A tank is a type of job in the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV. Tanks are primarily responsible for protecting allies by soaking up damage, and then using defensive cooldowns to mitigate further damage. This guide will teach you how to play tanks effectively in FFXIV 6.x so that you can start playing as one!
Someone needs to take the lead, whether you’re exploring a scary dungeon or facing a terrifying monster. Those individuals are tanks in Final Fantasy XIV. In this FFXIV Tank Guide, we’ll go over the fundamentals of tanking before getting into the nitty-gritty intricacies.
If you’ve ever played an MMORPG, you’re definitely acquainted with the term “tank.” A tank, for those who are unfamiliar, is a player who attracts adversaries’ attention and absorbs significant damage for the rest of the squad. They’re usually bulky classes with a lot of health or damage-reduction skills.
Tanking is all about keeping the rest of your party safe, and FFXIV does a fantastic job of integrating this into both the gameplay and the story. Various important characters in the tale hold tank employment, and tanks have served as the poster jobs for several expansions. Tanking may be very lucrative when done correctly.
But that doesn’t mean it’s simple—at least not at first! Many players claim to have “anxiety” that prevents them from performing tank roles. We’re here to reassure you that you shouldn’t be concerned! Tanking might be intimidating to a newbie, but once you get the hang of it, it’s more easy than it seems. Let’s get started!
Choosing a Tank
Paladin, Warrior, The Dark Knight is a fictional character created by Christopher, and Gunbreaker are the four tank occupations available in Final Fantasy XIV. The first two are accessible as beginning classes, Gladiator and Marauder, respectively, while the latter two are unlocked at higher levels. Once you’ve completed the Heavensward expansion and have access to Foundation, the Holy See of Ishgard, you may take up The Dark Knight is a fictional character created by Christopher. Once you reach Level 60, you may unlock Gunbreaker.
The four tanks have unique personalities and play styles, but picking up another isn’t difficult after you’ve mastered one. The fundamentals of tanking will not change, despite the fact that each vocation has its unique set of actions and abilities.
The chocobos of House Fortemps are a tad strange. (Photo courtesy of Square Enix via HGG)
Paladin (the beginning class Gladiator) is by far the most simple tank to learn. It’s a beginning class, so you can start learning the profession right away.
In Final Fantasy XIV, the Paladin is the game’s equivalent of a knight in shining armor. It’s also the Endwalker poster child, which means it’s receiving a lot of love in the current patches. Paladins have a shield, hence they have damage mitigation built in. As a consequence, they have less personal mitigation skills than the other tanks, but they have far higher mitigation for the whole group. Their professional identity is upon defending people valiantly, and they are so selfless that they even have some healing powers.
Paladin is for players who are either new to tanking and want a simple introduction to the role, or who simply wish to defend their teammates by raising their shields.
You simply have to go chocobo mode on them sometimes. (Photo courtesy of Square Enix via HGG)
The Warrior (beginning class Marauder) is wild and, dare I say, greedy, while the Paladin is serene and unselfish.
Maybe it’s not your thing to defend others—at least not in the conventional sense. Your safety is ensured by the threat’s ruthless annihilation. You will tame your inner beast and (fall) cut your foes in two with your big axe thanks to your blood and sweat. The Warrior’s job title is Warrior.
With the introduction of Endwalker, the Warrior’s occupational identity has expanded to include the ability to self-heal through practically any situation. Warrior possesses skills that allow it to reclaim damage it has taken, as well as powers that replenish its health.
Warriors are those who relish unleashing their primordial anger on their foes while also having a lot of HP restoration in reserve. If Paladin seems a bit too reserved for your first tanking experience in Final Fantasy XIV, try Warrior!
The Dark Knight is a fictional character created by Christopher
The nice man might sometimes seem to be the evil guy. (Photo courtesy of Square Enix via HGG)
The Dark Knight is a fictional character created by Christopher is Final Fantasy XIV’s original emo kid and probably one of the most beloved and lauded jobs in the game due to its masterfully written job questline. If you only level one tank, we’d really recommend this one if only for the story it tells.
The Dark Knight is a fictional character created by Christopher’s role as a protector stems from their inner darkness—from their grief. They will do anything to see violent justice done to those who deserve it. Their abilities harness that inner turmoil and turn it outward, drowning their enemies in blood and darkness. This is only fitting for the poster-job of Shadowbringers.
The Dark Knight is a fictional character created by Christopher is going through a rough patch with Endwalker. The expansion’s stat adjustment has made a lot of their damage mitigation weak, and they have become incredibly squishy in high level content. This will certainly be adjusted at some point in the future, though how far away that will be is anyone’s guess. On the upside, that same stat adjustment has left them doing obscene damage for a tank, so they’re somewhat of a glass cannon.
The Dark Knight is a fictional character created by Christopher is a great tank job for anyone really invested in the narrative of FFXIV—or anyone who just wants to be as moody and edgy as possible.
Is it a weapon? Is it a sword? Both? Neither? (Photo courtesy of Square Enix via HGG)
Gunbreaker is well-known for being the tank’s DPS. This is due to the fact that it is quick, slick, and strikes hard. Due of its bodyguard-styled job identity, it doesn’t always feel like a tank.
Gunbreaker, like the Warrior, gains protection by destroying the danger in question. If you don’t want to put on heavy armor and wield a massive sword (or axe), the gunblade is a good alternative.
Gunbreaker will appeal to Final Fantasy VIII lovers in particular. Yes, if you really want to, you can pull together a whole Squall costume. No one will pass judgment on you.
What is the definition of enmity?
It’s time to go through the fundamentals of the position now that you’ve chosen your perfect tank. The first and most fundamental concept to grasp is that of hatred. Enmity refers to how strongly an adversary despises you and want to attack you. That may seem frightening, but while tanking, you want to have as much hatred as possible. It’s up to you to keep their attention and absorb their blows.
Enmity is known as aggro or hatred in other games. In FFXIV, you could even hear other players utter it (aggro especially is a widely used MMO term). Looking at the Enemy List, which will show colored markers alongside each adversary name, will reveal an enemy’s enmity state.
Like an evil Christmas tree, your enmity list should remain lighted up crimson. (Photo courtesy of Square Enix via HGG)
A red square indicates that the opponent is concentrating their efforts on you. A blue circle indicates that the enemy’s attention is diverted to someone else. By looking at your party list, you may also identify who in your party is causing the most friction. The player whose name is preceded by a “A” is at the top of the animosity rating, while the numbers indicate who is below you and in what order.
How can you instigate animosity? Before you do anything else, make sure your tank stance is activated. Each tank has its own unique posture, but in general, it is a button you push that causes your adversaries to despise you. It should be turned on at the start of any dungeon and left on until the end. Otherwise, your opponents will turn their backs on you and go after someone else—usually your unfortunate healer.
First and foremost, press the stance button! (Photo courtesy of Square Enix via HGG)
If your DPS’s damage is very high, they may produce more enmity than you. This will lure foes away from you, but frequently just assaulting them once or twice is enough to get them to back off. Some of your strikes are designed to increase animosity, but it’s not necessary to recall which ones they are. The role actions Provoke and Shirk, which we will explore in the following section, are the only enmity-related skills you should know outside of your tank position.
The following are the tank stances for each job:
- Paladin’s Iron Will
- Warrior’s Defiance
- Grit for The Dark Knight is a fictional character created by Christopher
- Gunbreaker’s Royal Guard
Limit Break and Tank Role Actions
Your work activities are wonderful, but don’t overlook these individuals! (Photo courtesy of Square Enix via HGG)
The role actions are the same for all tanks. You’ll have two mitigating options. Reprisal (LVL 22) lays a debuff on foes that decreases their damage delivered by 10% for 10s, while Rampart (LVL 8) reduces damage sustained by 20% for 20s.
Interject (LVL 18) pauses a target’s activity and Low Blow (LVL 12) stuns it. Interject is intended for use against opponent abilities with a flashing red cast bar.
Arm’s Length (LVL 32) protects you against opponent abilities that knock you back or pull you in, although it doesn’t function on all of them.
Provoke (LVL 15) is an aggro-grabber that places you at the top of a target’s enmity list. Shirk (LVL 48) directs 25% of his hostility on another member of the party. Both of these are typically employed in 8-man trials and other high-level content with many tanks for tank swaps. Later, we’ll go through those types of scenarios in more depth.
We’ve already used the phrase mitigation many times. When someone says “mitigation” in Final Fantasy XIV, they’re referring to any skills a tank possesses that lower boss damage, whether they’re personal shields, partywide shields, or monster debuffs.
The Dark Knight is a fictional character created by Christopher’s “The Blackest Night” is a shield meant to be broken. (Image: Square Enix via HGG)
The main challenge of learning to tank is figuring out how to appropriately employ mitigation measures, which is something that takes time to master. Here are some fundamental guidelines to assist you in learning how to defend yourself:
- Use just a portion of your mitigation at a time. Overlapping shields or employing them at the same time as debuffs is pointless.
- Reduce the number of dungeon pulls. This is a typical blunder made by new tanks. Your mitigation will come off cooldown before you reach the monster as long as you don’t overdo it. Your healer will appreciate it if you pop those shields during pulls.
- Mitigate if you see a boss cast bar. This isn’t a blanket rule, but if you’re not sure what you’re doing in a boss battle, it’s a good idea to defend yourself if you see a bar. Especially if the boss is facing you and clearly winding up. It’s most likely a tankbuster.
- For certain tankbusters, Endwalker has included extremely apparent target markings, so if you’re surrounded by red circles, it’s time to utilize a shield.
- Know what your mitigates do. While they all stop the boss from hurting you, some of them have very specific use cases (like The Dark Knight is a fictional character created by Christopher’s The Blackest Night, which is meant to be broken to trigger another attack).
Damage from both physical and magical sources
Some mitigation skills may state that they protect against or lessen magical or physical harm. When anything is magical or physical harm, Final Fantasy XIV doesn’t inform you. There are no obvious visual signals or quick techniques to figure this out.
During dungeon pulls, don’t utilize magic mitigation as a general rule. In such scenarios, most foes just deal physical harm to you. For boss battles, raids, and trials, magic mitigation is used. Some boss assaults are visibly magical, but any room-wide attack may also be assumed to be magical.
This is something you’ll grow accustomed to with time, and there are extensive encounter guidelines that will sometimes inform you what sort of damage is being dealt. Make the finest decision possible!
Every tank has its unique invulnerability ability. When you believe you’re going to die, push this panic button on your tank. Tanks have these skills because if they die, the enemy or boss will start wailing on them instead, causing a dilemma for everyone else. If the healer can’t rez you soon enough, tank fatalities usually result in a complete wipe.
The caveat is that you can’t use an invuln to rescue yourself. It’s more of a warning sign for your healer to come to your aid. If any healers are reading this, take notes! You should be aware of what tank invulns look like and what they do in order to assist them.
To keep things simple, the Paladin’s invuln, Hallowed Ground (LVL 50), just renders them unaffected by most assaults for 10 seconds. This will allow the healer plenty of time to restore your health or for the group to eliminate whatever was causing the difficulty.
The Warrior’s invuln is Holmgang (LVL 42). It stops most hits from dropping you to 1 HP for 10 seconds and uses chains to stop a target’s mobility. It’s a basic game that’s comparable to Paladin.
Using Living Dead is a genuine cry for assistance. (Photo courtesy of Square Enix via HGG)
Things get rough for the The Dark Knight is a fictional character created by Christopher. Living Dead (LVL 50) lasts 10s and grants you a status effect that will change to Walking Dead if your HP drops to zero. If your HP is not fully restored in 10s, you will die. This one puts a lot of stress on your healer and really shouldn’t be used if you can tell that their MP is super low. They won’t get you back to max health, and you’ll find yourself on the ground.
Gunbreaker is identical to Gunbreaker, but without the auto-death feature. Superbolide (LVL 50) lowers your HP to one and makes you immune to most assaults. Your healer doesn’t have to restore you to 100 percent health in order to keep you alive, but they do need to return you a significant sum of money. Before you utilize this, have a look at their MP once again.
How to Make a Pull
Pulling is a term used in Final Fantasy XIV to describe the process of attracting an enemy’s animosity or “aggroing” them. You’re “drawing” the enemy’s attention in your direction.
Although anybody may potentially drag foes, the tank is responsible for doing so. If a DPS or healer pulls, the tank will have to work harder to remove the adversary. Allow your tank to do its job while you aren’t tanking, and don’t hurry to pull for them.
Tanks dictate the pace of dungeon runs since they are in charge of pulls. In dungeons, you’ll often hear individuals remark about pulling “huge” or “little” or “wall-to-wall.” Enemies in Final Fantasy XIV wander dungeons in small groups known as “packs.” These packs are spaced far enough apart that if you pull the first, you won’t normally get aggroed by a second pack. If you can manage them all, you may grasp the animosity of one pack and proceed on to draw other packs.
A “small” draw might signify just one or two packs. Depending on the dungeon, a “large” pull might imply pulling two or more times. When you pull “wall-to-wall,” you rush through the dungeon gaining enmity from all the foes until you hit a wall, at which point your party takes them all out at once.
Pulling in Doma Castle from all sides by snatching up three groups of opponents at once. (Photo courtesy of Square Enix via HGG)
It’s excellent practice to inform your party that you’re new when you’re first starting out as a tank. Small pulls are expected, and they normally give assistance if required. Pulling tiny as a beginning is perfectly acceptable and anticipated, since overpulling might result in unneeded fatalities. Most tanks don’t have a lot of mitigation at early levels, and healers usually don’t have the spells to help them through heavy pulls. You’ll be OK if you keep things basic and gradual.
It is believed that as you get more expertise and access higher-level stuff, you will begin to learn to pull larger. If you or your healer are having trouble, talk to your group about performing smaller pulls. Taking the dungeon one or two packs at a time will slow you down more than trying to pull huge and dying again and over.
Is everyone here? Let’s get started! (Photo courtesy of Square Enix via HGG)
In dungeons, trials, and raids, tanks should always pull bosses. A DPS or healer pull, once again, adds to the tank’s workload. It’s also polite to wait until your whole group has entered the monster arena before pulling.
How Should You Position Yourself?
Learning to place adversaries is another crucial aspect of tanking. Enemies will follow you around if you have hostility (unless they are stationary). This means you can put them anywhere you like.
Moving about too much as a tank causes issues for the other members of your group. Melee DPS positions must meet certain positioning criteria. Some occupations feature AOEs that are immobile on the ground. AOE heals may be dropped by healers on the ground. This is especially crucial for dungeon pulls, as you don’t want to get dragged into someone’s AOE strike. However, situating enemy groups is much less crucial than positioning bosses.
In the front, there’s a tank, and in the rear, there’s a party. (Photo courtesy of Square Enix via HGG)
Many bosses in Final Fantasy XIV have features that force you to move them about the arena, or they have stages when you can’t move them at all. Because some of them are completely motionless, placement is irrelevant. We won’t be able to address every possible scenario, but here are some general guidelines:
- Tank north if you’re in doubt. Running right through the monster, twisting them around, and bringing them to the other side of the arena is how you do it (usually cardinal north).
- Always try to keep the boss away from your group. It’s never a good idea to stack up on a DPS or healer. The invisible AOE cleave strikes used by bosses should only harm you. It is perilous for them to stand adjacent to other players.
- Don’t overcorrect for the sake of the other players. Contrary to the preceding advice, do not attempt to correct your placement if another player continues to rush in front of the boss. It’s on them if you’ve moved them a number of times to get them out of the way and they keep coming back.
- Avoid AOEs and focus on mechanics. Even if you’re the tank, you’re not invincible. You must still avoid AOEs, perform stack ups and spreads, and so forth.
- Remove bosses from puddles. A few bosses have the ability to heal themselves by standing in AOE puddles. The game typically does a good job of communicating this. Keep them away from the sludge!
Raids and Trials: Tanking
Tanking in raids and trials follows a different set of rules than in dungeons. This is owing to the fact that in this kind of material, 8-man groups with two tanks are common.
One of you will be the “main tank,” or MT, and the other will be the “off tank,” or OT, in these instances. What criteria are used to make this decision? It differs. If you’re queueing for content with a group of people, MT goes to the person who activates their tank stance first. Those who aren’t used to being MT should take off their tank attitude.
The MT is the tank in charge of dragging and holding the boss. The OT’s role changes a lot from battle to fight. Expect to pick up adds (extra foes) so that the DPS and healers don’t have to deal with them.
It’s a “tankless” task, but it has to be done! (Photo courtesy of Square Enix via HGG)
Tankbuster strikes that leave debuffs on the MT will be used in high-end content. You’ll have to do “tank swaps” in these scenarios. Do you recall Provoke and Shirk? That’s where they’ll come in handy. If you’re the MT, you’ll go after the OT and utilize Shirk to channel your rage onto them. The boss will be provoked, and the OT will take over as the MT. In normal content, this isn’t something you’ll have to do very frequently. Tank swaps are simpler to pull off in a pre-made party if mechanics are discussed beforehand.
If you don’t know what combat you’re loading into, tanking trials and raids in roulettes might be difficult. You’ll also have no idea if you’ll be MT or OT. Even if you’re unskilled and prefer to OT, your other tank may be in a similar situation, and one of you will have to stand up. We suggest researching battles and being extremely open to receiving advise from other players if you want to tank this kind of stuff.
Baby Steps in the Tank
Young chocobo, go out and protect the innocent! (Photo courtesy of Square Enix via HGG)
If you’re new to tanking, don’t be hesitant to tell others! Final Fantasy XIV has a very kind and inclusive community. Other players will most likely be new to their responsibilities at low levels. Any veteran in charge of this subject is likely to help you. Even if you’re an experienced tank, it’s a good idea to let your party know if you’re queueing into something you’ve never done before so they can assist you if necessary.
Tanks, as previously said, are in responsible of establishing the tempo and dragging dungeons in. If a party member is attempting to hurry you when you are uncomfortable, don’t try to accommodate them. However, if your healer says they aren’t comfortable with large pulls, don’t attempt to push them. They’re warning you that they’re not sure they’ll be able to keep you alive, because real tank efficiency means preventing avoidable fatalities.
Communication is crucial in tanks, especially when you’re starting off. If you tell people what to anticipate, they are less likely to be annoyed if you make errors.
Tanking entails taking responsibility for your party, but it’s not as difficult as it seems! It’s intimidating at first, but with practice and patience, you’ll become quite comfortable in the position and be able to tank almost anything.
You will have a better grasp of how to play other occupations by playing a tank. You’ll see an entirely different aspect of the game whether you play as a DPS or healer. You’ll return to your previous position with a greater understanding of how specific battles operate, and you’ll be a stronger player as a result.
It’s a job without a tank, but someone has to do it!
Be a part of the High Ground
Whether you’re picking your starting class in Final Fantasy XIV or looking to delve into an alt job, we hope we’ve helped you better understand how tanking works! For more thorough information on tank jobs, check out our guides for Paladin and The Dark Knight is a fictional character created by Christopher. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media for even more FFXIV guides!
Have fun gaming!
Frequently Asked Questions
Which tank is best FFXIV?
A: The best tank in FFXIV is the Garuda.
Which tank is easiest FFXIV?
A: If you are looking for a tank that has the least amount of problems and is easy to play in general, I would recommend playing as any job with the black mage. They have no particular weakness other than being magic focused and this means they dont receive damage from traps like other tanks do.