“How do I make money in Final Fantasy XIV?” It’s a question many players look into at some point or another. Everybody needs Gil (the central in-game currency) and sometimes you need it quickly. Let’s say, for example, if you’re looking to buy player housing in the new Ishgard district, The Empyreum. But playing the market boards can be confusing and frustrating, not to mention fighting other players and the game’s own UI. That’s why we’ve put together our best tips and tricks to make money in FFXIV. It’s by no means a 100 percent comprehensive list of every way to make money in the game. The meta around that is constantly changing. It’s simply our best stab at an overview of common (and not-so-common) ways to make Gil efficiently.
Note that it’s pretty much impossible to talk about Gil farming in FFXIV without talking about Disciples of the Hand and Land. These are the crafters and gatherers of FFXIV — your Miner, Botanist, Weaver, Alchemist, etc. These Jobs are the chief method of making money from other players. They’re not the only way, but this guide will incorporate a mix of crafting, gathering, and combat tips. Context should make it fairly obvious which cases require a crafter or Gatherer versus a combat Job, but we’ll try to clarify where necessary.
To this end, we’ll start with combat-oriented ways of making Gil and gradually shift into methods specific to crafting and gathering. The best ways to make Gil in FFXIV quickly involve crafting and/or gathering. Whereas the best ways to make Gil consistently involve combat. Gil should, in theory, flow from most players passively accruing by running dungeons, to the crafters who sell them gear and consumables, and on to the gatherers who sell materials to the crafters. Though many players do it all, there are still more combat-focused players than not. Hence, they get top billing.
We’ll start with a common (but under-explained) system: Treasure Maps. These are easy to forget since they don’t appear in the Duty Finder. In fact, this involves one of the only group activities in FFXIV that require you to manually form a party. But once you get a group — either via your Free Company or the Party Finder — you’re in for a good time.
Treasure Maps are quick and simple. You use “Decipher” on a map and then go to where the map shows. Once there, you use the “Dig” skill to unearth a hidden treasure chest. The owner of the map must be the one to open it, which will then spawn hordes of trash enemies. Once they’re dead you can access the loot. This includes a pretty pinch of raw Gil for the whole party, some Tomestones, and a smattering of crafting materials and/or Materia to sell on the market or use yourself. There’s also a high chance that eight-player maps (like the Zonureskin Treasure Map and Kumbhiraskin Treasure Map) will spawn a portal. The map’s owner can interact with this to drag the whole party into a unique mini-dungeon.
Said dungeons mostly include more random loot and more trash mobs defending it. There’s very little skill involved besides fighting the monsters. How far you progress comes down to luck — either a 50/50 chance of picking the right door or the literal spin of a roulette wheel. The deeper you go, though, the better your chances of getting rare loot. That includes minions, furniture, and crafting materials that are exclusive to a particular treasure dungeon. This is why Timeworn Treasure Maps can be sold for quite a bit on the Market Board. Players effectively “gamble” on maps: buying and deciphering more and more in hopes of acquiring a rare drop from within a portal.
You can acquire one new map yourself every 18 hours. They’re randomly found in Mining and Botany nodes throughout the world. Once you acquire one, the timer resets, and you get another “allowance” after the 18 hours are up. From there you can either choose to use the map yourself or play it safe and sell it on the Market Board.
It’s also worth pointing out that you can stockpile multiple maps over time. While you can only hold one of a particular type in your inventory, your Chocobo Saddlebag and any Retainers can also hold one each. That’s up to four copies of any given map without paying extra money for inventory space!
Play a Tank (or Any Role for Adventurers in Need)
If you play FFXIV, you’ve almost certainly seen the “Adventurer in Need” bonus applied to the Duty Roulette. This provides a bonus of EXP, Gil, and special trade-in items to make Materia. The Adventurer in Need bonus is given out to players who queue into a Duty Roulette that needs a particular role. This is indicated by the role icon next each Duty Roulette. It’s an extremely profitable system for tanks since they tend to be the most in-demand player role, thus getting more opportunities to be an Adventurer in Need. This varies by server, time of day, and duty. Alliance Raids require 15 DPS players and just three tanks, for instance, so that duty skews towards damage-dealers.
That’s fine, though. Alliance Raids provide some of the greatest benefit — more Gil, more Tomestones, etc. — but also take longer than most other content. The time-to-Gil investment varies depending on the raid. You might get The Syrcus Tower (which is very quick and easy) or you might get Dun Scaith (which takes a while). Party wipes extend the process further, so recent raids increase the odds of taking more time.
Trials provide the best raw Gil for the time. They’re short (some of the A Realm Reborn ones are laughably easy) and offer 4,320 Gil for the Adventurer in Need bonus. The Leveling Roulette is usually more profitable, however. It can take longer, since it’s statistically likely to be a full dungeon, but the Adventurer in Need bonus is 12,000 Gil, three (3) Materia trade-in clusters, and a few thousand Grand Company Seals. Seals can be converted into Ventures, Cordial, Dark Matter, and crafting materials., all of which can either make you money or save you money. We’ll get to the details on that further down.
Let’s circle back to those clusters (e.g. Cracked Dendroclusters and Cracked Anthoclusters). Not to be confused with elemental Clusters used in crafting (e.g. Fire Clusters, Wind Clusters, etc.) these are traded in at any Materia Vendor for, well… Materia. Though the type you get from Adventurer in Need bonuses only give you combat Materia. This is typically less valuable than crafting and gathering Materia, because it’s so damn easy to acquire, but that just means you can sell the Materia en masse to other players. Especially right before or after a major patch that adds content like a new raid.
As a general rule of thumb: buy and sell the highest possible grade of Savage Aim Materia. Most Materia is useful, but this is the most popular flavor since it enhances Critical Hit. This is a universally useful and potent combat stat. As such, players often max it out before “pentamelding” other stats into endgame gear.
Use Those Tomestones of Poetics
While running Duty Roulettes, you’re bound to max out your Tomestones of Poetics. These are those red and teal rectangles burning a hole in your Currency menu. You get them for completing older content, whenever you or a party member finishes a group activity for the first time, and as a daily Duty Roulette bonus when playing as Jobs below the level cap. You can hold up to 2,000 Tomestones of Poetics at a time, just like any other Tomestones, but they’re not used for anything endgame. A lot of players even forget about them entirely. You shouldn’t!
Instead, convert them into items at any capital city, Revenant’s Toll, or Idyllshire. The one we care about in this instance is Idyllshire. The NPC Hismena, in Rowena’s Center for Cultural Promotion, sells Goblinol and Goblacquer for 10 Poetics apiece under the “Allagan Tomestones of Poetics (Other)” category. These both sell to junk vendors for a respectable 64 Gil. That’s 12,800 Gil per 2,000 Tomestones of Poetics. Note that this is the best raw Gil exchange since Demicrystal prices were nerfed.
Another profit farm is picking up Grade 3 Topsoils for gardening players. Hismena also sells “Unidentifiable Shells” and “Unidentifiable Ore” that can be exchanged for Grade 3 Shroud Topsoil and Grade 3 Thanalan Topsoil, respectively. The NPC to her left, Bertana, will make the exchange.
Here’s the very basic breakdown:
- Unidentifiable Shell (Hismena, Special Arms) → Grade 3 Shroud Topsoil (Bertana, Uncanny Knickknacks)
- Unidentifiable Ore (Hismena, Special Arms) → Grade 3 Thanalan Topsoil (Bertana, Uncanny Knickknacks)
The “unidentifiable” items can be purchased up to 13 at a time, for 1,950 Poetics in total. Topsoil prices on the Market Board vary, but we typically see these two types hovering around 1,000 Gil apiece. That’s roughly 13,000 Gil per full stack of Poetics for those keeping count. One nice thing is that Topsoils are consumable. Gardeners always need more of them to produce their (much more valuable) crops. They’re always in demand and prices sometimes shoot up even higher.
Mathematically, these need to sell for at least 961 Gil per unit of Topsoil on the market to be more cost-effective than simply selling Goblinol and Goblacquer to a normal vendor. Even then you’re only making fractionally more. Remember that time is money in FFXIV. Time spent putting the item on the market, waiting for a buyer, and potentially fiddling with prices to avoid getting undercut is time you could spend making Gil elsewhere. Check the market and only trade for Topsoils when you can reliably sell them for at least 1,000 Gil, preferably more. Otherwise, the junk loot is more efficient.
FATEs Are Underrated
I get it. FATEs are tedious. The public events see an explosion of fresh players leveling up their characters every expansion. After that, they’re mostly empty. There are simply easier, more enjoyable ways to grind EXP. They don’t provide a great deal of money, either, and even the Grand Company Seals can be acquired elsewhere.
Notice a couple of things about that assessment, though? EXP, Gil, Seals: FATEs provide it all. They don’t provide much of any one thing, but the various values add up for the relatively short time it takes to run multiple FATEs. That’s not even including the better moneymaker of FATE grinding: Bicolor Gemstones. This unique currency is only awarded after completing a Shadowbringers or Endwalker FATE. You get 14 for a full, successful clear. You then turn them in to buy animal parts from Gemstone Traders throughout those expansions’ regions. Two gemstones will get you a single hide, bottle of milk, etc.
These prices vary (like everything else) but selling up-to-date materials at a conservative 300 Gil apiece would net you 2,100 Gil per FATE — plus the Gil and Seals from the FATE itself. Unlike killing the monsters for their hides and other crafting materials directly, there’s also zero random chance involved, and you’re not competing with other players for the kill. In fact, other players can cooperate with you to make the process even faster. This lets you complete a great number of FATEs in the hour it takes Retainers to collect the same materials.
If you really stick to it, you can even reach the best FATE moneymaker. That’s Bicolor Gemstone Vouchers, baby. Anyone can use 500 of these to buy some unique cosmetics and wow are they a grind to get. You need to first complete 360 total FATEs (60 in each Endwalker region). This will unlock the right to purchase Bicolor Gemstone Vouchers from Sajareen in Radz-at-Han (X: 11.1, Y: 10.2) and/or Gadfrid in Old Sharlayan (X: 12.7, Y: 10.4). Each voucher will set you back 100 Bicolor Gemstones (which amounts to a little more than seven successful FATEs per voucher). But a single voucher can sell for more than 100,000 Gil. Depending on your server. The reason being that nobody actually wants to grind those 360 FATEs or the several thousand necessary to acquire 500 vouchers. Most folks buy them from those brave few that farm them instead.
Sacks of Nuts
Daily and weekly hunts bridge the gap between combat and gathering a bit. That’s because they’re a wonderful way for Miners, Botanists, and Fishers to offset the cost of teleportation fees. You can earn between 1,000-1,500 Gil per target, per hunt bill. At five targets to a bill, that’s 17,500 Gil per day — if you hunt every single target. That’s not actually a great exchange rate on its own. Not when teleportation costs alone can easily strip 1,500 Gil per transport. But as a quick and dirty bonus between gathering logs and ore? It’s not bad.
You also get Centurio Seals or, ahem, Sacks of Nuts for the trouble. These are actually… not a great value, either. Not counting the Sacks of Nuts you acquire from weekly hunts, it takes two real-world days to earn enough for just one max-level Materia. That’s if you do both the Guildship Hunts found in Old Sharlayan and the Clan Nutsy hunts found in The Crystarium for the maximum daily Sacks of Nuts. Hunts should always be viewed as a bonus and not a means to an end themselves. As such, always try to line them up with other activities that already lead you to the specified region, like gathering or FATE farming.
Centurio Seals (acquired from Ishgard, Rhalgr’s Reach, and Kugane hunts) cannot be used for up-to-date items. As such, these older hunts really aren’t worth the time investment unless you’re still making your way through the Main Scenario Quest.
Doman Enclave Reconstruction
The Doman Enclave takes a bit of time to reach full steam, but once it does, it’s a great way to get rid of unwanted gear. Not to mention it acts as a sort of “Gil Doubler” on pure junk loot. That includes any Allagan bronze, silver, gold, or platinum you acquire — as well as the aforementioned Goblinol and Goblacquer gained from Tomestones of Poetics. This is really its main value, since junk equipment should probably be exchanged for Grand Company Seals or Desynthesized instead.
To begin, you must complete the Main Scenario Quest “Elation and Trepidation,” followed by the side quests “A Thousand and One Farewells” and “Short Arms of the Law” in Revenant’s Toll. You can then enter the Doman Enclave from the Mercantile Docks in southwest Yanxia. Make sure you attune to the Aetheryte inside the enclave when you do; it’s a really annoying walk back without teleporting… Finally, grab the quest “Precious Reclamation” to begin the Doman Enclave Reconstruction.
Besides watching cutscenes, all you need to do to complete this questline is sell junk loot at the donation basket within, up to a certain weekly allowance. The more you donate, the more the Doman Enclave levels up. The more it levels up, the more money it gives you every week. This comes in the form of bonus Gil for every item you sell there, which is to say double whatever you would get from a normal vendor for it. At its maximum level the Doman Enclave gives 40,000 Gil per week, though this technically amounts to just 20,000 more than what you would get for selling the junk loot normally.
It might also be a good idea to set the enclave as a “Favored Destination.” This cuts teleportation fees to the location in half. That means more overall money per week (since the transport fee won’t cut as deeply into your profits). If that were the only reason, of course, it probably wouldn’t be worth it. But the Doman Enclave is also the only way to reach the Bozjan Southern Front and Zadnor at this time. Players who also visit these zones frequently for Resistance Weapon questlines or leveling alternate Jobs should definitely consider setting the Favored Destination.
Don’t Use Menders (If You Can Help It)
Menders are a common sight just about everywhere across FFXIV. They’re also a bit of a money pit. Fully repairing a gear set this way can cost thousands of Gil at a time. This doesn’t just add up over time. It’s expensive. Period. Seeing as this is a pure upkeep cost, with no return on the investment, you want to avoid it as much as possible. Thankfully that’s pretty easy! At least for crafters.
Every piece of equipment in FFXIV is associated with a particular crafting class. In the case of crafted items, this corresponds to the crafting class that typically makes the item. Weavers for fabric-y gear, Armorers for metal armor, Blacksmiths for metal weapons, and so on. Whichever the case, you can hover over the gear to check its Repair Level. This will include a crafting class and the level you need to be to repair that piece of gear manually. For example, if a pair of boots says “Repair Level: Leatherworker Lv. 80,” you must be a Level 80 Leatherwork to repair them.
To repair, you just need a piece of Dark Matter. Higher grades can repair higher levels of armor. And each repairs one piece of gear by 100 percent — even pushing that gear over 100 percent durability. For example, if you repair gear at 50 percent durability using Dark Matter, that piece of gear will rise to 150 percent durability. Not just the 100 percent cap that Menders can reach. This means it’s always cost-effective to use Dark Matter; you never need to ration or hold off until reaching 0 percent condition. If you rise up to 150 percent, it will simply take 50 percent longer for your gear to break.
On top of all this, Dark Matter costs a fraction of Mender services for the amount that it repairs. Repairing all of your own gear does of course require you to become an “omnicrafter” — one of those players who levels up every crafting class in the game simultaneously. But that opens up new avenues for making money. Even ignoring that, reducing upkeep will save you scores of Gil in the long run. Always remember that saving money is making money.
Undercut on the Market Board Carefully
We’re getting deeper into crafting and gathering now — but however you get your items, you need to know how to sell them. That means undercutting on the Market Board. This is strangely, but seriously, the true PVP of FFXIV. It’s one helluva lot more cutthroat than Frontline and everyone has more to lose. Selling items on the player Market Board means selling lower than someone else if that player is selling the same thing as you (which is basically all the time). This is called “undercutting.” Undercutting someone else by even a single Gil places you higher on the Market Board listings than everyone selling the same item for more. Therefore people are more likely to buy from you.
Selling for just one Gil lower is usually the best method, too. You want to make as much money as possible, just like everyone else. Selling exceptionally low cuts into your profits. Sell too many of the same item at too low a price and it encourages others to do the same as they try to undercut you. Not to mention there are only so many buyers on a given Data Center. If someone sells a dozen endgame weapons for pennies, that’s a dozen fewer players looking to buy that same weapon ever again.
This means that another part of undercutting is knowing when to hold your ground — or even when to sell higher. A lot of players end up with one or two pieces of loot they simply don’t want. Yet they still know that selling to trash vendors is a bad idea. These can give just a paltry few Gil for items worth anywhere between 100-100,000 on the market. Players who aren’t interested in bidding wars might still sell their item for a couple hundred Gil. They might leave it “priced to move” — selling it for much lower than the market average just to see some profit. You don’t need to undercut these outliers. Instead, let their one or two items pass through while leaving your prices intact (so long as you continue to undercut the real cost). You might not get the next buyer’s attention, but you will catch the one after that, and for much more money than if you undercut an intentional lowball offer.
If, however, you see a flood of sellers all adopting a new, lower price, that means the market has changed. It’s time to start selling lower to match. This is annoying, but it’s part of the game.
Because You’re Worth It, Wish List Yourself
How do you keep an eye on these prices, though? There are a few different ways. The simplest is to “Favorite” or, better yet, “Wish List” whatever you’re selling. You can do this by selecting the item type from the Market Board and simply selecting “Wish List.” From then on, until you remove it from the list, you can click the heart-shaped icon at the bottom of the Market Board menu to pull up all Wish Listed items. This way you can quickly check your items against other prices on the board without having to summon your Retainer (which temporarily removes your items from the market).
The reason you don’t use Favorite instead is because the Wish List shows the total number of sellers on your server for that particular item. It’s true that undercutting is a competitive sport but selling in FFXIV (unlike real capitalism) is cooperative. You’re providing something players want — fulfilling a need. Even if that “need” is just convenience and players being too lazy to collect their own Coerthan Tea Leaves. Finding items with fewer existing sellers reduces competition. This means less undercutting, which means higher profits and less time spent staring at the Market Board.
Prey on Weakness (i.e. Laziness)
With that mushy stuff out of the way, let’s be perfectly clear that you should absolutely exploit any weakness you can find. Even if that “weakness” is just laziness. As it turns out, this is way more common than you might think. People hate looking stuff up, asking for help and running to the far ends of Eorzea to get three Lignum Vitae Logs. I don’t blame them. FFXIV does a downright terrible job of explaining where and how to get things. The user interface could use a serious overhaul, sure, but even basic gear progression is obscured behind bizarre item exchanges and tied to NPCs that the game never calls attention to.
This is where you stand to benefit from being well-informed. Precisely what you need to know changes from patch to patch, but if it’s not clear where something comes from, and you can sell it, you should. Especially at the start of a new patch.
Dyes are a perfect example. The less interesting ones are available from the Dyemonger NPCs found in every capital city. But watch as the sales (and prices) of those dyes skyrocket on the market every weekend — when people need them for Fashion Report outfits. Sometimes it really is genuine laziness. Time is money, as previously mentioned, and some folks just don’t want to walk the extra hundred feet, or teleport one extra time, to get what they need. Other times it’s the game just plain failing to explain itself. And at other times, a dye might need a special kind of currency that requires a particular way of farming. Skysteel Scrips, for instance, can be used in the Firmament in Ishgard to buy unique dyes not sold for Gil. Even low-level Disciples of the Hand and Land can farm a few of these, but who wants to spend time doing it? Easier to check the market to see if it’s available right now.
This is when you strike.
Know Your Buyers
Of course, you don’t just need to sell to new or weary players. You can make plenty of money selling to people who know what they’re doing. Folks like Scrip farmers, Alchemists, or Culinarians. Basically anyone who’s going to spend a lot of time crafting indoors.
The trick is to find items that other crafters need en masse: materials like lumber, ingots, thread, and such. Even the hides and other animal parts mentioned in the FATEs section above. Look for items that are used in the highest tier of foods or Collectibles (those trade-in items that start with the word “Rarefied”). These, too, change from patch to patch. But you’re just using them as inspiration to see what’s selling like hotcakes. A lot of high-level players don’t waste time, Crystals, or Clusters crafting their own interstitial parts to make these rarer items.
Scrip farmers are simply “selling” Collectibles to NPCs in exchange for crafting Materia and other valuable goodies. Alchemists and Culinarians, on the other hand, need more harder-to-acquire crafting materials that they don’t often want to get themselves (fish, as an example). They can make up for this high overhead by creating three food types or potions per craft. Combine this with the fact that they, too, sell consumables. Unlike some of the top stuff made by Blacksmiths and Weavers and other gear crafters, folks always need more consumables. They are, uh, consumable after all.
This obviously means you can be the one selling the consumables: that high-level food and those high-level potions. Just know that this requires a pretty significant investment. Consumables sell consistently and are cost-effective to craft since they produce three at a time. However, you need the highest level of gear and good Materia melds to consistently craft them. Just like finished equipment, Quick Synthesis doesn’t cut it with potions and food since players want the extra stats afforded by the “High Quality” versions of tinctures and the like. That means a lot of extra upfront cost when preparing your gear.
Stacks Within Stacks
Speaking of three at a time: don’t just sell random numbers of items. Players don’t need random quantities, they need what they need. Very few people want a stack of 12 identical gloves. They just need one to outfit their character and move on.
This is an obvious example, but it gets much more granular. For instance, Reagents made with Alchemy typically come in stacks of three. Just like potions! But the recipes that require them often only need one. That means players are more likely to purchase them in singular stacks than in bundles (unless they happen to be making something in bulk). That means less profit per transaction, of course, but who cares? Just sell three Grade 5 Strength Dissolvents in stacks of one instead of one stack of three. You lose nothing for selling items in the numbers that people actually want them; you gain a greater chance of actually selling the item.
In fact, selling smaller stacks of things people mostly provide in bulk lets you charge more in the long run. Shards, Crystals, and Clusters (the elemental kind used in crafting recipes) are a perfect example. Not everyone needs 9,999 Fire Crystals at one time. Nor can they necessarily afford it if that brings the total transaction cost to half-a-million Gil. On the other hand, they might be able to afford just 1,000 Fire Crystals (sold for one or two more Gil apiece) at a fraction of the total cost of the 9,999 stack. That means you make more money per Fire Crystal than if you sold in bulk, just over several payments.
This is another tactic that is absolutely despicable in the real world, but in FFXIV? It’s all in good fun. Hopefully…
Know When You Sold ‘Em
You might have noticed that I’ve mentioned selling items around major patches. That’s because more players congregate to FFXIV when new content arrives. More players equals more buyers. More buyers means higher prices and more sales. It’s a great way to raise the odds of selling valuable items quickly! However, major patches only roll around every few months. It’s not exactly a reliable way to boost sales. You need something a bit more frequent.
Luckily, there are several times every week where this process repeats: Mondays, Tuesdays, and weekends. The reason behind weekends is fairly obvious — more players have free time to play if they’re not working. Mondays and Tuesdays are a little less obvious but just as simple. Players congregate around these times because the weekly “reset” for FFXIV content is on Tuesday mornings. (This is referring to North America, of course, but the same concept applies whenever the reset hits in your region.)
Monday evenings see a mad dash of players trying to sneak in those last precious Tomestones, Duty Roulettes, and Challenge Logs while they still can. Tuesdays sees the players who already completed those efforts earlier in the week logging back on to start afresh. This is the perfect time to craft, sell, and check your prices frequently.
By contrast: very late at night is a bad time for other things. No matter the day of the week. Fewer players are online to purchase items in any great quantities. You might get lucky with a night owl, of course, so it’s always worth resetting your prices once before bed. But it’s not worth getting into undercutting wars with likeminded players. Not in the middle of the night anyway. Undercutting back and forth with another player multiple times in a very short span is bound to happen eventually. Doing it when nobody is awake to actually buy the thing you’re both lower your prices on? You’re both just shooting yourselves in the foot. Wait for a better opportunity instead.
Use Up Your Leves
Levequests are a great way to make money quickly. You just need to which ones to prioritize! Tradecraft Leves (i.e. the ones where you craft a thing and deliver it) are typically the most efficient, since they give the most Gil for the smallest time investment. You can make tens of thousands of Gil per day this way by performing the proper Tradecraft Leves appropriate to your level. Right now, with Endwalker, that means fulfilling leves in Old Sharlayan.
We’ve actually made a guide to the current best leves to complete during this expansion. Though you can technically pick whatever is most accessible to you based on your crafting classes, Alchemist currently enjoys the easiest Tradecraft Leves. This is because one of their deliveries requires zero intermediate crafting. You just craft the item from raw materials acquired in the world or from Retainers. This significantly speeds up the turn-in process while also reducing your overhead (in the form of Crafting Catalysts). You can make your money without ever moving from a single spot. Once you have the appropriate items, of course.
The one downside to leves is that they’re limited. You can only hold 100 “Leve Allowances” at a time and they recharge at a rate of three every 12 real-world hours. That means players with a stockpile of allowances can make a lot of money in FFXIV very quickly! If you’ve been using up your leves (which you generally should) then your immediate profits will be much smaller. Still, by continuing to complete the Old Sharlayan leves you can continue to almost passively accrue hundreds of thousands of gil every week.
Ephemeral Nodes Are Your Friend
The reason I used Crystals and Clusters in the example above is because they’re also fantastic moneymakers, specifically for Gatherers. They’re found in almost literally every Botanist and Miner node throughout the game and are exceptionally easy to acquire. They don’t sell for much, but they’re one of the most consistent sellers in the game, since every craft in the game pulls from the same pool of 18 varieties. Fire, Ice, Wind, Earth, Lightning, and Water are further split into Shards, Crystals, and Clusters. Crystals are the most commonly used, but Clusters are rarer and sell for more. Shards basically become obsolete to crafters after a certain point. This makes them less consistent sellers, because the newer players who need them don’t have the money to buy them, but you can still get lucky.
Some types of these catalysts — namely Wind Crystals and Lightning Crystals — are currently easier to farm than others. But more can be harvested efficiently from Ephemeral Nodes. These are special gathering points that only appear for four in-game hours at a time. You can harvest as many as you like during that time. You don’t want to harvest the Crystals and Clusters themselves, though. You want the other rare items that appear in Ephemeral Nodes. You can then select these items in your inventory and use “Aetherial Reduction” — a special skill only meant for these Ephemeral harvests.
Aetherial Reduction produces special types of crafting items, called Aethersand, which can be sold for solid Gil or used in your own projects. The skill also produces a number of Crystals and Clusters. In fact, there’s a chance you won’t get any Aethersand at all, depending on the quality of your harvest. But you always at least get the Crystals and Clusters. This makes Ephemeral Nodes a good way to harvest Crystals and Cluster. Not necessarily because of the number you get, but because of the added value of the Aethersand on top.
Circling back once again to the “time is money” argument, that’s doubly true with gathering. The real bottleneck on gathering is GP — the “mana” or energy used by Botanists and Miners. This regenerates very slowly over time, but also ticks up whenever you hit a node. This means that gathering actually regenerates GP faster than simply standing around. However, Miner and Botanist skills are extremely costly on GP to use. You can realistically only hit a handful of abilities per node before running out of juice and needing to refill.
In FFXIV, a “refill” means using a Cordial. This is a type of consumable that lets you restore GP on a five-minute cooldown. It’s also an absolute must for Disciples of the Land. The extra GP allows you to gather more materials more quickly, which translates into more money in a shorter window of time. Simple!
Of course, we want to avoid the overhead of actually paying for Cordial as much as possible. That’s where the Grand Company Seals discussed near the top of this article come in. Besides Dark Matter and Ventures, you can exchange these for “free” Cordial. That way you can stock up without ever dipping into your Gil supply and creating overhead costs. Cordial is also commonly given out by the Qitari and Namazu (if playing as a gatherer) for their daily Tribe Quests. You can accept three of these quests per tribe, per day, and two of each set should provide Cordial in addition to the usual rewards. That’s four more free Cordial per day — in addition to the unique currency these quests provide. Which you can use to buy Materia and other valuable goods from the factions.
Pentamelding Pays Off (Eventually)
“Pentamelding” is a concept in FFXIV where players add a total of five pieces of Materia to a particular piece of gear. You may notice that most gear only has one or two slots for Materia. Well, that’s where things get expensive…
After you complete the quest “Melding Materia Muchly” for the NPC Mutamix in Central Thanalan, you can begin to “overmeld” gear with more Materia than it has slots. Up to five pieces to be exact. This is pentamelding and it is pain. It’s also one reason Materia sells so consistently on the Market Board. Overmelding gear isn’t a guaranteed process, you see. Every piece of Materia you add past the actual number of available slots has a much lower chance of success than the last. Adding a third piece of Materia to gear with two slots, for example, has only a 17 percent chance of success. The next has a 10 percent chance, then a 7 percent chance, until finally the fifth “slot” has a 5 percent chance of success. Any Materia you fail to meld is simply destroyed in the process…lost to time and space.
There are major advantages to pentamelding, of course. You get higher stats. That means more damage for combat Jobs, easier crafting for crafters, and faster gathering for gatherers. In this way, the extra Materia offsets its own cost if you use the pentamelded gear enough. But that’s not really what I’m talking about. I’m talking about extracting more Materia from the overmelded gear.
All equipment you use (weapons, tools, armor, and accessories) has a “Spiritbond” rating. This is shown any time you select the item in your inventory; it’s a percentage value right beneath the gear’s repair condition. Using that gear over time increases this Spiritbond up to 100 percent — at which point you can choose to “Extract Materia” from it. This isn’t the same as “Retrieve Materia,” which simply takes out whatever Materia you put in yourself. Extracting generates an entirely new piece of Materia from thin air.
The exact type of Materia is semi-random, but it matches whatever type of gear you’re using (e.g. crafting Materia comes from crafting equipment). This is obviously useful, but quite sluggish. The higher a piece of equipment’s Item Level, the more powerful the Materia it produces, but the slower you earn Spiritbond. One easy-to-miss benefit of melding Materia is that it speeds this process back up. The more Materia you meld to an item, the faster it generates more Materia on its own.
It’s still a slow and very complicated process. Just like most of the FFXIV endgame. But the gist is this:
- Meld Materia to your gear
- Craft, gather, or fight while wearing that gear
- Watch for its Spiritbond to reach 100 percent
- Select “Extract Materia” after clicking on the Spiritbound gear
Melding isn’t actually necessary for any of this. Each piece of Materia simply vastly boosts the rate at which you gain Spiritbond. You can also increase the speed by performing higher-level actions, such as crafting Master Recipes, gathering from Legendary Nodes, and fighting in high-level raids.
Exploring Old Desires
If you’ve made it this far, you probably know what Retainers are. They’re those NPC allies of yours that sell your items on the Market Board in the first place. You probably also know that these friendly employees can passively accrue items for you. You can send them to hunt down specific items (animal hides, ores, wood, etc.). But the real money is in “Exploration.” That’s Quick Exploration, Field Exploration, Waterside Exploration, Woodland Exploration, or Highland Exploration to be exact. Each of these depends on the Retainers class, but all of them bring home random items.
Quick Exploration only takes an hour and is pretty much your best bet. The Retainer will typically bring back armor and weapons from dungeons and other major activities. These can be sold, Desynthesized into crafting materials, or turned in to your Grand Company Personel Officer from the “Expert Delivery” section under “Undertake supply and provisioning missions.” This grants more seals which can be converted into Ventures (a.k.a. the currency that you pay Retainers with) — allowing your Retainer to more than pay for themself.
What you really want from Quick Exploration, however, is either a Venture Coffer or Retainer Fantasia. The former can contain free versions of dyes that are otherwise only available for real money on the Mog Station (which makes them sell for a pretty penny in Gil). The also works like a Mog Station item: the standard Fantasia. Only this item allows you to change your Retainer’s appearance, rather than your own character. This also sells for a pretty penny.
When it comes to the 18-hour Exploration missions, your best option is typically the Level 50 “XIII” variant. Rank XIII ventures have a small chance to provide either Taffeta Cloth and/or a Light Steel Plate. These are crafting materials used to make some of the more… revealing gear for Glamours. And when it comes to selling Glamours in FFXIV, always err on the side of horny. The major exception here is that Woodland Exploration XIII, the Botanist version of the task, doesn’t yield either crafting material.
In cases where you’re not sure which Exploration to choose, you should typically default to the highest-level option, as these provide the most materials and raw Gil in the form of Allagan Silver Pieces. Allagan silver, gold, and other sorts of vendor items like these are best exchanged at the Doman Enclave — which, as previously mentioned, offer double their normal value in Gil.
And that’s it for now! We’ll be sure to update this guide with more tips, tricks, and Gil farming methods as we all continue to learn how to make money in FFXIV. Until then, enjoy and good luck!