Final Fantasy XI  Player Icons --

These are the main player icon groups, and the priority in which they show:

[Player Icon Example][Icon Priority]

(Only ONE icon will appear by a player's name.  The groups are listed by icon priority, 1 being highest, 8 lowest.  Priority example: If you have a linkshell equipped, and mentor active, only mentor icon will show.  If you have a bazaar active, and are seeking party, only seeking party will show.)

The categories can be broken down as follows:

1 - Connection Problems

[Connection Problem] If you are experiencing trouble connecting to the server (falls below 100%), other players will see this icon by your name.  After a certain amount of time, if your connection continues to fail you will be disconnected from the server.

2 - Ballista

[Ballista] Part of the PvP that Final Fantasy has, where players compete against each other at pre-ordained places and times.  Check PlayOnline, IGNVault, or Allakhazam for the latest information in Ballista.  When particpating in Ballista, your nation's icon will show by your name so other players can easily tell which team you are on.  This icon set currently ONLY appears when participating in Ballista.

3 - Away

[Away] There is a setting in the Main Menu under Friend's List which has a setting for Online Status.  When you set this to AWAY, this icon will appear by your name.  This is handy if you don't want to log out of the game, but need to go away for a moment and want others nearby to know you're away from the keyboard. Note that if others send you a /tell while you are in Away Mode, you will not receive it (the sender will receive a message stating that the tell was not received because you are away).

4 - Final Fantasy Staff / Special Purposes

[GM Icon Example] This is the icon group which is used to denote the SquareEnix staff accounts. They are divided as follows:

[Trial Adventurer]Trial Adventurer - Used for demonstation accounts at Internet cafés, Game/Trade shows, for the press, and other special events.  These are usually NOT SquareEnix employees, and are temporary accounts.  Try to be especially kind to them, their game knowledge may be limited, as they usually have not played the game or paid for it yet.
(quick fact: this icon's image comes from the symbol used for new drivers in Japan.)

[Correspondent]Correspondent - Used for players who are currently helping with articles for the official Final Fantasy "newspaper", the Vana'diel Tribune (available in-game, and on the web).  Usually not SquareEnix employees, but sometimes are.
Note: As of 27 Feb 2006, SE has announced the Vana'diel Tribune ceased publication. This icon is now defunct, but keeping the description of it here for reference.

[PlayOnline Staff]Official Staff - These ARE SquareEnix employees, but not those related directly to the helpdesk (i.e., they do NOT perform Game Master functions, although they may have the same abilities as GMs).  Usually Public Relations or something similar.
(Note that this icon also used to appear by a player's name when doing a /search, but had a different meaning -- in search mode, this icon meant the player had temporarily logged out of the game and was in the PlayOnline Viewer. As of 18 April 2006, the temporary logout feature has been removed from the game, therefore this no longer occurs. You will now only see this icon by a staff member's name in-game).

Game Masters
In general you will only receive /tells from GMs and not see their characters with the player icon (their tells, however, will have "[GM]Name" to distinguish it from regular player/NPC text).. Occasionally, they will show themselves in Mordion Gaol or even in town (see picture on right). Note that Game Master and Support staff changes periodically. You can view the latest list by going to the "Developer Room" section of FFXI in PlayOnline.

[Game Master]Game Master - These ARE SquareEnix employees.  The GMs are responsible for basic player support within the game.
[Senior Game Master]Senior Game Master - These ARE SquareEnix employees.  The senior GMs will help out with problems a regular GM may have trouble with. In almost all cases helpedesk requests you create will be handled by a GM or SGM.
[Lead Game Master]Lead Game Master - These ARE SquareEnix employees.  Lead GMs supervise large groups of GMs.  You will rarely see a Lead GM.
[Producer]Producer / Head GM - Only two characters have this icon: "Azagba", the FF Development Producer; and "SageSundi", the Head GM (official title, "Online Service Manager").  You will probably  never see these two characters.  If you do, consider yourself very lucky and get lots of >screenshots! ^_^

5 - Seeking Party

[Seek Party] When you are looking for a group (a.k.a. "LFG", "Flag is up"), the green exclamation point appears by your name.  Once you are in a party, the exclamation point is removed and one of the other icons are put in its place if applicable. 

[Autogroup] If you use the "Autogroup" feature, a red exclamation point will appear.

6 - Mentor / New Adventurer

[New Adventurer]The red question mark automatically appears on all brand new players until you reach level 5 and have 10 hours of game play.  You can turn this off manually by going to Main Menu, Help Desk, Turn Off New Adventurer Status.  Please try to be kind to the "New Adventurer" players and try to help them out, as they probably have never played the game before.  (In some cases this may be a "mule" for a high level player, but most mules will turn the question mark off.)

[Mentor]The "Big M" appears for those who have volunteered to be a Mentor.  Mentors are NOT SquareEnix employees.  Mentors are regular players who have volunteered to help out new players with basic game help and tips.  In order to be a Mentor, you must have 180 hours of game play AND have at least one job at level 30.  To sign up to be a Mentor, visit one of the three NPCs with "A.M.A.N." in their name in the three main cities.  Once active, mentor status can be turned on and off at any time.

7 - Bazaar

[Bazaar] Players who want to sell items out of their inventory.  Check a player, then choose "View Wares" to see their bazaar items.

8 - Linkshell Pearl

[Linkpearl]Most common icon you'll see by a player's name. Chat groups which players create to communicate with one another.  Linkshell pearls have a variety of colours to choose from -- the colour and name is chosen by the player that creates a linkshell.  Linkshell pearls may be given out by players who have created a linkshell (LS owner), or by "Pearl Sack" holders.  You can carry/belong to more than one linkshell, but you can only equip one linkshell pearl at a time.

Page by Yokuku (Lakshmi server, Leprechaun linkshell), raven at

References: images from SquareEnix's websites (from update information on Nov 2002 and April 2004)
All images copyright SquareEnix, no ownership or infringment is meant or implied.  I simply wanted one quick and easy page to reference all of this information. ^_^