Some people play Final Fantasy XIV to slay iconic bosses and to experience the excellent story; other’s find pleasure in sculpting the perfect appearance. Learning how to dye armor is a crucial first lesson for all would-be fashionistas, and all it takes is a little bit of gil and the right equipment.
Purchase dyes from vendors or the market, then use them on applicable armor.
Let’s start with a disclaimer, shall we? Not every piece of armor can be dyed in Final Fantasy XIV. Granted, the majority of equipment can be, but a decent selection of dungeon and raid gear cannot (though, some sets accept dyes once they are boosted a bit, but that’s a lesson for another article). Before you go mad with dye-fever and rush the local Dyemonger in Limsa check to see if the armor you want to dye can indeed be dyed.
To do so is simple: look at the icon for that piece of equipment and see if there is an empty (or, on some occasions colored-in) orb in the top-right corner. That orb indicates that item can in fact be dyed. If you see a plus-sign up there that means the gear has been glamoured, and you are already six steps ahead of this guide and starting on the next one (yet, to conclude this train of thought, if something is glamoured you can dye it so long as the item that was used to create the glamour can be dyed).
Moving along, if you have the requisite armor then you will need to purchase a dye. Before doing so, you may want to see what that armor looks like with different dyes to better pick the right color. All you need to do is right-click the icon for that item on PC, or tap X/Square on a controller with the item highlighted to bring up the sub-command menu. In it you will see the “Dye” option (and, if you do not, that item cannot be dyed). Yes, this option will allow you to dye your armor once you own some dye, but you can also preview all the dyes in game.
Do bear in mind that the preview will only show dye on the item you have selected initially. At the bottom of your character portrait within the dye menu is a round icon that looks like a paint can next to a person. The person icon will display all your equipped items, and the paint can will apply the selected dye to all armor for previewing purposes (this does not actually apply the dye to each item once you own dye – that has to be done one item at a time).
Okay, you’ve figured out what dye you want, now you need to buy it. There are a handful of common dyes found at vendors in the game, and Dyemongers in the markets of the main city-states peddle these wares. That link is for the ‘monger in Limsa, but it has all the common dyes listed on the page. DO NOT BUY THESE DYES FROM THE MARKET BOARD! Players grossly inflate the price of these dyes, preying on the ignorance of new players. You are no longer ignorant.
That said, there are other dyes that have to be made by a crafter, and short of leveling one yourself, you will need to go to the Market Board for these. Sure, retainers can sometimes come back with some fancy dyes, but you’re better off buying what you need than waiting on that dice roll to land in your favor. Once you have purchased your dye you can return to the dye menu you used to preview dyes earlier and apply it to the item you selected. The little orb (or plus-sign for glamoured armor) will fill in with your selected dye to indicate which dye is currently on that item.
You can also dye additional items with the “Select Another Item” button at the bottom of this menu, instead of closing it and right-clicking/button pressing the next piece from your character sheet. Once you run out of dye the green check-mark next to a color will turn into a scarlet cross, indicating you do not have any more of that dye in your inventory. Note how I said “inventory.” Dye stashed in your retainer’s vault, pocketed away in a chocobo bag, or anywhere that is not your regular inventory cannot be used. So, simple solution: put the dye in your inventory when you plan to use it.
That’s the long and short of dyeing armor in Final Fantasy XIV. It’s not the hardest ability to perform, but it does lead into the next cosmetic nightmare: the glamour system. If you are new focus on saving some gil and hitting level 20 with at least one class before you stress either dyes or glamours. As for everyone else with a healthy stockpile of gil, go nuts! Synchronize those colors or look like a hungover clown; dress to impress yourself.