FFXIV: What’s The Difference Between Armorer & Blacksmith?

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Armorer and Blacksmith are two crafting jobs in Final Fantasy XIV with a lot of similarities. They actually produce different items, though:

Armorers create equippable armor, shields, and frying pans (honestly).

Blacksmiths are their counterparts, creating weaponry to suit a whole range of classes.


How Do I Become An Armorer/Blacksmith?

You can pick up either of these trades quite early on.

All you need to do is hit level 10 on a Disciple of War or Magic and have access to Limsa Lominsa.

If you started in Limsa, you’ll be able to pick them up as soon as you hit level 10. If you started in Ul’dah or Gridania, you’ll have to wait until you’ve progressed a little bit further in the MSQ.

Both the Armorer and Blacksmith guilds are in Limsa Lominsa. Just look out for the quests called “So You Want To Be An Armorer/Blacksmith” on the map and you’ll know where to go.


What Can Blacksmiths Make?

Blacksmiths mainly focus on the creation of weaponry, and more importantly, the refinement of raw metal into workable material.

Both Armorers and Blacksmiths can forge ore gathered by Miners into ingots.

Both jobs will often need these ingots to craft their goods, but will have to resort to other means to acquire the raw metal (usually leveling a miner themselves, or paying on the Market Board).

Blacksmiths create fist weapons for pugilists and monks, swords for paladins, spears for dragoons, and weaponry for newer classes like Samurai and Machinist.

That’s not the limit of their ability, though.

They can also craft a variety of tools for use by other crafting and gathering classes.

Gerolt Blackthorn NPC HD Screenshot / FFXIV
Image source by Manwe Sulimo / © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.

What Can Armorers Make?

Armorers primarily create armor equippable by a wide range of classes, but they can make a couple of tools for other crafting jobs too.

Frying pans for Culinarian, alembics for Alchemists, and shields for jobs that can use them.

Armorers can work metal into usable forms in all the same ways as Blacksmiths.

So nobody really has the advantage here.

Alongside forging metal into ingot form, armorers can then use those ingots to create metal plates and rivets of various quality – all of which can be sold on the Market Board for a profit.

Armorer Quest Level 20 Screenshot / FFXIV
Image source by Okamoza / © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.

Which One Should I Play?

That’s really down to you!

What sounds better:

Making armor or weaponry?

I’d say the Blacksmith is personally more enjoyable for me, and you have the bonus of creating quite the range of crafting tools alongside your normal goods.

As a Blacksmith, you can basically make your own items – all the tools you need can be found in your Blacksmith crafting log.

Really though, I’d say these two professions are worth advancing side by side, to cover the full range of equipment needs on the Market Board.

If you’ve got the time, it’s well worth doing.


Should I Level A Gatherer, Too?


If you want to take Armorer/Blacksmith seriously, you should also be in a position where you can gather the majority of your own materials.

It’s definitely a time sink, but worth the effort.

Ideally you’d pick up Mining and Botany for maximum efficiency.

But if you really can’t stomach the thought of leveling four of these jobs, focus on Mining.

Reason being it works on both levels:

Mining supplies your Armorer/Blacksmith endeavors with material, and Armorer/Blacksmith proficiency makes mining more profitable (worked metals are generally more expensive on the Market Board than the raw versions, as these have yet to be processed into a usable state).

To become truly self-sufficient, you’d need to level every crafter and gatherer.

And all of these jobs are interconnected in FFXIV.

You’ll often need a material only an Alchemist or Goldsmith can make, for example.

So unless you level everything, you’ll still need to rely on the Market Board from time to time.

I’d recommend joining a decent Free Company if you want to have an easier time of it. These player-run organizations tend to pool their resources, and it can save you a fair bit of gil in the long run.

Just be prepared to offer your services when you can – to keep things square.

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