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Final Fantasy 14: What's The Best DPS Job?

"Final Fantasy 14" may have launched back in 2010, but the game is still worth playing – being alive and well with new players stumped over how to use the Market Board every day. The game has maintained popularity for so long partly because Square Enix has continued supporting the title with new content and updates. These ensure there are always new places to explore, more battles to fight, new mounts to get, and new battle styles to uncover. That said, before players can experience most of what "Final Fantasy 14" has to offer, they'll need to make a few critical decisions. Alongside character race, one of the more important choices players will have to make is what job they want their character to perform.

Jobs are essentially more specialized versions of classes, which can only be changed when a player acquires a Soul Crystal. There were 10 jobs available in the base game, but the "Heavensward," "Stormblood," "Shadowbringers," and "Endwalker" expansions have brought the total up to 20. Players who want to deal the most DPS (damage per second) will want to ensure they pick the right job. There are three categories of DPS jobs: Melee, Ranged, and Magic. Here are the best of each.

Best Melee DPS - Reaper

Melee DPS characters are best for players who want to hit enemies for as much damage as possible while being right in the thick of battle alongside the Tanks. Five Melee DPS jobs are available in the game: Monk, Dragoon, Ninja, Samurai, and Reaper. The Monk and Samurai both deal insane amounts of damage and are both simultaneously easy enough to use for beginners and complex enough for gaming veterans, but the inclusion of the Reaper in "Endwalker" seems to have finally usurped their place as the best Melee DPS job.

There are a few reasons the Reaper job is considered so exceptional, aside from its unique aesthetic and gameplay mechanics. Reapers are able to deal just about as much damage as these other DPS jobs using their scythe and Voidsent powers, with a some players reaching a max DPS output of 113.94 in endgame dungeons (per FF Logs.) On top of that, however, Reapers also have a raid buff and a decent AoE healing ability that can come in handy when the party's Healers are having a hard time keeping up. Players will want to try to build up Shroud with the Reaper to unleash a burst attack that combines several scythe slashes before resolving in a vast AoE explosion. This attack helps the Reaper trivialize fighting hoards of smaller enemies and can be pretty helpful on bosses.

Best Ranged DPS - Machinist

Some DPS players might prefer to keep far away from the battle — and there are options for that too. However, choosing the best Ranged DPS is trickier than the melee classes, as they all play differently. There are only three jobs in this category: Machinist, Dancer, and Bard. And each has a unique role in the party. The Bard primarily offers party support and is valuable for big groups, Machinist is closest to a pure ranged attacker, and Dancer is somewhere in between.

While Machinists offer the least party support, ignoring their efficiency as a DPS option is difficult. The speed of their attacks, and the sheer amount of damage they unleash, can't be topped by other Ranged DPS options. In the Eden's Promise raid zone, Machinists were recorded as dealing a maximum of 87.94 DPS while the Bard dealt 77.17 and the Dancer only did 72.56 (per FF Logs). In addition, Machinists have flexible burst timings, clean rotations, and a high level of mobility, allowing them to rain damage upon enemies while keeping safely out of harm's reach. They can also summon a robot to fight alongside, providing a distraction to pull aggro and offering a little additional damage. Larger parties might not appreciate Machinists as much, but the job fits the definition of Ranged DPS better than any other.

Best Magic DPS - Black Mage

Of course, nothing says DPS in an RPG like hurling a giant ball of magic fire at enemies. The Magic DPS role is similar to the Ranged one; only these characters draw their powers from their arcane abilities. This category contains four jobs in total: Black Mage, Summoner, Red Mage, and technically Blue Mage — although they might as well live in a class unto themselves. Blue Mages mimic the abilities of monsters they face, which can make their power level tricky to gauge and inconsistent. Blue Mages are also considered a Limited job and cannot do certain things like progress main story quests.

Of the three main jobs in this class, Black Mage stands out as the most powerful. While Summoners can be fun to play and Red Mages blend damage and support nicely, no Magic DPS job excels at pure destructive magic like a Black Mage. All of a Black Mage's utility is funneled into DPS. Testing in the Eden's Promise zone revealed that they dealt a max of 101.03 DPS while Summoners did 93.89 and Red Mages trailed at 84.49 (per FF Logs). The job doesn't offer bonus support to other party members and lacks mobility or defense, earning the casters a reputation for being glass cannons. These downsides can make it more difficult for newcomers to master Black Mage, but the job's basic rotation isn't too complex and yields some of the most damage of any job in the game.