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.


A few months ago my linkshell put forward an idea that we should try to have members that cover all of the crafts in FFXI. As I had already started to level the three Bastokan Guilds I decided (being a WAR) to focus primarily on Smithing as my craft of choice. No craft is cheap to level, but there are numerous methods and ideas that I'll put forward that shall hopefully ease the burden on your pocket - and perhaps even generate a little Gil!

I am currently a level 50 Blacksmith and shall be focusing on the levels through to 50 that I have accomplished thus far. As I progress within the craft I shall update this guide. My experiences are based on the economy of the Phoenix Server, so you may need to reference this guide against the economy of your particular server.

To summarize, I am now hooked on Smithing and crafting in general is very addictive, fun and very frustrating! However, with a little (well, a lot) of patience and the hints and help from this (and all the other guides) plus the Crafting Skill Ups instructions you will be well on the way to becoming a Master Craftsman before you know it!

Before You Begin

Familiarize yourself with the information under the six sub-headings below - it makes life easier.

The Guilds

The two main Guilds are at Bastok Metalworks at (E-7) and at Northern San d'Oria at (E-5/6). There is also a Guild Shop at Mhaura at (G-9) as well as a shop at Al Zahbi at (H-9). You can also get free and advanced Synthesis Support from the Guild Shop in Al Zahbi - the advanced support will cost you one Bronze Imperial Piece.

Another vendor of note is Tsutsuroon in Nashmau that I shall mention later in this guide.


Learn to love it, seriously. Invest in the Field Tunica Set (or the HQ version Worker Tunica Set) as you will be spending --a lot-- of time underground. Diligent mining for Ores can save you an absolute fortune when skilling up Smithing.

Zeruhn Mines, Palborough Mines and Gusgen Mines you should learn to know intimately.

When mining I tried to take as much advantage over the situation as I can, for instance I have leveled new jobs 1 through 7 while mining in Zeruhn. This has several advantages:

You collect Ores
You collect Beastman Seals
You gain experience (and therefore conquest points)


There are really not a lot of materials required for Smithing that you can farm. Ores drop from all worm type mobs, but it is not really a viable option considering four ores are required per ingot.

However, for the synths that I use in this guide you do need two leathercraft items, the first is Lizard Skin which drops from lizard type mobs and the other is Sheep Leather which is an extremely easy low cap leathercraft synth.

Of course, these can be bought at the Auction House or alternatively the Tanners Guild in Northern San d'Oria (although they are not guaranteed stock).

Other Crafts / Subcrafts

Unfortunately Smithing does rely on a number of other crafts, specifically Woodworking, Goldsmithing and Leathercraft for a lot of the synths. For this guide (levels 1-50) I would strongly recommend that you get each of these crafts to 10. Following this guide you shall be able to level your Goldsmithing skills hand-in-hand and to an adequate skill level to compliment your Smithing.

Use The Resources Available

Do not blindly follow this guide, look around your server. I have always tried to economize while skilling up and (I hope) I have found a lot of short cuts, but who is to say I found them all!!

Remember to check the prices at Guild Shops if you are in a pinch, the prices of items at these shops are dictated by the previous days demand for said item - remember that - the best day to purchase anything from the Guild is the day after the Guild holiday!

Synthesis Support

It is generally regarded that, if you are 3 points under the cap level for that recipe (4 if you are crafting on the crystals element day or Lightsday) that you will not require any form of syntheses support. Skill ups will take slightly longer, but you shall suffer fewer breaks and lose less materials. It is with this philosophy that I have created this guide (as I did a lot of my synthing wherever and whenever I could). Whether you follow this example or not is up to you, but I would recommend against trying to skill-up where there is a level gap of 6 or more - even with Advanced Support - unless you are prepared to lose a lot of materials!

Levels 1 - 10: Getting Bronzed

Bronze Ingot
Bronze Ingot (2)

Fire Crystal

Copper Ore x3
Tin Ore

Tricks of the trade

Mine Zeruhn for Tin Ore
Copper Ore can be mined also, but it will make more sense to mine as much Tin as possible, Copper Ore can be bought from the Guild Shop for as little as 9 Gil each.
Keep any Zinc Ore and Darksteel Ore that you mine, also. The Zinc can be used for the Brass Ingot recipe (Goldsmithing), or Tenshodo Fame (see the quest Shady Business). Darksteel Ore can be kept for later on (level 50+ recipes) or sold at AH for approximately 10K each.
Bronze Sheet (4)

Fire Crystal

Bronze Ingot

Keep the Sheets, as you will be using them in a later recipe.

Xiphos (8)
Bonecraft (2)

Fire Crystal

Bronze Ingot x2
Giant Femur

You can buy the Femurs from the AH for about 2k, it may be an idea to check the Bonecrafters Guild Shop prices also. Personally, I farmed them from Bull Dhalmel at Buburimu Peninsula. This is also your Guild Test item that raises your Cap level to 20. I had my mule sell these off after I crafted them, they are fairly slow movers but do sell eventually as they are used in a Goldsmithing recipe.

Bronze Scales (10)

Wind Crystal

Bronze Sheet

Use the Bronze Sheets that you had saved from the earlier recipe for this easy synth and sell what you make either to NPC or at AH (very slow seller on AH).

Congratulations! You are now an Initiate of the Blacksmith Guild, and you may even have made a little Gil for yourself getting there!

Levels 11 - 20: Bronze through to Iron

Bronze Bolt Heads
Bronze Bolt Heads (14)

Wind Crystal

Bronze Ingot

You will not really make much of a profit off of these, they can sell on AH (but slowly), or sell them to NPC. The advantage is that they only need one ingot and the skill ups seem to come thick and fast off of them.

Aspis (18)

Fire Crystal

Ash Lumber
Bronze Sheet x2

I bought the Lumber at AH for 3k a stack, so I have no idea how easy it is to get by logging. This is another easy synth which sells at AH fairly well. Cut down on costs and increase skill ups by synthing/desynthing this recipe. Remember to hand one in as your Guild Test Item.

Iron Ingot (20)

Fire Crystal

Iron Ore x4

This is where Smithing starts to get interesting.....and expensive! Mine your Iron Ores, it may take you a while but shall be worth it, and it will save you a small fortune in Gil.

Tricks of the trade

If you want to keep going and don't want to have to pay through the nose for the next 30 levels I strongly recommend getting Moghancement: Desynthesis, as you shall be desynthing like crazy in the future.
The following two recipes will save you a fortune on iron, burn them into your brain...
Smithing (19/30)

Lightning Crystal

1 x Goblin Mail
Yield: Bronze Ingot x 3
HQ 1: Iron Ingot x 2
HQ 2: Steel Ingot x 1
HQ 3: Steel Ingot x 1
Smithing (20/31)

Lightning Crystal

1 x Goblin Helm
Yield: Bronze Ingot x1
HQ 1: Iron Ingot x1
HQ 2: Steel Ingot x 1
HQ 3: Steel Ingot x 1
HQ desynthesis seems to work slightly differently from normal synthesis in that you can HQ even when slightly under the level cap. Use your head, the elemental day, compass direction etc to make sue to get as many HQ's as possible. Save all your Iron and Steel Ingots, and sell off the Bronze. Trust me, doing this shall save you a fortune and it is a good habit to get into.
NOTE: There is a corresponding recipe to the above two using a Wind Crystal instead of a Lightning Crystal to produce sheets rather than ingots. Personally, I always desynth for ingots as I seem to have a better success rate (which is most likely due to my Moghancement).

Levels 21 - 30: Working Iron

Iron Sheet (22)

Fire Crystal

Iron Ingot

Use the Iron Ingots from the previous recipe, and when you are through with them any Ingots you have collected from desynthesis. I've probably just saved you 40k.

Iron Scales (26)

Wind Crystal

Iron Sheet

Sell these to NPC or store them away as you will use them later (much later).

NOTICE: The next two synths that I used were Two-Handed Sword (32) and Padded Cap (34). Both were light (restore) synths, and with a little dedication (and a lot of fishing) would have only cost you the price of some Light Crystals, and a few stacks of little worms. Unfortunately, due to severe abuse of these synthing recipes by RMT, Square Enix has taken them out of the game for the time being. The next two recipes are alternatives.

Iron Chain
Iron Chain (30)

Earth Crystal

Iron Ingot x 2
Test Item
Not a good Synth to skill up on due to the price of silver. Make one, hand it in and then forget about it.
Bilbo (28)
Goldsmithing (7)

Fire Crystal

Iron Ingot
Silver Ingot

Levels 31–40: Steel Yourself

Again, I’m offering an alternative to that path that I personally followed.

Claws (32)
Bonecraft (8)

Fire Crystal

Steel Ingot
Beetle Jaw

If you have been desynthing like I suggested you should have enough Steel Ingots lying around (two to three stacks should probably do it). Beetle Jaws are fairly cheap at the AH and you can sell these fairly successfully as they can be used in both an Alchemy and Goldsmithing recipe.

Targe (36)

Fire Crystal

Iron Sheet x2
Holly Lumber

I know, it looks like an expensive one, but trust me, with a little patience you shall come up trumps. Keep desynthing for those Iron Ingots and stockpile them. The beauty of this is that they shall sell on (a Targe is used for two high Goldsmithing recipes). I sent most of these to my Bastok mule and sold them off at a rate of about two a day (at 8k each) making back all the money back I had spent on Goblin Helms and Mail and more!

Steel Sheet
Steel Sheet (36)

Fire Crystal

Steel Ingot

This recipe is the same level cap as the Targe—so why have I included it? Remember, the purpose of this guide is to try to save you as much gil as possible while skilling up the craft. Do this in tandem with the targe recipe with whatever Steel Ingots you have. I would wait until you have reached about 34 before you start on the sheets to minimize breaks (as you will need them for one of the next recipes).

Tricks of the trade

If you are desperate for a Steel Ingot they can be bought only from the Guild Shop in Mhaura. Remember to check the prices though (as prices are dictated by demand). The chances are that buying from the AH would ultimately be cheaper.

Test Item
Nice synth, and a good one to skill up off of.
War pick
War Pick (38)
Woodworking (7)

Fire Crystal

Ash Lumber
Steel Ingot

Again you’ll have to do a little stockpiling and farming for this, but I found it a quick skill-up recipe and it is an okay seller at AH—concentrate on Kazham and Jeuno AH for your sales.

Steel Scales (40)

Wind Crystal

Steel Sheet

Use the Steel Sheets that you had synthed in the earlier recipe for these. Again if you run out of sheets I’d desynth more Helms/Mail rather than buy them.

Tricks of the trade

If you are still desynthing you should now be finding that the majority of what you get is steel or bronze. For some reason Iron is not as regular (I was getting approximately two steel ingots for every iron ingot). Use your head, sell the steel at AH (roughly 45k at Jeuno, 50-55k in cities) and buy Iron as you need it. Remember to check the Guild Shops! People are lazy and tend to buy sheets rather than ingots from the Guild Shops, therefore the price per sheet from the shop is usually 4-4.7k each, where as ingots are around 2.5k (which is 30k a stack). Buy the Ingots and synth them into sheets, making around 10k on the steel that you have already sold!

Levels 41 - 50: Making Armour

Up until now you have mostly make weapons and ingots. Hopefully you have been following the guide and (potentially) have a couple of hundred thousand Gil from Steel sales that you are ready to sacrifice to get you through to 50. At 50 you'll make it all back - easily - trust me.

Leggings (43)
Leathercraft (?)

Earth Crystal

Iron Sheet x2
Lizard Skin x2

Again it's up to you whether you buy or farm the materials. Personally I think Valkurm and both Jungles are good for Lizard Skin drops and I skilled up quickly from the recipie and sold the Leggings to NPC.

Hibari (46)

Fire Crystal

Lizard Skin

This is where you really have to spend some money. I farmed up three stacks of Lizard Skin and then headed to Tsutsuroon in Nashmau and bought three stacks of Tama-Hagane. I then synthed/desynthed until I had nothing left. All in this cost me around 100k, but the three stacks were enough to get me to 46.~

Steel Visor (49)

Wind Crystal

Iron Scales
Steel Sheet
Sheep Leather

This recipie can be quite costly too, if you desynth and farm your ingredients you will not lose that much money selling to NPC. I used this until about 48.

Test Item
Make one. Mythril is too expensive to buy and you cannot regulary get Ingots from desynths........yet.
Mythril Pick (47)

Fire Crystal

Mythril Ingot
Elm Lumber

Levels 51 - 60: Darksteel = Gil

This is when Smithing can really start to work for you, and if you are careful you can make money.

Darksteel Ingot
Darksteel Ingot (52)

Fire Crystal

Darksteel Ore
Iron Ore x3

When I skilled on this recepie Darksteel Ores were 10k a pop at the AH, now they are down to around 5k, so if you are vigilant at the AH you don't need to mine these to make Ingots and still get a profit (although it shall only be about 3k an Ingot compared to about 8k if you mine). Welcome to Darksteel, you have just qualified for a license to print gil!

Darksteel Sheet
Darksteel Sheet (55)

Fire Crystal

Darksteel Ingot

Darksteel Sheets sell slowly at AH, so a little patience is required with this synth, but it generally does sell at a slightly higher price than a stack of Ingots. If it is selling too slowly for you move on to the next synth at 54.

Gauntlets (57)

Fire Crystal

Iron Sheet x2
Leather Gloves x2

This is a great Synth, but time consuming. Keep breaking helms etc for those Iron Ingots and save, save, save. Leather Gloves can be bought in the Armour Shop in North Sandy for 200-400 gil a time. The Gauntlets do sell at AH for about 6k but are not fast movers (say one every two days), I sold mine back to the guild.

Tricks of the trade

A lot of people advise you to NPC crafted items that do not sell, which can be good advice - but which NPC to sell to? If I craft a set of Gauntlets and NPC them at an Armourers shop I'll get about 2.5k for them. HOWEVER, if the Blacksmiths guild is low on stock I can sell them back for between 3-4k a time. Remember the tip at the top of the page about buying from the guild after the guild holiday, well the same rule applys when selling stock back!

Breastplate (58)

Fire Crystal

Iron Sheet x4
Sheep Leather x2

Much the same as the previous synth and only one point greater. Still, the materials should be easy for you to collect (compare to other recipies) and the Guild buy back on this is between 5.5-8k a time!

One of two things are happening now. You want that last recipie to get you to 60 and you can forget about Smithing forever, or you want to push through until 100. If you want to hit 60 and be done I'll suggest this recepie.

Darksteel Bolt Heads
Darksteel Bolt Heads (62)

Wind Crystal

Darksteel Ingot

Hopefully you get 60 easily on this recepie, plus a stack of 99 bolt heads sells for about 90k! Congratulations, you've completed Smithing as a sub-craft. As for pushing on through, I have another recepie in mind (as always I try to think about future recepies), but as I'm not at that level it would be unfair of me to assume while writing the rest of this guide - that's for a later date. I hope you find this guide helpful, I enjoyed creating it. Please, if you have anything to add - add it to the comments section, I've already had a few rogue entries added (which I have subsequently deleted). I've said all through this guide that you can use Smithing to make money, here is a mini-guide to help you see what I mean.

Tricks of the Trade: Desynthesis IS Beast


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