If you're looking to play your best in Final Fantasy XIV, learning how to apply Materia to gear is a must for players of all skill levels. Whether you're crafting, gathering, or raiding, Materia can give you the edge you need to land critical hits like crazy or craft HQ items when using normal materials. These little joy-filled gems can be used as soon as you start equipping Materia slots and on some occasions five Materia can even be put into a single piece of armor! With the introduction out of the way, here's everything we know about how to apply Materia to gear in Final Fantasy XIV.
To apply Materia to gear in Final Fantasy XIV, you must first complete quests in Central Thanalan to unlock Materia Melding, then use a Materia Melding NPC or level up an Artisan to fuse it yourself. There's a lot more to know about fusing Materia, like what types of Materia can be fused, what Pentamelding is, and even how to get 'free' Materia. See below for that!
As mentioned, to even start merging you will need to complete the quests below depending on what you are looking for.
- NPC Assisted Fusion – Upgrade any class to LVL 19, then complete the Forging the Spirit quest located in Central Thanalan (x:24, y:13.8). When completed, any Market in City-States will now have NPCs that will match Materia to your gear for a cost.
- Mix It Yourself – Upgrade any crafting class to LVL 19, then complete the quests Forging the Spirit (Central Thanalan (x:24, y:13.8)) and Awakening the Spirit (Central Thanalan (x:23.6, y:13.9)). Once both are completed, you will earn and be able to use the Merge Materia action which will allow you to affix Materia to your gear yourself.
Once you have your method, you now need to know which Materia can be used for what. The item level (iLVL) of the equipment decides which type of Materia can be affixed. The higher the level of the Materia, the higher the iLVL of your gear must be before you can affix it. This is to ensure that the balance of the game is not upset.
To get Materia for smelting, you can run dungeons, buy it from the market, trade tokens for them, or even just play the game normally. The more gear you use at content that matches or exceeds the item level of your gear (including crafting recipes at your level), you will earn Spiritbond. Once you earn enough Spiritbond, your gear will eventually reach 100% and give an in-game notification that it's maxed out. Once maxed out, a new action named Extract Matter will appear when you select your gear from the character screen. Mining Materia here will cost nothing and reset your Spirtbond to 0, meaning you can max it out again for more Materia.
The final thing about Materia is Pentamelding and really, that's not something a lot of players deal with. As the name suggests, pentamelding involves adding five Materia to a single piece of equipment through the use of Advanced Materia Melding. To even attempt a Pentameld, Advanced Materia Melding must be unlocked by reaching level 25 and completing the quest Melding Materia Many located in the center of Thanalan (x:23.8, y:13.6). Note that this requires you to have completed Waking the Spirit which requires a crafter at level 19. Once done, you will unlock Advanced Materia Melding which allows you to merge beyond the number of slots available on a piece of equipment. In the image above, if you see the words "Advanced shuffling prohibited", you cannot merge beyond the available slots.
If you attempt to fuse beyond the number of slots on a piece of gear, your chance of success decreases with each Materia you add. To make it really worth it, research Materia with a higher chance of success by diving back into the lower levels of Materia. Well done, that's all! This is our crash course in how to apply materia to gear in Final Fantasy XIV. Share it with a newbie the next time you want to spare yourself some sanity.
Final Fantasy XIV is available on PC, PS4 and PS5. Be sure to check out our other Final Fantasy XIV guides while you're here!