Grand Companies, Linkshells, and Free Companies are basically the social systems in FFXIV Online: ARR.
Any seasoned MMO player would know these systems in the form of their clans, factions or guilds. Their core function is to establish communication between people.
In FFXIV: ARR, even longtime MMO players might be at a loss at the start as the social systems function a bit differently. Aside from these three systems there is also the friends-list which is basically where you would add people you’d like to get in touch with.
You can send people friend invitations through the Chat Interface or you could right click that person’s name.
These friend requests will be accepted through a prompt in the User Interface and once it has been accepted; both the persons will be able to see each other in the Friends tab in the Social Panel.
Other than the friends list; there are three main social systems in FFXIV: ARR. Read below to know more about them!
FFXIV Online: ARR – Grand Companies, Linkshells, And Free Companies
Each nation in FFXIV Online: ARR consists of a Grand Company, you think of Grand Companies like you would think of NPC factions. For example, the Stormtroopers and Browncoats. It is up to the player which Grand Company they would like to join.
Regardless of the class you choose in the game; you are free to join any Grand Company you want!
A number of game elements will be depend upon which Grand Company you are a member of! For example, your adventuring partner and many other things.
Grand Companies provide you with multiple activities. Like providing a series of recipes and harvests for crafting.
When you join Grand Company, you also have a Hunting Log added, while Hunting Logs are class specific, the ones you get through Grand Companies have no class restrictions.
Along with this you will also get a series of Levequests to complete which are available to all Grand Company members.
They will start at level 15 in your Levequest headquarters and are given out by a representative of a local Grand Company. You can complete these for other Grand Companies as well but companies will pay out more for their own members.
You get the reward from these in the form of Seals. Seals are basically currency which you can see in the Currency tab of the character’s User Interface. Seals are also earned by participating in F.AT.E.s.
Once you join a Grand Company every F.A.T.E. participation grants a set of Seals based on the level of the F.A.T.E. completed, the completion status, and your ranking in the F.A.T.E. This also applies to the lower level F.A.T.E.s in the starting zones.
You can spend these Seals on a vast variety of goods and services which Grand Companies provide such as gear, experience boosts, and promotions.
As you start your duties in a Grand Company, you will be ranked as a novice. Your rank is increased as you spend Seals. Ranking up allows you new Seal purchases and increases maximum Seal allowance.
Note: Grand Companies you are affiliated with do not affect your PVE experience.
Linkshells in FFXIV: ARR are user created/moderated chat channels. These channels don’t have any inventory object associated with them.
To create a Linkshell, you will need to visit the Linkshell distributor who is present in any of the three starting cities. As you talk to him, you’ll get the options to learn about Linkshells, disband Linkshells, and create Linkshells. To create a Linkshell, all you need to is to set up a name and invite other players.
After you’ve created a Linkshell you get a Linkshell interface which can be accessed by pressing the ‘l’ key by default. In this interface you can see a lot of information such as who is online, their class, which Grand Company they are affiliated with, and their location.
In a Linkshell, you are one of three things; a Master, a Leader, or a member. Promotions and demotions are handled by simply right clicking the player’s name in the Linkshell UI. To talk in a link shell, use ‘l’ by default but it can be assigned as your default channel if you feel the need to do so.
Note: At any given time, you can’t join more than 8 Linkshells.
In FFXIV: ARR, you think of free companies as you would think of your clans or guilds in other MMOs. They primarily function as a chat channel such as Linkshells but offer many other functions.
Note: A free company can’t be created if you’re under level 25.
Free Companies are also not affiliated with any Grand Company.
You can start creating a Free Company by visiting the administrator at your Grand Company headquarters where you will select the name for your Free Company along with a 5-digit tag which members of your free company will have in the field.
For example, if my guild tag is ‘ELITE’ then my name will be written as XXXXXX.
Keep in mind that the company doesn’t start just after selecting a name and a tag but you will also need at least three other players to sign the charter and you will have to pay a fee of 15,000 Gil to the administrator. After doing all these things, you will get a confirmation dialogue.
As with any clans or guilds in other MMOs, Free Companies can be joined at any time but you can only be one at any given time so if you are looking to join another one, you will have to leave your current one.
You can access the Free Company UI through the menu buttons and the chat default for a Free Company is ‘/fc’. As of now, there are multiple options such as ‘Traits’, ‘Journal’, and ‘Statuses’ which are not available and will most probably be added later on.
In the Free Company UI, you can see who is currently online, set a message of the day, and add ranks and manage ranks of other players.