Free Companies act as the entirely player character based 'guild/clan' system within Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.
"Free Companies can be described as mercenary groups formed of adventurers. They are unique in that they operate under the Aegis of the Grand Companies of Eorzea"
Players with the proper permission within their Free Company may invite other players from anywhere they can target another players name other than the chat window by selecting 'Invite to Company'. Examples; Friends, Linkshell Members, Party Members, Search Window, and Players beside you.
Players must be invite to a Free Company or form their own in order to join. When invited to a Free company players are prompted with an oval window on the right side of the screen much like a friend request or party/linkshell invite. By clicking said window, players can accept the a Free Company invite.
In order to leave a Free Company players must go to the Free Company window from the Social Lists in the Main Menu and from the Members tab select the 'Leave Company' button located at the bottom.
Players in a Free Company will received messages through the Company Chat, the Company Board, and see a list of all players within the Free Company to send private messages to as well.
Any message input in the Free Company chat mode can be seen by any and all players in the Free Company currently online. This chat mode is activated by prefacing a message with either /freecompany or simply /fc. In addition, the active chat mode can be set to Free Company mode by entering the command /chatmode freecompany or /chatmode fc, or just entering /fc without a following message. Alt + F can be used to switch to Free Company chat.
The Company Board can be edited any time from the Topics tab inside Free Company window, and can contain up to 192 Characters. The Company Board message is displayed to all members at the time they log in.
The Company Slogan can be edited any time from the Info tab inside the Free Company window, and can contain up to X characters. The Company Slogan is displayed when players inspect the Free company.
In addition to the in game methods, every free company is also given a Lodestone page with a forum from which they can communicate together outside of the game, or with other players on the Lodestone.
All players who join or form a Free Company are given a rank. The initial ranks upon forming a Free Company are Master, Officer and Member. The Master of the Free Company or a rank with appropriate permissions may create more ranks as well as change the permissions for each one. New members are automatically assigned to the rank of Member. This can not be changed, and will always represent the 'starter' rank for new members and can be renamed accordingly.
Although the three initial ranks come named players with the proper permissions may rename any of the existing ranks at any time, as well as choose names for newly created ranks.
Players with proper permissions may change the hierarchy(order) of the ranks within the Free Company. The ranks are displayed top to bottom and although each rank has independent permissions they the order they are displayed implies a higher rank then one another and are numbered 1 to x(15) starting with the master.
The permissions that may be assigned to any rank, other than Master who always has full control are, are divided into two main categories Basic Settings and Chest Access.
Here you will be able to set which main slot inside your Company Chest can be accessed by any given rank. In addition this is where you would control rank access to Company Chest stored Crystals and Gil.
All players of any rank will be able to see what is inside each container. However only players with the appropriate rank permissions will be able to remove or add items to a specified container.
Company Credits are earned by players within a Free Company and are used to increase the Company Rank as well as a form of currency spent at the Grand Company the Free Company is affiliated with. There are no prompts for when credits are earned, but they can be earned through the following methods;
There are eight company ranks each with a corresponding Entitlement rewarded to the Free Company.