A lot of people of late are probably in this boat – you’ve swapped from WoW or some other MMO to get on the train of the “critically acclaimed” MMO Final Fantasy XIV, but hey – making money in FFXIV is a little bit different.
Coming from WoW, one of the things that first really caught me is that money for your core gameplay needs is, all told, relatively easy to come by. Even with just a combat job, even without playing the market boards, you’ll likely be able to keep up on all your upkeep costs even if you do maintenance tasks the hard way – paying NPCs for repairs, Materia melding, and the like. Now, if you’re doing cutting-edge Savage or Ultimate raiding, or frequently pugging EX trials and wanting to come with that edge, you might need more Gil for consumables, but that’s really about it. FFXIV has more small Gil sinks built into core gameplay compared to say, Gold sinks in WoW, where repairs and flights are about it, and it makes up for that with a larger supply of Gil compared to the Gold income you’d have in WoW.
So today, I wanted to evaluate how to make, save, and explode your Gil reserves in FFXIV – exploring the options you have to make money, to save money and cut costs, and to then spend it out lavishly on the few Gil sinks the game does have at the high-end.
Making Money: Through Core Gameplay
The one thing that is very similar between most MMOs with a non-RMT currency system is that core gameplay always gives you a little kickback for your efforts. FFXIV is no different – quests will reward Gil, dungeon and raid boss chests will reward Gil, and the game will give you Gil as an incentive to use the Duty Roulettes in the game to run random content.
There are a few twists, however.
Quests: Many quests that offer additional rewards like gear will tend to have an option to forego the gear or other items in favor of Allagan pieces (of varying types of metal) or Nightworld pieces (same concept but for Shadowbringers zones). The sole purpose of these items is to be vendored for Gil, with the amount received increasing as the quality of the metal appended to the item name goes up. When you’re leveling a first job, you’ll likely get more value from the gear options, but once you reach the current endgame and are playing through content as it comes out, you are likely getting better gear from the content you are doing outside of quests and these are safe options. A lot of endgame quests will offer you meals for Well Fed buffs of varying types or these as well, which makes the choice easier – unless the meals on offer give you the best Well-Fed for your job, the pieces are pretty worth taking, especially if you’re trying to build a Gil stash for other purposes. (It is worth checking the market board for the prices of the food in question if you are really trying to min-max your Gil income, but that is a 1%er activity).
Duty Roulettes: Everyone, regardless of role, gets a bonus for their first Duty Roulette of a given type per day, which includes Gil. However, on the right side of the UI, you’ll see an Adventurer In Need with a role icon designating the role most needed. This role gets an additional Gil bonus and, depending on the roulette, other bonuses like crystals that can be traded for Materia, which is pretty valuable in its own right! If your main job is a tank or healer, this is fantastic, because it means you can chain-run a roulette for a fair amount of Gil (typically, the first run bonus that everyone gets at level 80 is around 11,000 Gil, with the Adventurer-in-Need bonus being around 11,000 as well!) so your first run will net around 22,000 Gil plus dropped Gil and then each subsequent run for as long as your role is In Need will net another 11,000 plus drops. In a normal MMO, this might leave you out if you’re a damage-dealer only class, but with FFXIV’s job system, you can choose to level and play a different role on the same character, which means that as you have multiple jobs leveled, you can play roulettes smart – pick an In Need role, queue up, get an insta-queue and an additional reward, rinse and repeat. Generally, dungeon and Trial roulettes fluctuate between Tank and Healer In Need (what a surprise in a holy trinity design game!) but the Alliance Raid option, which you can unlock at level 50, quite often has DPS In Need and at expansion launch, everything is up for grabs (helped because tanking and healing in FFXIV is, generally speaking, less stressful than WoW, at least in my opinion).
Killing Random Mobs: This does reward some Gil in FFXIV, however it is so small as to be meaningless. If your goal is sheer grind of cash, identify mobs that drop crafting materials (woolen animals, plant-creatures, meaty beasts, etc) but even then, the return can be quite poor. Bosses in dungeons and raids (whose loot drops in chests) generally reward around 1,000-1,500 Gil each, but that is likewise a poor return on investment with no other bonuses like Roulette bonuses. Short of farming a high-demand crafting material, I would suggest not grinding mobs endlessly for money-making – I wouldn’t suggest it in WoW either, but I absolutely would recommend against it strongly in FFXIV.
FATES and The Challenge Log: FFXIV has FATES – open-world, level-synced questing content fairly similar to World Quests from WoW (although FATES were first, for the record). FATES reward company seals, experience, and a small amount of Gil – they alone won’t make you rich, but they can supplement your income. I’ve included them with a much bigger source of income, though – the Challenge Log. On a weekly basis, the game has a set of challenges it gives you to compete with Gil rewards available (there are also challenges with Company Seal rewards, experience rewards, etc – all based on category). The Challenge Log is one of the easiest ways to add Gil to your stash for minimal effort – if you’re already playing, you’ll get some by accident – running X random dungeons, giving X player commendations, and completing x FATES at the highest rating. The Gil from these is purely supplemental – it rarely means that much to your total income – but they are repeatable weekly and you should aim to hit as many of the ones you can easily every week.
Tomestone Options: Tomestones rewarded for content completion are most commonly used for gear, but there is also a full slate of tradeskill materials at each level of tomestone you can buy. If you are not hurting for gear, you can buy materials instead and sell them – some vendor quite well, but most will hold value on the market board, as they are harder to come by, especially current high-end tomestone materials.
Company Seals: You can use Company seals with your Grand Company quatermaster to buy a variety of different items, including crafting materials here as well. However, there are some items that hold more value for what they’ll save you, and we’ll discuss those more later!
Hunts: Each expansion has a Hunt clan – Centurio for Heavensward and Stormblood and Nutsy for Shadowbringers. Every day, they will have new Hunt bills available – ranked 1 through 3 – which call on you to hunt down and kill a number of NPCs for a reward. They also offer a weekly Elite mark bill that is a level capped mob for the expansion that is relatively easily soloed and offers a larger reward. The rewards are always Gil, Experience, and Clan Seals (or bags of Nuts for Shadowbringers). You can do these on alt jobs as a leveling mechanism – the experience is quite good – and the Gil reward is pretty decent too, since it is repeatable daily and can net around 20,000 Gil for about 30 minutes of effort. Most mobs are in set places, but the Elite marks spawn in patrol patterns and will not always be in the same place. I use this site to help identify mark locations and quickly make my rounds. As you level, you can do more bills, since you can do the full daily loadout for all 3 expansions each day and the 3 elite marks each week. There are also higher-ranked mobs (similar to World Bosses in WoW) but they often just reward Clan Seals/Nuts in higher quantities, so they are less valuable. For those marks, you want to look for people advertising Hunt Trains in capital cities – they’ll often bark in cities and zone chat as they come through, and they typically also have Linkshells in-game or Discord servers out of it to help coordinate for your server. Also: while I have downplayed Clan Seals/Nuts here, they also have vendors with options including Materia and some neat stuff like Housing items and Orchestrion rolls, which can be sold on the market board to people who have not done the content!
Making Money: Through Crafting/Gathering
I’m not the person to put together a comprehensive guide on this, so let me state it simply – professions are the gateway to the most Gil you can make in FFXIV. There are a handful of professions in the game, all done like the main combat jobs you’ll start with – experience bars, actions, and rotations for crafting or gathering items.
Crafting in FFXIV is best done as an omni-crafter, which is to say that you should level all of the tradeskills. All of the equipment-making trades will have requirements from other jobs for items, and while you can buy materials from the market board ready to use, it is best to be able to make as much as you can from scratch with your own gathered materials.
There is one twist for crafters to make money outside of simply making things, however:
Desynthesis: Crafters can break down items made by their trade to receive components. Usually, it results in raw materials – a Mythril helm offering a Mythril Ingot, for example, which is valuable if you want to use it to make something else or to sell it. Desynthesis also offers Demimateria – the Clear variant of which is vendor trash that sells for a high amount. Other types of Demimateria can be used by Mutamix to make new Materia, so hold on to that – but the Clear carries a high sale price as its only value. Desynth also gives you elemental crystals which are used in crafting and are valuable to have, and there is a weekly challenge log entry for Desynth. On top of all of that, as you push higher in the game, EX trial boss weapons can be desynthesized and offer rare materials that can be used to craft replicas with cooler glowy effects that sell for millions of Gil on the market boards, so there is a lot of value to leveling Desynthesis. Desynth levels separately from the core job, and you can use it regardless of your current job, provided you have the appropriate crafting job learned. You can desynth items all the way up regardless of how low your Desynth skill is, but once you cross the item’s level threshold, your chance of getting rare materials from the Desynth increases. It works off a skill system, not a level system, so you gain fractional points that correspond to current item level ceiling, with the only items usually off the table for desynth being current-tier raiding gear whose item level exceeds the maximum Desynth skill.
Making Money: Retainers and the Market Board
FFXIV has a somewhat convoluted market system that has some implications about potential labor law violations from the Warrior of Light.
Instead of a bank, cache, stash, vault, or chest – your item storage off your person in FFXIV is managed by Retainers. Retainers are NPCs that you can hire and summon at Summoning Bells in each capital city and in the housing districts. You unlock them through progress early in the MSQ, and unlock their full potential through the side-quest An Ill-Conceived Venture. The core game gives you two Retainers, each with 175 slots of inventory space, and you can purchase up to 8 more for real money – 7 through a subscription upgrade, 1 through the Premium plan of the FFXIV Companion App on mobile.
Retainers, once fully unlocked, are assigned classes, can eventually level those into jobs just like players, and can be equipped with gear. They use their assigned job and gear on Ventures, missions you can send them out on. Ventures cost…well, Ventures, a currency we’ll discuss more in a minute, and reward the Retainer with experience and levels towards their current job and also, depending on the Venture assigned, will have the Retainer return with items you can use. Ventures usually take hours to complete and require that you summon the Retainer, view their Venture report, and then you can choose to send them out immediately again or to leave them in the dark void from whence they wait for your call. Retainers can still be called while on Ventures to check items in their inventory and a Retainer on a venture can still sell on the market board. Ventures as a currency are purchased from your Grand Company quartermaster for 200 GC Seals each, and certain Guildleves and Beast Tribe quests can also reward them. The Venture cost of a Venture varies based on type and length.
But your main use for Retainers in making money is the market board. Retainers each can sell up to 20 items at a time for you on the Market Boards, and they’ll manage it fully once you assign them – attempting to sell until you tell them not to. You can also have them adjust the price of the item. There are some caveats to the FFXIV market board. Firstly, the Retainer selling the item must have the item in their inventory, or have room in their inventory for it. Secondly, the Retainer will list the item in whichever city they are stationed. This doesn’t matter for Summoning, but instead is initially assigned based on where you hire them and can be reassigned at will. This matters because each city charges a tax rate for sales, which is taken from your share and, as of patch 5.2, is also charged to the buyer regardless of where they buy it from (it used to work that a buyer could dodge tax by buying the item off the MB in the same city it was being sold in, but that was changed). The fee is added and shown after selecting the item to purchase, so you do not have to undercut based on total cost to make your listing pop as the cheapest – just simply undercutting the base cost will do. Once the item sells, the game will give you a pop-up message (if you are logged in) and you can collect the money from your retainer by summoning them and withdrawing the Gil. You can also keep it on the Retainer, if you’re trying to build a nest-egg for a big purchase and want it out of sight.
One more point on the Market Board I’ll make before wrapping this section up – while you cannot sell on other server’s MBs, you can use World Travel to go to another world, buy from their market board, and then bring it home to resell. This works great if another server has items listed substantially below your own, which you can check using websites like Universalis.
It is a bit out-of-scope to write much more here about the market board, but needless to say, if you have big goals and dreams (a house in Ishgard once patch 6.1 launches, for example!), you’ll need to get at least a baseline proficiency with the Market Board to make the big bucks.
Saving Money: Repairing Your Own Gear
This one is easy – once you have a crafting profession leveled sufficiently high (usually 10 levels below the equippable level of a piece of gear), you can use your trade to repair your own gear. This requires a piece of Dark Matter of the appropriate rank, with higher level gear needing higher rank Dark Matter (currently capped at Grade 7). You can purchase Dark Matter from a handful of vendors, but the real value is getting it without spending money. You can acquire some for Bicolor Gemstones from the FATE vendors in Shadowbringers areas (that is a currency rewarded for completing ShB FATES) or you can use Company Seals to buy it. The advantages to repairing your own gear are twofold – often it is still cheaper even if you just outright buy the Dark Matter, both because you only need 1 piece regardless of durability but also because your repair as a player can push the condition of an item above 100%, reducing the number of times you need to repair. Be warned, however – as gear in FFXIV is not codified on item type and assigned to jobs in this manner, you’ll need multiple crafting skills leveled to repair all of your gear (typically Weaver/Leatherworker/Armorer for main slots plus Carpenter/Goldsmith/Blacksmith for right-side pieces and if you’re an Arcanist or derived job, you’ll also need Alchemist for your weapon), but even then, having just one big one leveled for your role is a huge help in cutting back on costs.
Saving Money: Not Spending Gil on Teleports
FFXIV has a robust travel network with Aetherytes for teleportation access in every main zone, usually two or more per zone. There’s a catch, however – costs rapidly climb and while early on, you’ll spend relatively little on teleports, eventually the cost hits the maximum per teleport of 999 Gil and you’ll often spend that 5 or more times in each play session, more if you’re doing Hunts, Hunt Trains, Beast Tribes, or just generally partaking in all the activities the game has to offer.
You can stockpile an item that removes this cost however, the Aetheryte Ticket. You can purchase these tickets using Allied or Centurio Seals, rewarded for ARR Hunts and Heavensward/Stormblood Hunts, respectively, but you can also earn a lot of Allied Seals by leveling Blue Mage and doing the Masked Carnivale fights. It is very simple to get several hundred of these into your bags in waiting, especially if you catch a Heavensward Hunt Train. When using teleports in pretty much any current content, these will allow you to save that much more Gil, and while it may seem a bit penny-pinching, every saved Gil helps towards big goals.
Saving Money: Melding Your Own Materia
Unlike gems in WoW, Materia has to be melded to your gear. There are NPCs who can do it for a small fee, however, when you’re frequently swapping gear (like at the start of a new expansion’s endgame!), this can quickly add up to a Gil sink. If you’re already leveling a crafter for self-repair, good news – as long as you have one crafter at level 19 or higher, you can do the quest Waking The Spirit in Central Thanalan to unlock the ability to meld your own Materia, regardless of job level or item level. There is a second level of melding you can unlock via a second quest, once you have a crafting job to level 25, by talking to Mutamix in Central Thanalan and completing Melding Materia Muchly. Advanced Materia Melding gives you access to Overmelding, which a normal Melder cannot do, including the NPC. Overmelding allows you to meld additional pieces of Materia to an item past the sockets provided, up to 5 pieces in total. Overmelding is generally not allowed on gear acquired from most non-crafting content, which will be denoted in the tooltip as “Advanced Melding Forbidden.” It is also extremely, extremely hard to get additional pieces melded, with success rates for overmelds starting around 45% and going down as low as 4% for the fifth and final piece allowed. Being able to meld your own Materia also allows you the ability to Retrieve Materia from gear, which is not a guaranteed success action, but can generally allow you to reclaim a current-tier piece of Materia with a success rate between 40-80% (in my experience). Lastly, you can also Extract Materia, creating a new piece of Materia, from gear with which you’ve fully Spiritbonded. You gain spiritbond slowly as you use a piece of gear, although there are potions to accelerate spiritbond rate if you want to use this as an avenue for selling Materia.
Saving Money: Don’t Buy Crafted Gear or Materia – Make It Yourself
This one is obvious, but also worth saying – if you level your tradeskills, check to see if you can make a piece of armor or gear first before buying anything. It is also worth noting that catchup gear in FFXIV is fairly robust – currently, the best crafted armor is 510 item level, but the current dungeon Pagalth’an rewards 505 item level gear and you can run that on loop with groups or via Trust dungeons with NPCs to get the gear you might want. The crafted gear can be Overmelded with Materia, however.
On Materia, make sure you use your resources before buying it for Gil on the Market Board. You’ll typically receive currencies used for buying Materia from normal gameplay, currently called Cracked Clusters, which can be exchanged at the Materia Vendor in Eulmore or Crystarium for Materia ranks VII and VIII, for Shadowbringers content. If you have Materia Melding and crafting open, you can also make sure to retrieve pieces melded to gear you are replacing, or to Extract it from gear with full Spiritbond. Lastly, Hunt Currencies can also be used to buy expansion-appropriate Materia ranks, with Centurio seals being used for the ranks prior to Shadowbringers and Nuts being used for VII and VIII from ShB.
Gil Sinks, Or Just What Am I Saving For Anyways?
Firstly, if you made here, you might then be wondering – with all of this advice on making money and all the ways I can save money, what do I even use it on anyways?
There are a handful of Gil sinks in FFXIV that can be put to good use, none better than player housing. Firstly, at present, housing is a clusterfuck and that is unlikely to resolve at any point prior to patch 6.1 of Endwalker, when the Firmament opens and new plots come with it, along with the lottery system discussed in recent Live Letters. Housing plots vary in cost from just under 2 million Gil (assuming a plot stays open long enough to discount that much) to 42.5 million Gil for a large plot. On top of that, you have to buy a building permit to get a basic house built or you’ll lose the plot (after a set time window) and then you have furnishings, finishes and styles, dyes and more.
However, on most servers, you can currently get an apartment for use as a small-scale bit of the housing experience. Getting one is 500,000 Gil and gives you a small room with which you can do interior decorating, set up a couple of flowerpots and do basic gardening (including growing food for use in Culinarian recipes or growing Crystals for crafting). You can also get this experience if you are in a Free Company that has a house and has opened up Private Chambers in the house. The room has a similar set of limitations to an Apartment, and is tied to your membership in that Free Company (so if you get booted it’s gone). Such a room costs 300,000 Gil and a Free Company can have up to 512 such rooms in their house.
There are a couple of Gil sink mounts that were added in patch 5.5, which are named so because they cost a lot and also because they have over-the-top particle effects of gold splashing around them as they move. These mounts are the Golden Ronkan (25,000,000 Gil, in Eulmore) and the Gilded Mikoshi (50,000,000 Gil, in Mor Dhona).
Lastly, having a large amount of gil is just a fun goal to reach and one that enables you to play however you want. You can port around at will, buy catchup gear to spring ahead into the game easily, and stockpile consumables for high-end content, or just simply sit on it and wait for more Gil sinks to enter the game (which seems likely over time, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this be a focus in Endwalker).
The one thing I will note that I briefly touched on up top is this: in FFXIV, having a lot of money is not a requirement for playing normally. If you just play the game normally, you’ll have enough Gil to make all of your standard gameplay expenditures and then some. If you want to explore player housing, want to get fancy mounts, or want to buy gear off the Market Board to keep yourself at the cutting edge, or to focus on underplayed jobs instead of waiting longer periods of time to farm tokens in raid to buy alt-job gear. But it is by no means necessary to stockpile millions of Gil. Most players keep around 200k-300k from conversations I’ve seen, and that is plenty for most.
But I would say that the systems and things available as you push your Gil reserves higher are a lot of fun, and are largely just fun. Player housing only offers me gardening as a gameplay path with any means of yielding power (via planting raw materials for use in consumables) but I just enjoy having a house in the game, and I’ve spent hours decorating it, setting it up, and just sitting in it and enjoying having a quiet space of my own in the game where I can set a custom soundtrack via Orchestrion and just enjoy some idle time. For the competitive, content-pushing side of me, I like being able to keep multiple jobs and roles at the edge of gear I can get to so that my play options remain open!