Cooking is one of the crafting skills in Final Fantasy XI that allows you to create various food items that can enhance your stats, restore your health and mana, or provide other benefits. Cooking can also be a profitable source of FF11 gil, as many players are willing to buy food from cooks. If you want to learn how to level up your cooking skill and make the best food in the game, you might find this guide helpful.
To begin your culinary journey, acquire the cooking skill first. You need to visit a Guildmaster in one of the major cities (San d'Oria, Bastok, or Windurst) and choose to learn the cooking skill. You will need to be at least level 3 in your main job to undertake this profession.
The next thing you need to do is to get a cooking kit, which consists of a fire crystal and a cooking utensil. You can buy fire crystals from merchants or auction houses or farm them from fire-elemental enemies. You can buy cooking utensils from guild shops or craft them yourself using woodworking or smithing skills. The most common cooking utensils are frying pans, saucepans, steam pots, and ovens.
Next, you need to get ingredients. Cooking requires various ingredients that you can obtain through gathering, purchasing from vendors, or trading with other players. You'll often find ingredients in the wild, so keep an eye out while adventuring. Fishing is also an excellent way to gather ingredients and increase your cooking skill, which will provide you with a steady supply of fresh ingredients.
Then you need to get cooking recipes, which tell you what ingredients and utensils you need to make a certain food item. Vysala’s FFXI Cooking Guide is a good source. This is a personal guide where a master cook shared some cooking leveling tips and many recipes.
Basic Skill Levels
Your cooking level in Final Fantasy XI is a measure of your skill and experience in creating various food items. Your cooking skill starts at level 1. Begin by crafting simple recipes like Meat Jerky and Roast Mushrooms, which require minimal ingredients and skill. As you gain levels, tackle more complex recipes for greater skill increases.
Your cooking skill can go up to level 110 with equipment and food bonuses, but the skill cap for recipes is typically 60. To unlock higher-level recipes, you must raise your skill level.
To level up your cooking skill in Final Fantasy XI, you need to make food items. You will gain skill points that will increase your cooking level through the process. The amount of skill points you gain depends on the difficulty of the recipe and your current skill level. You can check your current skill level and progress by opening the menu and selecting Status > Skills > Crafting.
Invest in cooking gear and tools, such as knives, aprons, and headgear. These items can improve your crafting efficiency and increase your chances of creating high-quality dishes.
Synergy is a crafting skill that allows you to combine ingredients in unique ways. Experimenting with synergy can enhance your cooking results, making it easier to craft high-quality dishes.
Some food items and equipment provide bonuses to your cooking skill or crafting success rate. Utilize these bonuses when crafting to improve your chances of success.
Crafting items in bulk can be more efficient for leveling up your cooking skill, as it saves time and effort compared to crafting one item at a time.
Keep an eye on the availability of ingredients in the game world. Stockpile ingredients when they are readily available or on sale from vendors.
Take advantage of in-game campaigns that offer bonuses to crafting and gathering. These events can significantly speed up your skill-leveling progress.
Participate in the Records of Eminence system to earn Sparks of Eminence and Guild Points. These can be used to obtain valuable crafting materials or equipment upgrades.
As you level up your cooking skill, you will encounter some challenges, such as:
Failing to make an item and losing some or all of your ingredients.
This can happen if your skill level is too low for the recipe or if you are unlucky. You can reduce the chance of failure by using higher-quality ingredients, using advanced synthesis support, or wearing crafting gear that boosts your skill or luck.
Making an item that is different from what you intended.
This can happen if your skill level is too high for the recipe or if you use different ingredients than what the recipe calls for. You can avoid this by following the recipe exactly, or by experimenting with different combinations of ingredients to discover new recipes.
Reaching a skill cap and not gaining any more skill points.
This can happen if your skill level is equal to or higher than the maximum level for your current rank. You can increase your rank by taking a test at the cooking guild every ten levels. The test requires you to make a specific item and trade it to the guildmaster. The item and the recipe will vary depending on your current rank.