Hitting Rank 11 with your FFXIV Chocobo isn’t exactly an easy task. The game does very little to explain the process at all. Not to mention, if you started playing a while back and are just returning, you might not even remember you have a bosom birdie buddy to help carry you through FATEs. But leveling up your Chocobo past Rank 10 is easy once you actually know what to do and where to do it. Which is why I’ve put together this little guy on how to bring the chicken chum up to par. Let’s take a look!
You first acquire a chocobo companion when any combat Job hits level 30, during the side quest “My Feisty Little Chocobo.” This is a continuation of the level 20 quest “My Little Chocobo,” which is tied to whichever Grand Company you join throughout the game. If you’re looking into how to raise the NPC party member’s rank, you probably already know that. If you’ve stumbled into this guide before actually acquiring a chocobo, however, come back at level 30!
Once you have the chocobo there are two chief ways to level it up: parking it at a stable (only if you have a house with an equipped Chocobo Stable or an apartment) or otherwise taking it into combat. The latter requires Gyashal Greens: a classic Final Fantasy item that the ostrich allies love. This is important, because it hints that various vegetables are key to modifying and leveling up your companion. That includes raising it to Rank 11 and everything beyond.
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I also mention this because, if you used the stables method to level up your chocobo toward the initial cap, you actually need to take it into battle. At least once! The bird can’t officially level up all the way on stable experience points alone. It needs a single point of combat XP to “lock in” that status change. Just take it to a FATE or any basic enemy in the world comparable to your character’s level.
Either way you do it, your chocobo will eventually fill its XP bar all the way to what should be Rank 11. Except the text will turn orange and… nothing will happen. That’s because any chocobo needs a little boost to get over that hump. In this case, that boost is the Thavnairian Onion, a deeply pricey gardening product tied to chocobo progression. Feeding the onion in question to a chocobo will unlock its level cap and allow a Rank 10 bird to finally reach Rank 11.
The item takes exactly 10 days (240 hours) to grow via gardening. Though Thavnairian Onion Seeds are often the same price or more expensive on the Market Board than the veggie itself. So it’s usually better to just buy them. You can also get a couple freebies from two quests. There’s “Landing a Stable Job” at level 50 in The Pillars of Ishgard. Then at level 57 you get “A Hunter’s True Nature” in The Dravanian Forelands. The latter quest is part of a chain of side missions: starting with “A Step in the Right Direction,” then “Garbage Duty,” “Pest Control,” and finally “A Hunter’s True Nature.” Odds are you’ll still end up spending money, though. Unless you’re a hardcore gardener.
The reason being? You need one Thavnairian Onion per level past Rank 10. Prices on the item have gone down in recent years, thankfully, but you’ll still spend upwards of a million gil getting everything you need, depending on your server. Just grinding out the chocobo XP will take some time, too. The sooner you get started the better. And the sooner you know how to break into Rank 11, the less EXP you’ll waste at the cap without knowing why.
Another thing that’s tricky to understand is the feeding process. If you’ve used a stable (either at a house or apartment) you know that chocobos can be fed certain items for various effects. This does not include the Thavnairian Onion. You must first take your chocobo out of the stable, make sure its XP bar is hit the soft cap and that the text is orange, and then use the onion from your inventory while it’s summoned. That will instantly pop Rank 11. No digestion necessary! Then just repeat the process all the way to Rank 20.
I hope this has been a helpful look at how to reach Rank 11 with your chocobo in FFXIV! The companion character is a huge help in the open world and well worth the investment. Just make sure you have enough money and know where to feed the Thavnairian Onion at the right time. Best of luck!