FFXIV Wind Crystals are pretty important. Though they’re not as easy to come by as they are to lose. That’s because crystals, shards, and clusters of all elements are consumed by FFXIV crafting recipes. You need them as a sort of “catalyst” in addition to the more obvious crafting materials. However, Wind Crystals specifically get used up in droves by many level 70-80 recipes — such as the Rarefied Lignum Vitae Grinding Wheel and its constituent parts.
These “Collectables” and others like them are particularly useful as a source of White Crafter’s Scrips. They’re easy to make and most of their intermediary crafting components (e.g. Lignum Vitae Lumber) are available from Norvrandt, which cuts down on teleportation costs. White Scrips, in turn, are a great source of high level Materia needed for “overmelding” endgame crafting gear. And since Wind Crystals are especially easy to acquire, any Collectable that mostly uses them is pretty cost effective.
Whatever your reason, though, any FFXIV crafter will need Wind Crystals eventually. And if you dig in deep enough you’ll eventually need to farm Wind Crystals. Luckily this is one elemental item that’s easy to gather manually. The most time-efficient way to do so does require a level 74 on any combat class and for you to complete the Main Scenario Quest “An Unwanted Proposal” in Shadowbringers. This unlocks two series of blue side quests in Rak’tika Greatwood — beginning with the missions “The Great Deceiver” and “Stand On Ceremony” You want to finish these quests anyway. They’re part of unlocking access to flying mounts in the region.
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Once you clean out all the blue-marked missions (which conclude on “Snakes in the Grass” and “Protectors of the Wood”) you’ll finally be able to start “The Stewards of Note.” This is a gathering-focused Beast Tribe questline centered on the Qitari. Helping out the adorable rat people is useful in its own right. Beat Tribe daily quests are a great source of XP, free Cordial, Materia, and other useful doodads. But in this case we mostly want directions to their infinitely respawning gathering nodes.
You don’t actually need a Beast Tribe quest active to find these nodes. Though several Qitari missions will point you in the right direction. Not to mention it’s a good way to kill two birds with one stone.
What you really want is one of the clusters of three level 70 gathering nodes tied to the Beast Tribe quests. These typically spawn quest-specific items for gathering during Qitari missions. Even if you don’t have the appropriate mission in your journal, however, the nodes continue to appear without the quest items… leaving just Wind Crystals to gather in their place.
That’s not terribly useful on its own. But these three-node clusters have a unique trait that most “normal” gathering points in the game do not. They infinitely respawn without you needing to pack up and move to a new spot. You only need to exhaust all three Mining or Botany points in a cluster to make the first of the trio reappear.
This cuts down on travel time immensely. Normally, when farming Wind Crystals and most other gathering items in the game, nodes are located in groups of two. After you pick those clean you “rotate” to a another pair, then another, and eventually back to the original location. All that walking adds up over time. And time is quite literally money when it comes to FFXIV crafting and gathering.
The Qitari Beast Tribe nodes cut this downtime out of the equation: at least for when you farm Wind Crystals. You can find these dense, infinitely repeatable triple patches all over Rak’tika, too. Though I prefer the ones just north of the Fanow Aetheryte — on the eastern edge of of The K’mul Astropolis. It’s an incredibly short flight from the teleportation spot and not far from the Qitari camp. It also works for both Miners and Botanists.
Lastly, make sure to use The Twelve’s Bounty and especially The Giving Land (if you’re a level 74 gatherer). The latter skill can increase your yields to dozens of elemental crystals per gathering attempt. It’s a bit pricey on GP, but that’s where the “kill two birds with one stone” thing comes in handy. The nearby Beast Tribe provides free Cordial as one of several rewards for most of its missions. You can use this to restore 350 GP every four minutes. Coincidentally, that’s just enough to cast both The Twelve’s Bounty and The Giving Land, which stack together for more crystals. This half of the farming strategy works on all elements and tiers of crafting catalyst (shards, crystals, and clusters), too.
If you’re not a level 74 gatherer, collecting catalysts is better left to your retainers while you focus on other things. They can passively collect dozens on one-hour ventures while you raid and the like. As an absolute last resort, you can use The Twelve’s Bounty on normal gathering nodes as any level 20 Miner or Botanist. Though it’s honestly probably better to grind your way to the appropriate levels instead.
Hopefully this helps you farm Wind Crystals in FFXIV by the barrelful! It’s just one step on the very long road to dominating the crafting classes, but every little boost will take you further. Best of luck!