In Final Fantasy XIV, Armorer and Blacksmith are two crafting jobs that are very similar. But they make different things:
Armourers make armour, shields, and frying pans that can be worn (honestly).
Blacksmiths are their opposites. They make weapons for many different classes.
How Can You Become An Armorer/Blacksmith?
You can start doing either of these jobs pretty quickly.
All you have to do is get your Disciple of War or Magic to level 10 and then you can talk to Limsa Lominsa.
If you started in Limsa, you can get them when you reach level 10. If you started in Ul’dah or Gridania, you’ll have to wait until you’ve gone a little further in the MSQ.
In Limsa Lominsa, you can find both the Armorer guild and the Blacksmith guild. Look for quests on the map that say “So You Want To Be An Armorer/Blacksmith,” and you’ll know where to go.
What Can Blacksmiths Make?
Blacksmiths mostly work on making weapons and, more importantly, turning raw metal into something that can be used.
Mined ore can be turned into ingots by both Armorers and Blacksmiths.
Both jobs will need these ingots to make their products, but they will have to find other ways to get the raw metal (usually levelling a miner themselves, or paying on the Market Board).
But that’s not the end of what they can do.
They can also make tools that other gathering and crafting classes can use.
What Can Armorers Make?
Armorers mostly make armour that can be worn by many different classes, but they can also make a few tools for other crafting jobs.
Cooks need frying pans, Alchemists need alembics, and jobs that can use shields need shields.
Armorers can make things out of metal in the same way that blacksmiths can.
So, no one has the upper hand.
Armorers can use the ingots they make to make metal plates and rivets of different qualities, which they can then sell on the Market Board for a profit.
Which One Should You Play?
You’re really to blame for that!
Which is better:
Making weapons or armour?
I’d say the Blacksmith is more fun for me, and in addition to making normal goods, you can also make a wide range of tools to help you craft.
As a blacksmith, you can pretty much make all your items since your blacksmith crafting log has all the tools you need.
However, I’d say that you should work on both of these jobs at the same time to cover all of the equipment needs on the market board.
If you have the time, it’s a good thing to do.
Should You Level a Gatherer, Too?
If you want to be a serious Armorer or Blacksmith, you should also be able to get most of the materials you need on your own.
It takes a lot of time, but it’s worth the work.
For the best results, you should learn Mining and Botany.
But if the thought of levelling up four of these jobs is too much for you, focus on mining.
It works on both levels because:
Mining gives you the materials you need for Armorer and Blacksmith’s work, and Armorer and Blacksmith’s skills make mining more lucrative (worked metals are generally more expensive on the Market Board than the raw versions, as they have yet to be processed into a usable state).
To be truly self-sufficient, you’d have to level up all of your crafting and gathering skills.
And in FFXIV, all of these jobs are linked to each other.
Often, you’ll need something that can only be made by, say, an alchemist or goldsmith.
So unless you level everything, you’ll still need to use the Market Board from time to time.
If you want things to be easier, I’d suggest that you join a good Free Company. Most of the time, these player-run groups pool their resources, which can save you a lot of gil in the long run.
Just be ready to help out when you can. This will keep things fair.