FINAL FANTASY XIV Online – Advanced Players Guide + Unlocking Features + Side Quest Tips

FINAL FANTASY XIV Online – Advanced Players Guide + Unlocking Features + Side Quest Tips 1 -
FINAL FANTASY XIV Online – Advanced Players Guide + Unlocking Features + Side Quest Tips 1 -

Table of Contents

Which side quests are worth a look? What content do I need to unlock? Should I get into crafting? These questions and more are answered in this guide, intended for more experienced Final Fantasy XIV players.

What does this guide cover?

First of all: thank you reading this guide!

But what is it even about and who is it written for?

This guide was mainly written for players who just finished A Realm Reborn or about to do so. This guide covers topics like which important Side-Quests to complete, what optional instances you should unlock, how to quickly raise your iLvl, profiting from Retainer Ventures, getting into crafting & gathering and more.

I originally only published a German version of this guide back in January of 2020. You’re currently reading the translated version, done by myself, which is of course including all the revisions to the original guide I made in the last couple of months.

As with my other guides: If you, dear reader, already know more than enough about some of the topics covered here, feel free to use Steam’s chapter function to skip them. You might still learn something new while reading them though! Who knows?

But enough of the long preface, let’s get started!

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Content updates & you

The following chapters are going to be about optional A Realm Reborn content you should unlock and what’s especially useful. If you want to, feel free to immediately jump to those chapters. But first I’d like to talk about how Final Fantasy XIV content updates work and why that might lead to some unexpected barriers.

First, the basics: As an MMO, Final Fantasy XIV routinely receives new content so that high-level players won’t run out of things to do. As you might recall, I talked about the basic differences between bigger content updates (“expansions”) and smaller content updates (“patch content”) in my first guide.

If the new content is aimed at “high-level players” as I just said, why should you, as a new player be concerned about it? Well, for one the content updates might introduce changes that affect all players regardless of level, like changing the class/job balancing. But what’s more important is the system behind content updates, which has consequences that affect unlocking new instances for example.

As soon as you finished the 2.0 Main Scenario Quests of A Realm Reborn, you’ll find yourself surrounded with a lot of level 50 Feature Quests. That’s a situation you’re going to find yourself into again at level 60, 70, 80 and so on. Why’s that? Easy: Those are the respective maximum player-levels of the base game and the expansions. Sure thing, some of you might say now, but as I’ve just reached level 50 myself, why should there be a problem?

The problem is that many of the now available Feature-Quests are requiring an average item level that’s probably going to be much higher than your current one. In a first step, let’s first take a look at the reason for this and then, in a second step, how to solve this problem quickly.

To understand the reason behind the item level (or iLvl for short) requirements rising rapidly, we’ll have to understand how exactly content updates in Final Fantasy XIV work. To illustrate, let us go back in time: In the year 2013, the current base game, A Realm Reborn, releases – introducing game version 2.0. Two years later, in 2015, the first Final Fantasy XIV expansion releases with Heavensward – game version 3.0. Does that mean nothing happened in the years between game version 2.0 and 3.0? Of course not.

Between 2013 and 2015, Final Fantasy XIV received multiple smaller content updates through patches (“patch content”). Some of these patches only changed minor things, balancing classes and jobs for example. These updates got “odd” version numbers like 2.05 or 2.56. Every few months, a bigger patch released, continuing the Main Scenario and adding new dungeons, trials, raids, etc. to the game. These patches got “bigger” version numbers like 2.1 or 2.4. This went on until 3.0 arrived with Heavensward. This expansion also received numerous content updates (version 3.07, 3.1, etc.) until the second expansion, Stormblood, released: game version 4.0 arrived. And, you guessed it, this goes on for every new expansion and the time post-release.

If you recall what I mentioned in my first guide, you might wonder now: If the maximum character level was only increased with each expansion (3.0, 4.0, etc.) – do the new activities introduced in the post-release patches (3.1, 4.2, etc.) all share the same difficulty level? Are the enemies of a 2.1 dungeon as tough as the ones from a 2.4 dungeon? They’re all level 50 after all, no?

As you probably guessed, this is not the case. While the patch content of 2.1 and 2.4 is indeed requiring the same character level (50), the enemies are tougher in 2.4 content than they are in 2.1 – and thus require a higher iLvl of your character.

Example: The last story instance of game version 2.0, A Realm Reborn, requires an average iLvl of at least 42. A trial of game version 2.57, the last “bigger” patch before Heavensward arrived, requires an average iLvl of 90.

It’s quite simple: In order to keep players entertained, newer enemies need to be stronger than old ones. However, as the player levels won’t be increased during patch content, enemy levels can’t be increased either. Yes, I know, technically the developers could do that but that’s not what they did. Instead, they went for a different approach: Enemies and player stay at the same level, but the new enemies of each patch receive better stats than the previous ones. Meaning, they hit harder.

If the enemies increase their stats, the players must do so as well in order to keep up. And thus, with each new patch, new gear was introduced, stronger than what came before. So once players finished the new Quests, dungeons, etc. of a patch, they spend the following days acquiring the newly added gear – in order to be prepared for the next patch.

So, to come back to our original problem: Most of the Feature Quests you unlocked upon finishing A Realm Reborn are from different patches that released before Heavensward. As such, they require a higher average iLvl than you currently have – because players spent a lot of time with each patch to improve their gear back in the day.

Tl;dr: Feature Quests that are unlocked at level 50, 60, 70, etc. are usually going to require an average iLvl than the one you currently have.

Now, as we’re done with the first step, understanding the reason, let’s move on with the second step: raising your iLvl fast to tackle those Feature Quests!

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Raising your iLvl quickly

Let’s start with the good news: While players had to spent quite some time back in the day to slowly raise their item level with each patch, you don’t need to do the same. In order to not stop new players in their tracks, the developers implemented ways to skip the old iLvl grinds.

One way would be to just continue with the Main Scenario Quests of the patches. They’re going to require lower iLvls than the Feature Quests of each patch – and as you’ll need to do them anyway in order to get to the next expansion, well, two birds with one stone?

But there’s a much faster and easier way to raise your iLvl, thanks to “catch-up gear”! These gear sets were implemented with each new expansion so that players can quickly get through the previous patches in order to reach said expansion. Sounds nice? It is! They’re easily obtainable as well. Please note that catch-up gear is only available for combat jobs, there is no gathering or crafting version.

To obtain catch-up gear, you just need to trade with specific vendors in Eorzea. You’ll find the specific locations for all levels in the UI-guide – [] ! However, you can’t use Gil to purchase the individual gear pieces. Instead, you’ll need so called “Allagan Tomestones”. More details about them can also be found in the wiki – []  but for our purpose the following should be enough for now:

In order to purchase catch-up gear, we’ll need Allagan Tomestones of Poetics. They’ll be rewarded for clearing instances of level 50 – 70 as long as one of your combat jobs already reached level 50. You’ll receive even more Tomestones if one of your party members didn’t clear the instance before. While you might be low on Tomestones of at first, you’ll quickly reach maximum amount of 2000 you can hold. If that happens, spend your Tomestones on future catch-up gear or gear for other jobs you might want to level.

As catch-up gear was designed to get you through level 50, 60, etc. patches, it’s of course designed for level 50, 60, etc. as well. While the stats are good enough to last for a few further levels as well, you should not try wearing it until you reach the next catch-up set. Always be on the lookout for any gear that’s better than what you’re currently wearing. Catch-up gear is not meant to be the only thing you’re wearing in the entire game.

Tl:dr: Use Allagan Tomestones of Poetics at level 50, 60, etc. to buy catch-up gear in order to skip the patch iLvl grind. That way, you’ll quickly reach the next expansion (and play through Feature Quests) without any problems. Alternatively: Continue with the Main Scenario Quests.

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Unlocking optional features

After we talked about the possible obstacles when attempting Feature Quests, let’s finally get to the interesting part: What features or content can I unlock through which optional Feature Quest?

The following list is sorted by the level requirements of each Feature Quest, I also included the coordinates of the NPCs you can get the quests from. Please note that many of these Feature Quests also require the completion of certain Main Scenario Quests. For spoiler reasons, I did not name them in this list. Instead, I linked the Lodestone-entries (the official Final Fantasy XIV database) for all Feature Quests which name every quest that might need to be finished beforehand.


Unlocking even more optional features

About halfway through! After Level 30, A Realm Reborn offers fewer quests that unlock new features (a lot of quests for unlocking instances though, see the next chapter).

  • White Wolf Gate


    [Lvl. 29] In order to pass the previously locked White Wolf Gate in New Gridania to enter the Central Shroud, complete Broadening Horizons – []  (also located in New Gridania, X: 12.1, Y: 11.6).

  • Chocobo Companion & Chocobo Raising


    [Lvl. 30] After clearing My Feisty Little Chocobo – [] , your Chocobo buddy will be able to help you out in combat outside of instances! If you want to raise your own Chocobo, however, complete Bird in Hand – [] . Both Feature Quests can be found in the South Shroud (X: 17.0, Y: 28.2 and X: 20.2, Y: 21.6).

  • Desynthesis


    [Lvl. 30] Want to turn gear pieces you don’t need into crafting materials? Then you’ll need to travel to Ul’dah (Steps of Thal, X: 14.0, Y: 10.0) and complete Gone to Pieces – [] . Something that’s more interesting for crafters.

  • Player vs. Player combat


    [Lvl. 30] To fight other players during specific side activities, complete the “A Pup No Longer” Feature Quest of your chosen Grand Company. You’ll find the quest in New Gridania – []  (X: 9.7, Y: 11.1), Limsa Lominsa – []  (Upper Decks, X: 13.1, Y: 12.8) or Ul’dah – []  (Steps of Nald, X: 8.4, Y: 8.9) as usual.

  • Treasure Hunting


    [Lvl. 36] A popular side activity that’s – pretty much the reason for it’s popularity – offering nice rewards. Head over to Eastern La Noscea (X: 21.1, Y: 21.1) to clear Treasures and Tribulations – []  in order to become a treasure hunter yourself. The treasure maps you’ll need for this side activity can be acquired using your gathering classes – or be bought from other players.

  • Beast Tribe: Ixal


    [Lvl. 41] The Quests for unlocking this first Beast Tribe might only require level 1 – but another requirement would be completing a level 41 Main Scenario Quest, as such I put it here. Anyway, the first Beast Tribe quest chains starts in New Gridania (X: 9.9, Y: 11.4) with A Bad Bladder – [] . To increase your reputation with a Beast Tribe, you’ll need to complete certain daily quests.

  • Beast Tribe: Kobold


    [Lvl. 41] For the second Beast Tribe, head to Limsa Lominsa (Upper Decks, X: 12.7, Y: 12.8) and look for the quest Highway Robbery – [] .

  • Beast Tribe:: Sylph


    [Lvl. 42] For the third Best Tribe, the Sylphs, visit New Gridania (X: 9.7, Y: 11.1) once again. The required Feature Quest is called Seeking Solace – [] .

  • Beast Tribe: Amalj’aa


    [Lvl. 43] Are you already seeing a pattern? For the fourth Beast Tribe, you’ll need to get to Ul’dah (Steps of Nald, X: 8.4, Y: 8.9), where the Feature Quest Peace for Thanalan – []  is waiting for you.

  • Beast Tribe: Sahagin


    [Lvl. 44] The last of the A Realm Reborn Beast Tribes. This time, we’re visiting Limsa Lominsa (Upper Decks, X: 13.1, Y: 12.8) again in order to clear the Feature Quest called They Came from the Deep – [] .

  • Marrying other players


    [Lvl. 50] Also known as the “Ceremony of Eternal Bonding”. The Feature Quest The Ties That Bind – []  (East Shroud, X: 17.5, Y: 18.2) requires some Online Store involvement first (don’t worry, there’s a free option, more details will follow in a later chapter). The Special Quest might only require level 1 in the beginning but as you progress, you’ll need to equip an item made for level 50 characters.

  • The Hunt


    [Lvl. 50] To unlock the side activity known as “The Hunt”, you’ll need to clear the Feature Quest “Let the Hunt Begin” that can be found in New Gridania – []  (X: 9.9, Y: 11.4), Limsa Lominsa – []  (Upper Decks, X: 12.7 Y: 12.8) or Ul’dah – []  (Steps of Nald, X: 8.6, Y: 9.4) – depending on your chosen Grand Company. The Hunt is an activity in which a lot of players work together to kill certain rare elite monsters for rewards. These “hunt trains” are usually organized by a few people of each server/Data Center. They usually have a Discord or other ways to inform players when new hunt trains are starting. If you reached the endgame and unlocked more hunting spots – [] , try joining a hunt train at least once – the rewards are nice and the entire experience is one of a kind.

  • Relic Weapons (A Realm Reborn)


    [Lvl. 50] The long Relic Weapon grinds starts in Western Thanalan (X: 12.0, Y: 14.3). After clearing The Weaponsmith of Legend – [] , a long and laborious quest chain will follow if you want to upgrade your Relic Weapon to its maximum level. And by saying laborious, I mean it. Fully upgraded Relic Weapons were only meant for really hard working players. As the A Realm Reborn Relic have long been surpassed by better gear, only consider taking on the entire quest chain if you really like their appearance.

Quite a lot of features to unlock in A Realm Reborn alone, huh?

And we’re not done yet, as we’re talking about unlockable optional instances next. But to get back to unlockable features, of course the expansions offer way more of them, like new Beast Tribes or Relic Weapons. However, for spoiler reasons, I don’t want to list them here.

If you still want to know, check out the Gamerescape Progression Guides for Heavensward – [] , Stormblood – []  and Shadowbringers – [] . A word of warning first: These progression guides list all unlockable content of the expansions, including content related to the Main Story Quests. They’re not sorted just by Feature Quests like I did here. So only take a look once you’re properly done with the expansions or you might spoiler yourself.

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Unlocking optional instances

As I just said, now that’s we’re done looking at unlockable optional features, let’s take a look at unlockable optional instances. All instances mentioned were released between patch 2.0 and 2.55, so between the release of A Realm Reborn and the first expansion Heavensward. Instances related to the Main Scenario Quests and expansion instances are not listed for spoiler reasons, as before.

Instances are sorted by character level and required average item level (iLvl). Instances below level 50 do not have an iLvl requirement. Don’t forget: Some quests might also require a certain Main Scenario progress, which you can check by visiting the linked Lodestone-entries, as before.

  • Halatali


    [Lvl 20] Dungeon: The first optional dungeon, an old training ground for the Gladiator’s Guild. The quest Hallo Halatali – []  can be found in Western Thanalan (X: 12.0, Y: 14.3).

  • The Sunken Temple of Qarn


    [Lvl 35] Dungeon: The needed Feature Quest Braving New Depths – []  can be found at the same NPC from before. A word of warning: The Sunken Temple of Qarn features a few mechanics/enemies that can lead to a sudden for your character. You might want to read up on this dungeon beforehand.

  • Cutter’s Cry


    [Lvl 38] Dungeon: The Feature Quest Dishonor Before Death – []  is available in Ul’dah (Steps of Thal, X: 14.0, Y: 10.1). The attacks of the last boss aren’t marked as usual, instead you’ll have to look at the attack name cast to know if you need to get near (“Ram”) or far away from (“Dragon”) the boss.

  • The Dzemael Darkhold


    [Lvl 44] Dungeon: This dungeon can actually be unlocked through two different quests. Either by completing a Grand Company quest(e.g. Shadows Uncast (Twin Adder) – [] ) or by taking on Fort of Fear – [] , which can be found in the Coerthas Central Highlands (X: 24.7, Y: 28.8).

  • Aurum Vale


    [Lvl 47] Dungeon: Back in Western Thanalan (X: 12.0, Y: 14.3), complete Going for Gold – []  to unlock this particular dungeon. Even after receiving a few updates, Aurum Vale is one of the most disliked dungeons in the game – especially by healers. The reasons are plenty, be it certain boss mechanics or general enemy placement. I highly recommend reading up on this one beforehand.

  • Amdapor Keep


    [Lvl 50] [iLvl 45] Dungeon: The first of the optional instances that requires the completion of the 2.0 Main Scenario – as well as a certain iLvl. For the quest Ghosts of Amdapor – []  head to Western Thanalan (X: 12.0, Y: 14.3).

  • The Wanderer’s Palace


    [Lvl 50] [iLvl 45] Dungeon:The Feature Quest Trauma Queen – []  can be acquired in Western Thanalan (X: 11.5, Y: 13.9). Be ready for a reunion with a classic Final Fantasy enemy type!

  • Haukke Manor (Hard)


    [Lvl 50] [iLvl 48] Dungeon: The “(Hard)” part in the name is a bit misleading: This is not the old dungeon “just harder” but instead offering new areas, enemies and bosses in the same location (the Haukke Manor in this case). This practice of revisiting old locations found an end with the Shadowbringers-expansion. To bring peace to Haukke Manor once and for all, look for the quest Maniac Manor – []  in Mor Dhona (X: 22.1, Y: 8.6).

  • Copperbell Mines (Hard)


    [Lvl 50] [iLvl 48] Dungeon: If you want to head back to the mines, clear Out of Sight, Out of Mine – [] , which can be found in Mor Dhona (X: 22.0, Y: 8.7).

  • Pharos Sirius


    [Lvl 50] [iLvl 48] Dungeon: If you’ve always been fascinated by the lighthouse in La Noscea, pay it a visit by clearing Sirius Business – [] , located in Western La Noscea (X: 26.5, Y: 26.7).

  • The Bowl of Embers (Hard)


    [Lvl 50] [iLvl 49] Trial: The first trial that’s unlocked as part of the “Chronicles of a new Era – Primals” quest-chain. To start the quest chain, clear A Recurring Problem – [] , which can be acquired in The Waking Sands (X: 6.9, Y: 6.1). Completing the quests will unlock more (and harder) trials, the last one will require an iLvl of 70. For spoiler reasons, I’m not listing these trials here.

  • Battle on the Big Bridge


    [Lvl 50] [iLvl 50] Trial: The first trial of the excellent Hildibrand-quest chain (more details on it later)! To start, head over to Ul’dah (Steps of Nald, X: 9.8, Y: 8.7) and complete The Rise and Fall of Gentleman – [] . The entire A Realm Reborn part of the quest chain will unlock two more trials, the last one will require an iLvl of 90. As with the primals just now, I’m not listing these trials for spoiler reasons.

  • A Relic Reborn: The Hydra/The Chimera


    [Lvl 50] [iLvl 52] Trials: These two trials are part of the A Realm Reborn-Relic Weapon quest chain (first step). For the Relic Weapons, see the previous chapter. As only the first step of the Relic Weapons is required, it shouldn’t take too long to unlock these two trials.

  • Brayflox’s Longstop (Hard)


    [Lvl 50] [iLvl 55] Dungeon: Back to the (Hard) dungeons we go. The Feature Quest needed for this one, Curds and Slay – [] , can be found in Mor Dhona (X: 22.1, Y: 8.7).

  • Halatali (Schwer)


    [Lvl 50] [iLvl 55] Dungeon: The first optional dungeon one can unlock also received a (Hard) version. Get the respective Feature Quest This Time’s for Fun – []  in Mor Dhona (X: 22.0, Y: 8.7)

  • The Lost City of Amdapor


    [Lvl 50] [iLvl 55] Dungeon: Not to be mistaken for Amdapor Keep, I know I keep doing it. Anyway, the Feature Quest One Night in Amdapor – []  can be found in Old Gridania (X: 6.0, Y: 10.6).

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Unlocking even more optional instances

Noticed how the iLvl requirements keep increasing in specific ways? This is of course thanks to the patch system and schedule I talked about in the beginning of the guide. Anyway, let’s focus on the last few remaining optional instances:

  • The Minstrel’s Ballad: Ultima’s Bane


    [Lvl 50] [iLvl 61] Trial: The Feature Quest The Ultimate Ballad – []  can be found in Mor Dhona (X: 21.7, Y: 8.6). Expect a harder, revised Ultima fight – but no extra story cutscenes or something similar.

  • Hullbreaker Isle


    [Lvl 50] [iLvl 70] Dungeon: Take an island trip by clearing King of the Hull – [] , found in Mor Dhona (X: 22.1 Y: 8.7). The last dungeon boss might cause trouble for an uncoordinated party though.

  • The Stone Vigil (Hard)


    [Lvl 50] [iLvl 70] Dungeon: The last few dungeons are all (Hard) mode variants, starting with The Stone Vigil. Unlock it by clearing Blood for Stones – []  for which you once again need to head to Mor Dhona (X: 21.9, Y: 8.4). Be warned that the first boss might require some unusual tactics.

  • TThe Tam-Tara Deepcroft (Hard)


    [Lvl 50] [iLvl 70] Dungeon: A tragic quest chain, which can unfortunately only be continue by achieving a certain amount of progress in the Palace of the Dead – [] . However, the first part of the questline as well as the dungeon itself can be accessed without even entering that place, simply take on Corpse Groom – []  in Ul’dah (Steps of Nald, X: 12.2, Y: 8.1)

  • The Wanderer’s Palace (Hard)


    [Lvl 50] [iLvl 90] Dungeon: Back to the Wanderer’s Palace we go. The Feature Quest Not Easy Being Green – []  can be found in, where else, Mor Dhona (X: 22.1, Y: 8.7).

  • Amdapor Keep (Hard)


    [Lvl 50] [iLvl 90] Dungeon: The last optional A Realm Reborn dungeon is also a (Hard) mode one. They really loved implementing those back in the day. The Feature Quest For Keep’s Sake – []  is also located in, you guessed it already, Mor Dhona (X: 22.1, Y: 8.6).

These are all the unlockable optional dungeons and trials in A Realm Reborn. Oh and also: Unlocking optional instances makes them also appear in Duty Roulette! So the more instances you unlock, the shorter your queue time in Duty Roulette might be!

Tl;dr: Unlock as many instances as possible. Don’t forget to equip your catch-up gear and maybe read up on a few specific dungeons/trials beforehand!

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A special case: The “A Realm Reborn” raids

You might have noticed that one instance type is missing from the previous list. That’s not because A Realm Reborn doesn’t have them. There’s one alliance raid (Crystal Tower) consisting of three parts and one “normal” raid (Bahamut) consisting of thirteen (+ 4 “Savage” mode variants) parts. So – why did I not list them before?

Let’s start with the alliance raid, the Crystal Tower. The reason is quite simple: While it used to be optional, it’s completion is now required for the Main Scenario thanks to changes made in patch 5.3. I’d still recommend during the three parts (iLvl 50, 70, 90) after finishing A Realm Reborn and before starting with Heavensward, as that’s when they originally released. The associated quest chain starts with Legacy of Allag – []  in Mor Dhona (X: 21.8 Y: 8.1).

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about the more complicated special case: Bahamut. These raids are, of course, requiring character level and an iLvl requirement starting at 70 for the first and ending at 123 for the last part (195 for the Savage version). Bahamut was originally intended for a Full Party, meaning eight players. The raids are not only finishing a story line from Final Fantasy XIV 1.0 but also feature two characters that are going to play a big role in later expansions. As such, lore-wise it would be recommended to finish Bahamut before entering Heavensward as well.

There is a little problem though: The Bahamut raids are quite tough and require a lot from the players. They’re of high difficulty and could be counted as “hardcore” raids, even with the lvl 60 catch-up gear. Due to their difficulty, they’re also not part of any Duty Roulette – []  – meaning it’s can prove quite difficult to find other players for these raids by using the Duty Finder.

As they are both, lore-important and extremely difficult, I’d recommend doing the following: If you want to clear Bahamut for story, find one or more game veterans to run the game “unsync”. Running an instance “unsync” means entering the instance as an undersized party – [] , which disables level sync. Meaning, while the enemies remain at level 50, level 80 characters will still be level 80 during the instance (instead of being limited to lvl 50). That way, high level players can clear the Bahamut raids while you can simply focus on experiencing the story.

If you don’t know any high level players yourself, try asking for help using the Novice Channel – []  or use the Party Finder – []  to find players for your cause. Alternatively, continue playing the game until you might be able to beat Bahamut by yourself.

Of course, you could also use the Duty Finder – []  as usual but as I mentioned, you’re going to have a hard time finding other players queueing up for the raids. Also, using the Duty Finder does not allow for “unsync” runs, which means you’ll get to experience the full difficulty of the raids. You really don’t want this, believe me, go for the other options by all means.

Before we move on to worthwhile Side Quests, I want to reiterate that Bahamut is a really special case of a raid. You’ll not run into similar problems with the raids of the next expansions and can use the Duty Finder for them as usual. There’s also no other content I can think of which would require the help of high-level players for unsync runs. So don’t worry about it, once you know about this one exception, everything else is going to be just fine.

Tl;dr: Crystal Tower isn’t optional anymore but should still be cleared between A Realm Reborn and Heavensward. The Bahamut raids should either be cleared “unsync” with the help of high-level players or deferred until you’re able to beat them yourself.

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Side Quests worth doing

Yes, I know, we had quite a few chapters about different quests now – but there’s one quest type I still need to talk about, as promised in the last guide: “normal” Side Quests. As I said back then, they can usually be ignored – with a few exceptions. And, you guessed it, this is the part where I list those exceptions – for A Realm Reborn at least, as going further would include spoilers. I chose these Side Quests because they either offer some special reward, like emotes or minions, unique tasks or just interesting/worthwhile stories. As usual, these quests are sorted by character level requirement and might require some Main Scenario progress – which you can check using the linked Lodestone-database entries.

  • More Dance Emotes


    [Lvl. 14] While Final Fantasy XIV might offer a dance emote from the beginning, you’ll be able to unlock more dances pretty early. The Harvest Dance can be unlocked by clearing Saw That One Coming – []  in New Gridania (X: 12.0, Y: 13.1), the Step Dance by clearing Good for What Ales You – []  in Limsa Lominsa (Lower Decks, X: 7.5, Y: 12.3) and the Ball Dance (fancy!) by clearing Help Me, Lord of the Dance – []  in Ul’dah (Steps of Nald, X: 10.8, Y: 9.8).

  • Cat & Dog Minion


    [Lvl. 15] No matter if you prefer dogs or cats (♥): After a short quest chain, starting with Like Cats and Dogs – [] , you’ll be able to get them both as minions. The initial Side Quest can be found in Western La Noscea (X: 26.4, Y: 26.4). Again, while it might seem like you have to choose, you’ll be able to get both.

  • Chigoe Larva Minion


    [Lvl. 22] I’ll admit, this one is far from the prettiest minion but hey, another minion. First you’ll need to clear No Guts, No Glory – [] , found in the South Shroud (X: 18.0, Y: 19.7). Afterwards, you’ll only need to complete one more quest, Occupational Hazards – []  – also located in the South Shroud (X: 18.2, Y: 20.3) – to unlock this minion.

  • Throw Emote


    [Lvl. 36] It might seem a bit weird that this emote isn’t unlocked from the start but well, here we go. Complete the Toss Fit Workout – [] , located in the Coerthas Central Highlands (X: 24.9, Y: 27.7), to – learn how to move your arms?

  • Cactuar Cutting Minion


    [Lvl. 47] Another day, another minion – this time a well-known Final Fantasy-enemy type. After finishing Can’t Do It without U – []  (The Waking Sands, X: 6.3, Y: 5.0), look for the Side Quest called Zombies Are People Toor – []  in Southern Thanalan (X: 24.8 Y: 40.9). It just had to be a desert.

  • Delivery Moogle Quests


    [Lvl. 50] This Side Quest chain starts in Mor Dhona (X: 30.4, Y: 13.7), look for the quest Of Errant Epistles – [] . The entire quest chain will reward you with a new minion and a nice hat – but most importantly it’s going to offer you a lot of insight into the life of different inhabitants of Eorzea. While the entire quest chain might be a lengthy 25 quests long, it’s very entertaining and offers a few surprises as well!

  • The Rest of the Story achievement


    [Lvl. 50] While also offering an achievement for completion, I’m mainly including this Side Quest for it’s unique tasks. The quest, The Greatest Story Never Told – [] , can be located in Western Thanalan (X: 18.3, Y: 17.4) and offers – a lot of riddles. That’s right, instead of fighting enemies or transporting items like usual, this time you’ll have to use your head! Well, or not, as I’ll include the Wiki entry – []  with the solutions for everyone who doesn’t want to. I’d still recommend solving it by yourself as much as possible as it’s a one-of-a-kind quest, unfortunately.

  • Tales of the Dragonsong War


    [Lvl. 60] Even if this quest chain can only be undertaken once finishing the Heavensward-Main Scenario, I still want to include it in this list because it really shouldn’t be missed. Starting with The Paths We Walked – []  in Ishgard (Fortemps Manor, X: 6.0, Y: 6.0), this (emotional) story serves as an epilogue for the Heavensward-expansion. Definitely should not be skipped!

Lastly, let’s talk about a popular Side Quest-chain that’s loved by many for good reason:

  • Hildibrand Quests


    [Lvl. 50] Probably the funniest quest chain in the entire game, getting with continued (almost) every expansion. Starts with The Rise and Fall of Gentleman – []  in Ul’dah (Steps of Nald, X: 9.8, Y: 8.7). As the twists and turns of these stories are their major strength, I don’t want to say too much about them – just this: Hildibrands Quests are where Final Fantasy XIV stops taking itself too seriously and is instead going for crazy, no-limit fun. This quest chain is an absolute fan favorite and so popular that some of the quest related emotes even made it into CAPCOM’s Monster Hunter World as part of a Final Fantasy XIV collaboration.

  • Scholasticate Quests


    [Lvl. 56, then 60] Overshadowed by Hildibrand but still worthwhile: This Side Quest-chain is featuring the return of a character that got introduced through Hildibrand Quests. As such, it requires the completion of the A Realm Reborn Hildibrand Quest-chain. To start, take on Keeping the Ledger – []  in Ishgard (The Pillars, X: 6.2, Y: 9.4). While it might not always reach the same quality of Hildibrand (in my opinion), it’s still an interesting questline – especially for those who want to see more of the returning character.

This concludes my selection of worthwhile Side Quests. Of course, this is merely a personal selection and by no means complete. Thanks to the sheer number of Side Quests in the game, I’m unfortunately not able to provide something like that. But considering the large amount of Feature Quests and Side Quests I named so far, you probably have enough to complete anyway, no?

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Retainer Ventures: Getting consistent rewards

Coming from Side Quests, let’s talk about a game feature many unfortunately skip: Your Retainers. After completing the level 17 Main Scenario Quests The Scions of the Seventh Dawn – [] , you’ll be able to hire two of them (more if you pay real money). These Retainers can be used for storing items in their inventories or selling your items on the market so other players might buy them.

And that’s basically everything what many players do with their Retainers. But be careful: doing so means losing out on a consistent stream of rewards! Why? Because sending your Retainers on so-called Retainer Ventures is going to get you new materials, gear pieces, minions and more!

As with other optional game features, you’ll need to unlock them first. To unlock Retainer Ventures, complete a level 17 quest (“An Ill-conceived Venture”) in New Gridania – []  (X: 11.8, Y: 12.2), Limsa Lominsa – []  (Lower Decks, X: 9.0, Y: 11.2) or Ul’dah – []  (Steps of Nald, X: 9.3, Y: 8.7) – depending on your starting city.

Once unlocked, you’ll be able to select a combat or gathering class/job for your Retainers. After gearing them up yourself, it’s possible to assign different tasks to them using a special currency called “ventures”. Watch out: As soon as you assign tasks to your Retainers (Fishing, Field Exploration, etc.), the task are starting in real-time (!) and will be finished accordingly. Meaning if I send my retainer on a 2h task at 13:00 real time, they’ll be finished by 15:00. Don’t worry, even if they’re on a task, you can still use their services and they’ll continue selling your items. After finishing their assigned task, the retainers will “return” with different rewards – and maybe even level up!

As for getting “ventures” to be able to assign any tasks at all: I personally prefer getting them from Grand Company Quartermasters in exchange for Grand Company Seals. I can even turn in some of the stuff – []  my Retainers found at these Quartermasters to get more Seals, allowing me to get more “ventures” in return!

But while this “venture” business might scare a few people, the majority is not interested in Retainer Ventures because they’ll have to gear their retainers. I’ll say the following: Retainers can only reach the class/job levels your character also already reached in the respective class/job. E.g., if my character only got Miner to level 15, my Miner Retainer is unable to level higher than level 15 as well – unless the Miner level of my character increases. This level connection does also mean, however, that I can simply equip my Retainer with my old gear I just outgrew by levelling. Or by using catch-up gear, if you want to take the easy way. And finally, if your Retainer keeps levelling, they’ll reach a point at which they hit the current maximum level – meaning you don’t have to take care of their gear anymore for the time being.

We’ve talked about the potential obstacles of Retainer Ventures, now’s let’s talk rewards. These are depending on the class/job of your retainer as well as the tasks you assigned to them. Combat classes are going to collect items that are normally dropped by enemies (like gear pieces). Gathering classes are, of course, collecting items that can usually be gathered (like crafting materials). Naturally, there are also rewards that can only be obtained through Retainer Ventures. A popular one is the Fat Cat – []  (Screenshot below) – a beloved minion that can only be acquired through by Fisher Retainers during the task “Waterside Exploration XIV, XV, XVI, and XVIII”. This, of course, means you can sell this minion for quite some gil on the market for example.

I’ll admit, many of the items your Retainers are going to give you aren’t as useful – especially during low level tasks. But the occasional treasure is making Retainer Ventures quickly worth the amount of work you’ll have to invest. Also, even if an item might not be what you wanted, you can still sell it, trade it in for Grand Company Seals or use Desynthesis to get some materials out of it.

Tl;dr: While setting up Retainer Ventures requires a bit of work investment, you’ll find the constant stream of rewards quite useful in the long run. While you might want to wait until hitting endgame with your first character job first, don’t sleep on this useful game feature!

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Should I get into crafting & gathering?

Final Fantasy XIV offers a lot of combat jobs, sure. But as I already mentioned, there are more classes than those to level. I’m of course talking about the different crafting and gathering classes. As almost every big MMO does, Final Fantasy XIV offers you the opportunity to create your own items: be it a new sword, a nice rug for your house or some nice food.

But how work does it take to level these classes? How many do I need to level? And is it really worth it in the end?

Before I answer those questions, let’s quickly look at the difference between crafting and gathering classes first. The eight crafting classes (Blacksmith, Culinarian, etc.) are able to create new items. The materials needed for doing so are obtained by the three gathering classes (Miner, Botanist, Fisher). Of course, materials can also just be bought from other players as well.

And it’s at this point where I’ll have to be a bearer of bad news for the first time: If you really want to get into crafting, you’ll have to level the gathering classes as well (Fisher is not that useful for many crafting recipes though). Why? Because just buying the materials needed from the market board is quickly going to drain all of your gil. And it gets even worse: Many crafting recipes also need items that can only be crafted by different crafting classes.

Example: A Carpenter wants to craft a Wand as a weapon for a Druid. For that, the Carpenter is not only going to need a fitting branch – but also a Growth Formula that can only be created by an Alchemist.

Meaning: If you really want to get into crafting, you won’t only need to level gathering classes but (all) other crafting classes as well. Preferably with the same amount of progress across all of these classes, so you’ll always have access to the items/materials you need. Otherwise, you’ll soon run out of gil by buying all of these from the market board.

Levelling all these classes does take some time, no doubt. However, at least in one aspect they’re more forgiving than levelling combat jobs: Apart from the tools, gear can be shared among the crafting classes or among the gathering classes.

Example: A Carpenter needs a saw as a primary tool, a Culinarian a Skillet. However, the rest of gear (head, body, etc.) can be shared between the two crafting classes.

While combat jobs need better gear in order to defeat stronger enemies, crafting classes need better gear in order to craft different/better items. The gathering classes need better gear to gather better materials, of course.

Another similarity between combat jobs and crafting/gathering classes: It’s necessary to complete Job Quests as soon as possible in order to obtain new actions. A warning: Some A Realm Reborn & Heavensward crafting job quests require items/materials that can prove quite work-intensive to get. Check the market board if other players are selling them for a price you’re willing to pay. In Stormblood you’ll get all the items/materials you need for job quests from the respective NPCs themselves.

After talking about all these obstacles for getting into crafting/gathering, let’s talk about the benefits. The obvious benefit lies in creating items you can use yourself – like gear pieces for your combat jobs. In endgame crafting, these gear pieces might even be powerful enough that you won’t even have to grind instances for gear instead. Or you’ll craft some nice furniture for your house!

But let’s be real, the biggest reason why people take up the effort to get into crafting/gathering is to make some money. Gathering needed materials, crafting sought-after items and selling them to other players via the market can result in a lot of gil gained. Of course, there’s no guarantee you’ll make it big, a lot of other people are trying to do the same after all. But if you pick the right items/materials to sell, well …

Anyway, if these benefits outweigh the amount of effort you have to invest first for you, you’ll probably only have two more questions left: When to start leveling and what’s the best way to do so?

As for the question of when to start, I’d recommend the following: Start once you finished the entire main scenario of Final Fantasy XIV, including the expansions. Why? Because, similar to combat jobs, the maximum level for crafting/gathering classes has been raised with each expansion as well. And as the new items require materials from the new areas, well, you’ll only be able to access those if you made enough Main Scenario progress. If you don’t want to wait until then, I’d at least wait until finishing A Realm Reborn so you can freely navigate in those zones.

Now, for the second question of how to level most efficiently: This is a tough one to answer. Usually people recommend a mix of different activities (leves, Grand Company turn-ins, etc.). However, what’s currently extremely popular & efficient for levelling is the activity known as the Ishgardian Restoration – []  (Heavensward spoiler!). However, to fully answer the question, I’d need to fill an entirely new guide. As such, I’d recommending checking out the The Balance-Discord ) or the Teamcraft Guides – []  (we’ll talk about these websites in two chapters).

Tl;dr: Levelling all crafting and gathering classes takes a lot of effort – but can also provide some benefits. It’s up to you if these benefits outweigh the amount of work needed.

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The Ceremony of Eternal Bonding

The last game feature I want to talk about in this guide is something special: Because Final Fantasy XIV allows to players to participate in the Ceremony of Eternal Bonding – meaning marrying each other. After completing a quest chain together, you’ll even be able to host your own marriage ceremony – customized by yourself and visitable by chosen guests:

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But what does a marriage offer? How to start the side quest? Do I need to purchase anything with real money? While details can be found on the official website – [] , here’s a basic rundown:

Final Fantasy XIV offers three Ceremony Service Plans: Standard, Gold, Platinum. The Standard Plan is free, the Gold Plan costs 20.00$ (14,00€), the Platinum Plan 40.00$ (28,00€). No matter the chosen Service Plan, the Ceremony is always going to happen at the same place: the Sanctum of the Twelve in the East Shroud. The Service Plans differ in aspects like available customization for the ceremony, the obtainable attire, gifts for the guests as well as getting a special mount. A detailed list can be found on the official website – [] .

Also independent from the chosen Service Plan are the Eternity Rings – []  the wedding couple receive at the end of the ceremony, allowing them to teleport to each other’s location (restrictions apply).

So much for what a Ceremony of Eternal Bonding offers, here’s how to set one up: After the wedding couple talked about what Ceremony Plan to choose, one of them has to apply for the chosen Service Plan on the Mog Station – [] . Afterwards the applicant will receive Promise Wristlets per ingame-mail. Only after both parts of the wedding couple equipped these wristlets, the quest needed for the Ceremony can be accepted.

Warning: There are a few more restrictions in place to start the quest! The wedding couple must have the same Home World. Their character each needs to have at least one combat, gathering or crafting class/job leveled to 50. Both characters must have completed the level 17 Main Scenario Quest The Scions of the Seventh Dawn – []  as well. For more details, visit the official website – [] .

After completing the quest and selecting your Ceremony style, the wedding couple needs to schedule their Ceremony by selecting a certain time and day. The available time slots differ depending on the chosen Service Plan. Afterwards, the wedding couple gets a total of 80 invites (40 each) which can be given to other players. The only way for a guest to visit a wedding is by owning of these invites, so they should be distributed in advance.

Warning: Guests aren’t bound by any restrictions except one: They also need to have the same Home World as the wedding couple!

All that’s left now is to wait until the scheduled ceremony arrives. Once that happens, everyone should gather at the Sanctum of the Twelve and participate in what’s to follow. Watch out: If the wedding couple does not arrive at the ceremony 20 minutes after the scheduled appointment, the appointment will be canceled and another date has to be chosen. If everything went well: Congratulations, the wedding couple is now married! ♥

As a character can only be married to one other character at the same time, entering a Ceremony of Eternal Bonding with another character is only possible if the previous marriage has been annulled. To do so, the wristlet or Eternity Ring has to be taken & traded-in to the Sanctum Acolyte in the Sanctum of the Twelve. This can even be done alone by just one half of the wedding couple – although the other half will still be able to teleport to the now divorced character unless they’re also trading in their Eternity Ring.

For those who keep being engaged, you’ll also be able to celebrate your anniversary of your Ceremony! To do so, you’ll be able to take on a Special Quest at the Sanctum of the Twelve once the time arrived. For more details, see the official website – [] .

As a tip: For wedding couples that don’t know any or many other players that could attend the Ceremony as guests, try inviting random players by shouting in the big cities for example. Might require a certain amount of confidence but the responses are usually way more positive than one would think!

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Helpful websites

As the final part of my guide series, I want to recommend a few online resources that might be helpful for you. As there already are guides – []  out there listing a lot of different websites, I just want to recommend the small selection of online resources I personally use:

  • The Final Fantasy Console Games Wiki


    The biggest Final Fantasy XIV fan wiki. Lots of info about all sorts of things. I personally liked using the Main Scenario Quest lists to estimate how far along I was in the story. Link – [] .

  • The Final Fantasy Gamerscape Wiki


    Another wiki. I’d personally prefer a better UI but it’s still extremely useful and packed with information. Link – [] .

  • Teamcraft


    Probably the most important website for everyone crafting/gathering. Offers the ability to quickly create your own crafting macros for example. Link – [] .

  • Heavenswhere


    Interactive map that features markings for The Hunt, the Sightseeing Log, Treasure Maps and more. Link – [] .

  • Nightgard Comprehensive Controller Guide


    Does exactly what its title says. Worth a look for everyone playing with a controller. Link – [] .

  • The FFXIV-Subreddit


    The, would you’ve guessed it, subreddit for the game. The Daily Question & FAQ Megathread might prove useful for those with unanswered questions. Link – [] .



    Besides offering their own Final Fantasy XIV fashion magazine, this site offers basically everything you need for taking great ingame screenshots! Link – [] .

  • The Eorzea Collection


    A place for players to upload their outfit choices for their characters. As such, a great place to find a future look for your character! Link – [] .

  • The Balance


    Basically the place for everyone who wants to know how to optimally play their class/job. Offers a lot of different guides and other tips & tricks. Link – [] .

Again, this is just my personal selection, websites I use myself. I’d recommend checking out all kinds of online resources and websites you find interesting yourself – many people put a lot of work into them and it would be shame if they didn’t get used.

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Enjoy your adventure!

Done! After many, many words and sentences you made it to the end of this guide – and thus the end of my entire guide series. Of course, there’s a lot I could still write about, like specific dungeon guides – but honestly, that’s something other players already did.

So, as we’re at the end now, there’s little left for me to say. I hope my guides were helpful in one way or another. I spent many hours in Eorzea and I hope I can put them to good use this way. And who knows? Maybe we’ll see each other in-game one day. Or maybe you’ll write guides yourself, to help others?

Lastly: Thank you for reading through this guide!

If you liked it, please consider upvoting or it adding it to your favourites! ♥

If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment!

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Version history

  • 05.08.2021: First release


Written by Lotus

This is all about FINAL FANTASY XIV Online – Advanced Players Guide + Unlocking Features + Side Quest Tips; I hope you enjoy reading the Guide! If you feel like we should add more information or we forget/mistake, please let us know via commenting below, and thanks! See you soon!

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