Materia are those tiny attribute-enhancing stones in Final Fantasy XIV. We shove them in our gear to get ourselves raid-ready. You can’t push just any materia into your gear. Well, you can, but not if you want good results.
Enhancing your gear, and as a result, your damage and healing output can make you stand out amongst all the other players in the Roulettes of Eorzea. Five minutes of planning can put you 10%+ above the average adventurer.
This guide will only give a quick summary of melding. If you’re here asking: How do I meld materia in FFXIV? Then check out our materia melding guide. We’ll show you how to get the materia into your equipment through melding and Overmelding. (Plus, how to unlock those capabilities for your character.)
In this guide on how to use materia, we’ll quickly recap how to meld materia, then explain how to decide which materia you should be using in your gear to support your goals.
Using Materia in Final Fantasy XIV
Materia Melding Review
If you remember from our melding guide, there are two ways to meld materia to your equipment.
- Players with leveled crafting jobs. (Including yourself. Requires quests, can Overmeld.)
- Materia Master/Melder NPCs (Costs gil, no questing required, cannot Overmeld.)
Select and player and use the “Request Meld” feature or locate a Materia NPC by looking for the crystal blue oval on the world map (usually by a market board).
You can always remove any materia yourself by selecting “Remove” on each piece of gear.
All caught up! Now that that’s out of the way…
Selecting the Right Materia to Use (Combat)
There is a ton of variation between the different Disciples of War and Magic jobs when it comes to the optimal combination of materia to use in battle content. Still, there are a few universal rules of thumb.
Rule #0: Use the highest grade of materia available for your base melds. (The highest grade will change as the game grows, but this will always be true.)
Before considering anything else, make sure the critical hit attribute for a particular piece is maximized.
You will see the maximum crit the piece can have in the melding window. If you go past this with materia, the excess stats are wasted. Some equipment has room for Savage Aim (Critical Hit) materia; some doesn’t.
Once you are replete with critical chance, research the BiS (best-in-slot) melds for your specific job. Optimization is crucial to using materia in FFXIV. Jobs can require a particular amount of skill/spell speed to perform at their mathematical potential.
If you are interested in up-to-date information on the top BiS data, check out The Balance discord community. It’s full of number-crunchers and top-level players.
The BiS recommendations change multiple times a year, inconsistently between jobs. Job-specific guides like that need to be rewritten constantly, which means your melds change, too.
Keep reading if you are concerned with performing amazingly but not at the razor-thin min-max best level of effort.
Using Pretty-Much-Best-In-Slot Materia
You can follow the guidelines below and still perform in the top 25% of endgame players without nailing the exact best-in-slot.
The stat priority for most jobs tends to be: Critical Hit > Determination > Direct Hit > Tenacity.
Pay close attention to the stat limits of each piece of equipment and meld to maximize these attributes in descending priority.
By the name of materia, this priority goes: Savage Aim > Savage Might > Heaven’s Eye > Battle Dance.
Remember, pick the highest grade for your base slots. You can also use a high-grade materia in your first overmeld. Further overmelds will have to use materia that is one step lower.
In Final Fantasy XIV’s current era: Endwalker, the high-tier materia is grade X, making the other grade IX. If you only raid current content up to Savage, it’s all you’ll ever need.
Materia below IX are not worth using for the vast majority of players. Some players pursuing Ultimate clears (greatest difficulty, with different level caps) will need lesser grades.
Piety materia exists for healers; Use the amount for you that is comfortable. The best-case scenario is zero. (Running out of MP is worse than doing less damage. If you need piety, use it.)