Endgame Gearing and Content Unlock Guide (2024)

Endgame Gearing and Content Unlock Guide


This is a comprehensive guide aimed towards players entering endgame — Level 90 — for the first time and getting overwhelmed with Final Fantasy XIV’s gear progression systems. This guide will help you get an understanding of how FFXIV’s endgame systems work, as well as how to gear up and what types of endgame PvE content exist.

Step 1. Get AF gear, finish MSQ, and farm Tomestones for gear.Step 2. Get i565 to unlock and complete Pandaemonium: Asphodelos (Normal).

Explanation of Terms, Loot, and Lockouts

Lockout Reset

  • All weekly lockouts are reset at Tuesday, 1AM PST/4 AM EST/8AM GMT.
  • All daily lockouts are reset at 8AM PST/11 AM EST/3PM GMT.
  • Grand Company and Rowena’s House of Splendors reset at 1PM PST/4PM EST/8PM GMT.
  • All of these timers can be viewed in your timezone via the Timers window in-game.
  • A lockout means that you can only get a certain amount of rewards until the reset, which then the amount of rewards you can get is refreshed.

Gear Progression

Upon reaching the level cap, gear progression is based on Item Level, commonly referred to as i# or iL#. For example, if a piece of gear is i600, its item level is 600. The higher the item level, the stronger the piece of equipment is. Upgrading gear is very straightforward in FFXIV.

  • Endgame gear with higher item levels are acquired through dungeons, trials, raids, crafting, and tomestones.

  • All duties have a required minimum item level. This can be bypassed if queueing with a full premade party.

  • The maximum item level is increased during each expansion and each raid patch cycle (even numbered patches), which occur every 7-8 months. The base item level for that patch’s content is the maximum armour item level for the previous patch cycle +10.

  • On odd-numbered patches, the maximum item level is not increased, and more ways to upgrade gear are introduced with Alliance raids and Hunts. Odd-numbered patches are commonly referred to as catch-up patches.

  • Gear is divided into Weapon and Gear. Gear has Left Side (Head, Chest, Hands, Legs, Feet), and Right Side (Earrings, Necklace, Bracelet, Ring, Ring).

    • Right side gear equips are considered “accessories”.
  • The current highest item level is 605 for weapons, and 600 for armor.

  • Best-in-Slot (BiS) gear is the best gear you can possibly have at the time. BiS mixes and matches the strongest endgame sets. Accurate and up-to-date BiS lists can be found on the Balance.

Allagan Tomestones

Allagan Tomestones are the major endgame currency rewarded from all endgame content.

  • Tomestones can be exchanged for endgame gear and other miscellany. You can hold up to 2000 of any tomestone at once.
  • All endgame content from previous expansions rewards Tomestones of Poetics, which can be exchanged for any previous expansion’s endgame gear.
  • All endgame content from Endwalker rewards Tomestones of Aphorism and Tomestones of Astronomy.
  • Aphorism is uncapped, meaning you can get as many as you want. Astronomy is capped at 450 tomes per weekly lockout.
  • Tomestones of Aphorism can be exchanged for iL570 Moonward Gear.
  • Tomestones of Astronomy can be exchanged for i590 Gear, which can be upgraded to i600 Gear with upgrade items from Pandaemonium: Asphodelos (Savage).


Roulettes queue you up for a random duty selected from those available within the Roulette.

  • Roulettes are part of the daily lockout.

  • Roulettes award experience (at non-level cap), GC Seals, Tomestones, and gil.

  • Expert Roulette comprises the two to three newest dungeons released and rewards many Tomestones of Aphorism and Astronomy.

    • As of Patch 6.0, includes the dungeons The Dead Ends, Smileton, and the Stigma Dreamscape.
    • Rewards an addition 50 Astronomy in addition to the dungeon rewards.
    • Expert Roulette requires you to complete all dungeons within the roulette at least once to unlock.
    • Expert Roulette is the main way to cap tomes each week, as it takes roughly 15-25 minutes and gives you 1/5 of the tomes needed to cap.
  • Level 50/60/70/80 Roulette comprises all Level 50, 60, 70, and 80 dungeons.

    • Rewards an additional 120 Aphorism and 100 Poetics at max level in addition to the dungeon rewards.
  • Trials Roulette comprises all trials you have unlocked.

    • Rewards an addition 60 Aphorism at max level.
  • There are other roulettes, such as Leveling, Mentor, and Alliance. These give similar rewards but are mainly used for experience.

Extreme Trials and Tokens

Extreme Trials are a full party fight against a singular enemy. They are the gateway between casual content and Savage raiding, being a difficulty step above all casual combat content in the game. Most Extreme Trials reward strong weapons and a coveted Primal mount, while other Extreme Trials can reward accessories or even gear.

  • Applicable to all non-ARR Extreme difficulty trials.

  • There are no lockouts on Extreme Trials.

  • Aside from dropping weapons and a weapon coffer, completion of an Extreme trial duty will reward tokens.

    • Ten tokens can be traded for one weapon of choice (Seven for PLD Sword, three for PLD Shield).
    • 99 tokens can be traded for the duty’s Extreme mount which is a rare drop. This is only applicable after a trial has been released for some time.

Crafted Gear

Crafted gear is extremely important for high-end raider progression, and it’s important for anyone breaking into endgame content too!

  • New crafted gear is released at the beginning of a raid patch cycle, at the patch’s base item level.
  • This gear can be acquired through crafting them, having someone else craft them for you with your mats, or the marketboard.
  • Only HQ gear is relevant. Only purchase HQ gear.
  • These offer a good stepping stone to endgame for a new Level 90 player. A full set is expensive at the beginning of a patch cycle but quickly decreases in price.
  • When Patch 6.05 released, i580 crafted gear will be added.

Acquisition of Materia

Materia are gems that you put in your gear to enhance it, giving you additional substats. After you acquire endgame gear, you must get materia to meld into them to maximize their potential and customize your stats. Almost all gear has two materia slots, with some gear such as Ultimate weapons having three and Relic gear having five.

  • You can meld gear at any Materia Melder NPC, or meld gear yourself if you have a crafting job leveled.

  • Crafted gear can be “overmelded”, allowing you to put up to five materia in them. Only players with crafting jobs leveled can overmeld gear.

  • Materia comes in 10 grades, and the current endgame grades are Grade IX and Grade X.

  • Grade X is the best materia available, while Grade IX is used strictly for overmelds. Cracked Dendrocluster can be traded in for Grade IX materia, while Cracked Anthrocluster can be traded in for Grade X materia. They can be acquired from the following sources:

    • All max level dungeons randomly drop materia, which can be either grade.

    • The Hunt rewards many materia:

      • Rank A mobs sometimes drop both clusters.
      • Rank S mobs always drop both clusters.
      • 150 Sacks of Nuts can be traded in for any Grade IX materia of your choice, and 400 Sacks of Nuts can be traded in for any Grade X materia of your choice.
  • Converting fully spiritbound endgame gear also gives you materia.

  • The Adventurer in Need bonus for Duty Roulette: Leveling and Duty Roulette: Alliance rewards clusters.

  • Wondrous Tails commendations can be traded for clusters.

  • Materia can easily be bought on the Marketboard for gil.

  • Melding your gear is extremely important for endgame content, as it gives you many substats.

The Hunt

Track dangerous mobs in order to acquire materia for your endgame gear as well as extra Tomestones. Hunts are the world bosses of FFXIV, which spawn in the overworld at regular intervals. Some rare hunts have difficult spawn conditions, but doing them is well worth the reward.

  • Hunts are usually coordinated with a third-party software, Discord, mainly used for VOIP and chatting. In fact, a ton of endgame and social content use Discord. You can get Discord as a mobile app on iOS or Android, open it in a web browser, or download the application on desktop.
  • Hunts reward a currency which can be used to purchase gear, materia, and upgrade items. Hunts will also drop Tomestones.

Endgame Content


Pandaemonium: Asphodelos (Normal)

Required iLvl: 565

  • The first wing of the Pandaemonium raid, Asphodelos, was released with Patch 6.01.
  • Treasure coffers that appear upon completing Asphodelos will not yield gear, but instead will yield items that can be traded for gear of your choosing.
  • Tokens can be exchanged for gear with Mylenie in Labyrinthos (x8.3, y27.6) or with Djole in Radz-at-Han (x10.3, y9.6).
  • This image contains details about the loot table.
  • Upon completing Asphodelos: The Fourth Circle, players can also earn an Unsung Blade of Asphodelos. This reward can be exchanged with the aforementioned vendors for Discal Tomestones, which can in turn be exchanged along with tokens purchased with Tomestones of Astronomy for weapons.
  • There is currently a weekly lockout for receiving loot in Asphodelos. Players are allowed to run the duties as many times as they want, but they can only receive one token per floor per weekly reset.
  • Limbo gear received from tokens is iL580.

Pandaemonium: Asphodelos (Savage)

Recommended iLvl: 580

  • The first wing of the Pandaemonium (Savage) raid is set to be released with Patch 6.05.
  • Upon completing Asphodelos (Savage) duties, treasure coffers will appear containing gear coffers. When used, these items transform into gear corresponding to the user’s current job. In addition, the coffers that appear upon completing Asphodelos: The Fourth Circle (Savage) yield weapons.
  • In addition to gear, the first clear each week rewards a token which can be traded in for gear at the same NPC as normal mode.
  • The number of chests you get upon clearing corresponds to the number of people in your party that has already cleared the floor already that week:
    • 0 people = 2 chests
    • 1-4 people = 1 chest
    • 5+ people = 0 chests
  • Chests also drop items used to upgrade Tomestone gear:
    • The 2nd floor drops the item needed to upgrade accessories.
    • The 3rd floor drops both the item to upgrade weapons and the item to upgrade armour.
  • There is currently a weekly lockout for receiving loot in Asphodelos (Savage). Players can only receive rewards for clearing a duty once per weekly reset.
  • Gear received from Asphodelos (Savage) is iL600, and weapons are iL605.
  • Savage duties are amongst the highest difficulty content in the game and players who attempt them should be well prepared.


The Minstrel’s Ballad: Hydaelyn’s Call

Required iL: 560

  • Unlocked after talking to the Wandering Minstrel in Old Sharlayan (x13, y14).
  • One of two Extreme trials released with the launch of Endwalker in Patch 6.0.
  • Rewards i580 Divine Light weapons.

The Minstrel’s Ballad: Zodiark’s Fall

Required iL: 560

  • Unlocked after talking to the Wandering Minstrel in Old Sharlayan (x13, y14).
  • One of two Extreme trials released with the launch of Endwalker in Patch 6.0.
  • Rewards i580 Eternal Dark Accessories.

Content Unlocks by Item Level

Item Level 540

A minimum item level of 540 is required to enter the final dungeon and trial in the Endwalker 6.0 MSQ (The Dead Ends and the Final Day). It is also required to enter the two Level 90 dungeons unlocked after the MSQ is completed (Smileton and the Dead Ends).

  • The Main Scenario Quest {Endwalker} unlocks the final dungeon and trial.
  • Smileton is unlocked with the side quest {Cutting the Cheese} from the Panic-stricken Loporrit in Old Sharlayan (x12, y11).
  • The Stigma Dreamscape is unlocked with the side quest {Where No Loporrit Has Gone Before} from Jammingway in Old Sharlayan (x11, y14).
  • All three of these dungeons drop i560 accessories.

Item Level 560

A minimum item level of 560 is required to enter The Minstrel’s Ballad: Hydaelyn’s Call and The Minstrel’s Ballad: Zodiark’s Fall.

  • Both Extreme Trials are unlocked by talking to the Wandering Minstrel in Old Sharlayan (x13, y14).

Item Level 565

A minimum item level of 565 is required to enter Asphodelos (Normal).

  • Asphodelos is unlocked through {The Crystal from Beyond} from Nemjiji in Old Sharlayan (x10, y12) and the subsequent questline.


The average item level of all your gear dictates your item level. As the expansion has just launched, players will have to increase their item level through grinding dungeons and other content for tomestones. Once iL580 crafted gear is added in Patch 6.05, it serves as a stepping stone for any player to delve into endgame content, although it will be expensive at first. Doing the normal raids weekly and using those tokens to gear up is much better for players who do not wish to spend gil or craft the gear.

The goal players should be aiming for is to hit the baseline item level for the expansion’s raid content. As of Patch 6.05, that will be iL565.

Step 1: Patch 6.0 - 6.05 Content (iL530 - iL565)

Main Goals

  • Pick up your i560 Artifact Gear from Varsarudh in Old Sharlayan.
  • Finishing the Endwalker Main Scenario Quest.
  • Hit iL565 to unlock Asphodelos (Normal).
  • Unlock Duty: Roulette Expert by completing the two endgame dungeons.

Congratulations on hitting Level 90 and completing Final Fantasy XIV’s ten-year long journey! If you haven’t already, you should get your Artifact Gear from Varsarudh in Old Sharlayan. These include an iL560 weapon and iL560 left side, which is serviceable for all content released so far.


Right after completing the MSQ, the game directs you to unlock new content in Old Sharlayan. Three unlocks are available: the two endgame Expert dungeons for Patch 6.0, Smileton and the Stigma Dreamscape, as well as the first quest in the Pandaemonium series. You should aim to unlock and complete the dungeons as soon as possible in order to unlock Duty Roulette: Expert, which will be your main source of daily capped and uncapped tomes.


After farming enough tomes to reach iL565, you’ll be able to complete the Asphodelos (Normal) raid series. Doing so will reward you with four tokens weekly which you can use to purchase iL580 gear. This is the current casual endgame cycle which all players participate in until the Savage difficulty of the raid is released.

Step 2: Getting into Endgame Content (iL565 - iL580)

Main Goals

  • Improve your skills in order to tackle endgame content.
  • Dip your feet into Extreme Trials.
  • Start raiding Savage if you desire, whether it be with friends, with pick up groups (PUGs) in Party Finder, or finding a static to raid with on a regular schedule.

Endgame content isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. However, if you have an interest in tackling the hardest PvE (Player versus Environment) content FFXIV has to offer, start reading below! FFXIV Raids are a mechanical spectacle as well as intense fights that challenges your skills.

The first thing you should do is improve your skills. Download ACT if you haven’t already and start parsing your numbers. If you’re on PS4, get a friend on PC to do so (odds are likely they have ACT). Non-endgame content in FFXIV have no DPS checks, are extremely lenient in terms of healing and mechanical execution, and aren’t punishing at all. Meanwhile, Extreme Trials have a hard DPS check (referred to as an enrage), require solid healing and mechanical execution, and punish you for mistakes, but likely doesn’t kill you. Savage takes the Extreme difficulty and scales it up a notch, killing the player for mistakes and possibly even wiping the raid (kills everyone!). Finally, the Ultimate difficulty is for the battle-hardened veteran raider, and requires you to beat the last floor of Savage before you can even challenge it! If you put in the time and dedication, though, you’ll definitely be able to clear all FFXIV endgame content. The high leap in difficulty is often criticized, with no in-game resources to help the average player improve for raiding. Therefore, we’ll have to look at third parties.

The Balance Discord is the hub for FFXIV class guides and resources. It contains easy to parse resource channels for every single class, guides for each class, as well as various utilities and tools to help a player improve. Further questions can be asked in questions channels, where dedicated mentors and peers will help you with more in-depth questions that can’t be answered in the guide or resources. Our website contains the same information, but is updated slower than that of the Discord.

When getting into endgame, it is important to understand the importance of consumables and materia. All your gear should be fully slotted with Grade VIII materia – it’s extra stats that will help you survive, keep up resources as a healer, or deal more damage overall! Consumables are the same – Tinctures are in-combat consumables that increase your damage, while Food gives you extra substats and most importantly, extra Vitality to increase your total health pool. Most BiS lists will give an option for food, but more affordable options exist – use consumables from the previous raid tier instead if you are strapped for gil.

Introduction to the Party Finder

Apart from the Duty Finder, the Party Finder (PF) is for recruiting members for parties with a specific purpose. The PF operates cross-world, so you’ll be able to join and recruit anyone on the same data centre. PFs will always state the name of the duty being tackled, as well as a comment describing the purpose of the party or strats being used in the party. There are four common types of PFs for endgame content:

  • Learning Parties are for fresh learning of the encounter. People will be of various skill levels. You may be expected to know a little about the encounter, but for the most part assume everyone is going in fresh and blind.
  • Progression Parties are for progressing through the fight and learning further sections. People will be of various skill levels, but it is expected that players have seen up to a certain phase or a certain mechanic. Read the description carefully to see what phase the player is expected to know up until.
  • Clear Parties are for clearing the encounter, likely for the first time. People will likely have seen all the mechanics up until enrage, and are hungry for their first clear.
  • Farm Parties are for people to either farm the encounter for loot, or kill the encounter once for their weeklies. People will be expected to know the entire fight.

It is commonplace in PF for people to be less progressed than a party they join – don’t be this person. PF etiquette is important, as many players do content through the PF often and notoriety may be gained for toxicity and improper play.

A Note on Toxicity

Endgame content can be extremely rewarding, but it can be extremely frustrating at times when you are wiping over and over again with little to no progress. This goes doubly for PF, where the anonymity may cause tension inside the party. My best advice is to stay patient and to focus on your own play. If a party is definitely not up to the standard ascribed on the recruitment AND tension seems to be rising rapidly, you can leave a duty at any time and don’t feel bad doing so!

Types of Endgame Content, Explained

Extreme Trials

Extreme Trials, as previously stated, are the gateway to endgame content. They’re a higher difficulty version of trials that you fight in the MSQ or sidequests. They offer a significant higher difficulty than all other content previously, with coordinated mechanics, increased healing and tanking responsibilities, and the hard enrage – if you don’t do this much damage throughout the entire fight, you wipe. Extreme Trials generally drop weapons, though there are some exceptions. In addition, they drop cosmetics such as Orchestrion Rolls, materials to craft furniture related to the Extreme Trial, and the highly coveted mount. It is highly recommended to watch or read a guide before tackling these Trials.

There are currently two Extreme Trials currently released in Endwalker, both of which are considered current content. They are:

  • The Minstrel’s Ballad: Hydaelyn’s Call drops i580 weapons.
  • The Minstrel’s Ballad: Zodiark’s Fall drops i580 accessories.

Extreme Trials are the perfect place to gain valuable raiding experience and loot. The difficulty is indeed a step up, but all players with enough practice and perseverance can clear these duties and farm them for loot.

Savage Raids

Savage raids are a step up from Extreme Trials. These are more punishing, have higher coordination requirements, and require a much higher DPS check. Certain mechanics will wipe the entire party if they’re handled incorrectly! However, the first two encounters of the Savage raid tier are generally of similar difficulty or a small step up from Extreme Trials. If you want to start getting some practice, go at it!

Ultimate Raids

Ultimate Raids are the hardest encounters FFXIV has to offer, with a prestigious title, shiny weapon glamours, and bragging rights as rewards. There are currently three Ultimate Raids released:

  • The Unending Coil of Bahamut (UCOB)
  • The Weapon’s Refrain (TWR / UWU)
  • The Epic of Alexander (TEA)

Just like how Savage raids are a step up from Extreme Trials, Ultimate Raids are a step up from Savage. They require maximum raid coordination, non-negligible DPS checks, and most if not all mechanics, if handled incorrectly, will snowball into a wipe if not outright wipe the party. In addition, no Ultimate fight can be outgeared as they are all item level synced to their respective patch’s maximum item level.

To unlock Ultimate raids, talk to the Wandering Minstrel in Kugane (X:11.6 Y:12.6) after completing Deltascape (Savage) for UCOB, Sigmascape (Savage) for TWR, and Eden’s Gate (Savage) for TEA.

Endgame Gearing and Content Unlock Guide (2024)
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