The latest expansion of Square Enix's acclaimed MMORPG, Final Fantasy XIV, brought with it not only a familiar face in the new Viera playable race but also a job that's been part of the mainline games since Final Fantasy V – the Dancer. Of the two new jobs for players, Gunbreaker and Dancer, that were introduced by Shadowbringers, Dancer is the hybrid DPS role which offers both utility for a party and damage-dealing potential. Interested in slipping on those dancing shoes for yourself and figuring out what makes this job tic? Check out our FFXIV Dancer guide to learn how to unlock the job and how to make the most of it.
The Dancer was the first official job confirmed for the Shadowbringers expansion at the FFXIV Tokyo Fan Festival earlier this year, alongside the Hrothgar race. We enjoyed the flashy playstyle that this new job brings to the fold, even though it's likely that the FFXIV team is going to do a little bit of balancing to ensure that it feels just as impactful as the existing classes that make up the DPS role roster. It's not just a matter of looking good on the dancefloor; Dancer is an incredibly combo-reliant and RNG-reliant job at its core, which adds a layer of complexity to the proceedings.
FFXIV Dancer Guide: How to Unlock
Before we get into the specifics of playing Dancer, it's important to actually know how to unlock the job. You're going to have already leveled at least one combat job to Level 60 and have Shadowbringers to pick up the prerequisite starting quest from Limsa Lominsa. Look for the quest called Shall We Dance, which will show up on your map when you teleport to the main aetheryte at the Limsa Lominsa Lower Docks.
Completing the quest Shall We Dance will unlock the Dancer job for your character, and provide you with an appropriate set of gear to venture out into the world with. Much like previous jobs paired with expansions, Dancer doesn't start at Level 1 – you'll start your showbiz career at Level 60, which means it's only a hop, a skip and a jump before you can take on Shadowbringers content. If you choose to level as a Dancer through the Main Scenario Quests, you'll have to remember to pick up the requisite role quests for DPS from The Crystarium, which will eventually culminate in one more job quest at Level 80 to top everything off. If you have any questions about the quickest way to level, our handy FFXIV beginner's guide has some evergreen tips even for those jumping in at Level 60.
FFXIV Dancer Guide: Rotation Tips
As mentioned before, the Dancer was created to fulfill a DPS slot in the existing roster of jobs available for FFXIV. However, it's not an entirely straightforward affair of hitting something really hard with your chakram until it keels over and dies. Shadowbringers did a bunch of streamlining when it comes down to what the various existing jobs are now able to bring to the table, and while Bards were previously the order of the day when it came to the utility game, they may well begin to lose their edge in the face of what a Dancer can provide to a party.
One of the things that makes Dancer a desirable partner in a party scenario is the move of theirs called Closed Position. Much like how Dragoons can pair up with a lucky fellow adventurer and provide them with a buff, Closed Position allows a Dancer to select a party member to benefit and proc Dancer-specific buffs. It also allows the Dancer's partner to act as a conduit for some skills specifically, which can be incredibly handy in a pinch.
Once you get the hang of using Closed Position, the Dancer rotation relies on piecing together what is essentially a dance routine from the balletic skills available to you. Dancers can use a number of stances: Technical Step and Standard Step. Activating either one will result in your step gauge displaying the icons of certain skills, and activating those skills in order will Finish your step (or dance routine, as it were). Successfully completing a Standard Finish will buff your damage as well as the damage your dance partner, while completing a Technical Finish will buff not only your damage but also those of multiple party members who are in the vicinity.
You'll also have to manage the Esprit gauge, and this grants the Esprit status to either your dance partner or multiple party members depending on whether you executed a Technical Finish or a Standard Finish. Adventurers affected by that status will grant increases to your Esprit gauge when they land attacks and skills, and you can benefit from that by unleashing a powerful AOE skill to ensure that you're doing more than just playing cheerleader.
Another important takeaway from this FFXIV Dancer guide is that smart positioning will be required to make the most of your Technical Step and Standard Step buffs. While you're classed as a ranged DPS, quite a few of the skills in the Dancer's arsenal have a limited range. Considering how Technical Finishes work, you're going to want to be right in the thick of the action where your party members need you the most instead of hanging back on the fringes like Bards were wont to do. Picking the right dance partner with Closed Position is a consideration as well, and it may change from fight to fight. Knowing that you're going to hit a particularly nasty healing check might mean that linking up with the local White Mage might be smart since your Curing Waltz's restorative properties may come in hand. Another side of the same coin could be to link up with the Tank and to cut out the healing middleman if things get truly dire. It's all up to you – the world's your stage!
Now that our FFXIV Dancer guide has helped you wrap your head around the basics of playing a Dancer, the best way to ensure that you have everything down is to go out and do. Practice makes perfect, as they say, and there's plenty of excellently designed dungeons in Shadowbringers for you to dance the night away. We'll have another guide out soon for those wanting to sink their teeth into Gunbreaker, so stay tuned to get your FFXIV fix.