Metacognition deficits are a putative cause of reduced motivation in people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. However, it is unclear whether certain levels of metacognition are necessary for motivation to emerge. This study used a Necessary Condition Analysis to test whether metacognition was necessary for the presence of motivation and to identify the minimum level of metacognition necessary for high motivation to be possible in people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (N = 175). Participants completed clinician-rated measures of metacognition and motivation. Necessary Condition Analysis revealed that metacognition is a necessary condition for motivation and that high levels of motivation were only possible, although not guaranteed, when at least a basic level of metacognition was present. The findings suggest that metacognition is a necessary building block for the development of motivation. Results suggest that targeting metacognition may be essential for improving motivation among people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders who do not meet this metacognition threshold.