Final Fantasy XI: The Best Crafts In The Game, RankedThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Crafting has a storied history in Final Fantasy XI.
For some it’s a steady source of income. Others use it as a form of progression for their characters.
In the early days, it was expensive and very time consuming, often taking half a year just to maximize a specific skill. But at the end of the long rainbow were very some popular equipment and items.
So plenty of players took to the professions.
More recent years have seen crafting become part of progression, from armor and weapon upgrade processes, to creating items, to spawning a fortitude of monsters.
Fortunately, it has also become much easier to get into crafting. This list aims to rank the main crafts in order of popularity, with a focus more on the modern era of FFXI.
Note: This list does not include Synergy, as it is its own more complex synthesis system that often requires players to level some of the base 8 crafting skills first.
Cooking in FFXI has fallen out of popularity in recent years.
At one time, it was one of the best ways to make money. Because food gave relatively large and rare stat boosts to players.
The revered Sole Sushi, most notable for its large accuracy boost, used to propel budding culinarians to high amounts of gil.
But due to the introduction of Curio Vendor Moogles, cooking has become something of a niche top-heavy investment.
A majority of the popular and essential foods can be found from Curio Vendor Moogles now. So many players turn to investing in the other crafts instead.
There’s still profit to be made, but you’d be hard-pressed to find it.
Unfortunately, alchemy also suffered the same fate as cooking.
In bygone times, alchemy was once very popular. Alchemists could create consumable items like echo drops, removing silence effortlessly, or silent oils and prism powders, capable of bestowing sneak and invisible onto players.
Curio Vendor Moogles now offer many items that alchemy was once famed for.
So unfortunately, alchemists have to rely on some rather niche money-making tactics.
They do have some use at very high levels, though, due to their ability to handle cursed items. These are rather popular in the current era of the game.
Not to mention their ability to repair fishing rods, which is also handy.
But this isn’t usually an attractive enough reason for players to invest their money and time into alchemy.
Woodworking also experienced a sting due to the introduction of Curio Vendor Moogles.
Back in the day, it was almost impossible to come across a player who didn’t unconsciously think of the word “shihei” if they were talking about woodworking.
Many players could focus solely on this particular item and generate millions of gil. But almost all ninjutsu tools, as well as shihei, are now part of the Curio Vendor Moogles’ inventories.
It’s also the same fate for all the ammunition these crafters were able to make.
Woodworking does get some good use at a high level, though.
They can create a healthy dose of abjuration armor, which many players will still be clamoring for.
They can also create a large portion of furniture in the game, particularly the ones with high storage such as the panetiere – something players will often buy for valuable Mog Safe space.
Some players also like to decorate, and will buy furniture occasionally, so there is a potential market here. But not one that’s particularly booming.
This craft is also occasionally featured as a sub-craft, so having it leveled can prove useful.
Bonecrafting has always been a fairly odd case when it comes to its popularity in FFXI – especially during its infancy.
Odd-bod items like animal glue or beetle earrings saw this craft flying in popularity. And this remained a crafting skill that many players saw huge potential in, for items like the scorpion harness.
Bonecrafters were once the sole creators of the rare angel skin orb, hailing from the even-rarer angel skin, which could yield tens of millions of gil. So players would often set their careers on this particular craft.
But sadly, getting those items in the current era is easy.
Bonecrafting is still used fairly often for its ability to create a wide range of armor from adbjuration items, similar to woodworking.
Most notably, this includes some of the Adhemar pieces. These pieces (with some luck in HQing) will yield very high amounts of money.
The craft also has some rather notable ammo and accessories, such as the Staunch Tathlum, Moonbeam Ring and Moonbow Whistle.
And bonecrafting is occasionally featured as a sub-craft too, so it’s worth having it leveled up.
Goldsmithing was once fabled for its massive investment requirement.
It wasn’t uncommon to hear tales of players spending several hundreds of millions just leveling this craft to its max level. But what’s made from gold, makes gold, and it was a very profitable.
It still has profitable points on the market at all levels, often seeing use to make ingots and chains. This is especially true considering the fact that many high level recipes also often require low-level ingredients.
Goldsmithing makes a good portion of abjuration armor for tanks, where only smithing would be a viable competitor in crafting.
And goldsmiths are also capable of making the highly-treasured Stikini Ring, Moonbeam Necklace, and Mache Earring – and when HQ’d, these will often sell rather quickly (depending on the server).
Smithing has always had a rather strong presence in the FFXI economy, being the often sole-creator of rather notable weapons for players during the leveling journey – or even various armor and shields.
Since it filled out its own position on the market, its placement has always been very consistent, no matter the era of the game.
Like goldsmithing, regular smithing also creates ingots – and shares a healthy spread of profit at various market areas.
Players studying this craft can create many items from the abjuration sets for various jobs, ranging from mages to tanks. That’s something not many other crafts can boast about.
The weapons you can make with smiting are still particularly useful, too. Namely the blurred sword and dagger +1, which players still buy to this day.
As if that wasn’t enough, players could also create the varar ring +1, which many pet jobs will be avidly seeking – especially summoners.
Because of its unique position on the market as a primary weapon/shield/armor maker, smithing is a skill worth learning all its own. It isn’t featured very often as a sub-craft, but it can still occur.
In FFXI, leatherworking has always been a very profitable craft. This generates consistent money because it can always supply a range of items that only leatherworkers can create.
In the earlier days, players could craft a myriad of capes, light armor, and belts that many players would pour their life savings into.
Not much has changed since then – even with the introduction of many rare/ex accessories being introduced.
So this craft continues to withstand the tests of time.
Aside from the fact that it’s able to craft many cursed and abjuration items(which are then used by other crafts), players can also create many pieces of armor that are very sought after.
Examples include the Arkhe and Heyoka armor sets.
This craft has a lot of versatility, often able to create items which are used as part of the armor upgrade process too. This might be stuff like the JSE collars. Plus leatherworkers can make a variety of straps – most useful for 2-handed weapon users.
And to further bolster its value, leatherworking offers a healthy position at all levels in the market, as it’s the unique supplier of leather ingredient items. Crafters of all types will consistently be buying this stuff.
Due to the wide range of items you can create, leatherworking is featured as a sub-craft quite often, so even leveling it as a sub-craft is highly advised.
Clothcraft is often seen as reigning supreme amongst the crafting chain.
Back in the day, clothcrafting could supply the market with uniquely-crafted cloths and various ninjutsu tools, which meant it had a healthy profitability throughout FFXI’s legacy.
At the top level, many people enjoyed the cursed items they could create. And many have fond memories of the vermillion cloak.
Clothcrafting enjoys a very wide range of options for creating cursed and abjuration armor, mostly covering mages. But this extends to light armor jobs too, like monks, thieves, and blue mages.
Players focused on clothcrafting can also create the very popular Moonbow Belt, Moonbow Cape, and Yetshila +1. These items, especially when HQ’d, will sell for very large sums of gil.
So this craft still sees very steady profits to this day.
Clothcraft is also featured in many recipes as a sub-craft, so leveling it will also serve to aid nearly every other craft.