Final Fantasy Wiki

Bard Artifact Armor.

A bright tune to soothe a party's wounds... A brisk march to raise a party's spirits... A forbidden chant to weaken a party's foes... The bards of Vana'diel use music as their weapon.

Official description

Bards are an advanced job in Final Fantasy XI available to players once they reach level 30. Bards are a type of support job. They exist more-so to boost the party's effectiveness than to be good on their own. They accomplish their task through using various songs.

Bards rely upon charisma for their offensive songs, though not so much for their positive songs. Also, despite the fact that Bards do not naturally have any MP, they do benefit from having it. For both of those reasons, the high charisma of Elvaan or the high MP totals of Tarutaru make them ideal bards; however, bard is one of the least statistical or equipment based jobs and bards of every race are popular, including the Mithra and Galka races.

Becoming a Bard[]

Bard FFXI Ikeda Art.jpg

In order to become a bard, a player must complete multiple quests, which all reveal a part of a person's story. The first quest, "The Old Monument", starts in Jeuno. It requires the player to head to the Southern coast of Buburimu Peninsula to find an old monument with song runes on it. Upon hearing this, another NPC overhears and mentions that such a song might cheer up her friend.

The first portion of the quest is just finding the monument and inspecting it. At that point the player will happen across another traveler looking at the rune and complete the first quest. If he is really savvy, the player would bring with a piece of parchment to make a rubbing of the runes. Taking the song runes back to Jeuno, the player can complete the quest "Minstrel of Despair".

The third leg, simply named "Path of the Bard", requires the bard to talk with Bki Tbujhja again, the same NPC who gave the original quest. She mentions another set of runes in the Valkurm Dunes. When the player finds the runes on the hidden beach, he will be visited by a few NPCs and told a story, after which point the player may level as a Bard.


Job abilities[]

Job Ability Level Recast Duration Description
Soul Voice 1 1:00:00 0:03:00 Enhances the effects of your songs.
Pianissimo 20 0:00:05 0:01:00 Limits area of effect of next song to a single target.
Nightingale 75(Only unlocked with Merit Points) 0:10:00 0:01:00 Halves the casting and recast times of songs.
Troubadour 75(Only unlocked with Merit Points) 0:10:00 0:01:00 Increases the casting time for songs by 1.5 and doubles the effect duration.
Tenuto 83 0:00:05 0:01:00 If the next song you cast affects yourself, it will not subsequently be overwritten by other songs.
Marcato 93 0:10:00 0:01:00 Enhances the effect of your next song.
Clarion Call 96 1:00:00 0:03:00 Increases the number of songs that can affect party members by one.

Job traits[]

Job Trait Levels Tier Description
Resist Silence 5 / 25 / 45 / 65 / ?? V Gives you a slight resistance against silence.
Critical Defense Bonus 80 I Improves defense against critical hits.
Fencer 85 / 95 II Increases Critical Hit Rate when wielding with the main hand only. Grants a TP Bonus to weapon skills.

Spell list[]

Level Spell
1 Knight's Minne
3 Valor Minuet
5 Army's Paeon
7 Foe Requiem
9 Herb Pastoral
10 Light Threnody
11 Sword Madrigal
12 Dark Threnody
13 Sheepfoe Mambo
14 Earth Threnody
15 Army's Paeon II
16 Foe Lullaby
Water Threnody
17 Foe Requiem II
18 Wind Threnody
19 Scop's Operetta
20 Fire Threnody
21 Knight's Minne II
22 Enchanting Etude
Ice Threnody
23 Valor Minuet II
24 Lightning Threnody
Spirited Etude
25 Mage's Ballad
26 Learned Etude
27 Horde Lullaby
28 Quick Etude
29 Advancing March
30 Vivacious Etude
31 Hunter's Prelude
32 Dextrous Etude
33 Fowl Aubade
Magic Finale
Level Spell
34 Sinewy Etude
35 Army's Paeon III
36 Light Carol
37 Foe Requiem III
Raptor Mazurka
38 Earth Carol
39 Battlefield Elegy
40 Water Carol
41 Knight's Minne III
42 Wind Carol
43 Valor Minuet III
44 Fire Carol
45 Army's Paeon IV
46 Ice Carol
47 Foe Requiem IV
48 Lightning Carol
49 Goblin Gavotte
50 Dark Carol
51 Blade Madrigal
53 Dragonfoe Mambo
54 Gold Capriccio
55 Mage's Ballad II
56 Shining Fantasia
57 Foe Requiem V
59 Carnage Elegy
60 Victory March
61 Knight's Minne IV
62 Bewitching Etude
63 Valor Minuet IV
64 Logical Etude
65 Army's Paeon V
66 Sage Etude
67 Foe Requiem VI
Level Spell
68 Swift Etude
69 Puppet's Operetta
70 Vital Etude
71 Archer's Prelude
Goddess's Hymnus
72 Uncanny Etude
73 Chocobo Mazurka
Warding Round
74 Herculean Etude
75 Maiden's Virelai
Adventurer's Dirge
Foe Sirvente
76 Foe Requiem VII
78 Army's Paeon VI
80 Knight's Minne V
81 Earth Carol II
82 Sentinel's Scherzo
83 Foe Lullaby II
84 Water Carol II
85 Mage's Ballad III
87 Valor Minuet V
Wind Carol II
90 Fire Carol II
92 Horde Lullaby II
93 Ice Carol II
95 Pining Nocturne
96 Lightning Carol II
99 Light Carol II
Dark Carol II

Skill ratings[]

Combat Skill Rank Caps by Level
1 37 45 75 90
Dagger B- 5 109 132 240 388
Staff C+ 5 105 128 230 378
Sword C- 5 105 128 220 368
Club D 4 101 122 210 334
Throwing E 4 94 114 200 300
Evasion D 4 101 122 210 334
Parrying E 4 94 114 200 300
Magic Skill Rank Caps by Level
1 37 45 75 90
Singing C 5 105 128 225 373
String C 5 105 128 225 373
Wind C 5 105 128 225 373


Promotional artwork of the Bard job class by Yuzuki Ikeda.

Bards use three types of instruments; wind instruments, string instruments, and of course their own Singing voice. Their songs are generally positive in nature, affecting one or all party members. Their ability to effect esentially any ally ability from damage, to accuracy, to evasion, and MP or HP regeneration makes them highly sought after. Bards have a much more limited ability to negatively affect their enemies with songs, but some songs do exist.

Bards can fight, though they generally do not have the time to do so. They generally are limited to wands, staves, light swords, and knives. In this version any creature can be effected by up to two songs by a bard, and singing a song takes 8 seconds. Since they have short duration, the bard tends to do nothing but sing songs ad nauseum.


  • A Bard can improve almost every aspect of a party's performance.
  • Bards offer consistent bonuses.
  • Bards are able to dispel enemy positive status effects.
  • Bard's slow songs, Elegy, stack with magical slow spells.
  • Bards can effectively sleep creatures from the undead family.
  • Bard get parties with greater ease than some jobs.


  • A Bard is virtually helpless without a party except versus all but the easiest of foes, having low statistics, low weapon abilities, and low defense.
  • A Bard's effectiveness is limited by party cooperation in the sense that Bards are the only class that needs to be mindful of all party member's position when singing.
  • Bard sleep songs, while costing no MP, are fairly weak and do not last very long.
  • Bard is an intensely repetitive job requiring a lot of concentration and a decent understanding of game fundamentals. Not many people seem to enjoy playing this job for long periods of time.
  • Bard songs are significantly weaker, on average, than Corsair rolls. (Although it should be noted that unlike Corsair rolls, there is no risk of "Busting".)
  • Bards offer no damage potential offered by Corsairs.

Support Jobs[]

White Mage[]

The vast majority of all Bards use White Mage as a support job. With such a job, they can facilitate in a bit of curing now and then, the use of Stoneskin for pulls, and the removal of status effects from enemies. Even in high end events, such as Dynamis, Bards are often using bar-spells.


Ninja is occasionally used by Bards for pulling, especially "big birds" out in Lufaise Meadows, or any other fast mob that hits hard but slowly. The bard loses some support ability and a few points of charisma for the benefit of gaining 3 hit blink through utsusemi.

Red Mage[]

Red mage is not completely without its merits, but use is extremely rare. The major advantage to this setup is fast cast which will bring the time required to sing a song down considerably as well as shorten recast times, allowing the bard to pull faster. Phalanx can help mitigate damage on pulls. Stoneskin is still an available spell. A bard may not be able to remove status effects, but he can still cure.

Other appearances[]

Final Fantasy Trading Card Game[]

Bard has two ice-elemental cards.



In medieval Gaelic and British culture, a bard was a professional poet, employed by a patron, such as a monarch or nobleman, to commemorate the patron's ancestors and to praise the patron's own activities. Originally a specific class of poet, with the decline of living bardic tradition in the modern period the term "bard" acquired generic meaning of an epic author/singer/narrator, or any poets, especially famous ones. For example, William Shakespeare is known as the Bard or the Bard of Avon.