The best FFXIV ranged DPS rankings aren’t going to change much with the release of Endwalker. This subcategory of the damage-dealing role is mostly just getting new toys and some ease-of-use adjustments. However, the three classes have some important differences to understand both now and going forward. If you don’t care at all about buffing your allies, for instance, there’s really only one obvious choice. And if you’re here to play a utility-centric support, you ought to know the differences in effectiveness.
Like all Jobs in FFXIV, though, it’s worth noting that everything is pretty damn viable right now. The game already smoothed over quite a few rough edges in all roles with Shadowbringers (as evidenced by the relatively few changes in ranged DPS specifically). So personal preference and play style are important considerations, rather than simply icing on the cake. Assuming you understand that, it’s time to move on to our physical ranged DPS rankings!
If you’d prefer to look at the other DPS options, however, we’ve also got you covered:
Prospective tank players can also check out our rankings here:
And finally, our thoughts on FFXIV healers can be found here:
Note: While we do have details on Job actions going into Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, those skills and especially their potencies are currently subject to change. As such these rankings will likely change when the new, reworked FFXIV DPS classes are in the wild.
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B Tier: Bard – FFXIV Ranged DPS Rankings
With Summoner losing its damage over time (DoT) skills in Endwalker, Bard is now the ranged poisoner to beat. Though the Job lives up to its name with songs that buff nearby allies as well. That aspect is extended (literally) with Endwalker, with the various ballads lasting 50 percent longer than in Shadowbringers. After you play any of these songs, you can thing trigger Radiant Finale, which grants up to another five percent damage to your party for 15 seconds.
The Bard also provides bonus healing, defense, Critical Hit rate, and a much smaller one percent damage boost right now. They can even prevent or remove certain status effects from allies — a slightly niche skill that will presumably be more important in Endwalker when it adds to the power of Radiant Finale.
While all these songs are playing, you’re dealing those DoTs. The poison, in turn, powers up your archery with a random chance to increase your attack and skill speed. That’s doubly useful on physical ranged DPS classes; you’re basically attacking all the time after all. It’s a more-or-less passive perk of the role.
Bard is, in essence, the poster child for utility (i.e. providing bonuses to allies). That’s only more true than ever in Endwalker but has never been a bad thing to have. Not even if your personal DPS isn’t quite as high or reliable as some with the elements of randomness you need to contend with, too.
B Tier: Machinist – FFXIV Ranged DPS Rankings
Machinist is basically the inverse of Bard: a physical damage-dealer that doesn’t give much to allies. It’s one of the so-called “selfish” DPS classes, along with Samurai and Black Mage. And it’s true that the gun wielders don’t bring much utility. Instead they deal heavily consistent damage (e.g. their Reassemble plus Drill combo). Said damage isn’t higher than the highest end of Black Mage players, but still quite solid since it doesn’t require the player to stand still. As a Machinist, you can attack and move as much as you want, like a melee DPS at a distance without the positional requirements.
This fire and forget attitude extends into what has become their signature skill: the Automaton Queen. The big, brass lady operates independently (hence the “automaton” part) and just repeatedly dishes out damage with no regard for what else is going on in the fight.
Unleashing the metal beast relies on building up a Battery Gauge — and specifically over-building it for maximum queen time. While you’re working on this, you can continually overheat your gun to deal extra damage and reduce refresh times on offensive skills. Like other self-centered Jobs, this one isn’t too complicated. There’s not much going on under the hood building building up your combos and firing. Though it feels great to constantly be in the fight.
B Tier: Dancer – FFXIV Ranged DPS Rankings
Dancer lands somewhere between the Machinist and the Bard. It’s a ranged class with plenty of utility; you could even argue that the buffs here are more valuable than on the archer. Either way, it almost never feels bad to have a Dancer or two on your team. They can reduce damage on tanks, increase DPS, and help healers with that whole healing thing.
On the other hand, Dancer also has a reputation for being pretty… mindless. Even more so than the Red Mage over with the magic users. You mostly just use whatever skill your hotbar tells you to (denoted by flashing icons when random chance dictates a combo skill is ready). Then execute your dances when a buff needs refreshing and you’re good to go. The heavy reliance on RNG means you can also get absolutely screwed on personal damage — or you can become a total death machine. The variance isn’t usually that wild, in practice, but it can be frustrating if it’s not outright boring.
Your teammates will likely still thank you, however. And like the other physical ranged DPS classes, that doesn’t change much with Endwalker. Dancer is staying pretty much the same with a few quality-of-life improvements and more defensive options while the Bard evens the playing field on damage buffs. It sounds like the margin for error on healing is getting slimmer this expansion, so mitigation might be more useful than ever before. We’ll see!