FFXIV: What is Materia & Is It Worth It?

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Materia are essentially items that can be used to enhance the statistics of your gear. And every piece of gear will have varying amounts of sockets that Materia can be melded into to improve the gear’s statistics.

Materia is one of those recurring Final Fantasy themes. It was used in FFVII to learn spells – you could slot it into weapons to gain certain bonuses.

It kind of works in a similar way in XIV, but there’s a bunch more attached systems to it than usual.

Materia as a system in XIV has a ton of different facets. Filtering all the information out into something practical can seem like a big task, but it’s actually much simpler than it seems.

And you should definitely get to grips with Materia if you’re looking to get the most out of your character. All combat and crafting/gathering classes can make use of Materia for important stat bonuses.

In this article I’ll give you some quick tips on where to get materia, how to attach it, and how to find out which Materia you should be focusing on for the best performance.


How Do I Get Materia?

Well, there are two methods really.

You can purchase them from the Market Board, or exchange certain types of non-cash currency for them.

Buying from the Market Board allows you to pick and choose exactly which one you want, but can get extremely pricey at higher levels.

You’ll also earn Materia through certain quests and side activities.

But if you want a regular reliable stream of them to go along with all your gear upgrades, you’ll want to seek them out a bit more actively than that.

The other most common method is extraction.

This is done via XIV’s Spiritbond system. Having a piece of gear equipped while you gain experience will increase an item’s Spiritbond percentage. When it reaches 100%, you can pull a piece of Materia out of it, provided you’ve unlocked the relevant skill.

You can’t pick up Forging the Spirit unless you’ve hit level 19 on any crafting class (besides Culinarian).

Unlocking the skill just requires heading to Central Thanalan and completing the quest “Forging the Spirit”.

Although you can’t predict which type of Materia you’ll create, it’ll always be relevant to the gear’s purpose.

So converting a Lancer’s chest piece will always come up with something useful for melee DPS.


How Do I Attach Materia?

This process is referred to as “melding”.

In order to meld, you’ll have to visit Central Thanalan again and pick up the quest “Waking The Spirit”. Again, you’ll need a level 19 crafter to be eligible.

At level 25, you can take on the quest “Melding Materia Muchly”, which allows you to attempt attaching Materia to gear with no available slots.

Overmelding can only be performed on certain types of gear, and can become extremely time-consuming/expensive very quickly. It’s not essential for progression, but it can come in handy if you’ve got time and cash to burn.

If you want to attach Materia without leveling a crafter then you’ll have to speak to a Materia Melder vendor, which can be found in a number of cities and towns.

They have a higher success rate – but will charge you a small fee for their services.

Transmuting Materia with Mutamix in Final Fantasy XIV
Image source by FinalFay / © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.

Which Materia Is Best For Me?

Each job has what we call their “meld priority”.

This is the order in which we should priorities our Materia-based stat boosts for maximum effect.

A resource I commonly suggest for this information is SaltedXIV. Basically, you should focus on the highest priority first, and boost the others in order of importance.

I’d also recommend checking out this list of all the different categories of Materia and which stats they affect.

You’re able to view the stat modifications in-game, but it’s helpful to put some numbers to the names.

Materia is separated into tiers as well, depending on the strength of its stat boost.

Tiers will be indicated by Roman numerals: I, II, III, IV, V, and so on.

The higher the number, the bigger the stat bonus!


I’m A Casual Player, Do I Need To Meld Materia?

I’ll be entirely honest:

I played through the entirety of XIV’s storyline and most of the Shadowbringers patch content so far without even thinking about Materia.

Granted, I haven’t been hitting the endgame stuff particularly hard. But with very few exceptions, I tanked my way through most dungeons without major issues.

If you’re just looking to kick back and take in XIV’s rich world, you don’t need to worry about your stat priority.

If you want to perform at your absolute best in dungeons, trials, and raids, you should start working on stat priority as soon as possible.

Unlocking the ability to extract and meld Materia is pretty painless.

And for the effort required, it has benefits that could massively improve your character’s performance in combat, crafting, and gathering.

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