solid arsenal of support skills that cover offense, defense, and healing. Out of the three Physical Ranged jobs, Dancer’s got the most utility in a group owing to its buffs and mobility.
Shield Samba, Improvisation & Curing Waltz
|Action Name||Improvisation||Shield Samba||Curing Waltz|
|Recast||120 secs||90 secs||60 secs|
Shield Samba is the equivalent of Tactician and Troubadour – providing a 10% mitigation for fifteen seconds. Like the other two skills, it cannot be stacked with those two.
Providing a solid boost to defense and a healing-over-time effect, Improvisation is the other skill. Using it puts you in an active dance where you gain stacks of Rising Rhythm and turn Improvisation into an Improvised Finish.
Curing Waltz restores the HP of you and all members nearby within a 3y radius with a potency of 300.
Standard Step, Technical Step & Devilment
|Action Name||Standard Step||Technical Step||Devilment|
|Type||Weapon Skill||Weapon Skill||Ability|
|Recast||30 secs||120 secs||120 secs|
|Duration||15 secs||15 secs||20 secs|
Standard Step only affects you and your selected dance partner. It grants you both two buffs, which affect your damage dealt. Additionally, the second buff affects your Esprit gauge, which allows the execution of Saber Dance – a hard-hitting skill.
Technical Step is an advanced version that buffs the damage dealt by the entire group.
Lastly, we have Devilment. The effects of this skill are only given to you and the dance partner. Devilment boosts the Critical and Direct Hit rate by 20%.
Jobs designed to buff a party’s DPS don’t normally have great personal damage. In FFXIV, Dancer holds the bottom spot out of the three Physical Ranged jobs in terms of personal damage. However, it’s doing great when you consider the raid DPS metric.
Furthermore, Yoshi-P previously stated in an interview that he believes Dancer should have a bit more personal damage. This can lead to individual adjustments in the future much like what we got in patch 6.08, but it’s still primarily a support-oriented damage dealer.
Getting up close and personal with their enemies, Melee DPS will now be the focus in our FFXIV Best DPS guide. They have a short range in which their melee attacks are executed, and the maximum limit of this range is referred to as max-melee in FFXIV. The game has five different melee jobs, each with its own unique playstyle and job systems.
Monks have been around since the dawn of the Final Fantasy franchise. Goes without saying that they’re in FFXIV as well. Using their martial arts, Monks bring pain upon enemies up close. The job has great mobility and has seen several reworks since the launch of Shadowbringers.
However, its biggest rework was in December with the release of Endwalker, as the job has been entirely revamped.
Monk brings a decent amount of raid utility in any group. With an offensive buff every two minutes and a support buff that has a 90-second cooldown timer, there’s enough utility here which, combined with its damage, makes Monk a great choice to pick. Having a high skill-ceiling, Monk requires a lot of knowledge and practice to master.
Monks can support healers via Mantra. With a 90-second cooldown timer, Mantra increases the HP recovery via healing actions by 10%. This buff lasts for 15 seconds and can be used instantly.
|Quest Requirement||The Power To Protect Quest|
An offensive buff that not only increases party-wide damage but also allows a Monk to easily open up its chakra in order to execute special actions. Brother increases party damage dealt by 5% and has a recast timer of two minutes.
Monk is among the highest melee DPS in both metrics. While it has the potential to push out big numbers in fights, like every other job, it is reliant on player skill and knowledge. As a job itself, Monk requires knowledge of the various chakras and combos along with its three different forms and positional attacks.
All this adds up, and you then have to observe and execute mechanics, which makes it pretty challenging. Compared to Physical Ranged, Melees are generally busier and have less room for errors.
Wielding a katana, Samurai was introduced in the Stormblood expansion. It’s designed to be a selfish DPS job with a great DPS output. Having received some changes and additions with the release of Endwalker, Samurai is in a fairly good place at this point in time.
Samurai’s design revolves around two gauges – Sen Gauge and Kenki Gauge. The Sen Gauge basically represents three symbols, and completing specific single and multi-target combos allows you to earn a specific Sen. Based on the number of Sen accumulated, you are able to execute specific Iaijutsu.
Furthermore, each of your attacks allows you to amass Kenki enabling the use of specific skills outside of your GCDs. Execution of positional attacks increases the Kenki gain allowing you to use more oGCDs. Keep in mind that Samurai brings practically no raid utility.
When we look at both metrics, Samurai holds the top spot for personal DPS out of all DPS jobs. However, it’s the lowest out of the five melee DPS jobs in the raid DPS metric due to not having any offensive raid utility. This does not impact Samurai’s performance and viability in endgame content.
With dual daggers in hand, Ninja is one of the five melee jobs in FFXIV. Using various jutsu and skills, it’s one of the more engaging melee jobs that you can play especially if you’re a fan of Naruto.
Ninja brings only one raid buff with it, but it’s quite impressive. That, combined with its personal utility options, makes it a decent option for content.
Having a cooldown of one minute, Trick Attack deals damage to the enemy while also inflicting a debuff on them. This debuff increases the damage they take from the party by five percent. Trick Attack’s debuff lasts for 15 seconds. Now, considering that it has a one-minute cooldown and increases the damage taken by an enemy by five percent, the buff is pretty strong.
After the release of Endwalker in December of 2022, Ninja was not in a good place in terms of damage. While all jobs are viable for content, its damage was crippled based on the numbers and comparisons at the time. With the latest balance adjustments, however, Ninja is in a much better position.
It’s designed to be a class that buffs the party, so you can’t expect it to do as much damage as a Samurai or Black Mage, but Ninja is good at what it does. It is currently amongst the top five in terms of personal and raid DPS.
Next in our FFXIV Best DPS guide is the Dragoon. Lance is the weapon of choice for this job, and in the lore, Dragoons go up against Dragons. Having a busy rotation with a lot of key presses combined with animation locks on their jump attacks, Dragoon can do big damage, but it also has a big reputation in the FFXIV community.
Dragoon’s repertoire has two buff skills which we will go over. Compared to other melees that increase the damage dealt by the party, Dragoon focuses on increasing the Critical Hit Rate instead. While it increases damage dealt as well, this is restricted to one party member due to the nature of its skill.
Dragon Sight can be used either on yourself or on a targeted party member. Doing so gives you both a buff which increases the damage dealt. The way it works is that it increases your own damage by ten percent. However, the targeted party member only gets a five percent increase. Dragon Sight has a two-minute cooldown and lasts for twenty seconds.
|Quest Requirement||Days Of Azure Quest|
The second raid buff in Dragoon’s skillset – Battle Litany increases the Critical Hit Rate of the party by ten percent. There’s not much to say here, as it’s pretty self-explanatory. The cooldown for Battle Litany is two minutes.
Much like Ninja, Dragoon holds a fair position in the rankings for both personal and raid DPS metrics. While it’s in the top five overall, it holds the third spot for raid DPS and fifth for personal DPS.
As a job, Dragoon is fairly busy at level 90, and while you’re required to press all the keys, you’re also required to observe boss mechanics and time your jumps right. This is due to its animation locks which lead to several deaths if mistimed.
The new melee job added to the game in Endwalker and Reaper is next in our FFXIV Best DPS guide. Being one of the jobs that are extremely well-designed, not only does it bring raid utility, it also deals big damage.
Reaper brings two raid buffs in a party – an offensive and a defensive buff. From a mere numeric standpoint, it may pale in comparison to what some of the other jobs provide, but it all adds up in the end, so keep that in mind.
Having a two-minute cooldown, Arcane Circle increases the damage dealt by the party by three percent. The buff itself lasts twenty seconds; however, it has a separate mechanic that contributes to your own damage.
At level 88, you unlock Plentiful Harvest, and Arcane Circle receives an upgrade. Every time your party members use a weapon skill under the effect of Arcane Circle, you have a chance of receiving stacks. These stacks unlock Plentiful Harvest and their potency increases in relation to the number of stacks you have. Furthermore, Plentiful Harvest also increases your Shroud Gauge by fifty.
The defensive buff of a Reaper. Arcane Circle is essentially a shield that you can only use on yourself. However, it provides a health regen buff to the party if the shield breaks. It has a short cooldown of thirty seconds, but it also lasts for five seconds only. If you time it right, having the shield broken should not be an issue.
Once it breaks, a buff named Crest of Time Returned is applied to you and party members within a range. With a duration of fifteen seconds, the regenerative buff heals HP with a potency of fifty for every tick.
Reaper holds a fair standing in the rankings for both personal and raid DPS metrics. While its raid utility is low compared to the other melees, it excels where it is supposed to – personal DPS. At level 90, Reaper is a fairly busy job with its constant Enshroud and Gluttony burst windows.
Of course, these rankings are subject to change as we move forward in the lifecycle of Endwalker, but there is a certain baseline that we can consider as more of a constant.
That brings us to the end of our FFXIV Best DPS guide. We focused on making this more of a detailed take on each of the DPS jobs and how they function rather than making it a tier list. Do keep in mind that job effectiveness will vary depending on your skill as a player. We cannot stress this enough, and you should be putting in the effort to not only learn your class but the content as well. With that said, forge ahead!
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