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An Incomplete Glossary of FFXIV Terms for New Players

It's like a whole new language.

Final Fantasy XIV terms are tricky. The critically acclaimed MMORPG has been running and growing for the better part of a decade now, with multiple expansions, countless updates, with more of both on the way. It’s also full of its own jargon that players then expand with shorthand and abbreviations. You need to communicate quickly in the thick of battle and the chatter of Free Company chat, after all.

It can be intimidating to step into the world of Eorzea and see party chat buzzing with different terminology that new players might not be familiar with while trying to run content. For all things both inside and outside of battle, here is a comprehensive list of some of the most common terms that players will see on their journey through Eorzea and beyond. 

LFPUsed when a player is looking for a party, usually to do some kind of difficult content that can't be done using the Duty Finder.
BuffAny temporary, positive effect that increases a character’s effectiveness in-game. E.g. a spell that causes you to do more damage for several seconds, a potion that increases your Vitality, etc.
DebuffThe opposite of a buff: any temporary, negative effect that impacts a character’s effectiveness in-game.
StacksUsually describes multiple uses of, or “stacks” of, any buff or debuff that can be consumed or otherwise removed. E.g. two stacks of a vulnerability debuff will cause you to take more damage than one stack of the same debuff. Whereas three stacks of a Paladin’s Sword Oath buff will allow you to use the Atonement skill three times, consuming one stack with each use. Stacks are typically indicated by a number on top of the buff/debuff icon.
HardcastingCasting a spell without the support of a buff that would make the cast more efficient.
SlidecastingMoving your character just before (typically less than a second) the timer shows you’re finished casting. Internet latency causes the spell to cast without canceling while you either reposition or begin casting again, quicker than if you waited.
GCDGlobal Cooldown: Your primary skills and abilities that are all subject to the same cooldown timer as one another. While the GCD timer is 2.5 seconds by default, these skills can be hastened by the Skill Speed and/or Spell Speed stats, depending on your class.
oGCDoff-Global Cooldown: Skills and abilities that run on their cooldown timers, independent of each other and your main GCDs. These typically have much longer cooldown timers but can be cast nearly any time they’re available.
WeavingWhen you perform an oGCD ability after using a GCD, while the GCD timer is still ticking down.
Double-WeavingWhen you perform two (2) oGCD abilities in between two GCDs without clipping.
ClippingWhen you are stopped from performing a GCD ability due to animation lock caused by an oGCD ability you’re already performing. You mostly want to avoid doing this, as you will lose time before performing your next GCD.
InvulnInvulnerable: Often more specifically refers to any Tank ability that makes the player (mostly) immortal for a short duration (i.e. Living Dead, Hallowed Ground, Superbolide, and Holmgang).
WipeWhen everyone in a party is knocked out, or “K.O.’d,” forcing the team to restart a particular encounter.
TelegraphA blanket term for any visual indicator that something (usually an enemy attack) is about to happen. This includes everything from orange circles on the ground to a boss always raising its left arm before a specific attack.
AoEArea-of-Effect: Any spell or ability that covers a certain radius around a targeted area, potentially hitting multiple targets at once. It can also reference an enemy attack that covers a certain radius, commonly indicated by orange, often circular markers on the ground.
RaidwideA community phrase describing any boss attack that deals unavoidable damage to the entire party, no matter where they stand or what they do. Healers are meant to counter with their own AoE heals.
TankbusterA category of attack performed by most bosses. They usually have a long windup time that, when complete, ends in an extremely powerful single-target attack directed at the Tank (or whoever the boss is targeting). Healers are meant to counteract this with powerful single-target heals or barriers, while Tanks should try to shield themselves.
Stack (marker)When players need to get in close proximity to share damage from an enemy attack, lest the target is one-hit-killed. Commonly indicated by orange, glowing, inward-pointing arrow markers above a single player alongside a pulsing audio cue. Sometimes just referred to as “stack” or “stack marker,” but not to be confused with “stacks” of buffs and debuffs.
CleaveNon-telegraphed AoE damage that “spills over” from enemy auto-attacks onto nearby players. Tanks typically face bosses away from allies to prevent cleaves and other, similar mechanics from hitting them without warning.
DoTDamage-Over-Time: Attacks and spells that cause bleed damage over several seconds. Also poison.
HoTHeal-Over-Time: Any effect (usually a spell) that causes a target to regain hit points periodically, usually once per in-game “tick” of the clock.
TickUsually refers to an in-game “tick of the clock,” at which point DOTS and HOTS are applied, mana regenerates, and other time-based elements progress one-by-one. More rarely refers specifically to “tick rate,” or “server tick” — more technical terms used across many online games to refer to how quickly data is delivered between a computer and a server.
LBLimit Break: A super-action only available in group content like dungeons. Every party shares one LB gauge that fills up during combat, but any player can consume the charge with a single button press. Different classes cause different effects when using a Limit Break.
LB3A third-level Limit Break, available once all three bars of your LB Gauge (when in an eight-player party) are filled. These “Full Parties” will almost always wait until LB3 is available to actually use the Limit Break, as the effect is much more potent than a partially charged LB.
PFParty Finder: An in-game tool used to create custom groups of players for certain content.
Adds“Additional enemies.” This refers to weaker foes that spawn during a boss fight.
Trash MobsSometimes just “trash” or “mobs,” this refers to weak, normal enemies that spawn outside of boss fights — usually between major encounters during dungeons. Derived from ye olden video game term “mobile,” as in a “mobile enemy,” used in MUDs, in case you were wondering.
Pre-PullThe moments before a fight is initiated. This is when you buff yourself and/or allies, eat stat-boosting food, or otherwise begin casting spells before the Tank starts the fight in order to optimize your opening damage. Tougher, more complex fights usually start with a countdown timer initiated by someone in your party.
PullWhen the Tank (or any player) draws the attention of enemies.
EnmityThe FFXIV term for “aggro,” or “aggression.” If a player “has aggro” or “has enmity,” it means the boss or other enemies are focusing their attacks on that player. 99% of the time, this will fall on your Tank. Levels of Enmity are indicated by yellow, orange, or red icons next to an enemy’s name, with red meaning that unit is directly targeting you.
EnrageWhen a boss, notably in high-difficulty raids, suddenly becomes much more difficult — or otherwise instantly wipes the party. This state is tied to invisible “enrage timers,” and is basically meant to force players to complete encounters (or phases of encounters) quickly.
HPHit points, or just health. Your basic resource that determines how much damage you can take before you’re knocked out and need to be revived in some fashion. If you take more damage than you have HP, it’s K.O.
MPMana Points, or just mana. This is the basic ability and spell resource all classes share. Certain abilities require a certain amount of mana to cast or activate. The maximum MP cap for every class is 10,000.
MechanicA generic term used to describe enemy attacks or tasks that require special actions in a fight, such as when you need to stand in a specific spot, look away from a target, etc.
MTMain Tank: The Tank in an eight-player party (typically Raids or Trials) who will pull the boss’ Enmity during a fight.
OTOff Tank: The Tank in an eight-player party (typically Raids or Trials) who DOES NOT draw Enmity from the boss at the start. Some fights feature mechanics where the Main Tank and Off Tank must switch roles to survive, or the Off Tank may need to aggro adds that spawn partway through.
TrainUsually refers to a “Hunt Train” or “FATE Train.” These are large collections of often unfamiliar players that move as a group from one activity (i.e. hunt target or FATE) to the next in quick succession for efficient completion.
FCFree Company: The FFXIV term for “guilds,” or organizations of human players for the purpose of chatting, setting up parties, and other uses. FCs also get special benefits like “actions” that boost members’ XP gains and other goodies.
GCGrand Company: The FFXIV term for whichever in-game faction you join during the early main story. This determines your teams in competitive multiplayer, and where your “GC headquarters” is located. Your headquarters sells items for Seals and lets you form a Squadron to run low-level dungeons without needing to matchmake.
PVEPlayer Versus Environment: Any activity during which human players, solo or in a group, fight against in-game bosses, monsters, etc. This is a blanket term that includes Trials, Raids, Dungeons, FATEs, and more.
PVPPlayer Versus Player: A blanket term for any competitive multiplayer content where human players challenge each other to earn various rewards.
PotDPalace of the Dead: A special, randomized “deep dungeon” players can access at Level 17 after the quest “The House that Death Built” in New Gridania. PotD is then only accessible from Quarrymill in the South Shroud (coordinates x:25.2 y:20.6). Commonly used as one of the best sources of combat XP in the game up to Level 60.
HoHHeaven-on-High: The follow-up to Palace of the Dead. After completing floor 50 of PotD and the quest “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” in The Ruby Sea, HoH becomes accessible in Crick, also in The Ruby Sea (coordinates x:21.4 y:9.2). Commonly used as one of the best sources of combat XP in the game from Level 61-70.
VDVarian Dungeon - Content added in Endwalker that sends players through a Dungeon with multiple paths depending on different scenarios.
SealsShorthand for “Grand Company Seals.” This is a special currency earned from multiple activities, including FATEs, that you can spend at your Grand Company headquarters for various items and actions.
FoodIn-game items sold by NPCs or crafted by the Culinarian class. These provide 30-minute buffs to different stats, depending on the food type. The duration can be lengthened by Free Company actions.
PotsPotions: Consumable items that provide stat bonuses and other effects. These have a much smaller window of effect than Food, as well as a cooldown time before they can be used again, but often have more potent effects.
RezResurrection: The act of healing a K.O.’d player back to life, typically mid-battle. Resurrection usually leaves the healed player with a short-term negative status effect, causing them to be weakened for a short time.
Gap CloserDescribes any skill used to make the player move from one spot to another very quickly, or “close the gap” between them and a boss. Example: the Dark Knight’s “Plunge” skill.
DoLDisciple of the Land: A blanket term for the various gathering classes in FFXIV (Miner, Botanist, and Fisher).
DoHDisciple of the Hand: A blanket term for the various crafting classes in FFXIV (Alchemist, Armorer, Blacksmith, Carpenter, Culinarian, Goldsmith, Leatherworker, and Weaver).
BiSBest in Slot: Refers to any weapon or piece of armor that is the best in the game for a particular class in a particular slot. For example, if a helmet is “BiS” for tanks, it’s statistically the most powerful helmet in the game at the moment for those classes.
PentameldRefers to “melding,” i.e. attaching, five total pieces of Materia to a given piece of gear. This is usually very expensive and time-consuming, but also a necessary step to achieve most “best in slot” gear (particularly near the end of any expansion’s lifecycle).
RelicUsually short for “Relic Weapon,” this refers to endgame weapons — as well as tools for DoH and DoL Jobs — only acquired and upgraded through lengthy side quests chains.
iLvlShort for “Item Level,” this is the true power level of a particular piece of gear, indicated when looking at its stats. Gear can have the same player level requirements, for example Level 90, but still have a different Item Levels. The higher the iLvl, the more powerful the equipment. The player also has an overall iLvl based on the Item Levels of all their currently equipped gear put together.
RPRoleplaying - Some players engage in the lore of FFXIV and like to roleplay in the game. It's also a tag that can be applied to indicate you are looking for roleplay.

Got any more commonly used words or phrases that we missed? Let us know in the comments and we’ll try to include them! The FFXIV technical terminology is always growing, so we’ll be updating this list as necessary. Until then, this hopefully helps you out!

About the Authors


Senior Managing Editor of Fanbyte.com and co-founder of the website. Everyone should listen to their opinions and recommendations sooner.

Jessica Scharnagle

Starting as an esports journalist in 2018, Jessica has been writing for a little over five years now. She is a big Final Fantasy XIV nerd who has been playing since 2021 and has put a more than 5,000 hours in it since then. She also teaches journalism at Rowan University.