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Chocobo breeding, also known as chocobo raising, is a recurring minigame in the series involving the series' recurring creature that can be used as a steed, chocobos. The minigame often used for breeding chocobos that will eventually be used in various chocobo racing activities.
Chocobos can be bred and raised on the Chocobo Farm. They come in various breeds and the chocobo's gender is decided when the captured chocobo is moved into a stable from the yard. Wild chocobos can be encountered in special areas on the World Map covered in chocobo tracks. Once captured, chocobos can be kept in stables in the Chocobo Farm; the option to buy stables opens after the party has acquired the Highwind. The stables cost 10,000 gil and six can be bought at once. On the farm the chocobos can be bred to create new breeds or to be used in the chocobo races at Gold Saucer.
Males and females can be bred together to make stronger chocobos with better stats and sometimes new abilities. The racing class and stats of the chocobo being bred help decide what type of chocobo will be born. The higher the class, and the greater the stats, the more likely a strong chocobo will be born. Special-colored chocobos are needed to find the treasures in the secret Materia Caves. There are five colors of chocobos and to get the ultimate chocobo, a long sidequest of racing and item finding must be undertaken.
The activity is featured to a minor extent, where the player must first raise the chocobos from different levels, from level 1 to level 5, in order to unlock hidden items. All chocobos have level limits, with 5 being very rare, and 2 being quite common. The higher the level, the less likely the chocobo will run away when foraging for items.
Even if the player's avian is level 5, there is still a chance it may run away. Lastly, chocobos will also leave the player if their heart meter drops to 0. The only way to replenish hearts is to feed a chocobo Pahsana Greens. The player can only keep up to 14 chocobos in their ranch. Additional to the regular chocobos, an Amazing Chocobo can be found by completing an optional dungeon in the Chocobo Ranch. Like the others, this chocobo can also be sent out to find treasure or explore Spira to uncover more optional dungeons. However, unlike other chocobos, the Amazing Chocobo will never run away.
The activity was released with the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion pack. Adventurers can own and care for their own chocobo, from the egg until its eventual retirement. There are many advantages to doing so, including the ability to raise a chocobo specially to suit the adventurer's own needs. Chocobos can also be selectively bred for better statistics, or to create Chocobos of rare colors. Chocobo raising also takes up only a little of an adventurer's hectic schedule each day, freeing him or her to do what adventurers do best as the chocobo grows.
Chocobos can be bred for use in the Chocobo Racing at the Manderville Gold Saucer. Unlike other games, chocobos in Final Fantasy XIV must be retired from racing before they can mate with others. They inherit racing stats and characteristics of their parents.
Chocobos can be bred at the stables, and used in various missions and side activities in battle. Upon the player's first visit to the stables, they receive 3 Gysahl Greens for breeding. There are more breeds than in most games.