Common Mechanics

An exhaustive list of various common mechanics for player's reference.


Usually indicated by four inward-pointing orange arrows in newer content, and various markers in content before Alexander. This is an AoE that splits damage among all participants, and will typically kill whoever is targeted if they are alone. For most content the whole party should stack together, but harder content will sometimes mix things up by having some players have targeted AoEs (they should not stack with the group) or multiple sets of stack markers (the party should split up equally among the 2 or 4 markers; typically the primary targets are healers, or a random choice between all healers and tanks or all DPS).

Name(s) Appearance Info Example Duties


Common Mechanics-Default Stack-Denmo.gif
Default stack. Shares damage with all targets inside the mechanic indicator in a circle. Nearly all duties.

Compound Stack

(Akh Morn)

Works exactly like regular stacks, but instead of a single attack, players need to endure multiple attacks in rapid succession and thus must stay inside the indicator for an extended time. As of endwalker, if is often indicated by multiple four inward-pointing orange arrows stacked on top of each other.

Line Stack

Common Mechanics-Line Stack-Denmo.gif
This works exactly regular stacks, but instead of a circle around the player it's a line that fires from the boss, through the target and to the end of the arena. Melee need to group up tighter, but ranged can stand as far as they like so long as they remain on that line between the boss and the target.

Marker Stack

(Sin & Punishment)

Typically appears as red triangles over players' heads. Stand on or close to at least one other player with the marker to nullify the effect. Usually causes some manner of debilitating debuff if not stacked with another marked player.
  • In World of Darkness, this appears as a white and black orb instead, as the effect of Cerberus's Ululation attack.
  • In Containment Bay P1T6, this appears as as white or black puddle around the players feet, and they must stand with someone of the opposite color in pairs.

Red Orb Stack

Certain stacks are red with two (or sometimes three in alliance content) orbs circling each other above the target player's head. This stack mechanic is meant for tanks only, and indicates for the indicated number of players to stand in the mechanic.

Tethers & Chains[edit]

Tethers are lines between an enemy and a player, while chains are a tether between two players.

Name(s) Appearance Info Example Duties


This is a line between a monster and a player that has a variety of meanings, but usually means they are under attack. Generally, this simply means they will target that player and refuse to be pulled off, or that their next major attack will target them.

Tradable Tethers

These tethers work the same as regular tethers but can be traded amongst players, either by walking over the player or over the tether itself. Their appearance is slightly different in Endwalker or higher content, often displaying a large circle on the tethered player. When there's only one or two and/or they hit only a few times, they are typically tankbusters that deal heavy to lethal damage to non-tank players. Almost identical to Prey Tethers, but does not grant a debuff preventing players from taking it back.

Proximity Tethers

Indicated by a purple tether pointing both ways from the middle, this indicates a targeted attack that will do more damage the closer you are to the monster. Typically this simply means more or less damage, but some enemies such as Chadarnook from Sigmascape V2.0 and Eros from the Qitana Ravel have a binary variant which changes appearance if the target moves far enough away; the attack becomes significantly weaker if this is done.


A mechanic where two players will have a tether between them, usually with the appearance of a chain. While they are chained, they generally take continuous damage. To break the chain, the chained players must run away from each other until it disappears. Generally, the further away you are from the person you are chained to when you receive the chains, the further you will need to go to break them.

Stackable Chains

There are some rare instances where players instead need to stack if they receive a chain as it will either remove the chain completely or deal less damage to the players the closer they are.

Enemy Chains

Very rarely, you have to break the tether from an enemy like you would for player Chains.
See also:

Towers & Meteors[edit]

While having different appearances and generally being referred to as one or the other, both of these are basically the same mechanic. One player will need to stand within the confines of the attack to take it, otherwise the entire party will take even more damage and potentially debuffs as well. Usually any given player can stand in them, but some hit hard enough that a tank is required to take it.


More generally indicated by a purple eye marker on the mob/boss casting the ability, this requires players to physically turn their characters away from whatever is casting it to avoid various debuffs (stun, confusion, fear, etc.). Certain Gaze attacks may be mitigated by being afflicted under Blind (Status Effect).

Name(s) Appearance Info Example Duties
Common Mechanics-Gaze-Denmo.gif
Default gaze. Players must physically turn their character so it is not facing the enemy casting it. Typically requires at least a 90° turn to safely avoid, which is useful when there are multiple gaze mechanics.
Gaze + AoE indicator
In earlier level (ARR) content, most Gaze mechanics will have an AoE marker attached to the ability, typically a cone or circle, indicating that players outside the AoE do not need to turn away. If you are standing inside the AoE, you can merely turn your character away to avoid the attack.

Proximity Damage[edit]

These mechanics deal damage dependant on how close you are to the target or marked area. They are fairly common throughout all content.

Name(s) Appearance Info Example Duties


Common Mechanics-Flare-Denmo.gif
(Not to be confused with the Black Mage ability Flare.)
This is an ability that generally targets one or both tanks with three white arrows pointing outward in the shape of a giant triangle around them. It deals moderate to heavy damage to the targeted players and should be shielded/healed as necessary. As a bonus, it acts as a Proximity Marker for all other players.

Proximity Markers

Common Mechanics-Proximity Marker-Denmo.gif
Usually appears as a small orange circle at the epicenter with a pulsing rainbow circle spreading from it, with the colors changing the further away it is (the furthest color being purple). The closer that players are to the epicenter, the more damage they take, with standing on top of or very close almost always being fatal.


Generally indicated by marking a player with a large red orb and a rotating red circle over their head, as well as a red debuff with a crosshair on it. Indicates that the player will be the target for an upcoming attack.

Occasionally, this debuff can be passed to other players, allowing the tanks to pick them up to take the brunt of the damage. In this case, players generally receive a buff that prevents them from taking the prey marker back, meaning players need to be careful when trading it off. Trading it off can be difficult, and the best strategy is to have one of the players stand still while the other runs over them to take the debuff.

Appears in:

Prey Tethers[edit]

Similar to prey, but will have a tether instead, allowing players to walk over the tether to take it from the current target. Rarely requires players to stand on the tether instead of simply taking it themselves.

Appears in:

Ice Floor[edit]

First introduced in Patch 2.4, this ability turns the floor to ice and any player movements will cause the player to move a set distance in that direction. Often causes players to slide into other mechanics and/or take damage.

Appears in:

Earth Shaker[edit]

A conal AoE that extends from the boss, to and through a targeted player. Often spawns numerous Earth Shakers at once on different players.

Appears in:


Conal attack in front of the boss, usually given without warning. Deals damage to all targets in range, not just the targeted player.

Shared Cleaves[edit]

Much like a cleave, but the damage is exceptionally high and can be shared between players, generally both tanks. Shared cleaves will also typically only hit the specified number of players for the mechanic; any extra players in the cleave will take no damage, with targets for the attack being selected at random from those in the cleave.

Appears in:


Essentially a max HP check, this is a massive hit on the tank. Sometimes it has a cast bar where players can use role actions to mitigate damage, other times it comes without warning and just requires healers to be ready. Often, a tankbuster is also a cleave.

Knockback/Draw In[edit]

Attacks that pull players toward the boss or push them away. Often followed by other AoEs that require the players to move back to where they were. Rarely, these markers will be placed on a certain player as the epicentrum. Note that certain Knockback or Draw In attacks cannot be mitigated by anti-knockback actions.

Forced March[edit]

A new mechanic first seen in Patch 4.0, this forces a player to move in a specific direction for a few seconds. Generally comes with a debuff or an indicator of what direction you would be moving in, either based on an external force or the direction your character is facing.

Appears in:

Temporary Misdirection[edit]

This mechanic causes a rapidly spinning hand to appear above the head of the affected player. Attempting to move by walking or running will cause the hand to stop spinning, and the player to move in the direction the hand is pointing instead of the direction they were intending to move. This is usually paired with some manner of AoE that must be dodged.

To handle this mechanic, players may rapidly tap the "move forward" key until they find themselves walking in an acceptable direction, at which point they can keep holding down the "move forward" key until they arrive at a safe location.

Appears in:

Prison Mechanics[edit]

(Renders one player helpless, others must break them out)

Appears in:

Boss Gauges[edit]

Nearly all trials and raids have some sort of boss gauge. Depending on the fight, they may count down to 0 or count up to 100, either based on time, damage dealt, or other mechanics. Once the bar is full (or finished emptying) the boss generally uses an ultimate ability that will deal massive damage, almost always killing everyone.

Players need to counter this by executing specific mechanics correctly. The bar will always fill/empty part of the way, but countering it means that the boss will deal less damage (the less that it's filled/emptied, the less damage you'll take).

Certain Boss Gauges do not employ ultimate attacks, but rather is a visual timing indicator of an upcoming mechanic. In these cases, there is nothing players can do to prevent it per se, but allows players to prepare and pre-position for that mechanic or deploy mitigations.

Ultimate Attack[edit]

Nearly always paired with a Boss Gauge, these abilities are intended to wipe groups and force them to start over. When paired with a boss gauge, players need to counter it with properly executed mechanics. When it isn't, the ability is often paired with a DPS check (like Ultima in The Praetorium) to cancel the ability or lower the damage dealt. Other times, the boss will use that ability at a specific time and players are expected to counter the massive damage with damage reduction abilities (and extremely rarely the tank LB).

General AoEs[edit]

Various interesting types of AoEs that you may come across (not including the basic ground targeted AoEs).

Donut AoEs[edit]

These AoEs are round (although part of it may be cut off) and always have a safe spot in the center of them. It is sometimes possible to dodge the AoE by moving to max cast range as well, but often it's easier to simply move in towards the center.

This kind of AoE may be centered on a monster, a player, or applied to a random spot in the arena.

Sequential AoEs[edit]

These AoEs come in all shapes and sizes and always come one after another in a specific pattern. Generally, they will overlap each other as they make an arc or straight line across the arena. Much more common in Stormblood content than previous content.

Appears in:

Spin Markers[edit]

Indicates sequential AoEs that are cast radiating from a center in a certain direction. The direction of the arrow indicates the sequence next attacks will take, but the degree of rotation varies heavily between encounters.

Chasing AoEs[edit]

Very similar to Sequential AoEs, however these ones will drop AoEs following a specific player's movements instead of having a specific pattern. Rarely, this may be indicated by a number of chevrons or arrows appearing below the feet of the targeted player.

Appears in:

Targeted AoEs[edit]

These are AoEs that will target players and follow them as they move. Sometimes they will affix to the ground after a certain amount of time, allowing the player to move out of the AoE before it goes off, but generally they will only follow the player. While it sounds similar to a Chasing AoE, this only has a single AoE marker that will follow a player before detonating instead of multiple AoE's following a player's path.

Duty Action[edit]

Certain duties allow players to use a special, duty-specific action, known as a Duty Action. The exact effect of this action varies from duty to duty.

Active Time Maneuver[edit]

Certain duties feature periods during which players must repeatedly press a button, usually in order to either fill up a gauge that appears on-screen, or to prevent that same gauge from emptying. This is preceded by the text "Active Time Maneuver" appearing on-screen. Until the Active Time Maneuver is finished, players will be unable to take any other action.

In addition to clicking on the button that appears on-screen, players may also perform the active time maneuver by pressing almost any key on their keyboard or controller.

Additional TBA =[edit]

  • Protean
  • Limit Cut
  • Exaflare/line/square
  • Twisters
  • Stillness / Pyretic
  • Enumeration
  • Defamation
  • Hot Wing/Hot Tail
  • Chariot/Dynamo
  • Wild Charge
  • Tumults
  • Weights
  • Haircut
  • Chain Lightning
  • Divebomb
  • Akh Rhai
  • Predation
  • Playstation / Color Pairs
  • "Hand of Pain"
  • Acceleration Bomb
  • Swap Tether
  • Near/Far Tether
  • Alternating AoE
  • Cascading AoE
  • Blue circle KB
  • Height Error
  • Summoning Circle
  • Meteor Baits (proximity)
  • Rot/Virus/Nisi
  • Doom
  • Timed Puddle/Titania puddle
  • Role Marker mechanics
  • Yellow/Red tankbuster markers