Shard Farming: Extracting the Profits

This is part 5 of a guide to making 100k+ gil per hour using low-level alts. Prices and profits have been updated for 5.58. See the intro for an overview of the process.

Thousands of Crystals

So just how much was our little spree worth? Market prices vary, and most of our take is still in commodity form. Here’s the final shard breakdown by element:


Our grand total is 3,664 shards, not including the handful awarded during the Archer quests. Once they’ve been transferred to the main character, these may be sold on the market—or, of course, held onto for future high-volume crafting. I’m gonna suggest 80 gil/shard as a conservative unit price, based on a sampling of US server AH prices in 5.58. That comes to more than 280,000 gil before taxes, or 266,000 after. In addition, we have 1,741 gil in ready cash—again, not counting any earned while leveling ARC—so our overall take is approximately 268,000 gil.

But how much time did we spend to get it? After multiple trials of this plan (none of them by any means optimized), here are the approximate splits I arrived at:

1:10 leveling ARC to 10
0:20 completing ARC 10 quest (guild unlock)
0:15 leveling CRP and LTW to 5
0:10 traveling to Ul’dah
0:20 leveling WVR, GSM, ALC to 5
0:10 transferring profits to main

Your mileage may vary, but I believe the job can be done reliably in under 2 1/2 hours. Combining that with the above estimate of profits, we get:

268,000 gil ÷ 2.5 hrs ≈ 107,000 gil/hour 
3,664 shards ÷ 2.5 hrs ≈ 1,465 shards/hour

Not bad for an afternoon’s work.

Bringing Home the Haul

Now all that’s left is to meet up with your go-between in Ul’dah to transfer the shards and cash. (Consider tipping if you intend to use this person’s services in the future.) If you’re using a company coffer instead, there’s one conveniently located at Steps of Nald (8, 9). Park your items there and log on to your main for pickup. Congrats, you’re done!

… or are you? While I do think that this method represents an excellent value, especially for early- and midgame players, we’re still actively refining it. Check back occasionally, and you may find that the route has been further improved.

Shard Farming: Making 100,000 Gil an Hour with Alts

Data for the original Shard Farming guide was gathered on 30 Sep 2013. The guide was most recently updated on 2 Aug 2021, using version 5.58 of FFXIV. It may not reflect current market conditions or changes introduced in subsequent patches.

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