Wisdom of Nym: Making money in Final Fantasy XIV isn’t what you think

Big time.

So let me start with a statement: Gil is pretty much irrelevant to me in Final Fantasy XIV because I already have enough. We are going to be talking about making money today, and as these things go, I have to lay down my bona fides, if for no other reason than to make it clear that when it comes to making money in this game, I know what I’m talking about.

Cards on the table: I could, theoretically, buy multiple Large-sized houses right now without leaving me without a gil to my name. I have funded multiple house purchase from Large to Medium. A million gil is functionally walking-around money for me. If friends ask me for a couple million as a loan, I seriously do not care if they pay it back. I give out 100k to sprouts every so often just as a “welcome to the game” and because it’s nice. Money is not an issue for me.

So how did that happen? Probably not the way you’re thinking.

First and foremost, I want to stress that this is not a case where I was replete with gil when 2.0 hit. The gil you had in 1.0 was reduced to 10% of your initial amount, and so I had a little under half a million when the transition happened. Nor am I the richest person I know (a friend of mine once routinely was bumping up against the gil cap), nor is this going to be useless advice like “if you invest your gil a decade ago you can make all this money back.” Neither of those things is helpful.

What we’re talking about today is the way that people tend to look at making money in this game. And while I tend to think of making gil as being something that’s honestly pretty easy to do, I know a bunch of people struggle with it and look at my numbers up there and assume that there’s got to be some big trick that they just don’t know. Or that it’s a result of doing some form of content they particularly dislike, which isn’t really the case either.

Let’s be clear: I don’t run treasure maps regularly or even much at all. I don’t play the markets. I definitely do not play content that I loathe; stuff I don’t like doing is stuff that I, well, don’t do. And I think that’s part of the problem with making money in the game, that people assume the path to making gil involves doing X and that’s how you really make big money, when the reality is that there are lots of paths, lots of resources, and lots of options if you’re interested in making some. I don’t do much to make money because I have plenty, but I do know how to do it.

And the first step is to stop looking for a payday.

The new place.

This sounds contrary to the correct procedure, but let me assure you that it’s important. I have seen so many people try to make money by looking for The Thing that will make you a huge amount of money. This is wrong because what you really want is a steady stream of income. And before you pipe up to say that you’re not looking for just one thing that sells for half a million, you’re going to flood the market with such-and-such furnishing item because that sells… that’s still the same problem.

You’re looking for a solution. Making gil is a method, and it starts by understanding diversity of revenue streams and what I mean by continual revenue. I don’t mean “you are making X amount per day,” I mean “you are reliably getting certain things that make you steady money and don’t require major deviations to how you play.”

One of the core misconceptions I see people getting wrong is complaining about “undercutting” in the markets. It’s also wrong because, well, undercutting doesn’t actually exist. Oh, sure, someone can drop the price on an item by 10,000 gil, but if people sell for that and list it for that new price and the market keeps moving, that’s just supply and demand. That’s how a player-run market works. And if that new price is not actually viable, those listings will be gobbled up pretty quickly and replaced by more reasonable ones.

This is especially true when it comes to things that actually do have continual value as opposed to depreciating value. Current combat materia, for example, is valuable for a few weeks after a new even-numbered patch drops because there’s new combat crafted gear and progression raiders will shatter a bunch of them in the process of overmelding. After a month or so, the prices will drop back down. Crafting and gathering materia tends to hold its value, since melds change and you need a lot to keep melding.

By contrast, crafted gear and new vanity items will go down in price over time. Treasure maps go down in price over time. The more people accumulate at level cap, the more the supply side of these goods is filled up. If supply continues to increase, and demand either stays constant or decreases, the price goes down. This is pretty basic. Playing the markets requires you to understand them first.

And if you don’t want to do that, that’s all right because the point is to find revenue streams that will work for you continually.


A lot of people focus on the “revenue” part and not the “work for you” part. Finding the high-end gathering ingredients for current food, for example? That’s a pretty good revenue stream, especially if you sell them in reasonable stack sizes. (People will often pay a little more for a stack of 10 or so instead of 99.) But if you absolutely hate gathering, that is not a viable way to make money for you. You are going to look at it as the thing you do to make money, not playing the game and having fun. And that’s going to cause issues.

Obviously, I can’t know what you personally like to do in the game, but for any given preferred content, there are usually streams in place. It’s also important to note that you should focus on finding ways to save money as well as make it. Sure, individual repairs don’t cost much and teleports are cheap enough and the materia melder will take care of you there, but these costs add up, and if you can do these things yourself, so much the better.

The thing about making money in the game is that it is a mindset. It’s not so much about time as it is about attitude, and the more you think that money is hard to make, the harder it gets to make in-game. The more you turn to stuff that seems to promise big returns quickly instead of reliable and steady returns, the more you’ll get frustrated when it doesn’t work. And I promise you, I don’t spend all my time making money. I spend very little of it even thinking about it. And it isn’t that difficult.

Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments down below or by mail to eliot@massivelyop.com. This one especially can use feedback because it’s helpful to know what people struggle with specifically in terms of gil and the making thereof, so I can address it directly instead of with generalities in the future. Next week, though, I’m going to take a step in a different direction and talk about areas where the game’s tutorials really fail to give people proper direction.

The Nymian civilization hosted an immense amount of knowledge and learning, but so much of it has been lost to the people of Eorzea. That doesn’t stop Eliot Lefebvre from scrutinizing Final Fantasy XIV each week in Wisdom of Nym, hosting guides, discussion, and opinions without so much as a trace of rancor.
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