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Final Fantasy 14: How To Raise Your Item Level For Dawntrail

Be ready to breeze through your duties

Victoria Rose Posted:
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Plenty of people are excited to give Final Fantasy 14: Dawntrail a spin when it drops this late June or July, depending on your purchase timing, whether for the new setting, the cool new classes, or the big graphics overhaul. But when you’re just trying to progress through the MSQ, the most common blocker is one of two things: a frustrating solo duty, or, just as often, your item level (IL) average is too low. 

The IL affects your stats directly, first and foremost. If it’s lower, at the very least, the obligatory “beat up three of these mobs” quests abound in FFXIV may feel a little more difficult than intended. However, it becomes a more pertinent problem once you hit the first dungeon, as there’s a hard requirement for IL minimum averages for all major duties. 

In short? If your items aren’t good enough, you literally are not allowed to progress through FFXIV’s MSQ duties. The good news is that item level is an easy problem to fix if you have a ton of gil or just a lot of time to grind. Personally, I prefer getting my IL up as high as I possibly can so I can coast through many of the dungeons. 

If you want to just be really ready for the new expansion, here’s what you need to know—and no matter what, we encourage you to get started sooner than later.

What Item Level Will I Need For Dawntrail? 

Thankfully, there seems to be a pretty consistent pattern about what IL the first dungeon of each FFXIV expansion requires: IL 10 above the prior patch MSQ dungeon. For example, the last Shadowbringers dungeon, Paglth’an, required IL 360, and the first Endwalker one, Tower of Zot, required IL 370. Paglth’an dropped IL 375 gear, which made it possible to take on both Tower of Zot and Tower of Babil with enough grinding, and thankfully Shadowbringers followed a similar pattern. 

The average for the most recent Endwalker patch MSQ dungeon, the Lunar Subterrane, is 620, and it drops 635 gear. Therefore, we can assume by the pattern that the first dungeon in Dawntrail will require IL 630 gear, and hopefully, the next one will need IL 635. 

This may sound easy, but the reality of the situation is trickier. Keep in mind that IL minimums in dungeons are an average, meaning all ten items equipped need to average out to that specified IL. Chances are pretty good that you’re not going to get enough gear to meet that IL in just a few runs—even my friends running for glamour often find themselves stuck in the hellish loop of grinding. 

While we’ll list the dungeon below as an option, it’s advised you pursue any options possible. 

Item Level 635 — The Lunar Subteranne 

Based on past expansions, it’s safe to assume that The Lunar Subterrane, like prior final-patch dungeons, will give you gear that’s above the next dungeon’s minimum. You can find a mixed variety of IL 635 items, both armor and accessories as well as materia, throughout the many treasure chests of the dungeon, including post-boss loot drops. 

Final Fantasy XIV FFXIV The Lunar Subterrane

The items dropped for each chest are available to read on the official Eorzea Database site for FFXIV. (It’s actually a nifty site.) 

You’ll also likely get this one a few times if you’re running Expert Roulettes, as well as a ton of Tomestones of Comedy and Causality, so that particular roulette is worth your time at least for the currency. Worst case, pick up the accompanying loot, and if you get something better, either throw it in your Glamour Dresser or dispose of it in your preferred method. 

Item Level 640 — Diadochos, Anabaseios Normal Raid 

Level 640 gear, per the patterns, should get you through all three of the first dungeons and at least the first trial. Diadochos gear is probably the easiest gear to get in this entire list, technically and assuming people are still making it. You can literally just buy it. That’s it. 

The current “normal” tier raid, Anabaseios, also provides at-level gear if you collect it at the end. The game recently lifted restrictions for picking up loot from this tier, which includes the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Circles, so you’re free to go in and grab everything you need at your own pace. 

As you progress Dawntrail, be sure to pick up the higher-IL gear to complement this, especially from the second dungeon, as it’ll likely start falling off after the third dungeon. 

Item Level 650 — Credendum, Augmented Diadochos, Thaleia Alliance Raid loot 

Great news: If you start grinding at the time of this article, you can safely grind all 4760 Tomestones of Comedy necessary to get all of the Credendum gear. Assuming you start from zero, with the 900 per week cap, it’ll take you six weeks to grind 

Don’t have the time? Just dump some money into Diadochos gear to work towards the Augmented versions. Then, bring a good sum of easily-acquirable Tomestones of Causality to Rashti in Radz-at-Han. You’ll end up giving in your gear for Hannish Certificates of Grade 1 import, buying some Divine Rain with the Tomestones, and get some neat, stylish 650 items in return. 

Final Fantasy XIV FFXIV Thaleia

Or if you’d rather grind, you can run the Thaleia raid a ton of times to earn the “left-side” armor gear, meaning, when you look at your Character screen, all the gear on the left side of the page. This, of course, means you can’t get the accessories, so it’s good to complement one with the other. The good news is, at least grinding this will get you much of the way towards Credendum accessories and items. 

Gear averaging at IL 650 or above will probably last you a good halfway through the expansion or so, but not all the way, especially as higher-level items start ramping up their stats. You’ll need to start complementing towards the last dungeon or so, but chances are the level 90 class gear will get you all the way. 

IL 660 — Augmented Credendum gear 

Got the good Tomestone gear? Great. Now that we’re at the end of the patch cycles, it’s easier than ever to upgrade your Credendum gear to the Augmented tier. Until a few mini-patches ago, you needed to beat the Savage tier of Pandaemonium: Anabaseios to get this, but they tend to give more choices towards the end of an expansion's lifespan. 

You have a few options to upgrade your Credendum gear, but all upgrades require either Divine Shine for “left-side” armor or Divine Twine for “right-side” accessories. They also require no small amount of grind. 

The easiest is arguably to get some Nuts, which are part of the game’s world boss hunt system, The Hunt. You can get loads of these by finding your Data Center’s hunt communities, normally in Discord communities, which coordinate A-rank Hunt Trains and call out S-tier and higher bosses. These give you Sacks of Nuts and both current Tomestones, making it a great way to rush. It’s a bit of a grind, though, as Divine Twine is 3,000 Sacks and Divine Shine for is 2,000 Sacks, either in Radz-at-Han or Old Sharlayan

The other, technically far easier option is to grind all three Myths of the Realm Alliance Raids. In order to get a Divine Twine or Shine, you need one “coin” earned by defeating each raid. Given these raids clock in at 30 to 40 minutes per run, though, you might want to mix and match your options here. One raid per day to earn a coin per day puts you at 30 days, so it’s not entirely impossible. 

The upside is, Augmented Credendum gear puts you at a whopping 660 IL—chances are that you’ll be cruising until the obligatory level 99 dungeon, most likely, and you can probably just pick up your class gear for the big finale. If not, hey, some dungeons will probably help you. 

IL 665 (Weapon only) — Manderville Relic Weapons 

Technically, for the massive IL, this Relic Weapon is going to be the easiest pick-up on the list. The catch? You’d need to nearly cap your Tomestones of Causality three weeks in a row. But that’s okay, because it’s got the easiest set of requirements to achieve this. 

Final Fantasy 14 FFXIV Manderville

All you need to do is knock out the Endwalker Manderville storyline, which includes one Trial duty at the end. That’s it. As you go along, you lock the Manderville Weapons, this expansion’s Relic Weapons, which are the highest IL items you can earn for each expansion without doing a Savage trial. To get each tier of weapon, you need 1500 Tomestones of Causality, spent three times on a tiered item acquisition in Radz-at-Han. 

If it sounds too good to be true… it’s not! For once. Unless you haven’t been doing Manderville quests a lot. In which case, good luck. 

What Level 90 Items Should I Get For Dawntrail? 

There are a few ways to get things going, but your choice of gear will largely be dependent on time. 

First of all, if you have millions upon millions of gil, just buy Diadochos gear—maybe even enough to trade and upgrade it all to the Augmented tier. Support your crafters. (Unless you are the crafter, but if you’re reading this, chances are slim you’ve got the crafter IL for that, too. Sorry, just a hard truth.) 

Optionally, chances are very, very good that you can snag some Augmented Credendums for those infamous Tomestones of Poetics once Dawntrail drops by some vendor that will appear from the ether in either Old Sharlayan or Radz-at-han. We’re not sure if this is a safe bet, nor do we know if you’ll have enough Tomestones for a full outfit, as you're still perpetually capped at 2,000, and the 80 gear goes from 430 to 600 per piece. Better safe than sorry. 

If you’re reading this in April still, probably the biggest bang for your buck (or time) would be to grind for the Thaleia armor plus the Credendum accessories, as you’re basically earning the Tomestones for accessories plus the Coins, while you beg your teammates to let you roll Need on the armor you, well, need. Thankfully, they did raise the cap up to 900 Tomestones of Comedy earned per week, even with the 2000 total cap, so your weekly roulettes will take you pretty far in terms of picking up gear. 

That may not be so much of an option closer to Dawntrail, especially in June, or if you’re hoping to pick up multiple classes’ worth of 90 gear to play around with throughout the expansion. At this point, you’ll likely be able to safely grind the Anabaseios and Thaleia raids for the raid loot pickups. 

For higher levels of gear, you’ll have to dive into Extreme and Savage content. But if you’re still itching for the best a non-raider can do anyway, the Augmented Credendum Gear will last you much of the expansion, if you’re willing to grind out those hunt trains and Alliance Raids. (And if you have Best in Slot loadouts, or even a few endgame-tier items, why are you here?) 

Once you outgrow these items, the game should be giving you steady streams of at-level items to help you progress. Sometimes, arguably even very often, it’ll just hand it to you, whether through MSQ completion or through dungeons (so be sure to get chests on your way through dungeons!). You can also pick up at-level gear through merchants throughout the land, if the game’s generosity is lacking. Either way, don’t forget to upgrade your lowest level items ASAP. 

Hopefully, this gives you an idea of how you can dive into Dawntrail without too much hassle. That is, unless you spend a lot of time remaking your toon in character creation after the graphics update—but with the benchmark, you can pregame that, too. How much do you plan on prepping? 


Victoria Rose

Victoria's been writing about games for over eight years, including small former tenures with Polygon and Fanbyte. She mostly spends time in FFXIV, head-deep in roleplay campaigns or stubbornly playing Black Mage through high-end raids. Former obsessions include Dota 2 and The Secret World (also mostly roleplaying). Come visit their estate: Diabolos (Crystal DC), Goblet, Ward 4, Plot 28.