Final Fantasy XIV – How to Play Machinist

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Final Fantasy XIV – How to Play Machinist

Here you'll learn everything you need to know about Machinist and how to do the pew pew.

If you listen to the online discourse around Final Fantasy XIV and the current job balance, then you might get the impression that Machinist isn't as impressive as its ranged brethren. The Machinist is the physical ranged counterpart to Black Mage, while it doesn't bring much to the party outside of two party-wide defensive buffs. It does bring damage, especially with the recent buffs to the job, Machinist is in a great spot if you can take the heat.

Machinist is next to Ninja one of the busiest jobs in the game, you're constantly juggling resources and cooldown timers under the gun of a timer. Sounds stressful but Machinist is one of the most fun jobs to just pick up and play. All of its abilities are just incredibly snappy, look amazing and there's just the coolness factor of shooting a gun while doing backflip Mc-Twists. And did we mention you get a robot that can do rocket punches? That visual alone makes it worth bringing!

Just don't worry too much about the practical application of Flamethrower, Square Enix hasn't either and I'm pretty sure it's only in the game as a Job exclusive emote at this point.


Final Fantasy XIVs version of the Machinist is a blend of the classic Machinist Job from Final Fantasy IV as well as the Gunner from Final Fantasy VII. They share some common elements, namely the part in which they shoot a gun. But the Machinist is defined by their usage of different tools on the battlefield. Which range from a chainsaw blade-thrower to a regular flamethrower all the way to a miniature Gundam with self-destruction capabilities.

In Final Fantasy XIVs lore, they are the odd ones out in terms of Jobs. While some jobs like the Red Mage or Paladin have long and proud traditions to look back to, the Machinist is a rather new discipline. The player character is actually one of the first proper Machinists and you help to develop this new art of combat, the art of shooting things with a gun.

The Machinist finds its origin in Ishgard where brilliant engineers are looking for new ways to combat dragons. Utilizing the famed gunner skills of Limsa Lominsa's pirates and the technical marvels of Garlean engineering, the Machinist is born who can utilize their own aetheric energies to fuel their tools in combat. And it's up to you to prove that his new art or combat is worth its money or not.

Road to Machinist

The Machinist was introduced with the award-winning Heavensward Expansion, and it tragically has the same limitations other Jobs from that expansion have. To unlock the Machinist you must have completed A Realm Reborn and its post-patch content and reach level 50. Once you've started the first quest of the Heavensward Main Scenario ‘Coming to Ishgard', which lets you into the city of Ishgard you can talk to Stephanivien in the Foundation and accept the quest ‘So You Want to Be a Machnist'.

Complete the follow-up quest and you'll unlock the Job as well as some gear to get going. The Machinist job starts at level 30 and you'll get an introductory questline up to level 50. Make sure to do all of your job requests as they unlock new abilities as well as some gear.

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Machinist 101

Unlike the proc-heavy Dancer or the Bard who operates on a tight schedule of buffs, DoTs, and meter management the Machinist is a little more freeform. So at first glance, it can come off as a little chaotic as it always seems like you're spoiled for choice in terms of abilities. But at its core, Machinist revolves around managing two resource meters on top of various big cooldowns and a very intense 10-second burst window. With the recent changes, you're no longer that much at the mercy of your internet service provider and Final Fantasy XIVs server tick rate.

There are two resources you have to manage, Battery and Heat. You generate both by performing various weaponskills. Heat feeds into your Hypercharge ability which allows you to enter a special state in which you can use Heat Blast and Auto Crossbow in quick succession while they also generate additional charges for Gauss Round and Ricochet. This is a quick burst that you can then pair with your Wildfire ability every 2 minutes for massive damage.

Your Battery gauge allows you to summon the Rook Autoturret and later the Automaton Queen. Both are pets that will temporarily support you on the battlefield by dealing damage. Before timing out, they'll automatically use the Rook/Queen Overdrive ability to deal massive damage. So you only have to worry about using those manually if a boss is about to do a phase transition.

Then you have your Reassemble ability which guarantees a critical hit with your next weaponskill. It's on a relatively short cooldown so you'll want to use it as much as possible and generate new charges. You want to use this one with one of your big weaponskills, Air Anchor, Drill, or Chain Saw. It doesn't matter which one since all three do the same amount of damage and only differentiates in the resource they generate and how cool they look. Oh, and when fighting against groups you can use it on Bioblaster as well.

Machinist Utility

 Unlike the other ranged DPS, Machinist doesn't have much to offer in terms of Utility. You get a big defensive buff in Tactician that reduces damage taken for everyone in range by 10% which is pretty useful whenever partywide damage is going off. If you're not the only ranged DPS in the party, try to coordinate because the skill won't stack with Troubadour or Shield Samba.

And with 6.3 we finally got Dismantle back. Which have you throwing a wrench at the enemy! Besides looking funny, especially with that metallic ‘clonk' sound effect, it reduced the damage dealt by an enemy by 10% for 10 seconds. Probably best used before any big cast, even tankbusters or stack mechanics. It's on a pretty long cooldown though so make sure to coordinate with your team.


You've probably noticed that compared to other Jobs, Machinist doesn't really have a normal rotation. You're just utilizing everything you have all at once and make on the fly decisions with what you have. And that's good Job design, isn't it?

The only thing you have to worry about is that you meet your 1-minute burst windows on time to benefit from the partywide buffs that'll go off every 2 minutes. Generally though, if you just play Machinist the way you're supposed to, aka just use everything you have in the somewhat the right order, all of these should align naturally.

Multi-Target Encounters

On Multi-Target Encounters and for Machinist that means whenever there are two or more enemies in front of you, you start off with using Reassemble and then Bioblaster to get the damage over time effect on them. Then you use your next Reassemble for Chain Saw, be mindful of your positioning here because Chain Saw shoots in a straight line instead of a cone.

Use Barrel Stabilizer to make Hypercharge available, use it, and go ham with Auto Crossbow while weaving Ricochet and Gauss Round.

You can use Wildfire here but usually, enemies won't live long enough for you to see much benefit from it, and it's a bit of a waste if you use it before a boss room.

Next, you'll use Flamethrower, be careful not to move while casting it though as the effect expires the moment you move. Now just use Spreadshot/Scattergun until everything else comes back off cooldown again and repeat this whole process. And don't forget to use your Rook turret/ Automaton Queen whenever it's ready.

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Single-Target Encounters

Unlike many other Jobs, the Machinists 1-2-3 combo Split Shot/ Heated Split Shot, Slug Shot/ Heated Slug Shot, and Clean Shot/ Heated Clean Shot is something you fall back on if there's nothing else to use. They are not your bread-and-butter combo that everything else spins off of. Instead, its something you use to fill the gaps between your Hypercharged induced burst and your big weapon skill cooldowns.

Another thing you want to look out for is to weave Ricochet and Gauss Round constantly, while Ricochet hits multiple targets, these two still share the same potency so they're equally valuable against a single target.

Since there isn't really much to explain here in terms of a rotation, we'll explain everything in the upcoming opener section instead. Just know there is little you can do wrong on a Machinist, it's a very easy job to pick up and everything falls into place as long as you do your opener correctly. And even then there's not much room for error as long as you prioritize your big weaponskills, Hypercharge, and don't forget to use the Rook/Queen every minute or so.


You start off by using Reassemble a little before the pull, ca. 5 seconds before you use Air Anchor after that you weave Gauss Round and Ricochet, followed up by Drill weaved with Barrel Stabilizer. Then you use your basic combo once and weave Gauss Round and Ricochet against between Heated Slug Shot and Heated Clean Shot.

After you weave another Reassemble, then Wildfire before you use Chain Saw and weave both Automaton Queen and Hypercharge to initiate your burst phase. Now you get to spam Heatblast five times while weaving Ricochet or Gauss Round between each charge before you finish off with Drill.

From here on out you just continue using all your abilities as they come back up. Everything should fall into place so the only thing you actually have to worry about is the proper placement of your Automaton Queen which should be every minute. Just make sure to line up using her with the 2-minute buff window. The same goes for Reassemble, it's okay to sit on two of those for a few seconds if you're gonna use them under party buffs anyways.

And that's pretty much all there's to know about Machinist damage optimization. It seems a little messy from the outside but once you've spent some time with it on a target dummy it's easy to get comfortable with it. Just don't try and double weave in between Heatblast and make sure to use Ricochet and Gauss Round while constantly switching between the two.

Closing Thoughts

With the most recent patch, it seems like Machinist is finally out of the water and back in the spot it deserves to be. A really fun job that is easy to pick up and play and very demanding if you want to excel at it. And if anyone tells you that you should play Bard of Dancer instead, tell them that Machinist damage is currently only slightly beneath Black Mage and that it more than makes up for the lack of buffs now. You just have to bring the skill now.

There aren't many cool-kid tricks of Machinist, but it should be common knowledge that none of your big weapon skill cooldowns break your default combo. And you can hold a combo for up to 10 seconds so don't stress too much about dropping it, most of your non-combo weaponskills do as much if not more damage.

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Final Fantasy XIV – How to Play Machinist
Timo Reinecke
Has once claimed that FSH is the only job in FFXIV worth playing and stands by that firmly. Top Guy, Smart Guy, Educated Speaker. (sometimes) Writer of all things FFXIV, FGC, News, Reviews and More