|This article is only a guide. Information expressed in a guide is usually more opinion than fact and should be taken as such. Guides are written by players, based upon their experiences, successes and mistakes, and are meant to aid other players. However, there may be differing opinions than those expressed in a guide. |
Strategies and information in guides may not work for everyone.
How to start digging?
Each time you attempt to dig on your Chocobo it will consume one of the greens in your inventory, so take this into consideration when buying Gysahl Greens.
Also, if you got a personal chocobo, do the "free" chocobo races (ones that cost up to 1000 gil per race) for chocobucks. You will need 150 chocobucks for Blue Racing Silks, which is a must have item for digging. When equipped, instead of being fatigued at 100 successful digs, you can have up to 200+ successful digs before fatigue sets in.
Pros of Chocobo Digging
This is one of the cheapest "crafts" to cap over a period of time. The costs associated with digging only varies with the Chocobo rental fee, and whether or not you buy the greens in Jeuno.
Like fishing, chocobo digging does not count towards the 70 level crafting buffer if you already had plans to take another craft to level 110. Once you hit Initiate Rank in digging (after spending at least 300k on greens), you will at least be able to break-even on every session (depending on where you dig), and you should be able to make enough money to fund the gysahl greens at the very least.
Cons of Chocobo Digging
It takes a very long time to cap chocobo digging. It can take over 15,000 stacks of gysahl greens before your skill caps. This will take about 20 to 28 months to do this if you dig to fatigue every day.
Because of the fixed costs associated with digging, the competition tends to be higher than other crafts. It may take a zone up to 60 minutes to reload, as a high level digger can clean out a zone in a matter of minutes. You can only dig based on the turnover rates of your products, and you may be forced to level other crafts (woodworking, smithing, and goldsmithing in particular) to convert logs and ores into lumber and ingots.
The 24 July 2006 update implemented a chocobo fatigue system, which kicks in once you dig a certain number of items (100) and prevents you from digging up any more items until midnight JST.
- The exception to this rule is if you have an Egg Helm equipped. If so, then you CAN go over the 100 item limit, but the ONLY items you'll then dig up are egg-based items, as listed below later on in this guide.
Where can you dig with chocobo?
|Zone||Digging for Skill||Digging for Profit|
|Altepa Desert, Eastern||D-||A|
|Altepa Desert, Western||F||A+|
|La Theine Plateau||B+||D+|
|Sanctuary of Zi'Tah||B||C|
Each zone is different: certain zones are better for early ranks, others for more experienced diggers. For example, Rolanberry Fields is not a good zone to start out digging in because there are 2 very rare items that are heavily targeted, and high level diggers know that Mythril Beastcoins can be dug along the Bastok to Jeuno route. On the other hand, you will have much better luck starting out digging in Valkurm Dunes as there aren't many good digs.
Keep in mind when you are starting out you will likely end up digging a lot of crap at first. As your digging rank increases, the quality of digs will improve. You can dig up crystals with a single weather effect, and clusters under a double weather effect.
See the zone pages for a list of what can be obtained by digging.
Why can't I dig up items?
Very often, there is competition. It only takes a matter of 5-10 minutes for a high rank digger to clean out a zone, and as long as 60 minutes for a zone to reload. Put 2 diggers in the same zone for digging, and you will find out fast that the higher rank digger will always get the items. If you are a much lower rank, your dig accuracy is not going to be high to start, so you may only have a 25% dig accuracy rate to start. A higher-rank digger should have a 60% to 70% dig accuracy rate, and most will change areas if they fail a dig at least 6 times in a row. If competition is not the issue, chances are the Moon Phase is. If the moon is 45% to 60%, you will have a much lower success rate of digging up items regardless of competition. If you have hit fatigue status with chocobo digging, your success rate will be 0% and it will not reset until midnight has passed in Japan.
Chocobo Riding Gear
At first, with the 60 second area wait time and the delay of 16 seconds between digs, and the time limit of 30 minutes with a chocobo, you might want to consider putting an extra 20-30k up front to purchase level 1 chocobo riding gear from the Auction House. The full set will add 15 minutes to your Chocobo Riding Time. The extra time means more digs. As your digging rank increases, you will be able to dig "back-to-back" and have a shorter area delay. Because of this, most diggers usually sell the chocobo gear in order to have 4 extra slots to store items. Use your best judgment when it comes to this type of gear.
Area and Delay Timers
Once you enter a zone, your chocobo won't dig right away, depending on how long you have been in the zone. The area and delay timers will decrease as you go up in rank.
|Digging Rank||Area Delay (seconds)||Dig Delay (seconds)||Hidden Test Item|
|Digging Rank||Minimum Stacks to level||Maximum Stacks to level|
It will take hundreds of stacks to go up a rank. It is estimated that you will need 15,000 stacks of Gysahl Greens to go from Amateur to Expert, though everyone is different. In some cases you may need more than the estimated maximum of stacks of Gysahl Greens before you level. If you dig to fatigue everyday, it will take approximately 2 years to cap digging. The stacks of Gysahl Greens listed in the table below are estimates.
The widely held belief is that your skill only improves on successful digs; however, some people claim to have gone up in rank after unsuccessful digs. Another theory is that you gain more skill from successful digs than you do from unsuccessful digs. In either case, if you are digging in a highly competitive zone with a low dig rate, it could easily take many more stacks than the amount listed on the estimates table.
Digging skill can also be raised by participating in the Chocobo Hot and Cold Game.
Full Moon and New Moon are good for accuracy rates, and second-best for overall profit. First Quarter Moon and Last Quarter Moon tends to yield fewer successful digs (reduced dig accuracy by as much as 50%) and the lowest profit. Early Waxing Crescent is the only time Elemental Ore can be dug up in non-Zilart zones and only during an active weather event. Because all the high level diggers know this, Early Waxing Crescent tends to have the lowest percentage in successful digs than any other moon phase, but the highest potential for profit. In general, anytime between 0% to 43% moon and 62% to 100% moon is a good time to dig.
There are 4 macros that you will need when it comes to digging:
|Macro 1||Macro 2||Macro 3||Macro 4|
/echo area wait time
These macros will change based on your digging rank. Macros 3 and 4 are optional.
For the early ranks, you can use a digging macro that will "test" for rank-up each time you dig. You can do something similar with your Area Wait timer macro as well.
Until you rank up, the second /dig command will always return the "you must wait longer" message. Once the second /dig command works without error, you will know you have achieved the next rank and can adjust your macros accordingly.
Sadly for the new diggers, Elemental Ore requires a digger of Veteran Rank to dig them up. This means the earliest you can possibly pull one up is Craftsman rank, but even for them its hard to do. A digger with Artisan rank has a better chance, but not by much. A digger with Veteran or Expert rank can see anywhere between 3 to 8 elemental ores per Early Waxing Crescent though I have seen some pull more than 10 during that time. Digging competition is extremely high during this time and even Veteran rank diggers will have to deal with constantly dug up zones.
In addition, an active weather effect must be in effect in those zones. Fog counts as a weather effect. The Moon Phase must be between 7% to 24%, and most of the elemental ores tend to come in the 10% through 14% part of the moon phase. It is rare to see an elemental ore at 21% or 24% waxing crescent. The type of ore will always match the day you are digging. I.E. if it is Firesday, the you will only be able to dig up a "Chunk of Fire Ore".
Making a Profit
The earliest I would start digging for profit is the Initiate Rank, as you should be able to start competition in the Jungles. It will take a digging rank of Journeyman to Craftsman at the earliest to start competition against the "digbots". Your main target for profit digging is to find consumables that have an high turnover rate on the auction house, and should be able to pay at least 1 digging session.
Common targets that most diggers go for are Bone Chips, Elm Logs, Mythril Beastcoins, Gold Beastcoins, Gold Ore, Darksteel Ore, Grain Seeds, Danceshrooms, Ebony Logs, Petrified Logs, Puffballs, Rosewood Logs, King Truffles, and Mahogany Logs.
There are other targets that will turn into profit if you craft with them. These include Flint Stones, colored rocks, Iron Ore, Copper Ore, Silver Ore, Tin Ore, Arrowwood Logs, Ash Logs, and Zinc Ore. Most of these will turn into high-demand consumables. The only factor depends if you got inventory space and/or crystals to invest in holding them. The areas outside Al Zahbi have items that sell decently to the NPC vendors, such as Colibri Feather and Lesser Chigoe.
If you have raised your own Chocobo (see below) and have taught it the Bore ability, the main targets include Demon Skull, Demon Horn, Wildgrass Seeds, Yellow Ginseng, and Tree Cuttings. Diggers that have Chocobos with Burrow tend to target zones that beastcoins can be pulled up (primarily in Batallia), or the Wildgrass Seeds in Pashhow Marshlands. Diggers that have personal chocobos with either ability will make profit at a faster rate than diggers that don't have this resource.
Obtaining Gysahl Greens
In addition to purchasing greens from the vendors, they can be obtained by harvesting in Giddeus, or from Gardening. The combination you need in Gardening is Vegetable Seeds (obtained while digging in West Ronfaure) and a Wind Crystal, or Wildgrass Seeds (purchased in Aht Urhgan Whitegate) with either a Wind or Ice crystal. You will need multiple mules to make gardening effective, and it takes 5 to 6 real life days for a plant with vegetable seeds to be ready for harvest. A word of caution: each plant can yield different results, and must be checked daily or the plant will die. While there is nothing wrong in trying to save some gil via gardening, there are times where it is much cheaper and easier to buy the greens from an NPC vendor.
Economy of Dug Items
Every now and then, the economy will go stale. The best way to get those consumables to move during those slow times is by crafting with them. Bone Chips can be converted into a variety of consumables like arrowheads, gelatin, Animal Glue, and accessories made with alchemy and/or bonecraft. Arrowwood Logs and Ash Logs can be converted into lumber which is then used to make high-demand ammunition for various jobs. Elm Logs can be converted into Bast Parchment. Bird Feathers, Insect Wings, and Yagudo Feathers are frequently used to make fletchlings required to make the ammo. Ores are often converted into ingots depending on their demand and the digger's crafting skills. Most of the diggers tend to have a woodworking background.
Times to go Digging
There is no clear cut choice. The highest competition tends to happen during JP Prime Time and on weekends. Some diggers dig everyday, others dig depending on moon phase. Digging during First or Last Quarter moon phase is not recommended because digging accuracy tends to be the lowest then, and the item reload rate is very slow during that time also (very often, only 2 or 3 items load per game hour instead of 6-8).
The Chocobo Wand, the armor in the Chocobo/Rider's armor sets, and the Orange/Red Racing Silks can increase chocobo ride time, but will have no effect on digging results. Most diggers tend to have little or no equipment on, as inventory space is very important.
The Sky Blue Racing Silks enhance your chocobo digging skill. The exact nature and frequency of the enhancement is not yet definitively known, although the message given would seem to imply that your digging skill is increased whenever the effect is triggered.
The Blue Racing Silks will randomy cause dug up items not to count towards the 100 item/day limit, increasing the total number of items you can dig up in a a day. The exact frequency of this effect has not yet been determined, but players have reported getting between 150-200 items /day.
Every minute, between 2 to 8 items will load in a zone. A zone may have anywhere from 20-50 items ready for digging. The zones tend to reload faster during full moon/new moon, and much slower during first quarter moon/last quarter moon.
Depending on the rank of the digger, it only takes a few minutes for a zone to be "dug out". Depending on how fast the items load, it can take as little as 10 minutes and as long as 60 minutes for a zone to completely reload. Experienced diggers tend to start digging at the beginning of a game day until a zone is dug out, and then wait for the next game day before digging again, but watch for competition.
On 24 July 2006, SE put in some much needed updates to chocobo digging. They added new zones and new items, but also implemented a chocobo digging fatigue system similar to fishing. Once you hit fatigue status, you will be unable to dig up any items until midnight has passed in Japan. Right now, you will hit fatigue at 100 items (around 20 stacks of gysahl greens) per real life day. The reason the fatigue system was put in place was to punish the RMT dig-bots that monopolized certain zones.
- The digging fatigue is reset the first time you zone after midnight JST.
Raising your chocobo for digging
Through Chocobo Raising, you can breed your own Chocobos as diggers that are better than the ones rented from stables. Raised Chocobos can be taught two abilities: bore and burrow that can allow your Chocobo to dig up items not available to other Chocobos.
- See Chocobo Raising for more information.
The decision to teach a chocobo bore/burrow should not be made lightly however. These abilities will cause the chocobo to dig up items not normaly available in an area. Some of these items can be profitable, but many are not. With the recent 100 item fatigue limit, digging up these new items will get you to the fatigue limit much faster and can reduce the number of profitable items you dig up. At the same time, the availability of these "extra" items will yield a higher successful dig rate as the pool of available items will be larger. This accuracy vs profit tradeoff should be considered before teaching these abilities.
Additionaly, it has been confirmed that successfuly finding items in the Chocobo Hot & Cold game raises your digging skill. Therefore, the Treasure Finder ability should also be considered when choosing potential skills for a digging oriented chocobo.
Once your chocobo hits adult stage and learns those items, quest for the Chocobo Whistle, and prepare your chocobo for a mount. You will now dig with the items. When it comes to breeding, you should be finding chocobo mates that have high endurance and/or discernment stats for your best effect.
|Starting Stables||First Area||Second Area||Third Area||Fourth Area||Approximate Stacks Used|
|Windurst Woods||West Sarutabaruta||East Sarutabaruta||Tahrongi Canyon||Buburimu Peninsula||13-14|
|Southern San d'Oria||East Ronfaure||West Ronfaure||La Theine Plateau||Valkurm Dunes||10-11|
|Bastok Mines||South Gustaberg||North Gustaberg||Konschtat Highlands||Valkurm Dunes||10-11|
|N/A||Purgonorgo Isle||N/A||N/A||N/A||3-4 (for use when others are empty)|
|Starting Outpost||First Area||Second Area||Third Area||Approximate Stacks Used|
|Buburimu Peninsula||Tahrongi Canyon||Meriphataud Mountains||Sauromugue Champaign||11-12|
|Eastern Altepa Desert||Western Altepa Desert||N/A||N/A||4-6|
|Al Zahbi||Bhaflau Thickets||Wajaom Woodlands||N/A||5-6|
|Lower Jeuno||Rolanberry Fields||Pashhow Marshlands||N/A||7-8|
Modified from The Ultimate Guide to Chocobo Digging on FFXI, with permission.