By Cody Perez
July 9, 2019
Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers is the third expansion for the game, bringing the story up to the next expansion following the likes of Stormblood and Heavensward. This expansion offers a ton of new features for players including tons of new locations, Viera and Hrothgar races, and two new job classes. The two new job classes, the Final Fantasy XIV Gunbreaker and Dancer, are arguably the most important parts of the new expansion aside from the main storyline itself.
That’s where this Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers Gunbreaker Guide comes in. I am going to let you know everything that you need to know about what makes this tank job class stand out from the likes of the Dark Knight and Paladin tanks. From the starting abilities to how the class will play in the endgame, here’s all that you need to know to get started as a Gunbreaker.
First and foremost, I need to establish for you what the Final Fantasy XIV Gunbreaker job is. For those who don’t know, this is a job that dates back to the 1990’s when the PlayStation One reigned supreme with hit after hit Final Fantasy game.
One particular game in the series, Final Fantasy VIII, is regarded by many as the dark horse of the series but it can’t be denied that its protagonist at the time had an amazing, unique weapon. Hero Squall Leonhard wielded the gunblade, a massive sword that also acted as a gun at times.
Enter the Gunbreaker job now, as an extension of Squall’s groundbreaking weapon that takes the elements of the gun and the sword, and they make up the bulk of what this class does. It is also the fourth tank job to join the game, which is exciting for tank players.
There hasn’t been a new tank job since the release of Heavensward four years ago. It’s no doubt that many tanks were beginning to become a little bored and bummed out with the lack of new classes to play for their role until now.
But, thankfully, the Gunbreaker offers some interesting gameplay that helps it stand out from its fellow two-handed sword job Dark Knight and other gun wielders like the Machinist. In fact, Gunbreaker is one of the more complex jobs for players to check out with lots of combo options to choose from. But in order to enjoy all that this new tank job has to offer, you need to unlock it first.
Before I get into where and how to unlock the Final Fantasy XIV Gunbreaker job class, there are a few requirements that you must meet before you grab your gunblade and pretend you’re Squall from Final Fantasy VIII. To begin with, this one might seem obvious but you do need to buy the Shadowbringers expansion itself before you can unlock Gunbreaker.
Sure, you could still play the entire MMORPG besides this expansion if you own the base game and other expansions, but you wouldn’t be able to enjoy all of the interesting content that Gunbreaker brings to the game. As such, if you’re interested, its well worth while to pick up either the standard version or the collector’s edition.
But the requirements that you need to meet for unlocking Gunbreaker to play as don’t stop there. For the starting quest that unlocks the tank job, you are going to need to have a combat job that is at least level 60 or above so that means you can’t use your Disciple of Land or Hand jobs for this part.
On the other hand, you are able to use jobs that were introduced in the previous two expansions, be it the Dark Knight or so on. This is because the beginning quest that unlocks the Gunbreaker is set at level 60 for doing it. If you aren’t level 60, you won’t be able to accept or do the quest at all.
What doesn’t matter for the requirements, though, is whether or not you have completed the other expansions that came before Shadowbringers. As long as you own this expansion and have the required level for the first quest, you will be good to go for unlocking Gunbreaker.
With all of that out of the way, it’s time to start your journey with the Final Fantasy XIV Gunbreaker tank job. When you have your level 60 Disciple of War or Magic equipped and are ready, head to or teleport to the New Gridania main Aetheryte crystal.
Once there, you are going to want to go to just a few steps away from the crystal to find the level 60 quest called “The Makings of a Gunbreaker.” Begin that quest and you will need to confirm that you commit to becoming a Gunbreaker.
Once you do this, you will complete the introductory quest and receive your very first gunblade. I know you’ll be excited to go try out your new job class but don’t go anywhere just yet. Be sure to equip your weapon and new gear, and save it to an armory slot.
Then, you want to start the next quest that will be available right then after completing the first quest. This quest is a great way to get used to your new tank abilities using gun and sword attacks so don’t miss out on doing it, or else you’ll have to return at a later time.
Though this second Gunbreaker quest does attempt to teach you the basics of the class, it is a challenge to do so within the instance you’re placed in as it is a level 60 starting job. There are many abilities you already have at that level so here are the basics that you need to know about.
For the early levels of Gunbreaker, it’s not too hard to understand and use. What makes Gunbreaker so confusing is that it has a lot more abilities and weapon skills compared to other tank jobs. This is because of its utility as well as its duality between the gun and blade.
For the most part, your basic combo that you will use is the Keen Edge, Brutal Shell, and Solid Barrel combo for when you are taking on a single target enemy. This combo is strong enough on its own, restores HP, and will give you a cartridge to your powder gauge, too.
From there, though, there is also the area of effect combo of Demon Slice and Demon Slaughter that you will want to use when pulling large numbers of enemies to you. From there, it’s mainly all about managing your various cooldowns such as parry buffs, your healing ability, and your two main cartridge abilities.
You see, the crux of balancing the gun and weapon aspects of Gunbreaker is using your various combos to build up your cartridges for using two special abilities: Burst Strike and Gnashing Fan. The former is great for using against a single enemy while the latter unlocks yet another combo to use.
Using Gnashing Fang opens up a new combo as you can then transition to Savage Claw which deals more damage, and lastly Wicked Talon. These abilities also grant some additional effects that come into play as you get into the higher levels of Gunbreaker but for now, those are the basics that you need to know about.
When you start out playing Final Fantasy XIV Gunbreaker, you will find that there are numerous combos for this job, some of the most for any class in the game period. It’s not a difficult class to play as but the overwhelming number of combos can cause some players to become stagnant at times.
If you are far away, you can start fights the same way as standard tanks via using your normal tank abilities. Provoke or leap in with the charge ability Rough Divide. You can also use Lightning Shot which is a ranged ability that uses your gun to attack and it increases enmity, making a great start to a fight.
Then your initial ability should be Sonic Break to deal some damage over time. From there, you are going to want to figure out if you want to start with the normal Keen Edge combo for a single target like a boss or use the group combo Demon Slice and Demon Slaughter for multiple enemies.
While you are doing this, you are going to want to use your various cooldown abilities as you can like No Mercy that gives you extra damage, Camouflage that gives you more parry and better damage resistance, Nebula for more reduced damage during major attacks, and Royal Guard if you’re struggling to maintain enemy aggro.
You can also use Aurora whenever you or a teammate is in low health. It’s also a great skill for using after using Superbolide, which we need to talk about for a moment. Superbolide is a powerful ability with great costs that is best used in bosses or in large mobs where you know the healer is paying attention.
Superbolide reduces your health to one but in exchange, allows you to become invincible to most attacks for eight seconds. This is an awesome move for using if you are already low on health, a tank buster move is on the way, or if you want to buy some time for the healer.
The problem with Superbolide is the timing of it all. You don’t want to waste it on moments where it isn’t necessary but at the same time, you don’t want to use it when your healer is too busy to be able to heal you back before the 8 second timer runs out. It is a complicated balance that takes quick thinking to figure out.
From there, it’s all about your cartridge abilities. Whenever you complete a combo and get a cartridge, you want to take that time to use abilities like Burst Strike and the Gnashing Fang combo. This gets expanded upon in the later levels as you get higher.
When it comes to the later levels and the endgame, Final Fantasy XIV Gunbreaker doesn’t change too much from what it’s like before. The only main difference being that you have even more options and skills at your disposal with the exception of Gnashing Fang combo trio.
Once you reach level 70, the effects of the Gnashing Fang combo come into play. You are going to want to use Continuation that allows for a brand new combo to join the fray. Gnashing Fang allows for Jugular Rip, Savage Claw allows for Abdomen Tear, and Wicked Talon allows for Eye Gouge. In a way, it’s like that one cartridge-costing combo turns into two combos total.
Beyond that, it’s also key to use Bow Shock if you are facing multiple enemies to apply damage over time to all of them at once. Heart of Light and Heart of Stone are also important new buffs that you should use anytime that you can since they take a cue from the Dancer, and help not just you.
There are three final abilities that the Gunbreaker learns from level 70 to level 80 that you should include in your normal rotations from now on. The first is Fated Circle, which costs one cartridge and is great for dealing lots of damage to mobs around you. This is one you use in group fights.
Bloodfest is an important ability that grants you two cartridge charges at once. Use this when you can so it allows you to jump right back into doing more cartridge attacks without having to go through the typical combos like usual. Last but not least, Blasting Zone is an extremely powerful ability that you should use every 30 seconds when you get the chance to while using your damage buffing abilities.
If you’re wanting to reach level 70 or 80 and be able to use abilities like Continuation and Blasting Zone, it can take awhile to get there. As such, I’ve got some tips for grinding up your level so you can reach the endgame as quick as possible.
Beginning with reaching level 70, your best bet for making it to this level as fast as possible is to do the Duty Roulette each day. Every day, these reset and allow you to do the leveling roulette, trials, and so on. Be sure to complete these as they give a massive amount of experience for leveling up.
Once you have reached level 70, you are able to do another option that I highly recommend and that’s doing the main story of the new expansion Shadowbringers. The main story quests as well as the side quests offered in the expansion give you a fair amount of experience that is designed to help you level up fast.
If you already did the main scenario under a different job class, that’s not a problem. What you will need to do is just continue doing what you did before from 60 to 70 and do the Duty Roulettes each day. When those are done, make sure to run any dungeons that are closest to your level over and over.
Tags: Final Fantasy XIV