There are eleven Strange Apparatus, ancient machines, each corresponding to a different color, found behind unique "fake" walls in dungeons around Vana'diel. Trading them an Infinity Core and a special chip corresponding to the specific apparatus's color will yield the creation (via "matter emulation") of various items.
Of the eleven Strange Apparatus, only eight are currently active and accessible. Each of these corresponds to one of the eight Vana'diel elements:
Area Element Chip Code Drops (with Doctor Status) Dangruf Wadi
Fire Red Chip 00 Gusgen Mines
(J-5), Map 2
Earth Yellow Chip 01 Crawlers' Nest
(K-8), Map 3
Water Blue Chip 02 Ordelle's Caves
(E-12), Map 1
Wind Green Chip 03 The Eldieme Necropolis
(K-13), Map 2
Ice Clear Chip 04 Outer Horutoto Ruins
(E-6), Amaryllis Tower Map 2
Lightning Purple Chip 05 Garlaige Citadel
(K-8), Map 3
Light White Chip 06 Maze of Shakhrami
(L-10), Map 2
Dark Black Chip 07
Two of the remaining three Strange Apparatus can be accessed, but are non-responsive. They are found in King Ranperre's Tomb (E-7 map 2, Carmine) and Fei'Yin (G-6 map 1, Cyan). The final Apparatus, found in Ranguemont Pass (E-4, Unlit), is completely non-functional.
- Infinity Cores are very common drops in Dynamis areas.
- Colored chips are obtained primarily by buying them from the following Goblin NPC merchants in each nation:
- Gaudylox (Northern San d'Oria) Closed Firesday.
- Blabbivix (Port Bastok) Closed Windsday.
- Scavnix (Windurst Walls) Closed Lightsday.
- All three merchants keep business hours of 11:00 to 22:00.
- Each colored chip costs exactly 21,000 gil. This price is not modified by fame or any other factor.
- Trading a chip not matching the color of the apparatus will result in the spawning of an NM Elemental that matches the element of the Strange Apparatus' given color.
- It is believed that the day that the Strange Apparatus is traded to affects the reward. Trading on a day matching the Apparatus's element is said to yield more of the common rewards (Cermet, Adaman, etc.), while trading on a day opposite to its element yields more Rune equipment (Arrows, Bangles, etc.). Results have yet to be fully confirmed, see talk page.
Checking the Strange Apparatus without trading will result in the apparatus reciting instructions, followed by a request for a password. (This password is entered as if you were typing a message.) Entering the correct password will grant you "Doctor" Status, which removes the most common item (Elemental Clusters) from the list of available rewards. This makes Strange Apparatus use more profitable.
- Doctor Status is not necessary to obtain a reward. You may receive a rarer item regardless of status.)
A Doctor Status password is eight numerical digits long, calculated using the first three letters of your character's name and the area in which the Apparatus is found in; as a result, passwords will vary between different players and different Apparatus. A player's password for a specific Apparatus is calculated as follows:
- Convert the first three letters of your player name into two-digit numbers based on their positions in the alphabet minus one number. (A becomes 00, B becomes 01, C becomes 02 and so on, up to Z at 25.)
- Example: "Playername"'s first three letters are P (15), L (11), and A (00).
- Next, choose the code for the area you are going to be trading to an Apparatus in, listed on the chart above. Add the area code's value to each "digit" of the first three letters. Lined up next to each other, these create the first six digits of the password.
- Example: "Playername" will be going to the Apparatus in Ordelle's Caves, which is code 03. 15 + 03 = 18; 11 + 03 = 14; 00 + 03 = 03. Therefore, the first six digits of the password are "181403".
- Finally, the last two digits of the password are created by adding together the three pairs of numbers above, then adding the area code to the resulting sum a second time.
- Example: 18 + 14 + 03 = 35; 35 + 03 = 38. This will make Playername's password for Ordelle's Caves "18140338".
Doctor Status for a given Apparatus will be lost if you trade anything other then a chip/core pair to the Apparatus, or after a period of apparatus inactivity of 48 hours (or possibly at a Conquest Update), so be sure to check to confirm that the apparatus has you marked for Doctor Status before you put materials into it. You can have doctor status on Several Strange Apparatus active at the same time perhaps withing a 24 hour period .