Riding Maps can be used to increase your mount’s movement speed in Final Fantasy XIV. They can make your life a bit easier, but they’re no longer as essential as they used to be.
Getting your first mount feels like a massive upgrade in XIV.
You’re so used to dragging yourself around the huge maps on foot that the first Chocobo might as well be a strangely feathery limousine. That’s just the start, though.
Eventually you’ll be able to take to the skies, riding mechs, incredibly overweight birds, flying motorbikes and gigantic whales, to name a few.
For quite a while though, you’ll be relegated to the ground.
You won’t get a taste of real freedom until you’ve completed A Realm Reborn’s Main Scenario quests and reached level 50, at which point you can fly freely around all of the game’s original zones.
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This wasn’t always the case – flying was only added to A Realm Reborn recently, with the Reflections in Crystal patch that streamlined the leveling experience.
There are still circumstances where you’ll need to use your mount on the ground, though.
Unlocking flying for expansion zones isn’t nearly as straightforward as A Realm Reborn. You’ll need to complete quests and find hidden items to unlock flying on a zone-by-zone basis.
This isn’t the worst process in the world – it’s not nearly as painful as unlocking your relic weapons – but your ground mounts will still be extremely useful until you can fly everywhere.
Your ground mount speed can be increased a total of two times.
It’s specific to your character, rather than the mounts themselves – so any upgrades unlocked will apply to all of your mounts whilst traveling on the ground.
The first speed increase is linked to story progression.
After hitting certain milestones you’ll get a notification saying your mount speed has been increased in this area.
You can see which areas your speed has been boosted in by viewing the mount speed menu. In that menu you’ll see two stars next to the locations.
The first star will be unlocked with main story quests, and the second needs an item.
You can use Riding Maps to get this second star (and the final speed increase) unlocked permanently.
How Do I Get Riding Maps?
Riding Maps can be purchased from your Grand Company’s Hunt Billmaster in exchange for Allied Seals.
Allied Seals are earned by killing Marks in The Hunt activity – this is basically a side activity that sees you chasing down bounties across the world, often accompanied by other players.
Higher level Marks reward you with higher amounts of Allied Seals.
You can get a lot of different rewards from spending those seals, Riding Maps amongst them.
They’ll run you 250 Allied Seals each, and can be found in the “Others” tab of the Billmaster’s items for sale.
If you’re looking for Shadowbringers Riding Maps, the process is a little different.
You’ll need to gather Bicolor Gemstones by completing FATEs across all the zones. You can then exchange these for Riding Maps at a range of vendors.
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Is There Any Point In Buying Riding Maps?
Well, yes and no.
Back in the day, flying just wasn’t possible in A Realm Reborn. You could only fly from Heavensward onwards, and the game still demands regular use of the original zones extensively.
So Riding Maps were considerably more important then – you’d want to get as much speed out of your ground mounts as possible.
But flight beats ground travel every time, and all you need to do to unlock it in A Realm Reborn is beat the Main Scenario quests.
So buying all the Riding Maps isn’t nearly as essential as it once was.
They’re still useful to have because some players prefer to soak in the sights from ground level, after all. But I’d personally recommend getting flying unlocked first.