Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Basic Combat Guide
Be ready to slaughter your enemies on day one with our basic combat guide!
The release of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is right around the corner. In fact, those that pre-ordered will be able to start the game on August 24th. The rest of humanity will need to wait until August 27th before they can purchase the title for themselves. Every MMORPG has its own quirks and ways of doing things and in this regard, FFXIV is no different. Have no worries though. We’re here to help you on your way, starting with a basic guide on one topic every player really cares about – combat!
Combat in FFXIV is fairly straightforward with a few exceptions. For starters, there is an auto-attack, though many players may not initially be aware of it, especially if you’re playing a class with a massive weapon like the Marauder. The time between auto-attacks feels a little long, so at times it appears as though your character is not in attack mode. Rest assured, if your character is crouched down a bit with their weapon at the ready, you’re in auto-attack mode. Just be patient and be ready to use all the abilities at your disposal when the time is right.
Regardless of your class, your character will have three bars you need to pay attention to during combat. The first is your HP bar. This is, of course, the amount of hit points you have. When this goes to zero, it’s time to kiss your ass goodbye because you’ve just bought the farm… pining for the fjords as it were. The next bar is your MP bar. This is the amount of magic points you have. Magic points are used to cast magic abilities. The last bar is called the TP bar. No, it doesn’t represent how much toilet paper you have – it’s the number of tactical points you have. This is what allows you to use weapon abilities (including combos). This meter will build automatically as you auto-attack mobs during combat.
When you start out, your options for abilities to use are definitely limited, but this is to be expected. Your character will start out with one special attack and then gain a defensive ability next. This is all well and good, but to be honest, a little boring. The good news is that it doesn’t take too long before you hit level three and finally come into your third ability which will let you use combo chains.
Rather than some games that are a bit confusing (I love the EverQuest franchise, but let’s be frank – the Heroic Opportunity system in EverQuest II could be a little more straightforward), the chain combo system in FFXIV is, like the overall combat, pretty straightforward. When the tutorial for them pops up, be sure to give it a read, but they make combos sound far more complicated than they really are. Here’s a quick version of how it all breaks down.
For our example, we’re going to stick with the first combo you get access to. Later in the game, you’ll be able to start combos using other skills and completing them with even more skills. For now though, let’s stick to the basics. None of the skills used in this example have to be used exclusively in a combo. If you want to use them out of order you are more than welcome to (and depending on the situation, there may be times you want to do exactly this – it all depends on what your individual skills do).
To start a combo, select a target (if you’re not already engaged in combat with one) and use the first ability your class received on it. You’ll notice a square made up of a dotted line now surrounds the third skill you received. This means that ability is ready to be used as the next step in this combination. Be aware that you only have a certain amount of time to complete the next step in a combo when one is presented to you. Act quickly or you’ll find yourself out of luck and will need to start the combo over when you have the opportunity. Pretty simple, eh? For now, it really is that simple. As you progress further and more (not to mention longer) combos are available to you, the dotted line will surround the next skill (or skills) that are ready for the combo chain in question.
And there you have it! Doesn’t really seem that hard does it? Like most systems, especially in any Final Fantasy franchise game, things will get more intricate and complicated later in the game (you can gain the ability to mix and match skills from different classes), but for now, this guide is more than enough to get you started on your way with a bit of swagger in your step.