Smithing Guide Part 1: 0-60

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.

Smithing Guide Part 2: 60-100


Welcome to my Smithing Guide, I hope you take advantage of the time and effort I put forth in this guide. From my experience with leveling, I have compiled a complete list of Synths that will get you to 100. I spent a lot of time when I first started crafting in FFXI trying to figure out Crafting. Learning how to level Smithing, and what to craft for skillups. I wasted a lot of time just trying to figure it out, and I wrote this guide to help everyone else out. The Wiki most definitely helped everyone out by providing public access to Smithing Recipes, but deciding which recipe makes a good skillup item is another story.

I have compiled a complete list of Synths that will get you to 100. Unfortunately, I can't push you to reach that goal; you are going to have an empty bank more than once. It is however, my pleasure to give you a practical guide to minimize the bankruptcy and maximize the profits you will be earning. You'll be frustrated by the lack of skillups, the loss per synth, the lack of materials, and even the flood of items on the AH. Just be conscious of the economy, and try your best not to flood the markets. Please remember to take your time while you are crafting, enjoy the process and don't let the temptation of buying gil sway you. Losing your hard work because you were banned is the worst way to go; you lose out on time, money, effort, and even your reputation!


Unfortunately, you can't just start off and start synthing. There is a lot of information you'll need to understand and most of it is just basic knowledge. If you know, or think you know everything about crafting I still hope you will read through this section. I'll be offering tips that you may not see others so willing to give away.

Smithing Guilds

There are two Smithing Guilds, one in Northern San d'Oria (E-6) and one in Bastok Metalworks (E-7). The Smithing Guild Masters are Mevreauche, and Ghemp respectively. There is also a Mini-Guild in Al Zahbi (H-9), and a Guild Shop in Mhaura (G-9).

Shop Hours: 8:00 - 23:00 everyday except for Watersday, which is the Guild's Holiday.

Guild Points

Believe it or not, these are actually useful. You can now gain access to +4 Smithing Skill with the help of the Guild Point Items. This allows you to reach higher HQ tiers on synths not possible before. Beware, GP is very grueling to get if you are rushing it. Your best bet is to pick and chose your GP days and don't stress if the item isn't worth the cost of the GP. Getting 200,000 GP for your Blacksmith's Sign isn't going to easy, but it is most definitely worth it. Some GP items allow you to skill up with safer conditions, and others can even unlock new synthesis recipes. Sheeting and Chainwork are just two of these key items. This is also how you are able to sign armor and weapons.

The downside to this, is that you must wait until you are a Novice to start collecting GP. For more information about Guild Points please go to Guildworker's Union.

Sub Crafts

While it isn't necessary to level each craft, there are a few crafts worth focusing on. Alchemy, Woodworking, Goldsmithing and Leathercraft. You will need to level these to certain points in order to proceed further in your Smithing career. I would recommend leveling these 4 crafts to 20 at the very minimum, the maximum can be decided at a later date due to the advantages to having certain crafts above 60. Focusing your efforts on your sub crafts can help relieve the stress of high level skillups, and can replenish your drive to continue crafting. It is also a very good idea to spread your crafts out as far away from each other as possible. Having a diverse selection of sub crafts will help you distribute your products to a much larger base.

  • Since this Smithing guide doesn't utilize break synthing, please refer to the item page of the recipe you are using to make sure you have the correct crafting levels for the desired recipe.

Crafting Tiers

This is a concept that has been accepted throughout the crafting community. I have not participated in figuring out the exact percentages, but I have noticed similar HQ rates. Here is the general idea behind Crafting Tiers.

  • Tier -1: 10 levels to 1 level below recipe cap, ~1% chance to HQ.
  • Tier 0: 0 levels to 10 levels above recipe cap, 1% chance to HQ.
  • Tier 1: 11 levels to 30 levels above recipe cap, 12.5% chance to HQ.
  • Tier 2: 31 levels to 50 levels above recipe cap, 25% chance to HQ.
  • Tier 3: 51 levels and above recipe cap, 50% chance to HQ.

This is not 100% proven, but it the general rule of thumb between crafters. There are still debates whether or not Tier 4 exists. Since I have absolutely no proof to back that claim up, I will continue to believe it is just a lost hope.


Unfortunately, mining isn't quite what it used to be. It is still profitable, but it is not the same. 1-2 Darksteel an hour used to be fantastic, earning you almost 100k. Now, Darksteel is 5k per ore and it's really not worth the time anymore. The more rare ores are definitely worth the time investment, and mining in Mount Zhayolm has become the new spot. Mining is a way to make money in this game, it can be very time intensive but it can also be worth the investment if you get lucky. It takes time to get familiar with the spawn points, and if you mine enough you get a routine down. Time is a very big part of mining, and if I was going to spend my time mining it would be in Ifrit's Cauldron, Mount Zhayolm or maybe even Halvung. Weigh the costs, and see if it is worth it for you.

With the addition of Monomi: Ichi, Ninja makes a huge comeback as the subjob of choice for mining in dangerous areas. I've tested out both WHM/DNC & WHM/NIN, and it was much easier to mine with the latter option. The unfortunate thing about Dancer is the 30 second recast time on all Jigs. This means if your sneak/invis only lasts 20 seconds, you are without sneak/invis for 10 seconds. If you have sneak on, and cast Spectral Jig it will have no effect. You can however, have Invisible up and recast Spectral Jig sucessfully.


This is often leads to a lot of confusion and frustration. First, here are a few facts.

  1. You have to attempt a synth higher than your current level to skill up.
  2. You will not gain a skill up off of a failure 6 or more levels from the recipe cap.
  3. You cannot attempt a recipe if it is 11 or more levels from your current level. (This includes the addition to smithing skill from items)
  4. You can face any direction, craft at any time or day and still end up with a result.
  • Now, my personal practice is to follow the crafting compass. I personally use lokyst's FFXI Crafting Timer to maximize the effectiveness of my skill ups. I have gained over 500 crafting levels between my main and mule characters, and I have chosen to use the crafting compass.


Amateur - Level 1 to 10

Bronze Ingot - Level 2

Fire Crystal

Bronze Ingot

There are two ways to make Bronze Ingots, the way above (Recommended) or you can use Beastcoins x 4. Since you can buy Copper Ore from the Airship NPCs, and Tin Ore from Guild Merchants it really is pointless to spend time farming or money buying Beastcoins. If you have a lot of spare beastcoins you can use those to level, but that's the only reason I could see for using them.

You should have approximately 3 stacks of Bronze Ingots by the time you are done leveling to 2. Since you will be processing Bronze Ingots into Sheets and then Scales, it's best to produce a large number of Ingots in the beginning so you don't have to switch synths when you run out of Ingots. I suggest making 5-6 stacks of Bronze Ingots before you move onto Sheets

Bronze Sheet - Level 4

Fire Crystal


This stage should take approximately 3 stacks of Bronze Ingots to get you to level 4, if you have followed my advice previously you should finish your synthing and move onto the next stage. On a side note, if Bronze Ingots or Sheets seem to be in demand on your server you can always synth a stack or two and sell them on the AH in the starting cities of Bastok or San d'Oria since both countries have Smithing Guilds. It couldn't hurt to make a bit of money on the side while you are leveling.

Bronze Scale - Level 10

Wind Crystal


Since you started off with a fixed amount of Ingots, you could possibly have to synth more to finish this stage. This is your first large level gap in Smithing. Since you can't get skillups off of breaks more than 5 levels from the synthesis cap, I suggest getting Advanced Synthesis Support until you reach level 6 or 7. It will help reduce the amount of breaks you get, and will save you money overall. Since absolutely no-one on my server wants Bronze Scales, I had to NPC every last one of mine. If your server is different count yourself lucky! You might get to sell a stack or two on the AH.

Recruit - Level 11 to 20

Bronze Bolt Heads - Level 14

Wind Crystal

Bronze Bolt Heads

The reason I recommend this recipe is if anyone is planning ahead, you can kill two birds with one stone. You will of course need to get level 10 Woodworking, and from there the Bronze Bolt Heads you make can be processed into Bronze Bolts. You will be able to get level 15 this way, and it will also help you level one of your sub-crafts for Smithing. If you are already past level 15 Woodworking proceed to the next recipe.

Tin Ingot - Level 15

Fire Crystal

Tin Ingot

This is a very easy, but can be a very frustrating synth to get skillups if you are in a rush. The reason is the limited amount of tin ore in the guilds. You should be able to move through the guild merchants if you need more Tin Ore to level, but the time it takes to buy and synth the material is very tedious. Getting stuck on a Guild Holiday is also rather annoying, and will disrupt your skillups. On a side note, it takes about 5 beats in 4/4 time to be able to purchase from the guild again. I suggest you get the timing down because you will be doing this again in the near future!

Aspis - Level 18

Fire Crystal


This is one of your first profit synths, you can make a few every so often and increase your bank slowly. It really depends on how well you can merchant your goods. One thing to keep in mind, this is a Guild Point Item. If you can follow the patterns online, you will know when it is requested. When this happens, craft about 2 dozen of them and bazaar them next to the Union Representative Macuillie. The most expensive part of this synth is the fire crystals, so if you can cut down the costs by farming the crystals you’ll be in much better shape for profit synthing. Don’t flood the market; let them sell slowly to keep the price steady. I recommend getting a mule and using that for selling your goods. This also prevents you from getting harassed if someone notices you have taken over one of their profit synths. It’s unlikely, but I have gotten some unpleasant tells because I took over an item.

Iron Ingot - Level 20

Fire Crystal


Iron Ingot stacks on Kujata are a break even/loss synthing from Iron Ore, so your goal is not to make money. Your goal is to reduce costs so you break even. This means more crystal farming, because you’ll be breaking even. You'll need synthesis support from 15 to 17 to keep your breaks to a minimum. If you went ahead and synthed away on Aspis, you won't need support after level 17. If you do manage to HQ any of the Iron Ingots into Steel Ingots, save them for later use.

Initiate - Level 21 to 30

Iron Sheet - Level 22

Fire Crystal


You will be making your Iron Ingots into sheets the same way you did with Bronze Sheets. Don't worry too much about support because it's only 2 levels higher than you, but you should continue farming your crystals. You will need about 4-5 stacks of sheets to convert later into scales so you now have two options. Buy sheets off of the AH or make them yourself. Figure out what is cheaper, and do that.

Iron Scales - Level 26

Wind Crystal


After you have finished producting your Iron Scales, you will have two options. One is a very unlikely choice for most, which is synthing Makibishi. If you do this, you will make profit from every sheet you have synthed. The key to this is, you must not flood the market. Also, this is a synth that will get better as you get higher Smithing. As long as you maintain the prices of Makibishi, you can always come back to this synth to make money.

Iron Chain - Level 30

Earth Crystal

Iron Chain

This can be a very painful synth sometimes, make sure you sell these on the weekends, because they don't always sell fast. If you want you can continue to make your own Iron Ingots, but on my server it is much simpler to buy them from the Guild or to buy them from the AH. The prices are very simliar during the week. After you have finished getting to 30 Smithing, make sure you take some time off to make some money. Get at least 100k ready to start the next stage, and Congratulations!

Caisson - Level 30

Earth Crystal


This is a good alternate to Iron Chain but requires woodworking. I used this because my main is woodworking. They have better resell value than the Iron Chain and I just spread them out to my mules. Muertos 21:36, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Novice - Level 31 to 40

Claws - Level 32

Fire Crystal


This is a bridge synth, and should be taken to at least 31. You will need to sell these on the AH slowly, or convince an Alchemist to buy them from you (With a discount of course). I would encourage you to lower your costs of this synth by farming the beetle jaws, but I don't want to limit you to just that. Feel free to farm anything you would like to make up the costs of buying Beetle Jaws. Continue to profit from your other synths, and keep your bank stable. Take your time with this synth, because you can easily lose money if you rush.

Steel Sheet - Level 36

Fire Crystal

Steel Sheet

This should be a break even synth, with a slight chance of profit. You will be making a couple stacks of sheets and hopefully selling them on the AH. If you used your bridge synth like I hope you did, you shouldn't have to worry about breaks because you'll gain skillups either way. Try not to rush through this stage and don't flood the markets.

War Pick - Level 38

Fire Crystal

War pick

Unfortunately, I can't call this a bridge synth like I did with Claws. You will be skilling up on these hopefully to the cap, and making money on the way. These sell for profit on my server, even if it is not much. It is always nice to break even skilling up.

Apprentice - Level 41 to 50

Iron Mittens - Level 41

Earth Crystal


This is another bridge synth, it's either this or Steel Scales. Since the scales sell for 15k/stack on my server I would not waste your money that way. Instead, this is a cheaper synth that is break even. You can sell these to the NPC for a little over 2,000 gil and only cost around 3,000 to make. It's not what everyone else is doing, but trust me it's the better option.

Iron Subligar - Level 45

Earth Crystal


This is another nice synth for skillups, you will break even or profit and that's always good. It's possible to make more money from this if you farm the lizard skins but again, I won't limit you to farming only the material listed. Farm whatever you would like and keep your money steadily increasing.

Mythril Pick - Level 47

Fire Crystal


This is a nice skillup item, due to the profitability of it. You can make about 3,000 gil a synth, and that's a big incentive to level on these. The downside is you need level 8 Woodworking, the higher you have it the better. If you do not have at least level 8, you will find a very high rate of breaks (This is considered break-synthing). It is mostly used on crafts where the end result is worth extremely less than the beginning materials. If you don't have the Woodworking skill, and would like another option proceed to the next synth.

Also, these are used for getting the Mount Zhayolm map. So if you can merchant these effectively, you can make decent profits selling these to friends.

Mythril Claws - Level 48

Fire Crystal


This will be a slight loss synth, but is a simple bridge to bring you closer to your Darksteel Ingot recipe. You can either take these from 45 to 48 if you don't have the Woodworking skill or use it as a bridge from 47 to 48. Either way sell these to an Alchemist, or to the AH for slight loss.

Journeyman - Level 51 to 60

Darksteel Ingot - Level 52

Fire Crystal

Darksteel Ingot

Darksteel Ingots are a great synth for any level Smither, because It's an easy way to profit 10-20k per stack. You'll be making these for numerous synths to come so get used to buying Darksteel Ore, and possibly finding a supplier who will give you a large quantity of ores for a steady price. Sell these during the weekend to maximize profits, you can choose to mine your ores or just buy them either way you'll need a few stacks of Darksteel Ingots for your next synth.

Darksteel Sheet - Level 55

Fire Crystal

Darksteel Sheet

Darksteel Sheets sell close to the same price as Ingots, so you should be able to maintain your gil supply while leveling. Just use up the few stacks you saved and buy/synth more as needed. Also think about selling 1-2 stacks of darksteel ingots/sheets a week for some easy profit.

Gauntlets - Level 57

Fire Crystal


You will be NPCing these as you make them, use your method of choice for obtaining the Iron Sheets. Buy the Leather Gloves and synth away. You'll be losing about 2-4k per synth depending on your method of obtaining the Iron Sheets.

Kyofu - Level 58

Earth Crystal


This is a bridge synth to get you to Nodowa, it may seem like a bad skillup item. But this is nothing compared to Darksteel Bolt Heads. Buy your Shinobi-gatana's from a Tenshodo Merchant, Norg will probably be the cheapest because of the low demand there.

Nodowa - Level 60 or 66

Earth Crystal


If you are only leveling Smithing as a sub, you'll finally be done with this synth, if you are on your way to 100 please continue to the next section of my guide for further tips and crafting recipes. This synth may seem like pure loss but believe it or not, this synth used to be a whole lot worse. It's actually pretty good now that the economy is this way. It is only about 1-2k loss per synth now which is amazing.

Smithing Guide Part 2: 60-100