FFXIV Archer (ARC) Leveling Guide

How to level up your Pugilist (PGL) fast! Useful cross-class skills, reminders, and the best places to be in any level – HERE!

ffxiv archer arc leveling guide banner

Hey there! If you’re here – I’d say you’re leveling an Archer. You’re in luck because Archers are a pretty great class to solo with! I hope our Archer Leveling Guide will help you pew pew through the early game – quick and easy.

HOLD ON! this Archer Leveling Guide is best used in conjunction with FFXIV General Leveling Guide. Just a reminder, if this is your first character – follow your story quest! If you need to know more about the: basics of an Archer, check that out.

Don’t know where the ARC guild is? It’s in Gridania. Stocked up some Accuracy Food? good. Is your battle chocobo (+Gyashl Greens) ready? Good.

Wait a sec, I’m above L30 – I’m a Bard! Then get over to the BRD Leveling Guide.

Archer: the early levels

Just became and Archer huh? Start sniping your hunting log. A level one character doing hunting logs + participating in level appropriate FATES is the best and easiest method for EXP early on. In your case (Archer), you’ll be wandering around Central and North shroud often. Your mission is to clear the early levels ASAP. If you’ve got leves to burn, you can get more EXP here by doing levequests in The Bannock (Level 1 & Level 5), it’s  north of Bentbranch Meadows (Central Shroud). Remember to do as many nearby FATES as possible.

protip: Got some cross-class skills? Second Wind (PGL 8), Protect (CNJ 8), and Bloodbath (MRD 8) are your best bets for now. They do two things: make dying less of an issue, and allow you to kill higher level mobs.

Level 2 skill reminder – Straight Shot & Heavy Shot: Long story short, always make sure the Heavy Shot crit+ buff is on before you do anything else, DPS wise. This becomes increasingly important in the future – get used to it now!

Level 4 skill reminder – Venomous Bite: This skill is a DoT, so it requires 2 things for it to gain value. 1) Making it last its full duration, and 2) Never ‘clip’ it by reapplying it too soon. Generally speaking, starting a fight with Heavy Shot into VBite will be your opening DPS for a while.

Level 8 trait reminder – Heavier Shot: This trait grants a %chance on doing Straight Shot, that your next Heavy Shot is an auto critical. Obviously, bomb it as soon as it comes out. (Don’t worry about overriding your existing buff – the crit damage is worth it)

Level 8 skill reminder – Miserys End: A ranged execute that can only be done when your target has low HP. It’s off GCD, so make full use of this whenever it’s up!

You  should get to Level 10 Archer following what’s mentioned above. Reached level 10 now? Beat up your first tier hunting log before going ahead. You’ve also just gained some unspent attribute points – place them all to DEX.  In case you forget, Check in with the Archer guildmaster every 5 levels – level 1 5 and 10 in this case – make sure you do your class quests! Do this as soon as you can for every 5 level interval in the future!

Archer Level 10 to 16

Level 10 Skill Reminder – Shadowbind: While binds aren’t exactly useful in solo PvE, just use it as an off-gcd

The first thing you want to do if you’ve hit 10 is Guildhests. Haven’t  unlocked ‘em yet? Head to a nearby town (likely Bentbranch Meadows) and unlock it. Guildhests give you great EXP bonuses for first time completion with any class. PLUS you can queue up for Daily Roulette: Guildhests, to get bonus exp once every day! For now, queue up the guildhests Under the Armor and Basic Training: Enemy Parties. I REPEAT: Bonus EXP for first time completion applies for EVERY CLASS!

Make your way (hopefully teleport) to Aleport in Western La Noscea. Aleport is the universal “pre 20” zone. A chunky amount of people level up here, and a chunky amount of FATES to go with them. FATEs down right now? Get Levequests from Aleport. Too easy? +4 to difficulty! Too hard? Swiftperch has L10+ leves. Shoot and grind your archer butt to Level 16…

Reminder Level 15: Queue up for the two new Guildhests – Basic Training: Enemy Strongholds, and Hero on the Halfshell.

Level 15 Skill Reminder – Repelling Shot: An off-GCD escape! Learn to use this backward jump to reposition or to DPS; and when to save it for what purpose. For soloing, just press it to avoid AoE’s!

Level 16 – the turning point: Once you hit Archer 16, you can unlock Duty Roulette: Low level  dungeon. Completing this gives a, no joke, LARGE EXP BONUS ONCE A DAY. Do you have Challenge Log? No? Get it! (It initially unlocks at level 16) Check out how to unlock Challenge Log in the General Leveling Guide. After level 16, future levels are a breeze in comparison. Queue up now!

Dungeons as a ARC: Take it easy on low level tanks – they might not actually know how to play well yet. Multi-DoTing every enemy with Venomous Bite is a good way to get a little value in the early levels. As a DPS, pulling from your tank is not cool.

Skill reminder level 18 – Quick Nock: A frontal cone AoE. Useful when attacking 3 or more enemies.

Archer: finishing up to level 20: Hunting log – if it’s not complete do so NOW. I don’t blame you if you get tired of Aleport: Bentbranch Meadows (East Shroud) and Camp Drybone (Eastern Thanalan) are also 15+~ Fate and Leve zones. Put unused stat points to DEX, and finish up any ARC class quests you haven’t done.

Archer Level 20 – 30

Keep following the same formula of Leves, hunt logs and FATES, Daily Guildhest, Daily Low Level Roulette. Get on over to Quarrymill (South Shroud) and do FATES + Leves in this area. If your gear is considerably under levelled, you’re gonna start to feel the pain in this level range – but you’re Dungeon Roulette – like I told you, hmm? If I haven’t told you already (but I did), Accuracy Food is LEGIT.

Reminder Level 20: Queue up for the two new Guildhests – Pulling Poison Posies & Stinging Back.

Level 22 Skill Reminder – Swiftsong: Gives a small bonus to movespeed out of combat. It’s not much, but it’s worth keeping in mind. Any ‘speed’ increase to leveling is welcome.

Level 24 Trait Reminder – Enhanced Venomous Bite: Significantly increases the timer for Venomous Bite. This is extreme VALUE, yielding an insane amount of DPS for the TP and GCD spent.

Alternate FATE spot mid 20’s: One oft overlooked FATE grinding place is the Highbridg area (Like this), This place contains a massive EXP FATE chain, and many random FATES. If you’re semi-AFK waiting for dungeon queue to pop – camp the highbridge chain (Something you’ll get used to as an ARC).

Reminder Level 25: Queue up for the two new Guildhests – All’s Well that Ends in the Well & Flicking Sticks and Taking Names.

At Level 28: Teleport or swim to Costa Del Sol, Eastern La Noscea. Leve and FATEgrind here until you level to 30. Finally 30? As always, all unused points into DEX, wrap up unfinished ARC hunting logs and ARC class quests.

Skill reminder Level 30 – Windbite: Finally, our second DoT. Keeping track of both of your DoT’s should be second nature in the coming levels – it’s the very backbone of your DPS. (As you’ll see later with River of Blood..)

Archer 30 onwards: What to do?

Once you’re done with the (final) L30 ARC class quest (If you have Windbite, you’re good to go). From here you have two main choices:

  • Bard (requires Pugilist 15 and ARC 30)
  • Alternate job path not yet released

If you’re going straight away to BRD – continue with our Bard Leveling Guide. You might still need to level PGL 15, though –Pugilist Leveling Guide.

Sadly, there is no second job path for Archers yet – but i’m looking forward to updating this filler sentence in the near future :)

Thanks for using our Archer leveling guide! Remember – more PEWPEW less QQ, and the levels will come! For more awesome FFXIV updates, go ahead and Like us on Facebook – and if you need to drop a line, follow us on Twitter!

FFXIV Archer / Bard Stats & Materia Guide

What’s a good archer stats build? What are useful bard stats? Archer/Bard materia? If any of these questions brought you here, you came to the right place. Whether its by stat allocation, gear or materia, knowing what stats your Archer or Bard need should never be far from mind!

Archer (ARC) & Bard (BRD) Stats

What are the archer or bard stat weights?

DEX > Critical Chance > Determination  > PIE > Skill Speed > VIT

*These may vary slightly from patch to patch, or by personal preference. Following the recommendation above will always give you a good ARC & BRD build.

Archer (ARC) & Bard (BRD) Primary Stats Allocation

What stats should I add as a archer or bard?


Since this is where people may mess up the most, I’ll explain it in word for word. When you allocate stats, put as much points into DEX (Dexterity) as you can. If you cannot put any more points into DEX, place points into PIE (Piety). If you cannot put any more points into DEX and/or PIE, invest in VIT (Vitality).

Dexterity – Ranged physical damage up. Move on.

Piety – More mana to keep bard songs up longer. The value of piety rises sharply depending on how organized your group is.

Vitality – Increases total HP. Again, a luxury stat to give more breathing room for yourself and healers. Welcome, but not integral.

Archer (ARC) & Bard (BRD) Secondary Stats

What are good secondary stats for archer and bard, and why?

Critical Chance > Determination > Skill Speed

While you can’t allocate this directly, these will be heavily considered when picking gear upgrades and slotting materia.

Critical Chance – Nuts on Bards. Doing critical DoT damage with [Wind Bite] and [Venomous Bite] reset [Bloodletter].

Determination – Generic damage increase. Nothing special here.

Skill Speed – Even if returns are low, this stat is theoretically amazing on archers and bards. Why? 2 reasons. First, Enhanced Barrage is disgustingly strong. Second, Landing auto-attacks are essential to archers, who do not have a (dedicated) resource management mechanism. This has a soft-cap of around 1,000 where you hit the GCD cap of 1.50s.

Mahiko’s Note – I hesitate whenever recommending Skill Speed, and personally I’d value it much higher. I guess the explanation is long, and belongs on the eventual Page 2 “Theorycrafting” of these stat pages…

Archer (ARC) & Bard (BRD) Materia

This is directly related to the first section. As you may know, all gear has a limit for each stat it can have, the higher its Item Level, the higher amount of stats it can hold. So the idea is to max out (or get close to maxing out) the left most, and work your way right. Again:

DEX > Critical Chance > Determination  > PIE > Skill Speed > VIT

Mahiko’s Note: PIE is always good to have (We’re discussing PvE here). The importance really depends on how organized your playgroup is…

Materia Name
DEX: Dexterity
Critical Chance: Savage Aim
Determination: Savage Might
PIE: Piety
Skill Speed: Quickarm
VIT: Vitality

See Also: Materia Guide | Melding Guide


  • Overall ARC BRD stat importance: DEX > Critical Chance > Determination  > PIE > Skill Speed > VIT
  • ARC BRD Stat allocation: DEX > PIE > VIT
  • Secondary stats for ARC BRD: Critical Chance > Determination > Skill Speed
  • Reference links: Archer FAQ, Bard FAQ

That’s about it! Any major changes to archer & bard stats will be placed here, so follow us on Facebook or Twitter for any updates.
Have a question about ARC /BRD? Chime in on the comments or in our Archer / Bard Forums.