Final Fantasy XIV: A Beginner’s Guide to Crafting

From joining guilds, to obtaining materials, engaging with the challenges of Final Fantasy XIV crafting can be difficult without knowing where to begin. Within this guide, players will be directed in how to start their crafting journeys and level up each job rapidly.

Final Fantasy XIV - A Beginner's Guide to Crafting - Feature

The massively successful MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV is not short on content for players to delve deep into. Whether it be story, dungeons, lore or levelling up multiple jobs, players can sink months into the game. One particular aspect that might appeal to some is the variety of crafting jobs available. With eight crafting classes to explore, the introduction can be overwhelming, but the rewards are numerous and worthwhile. So, for players who prefer the thrill of handmade gear and items, here is a guide to Final Fantasy XIV crafting.

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Getting Started

Why Bother With Crafting?

It’s a fair question to ask, especially early on in the game. The story is very generous in regards to the rewards it provides after missions. As such, players will rarely be lagging behind in  maintaining appropriately levelled gear. Additionally, the main quest line does not force players to dabble in crafting, making it more of a bonus. Simply put, players don’t need to partake in crafting if they merely wish to power through the story.

However, being able to make a variety of items comes with many benefits outside of the story. Eventually, some of the later dungeons players unlock have particular item level requirements. This means you need high level gear, not just a high job level. These items can be acquired from rare drops or currencies obtained during difficult dungeons, which means some grinding and luck is involved. However, with enough experience in crafting, players can acquire such gear faster with just some ordinary Gil (the standard currency.)

There are eight Disciple of Hand roles to experiment with during Final Fantasy XIV crafting.

There are eight Disciple of Hand roles to experiment with during Final Fantasy XIV crafting.

Beyond this, Final Fantasy XIV crafting rewards players with lucrative work. Players who master the art can sell some pretty decent gear and materials for profit. Although you won’t make much money selling to NPCs, the Market Board for selling to players will make you rich. It will also accelerate your career progression in the various Grand Companies thanks to daily supply and provisions missions. Furthermore, players will be able to acquire useful functions such as repairing items, melding and extracting materia, as well as desynthesis.

Acquiring Each Job

In order to craft each type of item you will need to pick up one of the jobs that allows it. While there is some overlap in what jobs can craft certain items, they each have an extensive crafting log. To switch to your required job, you must first unlock it through quests at the respective guild. Each job has its own guild that can be found in the three main city-states. The jobs you will have the quickest access to depends on your starting city and class, as the guilds are scattered. The guilds in each city are as follows: 

Limsa Lominsa:

  • Armorer’s Guild
  • Blacksmith’s Guild
  • Culinarian’s Guild

Ul’dah

  • Alchemist’s Guild
  • Goldsmith’s Guild
  • Weaver’s Guild

Old/New Gridania

  • Carpenter’s Guild
  • Leatherworker’s Guild
You will gain access to all three city states early on.

You will gain access to all three city states early on.

Starting your journey with each job is simply a matter of walking into the right guild and speaking to the receptionist. In order to do so, you must first complete the level 10 Job Quest for any Disciple of War or Magic class. Once you do, every other job becomes open to you for experimentation. All of the above-mentioned Final Fantasy XIV  crafting classes are referred to as Disciple of the Hand. They will provide you with the necessary primary hand tool, which will allow you to switch jobs at any time.

As for learning additional crafting features, some of them only become available after completing certain quests. This includes:

  • Materia Melding – The ability to enhance gear with materia is learned through the quest “Waking the Spirit.” The quest becomes available at level 19 in any Disciple of the Hand class.
  • Desynthesis – The ability to disassemble gear as a means of acquiring materials is learned through the quest “Gone to Pieces.” The quest is accessible once the player obtains level 30 in any Disciple of the Hand class.

How Does Crafting Work?

The Crafting Log

As your level in each job increases, the range of items available in your crafting log similarly rises. The entry will inform you of the required materials and any other recommendations before synthesis. For example, at higher levels, you need a certain level of “Control” in order to begin synthesizing. The rule is that the next entries in your log appear every five levels, although the first is at level 3. This means levels ending in 3 or 8 will provide access to a new page of items. However, as you can only craft 5 levels higher than yourself, you cannot access the last entries on the new list. This is because the items are arranged in ascending order based on the level required to craft them. While not all items’ levels match the required crafting level, it’s generally the case.

Synthesis

Synthesis is the act of crafting the selected item via a quick mini-game feature. While this becomes skippable later, generally it’s the best way of acquiring HQ (High-Quality) results. In order to succeed at the mini game, you need to be aware of a few key elements.

It can be skipped, but mastering synthesis is the key to HQ items.

It can be skipped, but mastering synthesis is the key to HQ items.

  • Progress – This bar gradually fills green with each “synthesis” action you take. The aim is to complete the progress bar before running out of durability. The higher the item’s level, the higher the progress target. Be careful, as maxing the progress bar ends synthesis, even with leftover durability. The rate at which you fill progress and quality is dependant on your level and current equipment.
  • Quality – The more you increase the blue quality bar, the higher the chance at obtaining a HQ item. You can increase this using specific skills during the mini-game that expend “CP” and “Durability.” HQ items will increase your exp gain and are more lucrative turn in items. You can also increase quality before beginning synthesis by using HQ materials.
  • Durability – This essentially determines how many turns you have left before failing synthesis. Not all skills you use will deplete durability, but be careful not to run out. Actions such as “Master’s Mend” can expend CP to restore some durability.
  • CP (Control Points) – This acts as the equivalent of MP for Disciple of Hand classes. Many of the actions that increase quality or enhance basic moves cost CP. The key is to use this efficiently to reach maximum progress while increasing quality as much as possible.
  • Condition – These are the various states the item can enter. Except for the “Normal” state, they only last a round and should be seized as opportune moments. They can be used as a chance to increase the rate of quality build up or regain some CP. The four available states in ascending order of benefit are Poor, Normal, Good and Excellent. Should you act on the Excellent state, the following round will be Poor, which reduces the effect of quality enhancements.

Quick-Synthesis

Quick synthesis is a simple function unlocked upon obtaining level 10 in that chosen job. Simply put, once you have successfully crafted an item at least once, you can then automatically create more. This means you can skip the mini-game and make many items in bulk. There is a chance at failing the synthesis if the item level is not drastically different to yours. There is also a small chance of acquiring HQ items during this process.  

Notably, the process does help to increase your Spiritbond with equipped gear for the use in materia extraction. However, at the same time, the rate at which your equipped gear degrades is increased during Quick Synthesis.

An additional and easy to miss aspect of Final Fantasy XIV crafting is materia melding.

An additional and easy to miss aspect of Final Fantasy XIV crafting is materia melding.

Acquiring Crafting Materials

Disciple of the Land

The three classes that fall under this umbrella are Miner, Botanist and Fisher. These jobs will make it far easier for you to acquire the materials neededin various crafting recipes. These jobs can similarly be obtained from their respective guilds in the three cities.

Limsa Lominsa (Fisher) – Of the the three, fisher is perhaps the least essential, as the materials it provides are less frequently demanded. If you ever require fish related resources, you can likely obtain them from the Market Board cheaply.

Ul’dah (Miner) – An essential job to pursue as it opens up access to a variety of earth-based materials. Given that you will frequently be requiring items such as ingots that are made from ores, you will need a steady supply. Early crafting items can be purchased from NPCs cheaply, but in the late game it’s cheaper to acquire your own.

Gridania (Botonist) – Much like mining, this job will allow you to use a hatchet to harvest materials such as logs. As with ingots, recipes such as lumber use bulks of logs during crafting.

It should also be noted that these roles grant access to gathering crystals and shards required as fuel for Final Fantasy XIV  crafting. These are also very expensive later in the game so being able to harvest your own is a must.

They are all useful, but fishing can easily be skipped.

They are all useful, but fishing can easily be skipped.

Shops and the Market Board

Various NPC vendors will provide you with access to materials. The easiest place to find them are with the suppliers in each guild. These particular vendors sell useful materials that are frequently required in early crafting log entries. However, you will soon find NPC vendors are lacking more advanced materials. If you check the items in your log , selecting them will reveal if they have a shop price. If there is no price listed, you will have no choice but to acquire them elsewhere.

This is where the Market Board becomes a necessity. Unfortunately for players using the free trial, they do not have access to this feature. If you search for the materials you seek on the board, players will likely be selling it. It’s a quick and easy means of finding elusive materials. The downside is the prices can vary wildly depending on supply and demand. A common item will be sold cheap, but the rarer it is, the higher the price. Additionally, players will exploit the systems to drain you of as much Gil as possible. When buying an item from the board, you cannot adjust the quantity you buy. You must buy the maximum amount the other player put up. This means even cheap items can cost a fortune as sometimes you can only buy them in bulk.

The Market Board is the gateway to wealth and easy materials via Final Fantasy XIV crafting.

The Market Board is the gateway to wealth and easy materials via Final Fantasy XIV crafting.

Level Every Disciple of the Hand

This advice somewhat echoes the sentiment in the Disciple of the Land section. Each Final Fantasy XIV crafting class will allow you to create certain materials unavailable anywhere else. For example, the Goldsmith uniquely has access to electrum ingots. As you begin levelling up one of the eight roles, you will start to hit certain roadblocks. Essentially, each of the jobs is intrinsically linked. The easiest way to avoid these constant frustrations is to equally dedicate yourself to all of them. Keeping each job roughly the same level will prevent this from being a regular issue. Furthermore, fully opening up your gathering and crafting logs will reveal which materials are more elusive. For example, some materials can only be acquired from drops after defeating specific monsters. If an item can not be found in your logs, its advisable to search for the acquisition method online.

Levelling Your Crafting

Completing The Crafting Log

As stated above, your crafting log will display most of the items you can currently craft. Each time you create an item you’ve never completed before, you obtain bonus exp. As such, especially in the early stages, synthesising as many new items as possible is beneficial. Furthermore, if you try and make them HQ each time, it will further boost the exp gained. When starting out, this is the main means of levelling up.

Job Quests

As with Disciple of War and Magic, every five levels unlock a new job quest at the guild. This means you will be able to access the next quest at level 5, then 10, 15, etc. These provide substantial exp gifts for a quick level up, as well as other rewards. They often provide you with higher level gear that will make synthesis and quality raising easier. These quests are by no means essential, but they are usually quick and worthwhile.  

Check in at the Guilds every five levels.

Check in at the Guilds every five levels.

Levequests

These are special quests you can initiate in various locations via specific NPCs. Players are limited in how many of these quests they can do based on their allowance. You will obtain 3 more allowances every 12 hours in real time. These stack up quickly, so before you know it you will have more than enough for plenty of quests. Levequests come in three categories, but the most relevant to Final Fantasy XIV crafting are Tradecraft and Fieldcraft. They require the delivery of requested items for a reward of gil and high exp. If players deliver HQ versions of the demanded item, the rewards are doubled. This is the fastest way to level up crafting early on.

Grand Company Delivery Missions

These are just the same as the previously mentioned quests but specifically for your chosen Grand Company. You will join one of the three Grand Companies as part of the story, so don’t worry about finding them. Daily, you will receive a list of delivery items that you can bring to your company headquarters. Every day includes an item(s) from each of the jobs you’ve levelled at least once. It’s highly recommended you do this for the immense exp rewards and the company seals. Similarly, turning in HQ gear doubles the rewards. This is the fastest means of levelling up and also ascending through the company ranks.

It doesn't matter which you pick. Each Grand Company has work for you.

It doesn’t matter which you pick. Each Grand Company has work for you.

This Is Just The Beginning

This guide will only be your initial steps into advancing as a crafter. Once you reach level 50 and beyond, things can get more complex. From creating collectibles to control requirements, these are things you will confront in time. Until then, the best thing you can do is dedicate a little of your time to Final Fantasy XIV crafting each day. Keeping your jobs relatively levelled and completing Levequests or Grand Company missions will make the experience as smooth as possible. Eventually you will find it’s harder to obtain certain materials until reaching the expansions. However, with time, you will have consistent access to the best items and begin making a fortune. 

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