Overview – The Squire class is the most basic class in Final Fantasy Tactics. While this may make it sound like the weakest class, it is actually quite versatile and useful. The majority of your characters will start as Squires and many will either remain Squires or assign Squire skills as a secondary for most of the game. The main advantage of this class is the ability to gain job points quickly, though that is far from its only advantage. The following guide to the Squire class in Final Fantasy Tactics will help you best take advantage of the class benefits and spend your job points wisely.
Prerequisites – Like the Chemist, Squire is one of the two classes you can start your characters with. To get a Squire, you simply need to recruit a character.
Advancement – A Squire can directly advance to one of three different classes. Once the Squire is level 2, it can advance to either a Knight or an Archer. If you reach level 8 with a Squire, it can advance to a Mime. In general, you don’t want to advance a Squire until you have learned at least half the abilities of the class, unless you are trying to get a specific later class quickly.
Equipment – A Squire can equip a knife, sword, axe, or flail as a weapon. The class is much more limited in armor, only able to equip a hat and clothes. If you intend to keep a character as a Squire for an extended duration, it is best to advance to Knight briefly and learn Equip Armor skill or Equip Shield skill.
Basic Skill: Accumulate (300 JP) – Accumulate grants the Squire a boost to attack until the end of a battle and multiple uses stack. This is particularly good for building up JP on new characters because it can earn a character JP without engaging an enemy. If you can afford to let enemies come to your troops, use this skill to increase attack. It is also really useful for any Squire that has learned Equip Crossbow from the Archer class.
Basic Skill: Dash (80 JP) – The main benefit of Dash is pushing an enemy. The attack has a chance of pushing an enemy a single space. This is handy when an enemy is near a cliff, but usually doesn’t offer a lot of benefit. In general, you shouldn’t spend JP on this unless you have JP to burn.
Basic Skill: Throw Stone (90 JP) – This skill is essentially the long distant version of Dash. It is a slightly better skill because the Squire using it doesn’t need to get near the enemy. This means you can push an enemy that you can’t afford to engage in close combat and also that you can use it to gain JP without risking your character. It is pretty useful if you intend to upgrade a Squire to an Archer.
Basic Skill: Heal (150 JP) – Heal will remove darkness, silence, and poison from an ally. A Chemist can do the same thing by using items, but this skill has no cost, except for the need to be adjacent to your target. You probably don’t need this on every Squire, but one or two is a good idea. In general, you want any character with this skill to also have a boost to movement speed.
Reaction: Counter Tackle (180 JP) – When your Squire is attacked, the Squire has a chance to counter with Dash, even if the character can’t normally use the Dash skill. The damage from Dash is pitiful and pushing one square usually isn’t helpful, but that doesn’t mean the skill is worthless. If you’ve built up enough with Accumulate, the damage is quite respectable and this is a particularly good skill to take before advancing to Archer, both because Archers tend to stand on cliffs and because they are otherwise weak to melee attacks.
Support: Equip Axe (170 JP) – As the name suggests, this skill allows your character to equip an axe. Axes are rarely a superior weapon and almost any class that belongs in melee can already equip an equally good or better weapon. There is really never a reason to learn this skill before any other Squire skill.
Support: Monster Skill (200 JP) – Monster characters are rather unimpressive in Final Fantasy Tactics. This skill will boost a nearby monster, but that still doesn’t really make monsters worth using. Using two characters to get the same benefit you can get from a single character is a bad deal. The best use for this skill is on a Thief, which generally shouldn’t be directly fighting enemies. The thief can spend actions boosting a monster ally to earn JP. In this case, it is better than Accumulate, because the character gains JP and you gain the benefit of the action.
Support: Gained JP Up (200 JP) – You should always learn this ability before any other and generally keep it equipped on your character unless you are about to engage in a particularly difficult battle that requires a different support ability to survive. While equipped, you gain extra JP from all actions. This greatly increases the speed which you learn abilities. If you equip it long enough, it always pays for itself.
Support: Defend (50 JP) – JP Up is so good that you are unlikely to use this ability often. But that doesn’t mean it is a bad ability. There are a number of battles where you need to have a solid front line that can simply absorb hits. When that is the case, use Defend on a character that can wear heavy armor and create a solid battle line.
Move: Move +1 (200 JP) – This is pretty much the next best ability after JP Up. Increased movement speed is generally useful for almost every class except maybe Archers. Until a character learns JP Up and this skill, you generally shouldn’t advance that character to a new class.
Strategy – Because this is a basic class, you are likely to be eager to progress to later classes. Switching to Knight or Archer too quickly will cost you in the long run. JP Up and Move +1 are nearly critical abilities in the early game, even for an Archer, because you have no other Move abilities available yet. Additionally, unless you are intending to leave that class quickly, you want to buy at least a handful of your Basic Skills in order to make your secondary useful for your new class. The only reason you should avoid learning Accumulate and at least one other Basic Skill is if you intend to quickly level to the next tier of classes beyond Archer or Knight and then stop. It is rare that you want to keep a character as a Squire for the entire game, except possibly if you want to combine Thief and Squire skills on a more durable character. That doesn’t mean you should take the class for granted. About the only class not worth learning at some point in the game is Equip Axe, which is a much better average than most classes.