The Final Fantasy 12 License Board system is basically how you determine roles for each of the characters in your party. The Zodiac Age offers a plethora of choices and this article covers how to select the best license for Vaan and the other characters you’ll add to your party as you play through Final Fantasy 12. Be sure to read through this article and our related articles before making a selection because you only can’t go back after you’ve selected a license.

What is a License?

The License Board in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age is directly related to the job system and allows each character to use various weapons and abilities. We’ve already covered our recommendations for party role configuration and the most useful jobs for your party, so be sure to check that out if you haven’t already. After the initial cut scenes and battle tutorial at the beginning of the game you’ll be able to obtain your first mark and get an introduction to the License Board. At this point you’ll have to select the first license and job for Vaan.

Every time a new character joins your party you will be prompted to select their first job and license as well. It’s important to note that you cannot change your main job or adjust licenses after they’ve been selected, but you will be able to add a secondary job a bit later in the game after you defeat Belias and get the opportunity to pick up an Esper. Just like the first job, you can’t change your second job after making the selection, so make sure you know what you want before you make that choice.

Default Licenses

Each character starts with a few licenses already unlocked. While you don’t need to pair them with a job that complements these licenses, it’s usually a good idea to at least get something that can benefit from the default licenses. Of course you should also look at your party roles to determine what you need in your party and what roles have already been filled. Keep in mind, some jobs benefit from having licenses that add to their abilities instead of simply complementing what they can already do well.

Ashe starts with White Magick 1, which works well with the Knight class because it gives you access to healing spells. The Knight is a tanking job, but when you add healing options to it the job becomes much more versatile. You can use this line of thought with other jobs, using the default character licenses to add new abilities to these character’s jobs instead of simply complementing existing abilities. It simply gives you more room to experiment.

Ashe

  • Swords 2
  • Shields 1
  • Heavy Armor 1
  • Accessories 2
  • White Magick 1
  • Libra

Balthier

  • Guns 1
  • Light Armor 2
  • Steal
  • First Aid

Basch

  • Swords 2
  • Shields 1
  • Heavy Armor 1
  • Libra

Fran

  • Bows 1
  • Light Armor 2
  • White Magick 1
  • Black Magick 1
  • Steal

Penelo

  • Daggers 1
  • Mystic Armor 1
  • White Magick 1
  • First Aid

Vaan

  • Daggers 1
  • Light Armor 1
  • Steal

How to Select the Best Licenses

It’s difficult to lay out a blanket statement of which licenses are best. This is because the licenses you choose have a direct impact on how well that character performs the jobs you’ve assigned to them. Determine which jobs each character will have, look at their default licenses (above), then try to map out how you want to evolve the character with various licenses. You can find complete License Boards in the official Prima strategy guide to make this a little easier for you.

With access to two License Boards, you can move across the boards with relative ease if you select the right licenses to unlock. While you can make these shortcuts by focusing on Accessory, Battle Lore and Magick Lore licenses, you should also be mindful of your progress through the game. There’s no benefit unlocking Swords 4 early in the game when you won’t be able to make full use of it.

Generally speaking you want to focus on Augments whenever you can. Early in the game you can also benefit from selections in Battle Lore, or even going for Health Point bonuses. By the end of the game you’ll have most everything unlock anyway, so it’s more about the order you unlock and less about what you actually unlock (so long as it works well with your jobs of choice). More health is rarely a bad thing, but going for licenses in grayed out areas you can end up with something that’s of no use to you, so stay away from those areas of the License Board.

Be sure to check out our coverage of the best jobs for your party to get a better idea of which licenses you want to select for each character. You can pick up the official Prima strategy guide for a complete breakdown of the License Board.