Mercenaries are units you can use as part of your party when doing most single player quests. They can be very helpful in completing content that may be difficult to complete with only your own units.
- Free promotional mercenaries: These are usually new units or units that have recently gotten upgrades of some kind. They may have suboptimal skill setups, but they are typically at their maximum level and sometimes will also have their memento or specialized gear equipped. There is a 24 hour cooldown on using each of these units.
- Friend mercenaries: These mercenaries are configured by players on your friend list and there is no cooldown on using them. Note that when you hire these, you will also receive a friend leader bonus, which does stack with your party leader bonus.
- Other player mercenaries: These mercenaries are displayed from random players. They cost twice as much as friend mercenaries and do not provide a friend bonus. It is rare you'll want to use these unless you have no friends with the mercenary you need.
Selecting a Mercenary
You can select a mercenary from the rainbow section, or select a specific element to view only mercenaries of that element. You can also click the refresh button to refresh the list of mercenaries with new options (this appears to have a 10 second cooldown). For each section, there will be 10 friend units available to choose from and 13 non-friend units. On the rainbow section 2-4 of the non-friend units are replaced with free promotional mercenaries if they are not on cooldown.
Note: Not all mercenaries provided by your friends will be displayed in the list. It appears that the friend mercenaries are listed based on last activity time in game, so if you want to use a specific friend's mercenary and they are not showing up in the list, asking them to log in should make their unit show up. Flagging a player as a favorite does not seem to impact their priority on the mercenary list.
Inspecting a Mercenary
Before hiring a mercenary, you may want to check how they are configured. If you hold down on the mercenary you are interested in, the unit display will come up, which will show you what gear and memento they are wearing, their base stats, and what skills they have configured. It is a good idea when hiring mercenaries for difficult content to check this, as sometimes the mercenaries you hire might have suboptimal configurations or may not be wearing appropriate gear for the content.
Mercenaries are free to hire until player level 50. After that, free promotional mercenaries are still free, friend mercenaries cost 100 Zeni per level of the unit (i.e. a level 75 unit will cost 7500 Zeni) and other player mercenaries cost double that of friend mercenaries (i.e. 15000 Zeni for a level 75 unit). The money you pay for a mercenary is sent to the player who the mercenary belongs to. Each day when you log in, you will receive Zeni for all mercenaries of yours that were hired for the day.
Note that if you select a mercenary and then change your mind and cancel or leave the quest, you will not be charged for the mercenary.
To assign mercenaries to make available to your friends to hire, go to the settings under "Player Info" and click the "Assign" button. From here you can set a mercenary of each element and one which is any element. Alternatively, you can click the "setup" button under Friends.
Note that the mercenary selected under the rainbow section will appear in the rainbow section only when a player looks for mercenaries, not under their own element. This section is the one that the mercenary list defaults to.