Are you a Final Fantasy XIV player who has found themselves wondering what to wear? Maybe you’re just starting out and you’re confused about how the gearing system works. Maybe you’ve just hit endgame and want to know how to suit yourself up at max level. No matter where you’re at in the game, this FFXIV gearing guide is here to help!
Before we jump straight to Level 90 gearing, there are some important elements of FFXIV’s gear system that we should cover. Even if you aren’t a beginner, you may learn a thing or two by reviewing the basics!
Each job utilizes three types of gear: weapons, armor, and accessories. These gear slots are accessible via the Character menu. Gear goes in the left column, accessories and off-hand weapons go in the right column, and your weapon is equipped in a special slot where your class/job name is displayed. You can switch between jobs by equipping different types of weapons. Additionally, you equip soul crystals (often referred to as “job stones”) in the same place that you equip the rest of your gear. They have a dedicated slot in the bottom of the right column.
Note that, as of right now, Paladins are the only job that utilize offhand weapon slots for their shields. You may find that some casters auto-equip shields at low levels when using wands, but they are unable to do this when they switch to using staffs at higher levels.
The Recommended Gear button is located at the top left corner of the character preview window under the Character menu. It displays a blue silhouette of a person with a sword and shield. When you press this, it will display your currently equipped gear and show you if there are any better pieces available for you to equip. This button is trustworthy! It will always equip the best possible gear set for your job. Don’t forget to check in every now and then to ensure you have the best possible gear equipped.
Types of Gear
Most gear in FFXIV is locked to specific jobs. There are plenty of exceptions to this, but most multi-job gear is for glamour — we’ll talk about that later.
Pieces of gear will display what jobs they can be equipped for, but they also have naming conventions to help you identify them at a quick glance. It’s important to learn this, as you will often earn gear as a reward during the MSQ and need to select the right pieces for your job.
- Fending gear — All tank jobs (Warrior, Paladin, Dark Knight, and Gunbreaker)
- Maiming gear — Dragoon and Reaper
- Striking gear — Monk and Samurai
- Scouting gear — Ninja
- Aiming gear — All ranged physical DPS jobs (Bard, Machinist, and Dancer)
- Casting gear — All ranged magical DPS jobs (Summoner, Black Mage, Red Mage, and Blue Mage)
- Healing gear — All healer jobs (White Mage, Scholar, Astrologian, and Sage).
Additionally, all Crafting gear can be equipped by all crafter jobs, and all Gathering gear can be equipped by all gatherer jobs. Check out our crafting and gathering guides if you’re interested in those areas!
The gear types are fairly straightforward outside of the different types for melee DPS. Getting to know all of these types will be a great help if you decide to level multiple jobs. Jobs that use the same type of gear can equip the same pieces, so you can reuse old gear and equip the same max level sets on multiple jobs!
In Final Fantasy XIV, pieces of gear have two different levels to pay attention to. The first equates to your job level, and the second to the item level. While the former determines if you can equip the gear or not, the latter is arguably much more important.
Your item level (which you will commonly see written as ILVL) is what determines whether you can participate in a piece of content or not, such as a dungeon, trial, or raid. All content in FFXIV has a minimum item level requirement. If you do not meet it, you can’t queue for that content. This exists to prevent undergeared players from winding up in content that would be too challenging for them.
Each piece of gear you equip has its own ILVL, which are averaged together to form your total ILVL. This is displayed as a blue number in the top right of the character preview window in your Character menu. If you aren’t equipping new gear as you get it, you may find yourself level-locked out of new dungeons or trials as you progress through the game. When you reach max level, your ILVL becomes even more important. While you can’t level up any further, the max ILVL will increase every time new content is added to the game. This prevents you from progressing through content too quickly and gates you out of high-end content like Savage Raids.
As you are leveling through MSQ, the game will naturally provide you with the gear you need to progress. If you find yourself stuck at a low item level during MSQ, you should repeat the previous dungeon to get more gear from it. You can also purchase gear appropriate for your level from the market board if you have the gil for it. We’ll talk more about FFXIV’s gear progression and different ways to acquire gear later on!
Materia are gems that you can meld into slots on your gear to improve substats. You should only do this when you reach max level and acquire endgame gear, since the primary purpose is optimizing to perform well in high-end content.
If you’re wondering how to put materia in your gear, you can speak with Materia Melder NPCs in major cities to have them meld your gear for a fee. You can also unlock the ability to meld materia yourself. If you have a crafting class at Level 19, you can complete the quest “Waking the Spirit” in Central Thanalan to learn how to meld your own materia. You can also request melds from other players.
Materia come in many different Grades represented by Roman numerals. The higher the grade, the better. Currently, materia Grade IX and Grade X are the best for endgame melding. Grade X materia will give you the highest possible substats, while Grade IX are used for overmelding.
Overmelding (also called pentamelding) is where things get complicated. You’ll need to return to Central Thanalan and complete the quest “Melding Materia Muchly.” This grants you the ability to meld more materia to a piece of gear than normally possible. You will need at least one crafter job at Level 25 to complete this quest.
Overmelding can’t be performed on all types of gear — only crafted gear with five materia slots. Unlike regular melding, overmelding has the chance to fail. This means that you can lose quite a lot of materia in the process of overmelding your gear.
In any case, if you’re an endgame player looking to max out your stats, you may not even need to overmeld gear for your combat jobs. Overmelding combat gear is only really worth it for people doing day one raiding during new patches. Even then, it may not be necessary — the gear that drops from raids can’t be overmelded anyways. Crafters and gatherers will be more interested in overmelding gear in order to reach certain stat thresholds for better crafts and gathering yields.
Many people like to say that the real endgame of Final Fantasy XIV is glamour (or “glam” for short). The game allows you to glam over your equipped gear to make it look like other pieces of gear. This is done with items called Glamour Prisms, and it can be dispelled with Glamour Dispellers.
These items are obtainable from the market board as well as other places. Most conveniently, you can get Glamour Prisms from your Grand Company Quartermaster in exchange for Company Seals. They’re also now available on your Island Sanctuary in exchange for Islander’s Cowries!
You can glam over gear pieces one at a time, or you can create Glamour Plates to apply a whole outfit all at once. Plates can be created using the Glamour Dresser and Armoire in any inn room in a major city. Once a plate is created and saved, you can reapply it at any time as long as you’re inside a major city. The Glamour Plate menu button is right next to the Recommended Gear button in your Character menu!
You can only apply gear as a glamour if it is equippable for a given job. For example, you cannot glam caster gear over a set of tank gear. You also can’t glam high level gear over low level gear. If you’ve got a Level 60 piece of aiming gear in your Glamour Dresser, it can’t be applied on a Level 50 aiming piece.
Ways to Acquire Gear
We’ve talked a little bit about gear progression in FFXIV already, but it’s time to take a detailed look at the gearing process.
MSQ and Quests
If you’re just starting Final Fantasy XIV, you’ll find yourself progressing through the Main Scenario Quest, also known as the MSQ. Not only is the MSQ the best way to level your first job, but it also provides you with everything you need to make it to the endgame. You will naturally acquire gear as you progress through MSQ-required dungeons, but you will also receive suitable gear as quest rewards.
The MSQ will, at certain points, give you a full set of gear appropriate for your increasing level. This will happen across a set of quests, as you can only receive one piece as a reward per quest. Make sure you know what type of gear your job uses so you pick the right items!
Some side quests will also offer gear rewards, but this is only useful to very low level players. You can find side quests that will give low level gear in most of the starting cities.
When you reach a current or former level cap at the end of an expansion, you will be rewarded with a set of Artifact Gear (sometimes called “AF Gear”). Artifact Gear is job specific and usually looks really awesome, as it’s intended to be the “final form” of the job for that expansion.
In expansions prior to Shadowbringers, Artifact Gear is attainable through completing your job quests. In Shadowbringers, you will complete role quests, which group several jobs together in one questline (tank, healer, physical DPS, and magical ranged DPS). This means that if you complete a series of role quests once, you can unlock the Artifact Gear for all jobs under that role when they reach Level 80.
In Endwalker, there are no extra quest requirements. You can get your Endwalker Artifact Gear once you complete the Main Scenario Quest, “A Bold Decision,” at Level 89. Speak with Varsarudh in the marketplace in Old Sharlayan to pick up your Artifact Gear.
Artifact Gear is the best set of gear you can acquire at the very end of an expansion and will carry you to the end of an expansion’s MSQ. However, it doesn’t remain top tier for long and will be outgunned by equipment added in post-patches.
Disregarding MSQ rewards, the most straightforward and simple way to acquire gear in FFXIV is through dungeon loot drops. You will find chests in dungeons after you defeat each boss, and they will occasionally pop up in other places.
When you open a chest, everyone rolls for loot. If you qualify, you can roll “Need.” This option is for gear that applies to your current job that you haven’t acquired before. No matter what job it’s for, you can roll “Greed” if you want the loot. Lastly, if you don’t need or want the available loot, you can hit “Pass.”
Dungeon loot is one of the primary options for leveling alternate jobs, as you can’t repeat the MSQ for its gear set rewards. However, gear for your role is not guaranteed to drop, so you may find yourself grinding dungeons over and over for the right pieces.
For casual players with no interest in high-end content, dungeon gear is the end of the road. Every major patch added to FFXIV will add new dungeons that will drop new gear. This gear will get you to the minimum item level needed to progress in the MSQ.
If you want to participate in any content beyond MSQ dungeons and trials, you’ll need to do a little more work.
You may have found yourself acquiring an endgame currency called tomestones when completing certain types of content. There are many different kinds of tomestones, but most of them are used for one thing — acquiring better gear.
Allagan Tomestones of Poetics are a consistent tomestone currency that you can acquire from high level dungeons, trials, and raids, as well as various other sources. You can’t acquire them before you hit Level 50. Whereas other types of tomestones come and go, Poetics will are FFXIV’s catch-all currency and will never be removed from the game. You can carry a maximum of 2000 at a time, and they can be used to purchase a wide variety of items. Most notably, you can use Poetics to purchase endgame gear from previous expansions. This is a good method to boost your item level while leveling a secondary job if you get tired of grinding out dungeons.
The other current Endwalker tomestones are the Allagan Tomestones of Astronomy and the Allagan Tomestones of Causality. Astronomy Tomestones will net you ILVL 590 gear from Cihanti in Radz-at-Han, and you can carry 2000 of them with no weekly cap. Causality Tomestones will get you ILVL 620 gear (also from Cihanti). You can carry a max of 2000, but you can only collect 450 each week.
There are two more types of tomestones that are critical for acquiring tomestone weapons: Discal Tomestones and Ultralight Tomestones. This is where things can get a little confusing. These two tomestones are not drops; you will need to turn in weapon tokens from the ongoing raid series to acquire them. The final raid in each tier will drop “Blade” type token when you clear it. The current raid tier will only drop one a week, so you will have to reclear the raid each week to collect the appropriate amount.
With the current Pandaemonium raid series, you need four Unsung Blades of Asphodelos to acquire one Discal Tomestone. One ILVL 590 weapon costs 500 Astronomy tomes and one Discal tome. You will need seven Unsung Blades of Abyssos to acquire one Ultralight Tomestone. One ILVL 620 weapon costs 500 Causality tomes and one Ultralight tome. You can trade your blades with Djole in Radz-at-Han.
When the next Pandaemonium raid tier is added in a future patch, this tomestone exchange will shift, making it easier to acquire the necessary currency from the Abyssos raid tier.
We’ve touched a little on raid currency and how it relates to tomestones. Now, let’s talk about how to get raid gear.
Each tier within each raid series has its own special set of currency. For this guide, we’ll be talking about the current endgame raid series, Pandaemonium, and the two tiers that are available as of Patch 6.2: Asphodelos and Abyssos.
Each raid tier consists of four raids. Each raid will drop a specified set of loot, with each item corresponding to a type of gear: head, chest, hands, legs, feet, and accessories. In the current raid tier, Abyssos, you can only collect one piece of loot from each raid once a week. This is a timegating mechanic to ensure that players don’t burn through the content too quickly. It will take multiple weeks of reclearing raids to acquire a full set of Abyssos gear. This “lockout” resets every Tuesday.
The previous tier, Asphodelos, has unlocked and you can collect as many pieces of raid currency from it as you would like each week.
Normal raids will grant players with gear that has a decently high item level, but that’s not the end. Savage raids take things a step further. A full set of savage raid gear from the current tier is essentially Best-In-Slot, or BiS gear. Actual BiS gear for optimal job performance will vary slightly and include some current tomestone gear in the mix, but current savage gear is the highest your ILVL will get in a given patch.
Savage raids use slightly different currency and loot mechanics than normal raids. When cleared, savage raids will drop a set of gear coffers that, when opened, will provide a piece of gear for the job that opened it. You can also acquire Abyssos Mythos, which is a currency you can exchange for gear with Mylenie in Labyrinthos or Djole in Radz-at-Han if the raid isn’t dropping what you want.
It’s important to note that raid weapons only drop from savage raids, but you can acquire the gear from normal raids. As we covered earlier, you’re able to get tomestone weapons through farming normal raids, but you’ll have to clear savages for the cool-looking raid weapons.
Every new alliance raid comes with a new set of obtainable gear that has a higher ILVL than what you can get from MSQ dungeons. However, it’s pretty quickly outclassed by tomestone gear and gear available from new normal and savage raids.
In order to augment your gear, you will have to own the basic version of the gear and acquire specific materials. For this guide, we’ll talk about the augmented sets that are available in Patch 6.2: the Augmented Radiant gear and the Augmented Lunar Envoy’s gear. This concept is applicable to any endgame expansion. The process will be the same, but with different locations, gear, raids, and vendors.
In order to augment your Radiant gear, you will need to acquire various Radiant Materials that can be purchased from different vendors.
- Radiant Twine
- Nesvaaz in Radz-at-Han — Aglaia Coins from clearing the Aglaia Alliance Raid
- Djole in Radz-at-Han — Asphodelos Mythos from clearing Asphodelos (Savage) raids
- Mylenie in Labyrinthos — Asphodelos Mythos from clearing Asphodelos (Savage) raids
- J’Lakshai in Old Sharlayan — Sacks of Nuts from Nutsy Clan Hunts and Guildship Hunts
- Wilmetta in Radz-at-Han — Sacks of Nuts from Nutsy Clan Hunts and Guildship Hunts
Augmenting Lunar Envoy gear is a little bit harder since it’s tied to Abyssos, the current raid tier. The Moonshine Materials necessary for augmentation are only available as drops from Abyssos (Savage) raids.
After you have all the necessary items, visit Khaldeen in Radz-at-Han to augment your Radiant or Lunar Envoy’s gear.
Endgame crafted gear is, of course, made by max level crafters. If you’re already a max level crafter, you’ve no doubt made the current set for yourself.
If you aren’t interested in crafting, good news! Crafted gear can be sold on the market board, so you can purchase a set for yourself — if you have the gil for it, that is. The current set of crafted gear will have a decently high item level, but it may not be your best option if you’re low on funds.
Extreme trials usually only reward weapons, but a few have armor and accessory drops. The most recent EX trial in any given patch will drop a high item level weapon, but it is outclassed by the most recent available tomestone weapons (and, of course, the weapons obtainable through savage raids).
You’ll still have to meet the ILVL requirement for the EX trial in order to participate, but extreme trials aren’t as hard as savage raids. If you want to try out high-end content but don’t have the time for savage progression, give EX trials a shot!
What to Do When You Hit Max Level
We’ve covered a lot of information about Final Fantasy XIV’s gear progression. It can be quite complex, but we’re going to sum it up in a step-by-step explanation to make things as simple as possible. Note that this guide was written for Patch 6.2, so tomestone names may change in the future!
- Complete the latest MSQ dungeon and get the gear from it if you want to hit the minimum ILVL for Main Scenario Quest progression.
- Optional: Craft or purchase the current set of crafted gear.
- Farm Level 90 dungeons, trials, and raids to collect Allagan Tomestones of Astronomy and Causality. Use these to purchase tomestone gear.
- Clear the current normal raid tier to collect raid currency and exchange it for raid gear. This will take a few weeks of reclears to complete.
- Clear the current savage raid tier to receive gear coffers and collect raid currency. This will take a few weeks of reclears to complete and a dedicated group to progress with.
- Collect the necessary materials to augment your tomestone gear from alliance raids, hunts, and savage raids from the current raid series.
If you make it all the way to the sixth step, congratulations! You can acquire a BiS gear set for your job. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry. There’s no reason to go after BiS gear if you’re not interested in tackling high-end content. Current MSQ dungeon gear will do the job, but casual players can easily go all the way up to Step 4 with little difficulty if you play the game on a regular basis. Pursue the gear that suits your play style and your goals.
Join the High Ground
We hope this guide helps you navigate the world of endgame gearing in Final Fantasy XIV! It’s certainly a complex system, but it’s not that hard to navigate once you get your bearings. Of course, if it does seem too daunting, remember that you only need to gear up for the content you plan on playing.
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