New FFXIV players are still falling foul of one of its oldest pitfalls

Seeing new FFXIV players discover Eorzea as they try out the critically acclaimed free game is delightful, but many fall into one notable trap in the MMORPG.

FFXIV new players - a female Au Ra clutches a glowing crystal to her chest

Few things bring me as much joy in modern games as watching new FFXIV players discover the world of Eorzea. As all the “critically acclaimed” memes and jokes that surround it suggest, there’s no doubt that it’s one of the best MMORPGs on PC right now – something I’m reminded of every time I watch a new person discover it for the first time. However, many still fall foul of one of its oldest pitfalls, leaving them at a big disadvantage.

After picking your first FFXIV class and exploring for a while, you’ll hit level 30 – at which point your class quests transition into a new set of ‘job quests’ that will hand you a particularly important item. Soul Crystals, more commonly referred to by players as ‘Job Stones,’ are handed to you during your initial level 30 job quest and equipped in the lower-right of your character’s inventory screen.

FFXIV Job Stones are hugely important, because they turn your base class into its final ‘job’ form – so a Gladiator becomes a Paladin, for example, while a Lancer becomes a Dragoon and a Conjurer becomes a White Mage. Later jobs such as the FFXIV Endwalker expansion’s Reaper and Sage automatically equip their Job Stones, because they don’t have a standalone class, but this isn’t the case for the base game jobs. Arcanists will perhaps be a little more familiar, as they actually get two stones – one they equip to act as a Summoner, a DPS class, and one for the healing Scholar.

Going into dungeons and trials without your Job Stone equipped is a long-standing faux pas among the community. I’m sure I did it myself back in the early days! The problem is that jobs confer additional stats and skills that aren’t available if you forget to pop your Job Stone on and are stuck as your base class. It’s rare to go more than a week without a notable Twitter post, Reddit thread, or other forum discussion with players encountering newbies without their Job Stones on.

Sometimes this is because players have progressed through the main story quickly, which is especially easy nowadays with experience boosts such as the road to 80. Another common problem is that if you change class by switching out your weapon and hitting the ‘recommended equipment’ button, it doesn’t actually put your Job Stone on – you have to do that manually.

Whatever the reason, if you’re new to FFXIV then here’s our official PSA on the matter. Your best bet is to make sure that you prioritise your class and job quests when you get to level 30 – you’ll see if one is available for your current class below the Main Scenario Quest tracker found at the top left of the screen. We also highly recommend setting up a gear set for each of your jobs, which lets you switch between them while keeping your Job Stone safe.

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that Square Enix will change the way this works – not only are Soul Crystals an integral part of the game’s lore, but also some players have found cunning ways to use the fact that base classes have separate hotbars to create a clever job change menu. Restrictions could be implemented on multiplayer content, perhaps, though there’s no way to say how complex this might be on the developer’s side for a reasonably minor issue. For now, then, it’ll remain a rite of passage for the new adventurers – just make sure you’re not among them!

Be sure to take a look at our FFXIV Island Sanctuary guide if you’re exploring the new mode that turns Final Fantasy XIV into one of the best farming games on PC. Be sure to keep up to date on all the FFXIV 6.3 patch notes for the latest update’s job changes and new content as well.