FFXIV: What Are Treasure Hunts & Why Would I Do Them?

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Treasure Hunt is an activity in Final Fantasy XIV, released in patch 2.1. While gathering resources as a Disciple of the Land, players have a chance to receive a map from harvesting nodes. These maps can be deciphered, leading the player to hidden treasure.

Everything has a catch though. And if you’re a wannabe treasure hunter (slow down, Nic Cage) you’d best be prepared for some resistance.

Treasure Coffers are rigged with traps which summon waves of monsters to the treasure’s location, and if you fall to these foes, your prize will be forfeited.

Certain maps are designed with solo players in mind, others with groups in mind.

There are also different types of treasure maps, and their names correspond to the level of challenge (and reward!) they have to offer.

If you’re looking for something a little different to the usual dungeon grinds, treasure hunting is a great thing to do with your Free Company – especially if you have multiple gatherers picking up tons of maps.

Gatherers can only unearth one map every eighteen Earth hours.

And you can only hold one map at a time.

There are, however, no limits to the amount that can be purchased from the Market Board if you don’t mind paying out.

 

How Do I Start Treasure Hunting?

You’ll need to be level 36 first.

Once you’re there, head to Eastern La Noscea and speak to H’loonh in Wineport. She’ll give you the quest “Treasures and Tribulations”.

This’ll walk you through the basics and grant you the two skills vital for any treasure hunter:

Decipher and Dig.

With the tools of the trade all ready to go, you just need to get your curious hands on a map to start hunting.

A quick note: even though you can unlock Decipher and Dig at level 36, the earliest maps you can find are recommended for players at level 40 or over. So you may want to hold back a little bit if you’ve only just hit level 36.

 

How To Get Treasure Maps

You have two options for sourcing treasure maps: gathering or buying.

They’re generally produced in the world by Disciples of the Land, gathering jobs like Botany, Mining and Fishing. Once every eighteen hours a gathering node will have a chance to provide you with a map.

Botany and Mining nodes will provide you with a map of randomized quality, while fishing holes have set grades attached to their location.

If you don’t want to go the gathering route, you’ll have to buy your map of choice from the Market Board in any major city.

This actually has a few benefits over gathering them yourself.

You can buy the specific map you want, meaning you’re not subjected to cruel RNG.

And you can buy more than one a day – get a map, solve it, head back to the Market Board, start the process all over again.

The obvious downside to buying your maps is the cost.

The prices will vary based on the quality of the map and the economy of your world, and they can fluctuate on a daily basis.

Generally, newer maps that require a higher gathering level will be more expensive.

 
Ffxiv 'Treasure Obtained' Screenshot
Image source by u/XLauncher / © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.
 

From there you’ll just have to use your Decipher skill on the map, and it’ll point you in the right direction. Using the deciphered map will bring up a window pointing to the item’s location. You’ll have to cross reference that with your in-game map to track it down.

 

What Different Types Of Treasure Maps Can I Get?

Treasure maps start at level 40 with the Timeworn Leather maps.

These are the most common maps, and offer minimal treasure at the end of the hunt.

They’re followed by Timeworn Goatskin, which are geared towards level 45 players and offer significantly better rewards.

Each expansion has its own set of treasure maps, too, with the difficulty ticking up in five level increments.

Rather than break them down individually in a list, I’ll just shout out the ones that offer unique opportunities:

Heavensward has Archeoskin, Wyvernskin, and Dragonskin maps.

Dragonskin maps are designed for full parties of level 60 players, and have a chance to reward players with access to The Aquapolis – a special instance that requires a hell of a lot of luck to complete.

After defeating monsters and claiming loot, the party will have to open one of two doors. One will lead them deeper into the dungeon, the other will boot them from the instance.

Seven chambers can be accessed in total, but as you’re basically looking at a 50/50 chance every time you open a door, you’ll rarely see the end of The Aquapolis. But you’ll keep the treasure you’ve gained even if you don’t reach the end – so it’s not a waste of your time or anything.

Stormblood offers Gaganaskin, Gazelleskin, and The Thief’s Map.

The Thief’s Map is the special one here, potentially granting access to The Hidden Canals of Uznair. This is similar to Aquapolis, but a full party of level 70 players is recommended. This time players will have a choice of three doors every time they want to proceed deeper, further lessening their chances of seeing the end.

The Moogle Treasure Trove event can offer a “Seemingly Special Timeworn Map”. This map gives a guaranteed portal to Uznair.

Shadowbringers currently offers just two maps: Gliderskin and Zonureskin.

Gliderskin recommends a level 80 solo player, and Zonureskin is the special one here, needing a full party of level 80s.

It has the chance to grant passage to The Dungeons of Lyhe Ghia, which again, works like the ones before it.

Lyhe Ghia is smaller than Aquapolis and Uznair, with only five chambers. But if you’re playing this one now you’ll get some pretty amazing rewards out of it.

 
Ffxiv Group Of Players After A Treasure Hunt
Image source by u/Graedyn / © SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.
 

What Treasures Will I Find?

Treasure Coffers will reward you with crafting materials, house furnishings, Tomestones, minions, and of course, some sweet cash.

The harder the map, the better the rewards.

If you’re buying your maps from the Market Board, the gil alone might not cover all your costs. But it’s a great bonus for a fun group activity.

Treasure Hunts are also a fantastic way to spend your time in a Free Company, and everyone has the chance to get their hands on some rare stuff.

As one final note, Treasure Coffers from Timeworn Maps can sometimes reward you with Unhidden Maps.

These will lead you to a second coffer, with even rarer rewards and enemies to overcome.

Granted these are geared for level 50 players, so they might not be as exciting as they once were for endgame treasure hunters.

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