FFXIV Machinist Guide - Bring In the Heat!
FFXIV Machinist Guide
Machinist (MCH) is a technologically advanced, ranged physical DPS job in FFXIV. It only fits that a job with this name requires a lot of mechanical prowess from its players. An efficient Machinist has to execute a ton of actions per minute in their dense rotation, while also keeping track of multiple resources that are rapidly generated. If you like pressing a lot of buttons in quick succession during every fight, there's a chance that this job might be just for you. Let's get into the FFXIV Machinist guide.
Basics of Machinist
Machinist is a job that has been introduced in the first major FFXIV expansion – Heavensward. Their gear consists of firearms for dealing damage from a distance, and the leather armors for defense. Like the two remaining Heavensward jobs, it's unlocked in Ishgard. It means that you will have to complete the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn main scenario to get access to the Machinist. Their guild is located in Skysteel Manufactory in The Foundation.
As we mentioned, in terms of role in a party, Machinists are ranged physical DPS. They have the highest personal damage output in this role – especially in Shadowbringers, where they lost some utility, but got compensated with extra damage and consistency. The job changed quite a bit in Shadowbringers. Removal of abilities like Quick Reload (and the ammo mechanic in general) and Gauss Barrel, as well as some other alterations, had a big impact on the Machinist's gameplay.
Of course, the consistency requires pressing a lot of buttons at the right times, utilizing all of the available tools, and - to some extent – having a good Internet connection. Unfortunately, such a high APM job can be negatively affected by latency issues. That being said, it's not the end of the world, and Machinist has some ways to work around that, but we're going to touch on them later in this guide. As long as you're going to take some time to learn the kit and general rhythm of playing this job, you should be able to pull it off.
Machinist has access to two jog gauges: Heat Gauge and Battery Gauge. They both are resources that can be consumed to use some powerful attacks. They're also both generated by the standard "one-two-three" weaponskill combo.
Heat Gauge – it's used to access the Hypercharge ability – an 8 seconds buff that increases the potency of single target weaponskills and provides the Overheated status that unlocks Heat Blast and Auto Crossbow. These two are unique weaponskills since their Global Cooldown is 1.5 seconds instead of the standard 2.5 seconds that almost all of the GCDs have. Taking advantage of that during the Hypercharge windows is going to be essential to optimize your DPS. You unlock this gauge at level 30. Heat is generated by all three skills in your basic combo.
Battery Gauge - it also gives you access to an interesting ability. This one is much easier to use. The ability to spend that on is Rook Turret/Automaton Queen. The minimum amount required to use them is 50, but they will consume all the Battery Gauge that you have and gain extra power. After you get to level 80 and unlock the Automaton Queen, Battery Gauge becomes an extremely powerful resource.
Before we go deep into combos, rotations, and all the intricacies of using these resources well, let's talk about other skills and abilities that Machinist can use.
Split Shot/Heated Split Shot – an attack that generates 5 Heat. It's your basic combo opener.
Slug Shot/Heated Slug Shot - use it after Split Shot, it also provides 5 Heat.
Clean Shot/Heated Clean Shot – the finisher of your basic combo. Provides 5 Heat and 10 Battery.
Spread Shot – AoE attack that has a potency of 180 and hits enemies in a cone-shaped area before you. It also increases Heat Gauge by 5.
Hot Shot/Air Anchor – it's the first one of Machinist's weaponskills that also have relatively long cooldowns. It's a 300/700 potency attack on a 40 seconds recast timer. It also generates 20 Battery Gauge.
Drill – another weaponskill with a cooldown attached to it. It also has a fantastic potency of 700 with only a 20 seconds cooldown. In single target encounters, you're going to use it every time it's available. It shares a recast timer with Bioblaster.
Bioblaster – an AoE weaponskill that inflicts powerful damage over time effect. It shares its 20 seconds cooldown with Drill. You'll only use Bioblaster in fights against multiple foes.
Heat Blast – only available during Hypercharge. It has a potency of just 220, but the shorter (1.5 seconds) GCD makes it really valuable. It also reduces the cooldowns of Gauss Round and Ricochet by 15 seconds.
Auto Crossbow – you can use it only during Hypercharge. It's a cone-shaped AoE attack with a potency of 180 that also has the shortened 1.5 GCD. A handy skill for DPSing multiple targets.
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Reassemble – guarantees that your next weaponskill will be a critical direct hit. It's mighty when you pair it with Drill or Air Anchor. It's not worth it to use Reassemble on anything else.
Gauss Round – a single attack with a potency of 150. You're going to weave it in between GCDs for additional free damage. You can hold up to 3 charges of Gauss Round. This ability has a 30 seconds recast timer.
Ricochet – this attack has a potency of 150 to its main target, but it also hits nearby enemies for half damage. You're going to weave it in during AoE fights. It also has three charges and 30 seconds cooldown.
Hypercharge – the ability connected to Heat Gauge. It costs 50 Heat and provides an 8-second potency buff to single target weaponskills. It also unlocks Heat Blast and Auto Crossbow.
Rook Autoturret/Automaton Queen – your powerful deployability that consumes the Battery Gauge. You can view them as DoT skills since they will go after your target as you summon them, and you don't have to manage these skills after casting. At the end of their duration, they explode for a high potency hit.
Rook Overdrive/Queen Overdrive – you can preemptively make your summons explode with this ability.
Wildfire – it creates a 10 seconds window during which you can stack up the damage that you will deal with your target. Every weaponskill that you land will increase the final potency by 200. You can pair this ability with Hypercharge and spam Heat Blasts to get the most value. When the duration ends, Wildfire switches into Detonator that you can use to inflict the stacked damage.
Tactician – your only defensive cooldown. It lasts 15 seconds and reduces damage taken by all nearby party members by 10%. The Tactician has a 2 minutes recast timer. It's a clone of Bard's Troubadour and Dancer's Shield Samba, so it can't be stacked with those buffs. Make sure to address it if you're at a party with a Dancer or Bard.
Barrel Stabilizer – a two minutes cooldown ability that provides 50 Heat Gauge. You can use it in situations when you really need that Hypercharge at the very moment.
Flamethrower – it's a really weird ability that can't be weaved between weaponskills. You can channel it for up to 10 seconds to inflict AoE damage to enemies in a cone in front of you. You can't auto-attack, move or turn in a different direction when you're using Flamethrower. It's rarely the optimal action to take, but a lot of Machinist players use it as a short break where they don't have to mash all their buttons.
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Increased Action Damage – extra 10% damage to all your actions.
Increased Action Damage II – boosts the additional damage to 20%.
Split Shot Mastery, Slug Shot Mastery, and Clean Shot Mastery upgrade all your basic combo skills into their heated versions, for additional potency.
Charged Action Mastery – grants you access to the third charges of Gauss Round and Ricochet.
Hot Shot Mastery – upgrades Hot Shot to Air Anchor for the astounding 400 additional potency.
Enhanced Wildfire – increases the potency provided by Wildfire stacks.
Promotion – replaced the Rook Autourret with Automaton Queen.
Combos and playstyle tips
As we already established, Machinist is a fast-paced action-intensive job that requires spamming a lot of skills and abilities. Luckily, while the playstyle might be challenging and overwhelming at the beginning, it's also consistent and relatively straightforward. This combination attracts a quite specific type of player - hopefully you fit this category.
Like most other jobs, you have access to the three-part basic weaponskill combo. You're going to use it for a moderate DPS and, more importantly, to generate Heat and Battery Gauge. At the same time, Machinist has two powerful cooldown weaponskills – Drill and Air Anchor. Using these two as much as possible should be your highest priority. Of course, you want to take every opportunity to amplify their damage. You can do it by yourself with Reassemble, but in raiding scenarios, there will always be windows when using your highest damage attacks is the most beneficial.
In general, you can use Automaton Queen whenever you have it available. It doesn't have a cooldown and the ability scales linearly with the Battery Gauge that it consumes – there are no bonuses for using it at 100. Of course, there are no penalties either, so you can wait till the gauge is full if you want to. Just keep in mind that sitting at 100 is inefficient. Don't forget about the utility from your role actions. Leg Graze and Foot Graze provide some single target crowd control, and Head Graze can interrupt your target.
Wildfire and Hypercharge combo
When you're playing Machinist, the mechanics are not the only thing that will be tested. You also have to know the limits of your Internet connection. Weaving oGCDs between your weaponskills is extremely important, and it gets significantly more complicated when some of your weaponskills have 1.5 GCD. When you add high ping to the mix, it can become impossible. That being said, Shadowbringers update made the Wildfire burst windowless crucial – of course, you still lose some DPS if you don't pull off the perfect execution, but it's much less punishing now.
To break it all down, we have to look at all the skills and abilities that are used in this combo, as well as the interactions between them. Wildfire's damage scales off the number of weaponskills that you can squeeze inside the 10 seconds window. Hypercharge provides access to Heat Blast – a weaponskill that has a shorter GCD, so it's the best way of stacking the Wildfire damage. Simple, right? But there's more!
Heat Blast reduces the cooldown of Gauss Round and Ricochet by 15 seconds. So, two uses of Heat Blast will fully restore recast timers of these two abilities. Gauss Round and Ricochet can be weaved between GCDs. It's the reason why, in a perfect world where you have low latency, and you never make any mechanical mistakes, your rotation after using Wildfire and Hypercharge could look like this:
Heat Blast->(Gauss Round)->Heat Blast->(Ricochet)->Heat Blast->(Gauss Round)...
The problem is that the shorter GCD makes it much more challenging to weave in abilities. With high latency or slow mechanics, trying to play like that will result in so-called "clipping" – missing out on a Heat Blast that could otherwise be squeezed into the rotation. Then, you're not only missing out on the regular damage but also you get one less bonus Wildfire stack, which results in a damage loss.
That's why the high latency, easy to execute rotation, gives up on weaving anything in between Heat Blasts. All you have to do is consume all the Gauss Round and Ricochet stacks before casting Wildfire and Hypercharge. Then, all you need to do is:
Heat Blast->Heat Blast->Heat Blast...
By doing that, you ensure the full power of Detonation at the cost of a few oGCDs. It's not optimal – you will still miss out on some Gauss Rounds and Ricochets since they'll be fully recharged after your second Heat Blast. That being said, it's the best solution to high ping problems, and, as we mentioned, the DPS loss is much lower than it used to be before Shadowbringers. Still, a good Internet connection can definitely set you up for success when playing this job.
Of course, there will be situations when you're using Hypercharge with Wildfire still on cooldown. Then, using as many Heat Blasts as possible is always beneficial, but slightly less important. Just remember, that this combo is not the most critical part of your kit – you don't want it to interfere with Drill and Air Anchor. These two cooldown weaponskills are overall more efficient. While the design isn't that complicated for the FFXIV standards, the high tempo of some of these rapid combos can make your mind go blank at times. Let's just hope that you'll be able to turn the body of your enemy into Swiss cheese first.
When you're facing multiple enemies at the same time, you're not going to use your basic "one-two-three" combo at all. Instead, you're going to repeatedly cast Spread Shot and wait for any of the AoE cooldowns. The most powerful one is definitely Bioblaster – you want to apply it as soon as possible since the high potency damage overtime on multiple targets will bring a ton value in these situations. Besides, you want to use Ricochet when it's available. During Hypercharge, you're going to replace the Heat Blast spam with Auto Crossbows.
Even though it's a single target skill, you'll still want to use Air Anchor to generate Battery Gauge. Automaton Queen is perfect in these scenarios because when she finishes off a target, she starts hitting another one. You can also use Flamethrower when all the cooldowns are unavailable. If there is a high priority target among the adds, you should apply Wildfire to it and then spam Auto Crossbow.
Machinist in FF14
Overall, Machinist is a spammy, action-packed job that can be a lot of fun. The futuristic style that also has some steampunk in it will also definitely attract some members of the MMO community. The current iteration of the job is much more consistent, which makes it more rewarding as you learn all the rotations and resource management. Then, all you have to do is executing on your perfect strategy.
If you like this kind of intensive playstyle, especially as a damage dealer, Machinist can be perfect for you. If you're more into the laid back and chill gaming experience, you probably should look to another FFXIV job like Black Mage, Red Mage or Paladin. All of these require significantly fewer actions per minute to perform well. Final Fantasy 14 includes a ton of jobs, every player can find something for themselves. Either way, good luck with your adventures in Eorzea. Remember, if you need a couple of seconds of a breather, use Flamethrower – it looks like you're doing something!
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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a successful MMORPG developed and published by Square Enix. The game has already received three major expansions: Heavensward, Stromblood, and Shadowbringers. FF14 is available on PC, PS3, and PS4.
How do you unlock Machinist in FFXIV?
To become a Machinist, you need to own the Heavensward expansion. Your character has to be level 50 in at least one other job and complete the Astral Era quests. Then, you have to visit Foundation in the city of Ishgard and take the quest called Savior of Skysteel from Stephanivien.
Is FFXIV Machinist fun?
Machinist is really fun if you like to challenge your mechanical skills. It's an incredibly engaging and action-packed job that requires a lot of quick button mashing.
What are the best stats for Machinist?
The most important statistics for a Machinist are Weapon Damage, Dexterity, Critical Hit, and Direct Hit. Determination is a bit lower in priority, but still can be pretty useful. You can pretty much never go wrong with crit as your prioritized stat.