Final Fantasy XIV: What Are Retainers & What Can They Do?

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Once you join the Scions in Final Fantasy XIV, you can hire a retainer, which is a special kind of NPC who will hold onto your items and Gil for you. Retainers can also sell items for you, go on ventures, and bring items back, and are just generally pretty darn helpful.

And retainers aren’t just useful, they’re fully customizable too!

You get to decide exactly what they look like, and you can even assign them a class. You can name them, level them up through ventures, and get some really cool rewards – provided you have venture tokens, of course.

And venture tokens aren’t hard to get, I promise!

You can buy them from your grand company in bundles of 5. They only cost 1000 Grand Company Seals.

To summon your retainer, all you have to do is head to the nearest summoning bell. They’re scattered all across Eorzea. And the moment you ring one, your retainer will come running.

You can have up to two retainers for free.

Any retainers you wish to hire after that, well, you’ll have to fork over some cold hard cash. The real-world kind, not the Gil kind.


Retainers: What Do They Do?

I know the idea seems complicated, but it’s actually not.

If you don’t want to think of your retainers as “people”, think of them as storage instead.

They come with a ton of extra inventory slots, and you can store all your extra items with them. You can store pretty much anything and access it from wherever there’s a summoning bell.

If you don’t feel like venturing out to summon them, you can even install a summoning bell at your own personal house.

Provided you’re lucky enough to get one, of course.

Your retainers are also how you can sell items on the market board.

From the summoning bell, you can assign each retainer up to 20 items at a time to sell. As soon as anything sells, the Gil will be added to whatever the retainer is holding.

Then it’s an easy matter to transfer that Gil from your retainer to yourself. Just a few button presses in the Retainer menu.

Kneeling man and woman characters in FFXIV
Image source by u/mackeneasy / © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.

Those two things (storing items & selling items) are the main things retainers are good for, and those are the least complicated things you’ll use them for.

If you’re playing FFXIV for any amount of length, you will eventually need your retainers to hold items. Their 175 extra slots will be invaluable.


How Does My Retainer Get Me Free Stuff?

Ah, yes! Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it “free”.

Like I said above, you’re going to need to use Venture Tokens.

The best way to get those is from your Grand Company vendors.

Most things you do in FFXIV will earn you Grand Company seals. A thousand of those are traded for five Venture Tokens. Bada-bing, bada-boom, Venture Tokens.

If you head to a summoning bell and give your retainer one of these tokens, they’ll undertake an exploration.

This means they’ll head out for a varying length of time and bring back any number of odd items. You could get housing items, gear, and even minions or Chocobo Barding.

The explorations range in difficulty, with the harder ones obviously giving more EXP than the lower ones.

This is where the classes come in.

Muscley character near docks in FFXIV
Image source by u/programmerBlack / © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.

Retainer Classes

The kinds of items that your retainer can bring back all depend on your retainer’s level and class.

Each class has different rare items they can bring back, so choose carefully before assigning your retainer a class.

Note: you cannot switch their class/job once it is set.

You’d have to fire that retainer, hire a new one, and start all over.

Luckily, the same doesn’t hold true for their appearance.

If you get sick of looking at their dumb face, just use a Retainer Fantasia. These can be found on the market board, ironically enough, being sold by some other player’s retainer.

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