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FFXIV Raids - Beginner's Guide to Raiding in Final Fantasy 14

FFXIV Raids - Beginner's Guide to Raiding in Final Fantasy 14

A complete guide to Raiding for FFXIV Beginners

Final Fantasy XIV
Beginner's Guide to Raiding



As far as the end-game content in Final Fantasy XIV goes, Raids appear to be the most unfriendly for beginners. New players often look at them and see difficult content that requires a high time investment, has a prohibitive entry-level, and is simply not worth the effort. What Raids (especially Savage ones) really are, is something completely different - they are the best content the game has to offer and they can provide a great experience, tons of satisfaction, a way to take one's skill to a whole new level, and give a lot of confidence in all aspects of the game if one decides to make a commitment and try them. 

This guide will not try to convince you to try Raids, you have to make the decision yourself. However, if you have already decided to try your strengths in raiding, it will give you a solid base to start your great adventure. The guide goes over the basics, explains quite a lot of things a beginner might find confusing, and provides a lot of useful information that will help you get started and improve quicker along the way. 


Basic Information

If you are an absolute beginner and you've never been to a Raid before, this section will help you with the basics. It will explain some of the terms commonly used by raiders. Moreover, it will describe the differences between various types of Static Raiding groups and random groups assembled via the Party Finder to help you decide what type of group will be perfect for you. Last but not least, this section will point you towards places in which you can find a Static to join. It will also give you some basic recruitment-related tips. 

Important Terms

This little gaming glossary, tailored specially for Final Fantasy XIV, will help you learn what different keywords, often used by fellow Raiders, mean. 

Note: We will also use this section to explain mechanics that are often hidden behind the keywords, so you might want to give this a read even if you are very familiar with gaming slang. 

  • Raid - A type of end-game content where large groups of players attempt to defeat a number of computer-controlled enemies in a PvE environment. Raids usually culminate with Boss fights that feature multiple mechanics and occur within an instance dungeon. Usually, they require max-level for the given expansion to participate. In Final Fantasy XIV, there are: 
    • 24-man Alliance Raids, which are large-scale instances that feature multiple bosses. Alliance Raids do not have an enrage timer. 
    • 8-man Normal Raids that usually feature 1 boss encounter after a rather short dungeon crawl. Normals don't have any enrage timers so groups can take their time during encounters, which decreases the entry-level (you don't really need consumables, your DPS does not have to be optimal, etc.). 
    • 8-man Savage Raids that feature the same encounters as Normals, but increased difficulty, new mechanics, and enrage timers. Savage Raids offer better rewards than Normal Raids. A lot of players try these at least once, but many get discouraged by higher difficulty. 
    • 8-man Ultimate Raids designed for the very best Raiders in the game; only about ~1% of the player base ever attempts these. 
  • Enrage - A mechanic designed to prevent poorly-performing and undergeared groups from clearing content. Most commonly, this mechanic is implemented in a form of the so-called Enrage Timer that ticks from the moment an encounter starts. After the time is over, a Boss enrages and wipes the group almost immediately. There are two types of Enrages: 
    • Soft Enrage - Usually a set of mechanics that make the fight stronger with time. For example, a Boss gains new buff stacks every minute end eventually overpowers the group. 
    • Hard Enrage - If the fight takes too long, Boss initiates a mechanic that results in a wipe. For example, a Boss can increase its damage by 1000% or use a Raid-wide instant-kill ability. 
  • Minimum iLevel - Some Raid Groups lock the item level to the minimum item level required for the Raid so that they can experience the content as it was originally and face a real challenge instead of just breezing through it. Some people even keep old sets of gear to Raid old content like this. If you are new to Raiding, this will not interest you but some veterans love to re-live the "good old days". 
  • FFlogs - A website that provides combat analysis for FF XIV. You can upload your combat logs to it and analyze them to learn what mistakes you make and what to fix in your gameplay. 
  • Parsing - The act of extracting (with third-party software) the usually not visible numbers/parameters from the game; most often the DPS.  
    • If someone says "gold(orange, purple, blue, green, or grey) Parse" in regards to their performance, they are referring to the way FFlogs color-codes the percentile DPS ranking, where "gold" is the highest and "grey" is the lowest. 
  • Server Tick - An "internal timer", of sorts, which determines when and how often Damage/Healing over Time effects are applied to player characters and mobs. In FF XIV, Server Ticks occur every 3 seconds, which means that all DoT, HoT, and other effects tick once every 3 seconds. Every mob and every player character has its own timer, so two different units might not receive damage from a DoT effect simultaneously, but they will receive it in the same, 3-second, intervals. 
    • Understanding Server Ticks is especially important when interacting with ground-based AoE abilities. When you enter the Area of Influence of such ability, it might not be resolved on your character immediately - it might take up to 3 seconds. This means that you might be forced to wait a bit before receiving a ground-based buff* or may avoid damage/debuffs if you clip a ground-based AoE for a very short time - you can also possibly move out of a hostile AoE, that was created under your feet, without taking any damage/debuffs if you react fast enough. Moreover, once you receive damage/debuff from AoE, you can be sure that you have exactly 3 seconds to move out of it (if you survive the first tick, that is). 

*Ground-based buff's effects linger (remain) on your character for 5 seconds after you leave their area of influence. Moreover, if you stand within a friendly AoE when it's created, you will receive the buff immediately. 

  • Snapshot - The exact moment when the server checks on the current state of the player, as it attempts to resolve mechanics or attacks/spells; both hostile (AoE Damage, debuffs, etc.) and friendly (buffs, AoE Heals, etc.). Snapshot timings of different abilities/mechanics may vary greatly - this can be used to the player's advantage. 
    • Castbar-Based attacks snapshot when the boss finishes the cast, giving you the time to reposition/dodge. 
    • Animation-Based attacks snapshot when the attack's animation goes off, leaving players no time to react. These are much less common than the previous type. 
    • Non-instant Spells snapshot at the end of the cast, meaning that you can fail to cast them if the target has moved out of range while you were casting. 
    • Instant Spells and Melee GCDs snapshot the moment you use them (when you press the button). 
    • Very important - Aggro is always snapshotted when the castbar starts. This means that once a Boss starts preparing an attack, it has already locked its target and it can't be changed (swapping tanks and re-gaining aggro will not change the attack's target). Because of this, Tanks should always keep the boss's attention on themselves - if a DPS over-aggroes just before a tank buster, there will be 1 less DPS for the fest of the fight. 
  • Ping - The network delay for a round trip between the player's client and the game server, usually measured in milliseconds (ms). The lower the ping, the less the latency and the smoother the gameplay experience. We mention Ping here for a very good reason: 
    • If you have a high Ping, you can't rely on Markers and Castbars - you will have to dodge and resolve mechanics preemptively to compensate for your latency. Otherwise, the attack's Snapshot will get you, even if you've dodged it on your screen. 
  • Desync - A situation when your local game renders a player doing one thing/standing in one place and the server has them doing another/standing in a different place. As a result, two players who stand next to each other will see their characters in a bit different places on their respective screens. Desync can cause problems while resolving some mechanics, like passing debuffs or interacting with moving objects. 
    • To avoid problems with Desync while resolving mechanics that involve two players, one player should remain stationary while the other adjusts his position - doing this will ensure a successful resolution of the mechanic. 
Types of Raid Groups

Choosing an appropriate group for your needs and preferences is extremely important at the start. If you choose badly - you will get discouraged and might forgo Raiding altogether. If you choose well - you will have tons of fun and make new friends. 

Here is a brief overview of the general group types in Final Fantasy XIV: 

PUG/PF vs Static

PUGs, or Pick-Up groups, are random groups that are assembled on the fly, either automatically - by built-in in-game tools, like Party Finder (PF), or manually - by a Raid leader who wants to dedicate his/her time to assemble a group out of random people. Statics, on the other hand, are pre-made, stable, and organized Raid groups that meet at assigned times to clear content together. Both of them have some advantages and disadvantages: 

PUG/PF Static
 You decide when you want to Raid, and you are not on a schedule, however.   Statics operate on a schedule, you have to show up at a pre-determined time or you will fail your Raid mates. 

 PUGs take some time to assemble, so you will have to wait; queue times are a thing. 

 Once your group agrees on a schedule, you should start each Raid without the wait... unless someone shows up late, again. 

/ Random nature of loot distribution. Everybody rolls a dice and if you happen to roll better than the others, you win. If you're lucky, you can gear up very quickly, if not - it might take months.  / Loot queue and other loot systems ensure that you will get something eventually, however, you might get less loot than you would get from a PUG (especially if you are a new addition to a Static). Even if you don't get an item, someone from your Static will - which means that the group as a whole gets stronger, which, in turn, makes beating content easier. 
 Random groups have less coordination and communication problems occur quite often.   Good coordination (that becomes even better as the group progresses). Voice coms make communication much easier. 
/ If you are a shy person, lack of voice communication might be a good thing for you. Just keep in mind that it might make things more difficult.   Depending on a Static, you might not be required to talk on voice coms, listening is often enough - a plus when you are voice shy.  
 PUGs tend to be frustrating and sometimes even infuriating - that's what you get when you make a Raid out of random people who often don't blend too well with each other.   Playing as a part of well-organized and like-minded Static will increase your fun-factor (if you choose the group well). 
 PUGs might be frustrating, but the frustration is short-lived because you will not get the same people in your PUG again.   If you get into a "bad" Static, you might be sucked into some lingering drama that just does not happen in PUGs, as pugs are a one-time-deal. A word of advice - if you notice that your new Static is toxic, just bail as soon as you can. 
 If you don't know tactics while in a PUG, prepare to be blamed. A lot.   Statics create a much better environment for learning encounter mechanics and general improvement. 
Statics can be divided into three more or less broad categories: 

Casual (SoftCore)*

These groups don't take Raiding too seriously and their ultimate goal is to have fun... And maybe get some sweet loot in the process, but fun always comes first for them. Just like all static groups, Casual ones Raid on pre-assigned days but their Raids may be shorter or further between (2-3-hour Raid session once a week, for example). SoftCore groups don't usually try to optimize their Raid composition and don't care about the meta** as much (if at all) as more serious groups do. Casual groups will often accept completely green players and will only kick people out in extreme cases, like very bad attitude and extremely toxic, antisocial behavior. 

If you are completely new to FF XIV Raiding, a Casual group might be a perfect place to start. It will offer you a laid-back environment to learn the game mechanics and gain some much-needed experience. 

*Please remember that "Casual" is not a pejorative term. 

**Most Efficient Tactic Available; You have no idea how many players, who use this abbreviation, have no clue what it stands for. 

HC (HardCore)

The other end of the FF XIV Raiding community spectrum; HardCore groups are all about progression, competing for the best clear times, and advancing in world rankings. Joining a Hardcore Raid Group is like getting a second job; you will be required to subjugate your real life to raiding - these groups Raid often and long (3-4 times a week, 5 hours per session, or more), and they often flat-out require you to improve your gameplay by doing extensive research and learning new tactics from various sources (it's all about the meta here). If your performance turns out to be not up to par with the other group members, you will be replaced without a second thought - competing for the top ranking spots leaves no place for compassion. 

If you meet the very high requirements these groups have and are currently considering joining one, you don't need any advice (you are the one who can give advice at that point). However, if you have some raiding experience and want to raid rather seriously, but don't want a second full-time job, you should search for a MidCore group: 

MC (MidCore)

This category is the broadest of the three as it incorporates all Statics that fall somewhere between Casual and Hardcore. Some Midcore groups may describe themselves as semi-casual - rather laid-back, not caring about the meta, but still wanting to get the job done and clear content eventually. Other Midcore groups might label themselves as semi-hardcore - disciplined, striving to optimize their gameplay and intent on achieving good clear times, but not caring about the world rankings and not always striving to do everything in the most efficient way. Of course, everything in between these two examples is also labeled as "Midcore" and most Static groups fall in this category. Most Midcore Statics are likely to accept new players and are willing to let them learn - they also won't boot anyone for underperforming (most of them, that is), unless they simply don't try (or, for some reason, don't want) to improve. These types of groups Raid much more than Casuals, but still much less than the Hardcores - 2 or 3 times a week for 3 to 4 hours is an average, we would say. 

A Midcore would be a great place to start if you want to experience the high-end FF XIV Raid content in a well-organized but not too strict environment. This category is extremely broad, so you will definitely find a group that suits your needs, expectations, and schedule. Also, when you decide to switch your current Static in favor of a more serious one, you will most likely end up in another Midcore, just a bit more committed. 

How to find a Static

Important: Before you even start looking for a Static, you should answer a simple question - why do you want to Raid? Do you want to experience the content? Do you want to get better gear? Do you want to challenge yourself? Do you want to become better at the Game? Do you want to progress through the hardest content FF XIV has to offer, or do you want to have fun, above all else? Answering the highlighted question will allow you to set your priorities straight and determine which types of groups you should be looking for, as joining groups that have different priorities than you will lead to frictions sooner rather than later. 

There are a few places where you can search for a Static group - you can check the Official FF XIV Forums, FF XIV recruitment subReddits, or dedicated Discord channels, or you can open the in-game Party Finder where Raid leaders advertise their Statics all the time. If you want, you can also advertise yourself, just be aware that you might not get any responses if you don't have any experience - unless you are a Tank or a Healer main; these roles have it much easier. 

  • Many Raid leaders will want to interview you a little before accepting or denying your submission. Don't get discouraged, these "interviews" usually take the form of noncommital chats about your in-game experience, attitude, and preferred Raiding hours; just be prepared to join the Discord (or TS3, Ventrillo, or whatever else voice-comm software the group uses) provided by the leader. 
  • When it comes to questions about your experience and skill, just tell the truth - any lies will surface on the very first Boss your new group will attempt, and nobody likes to be lied to. Dishonesty might get you replaced, even if the group would have accepted and kept you if they knew that you are a newbie. 


General Tips and Tricks

This section contains a collection of advice that will help you become a better Raider in general, no matter which role you play. Most of the points are aimed towards the brand-new Raiders, but a bit more experienced players who want to improve might still find a helpful tip or two down below. 

Not Gameplay-Related 

These tips, as the name suggests, are not directly associated with steering your character. Instead, they pertain to theoretical preparation, mental approach, and in-group behavior. 

  • Get the right mindset - No one starts out as a Raid veteran; the less experience you have, the more you will have to learn, and the more setbacks you will experience on your way. Don't get discouraged by your initial failings, learn to learn from your mistakes, and always try to remain positive (treat every wipe as just another step towards victory). If you don't have any yet, set yourself some difficult but achievable goals and work your way towards them - keeping yourself motivated is the most important thing on your road to eventual success. Also, celebrate the little victories, like beating 1 more encounter mechanic than in the previous attempt, it will help you keep your spirits up. 
  • Be polite to the people you play with - "A little bit of politeness goes a long way" said someone very wise on some occasion. All jokes aside, you should treat people you Raid with the same way you would want them to treat you. If you are in a Static, the importance of being on good terms with the rest of the group is self-evident. The more hot-tempered of you might disagree, but being polite while in a PUG is even more important. The reason is simple - you don't know the people you are in the group with so you don't know how they're going to react - a little jibe might escalate and culminate in someone ragequitting.
    • If you feel the need to criticize someone, do it in a constructive way - explain what they did wrong and give them a hint or two on how to improve in the next attempt (shouting/all Capsing "LTP NOOB" is NOT constructive btw.). Of course, some people don't get any criticism well and will escalate, but at least the rest of the group should take your side if it comes to that. 
  • Do some research before the Raid - If it's going to be your first attempt on a Boss, try to prepare as well as you can beforehand. Watching the fight VODs or reading up the tactics is always a great idea. You might think that theory does not help you too much and you just need some practice - that might be true but you can get information, that you wouldn't normally get from the fight, from VODs and guides: 
    • These kinds of guides are typically made by veterans, so you can expect an in-depth analysis of Boss's abilities and detailed instructions on how to deal with them. To find Video Guides, simply head to everyone's favorite video-hosting website and type "FF XIV *Boss Name* Fight Guide". When it comes to Text Guides, the FF XIV subreddit is a great place to start your search - just type the Boss's name in the search bar. 
    • From VODs, you will get a lot of information on positioning during the fight. Even if it is a POV of a different Role, you can still see where the rest of the group is headed, most of the time, but you should be able to find a POV of your Job without too much of a problem. 
    • If the footage was recorded life, you will hear the voice coms - this might make a video less informative but will also give you an idea of what comms are essential during the fight.
    • If a voiceover was added to the recording, you will get A LOT of strategic information, paired with visuals. Some videos even feature detailed breakdowns of mechanics and list them all in order of appearance. This is the best educational content when it comes to Raids in Final Fantasy XIV. 
    • Different videos of the same fight may feature different tactics. If your group struggles with a tactic, you might be able to persuade them to try another one you saw in a video - maybe it will work better in your group. It's good to try different tactics to find the one best suited for your particular group - VODs and encounter Guides are the best sources of these. 
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions - Everybody remembers situations where, in school, the teacher had asked if the class understands the topic and everybody has just been nodding, and then came the test which almost everyone failed... Don't let this happen to you in the game - if you are not sure about a mechanic or a tactic, just ask openly. your teammates will be more than happy to explain everything to you. After all, it will save them a lot of time and nerves in the long run. 
    • Of course, if you were tasked with doing some research before the next Raid night and you didn't, asking questions about the fundamentals might lead to some displeasure with your attitude but at that point, it's your own fault, isn't it? 
  • Patience you must have, My Young Padawan - You will wipe. A lot. Especially if you join a Static that aims to progress Savage Raids. You might think now that "you've wiped before" and it didn't affect your approach or performance, but trust us - after enough failed attempts, attrition will start to kick in even if you are the most dedicated or stubborn raider out there. Eventually, you will start to lose your patience, become tired, and won't play to the best of your abilities. There are a few ways to deal with it, the most obvious being taking a little break - good Raid leaders will know when their group is tired and are going to declare a short break, but you might need one earlier than everybody else. In such a case, standing up for a few seconds and stretching, or grabbing a drink should help you - do in in the downtime between attempts so your teammates don't have to wait for you (you should not go AFK without asking - forcing 7 people to wait for you, without even providing a reason, is very impolite). Another good way of reducing stress is some humor - a wacky anecdote or a dad joke will work wonders when told at the right time. Moreover, listening to music helps some people - if you feel sleepy, a fast tune will help you wake up, if you feel impatient, a slow relaxing song will help you calm your nerves. 
  • Talk with your teammates to solve any team play issues - Are you a Tank and you don't like how one of the Healers handles their responsibilities? Are you a Healer who feels like your healing partner is slacking or doubling you unnecessarily? Or are you a DPS who has issues with how Tanks position the Boss? In any of these cases and all other ones that are similar, you should talk to them - chances are they don't even know that they are doing something wrong ("wrong" is not even a good term; "not team-oriented" is a better way of putting it). Talking and resolving these issues while they are minor will solidify you all as a team and allow your Static to play much better as a whole. 
    • Doing this in a PUG might be a bit more problematic, but people will often adjust if you ask them politely and present good reasoning to back up your appeal. 
  • Know your Job - Understanding how your character plays, knowing what are its strengths and how to maximize them, and being aware of its weaknesses and how to minimize them is the key to success in Raids. At the very least, you have to know your Job's rotation like the back of your pocket. The name of the game here is practice - striking dummies will help you polish your rotation, but nothing works better than practice in a combat environment as performing a rotation while interacting with Boss mechanics is very different from just standing still and pressing hotkeys; Doing some Dungeons and trying to optimize your performance would be a good idea. You should also understand how your cooldowns work and how they can help your team - Raids are a team effort and helping your teammates is extremely important. 
    • If you want to get more information about your performance and learn in which areas you should improve in the first place, uploading your combat logs to FFlogs for analysis is a good idea. 
    • Also, remember that only practice makes perfect and your performance may differ greatly from one boss encounter to another - different fights promote different Jobs. Don't get discouraged if you struggle with some bosses; Analyze your mistakes and always try to improve.  
  • Mitigate incoming Damage if you can - A general rule of Raiding is - if Damage can be avoided, you should avoid it; If it can't be avoided, you should at least mitigate some of it if that's possible. Minimizing your damage taken will lower the strain that's put on your group's Healers and maximize the chances of a successful attempt - if Healers don't have to babysit every group member, they can focus on Tanks and topping-up players who have received unavoidable damage. Every Job in Final Fantasy XIV has some form of mitigation, but not every form of mitigation will work on every type of damage - keep this in mind. Bosses may attack you with 4 types of Damage: 
    • Physical - This type can be further divided into Piercing, Slashing, and Blunt Damage. Most of Boss's auto-attacks and tank busters are Physical. This type of damage can be avoided/minimized by using percentage-based mitigation, like that provided by Rampart or Reprisal. It can also be minimized by Parrying (Gunbreaker's Camouflage greatly increases Parry), and debuffs, like Feint. Moreover, Physical Damage can also be absorbed with Shields. 
    • Magical - Raid-wide AoE attacks are usually of this type. This type of damage can be avoided/minimized by using percentage-based damage mitigation skills, like Shield Samba or Rampart, or debuffs like Addle (damage source must be targetable to use this one, however). It can also be minimized with dedicated magic-mitigating abilities, like Dark Mind or Heart of Light and Shields as they work on all types of damage. 
    • Darkness - A unique damage type that can only be mitigated with abilities that reduce all damage taken (Sacred Soil, or Reprisal, for example) and by Shields. 
    • Gravity - A unique damage type that can only be mitigated with Shields as abilities that reduce "all damage taken" don't work on it. Unlike other damage types, Gravity Damage is dealt as a percentage of your max Health which means that the more max HP you have, the harder it will hit you. 
  • Learn the encounters - In Final Fantasy XIV, Bosses have distinct attack/ mechanic patterns they follow. Memorizing these patterns will make you much better at dealing with them efficiently. If you know the timings, you will know when to focus on movement or defenses and when to pop offensive Cooldowns. If nothing during a fight can surprise you, you are not at risk of failing at doing something important. 
    • Only knowing the encounters like the back of your hand will allow you to optimize your performance and eventually become a top player (provided that you have already mastered your job as well). 
  • Combat Ressurection and the "Transcendent" buff - After you are revived, you get a buff called "Transcendent" which makes you immune to most sources of Damage for 5 seconds. If you perform any action (oGCD or GCD), the buff will instantly fade away, making you vulnerable again (and you will not have any Health after being revived). Because of this, It is a good idea to wait for a heal before you take any actions after being revived unless you are certain that there's no immediate danger. 
    • Moving or receiving a heal will not remove the Transcendent buff! You should take advantage of this if you can. 
    • Important: Being revived by Healer's LB3 (White Mage's Pulse of Life, Scholar's Angel Feathers, or Astrologian's Astral Stasis) will not apply the Transcendent buff. 
  • Sometimes, you may save an attempt by sacrificing yourself - For example, if a part of your Raid is KO'd and a mechanic that revolves around stacking to distribute otherwise lethal damage comes up, you can choose to take one for the team and resolve it by yourself. You will die in the process, but the rest of your Raid will live and have a chance to recover. If a situation like this comes up, you should consider some things before deciding to go for it: 
    • What is your Role? Sacrificing yourself as a Tank or a Healer is a bad idea, most of the time. If you are a melee DPS, on the other hand, you should be free to take one for the team in most cases. 
    • What will be the consequences of your action? Some mechanics have nasty followups if someone dies from them - in such cases, your Raid should risk wiping by resolving the mechanic properly instead of sacrificing someone just to wipe anyway; play the odds. 
  • Understand how all three Roles (DPS, Tank, and Healer) play - This tip is aimed mainly at DPS players as they are the most flexible, but Tank and Healer mains should also benefit from it. When you discover how the two other roles play, you begin to understand what their capabilities and limitations are, which makes it easier for you to adapt to their play. Teamplay is the art of adjusting to your teammates - and you have to understand what their job is, and what they have to do, to adjust to them properly. For example: 
    • If you are a Tank main, but you know how Melee DPSs play, you will be able to make their life easier by positioning the boss in a way that lets them attack it without moving for longer. 
    • If you are a DPS, but you know how healing works, you will pay more attention to avoidable damage sources and try to make the healers' life easier by not gunning out of their range constantly and forcing them to reposition. 
    • If you are a DPS who has ever Tanked, you will respect your Tank more and try to not make his job even harder than it already is (by adjusting your position, managing threat, etc.). 
    • If you are a Healer who has played as a DPS, you will know that DPS mains care mostly about parses and you will pay close attention to their greedy plays... and try to save them if needed. 


Role-Specific Tips and Tricks

In this section, we will give you a bit more specific Raiding advice. For this reason, we have divided it into three separate sections, each one dedicated to a different in-Raid role. We still encourage you to read all three sections as doing so will help you understand how the other roles play and will make you a better raider in general. 

  • You have utility skills, use them - As a DPS, you will have a much easier time Raiding than Tanks and Healers will, but that does not mean you should be ignorant of everything but your damage output. Each Job in Final Fantasy XIV has access to a range of utility skills that may help the group as a whole - learn how to use yours! 
    • For example, If you have something to mitigate damage with, use it to help your Healers, but don't just press the hotkey randomly - use it when it will have the biggest effect (learning the encounters helps with the cooldown management). 
  • Make the most out of your cooldowns - Popping your cooldowns as soon as they become available might sound like a good idea as it will maximize their uptime, but it's not.
    • Before you use your damage boosters, always think about what mechanic comes next and how much time do you have - using a cooldown just to be forced to disengage a second later to perform a mechanic is a terrible waste. 
    • Try to synchronize your personal cooldowns with effects provided by your teammates - stacking buffs will help you optimize your damage output. 
  • Make your Healers' life easier - Respect what they do and try to make their work easier if you can. If you are a ranged DPS especially, keep in mind that Healers have limited range on their AoE heals; don't force them to reposition and always stay within their range if possible. 
  • Minimize overhealing and conserve your resources - You will have to learn to recognize if someone needs healing; the fact that some of the player's Health is missing does not always mean that they need healing. Pay attention to where they stand (maybe they are within a ground-based AoE Healing ability) and what effects they have applied to them (maybe the other Healer has already put a Healing over time spell on them) - if these are enough to heal them to full before the next damage wave comes, you don't have to heal them. 
    • It is worth pointing out that GCD is also a resource - if your group doesn't need healing, you can spend your GCDs to deal damage to the Boss. 
    • There are some mechanics that will put everyone's health at a certain number - healing your group before such mechanic occurs is always a waste. 
    • When you learn to recognize when to heal and when not to, managing your MP will become much easier and you will be able to spend it more liberally. 
  • Communicate with your teammates - You wouldn't believe how many fails could have been avoided if only people were communicating with each other.
    • One of the most important things to communicate is casting a resurrection spell... often there are multiple players in a group who can resurrect, but you only need one ress to ress one fallen player. If you don't communicate, your group is likely to waste a lot of resources by doubling (or even tripling) the cast unnecessarily. Moreover, you should also alert the fallen teammate that you are ressing him. 
    • Comms can also fix problems with positioning, running out of range, and taking unnecessary damage. 
  • Prioritize your healing - You have to know who is in the most danger at any given time and heal them first (it's usually the tank). Even if there was a lot of AoE Damage and the whole group is Damaged, you should heal the Tank first instead of using AoE heals - he will take more damage for sure, while the DPS should be rather safe for the next couple of seconds. 
    • The above is a general rule, but it will not always be correct. This is why you have to memorize the encounter patterns and play accordingly; Knowing the next source of damage will enable you to be proactive and become a successful healer. 
  • Swifcast can be a life-saver - Many Healers use the Swifcast exclusively for rezzing teammates when they could be using it to PREVENT them from dying in the first place. Don't underestimate the power of an instant heal - it will let you save lives on multiple occasions. Then again, if you use it to prevent someone from falling you might accidentally waste it (for example when the other Healer has reacted quicker and has already finished casting his spell or has put a Shield on the target), but that can be fixed with proper communications. Don't be afraid of casting Swiftcast more liberally - it's the only way you will get experience in using it to its full potential. 
  • Know when to pop your defensive cooldowns - This is the most important thing you have to learn to be a successful Tank. Often, being reactive is quite enough; you see a tank buster cast-bar appear you pres open of your hotkeys to mitigate the incoming damage. Sometimes, however, it might not be enough - imagine a situation where you see the tank buster coming, you activate one of your cooldowns, but you are on less than half health because the Healer struggles to keep you topped-up as the sustained incoming damage is too high, and you fall. To avoid such situations, you have to learn the encounters well enough to predict when a tank buster will come and pop your cooldowns early enough for your Healer to top your health up but late enough to tank the tank buster before the cooldown fades - being proactive will almost always work much better than being reactive. Moreover, by popping your cooldowns earlier, you get more value out of them and ensure that they are back up when they are needed again. 
    • Sometimes, you might have to pop a cooldown even if there's no tank buster incoming. If the sustained incoming damage is too high for your healer to deal with, make a decision quickly or you might simply fall. You can also ask the off-tank to use Provoke and keep the boss for a bit while you get healed up. 
  • If you don't have to move, just stay still. If you have to move, move only as far as you have to - Many of the mechanics are symmetric and/or have multiple safe zones. This means that you don't always have to move to the same one - you can pick the one that is closer to you and eliminate the unnecessary movement to maximize the group's damage output. Moreover, you don't always have to move the boss to the middle after pulling it - if the tactic does not require this, just keep him in place. If a mechanic requires you to move the boss out of range of something, all you have to do is... yes, move it out of range - you don't have to lead it as far away as possible. 
    • The general rule here is as follows - move the boss only when necessary and only as far as necessary. Doing this will maximize the DPS and make the encounter much easier. 
    • To make your necessary movement patterns as short as possible, you will have to, you guessed it, learn the encounters and plan out your movements beforehand. You should also communicate your movements to the rest of your group so they are prepared to follow you immediately and have as low downtime as possible. 
  • Pay close attention to the threat/enmity - Your job as a Tank is to keep the boss busy with wrecking your face while the rest of your group deals with it. Never allow your healers and damage dealers to rip aggro from you as it will have predictable consequences... - using Shirk often will help with this immensely. Some fights will require you to pay more attention to this than others; if a fight features one or more aggro resets, you have to be on your toes. 
    • Remember that many DPS players don't pay attention to the amounts of enmity they generate during a fight and make no use of their enmity-management tools, which means that it's all on you and the other Tank. 
    • Shirk makes Tank swaps much cleaner and minimizes the chance of the other tank accidentally pulling aggro from you after the swap. 
    • If a fight has no Tank swaps, you and the other Tank can use the following sequence to increase the Boss's enmity towards you (it is best used when the boss is busy with casting something): Off-Tank provokes the Boss ⇒ Main Tank uses Shirk on the Off-Tank ⇒ Main Tank provokes the Boss ⇒ Off-Tank uses Shirk on the Main Tank. 



Remember that your ultimate goal should be fun, even while Raiding. If you don't have fun while playing, you are doing something wrong and should re-think your approach and in-game priorities - it will help you find new motivation, trust us. 

We hope that you have found this guide useful and informative. If you liked it and want us to add more guides such as this one, please let us know! Also, we will be happy to receive constructive criticism that will help us improve our future work so leave your suggestions in the comments section below.