FFXIV: How Does Perception Work & How Can I Increase It?

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Perception is a stat in Final Fantasy XIV applied to gathering jobs like Botanist, Miner, and Fisher. It determines the rate in which High Quality items can be gathered, and later on, the effectiveness of certain item collectability skills.

If you’re new to XIV (or just new to crafting and gathering) you’re probably feeling pretty overwhelmed with how deep all the systems can be. There’s a lot to get to grips with, and you have to think about a ton of additional stuff that just isn’t present in other MMOs.

Whether you’re crafting or gathering, you’ll basically have to play a little minigame to get the items you want.

This involves using skills, and the effectiveness of these skills is often influenced by a set of stats unique to crafting and gathering. Perception is one such stat – you’ve probably noticed it as a bonus on a piece of gear you’ve equipped along the way.

Character Gathering Node at Sunset / Final Fantasy XIV
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Perception is unique to gathering, but analogous to Control, which is a crafting stat that can impact the quality of the finished item.

But they don’t function in exactly the same way.

Control boosts the effectiveness of skills that can increase quality, rather than directly influencing the chance of getting a High Quality item. But you can see how they work similarly.

Obviously the aim of the game is harvesting as much High Quality stuff as you can. High Quality materials can often result in High Quality items, so they’ll be in demand on the Market Boards.

One thing you can usually always bank on is the laziness of other players. They don’t really want to have to go out there and put the work into finding High Quality materials for their crafts, so you can do it for them and make a tidy profit.

Although it’s not just for profit, though.

Progressing in the Botany/Mining/Fishing storylines will require the collection of High Quality items from time to time.

So paying attention to your Perception and understanding how it works is essential to moving forward in these storylines.


How Does Perception Work?

Your Perception, which is chiefly influenced by your level and the gear you’re wearing, will increase the chance of gathering a High Quality item up to a flat 15% cap.

This means the highest you can really push Perception is a +15% chance of getting a High Quality item.

Perception Cap Screenshot in Final Fantasy XIV
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That might not seem like a lot.

But when you consider just how much you’ll probably be gathering in an average session, it quickly adds up.

So why is the base cap so low?

There isn’t really an official answer. But an educated guess would say that Square Enix doesn’t want players absolutely hammering the High Quality materials and flooding the market with them. It’d throw the in-game economy out of whack faster than the last couple years have.

If the cap was any higher, max-level crafters with all the latest gear would be able to absolutely rinse all the mid-level crafting nodes, probably obtaining masses of High Quality materials in the process, and flood the market with them.

Eventually High Quality crafted gear would be immensely devalued, and there’d be very little point in differentiating between High and Normal Quality.

Gathering for Perception in Final Fantasy XIV
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High Quality gear normally comes with boosted stats.

When you have a full set of High Quality gear, this can add up to a really significant difference in Perception increase.

In fact, sometimes it can mean the difference between a solid chance of gathering High Quality or harvesting nothing at all.

You can see a list of all the gear sets available to crafters and gatherers here.

But for an idea of which gear you should be equipping as you level, I’d really recommend checking out a dedicated guide to your chosen class. FFXIV Guild is a fantastic resource that goes into plenty of detail about all the crafting and gathering jobs currently available.


How Do I Increase My Perception?

If you’re finding your lack of Perception frustrating, it can quickly be remedied. Whether or not it can be cheaply remedied is another matter, because if your level is getting up there, you may be looking at sinking a decent chunk of gil into it.

Nine times out of ten, a lack of Perception comes down to your gear.

Gathering gear isn’t quite as freely available as combat gear. Sure, you’ll be handed a nice piece of equipment every now and then for completing the job quests.

But you won’t get that steady trickle of rewards from quests.

And obviously you don’t get to go and just pick flowers in a dungeon for better gear.

Woodcutting Gathering Screenshot in Final Fantasy XIV
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So your choices to increase perception are fairly simple, but require a bit of investment.

The easiest option is just to buy better gear from the Market Board. Depending on your server and level, this can end up being wildly expensive though.

So a good bet is reaching out to your Free Company (if you’re in one) and asking if anyone can make you the gear at a discount.

Many crafters are happy to make gear for their Free Company comrades as long as they pay for (or supply) the materials. This can save you a bit of gil, but obviously don’t go charging around demanding people craft things for you.

If you have a few crafting classes under your belt too, you can try and make your own gear.

This will require you to have access to plenty of materials already though, which might not be the case if you’re a beginner!

And I’d say it’s probably not worth dividing your attention between multiple crafters and gatherers until you’ve got a couple at max level & are actually profiting from your time on them.

But finally, one other option is that you can head to a Scrip Exchange.

These were introduced in Heavensward, and they add a defined rewards structure to both crafting and gathering. You can gather special desirable items known as collectibles and trade them in for Scrips, a special currency that can be used to improve your gear.

This is probably not that viable unless you’re at certain leveling milestones.

But again, I’d recommend following an FFXIV Guild guide for a clearer idea on what’s best for your specific level and job.

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