Check out this handy little guide about everything Materia.
If you’re a Final Fantasy fan, you’ll probably wonder what the little stones from Final Fantasy VII are doing in the critically acclaimed MMORPG. To cut a long story short, they are an integral part of Final Fantasy XIVs endgame and serve to give you an extra edge in combat. The difference between having these slotted in your inventory and using no Materia at all is night and day and can even make or break the clear of an encounter.
Generally, as soon as you hit the level cap, you want to look into melding as much Materia as possible in your gear to get a stat advantage. Having just 30 points more in a certain stat can really make a difference so you should try and learn about stat priority, but we’ll get to that in just a bit.
How to Unlock everything Materia?
If you simply do the Main Quest Scenario you’ll eventually find yourself in Central Thanalan around level 19. The main quest Life, Materia, and Everything will task you with talking to Mutamix to learn about melding Materia into your gear. After completing the quest you’ll also be able to pick up the quest Forging the Spirit which will allow you to extract Materia from spirit-bonded equipment.
Next, if you have a crafter at level 19 and level 25 respectively you can learn how to meld Materia on your own by completing the quests Waking the Spirit and Marvelously Mutable Materia. Keep in mind however that melding Materia yourself comes with level requirements for your crafter.
Alternatively, you can just look out for some of the many Materia Melders in all the major cities that will meld Materia for you for a bit of cast or you can ask a player who meets the level required to do it for you.
So what do I need to Know about Materia and Melding?
Materia is dropping from all sorts of content that can give your stats a big boost. They can affect everything from damage and maximum HP to the cast time on abilities for both melee and caster jobs and are generally good to have. Now materia comes in a wide array of grades usually 2 per expansion indicated by the roman numeral at the end. Most of the time you’ll probably care about the current ones but that is highly dependent on your build.
You usually don’t have to worry about Materia if you’re just leveling a job, because the pace you’re advancing and discarding gear usually isn’t worth the hassle of perfectly calculating out your numbers. Melding is mostly used in endgame content, and while it is not required to meld any Materia to clear Normal or even Savage content, it definitely makes a difference. So if you have Materia, just slot it in. Just don’t go and put crafting Materia in your combat job gear, even if it’s kinda funny.
There are two kinds of melding in Final Fantasy XIV, regular melds and overmelding. If you hover over any kind of gear, you’ll see the number of empty slots that piece of equipment has for Materia. Generally, that’s two slots per piece, with some only having one slot. But that’s highly dependent on what kind of gear it is and can differ from piece to piece. The number of slots you have in equipment determines how many Materia melds are guaranteed. So if a piece has two slots, you can meld two kinds of Materia.
Over melding means you can break that limit and meld up to 5 different Materia, no matter how many slots are available. But after the guaranteed slots, chances to meld the Materia you want becomes a game of chance. And with every additional meld and depending on the grade of Materia you want to meld that chance gets even harder. This can be a real money sink, so if you’re taking raiding seriously, try to build up a stock of Materia in between raid tiers. New Materia is only released with a new expansion.
Generally, you can overmeld and kind of crafted gear. Especially the accessories. But beware that every piece of gear comes with a hard limit of the maximum stats it can provide, so slot your materia accordingly.
What kind of Materia is there?
Since there is a lot of ground to cover with materia, here is a handy chart with all the materia currently available in the game and what their stat contribution looks like. Generally, they are rewarded from endgame content and various activities, but if you need a very specific one you can just grab them off the market board.
|Savage Aim Materia||Critical Hit||+1||+2||+3||+4||+6||+16||+8||+24||+12||+36|
|Savage Might Materia||Determination||+1||+2||+3||+4||+6||+16||+8||+24||+12||+36|
|Heavens’ Eye Materia||Direct Hit Rate||+1||+2||+3||+4||+6||+16||+8||+24||+12||+36|
|Quickarm Materia||Skill Speed||+1||+2||+3||+4||+6||+16||+8||+24||+12||+36|
|Quicktongue Materia||Spell Speed||+1||+2||+3||+4||+6||+16||+8||+24||+12||+36|
|Craftsman’s Command Materia||Control||+1||+2||+3||+4||+7||+10||+9||+13||+12||+18|
|Craftsman’s Cunning Materia||CP||+1||+2||+3||+4||+6||+8||+7||+9||+8||+10|
|Craftsman’s Competence Materia||Craftsmanship||+3||+4||+5||+6||+11||+16||+14||+21||+18||+27|
|Gatherer’s Grasp Materia||GP||+1||+2||+3||+4||+6||+8||+7||+9||+8||+10|
|Gatherer’s Guerdon Materia||Gathering||+3||+4||+5||+6||+10||+15||+12||+20||+14||+25|
|Gatherer’s Guile Materia||Perception||+3||+4||+5||+6||+10||+15||+12||+20||+14||+25|
|Minimum Item Level Required||15||30||45||70||160||290||420||420||560||560|
Do keep in mind that there is also a minimum Item-level restriction for Materia. Generally speaking, Materia only covers gear from the expansion it was released in but you can also slot lower-tier Materia into later gear for minimal stat increase. But outside of crafting and gathering Materia, it is generally not worth considering.
So what is Stat Priority and How do I Meld Correctly?
I’m gonna start off by talking about combat jobs first because the Crafting and Gathering section for this is way more specific. Generally, all jobs have different stats they prioritize for maximum damage output. By the time you hit level 90 the stats your job needs are vastly higher than other stats but generally jobs of the same type, that share their gear usually need the same Materia. Some jobs however benefit from other boosts like increased spell speed or skill speed in order to optimize their rotation. You can also sacrifice some HP or MP regeneration on Tanks and Healers to deal more damage.
Generally, you always want to go for more damage unless you’re trying to clear a fight super early into a tier and everything hits like a truck. But that comes down to preference and the gear available to you.
But usually, we want to increase the stats that are already high and make them even higher. While the way damage calculation in Final Fantasy XIV still remains somewhat of a mystery to us, we do know that big numbers are always better. Generally speaking, Investing in Critical Hit, Determination, and Direct Hit Rate is always a good idea. If your job doesn’t have very specific requirements or you simply don’t want to bother with all the math. Just cap out those values depending on gear limitations and you’re good to go.
Crafters and Gatherers function a little bit differently here since they are the only jobs that still have to deal with hard stat checks you have to minimax every single piece of equipment to make crafting and gathering as smooth as possible. Even if you have the newest set of gear, chances are you won’t be able to meet the requirements to craft the new recipes or hit the new gathering nodes.
So if you want to get into the thick of it, I highly recommend you’ll check out the various guides the good folks at Team Craft have thrown together on both these topics. There is a lot of jargon here that sounds very complicated, but if you follow their melding recommendations you’ll be crafting and gathering in no time. For the Gathering Melding head over here and for the Crafter Meldings head over here.
Closing Words on Materia
Materia is very important in high-end content and can really benefit players in many ways. And while there is always a very, very optimized way of melding your gear, don’t feel like you have to obsess over this too much. We’re talking about damage differences in the lower hundreds here and usually, fights are designed in a way that you should be able to clear them with the minimum item level and some prep work. That being said, every bit of Materia, food, and potions you bring into an encounter can give you more leeway and make up for potential deaths in the party.
So use what you have and if you feel like it, seek out the perfect meld for your job and what is more comfortable for you. Some casters for example prefer faster cast times over damage for more mobility and more ease, and some tanks prefer having more HP to doing more damage. There is no real, right answer to all these melds unless you’re looking for the really big numbers.
That sums up all we have on Materia in Final Fantasy XIV, if you want to see more Final Fantasy XIV guides or want to read up on esports news, check us out here at ESTNN