Artifact equipment is the job-specific equipment in Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV obtained through a series of quests. Typically the armor sets are inspired by early-franchise depictions of traditional jobs, although many sets are of original design.
The Artifact equipment for any given job comes in five pieces—head, body, hands, legs and feet—and one other piece that varies with the job. The first quest usually rewards a level 41 weapon and is accessible at level 40. The next two quests are available at level 50 and each yield one more piece in the set. The remaining three pieces are involved in the "Borghertz's Hands" line of quests, requiring adventurers to seek out Treasure Coffers in various Rise of the Zilart dungeon areas.
Unlike Final Fantasy XI, the Artifact equipment is obtained through the jobs' respective quests. At level 45, players get to take the head, hand, leg and foot armor pieces from successfully doing the quest. At level 50, the final class quest gives access to the class specific armor.
Improved, recolored versions of the armor called Vintage equipment could be obtained using Allagan Tomestones of Mythology. When they were removed in patch 2.4, Vintage equipment could be instead be obtained from trading the "antique" items obtained from Snowcloak, Sastasha (Hard), and Sunken Temple of Qarn (Hard). Starting with the release of Heavensward and 3.0, Vintage equipment was added to the job quest rewards for newer players to ease the item level spike at level 50.
Note that the new jobs added in Heavensward do not have quested Artifact or Vintage equipment, and instead obtain theirs at level 60.
The Heavensward patch 3.05 introduced a new generation of Artifact armor at level 60, obtained with Allagan Tomestones of Esoterics. This equipment is initially in an "Antiquated" state at item level 200, but can be upgraded to item level 210 with certain materials obtained through Alexander: Gordias (Savage).
Unlike earlier sets, the artifact armor comes with match set of Artifact Weapons.
- The player community in FFXI has adopted "AF" as the abbreviation for Artifact gear and its variants, a phrase that has carried over to FFXIV. Though the higher-level sets are referred to by NPCs and the UI as "Relic" and "Empyrean" equipment, the players have taken to calling them "AF2 and 3" or "AFv2 and v3".
- With the possibility in Final Fantasy XI to rapidly power-level a character to maximum through Abyssea, many players will opt not to quest for Artifacts because they become obsolete relatively early.
- In contrast to FFXI, even should the level cap be raised in FFXIV, it is expected that players will obtain their Artifacts anyway as a bonus for completing the quests for their useful abilities.
- Artifacts can be entrusted to an NPC for storage in both games, allowing collectors to keep their inventory open.