Unlocking FFXIV Grand Company Ranks

Unlock FFXIV Grand Company Ranks - Reap the Rewards | Guide to GC Ranks and Promotion

Rising up the Grand Company ranks is a great way to experience many aspects of FFXIV in one place. From crafting and gathering, to leves and dungeons, rewards await you no matter your preferences. Grand Companies are the military forces of Eorzea – and at the start of A Realm Reborn are based at the three city-states of Limsa Lominsa, Ul’dah and Gridania. They are responsible for protecting the realm from threats both foreign and domestic.

As part of your adventuring journey, you will join a Grand Company. From there, you can choose when and how to get promoted – and reap the rewards of doing so. Let’s get stuck into it.

Grand Company Basics

The three founding GCs are:

The Immortal Flames

Flame Barracks in Ul'dah, headquarters of the Immortal Flames
  • City: Ul’dah
  • HQ: Flame Barracks
  • Nearest Aetheryte: Ul’dah Aetheryte Plaza

The Maelstrom

Maelstrom Command, headquarters for...well, the Maelstrom in Limsa Lominsa.
  • City: Limsa Lominsa
  • HQ: Maelstrom Command
  • Nearest Aetheryte: Aftcastle

The Order of the Twin Adder

The Adder's Nest - Headquarters for the Order of the Twin Adder
  • City: Gridania
  • HQ: The Adders’ Nest
  • Nearest Aetheryte: Gridania Aetheryte Plaza

As you progress through the MSQ, you’ll come across shifts in the makeup of the Eorzean Alliance. However, you will only be able to choose the three founding nations as your Grand Company.

Choosing a Grand Company

Joining a Grand Company is a requirement. Firstly, you cannot proceed the Main Scenario Quest MSQ until you have, and secondly, airship access is granted as part of that quest series.

You make the decision of which to join, after defeating Ifrit and attending memorial services in Limsa, Ul’dah and Gridania.

This is during the quest Main Scenario Quest A Hero in the MakingExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab).

Ignore your would-be recruiters’ drooling praise, and their somewhat unveiled sucking-up to Minfilia and make the decision for yourself.

Which Grand Company Should I Join?

There is no “right” answer. Apart from joining one, your progress through the game as a whole is not linked to your Grand Company Ranks at any point. However, there are plenty of reasons for climbing the ladder.

Do You Like Their Stuff?
The best piece of advice I heard on which Grand Company you should join is to visit the HQ of all three, browse their rewards (at the Quartermaster NPC) and go with which you prefer the look of.

What Suits Your Character?
The other way I decided was in role-playing: how is your character “wired”? After listening to the speeches, decide which would please them the most and run with that.

And you can change your mind later, if you need to.

Why have Grand Company Ranks?

As I already said, these represent the military of each of the nations. Even the nature-sensitive Gridanians have to be organised, ensure reputation and responsibilities are earned and to mount an effective defence of the Twelveswood.

But all new entrants to an army (or navy) are treated equally, so your slaying of Ifrit has no bearing on your starting rank. You must prove yourself, Private!

Ranks show your commitment to your Grand Company, and in return certain aspects unlock, as do reward tiers.

Climbing the Ladder

What Grand Company Ranks are There?

There are technically Grand Company Ranks: Private, Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain.

However, apart from Captain and Corporal, the other three each have levels within them. You start out as a Private Third Class, for example.

See a Specific GC

Choose a GC (or View All):

RankImmortal FlamesMaelstromTwin Adder
Private Third ClassFlame Private Third Class Flame Private Third ClassStorm Sergeant First Class Storm Private Third ClassSerpent Private Third Class Serpent Private Third Class
Private Second ClassFlame Private Second Class Flame Private Second ClassStorm Private Second Class Storm Private Second ClassSerpent Private Second Class Serpent Private Second Class
Private First ClassFlame Private First Class Flame Private First ClassStorm Private First Class Storm Private First ClassSerpent Private First Class Serpent Private First Class
CorporalFlame Corporal Flame CorporalStorm Corporal Storm CorporalSerpent Corporal Serpent Corporal
Sergeant Third ClassFlame Sergeant Third Class Flame Sergeant Third ClassStorm Sergeant Third Class Storm Sergeant Third ClassSerpent Sergeant Third Class Serpent Sergeant Third Class
Sergeant Second ClassFlame Sergeant Second Class Flame Sergeant Second ClassStorm Sergeant Second Class Storm Sergeant Second ClassSerpent Sergeant Second Class Serpent Sergeant Second Class
Sergeant First ClassFlame Sergeant First Class Flame Sergeant First ClassStorm Sergeant First Class Storm Sergeant First ClassSerpent Sergeant First Class Serpent Sergeant First Class
Chief SergeantChief Flame Sergeant Chief Flame SergeantChief Storm Sergeant Chief Storm SergeantChief Serpent Sergeant Chief Serpent Sergeant
Second LieutenantSecond Flame Lieutenant Second Flame LieutenantSecond Storm Lieutenant Second Storm LieutenantSecond Serpent Lieutenant Second Serpent Lieutenant
First LieutenantFirst Flame Lieutenant First Flame LieutenantFirst Storm Lieutenant First Storm LieutenantFirst Serpent Lieutenant First Serpent Lieutenant
CaptainFlame Captain Flame CaptainStorm Captain Storm CaptainSerpent Captain Serpent Captain

Insignia Images are from GamerEscapeExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab). I did not know a better way of obtaining these. But I will look into it.

What Do I Need To Do To Be Promoted?

For the early Grand Company Ranks, it’s all about earning enough seals, which are a type of token currency.

If you’re new to FFXIV, then you may not be aware that it is possible to own seals in all three Grand Companies. For the purposes of promotion, you have to use the seals from your current GC.

Below, I’ve just used the generic GC Seals icon Grand Company Seals, but there are:

  • Flame Seals Flame Seals
  • Serpent Seals Serpent Seals
  • Storm Seals Storm Seals

I’ll summarise the promotion requirements here and go into a bit more depth about Captain shortly.

Promotion Requirements Per Rank

As well as list them, I quickly built you a filter. So, if you want to see a summary of what your next rank requires, you don’t have to scroll to see it. Just select it from the drop-down.

Choose Your Next Rank:

Next RankSealsAdditional Requirement
Private Second ClassGrand Company Seals 2,000No Additional Requirements
Private First ClassGrand Company Seals 3,000No Additional Requirements
CorporalGrand Company Seals 4,000No Additional Requirements
Sergeant Third ClassGrand Company Seals 5,000Maelstrom Hunting Log Rank 1, or
Twin Adder Hunting Log Rank 1, or
Immortal Flames Hunting Log Rank 1
Sergeant Second ClassGrand Company Seals 6,000No Additional Requirements
Sergeant First ClassGrand Company Seals 7,000No Additional Requirements
Chief SergeantGrand Company Seals 8,000

→ Complete Normal Quest Shadows Uncast. There is a unique one for each Grand Company. Pick this up at your GC’s headquarters.

→ Complete Dzemael Darkhold via Duty Finder (or a pre-made group). It is not an MSQ dungeon so Duty Support is not an option.

Second LieutenantGrand Company Seals 9,000

→ Complete Maelstrom Hunting Log Rank 2, or
Twin Adder Hunting Log Rank 2, or
Immortal Flames Hunting Log Rank 2

→ Complete Gilding the Bilious (there is a unique one for each GC). Pick this up at your GC’s headquarters. This involves clearing the dungeon The Aurum Vale. This is also not on the MSQ list, so you will need to complete this via Duty Finder (or a pre-made group).

First LieutenantGrand Company Seals 10,000Successfully complete the challenging Squadron “Flagged Mission”: Crystal Recovery.

→ Complete five unique dungeons (AKA “Command Missions”) with your Squadron.

→ Have your squadron successfully complete the challenging “Flagged Mission”: Sapper Strike.

How to Apply for Promotion

If you think you have met the requirements for promotion, then:

  1. Speak with your Grand Company’s Personnel Officer. See below for each GC.
  2. Select “Apply for Promotion”.
  3. If you have met the standards and can pay the price in seals, you will be promoted.
  4. If you have not yet met all the prerequisits, then the NPC tactfully reminds you of what you need to do.

Note: the Rank of Captain is not acquired this way. Click/tap for more details →

Each GC’s Personnel Officer

Please excuse the lack of consistency in the style of these images!

Immortal Flames
The Maelstrom
Order of the Twin Adder

Why Are No More Ranks Available to Me?

Unless you are Captain, every rank below that is available to you. If you are getting the “no ranks available” message, it means you have not fulfilled the promotion requirements. So check them out.

The times I miss it are when there is a quest I need to pick up – or I had forgotten it was already in my quest log!

Once you meet the minimum thresholds, the rank will become available.

Where Can I See My Grand Company Rank?

Final Fantasy XIV provides a few places for you:

  1. On your Adventurer Plate.
  2. In your player search results.
  3. On the Character Panel under “Profile”.
  4. If you examine yourself.

As I have attained Captain rank on at least three characters, I can say that I used the display of my position as a reminder to progress it. Not because others could see my rank, but because I could, and wanted that Captain rank!

Adventurer Plate

Character Panel

Character Panel → Profile

Social Panel

Social → View Search Info
Then hover over the badge next to the GC Crest.

Examine Yourself

Yep, F1 to select yourself, then right-click and hit “Examine” as you would to view another player.

Of course, these also represent ways you can see other people’s Grand Company seniority too.

How Do I Earn Seals?

To rank up, you need to earn Company Seals – the specific ones for your GC. The amount of Company Seals you need to earn to increases with each rank, but so does the maximum number you can hold. We’ve already seen there are various promotion requirements depending on the military seniority you’re working towards.

In any case, you can only purchase items from your Grand Company Quartermaster with their specific seals so you will want to get earning them.

7 Ways to Earn GC Seals

You can earn Grand Company seals by completing various activities, such as:

1. Supply (Crafting)

A Supply Delivery Mission involves crafting in-demand items and turning them in to the Personnel officer.

Or, more accurately turning in crafted items. There’s no requirement for your character to be the one who made them.

You can find the current list of items under Timers and can be carried out once every 24hrs.

2. Provisioning (Gathering)

A Provisioning Delivery Mission involves gathering a certain number of items and donating them via the Personnel Officer.

These are always pitched at the level of your gathering job at the time. So, if you’re looking for on-level materials for crafting, check out Timers. You might be able to get extra Grand Company Seals GC Seals for only a little extra effort.

These also have fab EXP EXP:


Once you are in a Grand Company, completing FATEs grants you a number of GC Seals.

The number you get is related to the level of the FATE. So, if you have switched Company, go do FATEs at or above your level.

4. Grand Company Hunting Logs

All three Grand Companies have a related hunting log. Unlike the normal class-based FFXIV Hunting Logs, they grant Grand Company Seals GC seals instead of EXP EXP.

You also need to clear Rank 1 to attain Sergeant Third Class and Rank 2 for Second Lieutenant.

5. Certain Duties

Some lower-level Duty Roulettes grant seals, e.g.

  • Leveling
  • Guildhests

6. Donating Equipment

This is called “Expert Delivery“. You can donate unwanted dungeon drops, and certain other items.

Just make sure you choose 'hide gearset items' so you don't donate gear you actually want!

You can also turn in any relevant gear brought back by your Retainers from their own Ventures.

7. Grand Company Leves

Out in the field are NPCs offering Grand Company Leves. You can complete Leves for any GC, but you get a seal bonus for leves on behalf of your own one.

A full list of GC Leves can be found on ConsoleGamesWikiExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab).

What is Expert Delivery?

Expert delivery in FFXIV is a special type of Grand Company provisions method. This is separate from Supply and Provisioning.

How to Unlock Expert Delivery

If you’re purposefully working your way through the Grand Company ranks, then you will unlock it by default.

However, the actual requirement is to reach the rank of Sergeant Second Class.

What Can I Submit?

It’s pretty broad, really:

  • Dungeon and raid gear loot.
  • Some class-story gear (e.g. those that cannot be re-purchased from the Calamity Salvager)
  • Select high-level or high-difficulty crafted gear.

Click/tap the thumbnail below to see an example from one of my characters:

Who is the NPC?

The Expert Delivery NPC is your Personnel Officer

They are handed into the same NPC as provisioning – your Personnel Officer.

Note: If you are near, or at your Seal Allowance, either spend some seals before turning in gear for Expert Delivery or desynthesise for sale or use elsewhere.

Unlocking First Lieutenant

First Lieutenant is the first rank that you cannot do by yourself in one sense. You have to demonstrate that the Adventurer Squadron you have trained is capable of missions when you are not around.

If you don’t have Squadrons unlocked yet, go pick up the relevant Squadron and CommanderExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab) quest for your Grand Company.

So, this means you’re looking for a special Flagged Mission called Crystal RecoveryExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab).

A detailed look at how to succeed at this mission is a bit out of the scope of this particular guide. But build your Squadron, use training to tweak their stats and keep taking them on Command Missions. Only when all the stat requirements are green will you be allowed to send them, I believe.

What’s a Flagged Mission?

These are Squadron Missions that can attempted multiple times, but completed only once. Once your Squadron has succeeded at that mission, it is removed from the list of the ones available.

Unlocking Captain in Your Grand Company

The rank of Captain is the highest you can reach in a Grand Company. This is true, even though there are other ranks listed in-game.

To unlock Captain, you need to follow these steps:

1. Command Missions

Taking a FFXIV Squadron through Braflox's Longstop.

You must complete five unique dungeons with your Squadron. Straightforward enough.

For me, that’s usually completed way before I am thinking about the rank of Captain.

2. Mission: Sapper Strike

This is another Flagged Mission. Although I think with all green numbers you are “bound to succeed”, I’m fairly sure I’ve failed it once.

Getting all the stats green is your main challenge. Keep leveling your squad members, focus training on the Mission’s stats and adjust any jobs you need to.

3. Get Promoted

Once you have completed these requirements, you will be promoted to the rank of Captain.

No Ranks After Captain?

No, there are not. And with the last few years’ focus being on introducing the Trust and Duty Support systems, I do not see that changing. I think this is a shame, especially as the Alliance changes and knows it needs to work together more.

While dungeons are quicker to run with Squadrons, we are limited to those in A Realm Reborn and a few from Heavensward. This means, once you have reached Level 60 on all jobs, you’re unlikely to need to run Command Missions again.

Thankfully, I like – and use – some of the rewards from Squadron Missions, so I do keep using that aspect. And on other characters of mine, I’ve enjoyed re-leveling them and swapping out Squad Members.

The Perks of Ascension – Your Rewards

Being involved in a GC is not some annoying side-distraction and neither is rising through your chosen Grand Company ranks. It is a rewarding system with real benefits. I often see Level 90 players in GC headquarters. Whether they’re leveling crafting, turning in dungeon gear for seals, or spending seals on things to resell on the Market Board, there are reasons to be involved.

So, let’s talk ’bout rewards (baby):

Higher Seal Allowance

As you get promoted your seal allowance increases too. This means you can buy more things, and save more for your next promotion. Your seal caps for each rank are:

  • Private Third Class:
  • Private Second Class:
  • Private First Class:
  • Corporal:
  • Sergeant Third Class:
  • Sergeant Second Class:
  • Sergeant First Class:
  • Chief Sergeant:
  • Second Lieutenant:
  • First Lieutenant:
  • Captain:

Rank-locked Gear and Items

As you ascend the Company’s ladder, you have access to a wider range of goods from the Quartermaster. You will also see that the Lieutenant and Captain section contains unique weapons and armour. Each Grand Company has specially-designed stat-gear, which can also be used for glamours.

Not all gear is combat equipment. There are crafting tools and some crafting stat gear too. Though it is not the highest gear available in A Realm Reborn content.

Note: You can view all the rewards from all ranks. This helps you to decide which goodies to aim for!

Unlocking Housing

My Miqo'te in her apartment. Unlocking housing is made possible through Grand Company ranks.

Yes, it is true. Your character cannot own a property without improving your Grand Company rank.

Specifically, you need to unlock Second Lieutenant. Jump back to see the requirements of that rank.

Special Crafting Ingrediants

Rare crafting materials can be acquired at the Grand Company Quartermaster.

Your GC Quartermaster is one place to obtain really obscure crafting ingredients and items. Some of these relate to past end-game crafting, others relate to A Relic Reborn weapons. There are other uses.

Tip: before you pay Marketboard prices for items, check first to see if you can get them from the Quartermaster.

GC-Themed Decorations

How patriotic are you? The answer to that may be demonstrated through whether you want GC-themed decorations at home!

Personally, my characters leave work at work. Usually. As for me, well, Fibromyalgia and anxiety mean I can’t do a job anyway. So I can’t leave work anywhere.

Squadron Access

One of my FFXIV Adventurer Squadrons in the Stone Vigil Dungeon

You may not see this as a “perk”. While it is a requirement for the last couple of promotions, Squadrons are more than NPC groups to run dungeons with.

When a Squad member hits Level 50 they can be glamoured. You can change their class/job and… they can bring back shinies! Some examples are:

  • Priority Seal Allowance: temporary buff to seals received.
  • Squadron Battle Manual: time-limited EXP buff.
  • Squadron Rationing Manual: makes food last 40 minutes, rather than 30, for example.
  • Squadron Gear Maintenance Manual: reduces item wear.
  • Aetheryte Passes: reduced Aetheryte teleportation costs.

As with retainer ventures, once you send them on their way, Squadron Missions take place whether you’re online or not.

More on ConsoleGamesWikiExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab)

My Experience of Leveling Through Grand Company Ranks

I have always loved this side of FFXIV and feel its a shame there’s nothing after Captain to aim for. But I have leveled three characters to Captain, one in each Grand Company.

Most of the journey is pretty smooth, especially once Expert Delivery unlocks and you can turn in dungeon loot for seals.

What I Enjoyed the Most

The two aspects I find most enjoyable are:

  • Extra vendor rewards and glamouring items available to you as you climb the proverbial ladder
  • Building up and customising the Squadron aspect of GCs.

I was using my Squadron for leveling certain classes (mainly healing and tanks, let’s be honest) well before Duty Support was a thing.

What I Found Least Enjoyable

While I generally love the Squadron system, I still struggle with Squadron Missions (not Command Missions). It’s hard to get my head around the numbers, strengths and weaknesses of each member. And then there are “chemistry” interactions where bonuses are applied depending on the make-up of the group being sent on the mission.

It’s a bit mind-bending. But it is only one part of the ranking system, so I keep it in that perspective.

Keep It Varied

Lastly on this, don’t feel you have to grind FATEs for GC Seals. As we’ve seen, they can be acquired from different sources. So keep it varied to keep it interesting.

Hopefully Helpful Hints

Most Grand Company Ranks require seals to be paid, so you’re balancing that with needing to generate them for rewards and for the new promotion fee.

We’ve already discussed how to earn Grand Company Seals. But here are some other (hopefully) helpful hints.

  1. Use Free Company Actions:
    If you’re in a Free Company, then the action Seal Sweetener increases how many GC Seals you earn from all sources.
  2. Earn Priority Seal Allowances:
    These are consumables you earn via Squadron Missions. They cannot be stacked with FC Actions, however. But if you’re not in a Free Company, then this is a real option.
  3. Pick Up All Solo Loot: In Command Missions, as you have to pay a price in GC Seals, make sure to pick up all loot as you go through. Most dungeons give equal or more seals (in loot value) than their cost, but some don’t. Pick it all up to minimise losses.
  4. Use Duty Support:
    This may sound strange. However, you have to pay your Squadron to jump into deadly situations like dungeons. Running dungeons on Duty Support gives you 100% of the loot, which you can turn in for GC Seals. There’s no seal cost of Duty Support, unlike Squadron Command Missions.
  5. Don’t Rush:
    There are a lot of ranks to climb, there is no need to hurry. You will also need to be patient with Squadron Missions as they are not always successful. Give yourself space to learn the systems.

Let Me Have Your Tips!

If you want to, reach out on Social Media and let me know what you recommend. Any I include will have a link to your Social profile (if you agree to that).

Build Connections with Others

Despite it being a mostly solo-based system, there’s no reason why you cannot engage with other players at the same time. Here are just a couple of ideas on how you could do that:

  • Speak to Players at HQ
    Just start a conversation up. If the only thing you have in common is your Grand Company, you can still swap experiences.
  • Give/Get Help with Missions
    For Supply and Provisioning Missions, it does not matter who crafted or harvested the items. That means, if you’re struggling and could use a hand, you may be able to ask someone for help to craft something. On the other hand, why not offer to craft or gather for another player in your Grand Company?
  • See GC Gear
    A player in the headquarters, or one you find is in your GC may be able to show you “in the flesh” what the GC gear looks like. The dressing room preview only goes so far, so do ask.

TL;DR Dive In and Rise Through the Grand Company Ranks

Want to unlock housing? Get promoted! Want to be able to turn in duty loot for easy GC seals? Get promoted! Want that chocobo barding, or Grand Company-themed weapons? You get the idea!

Grand Companies are a great way to experience leveling, an alternative to Duty Support and contains rewards you cannot find from other sources. It was the re-formation of the Alliance that brought a unity of purpose under the threat of Dalamud and coming alongside a Grand Company, you feel a part of that, even though you arrived late to the proverbial party.

So, get in and enjoy the journey and the rewards. I think I’m going to switch GC for the first time since I started playing Final Fantasy XIV, which will be a new experience too. Whatever makes riding through the Grand Company ranks the most interesting for you – do that.

About the Author

Fibro Jedi
Fibro Jedi

I have been playing MMOs for about ten years and began writing guides to The Lord of the Rings Online in 2017. I've only been creating content about Final Fantasy XIV since 2022, but I am glad for the mix. My current games include LOTRO, FFXIV and the occasional Palia session too.

LOTRO Posts | FFXIV Posts | Please support me on Ko-Fi Donate Coffee | Author Page

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