FFXIV Archer (ARC) Leveling Guide

How to level up your Archer (ARC) fast! Learn all about your skills, role actions, and how to level up HERE!

Tempted by the song of “ez ranged deeps”, ey? Aren’t we all! Well if you’re looking to have a shot at Archer, you’ve found the right place. Hopefully, our Archer Leveling Guide helps you out!

This page is strictly for Archer – focusing more on ARC specific info like skills, traits, and playstyle notes. The GENERAL PROCESS that you should be following is outlined in our GENERAL LEVELING GUIDE: Which you should be using ALONGSIDE THIS GUIDE.

Archer: Unlocking, and other basics

How to unlock the ARC Class?

Location: Old Gridania, Archers’ Guild (x:6, y:10.6)
NPCs: Athelyna, Luciane
Related Quests: (all in the same place)
> So you want to be a Archer
> Way of the Archer
> My First Bow
Others: You may also begin the game as Archer

Archers are Physical Ranged DPS classes, falling under the Disciple of War category. DEX is your main stat which increases your damage output.

You should be using a Healer or Tank chocobo companion (maybe a hybrid of the two).

You may also want to check out our Archer General Guide & FAQ for other basic info.

Leveling Methods, References and Reminders

In these boxes, I’ll put info that you’ll likely be referring to (or discovering) while leveling up your Archer.

EXP Grinding Methods

Here’s a generic outline of what you should be doing at any given time. The higher it is, the more value it is for EXP.

Leveling ActivityUnlocks & Notes
Main Scenario QuestIf this is your first character. Only stop and go down the list if you’re locked out.
Duty Roulette: LevelingComplete Sastasha and Tam-tara Deepcroft in the main scenario.
Palace of the DeadUnlocks at L17 for your first character, and you can zone in at L1 thereafter.
FATESThe baseline activity for gaining incidental EXP.
GuildhestComplete each one ONCE for each class. Roulette version optional.
Hunting LogGives some decent EXP if you’re bored or in queue. Terrible if you skip a tier.
Challenge LogUnlocks at L17 for your first character. Best done “passively” until nearing week end.
Dungeon GrindGrinding dungeons via Duty Roulette: Leveling or straight queue.
LevequestsHonestly, Battlecraft leves are only so-so… Where? See: Levequests Guide

I give you many options because sanity, boredom, and changing it up are important to many people. Again, more detailed info can be found in the General Leveling guide.

Bonus EXP and other EXP effects

There are a few bonus EXP items you can equip for some minimal gains.

Heat of Battle (Free Company Action) 10/20/30%
Eating ANY FOOD BUFF +3% (You can buy from NPC IE Boiled Egg)

Moogle Hat until L10
Friendship Circlet until L25
Brand-new Ring until L30
Ala Mhigan Earrings until L50

These mainly work for monster kills, so don’t sweat it if you don’t have ‘em. Your journey is long, and killing monsters isn’t that large of a source of EXP.

Last but not least of these reminders, always logout at a sanctuary. It’s noted by the moon icon on the right side of your EXP bar. You gain rested EXP in these areas!

Archer Leveling – 01 to 30

If this is your first character:

Just became an Archer, huh? Start sniping your hunting log. A level one character doing hunting logs + participating in level appropriate FATES is super value THIS EARLY IN. The entire ARC Tier 1 hunting log can be found in Central and North Shroud. (You can do this while queued up for POTD).

You can refer to the table above regarding “what to do” after that.

L1 Skill UnlockedHeavy Shot: For all intents and purposes – your basic attack.

L2 Skill UnlockedStraight Shot: Gives a passive bonus to critical strike chance when you do it. Always keep this buff up on yourself!

L4 Skill UnlockedRaging Strikes: A hefty DPS cooldown. Use it on large packs, or on fat guys.

L5 ARC Class Quest – check in on your guildmaster in Gridania – Archers’ Guild. These spawn every 5 levels up until 50, and can give you notable rewards (besides, you NEED to do them to become a Bard).

L6 Skill UnlockedVenomous Bite: Your first Damage over Time (DoT) skill! Always open with this (or refresh it) if the enemy is going to survive for more than a few attacks.

L8 Role Actions unlocked!

So you’ve unlocked your first role action as Archer. If you’re new, you access this by pressing (default) P > Role. Slots for role actions are unlocked at 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24 for base classes. Technically you unlock more at 32 onward, but you should advance to Bard by then.

For a glimpse into the future: Ranged DPS Role Actions

L8 Trait UnlockedHeavier Shot: There’s a small chance your Heavy Shot causes your next Straight Shot to be an auto-crit. This is easily indicated by your Straight Shot icon blinking. It would be good practice to have this very obvious in your HUD.

L8 Role Action slot I unlockedSecond Wind: No choice but to pick this one up – it’s great for soloing in any case. A self-heal is always welcome, and every little bit of downtime reduced, or death prevented, is value.

L10 Skill UnlockedMisery’s End: An “execute” that can only be done when the target is low. Use whenever able.

L10 ARC Class Quest – check in on your guildmaster in Gridania – Archers’ Guild.

L10 Hmm... Guildhests?

Are guildhests worth it while leveling? Note that you get a large bonus EXP for the first time you complete a guildhest with that class. This is pretty worth it!

I mention this now at level 10 since we have a special guildhest – Under the Armor. It’s the fastest guildhest and people use this as the unofficial hest to queue up for to nail the Challenge Log entries quickly. It also helps for the quick completion of the “Player Commendation” entry.

The roulette is so-so. I like it very early on when the hests are limited to the extremely easy ones.

L12 Skill UnlockedBloodletter: A very important “off-gcd” (OGCD) skill. Use it as often as you can since it’s “free”. It’s a significant part of your future rotation – I suggest making it very obvious in your HUD when Bloodletter is available to use.

L12 Role Action slot II unlocked Foot Graze: Pretty terrible for soloing. Has a niche use to bind enemies so they cant attack you while you interact. Not too important of a skill, don’t stress out to find a good bind for it.

L15 ARC Class Quest unlocks Repelling Shot: check in on your guildmaster in Gridania – Archers’ Guild.

Repelling Shot is a repositioning skill that has only a few niche practical uses. While soloing, just use it to “prevent getting hit for a bit”. It’s useful in raids to quickly spread out from your friends.

L15 Unlocks - Duty Roulette Leveling

DR Leveling is an insane source of EXP and you shouldn’t let a day pass without doing it!

However, in this day and age there is a problem.

There are people who are the “Pure Palace of the Dead all the way BBY” types (nothing wrong with that), who may shun doing DR Leveling simply because they have no gear to speak of.

Don’t be dismayed due to a lack of gear! Grand Company seal gear is more than enough during this phase of the leveling period. It’s essentially FREE! NQ’s or cheap pieces from the market board can supplement the blanks. You can even buy from NPC’s!

These dungeons aren’t tuned to be very punishing, and being at a lower item level isn’t the end of the world.

L16 Role Action Slot III UnlockedLeg Graze: Not too bad for soloing tougher mobs, but admittedly quite poor overall. You don’t have much of a choice but put it in your role actions for now, but like its predecessor don’t stress out to find a good bind for it.

L17 Unlocks - Challenge Log

Keep in mind it unlocks at L17 FOR FIRST TIMERS, but if you do have it unlocked, the Challenge Log can be abused from L1 for other classes.

The Challenge log is a great way to gain EXP on the side. You should seek to complete as many relevant entries as you can before the week resets – at which time try to chase the good ones before it’s too late!

Not all entries are equally good – check the General Leveling Guide for tips.


L18 Skill UnlockedQuick Nock: Your first Area of Effect (AoE) skill. It does good damage on packs larger than 3. Be wary of its hefty TP cost. It has a deceptively long reach (much more than the skill shows), but the cone isn’t as wide as people initially presume.

L20 Role Actions Slot IV unlockedPeleton: AMAZING for soloing (dungeons too) and movement in general. It has a small cooldown so use it ALWAYS. You’ll be surprised how much time this cuts in towns, and in scenarios wherein you wouldn’t want to mount up. Keep note it doesn’t stack with Sprint.

L20 ARC Class Quest – check in on your guildmaster in Gridania – Archers’ Guild.

L24 Role Actions Slot V unlockedInvigorate: Sickeningly good for dungeons (where spamming Quick Nock happens alot), Invigorate is part of many DPS classes repertoire in the endgame.

L25 ARC Class Quest – check in on your guildmaster in Gridania – Archers’ Guild.

Once you hit level 30 FULL STOP! It’s time you evolve into a job class – in your case that’s Bard (BRD)! The prerequisites to unlocking the quest are simply finishing ALL ARC class quests up to level 30.

L30 Class quest unlocks Windbite, and the prereq for Bard:

Windbite: is your other DoT skill – Windbite and Venomous Bite play a vital role in Bard DPS. Open with both DoTs and refresh them if the enemy will live for more than a few hits.

Completing this quest marks your final class quest as Archer. You now have the right to become a Bard!

How to become a Bard?

The quest to become a Bard is A Song of Bards and Bowmen, found in Archers’ Guild. Completing this quest gives you Soul of the Bard, and Mage’s Ballad skill.

Soul of the Bard is your job soul crystal. To become a Bard you merely have to equip it (it’s on the lower right most equipment slot). Equipping the soul crystal is a tiny bit of a hassle since you have to rebind your skills, and reconfigure your equipment set. But it’s okay since you’ll likely never be a Archer again.

And with that YOU’RE DONE WITH LEVELING Archer! Congrats! Feel free to proceed to the Bard Leveling Guide. Hopefully our Archer Leveling Guide helped you out. May your arrows always find their mark!

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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
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