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10 Final Fantasy 14 tips to conquer tank anxiety

consult a guide if you haven’t done so yet. 

3. Ask Novice Network or friends for help

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Newer players should have access to the Novice Network chat channel. Most NN chats have a mix of curious newcomers (or “sprouts”) and helpful mentors. Generally speaking, if you ask for help with a dungeon, you’ll get half-a-dozen eager volunteers ready to help you out. If you mention that you’re new to tanking, they may also offer advice as you go. If you have friends who play FF14, you can also ask them, since it’s usually not as daunting to make mistakes in front of people you know. 

4. Communicate with your party

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Repeat after me: “It's my first time tanking this dungeon, if there’s anything I should know.”

Sometimes you’ll get a helpful response, whether it’s the healer suggesting how many enemies you should engage, or a DPS explaining how boss mechanics work. 

Sometimes, you’ll get something snarky. (I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard “Stick it with the pointy end!”)

EIther way, the party knows to extend a little patience and grace. If you pretend to know exactly what you’re doing and then make a big mistake, then your companions may feel less magnanimous.

5. Watch dungeon-specific tanking guides

If you go on YouTube, you can find a comprehensive tank guide to any dungeon, trial or raid in FF14. If you emerge from a dungeon thinking, “That didn’t go well,” a guide can tell you what you missed, and how to do better next time.

You can also watch general tanking guides, which won’t spoil any of the story or gameplay for you. These are an excellent resource for new tanks, since they tend to focus on fundamentals rather than highly specific, situational tips. I personally love JoCat’s “Crap Guide to Final Fantasy 14 – Tanks,” but you may find yourself laughing too hard to internalize the lessons. 

6. Consult your map

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Half of your job as a tank is commanding the enemy’s attention; the other half is leading your party. Tanks are almost always first in the marching order, setting the pace for the dungeon and keeping everyone on the right path. Some dungeons are essentially just a straight line to the end, but most of them have branching pathways, and you may need to explore side rooms for keys, levers or treasure. You don’t want to lead your companions on a heroic charge to a dead end, so I recommend having the map open most of the time. 

7. Pull what you’re comfortable with

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When you first run a dungeon as a DPS or healer, you may marvel at the tank blazing forward, grabbing the attention of a dozen monsters at once. You don't have to do this, though. Veteran tanks don’t pull tons of enemies because there’s any special benefit to it; it just makes the dungeons go a bit faster. But remember: FF14 is a game, and everyone’s playing because they have free time to spare. I recommend starting with two groups of enemies per pull—or even one, if the enemies look particularly tough. Your healer will let you know if you should go for more. 

8. Remember your role

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If you first played a DPS class, your top priority in a dungeon is “killing enemies.” If you first played a healer class, your top priority in a dungeon is “keeping everyone alive.” As a tank, you’ll still do these things, but they’re not your primary responsibilities. Your job is to make sure every enemy in the room is attacking you—and that’s doubly true if you’re fighting a boss.

During boss fights, other players can generally handle smaller enemies or activate mechanics by themselves. In fact, running all over the arena to help them might do more harm than good, if a boss decides to unleash a powerful area-of-effect (AoE) attack. Generally speaking, if the enemies are focused on you, you’re doing fine.

9. Do your Duty Roulettes

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Tanking is a skill, and like any skill, the only way to get better at it is to practice. The easiest way to practice is to run down your list of Duty Roulettes every day. By the end of A Realm Reborn, you should have five different options: Level 50/60/70/80, Leveling, Trials, Main Scenario and Guildhests. These will toss you into dungeons or other multiplayer content with pick-up groups of other players, and you’ll get generous experience and currency bonuses for completing them.

More importantly, you don’t know which dungeons or trials you’ll get, so you’ll have to think on your feet and learn each one’s ins and outs. Over time, you’ll find that you can confidently lead a party through almost any dungeon, rather than just a few plot-specific ones.

10. Screw up really badly

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You can’t make this one happen, but trust me: If you play long enough, it will.

Sooner or later, you will lead a catastrophic dungeon run. You will run headfirst into every deadly mechanic the boss has as its disposal. You will flail wildly around the arena as the enemies’ AoEs decimate your entire party. You will fall off the edge of a cliff, leaving your companions to fend for themselves. And all of this will drag out a 20-minute adventure into an hourlong odyssey. Your party will be disappointed, or exasperated, or maybe even angry with you.

But here’s the thing: It’s not a big deal. A spectacular screw-up has almost no lasting consequences. You’ll still finish the dungeon. You’ll still get all the rewards. And if you’re lucky, you’ll learn from your mistakes. The scariest part of tanking is being afraid to fail, but failing is simply not a huge problem in FF14. And once you learn that firsthand, there’s nothing left to fear.