If you’re familiar with MMOs but new to Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV), you might find yourself with a few questions. Where are the banks? What are you supposed to do with all the extra stuff that won’t fit in your bag? Can you expand your inventory? How do you sell things on the market board? The answers lie with retainers in FFXIV!

In Final Fantasy XIV, retainers are your extra storage space, your bank account, your marketboard middlemen, and your loyal gophers. They bundle several important gameplay features into one customizable package.

In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about retainers in FFXIV.

Looking for more FFXIV tips and tricks? View all our Final Fantasy Online guides.

How to Unlock Retainers in FFXIV

The Retainer Vocate
If you’re in Gridania, Parnell will get you set up! | Square Enix via HGG

Retainers are unlocked as part of the Main Scenario Quest. Complete the Level 17 quest “The Scions of the Seventh Dawn” to unlock the ability to hire retainers. Retainer Vocate NPCs are located in the marketplaces of every major city. Speak with one in order to hire and customize a retainer. You can fully customize your retainer’s appearance and select from multiple personality options. The Retainer Vocate will also be able to set a city state for your retainer, which will affect the tax rate of the items you sell on the market board.

From here on out, you can summon your retainer with Summoning Bells. These are located in the marketplaces of major cities and inside inn rooms. If you’re lucky enough to have a house, there are Summoning Bells in the residential areas, and they can be placed in and outside of houses. You can even place your retainer on your property!

How to Change Your Retainer’s Appearance

Fabulous
Yeah, I might wanna give this guy a makeover. Or better gear, at least… | Square Enix via HGG

If you don’t like the look you’ve created for your retainer, you can use a Retainer Fantasia to change their appearance. Use the item and speak with a Retainer Vocate to re-customize your retainer.

Retainer Fantasias are obtainable in-game. You can get them from Venture Coffers, but they can also be bought and sold on the market board.

How to Get More Retainers in FFXIV

By default, players can hire two retainers. You can add up to seven additional retainers to your account by purchasing them from the Mog Station with real money. One extra retainer will run you $2 for 30 days. Purchasing a premium subscription to the FFXIV Companion App will allow you to add an eighth additional retainer. That means, at max, you can have ten total retainers in FFXIV — but it will cost you.

What Are Retainers For?

What retainers are good for in FFXIV
Their purpose in life. | Square Enix via HGG

Retainers serve a number of purposes in Final Fantasy XIV. Like many of the systems in the game, they offer more depth than first meets the eye. Retainers are not just the banking system of FFXIV, but an entire realm of side content.

Storing Items and Gil

Your retainers live to serve as your bank in FFXIV
Don’t act like you don’t also hoard dyes! Glam is the real endgame! | Square Enix via HGG

First and foremost, though, they are your bank. For casual players, the buck usually stops here. A retainer can store 175 items and 9999 of each type of shard, crystal, and cluster. They can also hold up to 999,999,999 gil.

Your retains will transfer gil for you in FFXIV
I may have dipped into my house savings after Empyreum filled up… | Square Enix via HGG

You can organize your inventory and retainers however you like, but it can be good practice to designate certain types of items to each of your retainers. For the average player, the two free retainers are probably enough. Purchasing extra retainers comes into play for people like crafters, who will often have more materials than they can carry, as well as finished crafts they need to sell.

Whether you’re just playing for fun or crafting for profit, a little organization never hurt anybody.

Selling Items on the Market Board

Selling items on the market board
This is a boatload of menus, but it’s way easier than it looks, I swear! | Square Enix via HGG

Retainers are your conduit for the market board. Selling items is very simple. You can sell straight from your inventory or from your retainer’s. You set the price you want, and you can click the “Compare Prices” button to show how much other people are selling that item for. The “History” button shows you recent sales history as well.

You can also adjust the price of items you have on sale from the retainer menu. If you’re trying to make gil, you’ll find yourself doing this often to keep up with the competition.

Retainer Ventures

Like you, your retainers can pick up a job and explore the wide open world of Eorzea of FFXIV. When they return, they bring back gifts for you! These expeditions are called Ventures. After you’ve unlocked the ability to use retainers, you can complete the Level 17 quest “An Ill-conceived Venture” to access this feature. The quest will be available in your starting city.

In order to go on a venture, your retainer requires a currency — also called a venture. There are many places where you can get ventures, but by fair the easiest is from your Grand Company Quartermaster. You can also get them from Tribe vendors, Hunt vendors, and occasionally from leve rewards.

Types of Ventures

There are different types of ventures, and some of them are only available for a given job. Combat jobs have access to Hunting ventures and Field Exploration ventures. Miner, Botanist, and Fisher have Mining, Botany, and Fishing ventures. They also have their own Exploration ventures: Highland, Woodland, and Waterside, respectively. All jobs can also be sent on Quick Exploration ventures.

Retainer Ventures' rewards
Retainers don’t go adventuring, they go a-venturing! | Square Enix via HGG

Hunting, Mining, Botany, and Fishing ventures are targeted ventures. This means that you can send your retainer out in search of a specific item that their job can acquire. For combat jobs, this means any item dropped by mobs). Exploration ventures are random, so your retainer will return with a random item acquirable by their job. Targeted ventures cost one venture currency and last 40 minutes to an hour (real time), and Exploration ventures cost two and last 18 real hours.

Quick Exploration ventures are available to all retainers regardless of job, and they will result in totally random items of wildly varying rarity. The amount of EXP your retainer gains depends on how rare the item they return with is. Quick Exploration ventures also cost two ventures, but they only take one hour.

There are some items in Final Fantasy XIV that can only be obtained through ventures, such as minions like the coveted Fat Cat. These minions are sellable, and they go for very high prices on the market board. This makes it valuable to send your retainer on ventures even if you don’t need the items it comes back with. You can always give them right back to your retainer to sell!

Best Jobs for Retainers in FFXIV

Best Jobs for Retainers in FFXIV
I admit I’ve been neglecting my retainers as of late… | Square Enix via HGG

Retainers can be assigned any combat or gathering job (but not crafting). The best job to give your retainer is either your highest level job, or a gathering job.

A retainer cannot surpass your level on a given job. If you choose a job you don’t want to level, your retainer will never be able to level up. For example, if you are a Level 60 Paladin, your Paladin retainer cannot level up past 60.

There’s no real benefit to picking a specific combat job for your retainer. If you don’t want level a gatherer but still want your retainer to have a max level retainer, pick any job you have at or intend to get to max level. All combat jobs pull from the same pool of resources for their ventures. You can easily hand off your old gear to your retainer if you hold onto it.

Choosing a gatherer job for your retainer offers a few more benefits. However, you do have to level up that gatherer job yourself to see them. That said, this is a great option for crafters, as you can send your retainer out to gather materials you need. It’s also a good option for gatherers and other players, as you can rake in extra materials with little effort on your part.

For crafter players, pick the gatherer that provides the best materials for your favorite crafting jobs. For everyone else, choose whichever gatherer you want to level yourself!

Join the High Ground

We hope you were able to retain some valuable information from this guide! Retainers aren’t just sentient banks in FFXIV! They’re also a simple piece of side content you can participate in with little effort. Don’t let your retainers sit around the house all day — send them out to run your errands!

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Happy gaming!