'Dragon Quest XI' Fun-Size Forge Guide: Tips for Finding Recipes, Crafting the Best Weapons, Armor & Accessories

An epic in every sense of the word, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age has finally arrived in the West and it's got a massive world to explore and tons of secrets to uncover. Early on in the game, you'll gain access to the Fun-Size Forge at campsites, allowing you to craft and refine weapons, armor and accessories. You'll also be able to rework your existing gear (most of it, anyway). You'll unlock dozens of items to craft by completing quests and discovering recipe books hidden throughout Eredea. Though using the Fun-Size Forge isn't particularly difficult, here's some essential info and strategies to make the most of the many materials you'll discover during your journey.

Fun-Size Forge Basics

  • As your protagonist gains levels, his skill with the forge will increase. You'll gain more focus points, allowing you to take more actions each time you use the forge. You'll also unlock Flourishes, special moves that provide more powerful strikes and allow for the creation of more complex items.
  • The most useful Flourishes, in our view, are the following:
    • Sizzly Puff: Boost forge temperature by 300C.
    • Lightening Bash: A half-strength strike.
    • C-C-Cold Blow: Lower forge temperature by 300C.
  • Don't worry if you totally blow it! Even if the item is a Failure, you'll still get the base-level piece of equipment, so you won't have wasted precious materials. However, you won't receive any Perfectionist Pearls for crafting the item.
  • Items are only enhanceable to +3 above their base rank. This means you can't just coast on the same old equipment for too long, and you should consistently look to upgrade with new gear. It is possible to forge an item as a +3 the first time, or to enhance an existing item to +3 using Perfectionist Pearls.
  • Numerous items can only be made in the forge, often those that change a character's appearance. This type of item will have a pink equipment icon, rather than a standard blue one. Typically, you'll need to equip the full set of gear—usually two items, sometimes three—to complete the look.
DRAGON QUEST XI forge guide sizzly puff
Sizzly Puff will raise the temperature of your forge 300 degrees, making each strike of the power more powerful. But don't overdo it! Square Enix

Where to find recipe books

  • Whenever you enter a town for the first time, be sure to check all the houses for red books on shelves. This is the most common way you'll discover new crafting recipes.
  • Occasionally, you may find bookcases in ruined homes, isolated cabins or caves. If you see a bookshelf, even somewhere unexpected, be sure to check for the telltale red tome!
  • Recipes can also be found in treasure chests scattered around dungeons and the world map.
  • Quests for NPCs in various locations (shown by the purple dots over their heads and on the map) sometimes offer recipe books as rewards.
  • Some books contain more recipes than others. Depending on the tome, you'll gain access to only one or two new formulas, while others will include five or six.
  • There are a total of 77 recipe books in the game. To track your progress, open the main menu, Misc. > Info > Item List > Recipe Books.
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Your strikes don't have to be perfect in order for you to make a useful item with the Fun-Size Forge. Square Enix

Where to find crafting materials

  • Sparkly points located throughout the world are the most common place to find materials. You'll find these in towns, in the wild, pretty much everywhere. (Even down at the bottom of wells!)
  • Be mindful of your local environment. For instance, you won't find a lot of fire-elemental crafting items in the wintry northwest near Sniflheim, but you can expect to find lots of them in the scorching deserts near Gallipolis.
  • Keep an eye out for large, blue crystals and any shimmery trees or plants. The former commonly contain gems and metal ores, while the latter yield useful seeds, woods or fruits.
  • Enemies also drop certain materials, or Erik can steal them using the Half-Inch skill.
  • When you're camping, the traveling vendor often sells items native to the area. They're mostly inexpensive, and can be a handy time-saver if you're an item shy of whipping up something nice.
  • If you're on the hunt for a particular crafting material, and have at least one of them, find its listing in the Item Bag. Hover your cursor over the item and press Square to reveal a list of locations where the item can be found, and which enemies drop it. If you're looking for something you've had in the past but ran out of, head to Misc. > Info > Item List > Materials.
  • The item store at L'Academie de Notre Maitre des Medailles sells Perfection Pearls for 100 gold, along with Eyes and precious gemstones.
  • The item stores in Haven's Above and Trial Isle (accessible late-game) has a number of rare crafting materials for sale.

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of An Elusive Age is available now on PlayStation 4.