FFXIV Retainer Quick Exploration Guide – Venture Rewards, Item Level

Use your FFXIV retainers and Quick Explorations to level them up and earn rare rewards.

Pretty early on in your Final Fantasy XIV experience, the game introduces you to the concept of retainers. These are essentially personal bankers as NPCs who hold onto Gil and store items, but they also have other functions that some players overlook. The hesitancy is understandable as it can honestly be a confusing prospect.

In short, each retainer can also have a Job, whether they’re any of the combat classes, making them a Hunter, or the expected Gatherers in Botanists, Miners, and Fishers. What gear you give them is largely the same as your own as you progress through the levels, too.

One thing that’s not taught in nearly enough detail, however, are Retainer Ventures. In this guide we focus specifically on FFXIV Quick Explorations, explaining what they are, how they work, how to gain access to better rewards, and everything we know about the loot table it pulls from.

A FFXIV screenshot showing the Quick Exploration confirmation menu. Indicates total EXP to be awarded, Ventures cost, and completion time.
All Quick Explorations will cost you two Ventures.

What Are Quick Explorations?

Unlocked at level 10, Quick Explorations are your primary method of leveling up your retainers. To do them, you need to pay your retainer two Ventures, a currency purchased with Grand Company Seals. Because they only take 60 minutes, you can earn far more EXP doing Quick Explorations in a single day than the much longer 18-hour explorations. They have an added bonus of giving you a single random item upon their completion as well. What your retainer returns with ultimately depends on their level and equipped gear, but the loot pool is vast and contains items from raids. At level 90 and with the proper gear, they have a chance of bringing you a Venture Coffer which is a solid way to make Gil when you reach that point.

How Gathering and Item Level Affect Rewards

Quick Explorations are not affected by your retainer’s gear. As per a note in Patch 5.4, the following additions and adjustments were been made to Quick Explorations:

  • New items can be obtained by retainers that have reached maximum level.
  • Retainers equipped with more powerful gear will receive items in greater quantities, with a greater chance of obtaining high-quality items.
    • * Following this change, the chance to obtain rare items based on gear has been removed.

There is no solid, available information on what items become available as you level up. The only thing that’s for certain is the retainer can’t bring back gear of a higher level than they are. For example, a level 70 Hunter is never going to give you level 90 endgame gear. Don’t expect your gathering retainers to only bring back crafting materials either. Their loot pool is largely the same and also offers weapons and furniture.

What Are the Venture Coffer Odds?

When you get a retainer up to level 90, there’s a small chance they can return with a Venture Coffer. These boxes contain one of the rare General-purpose Dyes you frequently see on the market. Some of these go for under 1,000 Gil, others for tens of thousands, and in the case of white and black, in the hundreds of thousands.

Understandably, they’re highly sought after. But what are the odds? According to this player’s data (shared via Reddit) from 500 runs with maxed out retainers: about three percent.

That means on average you should earn one about every 33 times you send out your retainers. If you only have the two free retainers that come with your regular FFXIV subscription, this can obviously take a while. Keep in mind that all of this is random chance. You can get Venture Coffers back to back or you can go weeks with absolutely horrid luck.

A FFXIV screenshot showing the reward from a Quick Exploration including almost two million EXP and a green piece of gear.
The reward from a single level 90 Quick Exploration.

Quick Venture Rewards, Item Drops, and Loot

The problem when it comes to understanding the Quick Exploration system is the sheer number of possible rewards. The loot table for these is absolutely huge, which includes basic crafting items, dungeon gear, regular and Augmented raid gear, housing items, and the elusive Venture Coffer.

Thankfully about ten months ago, one determined Reddit user started logging all of their Quick Exploration Ventures. For half a month, they continually sent out their eight retainers on the hour-long missions and accumulated just under 550 entries.

Between their information and our own testing, the Quick Venture loot pool includes:

  • All gear that can be purchased for Allagan Tomestones of Poetics.
  • All gear at blue and green rarity that can be crafted via Master Books.
  • Gear from every dungeon. Confirmed up to Shadowbringers, may not currently include Endwalker dungeons.
  • Small amounts of HQ crafting materials including ingredients, reagents, and basic items like Bronze Rings.
  • Many minions.
  • A ton of furniture and housing items. (Someone please take these Bom Bokos).
  • Most level 1 gear that can be equipped by all classes. That is, the glamour items.
  • Venture Coffers which randomly contain 1-2 General-purpose Dyes or Retainer Fantasias.

So if you’re looking to level up your retainers as fast as possible, send them on Quick Ventures. If you’re trying to earn a bunch of Gil, level them up to 90 then send them on Quick Ventures. It won’t earn you 50 million Gil overnight, but if you struggle to earn money as a whole, they’re an excellent way of getting rare items through very little effort.