I. Introduction: First, I can't stress enough that it is very difficult to solo in FFXI.

For those of you coming to FFXI from another game where you soloed part, or even most of the time (like I did) this can be a startling reality. I was in denial about the soloing situation, and in an effort to explore every avenue of solo possibilities I collected the information for this guide. You will want a party at some point. It is possible to solo all the way through FFXI, and this guide will tell you how. However, it would take so very long to accomplish certain sections, even in ideal cases, that you will eventually prefer a party over the incredible difficulty, tedium and duration of a solo experience. SE wants you to at least try partying. It's obviously what the game was designed for. For other readers of this guide, I'd like to clarify a few things about people who solo. First, enjoying the solo experience does not mean that person is anti-social. Soloers aren't by nature hostile. I like to solo myself for several reasons: I may not have the time to invest in party formation, or enough time after party formation to spent enough time in the party as to not feel guilty when I leave. I may have frequen periods of being AFK, which would be harmful to a party, but want to accomplish something in game. I may just want some time away from some of the annoyances of being dependent on others' skills. I may want to see what my character is capable of. These things apply to other people, but do not include every reason that someone may want to solo. I'm not going to talk about gaining experience in a party, as there are plenty of guides for that - this guide is for soloers. I'm also talking about soloing for experience here. Even though the guide is for soloing, I don't think anyone should actually try to solo the whole way. It will be extremely difficult and time consuming, and honestly I think you'll have more fun if you just party and solo as an occasional alternative. Also, you'll notice that the only three jobs that I believe can be soloed from 1 tro 75 are both advanced jobs, which means you have to already have a job at 30 to play them. You can get to 30 with a starting job using some of the methods explained in this guide, but I don't recommend it. Any job except the three listed in the following section simply solo too slowly to warrant doing it for regular experience. Any job can solo to level 15, and I recommend doing so, because parties from 10-15 can often be counter-productive. The exception to this is bard and white mage. Party those at level 10. (this is from my experience. It just seems like partying as a brd or whm at level 10 is more effective than solo. You can solo longer with these jobs if you want). II. Rationale: The rationale behind SE making it extremely difficult to solo is as follows: This is a Final Fantasy game first, and an MMORPG second. Just because you played the single player FF series rpgs by yourself, doesn't mean that you had one character. You controlled a party of characters. It was extremely rare in a FF game to see a character acting alone. It is the same case here in FFXI, in which in rare circumstances you are requried to be solo (Maat fights, mini-avatar battles, etc). The number of characters you had with you varied from game to game, from around three to a great many (as in FF tactics). A FF favorite of many is FFVII, in which the extremely powerful Cloud is in a party for 99% of the game, and he was a main character. In spite of people naming themselves after Lion or other main storyline characters in FFXI, you aren't one. You're more like a character in FF tactics, a freelance adventurer with a designated job to be performed with a group of people. If you want to beat that system, SE lets you - but you have to earn it. III. The three jobs that can solo from 1 to 75: Beastmaster This is the undisputed king of soloing, and seems to be the only job with soloing in its design. Beastmasters can charm certain creatures and use them as pets. Even after a recent nerf, beastmasters are able to come close enough to the experience rate of a mediocre party to make soloing for experience worth while. There's an in-depth

beastmaster guide here: http://www.gamefaqs.com/computer/doswin/game/555735.html, which recommends white mage sub for soloing (to reduce downtime, primarily) or thief sub for gil and some extra dps. Dragoon Dragoons are a dps job that happens to have a little dragon pet. This pet responds to actions you take, and spells that you cast. If you have white mage or red mage subbed, and are below 1/3 health, the dragon will heal you whenever you cast a spell. This means that from day one, dragoons can solo fairly well, and keep it up. Some dragoons may disagree with me in saying that they can solo all the way to 75, but that's just because it does take a while. Dragoon is not as fast as beastmaster for soloing, but it's an alternative if you just don't want to be a beastmaster. It was discovered that dragoon can actually solo at any level because for a long while (although I don't think it's the case now) dragoons had a hard time finding a party. I've seen dragoons soloing even match, and tough enemies without looking as though they're going to die. Your dragon can heal you for a fair amount, and will do so when you cast dia, which costs only 7 mp. With that, you can heal yourself many times in a fight, while doing fair damage, and having little downtime. Ninja Ninja can actually solo very well. I've heard of ninjas killing even match and higher with very little downtime once they get to level 37 and can learn Utsusemi: Ni. With their fairly respectable melee damage, debuffs, etc I hear they do fairly well. I had a conversation with a ninja who soloed from the mid 40s to the mid 60s with warrior subbed. Other ninjas like to use /whm for buffs, status removal and heals to reduce downtime and increase survivability. Originally I placed ninja into the 'Jobs that can solo part of their careers' category, but some ninjas suggested that I move it in with the jobs that can solo the whole way, and because of their reports of successfully soloing at any level I have done so. However, you will have more trouble with this before you get Utsusemi: Ni than you would after, which is compounded slightly by the fact that if you're subbing white mage, you won't have some of the more useful spells like regen, stoneskin, and blink until after level 40 ninja. IV. Jobs that can solo part of their careers: Black Mage When I first started (around North American release) black mages were considered very poor soloers. I'm not sure why. Honestly very few people solo as a black mage because they get parties fairly quickly. However, if you want to spend some solo time as a black mage for whatever reason, you can do so using Sleep. Black mages can learn Sleep at level 20, and if you can reliably land Sleep on a target, you can solo it. Particularly difficult enemies that can be put to sleep, but that you may not have enough mp to kill would simply require some drinks, or some ether. Black mages use a simple strategy. Stand far enough away, cast a hard hitting nuke, cast sleep ASAP, get some more distance and cast another nuke. This can be a little boring, but it's fairly effective. Unfortunately you can't do this too many times before you need to rest, and the downtime can be terrible. To reduce downtime, you'll want some proper food. Subbing summoner will reduce downtime at level 50 (25smn) but you'll lose some handy spells that you would have had from subbing white mage (stoneskin, blink, and status removal), but that's up to you. The experience will come in large bursts when you kill something difficult, but the downtime makes this something that you won't want to do all that often. You'll get half (at the most) of the experience you could get in the average party using this method. I hear that once you acquire ancient magic at high levels you can take out a DC enemy with one spell, but you know, those spells take about 20 seconds to cast and use a huge amount of mp, so be advised. Red Mage Red mages actually solo fairly well. The experience can be faster than soloing as a black mage, and the downtime is less. However, the fights will last longer, so there's a slight tradeoff. Currently, red mage is considered the most adept soloer among the mages

(although that may change with blue mage, we'll see). Red mages can solo using the same sleep method that black mages can use, although they have to wait 5 more levels, as they don't get Sleep til 25. With Refresh at 41, and proper equipment later on, this can be accomplished with very little (or no) downtime. Since the nukes you'll be using won't be as strong as black mage, the fights will last longer, especially since you'll probably want the enemy to sleep a little while you recover mp. Another popular method of soloing as a red mage is to sub ninja. At 24 rdm/nin you'll get Utsusemi: Ichi, which absorbs a few hits. At 74 rdm/nin you'll have Utsusemi: Ni, which can be used together with Ichi. Those, plus stoneskin, blink, regen, refresh and cures, and it becomes almost impossible to kill a rdm/ nin at high levels. That combination will literally outlast almost anything. The trouble with this combination is that the fights take a very, very long time. You'll be doing much of your damage with your sword, and ninja components cost gil and take up inventory space. Thief Thief can solo fairly well using a combination of ranged weapons with special arrows, sneak attack, trick attack, and for difficult situations perfect dodge and flee. I'm not able to find a guide on this, and havn't had much information, but I hear that it's certainly possible. I'd sub white mage at lower levels for reduced downtime and ninja at higher levels for Utsusemi. I'll update this when I have more information. Additional information: Thieves use bloody bolts to resore their hp when soloing. Rangers and, I think, warriors, can use them too, but it's most effective for thieves because they don't get hit very often with their high evasion and utsusemi. When soloing, thiefs should stick to easy prey at best, because the higher your level is compared to the mob's, the more your high evesion matters. Starting at level 50, thf can equip the crow gear which makes soloing much, much easier. the crow gear boosts evasion greatly and makes easy prey miss more often than they hit. - Ionia, thief on Caitsith Monk Currently when I want to solo I play my monk. Monks can solo to 20, although it gets a little rough around 15, by subbing white mage for reduced downtime and just beating things using very little strategy. The closer you get to 20, however, the harder this becomes, until it just becomes much better to party. From there, you should party until you get to 41 and acquire Chi Blast. Every three minutes, a monk can unleash a chi blast that does very impressive damage. The damage is calculated using the MND stat, and is greatly affected by the number of times you've used the Boost ability in the last three minutes. When soloing, you should have white mage subbed. It will boost your MND stat to about the base of your STR. Using +MND items you can increase this admirably. Boost a few times, start autoattack from out of range, cast regen on yourself, use Focus and Dodge, then use Chi Blast. You'll hit very hard, and then should use a macro to switch back to your melee equipment to finish the battle. Doing this you can solo even match or the occasional tough enemy. Chi Blast is reliable damage because it bypasses enemy def and resist. Use Chakra whenever it's available instead of using Cure spells, to reduce downtime and increase dps. Ranger Rangers can kill worms, yes they can. You can sub whitemage for barstone and healing effects and just kill worms from afar. The problem is that there aren't enough worms. It can be difficult to find worms that will give you experience at some levels, but when you can find them, you can use them for some pretty safe experience. I'll update this later with some worm locations. Other than that, rangers can use the same special arrows or bolts that thieves use to solo (sleep and drain effects I believe). Doing that works, but worms are faster if you find a good spot. Summoner I also play a summoner. It's my favorite job, but it's more of a party support job than anything else. Summoners can buff parties with their avatars, and heal using the whm

subjob with their extremely large number of quickly refreshing mp. At level 70+, however, they are considered one of the best soloers in the game, able to destroy extremely difficult enemies using the avatars' blood pacts and true abilities. Before level 70, summoners can solo for reasonable experience using carbuncle. Send the carbuncle in, use Poison Nails, then run far enough away (usually to when you can't see the enemy health) and wait for carby to die. Resummon and he'll run right back to the fight. Keep this up and you'll eventually win. You'll get better experience killing thigns that blow themselves up, like bombs. Be aware, though, before carby becomes 'free' using Carbuncle Mitts, you'll run out of mp trying to kill tough enemies in some cases. I was able to solo tough enemies until about level 20, with the occasional death due to running out of mp. After that running out of mp becomes pretty frequent, so it's best to stick to easy prey or decent challenge enemies. Using this method is some of the safest experience you can possibly have in the game, especially if you camp near a zone. Once you start getting some AoE attacks witht he avatars, you can use them to solo small groups of easy prey in the 20s. Ramuh and Titan both have low level AoE attacks. Stay near a zone, though, as you can run out of mp pretty easily trying this. V. Jobs that can't seem to solo: I say they can't solo because I can't figure out a way for them to. If you know a way, just post it or pm me with information on how to do it and I'll update the guide. Bard This is a support job. It can't do enough damage, or take enough hits to kill anything you can get experience from. This is the impression I get from bards, but will update if I hear anything new. Please contribute any bard soloing strategies you have. White Mage Sorry all you priests from other games who came here thinking that healers were slow, safe solo exp. White mages don't do enough damage, and can't take enough hits to kill anything that gives them experience. Some exceptions may be undead, but honestly I've never seen a white mage over level 10 kill anything. Due to some responses I've decided to include this: apparently you can solo as a white mage by improving survivability with the ninjitsu Utsusemi, and the proper equipment. The equipment that white mages use for partying probably won't cut it. You'd need to focus more on defense than mp, mind etc. I also hear that the club and staff can be nearly as damaging as some other melee weapons. Keep in mind, though, that as a white mage you won't have melee stats, so you'll be spending most of your time trying to stay alive, reducing DPS and lengthening the fights. Paladin Paladins are tough, yes, but they don't do enough damage to make soloing worth your time. That being said, paladins can solo decent challenge and even match enemies given that they have excellent equipment. Samurai Samurai can take surprisingly few hits. Their ability to use weapon skills often is nice, but not enough it seems. Samurai have reported to me that no, they can't solo much. However, I don't have all the details so I'll keep this updated. Dark Knight Previously I posted that dark knights can't take enough hits to solo. However, after some more research I've come to the conclusion that dark knights can solo decent challenge and even match enemies using the following strategy: Sub white mage (blue mage may work soon), make sure you're buffed. Cast regen on yourself, start the fight with bio and make sure you cast something that does damage after every swing with your greatsword or scythe. This may be an elemental spell that is strong against your oponent, or Drain whenever it's available. Create a macro that casts Stun right before a DD, and make sure you stun as close as you can to when the enemy is going to swing. Dark Knights acquire

Drain at level 10, but the casting time is fairly long for using it while being attacked before combined with Stun, which isn't available until 37. I'll update more on this later. Warrior I can't seem to figure out why warriors can't solo very well, but every warrior I interview says that they just can't do it. Easy prey can kill them. They may be wrong. I soloed warrior to 20, but that's the limit for many jobs. War/whm and war/nin can solo decent challenge enemies, and well-chosen even matches. Keep your equipment well updated. Keep in mind, though, that /nin will still have some pretty severe downtime. VI. The Fellowship NPC The fellowship NPC is an NPC that follows you around and fights with you. Currently, the NPC will disapear after you fight 15 enemies, or after a certain amount of time has passed (there's a ltitle bit of debate on that duration), after which you'll have to call him again. There are many guides on how to acquire your fellowship NPC. Google for FFXI Fellowship Quest. The requirements are rank 4, level 30, and a certain amount of Jeuno fame (which I believe is calculated by your fame in other cities). There are also many guides concerning the NPC's abilities. Google for FFXI Fellowship NPC for a bunch of those. The NPC will start as a warrior. After a certain number of calls you will be given the ability to change it to a white mage. The warrior will provoke whenever you engage an enemy, and usually does as soon as provoke becomes available. Disengage and reengage to trigger this if you need. You can equip it with different weapons by trading them to it, and several guides list the certain levels at which it can use these. The white mage NPC will use Cure III, Cure IV, Protect II, Shell, Haste, Stoneskin, Dia, Slow, and other white magic favorites, each as they become available. Your NPC starts at level 30, no matter what level you are when you first get it. Fortunately, you can level it very quickly by killing things that are near ITS level, rather than yours. Your being with it does not steal ALL experience from it, so if you kill things that would be incredibly tough to it, it will get lots of experience. Suffice to say the higher level you are the easier it will be to level up your NPC quickly. If you're within party level range of your NPC it will share experience with you and level at about the same rate (supposedly). The NPC can be of great help to jobs that can't seem to solo on their own. The three solo-able jobs listed above don't really need it, and perhaps even shouldn't use it because the NPC does take some of your experience. I don't use the NPC very often myself, so I leave it up to you to decide the best way to utilize the NPC for your particular job and leveling needs. VII. Q&A Q: Using one of the three best solo jobs in FFXI, can I go from 1-75 in about the same amount of time as I would in a party? A: No, soloing, even as a beastmaster, is slower than in a party. If you're really doing well in a solo situation you MAY be getting 3k per hour without the empress band at levels in which a balanced experience party will be getting 6k. However, you can start soloing on a whim if you've prepared yourself previously and know what you're doing, so you won't be sitting around waiting for a party. Even white mages and bards may end up waiting for hours to find a party on a bad day. In the long run, though, the amount of waiting for a party that the average person will endure does not slow down the leveling process enough to make soloing faster than party leveling. Q: How long will it take me to solo to 75 if all I do is use my empress band once a day for experience? A: Well, it takes exactly 837,550 experience points to get from 1-75, and you'll need a subjob at level 37, which takes approximately 150,000 points, so a total of about 990,000 experience points if you're not doing an advanced job, and not switching jobs at any point (basically ideal circumstances). Using up a charge on the empress band gets you 3,000

experience points. It gives you a bonus of 50%, so once you earn what would normally give you 2k, you'll be awarded 3k. So, 990,000/3,000 = 330. Which means if you could stick to your empress band once per day, and only played one main job and one support job you could actually do it in less than a year. This rarely happens, as people end up wanting to try new jobs. An example of only using two jobs: Level white mage to 18, unlock subjob, level black mage to 37, then level white mage to 75. This would make you 75/37 whm/blm, but that's not a very good solo combination. There are very few job combinations in which you only need to play two jobs your whole career. Most require you to have a different subjob than what your main job is when you're leveling your subjob. Here's an example: Red mage solos fairly well with a number of subjob combinations. If you want to use the Sleep method of soloing with a red mage, you can sub rdm/whm or rdm/ blm, but either of those combinations will require you to level a third job to at least level 18. You can start by leveling blm to 18 to unlock your subjob, then you can play rdm/blm to to 37 without having to worry about leveing a third job, but when you get there you'll need to start leveling blm from 18 to 37. If you plan on blm/rdm you will have a more difficult time than if you were blm/whm in either solo or party experience. Rdm just doesn't make a very effective subjob for blm. That's only a mild inconvenience, however, compared to some of the more severe job changes that are required for other jobs. The Dark Knight example: If you want to play drk, it will take you much longer to finish your character solo than it would in the above example. If you're on a new character and plan on soloing this the whole way (I can't even imagine trying to do this by the way) this is what you'd have to do. Solo white mage to 18 (which by the way is just a huge pain, but you can do), unlock your subjob (a quest which, by the way, will require either a party or a high level friend), solo thf/whm to 30. Unlock drk and level drk/whm to 75. Once you're 75, though, you'll want to level thf up to 37 if you ever want to party. Suffice to say some jobs will take longer to level up than others. Q: Why can't my favorite job combination solo? A: Well I don't know your favorite, but if you email me I can tell you why it won't work. I've actually SEEN people trying to level bst/smn. Obviously they never read a guide like this one. Certain combinations just don't work. Although bst can solo with a number of different subjobs, smn does nothing for it. You may as well have no subjob at all. Even by level 8 or so, the summoned avatars you would be using with smn as a subjob would be too weak to make a real different in a battle that would give you decent experience. Bst/smn is a little bit abstract, I know. Some job combinations that are great for parties don't solo very well, either. mnk/war is very effective in partnies, and can kill easy prey, but the occasional easy prey can kill a mnk/war, and even when you do win, your downtime will be so huge even at level 30 or so that it won't be worth your time. Q: Alright, if I can't do it solo, can I do it with a duo? A: Maybe, some duos are fairly effective, but others are actually counter-productive. Because of the way experience is divided, you may find that the increase in power, or decrease in downtime isn't enough to fully make up for the split in experience. If you want to duo, doing it with two jobs that can already solo is most effective. Q: Can I use a party job combination and then use medicine, food etc to help me solo? A: Yes, you can. I found that as a monk, the only real problem to mnk/war solo was the downtime and the occasional bad luck fight. However, with medicine, food, etc that goes away. The problem with this is that those items are expensive. If you've got tons of gil go ahead and do this. Q: If soloing is the slowest way to get to 75, what's the fastest? A: A static party. Static parties are parties of 6 that arrange to meet a certain time (every day if you really want to get it done fast), and make a commitment to a certain amount of experience every time they meet. They usually also agree not to level their static party job outside of the static party to stay within level range. You may say this seems restrictive, which it is, but a party of 6 friends won't mind, especially considering how convenient this

is. It's like having the convenience of soloing, but with party level experience rate. Static parties also tend to function more smoothly, so the experience per hour is faster, with fewer deaths. The main advantage, of course, is that no matter what you're partying for (exp, BCNM, quests), the party is already arranged, so you don't spend the possible hours of time sitting around. I've not been fortunate enough to be in one of these yet. This is a work in progress. I know this is incomplete. Apart from some of the information perhaps being old, missing, or possibly even wrong, I havn't included several sections like solo leveling locations for various jobs, solo equipment for specific jobs, etc. I'll keep working on this in the hopes that it will one day be stickied. Right now I think it just serves to warn new players about what to expect when soloing. Please provide any information you can that may be of benefit. I'm not a veteran FFXI player. Although I started playing at North American release, I quit fairly soon because I couldn't solo, and only a couple of months ago came back and rediscovered all of this on my own. I tried partying and I enjoy it, but still like to spend an hour or so a day soloing. I had to ask all these questions myself to dozens of experienced players. I hope this guide can save everyone a little time in the future.

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