If you’re a dedicated Final Fantasy XIV player, there are two paths you can take to start your adventure in Dawntrail. On one hand, you could simply equip your main job of choice, look for the “A New World To Explore” quest in Old Sharlayan, and go straight into Dawntrail’s new zones. Alternatively, if you’re up for a grind, you could join the flock of players eager to main the new Viper and Pictomancer jobs.

Read More: How To Unlock The New Viper And Pictomancer Jobs In Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail

If you’re reading this, you’re presumably part of the second group of players. Viper and Pictomancer start at level 80 in Final Fantasy XIV, meaning you’ll need to gain 10 levels before you can use them to play the new Main Story Quest. If you’ve played Final Fantasy XIV long enough to have access to Dawntrail, you know that’s no small feat: That’s 82,602,000 EXP you’ll have to earn before you can see the new content!

To help you on your way, here are some basic leveling tips to speed that grind along. Know that while these tips will speed things along, but it will still be a bit of a grind. But hey, at least you’ll have a shot at stepping into the New World before you go back to work on Monday. Let’s dive into the basics.

First: Stack your EXP buffs

A player character in Final Fantasy XIV drinks something while standing in a field of grass next to a chocobo.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

Since you’re going to be marathoning content, you don’t want to leave even a single point of EXP on the table. The first thing you’ll want to do is eat food. In the game, that is—though please make sure to eat in real life too. Playing an MMORPG for hours will not sustain your body.

Whether you consume an item that gives you optimal stat buffs, or you just decide to wolf down an egg, you’ll earn a 3% EXP bonus. By default, food will last for 30 minutes, so make sure to re-apply this buff often. If you’re in a Free Company, your leader may opt to use a group-wide buff that will extend food buff timers by up to 15 minutes.

Speaking of Free Companies, the Free Company buff Heat Of Battle III will give you an additional 15% EXP bonus. Yes, that does stack with the food buff! If you’re not in a Free Company, the Squadron Battle Manual can also give you The Heat Of Battle III. That said, this is an item you can only obtain by interacting with your Adventurer Squadron at your Grand Company. If you haven’t started that slice of content just that, you won’t be able to get Squadron Battle Manuals right away.

Finally, if you pre-ordered Dawntrail, make sure to claim the Azeyma’s Earrings item. This item’s worth using for the stats alone since it scales in power until you reach level 90. , Equipping Azeyma’s Earrings also grants you a 30% EXP bonus. Make sure to check the Delivery Moogle in case it’s still holding onto this item.

Second: Gear up (if you haven’t already)

A player character in Final Fantasy XIV talks to a shopkeeper.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

While diligent players may have this step already taken care of, you’ll want to equip the best gear available to you at level 80. Sure, the default gear you get from starting a new jobs is fine, but you could do so much better than that. After all, higher stats means you’ll defeat enemies faster, which also means you’ll earn EXP faster. In other words, better stats are ostensibly an EXP buff.

The best gear you can obtain easily at level 80 comes from Eulmore. Talk to the Aymark NPC, select Allagan Tomestones of Poetics (DoW 530 for Viper, DoM 530 for Pictomancer), and get the best gear you can afford.

If you need a full gear set, you’ll inevitably be short a few Tomestones of Poetics, so prioritize gear in this order:

1: Weapon
2: Body / Legs
3: Head / Hands / Feet
4: Necklace / Bracelet / Rings

Remember, you can visit Auriana in Mor Dhona to exchange your now-outdated Tomestones of Causality and Tomestones of Comedy for extra Poetics.

A player character in Final Fantasy 14 talks to a merchant in a fantasy city.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

Additionally, Viper and Pictomancer can get level 89 gear for free in Old Sharlayan. Just look for the Merchant Varsarudh in The Agora and you’ll find exclusive job equipment for Dawntrail’s new DPS jobs. You might not use these pieces for too long, but free is free!

Don’t forget your Wondrous Tails!

A screenshot of Final Fantasy 14 shows a journal with different rewards and stamps.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

As the final step of preparation, you’ll want to head over to Idyllshire and speak with Khloe Aliapoh to get a book of Wondrous Tails. While Wondrous Tails can award all kinds of goodies depending on how many stamps you line up by completing content, the base reward you’ll get from earning any nine stamps is of most interest here as you’ll earn half a level’s worth of EXP. Even if you have to go out of your way to unsync your level and clear some older content to earn stamps, the prize is worth the effort.

Note that the EXP bonus will scale with your current level. So to get the most bang for your buck, consider holding onto your Wondrous Tails until you’re in the later stages of your grind. It’s a great way to push your level high enough to unlock new dungeons you can run!

With all that prep out of the way, what’s the best content to run?

There’s no “wrong” way to level up in Final Fantasy XIV. And if you’re not necessarily in a hurry to get your new job up to level 90, now’s a great time to clear some older content you’ve been putting off while you soak up some bonus EXP. You don’t have to grind a certain way just because it’s recommended here.

Having said that, if you want to level up as fast as possible, the next five steps are the most efficient means of earning EXP.

A screenshot of Final Fantasy 14 shows a selection of quests for the player to choose.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

1: Queue up for roulettes

I won’t mince words: If you have Viper or Pictomancer ready and you want to enter Leveling Roulette, you should get in line right now. The Leveling Roulette is one of the best sources of EXP in the game, but DPS jobs historically have to wait the longest to match with a Light Party and enter a dungeon. The wait is even longer now with Viper and Pictomancer still being so new to the game. As of writing, DPS jobs currently have a 45-60 minute wait before they can enter a dungeon. So get in line ASAP!

Fortunately, there are two other Roulettes which offer nice rewards and faster queue times for DPS players. Frontline Roulette doesn’t have role requirements at all, and you can even switch jobs once you’re in the instance in case your time is full of Vipers and Pictomancers. Alliance Raid Roulette is also very favorable due to the extra spaces for DPS players, which in turn cuts down the queue time significantly. Do note that there are reports of progress-halting bugs in Syrcus Tower, so be careful until fixes are announced.

Main Scenario Roulette can be worth running, but much like Leveling Roulette, queue times will be long for DPS players. The other roulettes available don’t give generous amounts of EXP, so I only recommend queueing for those if you just need a change of pace running different kinds of content.

If you have a friend willing to accompany you as a Tank or Healer, your dungeon queues will be much faster. Admittedly, you may have a hard time finding Tanks or Healers who want to take time away from clearing the next content. Regardless, consider asking your Free Company if anyone would like to help you run a roulette or two.

Regardless of which roulette you want to queue for first, you can fill that time you’ll spend waiting by leveling up in non-instanced content. The next three steps on this list are all doable while you wait for your queue to pop.

A humanoid elephant stands in the middle of a fantasy city.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

2: Complete Pixie and Arkasodara Allied Society Quests

Formerly referred to as Tribal Quests, Allied Society Quests remain one of the best sources of daily EXP you can earn in Final Fantasy XIV. For our purposes, we’re going to be focusing on the battle-focused Society Quests from Shadowbringers and Endwalker. Quests from earlier expansions aren’t worth the time it takes to complete them, so there’s no need to revisit the Ananta from Stormblood.

The Pixie quests (located in Il Mheg – Lydha Lran if you’ve unlocked them) do cap out their rewards at level 80, but the three daily quests you can complete still will reward a cool 1,000,000 EXP. Meanwhile, rewards from the Arkasodara quests (located in Thavnair – Yedlihmad) scale up until level 89 and a set of three quests should net you north of 3,000,000 EXP. Considering how fast you can complete these quests, this is some of the best EXP per minute you’ll find.

A player character in Final Fantasy 14 stands on a beach at night next to a monster.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

3: Complete daily Mark Bills in Endwalker zones

Most veteran Final Fantasy XIV players probably associate hunts with people periodically shouting something about trains in Shout chat, which makes it easy to forget that there is daily hunt-related content for solo players to complete.The daily hunt bills you can get in Old Sharlayan offer substantive EXP for the time it takes to complete them.

To refresh your memory, check out the map below to see where you can pick up a fresh stack of Mark Bills to complete. Note that the Weekly Mark Bill does not award EXP, so we can skip that for now.

A screenshot of a map in Final Fantasy 14 shows the location of a Hunt Board.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

If you’ve never completed Mark Bills before, it’s an easy process. Look for the Mark Bills in your key items, check which monsters you’re tasked to track down, and go to the zone it lists under each foe. For best results, clear out all the enemies you’re tasked to eliminate zone-by-zone to minimize your time teleporting.

Characters figtht a tentacled creature in Final Fantasy 14.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

4: Run FATEs (Until you complete your Challenge Log)

Whenever an expansion launches in Final Fantasy XIV, FATE farming becomes much more common. You should see groups of people running from FATE to FATE across zones in Endwalker, so do your best to swim with the current and clear as many of these open world quests as you can. You can check the “World” tab in your Party Finder menu to help figure out where players are gathering (though if you’re in a queue, don’t actually join those parties. You’ll lose your spot in line).

If you’ve completed the two steps above, FATEs are one of the better ways you can fill your time while waiting in a queue. This is especially true at the start of your FATE grinding, since you’ll earn bonus EXP from your Challenge Log for clearing 10 FATEs with the highest rating possible. However, after you complete your Challenge Log objective, it is not as efficient to grind FATEs while waiting for 15+ minute queues. If queue times do drop low enough, then repeating the highest level dungeon you can enter while running FATEs will become efficient again.

Characters fight a large creature with magic in a dark dungeon.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

5: Grind dungeons with Trusts

Final Fantasy XIV’s Trust system is great for players who prefer to fly solo, but for our immediate grinding purposes, your NPC comrades really come in clutch. Sure, Thancred and friends aren’t nearly as powerful as other Warriors of Light you’ll encounter in the Duty Finder,byt they will. let you enter dungeons with absolutely no queue times. That makes this one of the best sources of EXP you can find.

If your Trusts are only sitting at level 81, now is a great time to level them up. You’ll soak up millions of EXP per run, and you may even get some better gear in the process. Remember, if you aggro groups of enemies yourself, your NPC tank of choice can trigger big pulls, which should help you clear through these dungeon runs faster. Just make sure to use cooldowns if you start taking damage and run to your tank to help them take the heat off of you.

While grinding dungeons with Trusts should be one of your best options for earning EXP, feel free to switch over to other kinds of content for the sake of variety. After all, games are supposed to be fun, and repeating content can get tedious if you do it for hours on end. So pace yourself, get yourself a tall glass of water to stay hydrated, and enjoy learning the ins and outs of your brand new DPS jobs. Happy farming!


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