Aetheryte are massive shards of crystallized aetheric mist in Final Fantasy XIV, precisely cut and fused to arcane machinery. While it is not known when or by whom these devices were originally constructed, their teleportational qualities have become the backbone of everyday transportation throughout the realm, with most managed and operated by individual city-states.
Though the exact mechanism behind teleportation via Aetheryte is still largely a mystery, one theory states that when a sentient being approaches one of the portals, the aether that makes up its body resonates with the aether of the crystals, breaking down the being's mass, allowing it to temporarily return to the invisible aetheric streams that course throughout the planet. The being's soul, which cannot be broken down, then guides the particles to a predetermined destination, and upon arrival, the corresponding Aetheryte receptacle reconfigures the mist into its original form. This process takes only a matter of moments, allowing for nearly instant transportation to faraway destinations.
However, being broken down to the aetheric level can take its toll on one's body, and rest is often required after several consecutive jumps, especially as the distance becomes greater. As a precaution, most city-states strongly discourage over-teleporting, as it can lead to irreversible damage.
In addition to being the method of teleportation in Final Fantasy XIV, the Aetheryte also has other uses. Aetheryte is the location where the player initiates that area's Levequests. The player can check their faction standing, and read a tutorial regarding Final Fantasy XIV at the Aetheryte. It is also possible to set one's Home Point at any Aetheryte point, allowing players to Return there once every 15 minutes or after being incapacitated.
Teleporting costs gil based on distance traveled. The fee is halved for City-States and Favored destinations, and can be further reduced with certain Free Company actions. If a player possesses an aetheryte ticket they can use it instead of paying gil for the teleportation. In 4.0, all teleportation fees are capped at 999 gil, even for transcontinental teleportation between Eorzea and the Far East and inter-dimensional travel between the Source and the First in 5.0.
City-states all have a network of Aetheryte Shards that allows warping between key facilities in the city, at no cost. Aethernet Shards are a small version of Aetheryte. A shard can also be placed at player housing to enable teleportation to the estate.
While functioning the same as in A Realm Reborn, some Aetheryte crystals in the new areas of Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward feature alternate designs from the standard layout, often with the crystal cut into different shapes.
Behind the scenes
Aetherytes in 1.0
In 1.0, using Aetheryte teleportation magic involved the expenditure of Anima to teleport to any Aetheryte gate they had previously visited. The player began with 100 Anima and regenerated 1 Anima every 4 real hours (logged in or logged out), for a total of 6 per Earth day. This was the only way to replenish Anima until patch 1.22 (March 24th, 2012) introduced Hamlet Defense battles, which could reward players with anywhere from 3 Anima to 100 depending on their score at the end of the battle.
Starting with 2.0, Anima is no longer required to teleport. Although Anima was discontinued as a gameplay mechanic with A Realm Reborn, it is still mentioned a few times in Heavensward and Stormblood, and serves as the basis of the Anima Weapons.
Aetherial Gates were small fonts of energy that are connected to the Aetheryte of the region it is located in. They were a sort of checkpoint found in sub-regions of areas. In 1.0, a player could use the Aetherial Gate to teleport to and from the Aetheryte of that section of the map for 1 Anima. These Aetherial Gates were permanent.
These gates were removed in A Realm Reborn, likely due to the implementation of mounts.
In Version 1.0, Aetherial Nodes appeared when the player has completed a Levequest, restoring the player's HP and MP, and allowing them to teleport back to the Aetheryte at the base camp without expending Anima. The Aetherial Node only lasted for a short time, dissolving when the player willed it to or when the player teleported back to the base camp. Players could not set their home point at these nodes. Some Aetherial Nodes were used to teleport players to certain battlefields, such as the primal battles or certain Seventh Umbral Era events. These were violet in hue, rather than the usual blue. They could not be set as Home Points, as some of them were not permanent, but they cost no Anima to use.
In A Realm Reborn, completing a levequest simply offers a prompt whether to teleport back to the Levemete. Aetherial Nodes still appear to designate the entrances to instanced duties, though interacting with them just opens the Duty Finder window.
Prepare to ride the Aether.Aethernet NPC
In Version 1.0, an Aetherpass key item could be bought from a player's Grand Company for 3,000 Company Seals, and it allowed players to make use of the Aethernet of that city-state. The Aethernet was made up of several miniature Aetheryte crystals scattered throughout town, and players could teleport from one to the other by speaking to the Private-Rank NPC standing next to them. Once the player had the necessary Aetherpass, they were completely free to use with no Anima expenditure. It was possible to purchase Aetherpasses for the other cities through a black market Qiqirn for either 4,000 Company Seals or 400,000 gil.
In A Realm Reborn, Aethernet passes are no longer required, as access is available as shards are attuned. Full attunement to all shards in a city-state also unlocks the option to teleport out of the city gates.
There was an achievement category for arriving at Aetheryte Camps and Nodes, the prerequisite to using it as a teleport destination. A large portion of the Aetherial Nodes were found in areas populated by monsters above level 70, if not in the high 80s or 90s, while the player Level Cap was 50, making these achievements more challenging than they sound. Traveling to these nodes served as a good method to practice avoiding detection by monsters, many of which could demolish even the stoutest of adventurers in seconds.
These achievements were dropped in A Realm Reborn, and are only available to Legacy players who obtained them in Version 1.x.
As the in-game geography underwent drastic changes in late 2012, the locations of Aetheryte nodes changed. Concept art released at the announcement of 2.0 depicts an Aetheryte crystal that has changed to a reddish-orange and begun to levitate, anchored to the ground by large chains. Furthermore, screenshots released at E3 2012 show newly-designed Aetheryte Crystals with oblique rings around them.
Allusion to previous games
Aetheryte Crystals are the Final Fantasy XIV equivalent to Home Point crystals in Final Fantasy XI, though they serve more functions. Both are like save points in that they allow players to more-easily reattempt nearby challenges should they fall in battle.
aether, also spelled æther or ether, is the material that fills the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere. In ancient Greek mythology aether was supposed to be the breath of the gods, which formed the air which mortals breathed.According to ancient and medieval science,