Final Fantasy XIV Ninja Guide: How To Press Buttons And Believe In The Ninja Way

Heard some of y’all non-believers wanna learn ’s patented Ninja Way™? Well, guess what, your resident ex-anime enjoyer and Dark Knight is here to teach you a little thing about the class that invented the carpal tunnel jutsu.

The class seems intimidating at first, but in all actuality, it’s relatively simple. There are two points of complexity: remembering the ninjutsu combinations and surviving the that would make Starcraft 2 players blush.

The Ninjutsus

The mechanic that puts fear into the hearts of all players. These mystical arts seem impossible to master at first glance. Do I have to hit multiple buttons to do just ability? Who decided that was a good idea?

I did. Now it’s time to shut up and (Ninja Gaiden) jam.

The truth is that these moves are incredibly easy. Yeah, I know it's weird to think the highest APM class in the game has an incredibly easy mechanic. The reality is that you have to learn three colors, and how to press them in different orders. This isn’t gonna be any harder than learning what the hell object permeance was as a child. This guide will assume that the world doesn’t completely cease to exist the second you close your eyes.

Now for the baby Ninja moves.

The Section Entirely Devoted To Trick Attack

Ninjas are invited to the lunch table almost solely because of Trick Attack. This nutso skill does a decent amount of damage, but its real power lies in its debuff. Successfully landing the skill increases the amount of damage an enemy takes by 5% for 15 seconds. This doesn’t seem like a lot at first, but the damage really stacks up once you factor in the other 7 chuckleheads slapping the boss across the ass next to you.

This skill should be used in conjunction with your party’s burst windows (if you’re playing in a static) or just off cooldown with randoms.

I cannot stress this enough: Use. Trick. Attack.


The Basic Rotation

I just found out they made a ninja based Power Rangers while writing this guide LOL

Ninja has a super basic bread and butter rotation that you spice up with Ninjutsus (we’ll get to those later.) You have one Damage Over Time (DOT) effect to keep up every 60ish seconds, an Area Of Effect (AOE) combo, and a single target combo with one interchangeable button.


Armor Crush adds 30 seconds onto your Huton timer. Huton is an incredibly important buff that is absolutely mandatory to keep up, or the ninja gods will find you. I’ll explain it in more detail later. Aeolian Edge does more damage, use that at all other times.

AOE Target Rotation:

The easiest AOE combo. They made it two buttons so you have enough time to figure out how to say and spell Hakke Mujinsatsu (this guide will not provide you with either. I don’t even know if this is how you spell it. This is a button guide, not a spelling guide.)

The Notorious DOT:

Pepper this in as soon as it comes off cooldown The DOT effect lasts 30 seconds, so it doesn’t have 100% uptime, but it does help with achieving big DPS numbers.

Invoking The Ninja Way

Image courtesy of u/DamienCreator via Reddit

Each Cool Ninja Way™ move is invoked via combining three different elements into a nice little death cake. Ten, Chi, and Jin are the aforementioned elements. You invoke any combination of these three elements, then hit the fancy Ninjutsu button to release your inner demons and psychological trauma upon your enemy. Luckily, you don’t have to remember the names, as they are beautifully color-coded into blue, red, and yellow respectively. Primary abilities are primary colors. See? Super easy to remember.

Keep in mind, these actions must be done in the order specified. Ninjutsus are picky and want things done perfectly. Luckily, there are at least two combinations of every jutsu, so memorize the one that makes the most sense for your hotbar setup and noggin’.

The key to being successful with jutsus is planning ahead!

Anyways, the list of Ninjutsus are as follows:

Fuma Shuriken - Hit a button, any button: Fuma Shuriken is the first actual Ninjutsu you can use. It’ll be your bread and butter until 5 levels later, in which you’ll promptly abandon it for Raiton. The shuriken looks cool, but unfortunately, it’s outclassed by nearly every other jutsu.

Katon - Chi (Red) and Ten (Blue) OR Ten (Blue) and Jin (Yellow): The main AOE move. You’ll invoke this whenever you want to burst down large packs. Ideally, you want to use this after placing down your Doton. Doton is pretty instrumental to the AOE toolkit; we’ll get to it later.

Raiton - Ten (Blue) and Chi (Red) OR Ten (Blue) and Jin (Yellow): The single target heavy hitter. Use this on single-target fights and as a “filler” for when you’re about to cap out on mudra charges. There are later skills that make this one a high priority button, but once again, it’ll come up ~later~.

Hyoton - Ten (Blue) and Jin (Yellow) OR Chi (Red) and Jin (Yellow): The fancy ice-y boy that does absolutely nothing on its own. There are two times you use this skill: when you’re panicking mid-fight, accidentally input it, and shoot it out immediately to hide your shame from the other Ninjas, and with Kassatsu, one of your long cooldowns that make it a lot more powerful.

Huton - Jin (Y) -> Chi (R) -> Ten (B) OR Chi (R) -> Jin (Y) -> Ten (B): Burn this into your memory. Do whatever it takes to memorize Huton. Live it. Dream about it. Become it. It is your single most important buff to maintain.

Huton reduces your Global Cooldown (GCD) and auto-attack delay by 15%. This is what makes Ninja press the buttons fast. Cherish it as if it were your own sugar-addicted child. You gain a 70 second timer upon cast, so throw out any other notions of time in your brain and replace them with this ticking clock. If you forget, there’s a gigantic pinwheel with a number counting down menacingly in it to remind you of the inevitability of time.

At first, you’ll have to keep it up via invoking jutsus. Eventually, you get weapon skills that extend the timer for you, so you can save jutsus for more of the abilities that make the numbers real big.

Doton - Ten (B) -> Jin (Y) -> Chi (R) OR Jin (Y) -> Ten (B) -> Chi (R): The main form of AOE for targets that stand still or take a while to kill. Doton puts a nice little puddle of suspiciously white goo (you should hear my group callouts when it’s cast) that damages and slows enemies inside. It lasts 24 seconds, meaning that if your tank doesn’t fear The Goo, you’ll have plenty of mudras to spare for other things. In an ideal scenario, you place this pre-pull, let the tank pull enemies into it, and laugh as those poor NPCs bathe in the power of your puddle. You won’t use this a lot in single-target fights, but keep it in the back of your mind just in case.

Learn to love The Goo.

Suiton - Ten (B) -> Chi (R) -> Jin (Y) OR Chi (R) -> Ten (B) -> Jin (Y): This skill has two purposes in life: to let you use Trick Attack out of stealth, and to be dismissed back to the Trick Attack hole for more Ninki. You’ll lead with this for the burst windows your group has assigned.

There are two more ninjutsus: Goka Mekkyaku and Hyosho Ranryu. They have the same inputs as Katon and Hyoton, respectively. They are enhanced versions of those inputs that can only be used when Kassatsu is activated beforehand. These are the heaviest hitters you have; make sure they’re comboed inside of Trick Attack window of death.

The oGCDs, Because We Haven’t Achieved MAXIMUM SPEED Yet

Ninja doesn’t have many oGCDs (off Global Cooldowns), mainly because this is an MMO and not an esport with an APM requirement. They are few, but they are very important.

Mug: The class starts as a Rogue, so you gotta steal! Mug does very little damage, but has two side effects that are relatively cool. For one, it increases the chance of extra items dropping off a mob (not bosses) if it's used as, or right before, the killing blow. Secondly, it increases the Ninki Gauge, Ninja’s meter that’s used to, you guessed it, press more buttons! Whoo!

Dream Within A Dream: The skill with the “weirdest name in the kit” award. I genuinely have no idea why it has this name. Ninja’s don’t dream, they believe.

The ability hits three times, totaling a potency of 600. It deals a very good amount of damage, and activates Assassinate Ready, which leads into…

Assassinate: The oGCD for your oGCD, because BUTTONS. You cast Dream Within A Dream then immediately roll that finger over to Assassinate to deal extra damage!

That's it!

Ninki And You: How To Induce Carpal Tunnel For More Damage

Image courtesy of u/powderrune via Reddit

The Ninki Gauge is the metered resource that the Ninja has. This gauge has a cap of 100 and builds up with the use of your bread and butter combos. There are two abilities, both costing 50 Ninki each. The Ninja can spend these precious points to cast one really cool skill and one really lame skill. Remember: these are oGCDs, so weave them into your combos.

Hellfrog Medium: You get on a giant frog. It spits. It’s tight as hell. Use froggy boy when you want to AOE, or you just want to feel loved by Frog-Chan.

Bhavacakra: The harder to pronounce cousin of the frog. It’s infinitely lamer. Unfortunately, you’ll be using it instead of Frog-Chan in single-target fights. It does decent damage, weave it inbetween GCDs.

The Burst Enablers, AKA The Big Boy Cooldowns

The tell-tale sign of a good Ninja is how they use their cooldowns. These puppies are long, but they make the big numbers bigger. This in turn raises the serotonin levels, so if you ever want to be happy in life, you’ll learn to love the cooldowns.

Kassatsu: This nifty little guy is perhaps the most important cooldown for the class. It allows you to use quantity one jutsu without actually using up one of your two mudras. It single-handedly shakes up the Ninja rotation. Once you get this skill, your life will go from 50 to 100 MPH, easily. It’s time to go fast.

Once you reach level 76, Kassatsu gains an additional effect. You can use the skill to cast those two previously mentioned high-level jutsus, Goka Mekkyaku and Hyosho Ranryu. These two do MUCH more damage than any of the other jutsus, so you’ll be using Kassatsu mid-fight to throw out the mightiest gang signs the Ninja has to offer.

Ten Chi Jin: This is different from the mudras, I swear. This cooldown turns each of your three mudras into a fully-fledged jutsu, meaning you get to cast three ninjutsus in a row! All possible combinations start with the cast of Fuma Shuriken and then can transition into other different combos. The most common combos are Fuma Shuriken -> Raiton -> Suiton for single-target, and Fuma Shuriken -> Katon -> Doton for AOE. There are other combos, but they aren’t used as much. Find them yourself if you want to, I’m not doing it.

Meisui: This cooldown can only be used when Suiton is the active jutsu. It dispels Suiton, and gives the player a nice 50 point chunk of Ninki. You’ll use this in the burst window for more dumb, non Frog-Chan casts of Bakaclava or whatever on single target conflicts.

Bunshin: Alright ya Naruto fanboy, it’s your time. Bunshin invokes the art of the SHADOW CLONE JUTSU to create a, you guessed it, shadow of yourself. This shadow has five charges. A charge is expended upon the use of a weapon skill. The amount of damage done is different depending on if the attack is ranged, melee, or AOE. It also serves as a Ninki generator, totaling another 25 points of that sweet, sweet Ninki after all charges are expended.

The Other Stuff Or Whatever

He’s already behind you.

The sacred Ninja pouch has many more tricks stored inside. These are the utility skills that don’t do direct damage in a fight, but are still nice to have.

Shade Shift: An incredibly powerful survival cooldown. This grants a shield that nullifies 20% of maximum HP damage. Your healers will love you if you use it.

Hide: Thief invisibility. You go invisible. You go slower. Bosses can still see you though. Ideally, you do this pre encounter and use it as the intro move to the fight for the sick Trick Attack application.

Shukuchi: incorrectly pronounced as “shoe-coochie” by me (only the Ninja gods can judge me.) This makes you disappear for a split second, and reappear at a targeted location. It’s a very good ability to use when you need to dodge out of boss attack fast. You get two charges of it at max level, so pop in and pop out.

All Fours: This is a passive, but still noteworthy. You take reduced fall damage! The cat-like reflexes of a Ninja save you from embarrassing falling-related deaths. Other classes don’t get this level of flavor, so they’re pretty jealous of it. Don’t mention it at parties.

Fleet of Foot: Another cool passive; you move faster than average! Leg day finally paid off.

The Piano Opener Concerta As Played By Ninja

Ninja’s opening rotation is more complicated than most due to the plethora of buttons you have to press in the small Trick Attack window. Once the opener’s out of the way, you can relax for a few minutes before your conductor calls you up for the encore.

You’re getting a nice infographic instead of a five-paragraph essay.

Courtesy of Alfie from SaltedXIV

This is the general opener for Ninja. Ideally, you’ll be able to buff yourself up and cu-… place the puddle pre-pull for some extra DPS at the beginning of the fight.

The Trick Attack window is the single most important part of this opener. You need to be hitting buttons constantly and fast. Once you’re outside the carpal window, you’ll be free to sit back and relax (and still hit more buttons than everyone else.)

Final Words

This class make button go brrr. You like when button go brrrr? Class good for you.

In all seriousness, Ninja was my first love inside FFXIV. The fast-paced gameplay combined with the dual dagger aesthetic enthralled me enough to finally get invested in FFXIV. It’s since become one of my favorite MMOs (and games!) of all time, and I cannot wait for what will bring to Ninja identity. Maybe I’ll hang up the big hunk of metal and don the headband once again, but until then, a Dark Knight I shalt remain as my group’s dedicated edgy boy.

That’s about all your ol’ sensei’s got to pass on…

Now go be a Ninja.



Video game enthusiast tasked with the eternal struggle of not ranting about Metal Gear Solid 3. Streamer, writer, video editor, and Twitter gremlin.

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Video game enthusiast tasked with the eternal struggle of not ranting about Metal Gear Solid 3. Streamer, writer, video editor, and Twitter gremlin.