FFXIV Reaper Guide: Unlock Quest, Early Rotation, and Leveling Up Fast

Reaper brings the heat as the new DPS Job in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker. Here's our starter's guide on how to unlock and play Reaper.

A new expansion means new Jobs in the world of Final Fantasy XIV. This time around with Endwalker, we have some fantastic additions with Reaper and Sage. And if you’re looking to spice up your Melee DPS gameplay or like the idea of summoning a Grim Reaper to fight by your side, you should probably be playing as Reaper in FFXIV.

Here, we’ll show you how to unlock Reaper (it’s very easy) and guide you on how to play Reaper properly at level 70 so you can start off on the right foot. We also have suggestions on how to level up quickly to help accelerate your progress and use Reaper in higher-level content. 

How to Unlock Reaper

First thing’s first: you need to actually unlock Reaper. You are required to at least have one other combat Job at level 70 and own Endwalker on your account. Next, you need to seek out the quest called “The Killer Instinct” at the Steps of Nald in Ul’dah from the Flustered Attendant NPC — the exact coordinates are X: 12.8, Y: 8.6

After some brief dialogue and cutscenes, you’ll complete the quest and get the Reaper’s Soul Crystal and a coffer with the proper gear to get you started. However, the gear coffer will not include accessories. You should be able to use accessories from other Melee DPS Jobs, but if you don’t have them or want better gear, go buy some at a Market Board or spend Tomestones of Poetics (if you have enough) to get Augmented Scaevan gear, which is the best you can get at level 70.

Right after unlocking Reaper, we highly recommend you do the follow-up quest called “The Harvest Begins.” You get a chunk of EXP and a tutorial-like instance that will show you the ropes on how to play the Job. But there’s a bit more nuance you’ll need to wrap your head around gameplay-wise.

Gameplay Guide and Early Reaper Rotation

Reaper starts off at level 70 and comes with a well-developed and streamlined skillset from the jump. Below is a simplified guide outlining how you should be using your skills and abilities as Reaper.

  • Basic single-target combo: Slice -> Waxing Slice -> Infernal Slice.
    • Each attack adds 10 points to the Soul Gauge.
  • Basic AoE combo: Spinning Scythe -> Nightmare Scythe.
    • Each attack adds 10 points to the Soul Gauge.
  • Once the Soul Gauge hits 50 points, use Blood Stalk (single-target) or Grim Swathe (cone AoE).
    • You are then granted the Soul Reaver effect.
  • Use the attacks Gibbet (flank), Gallows (rear), or Guillotine (cone AoE) while under the Soul Reaver effect.
    • The positional conditions above indicate additional potency when executed from said position.
    • You must use any of these three while under Soul Reaver; otherwise, the opportunity is lost.
    • Using Gallows grants Enhanced Gibbet, and using Gibbet grants Enhanced Gallows — the next time you get the Soul Reaver effect, use whichever one is enhanced for additional potency.
  • Always use Shadow of Death (single-target) or Whorl of Death (AoE) to apply the effect of Death’s Design on enemies before starting your main attacks. 
    • Death’s Design gives you a 10% damage buff on affected enemies.
    • One hit from either attack applies the effect for 30 seconds, and it can be applied for a maximum of 60 seconds — just make sure it never drops off.
    • Killing an enemy that was under the effect will also give you an additional 10 points to the Soul Gauge.
  • Use Soul Slice (single-target) or Soul Scythe (AoE) as soon as possible and weave into your rotation when it’s available (30-second shared cooldown).
    • Both attacks are oGCDs that give you 50 points to the Soul Gauge, making Blood Stalk and Grim Swathe available immediately.
  • Don’t underestimate the utility of Hell’s Ingress and Hell’s Egress
    • These skills teleport you 15 yalms forward and 15 yalms backward, respectively.
    • This gives Reaper a lot of added mobility to dodge attacks or close gaps in battle.
    • Using either one makes Harpe an instant-cast, letting you do a bit of damage from a distance.

For a more comprehensive look at the Job, be sure to read our full Reaper overview and breakdown. It accounts for the skills and abilities available once you hit the cap at level 90.

How to Level Up Fast

While it’s nice that you start off at a fairly high level, it’s still a long road to the level cap — especially for Reaper since its skillset doesn’t truly open up until level 80. This gives you room to get adjusted to the new Job, but you’ll want to get there sooner rather than later.

Level 70 – 71

In these early days of Endwalker and Reaper being a new Job, you’re likely to find what are called FATE trains. These are groups of players who rush from one FATE to another in any given zone to grind for EXP. Some are in parties but most are just random players who band together to team up. For level 70 and above, seek out FATEs in Shadowbringers‘ zones. If you find a group doing the same, stick with them. The more players in a FATE train, the faster the grind.

The nut hunt is an easy-going way to snag some decent daily EXP on your own, so hopefully you have the Clan Nutsy Hunt Board in the Crystarium unlocked. With this, you can take up bounties, which ask you to kill a number of specific enemies in certain Shadowbringers zones. Each bounty tells you where to find the enemy so it’s not too difficult. 

Of course, the Duty Roulette is your main go-to source for grinding EXP. Exhausting each type of Roulette for the daily bonus is always a smart move. The only thing is that queue times for DPS players tend to be quite long. At least you can hop on a FATE train or do any other non-Duty content while you wait.

Level 71 – 80

Once you hit level 71, you have additional opportunities for racking up EXP. The first thing I’d suggest is taking your Reaper to the Bozjan Southern Front. It’s a separate instanced zone with 72 total players. You’ll want to seek out Skirmishes (basically FATEs) and Critical Engagements (random Trial-like boss fight events) while in Bozja because these give you very generous chunks of EXP and pop up quite frequently. If you don’t have the Bozjan Southern Front unlocked, refer to our optional content guide to see what you need to do.

The Bozjan Southern Front is great because you get synced up to level 80 and your gear level is set to 430. This means you also get access to more of your Job’s skillset at level 80. However, you do not get access to Enshroud since that ability is unlocked via the level 80 Job quest. It’s unfortunate because Enshroud is the most important gameplay mechanic for Reaper (see more in our full Reaper overview and breakdown).

At level 71, you can start using the Trust System to run Shadowbringers dungeons with your fellow Scions. This is great for DPS Jobs because you save time by not having to wait in lengthy queues. However, it can be quite the grind as it takes about three dungeon runs to gain one level, and repeatedly running the same dungeon can be tedious even if it’s efficient. If you’ve already been doing this for other Jobs, maybe stick to Bozja (unless you don’t mind the grind).

And again, you’ll always want to exhaust the daily bonuses offered in your Duty Roulette, even if queue times tend to be long. It remains a good source of EXP through later levels!