If you’re the kind of player who’s interested in glamour, I’m betting that probably extends to your Chocobo companion as well, and you’d prefer to give them a stylish look that complements your own attire. As soon as you unlock your combat buddy you actually have the ability to change its appearance without requiring any further quests.
The first aesthetic option is to change the colour of its feathers, which requires access to a Chocobo stable, either from a private estate, FC estate, or apartment building. The second customization is to change the barding it wears. While barding is typically a type of armour, for gameplay purposes it’s purely aesthetic and doesn’t affect your chocobo’s stats or survivability in any way.
You might also be a completionist looking to get as many of these bardings in your collection as possible. I’ve organized the bardings into categories based on how you go about obtaining them, so you can see which ones are easy to pick up, and which ones will require more time (or money) to collect.
How to View and Change Your Bardings
Head to the Companion Window under Character > Companion. Once there you’ll see three tabs: Actions, Skills, and Appearance. The appearance tab will show you the current colour of your Chocobo, as well as the barding equipped on its head, body, and legs.
Therefore, most Bardings are really a set of three pieces, and you can mix and match these pieces for your Chocobo to wear. They don’t have to be wearing a complete outfit either. You can select the currently selected piece from the list to unequip it and leave that slot empty.
Unfortunately this won’t allow you to actually see the Barding displayed on your Chocobo unless you’re outside of a city and have it summoned in front of you. The visual of your Chocobo in the Companion Window will only display the bare model in the current colour, without any barding shown.
Simply head to any area outside city walls and use a bundle of Gysahl Greens so you can play around with different Barding combinations and see them displayed on the Chocobo right in front of you.
Most Recent Barding
The Diamond Barding was released in patch 5.5 as an Armorer Specialist recipe using the Diamond Plating crafting material. This material drops from The Cloud Deck (Extreme), a trial that can be unlocked through the side story Chronicles of a New Era – The Sorrow of Werlyt.
Both the barding and the crafting material are tradeable on the marketboard.
How to Get Chocobo Bardings
If you’re curious to see how the bardings look in game, I’ve made sure to link to clear images of all bardings further down, and I’ll be covering how you get every barding in the different categories.
An asterisk (*) denotes a barding that can be purchased from other players on the marketboard. Keep this in mind if you would rather spend gil instead of time. There are 31 bardings you can buy and sell on the marketboard.
Of those, 24 can be crafted. Another, the Queen’s Guard Barding, is a direct drop from Delubrum Reginae. 2 more are from loot boxes: Abigail Barding (PotD) and Red Mage Barding (Eureka Anemos). 3 are from past seasonal events: Starlight Barding (from the Starlight Celebration Seasonal Event), Egg Harness (from Hatching-Tide 2014), and Paramour Barding (from Valentione’s Day 2015).
In-Game Currency Exchange
There are tons of activities to do in FFXIV, and I guess Square Enix wants to encourage us to try them all out. There are so many items that can only be bought with a specific currency, so you’ll have to dip your toes in specific parts of the game in order to earn these items. The following bardings involve different currencies from Hunts, The Gold Saucer, Gathering, and Grand Companies.
Chocobo Raincoat (800 Gatherers’ Scrip)
Gambler Barding (20,000 MGP)
Gridanian Barding (6,000 Company Seals, The Order of the Twin Adder)
Gridanian Crested Barding (8,000 Company Seals, Order of the Twin Adder)
Gridanian Half Barding (4,000 Company Seals, The Order of the Twin Adder)
Gridanian Saddle (Default Barding or obtained from purchasing any other Gridanian Barding, The Order of the Twin Adder)
Hingan Barding (4 Veteran Clan Mark Logs = 2,000 Centurio Seals)
Ishgardian Barding (350 Centurio Seals)
Lominsan Barding (6,000 Company Seals, The Maelstrom)
Lominsan Crested Barding (8,000 Company Seals, The Maelstrom)
Lominsan Half Barding (4,000 Company Seals, The Maelstrom)
Lominsan Saddle (Default Barding or obtained from purchasing any other Lominsan Barding, The Maelstrom)
*Machinist Barding (1,200 Skybuilders Scrips)
Mandervillian Barding (150,000 MGP)
Ul’Dahn Barding (6,000 Company Seals, The Immortal Flames)
Ul’Dahn Crested Barding (8,000 Company Seals, The Immortal Flames)
Ul’Dahn Half Barding (4,000 Company Seals, The Immortal Flames)
Ul’Dahn Saddle (Default Barding or obtained from purchasing any other Ul’Dahn Barding, The Immortal Flames)
If you spend enough time in these areas you’ll amass quite a collection of loot boxes to sit down and open up. If you’re unlucky or impatient you can buy a couple of these bardings on the marketboard.
*Abigail Barding (Silver and Gold-trimmed Sacks from PotD)
Red Mage Barding (Anemos Lockbox from Eureka Anemos)
*Samurai Barding (Heat-warped Lockbox from Eureka Pyros)
FATEs and FATE Tokens
Grab some friends or join a party finder group to grind out the Shared FATEs in the Shadowbringers zones. For the other bardings, the FATEs are kind of rare so keep an eye on the appropriate server linkshells for callouts. I often see callouts like these in the same linkshells people use for The Hunt A and S ranks.
Ala Mhigan Barding (‘Rattle and Humbaba’ FATE in The Peaks)
Dancer Barding (350 Bicolour Gemstones [Rank 3 in all Shared FATE zones])
Deepshadow Barding (350 Bicolour Gemstones [Rank 3 in Lakeland Shared FATEs])
Ishgardian Half Barding (‘Vedrfolnir Devoteth’ FATE in The Churning Mists)
Ixion Barding (5 Ixion Horns from ‘A Horse Outside’ FATE in The Lochs)
Sleipnir Barding (5 Odin’s Mantle from ‘Steel Reign’ in The Black Shroud zones)
Some bardings drops directly from duties or chests within duties.
*Queen’s Guard Barding (Delubrum Reginae, part of the Shadowbringers Resistance Weapon quest line).
Yojimbo Barding (Kugane Ohashi, part of the Hildibrand quest line)
Chocobo Skill Tree
These are super simple to get, they just take time because your Chocobo Companion needs to level up. Getting enough skill points to max out a single tree can take a decent amount of grinding, so just keep at it and take advantage of the companion tasks in the Challenge Log each week.
Dragoon Barding (Maxed Attacker skill tree)
Paladin Barding (Maxed Defender skill tree)
White Mage Barding (Maxed Healer skill tree)
Achievement Points Exchange
These bardings used to be veteran rewards, but are now available to buy with achievement certificates from Jonathas <Master of the Rolls> in Gridania.
Barding of Light (3 achievement certificates)
Black Mage Barding (3 achievement certificates)
Wild Rose Barding (3 achievement certificates)
The requirement for the Flyer Shaffron used to be the quest ‘I Believe I Can Fly‘ in Foundation, but that was removed with patch 5.3.
You (or I guess your Chocobo Companion) will be rewarded for certain feats you accomplish. Check out your Achievements window to track your progress on these bardings.
Race Barding (Ride to the Challenge I – Complete the first 15 Chocobo Challenge races)
Plumed Barding (Breaking Bo – Train another player’s chocobo 30 times) Head slot only
Sovereign Barding (Leaving a Good Impression IV – 300 player commendations) Head slot only
Extreme Trial (Token Exchange)
I don’t know why this particular barding is different from the rest of the Extreme Trial bardings, but you need to earn enough tokens from the fight and then purchase it.
Round Table Barding from Thordan EX – 15 Heaven’s Ward’s Helm Fragments from The Minstrel’s Ballad: Thordan’s Reign.
Extreme Trial (Crafted From Drops)
If you’re lucky enough to see the crafting material drop after the fight, and lucky enough to win the roll, you can craft a barding set in the theme of the boss you just fought. All of these are sellable on the marketboard so you can probably find one there if you don’t craft.
If you do craft, be sure to check to see if you need to be a specialist to make the recipe.
*Blissful Barding from Lakshimi EX – Blissful Shroud in Emanation (Extreme). Goldsmith Recipe.
*Byakko Barding from Byakko EX – Byakko’s Mane in The Jade Stoa (Extreme). Goldsmith Recipe.
*Diamond Barding from Diamond EX – Diamond Plating in The Cloud Deck (Extreme). Armorer Specialist Recipe.
*Emerald Barding from Emerald EX – Emerald Plating in Castrum Marinum (Extreme). Armorer Recipe.
*Expanse Barding from Bismarck EX – Bismarck’s Baleen in The Limitless Blue (Extreme), not to be confused with the Expanse Baleen which uses the same icon but is for crafting the weapons and minion. Armorer Recipe.
*Hades Barding from Hades EX – Hades’s Auracite in The Minstrel’s Ballad: Hades’s Elegy. Armorer Recipe.
*Hive Barding from Ravana EX – Ravana’s Forewing in Thok ast Thok (Extreme), not to be confused with the Hive Forewing which uses the same icon but is for crafting the weapons and minion. Armorer Recipe.
*Horde Barding from Nidhogg EX – Nidhogg’s Scale in The Minstrel’s Ballad: Nidhogg’s Rage. Leatherworker Recipe.
*Ice Barding from Shiva EX – Diamond Tear in Akh Afah Amphitheatre (Extreme), not to be confused with the Ice Tear which uses the same icon but is for crafting the minion. Leatherworker Recipe.
*Innocence Barding from Innocence EX – Immaculate Wingblade in The Crown of the Immaculate (Extreme). Armorer Recipe.
*Levin Barding from Ramuh EX – Levin Orb in The Striking Tree (Extreme), not to be confused with the Large Levin Orb which uses the same icon but is for crafting the weapons. Leatherworker Recipe.
*Lunar Barding from Tsukuyomi EX – Celestial Kimono Remnant in The Minstrel’s Ballad: Tsukuyomi’s Pain. Weaver Recipe.
*Reveler’s Barding from Susano EX – Blade of Revelry in The Pool of Tribute (Extreme). Armorer Recipe.
*Ruby Barding from Ruby Weapon EX – Ruby Plating in Cinder Drift (Extreme). Armorer Recipe.
*Seiryu Barding from Seiryu EX – Seiryu’s Scale in The Wreath of Snakes (Extreme). Armorer Recipe.
*Sephirotic Barding from Sephirot EX – Sephirot Sap in Containment Bay S1T7 (Extreme), not to be confused with the Fiend Sap which uses the same icon but is for crafting the weapons. Leatherworker Recipe.
*Shinryu Barding from Shinryu EX – Shinryu’s Scale in The Minstrel’s Ballad: Shinryu’s Domain. Armorer Recipe.
*Sophic Barding from Sophia EX – Sophic Bead Fragment in Containment Bay P1T6 (Extreme). Goldsmith Recipe.
*Suzaku Barding from Suzaku EX – Scarlet Tailfeather in Hell’s Kier (Extreme). Armorer Recipe.
*Tidal Barding from Leviathan EX – Leviathan’s Barb in The Whorleater (Extreme), not to be confused with the Barb of the Whorl which uses the same icon but is for crafting an outdoor furnishing. Armorer Recipe.
*Titania Barding from Titania EX – Dancing Wing in The Dancing Plague (Extreme). Armorer Recipe.
*True Barding of Light from <Spoiler> EX – Plate of Light in The Seat of Sacrifice (Extreme). Armorer Recipe.
*Zurvanite Barding from Zurvan EX – Zurvanite Carapace Fragment in Containment Bay Z1T9 (Extreme). Armorer Recipe.
There are a couple of low level crafting recipes that let you make your very own barding.
*Orthodox Barding (Level 56 Weaver)
These are bardings from past seasonal events which are now mostly unobtainable in game, though many have become available for purchase on the Mog Station.
Egg Harness (Hatching-tide 2014) Head slot only
Egg Hunter Barding (Hatching-tide 2016)
Eerie Barding (All-Saints’ Wake 2014, now Mog Station)
Noble Barding (Hairstyle Contest 2015/FanFest 2016)
*Paramour Barding (Valentione’s 2015)
Saintly Barding (Starlight Celebration 2019, now Mog Station)
*Starlight Barding (Starlight Celebration)
These bardings are available for real money. Head to the Mog Station for most of these if you’re interested in them.
Angelic Barding (Mog Station)
Behemoth Barding (Collector’s Edition)
Butlery Barding (Mog Station)
Demonic Barding (Mog Station)
Far Eastern Barding (Mog Station)
Nezha Barding (Mog Station)
Oriental Barding (Mog Station China)
While there are some chocobo bardings that are locked behind Mog Station purchases or limited-time events, the majority are always available, and some are really quite simple to go pick up. There are so many styles that I’m sure there’s something in here for everybody, too. And of course, they’re always adding new bardings when they release new trials, seasonal events, and other content.
Being able to mix and match different barding pieces as well as chocobo colour gives you a lot of power to customize your companion to your personal tastes. So, which barding do you like the most? And what colour chocobo do you think it goes best with? Let me know in the comments.