What is a Global Cooldown(GCD) in Final Fantasy XIV?This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
The Global Cooldown (Usually abbreviated to GCD) is a timer that applies to a ton of your character’s abilities. Basically, by using one of these skills, you won’t be able to use any others that share the GCD for 2.5 seconds.
So basically, this is just terminology.
You’ll often hear skills referred to as “GCD” or “oGCD” if you’re reading into your character’s rotation, and the many potential headaches that come along with understanding weaving/double-weaving.
When you use an ability, you’ll notice that a bunch of other abilities will be grayed out too, unable to be cast for 2.5 seconds.
That might not sound like a lot of time on paper. But it really adds up in the heat of combat.
Some people find XIV’s GCD really slow, and that might be the case at first.
It’s an intentional game design choice though, put forward to encourage strategic battling and rotation knowledge.
GCDs can either be instant or require cast time.
But as long as they have that 2.5 second timer, they’re a GCD skill.
If they have a longer timer they’re oGCD.
It’s as simple as that.
What’s The Point In GCD/oGCD Timers?
On the most basic level, they set the entire feel of the game’s combat.
It all comes down to that timer, and what you can do in the 2.5 seconds between your button presses.
What you need to be doing is learning which oGCD skills are most effective to use while that 2.5 seconds is ticking down.
The cool thing is, oGCD skills (generally) will not interrupt your combo actions or impact other skill uses.
They can be used in between your standard skill rotations for a variety of purposes.
This process is referred to as weaving – using an oGCD between GCD uses.
Once you become comfortable with the concept of weaving, suddenly that 2.5 seconds between skill uses doesn’t seem so long after all. It’s full of opportunity!
How To Tell GCD & oGCD Actions Apart
Check the recast time noted in the tooltip by hovering over the skill.
Alternatively, just keep an eye out for which skills gray out when you cast something.
Reading up on your rotation is the best way to educate yourself on how to make the most out of your skills, and I’d personally recommend using a resource like Salted XIV to do so.
This way you’ll know for sure which skills are part of your GCD rotation, and which of your oGCD skills are best to weave with.
Can I Decrease My GCD?
Yes – although you might not notice that much of a difference.
Stacking certain secondary stats like Skill Speed can decrease the GCD by a fraction, but this isn’t necessarily essential for anyone.
Although it can give certain jobs a bit more breathing room in their rotation.
Some jobs get abilities which decrease their GCD. Monks get a buff called Greased Lightning which reduces recast time by 5% and stacks up to four times for a total 20% reduction.
Honestly Monk feels like the quickest job in the game sometimes, just down to this.
So if you’re looking for a job that gets a move on, Monk could be worth looking into.
Honestly though, I’d say the aim shouldn’t be stacking stats to reduce the GCD.
It should be leveling up and getting more skills to use when the GCD is active.
It can seem like a pretty odd adjustment (especially if you’re a refugee from another MMO). But once you’ve spent a little bit of time acquainting yourself to it at a higher level, it’ll feel great.