Guide to Island Sanctuaries Leveling in FFXIV

Last updated on Oct 04, 2023 at 17:00 by Shikhu 20 comments

This page contains an overview on leveling up your island in FFXIV's island sanctuary mode. This page includes unlock requirements for each island rank and costs so that you can plan ahead.


Leveling and Ranking Up Your Island Sanctuary

Island sanctuary is content intended to be taken slowly and steadily over time for example while waiting for queues, party finder or nodes while making slow and steady incremental progress every day.

You can however speed through most of your island if you want to. The tutorial will take you to Rank 4. The builds unlocked at Rank 4 help you a lot to get to around rank 7-8 where it is advised to take it slower unless you want flight at Rank 10.

Listed below is a table showing every unlock so that you can plan accordingly how you want to level and where you want to start taking it slow.

Your main source of experience during this is from constructing new buildings and gaining a first time bonus. For later ranks, your main experience is simply gathering 10xp at a time. If you take it slow, you can gain around 6k a day from daily content.

Sanctuary Rank(XP Needed) Tool Unlocks Gathering Resources Unlocked With The Tool Renovations/Buildings Renovation/Building Material Unlocks Expansions
1(0) Stone Hatchet Palm Leaf, Vine, Islewort, Pumpkin/Cabbage Seeds, Sand, Branch, Sap, Stone, Clam, Laver, Coral, Apple, Log, Palm Log Cabin I
2(3000) Makeshift Net Net is used to gather small animals Cropland I, Pasture I Pathfinder I
3(6000) Stone Hammer Limestone, Copper, Rock Salt Workshop I, Windmill Landmark, Tree Fort Landmark Minions Unlocked
4(9500) Cabin II, required for Cropland II and Pasture II upgrades. Pathfinder II (Landmarks Unlocked)
5(13500) Shovel Clay, Tinsand, Popoto/Parsnip Seeds. Granary I, Bathhouse Landmark Granary unlocks Alyssum, Raw Island Garnet, Spruce Log, Hammerhead Shark, Silver Ore Pathfinder III
6(18000) Makeshift Restraint, Copper Scythe Restraint is used to gather medium animals. Sugarcane, Cotton, Hemp Workshop II and Granary II Upgrades
7(23000) Bronze Gig Islefish, Squid, Jellyfish Cabin III, required for Cropland III and Pasture III upgrades. Seeds can be purchased after Farm III. Isleberry, Onion, Tomato, Wheat, Corn, Radish Pathfinder IV
8(28500) Makeshift Soporific, Bronze Beakaxe Soporific is used to gather large animals. Iron Ore, Leucogranite, Quartz. Workshop III and Granary III Upgrades
9(34500) Iron Hatchet Resin, Coconut, Beehive Chip, Wood Opal Lighthouse Landmark, Otter Fountain Landmark Pathfinder V
10(41000) Better Quartz via flight, Multicolored Isleblooms Flight
11(42000) 2 New seeds can be purchased. Paprika and Leek.
12(43500) Glimshroom, Coal, Effervescent Water Garden Landmark Cave Access
13(44000) Steel Hammer Shale, Spectrine, Marble, Mythril Ore Cabin IV, Granary IV
14(45500) Workshop IV Runner Beans, Beet, Eggplant and Zucchini Seeds available.
15(47500) Landmark V Pathfinder VI
16(65000) Expansion to cave area
17(65500) Mythril Pickaxe and Chisel Durium Sand, Gold Ore, Crystal Formation
18(66000) Granary V Upgrade 4 Seeds. Watermelon, Sweet Popoto, Broccoli, Buffalo Beans
19(70000) Workshop V Upgrade Final Vision Completed. Felicitous Favors
20(100000) Flawless Restraints

Initial Tutorial And Visions On The Island

At first you will simply be given a series of quests and 'visions' that act as your basic tutorial for unlocking everything. By the end of this you should be part way through rank 4.

Only spend your Seafarer's Cowries on upgrades and not on the cabin shop you unlock. It is a bit of an early game trap that can cause you to heavily time gate yourself.

At this point it is not worth stockpiling materials, wait until you unlock more tools so that you can gain more items from each node.


Rank 4-5

Seafarer's Cowrie Costs:

  • Cropland II - 1000
  • Pasture II - 1000
  • Pathfinder II - 500
  • Pathfinder III - 1000

Ranks 4 and 5 are the first ranks after the tutorial. Your first priority should be to upgrade your cabin and build any landmarks that you have room for. If you did not build a second workshop i would also do that.

Upgrading your cabin allows you to upgrade your cropland and pasture so that you can grow more crops and catch more animals. Catch animals even if they are not on your final list of animals you want so that you have as many leavings as possible at daily reset.

Rank 5 will allow you to clear new land using the pathfinder mammet and to be able to build your first granary giving you materials to upgrade your workshop later on. Set your granary to gather Raw Island Garnet until you have 9. This is used in your workshop upgrades.

Do not send out the granary for a whole week as it costs a lot of cowries which you do not have, take it day by day.

It is advised to run three workshops before your second granary so that you gain more Seafarer's Cowries and island xp.

After or while everything is building spend some time catching rare critters you may want on your island and gathering a range of materials that you may need at higher ranks. I would advise continuing to rank up fast here so that you can get the later benefits.


Leveling Up At Rank 6-7

Seafarer's Cowrie Costs:

  • Cropland III - 1500
  • Pasture III - 1500
  • Pathfinder IV - 1500

At rank 6 and 7 you will need to start gathering even more items and can certainly be a place that people start to take things slower which is okay. You unlock a restraint for medium sized animals allowing you to get more diversity in your pasture.

Hitting rank 6 unlocks your workshop and granary upgrades, the granary materials are not used here but you want to start upgrading these buildings as soon as possible. Do not forget to interact with them once they are built so that you start having their benefits after you have viewed/skipped the upgrade cutscene.

Rank 7 unlocks the cabin which should again be your priority, once that is upgraded you again gain a cropland and pasture upgrade. You may start to be running low on Seafarer's Cowries at this point so the pasture is your priority before the cropland. Both are needed before doing later upgrades.


Rank 8-10

Seafarer's Cowrie Costs:

  • Pathfinder V - 3000, Pasture and Farm must be upgraded first.

Rank 8 is where it's recommend you stop and take it slow. You gain the ability to upgrade your Workshop and Granary to rank 3 which is very important as you start to become heavily gated by cowries. If you have not already it takes 6,000 cowries to upgrade both

At this point you will have very few buildings to upgrade and landmarks to build so all of your Experience must be from gathering. With a ranked up Workshop and Granary you can gain around 6,000 a day so you will reach rank 10 in around three weeks.

Once Pathfinder V is complete and the landmark is built, you unlock a quest giving you 5,000 Blue Cowries and 7,500 experience to your island rank, so take that into consideration. Rank 10 and Pathfinder V will unlock the ability to fly.


Rank 10-16

With flight unlocked you gain access to new items, faster xp farming and new animals for your Pasture. Feel free to collect those when their time and weather windows appear.

I would still recommend just taking it slower at this point and allowing your workshop to provide the majority of xp. Even if you are unable to follow recommendations perfectly, simply making sure your workshop is always crafting will give you the most xp.

You can, of course, speed through this within a few days To do that you would want to fly to the top of the mountain and farm the nodes available in a loop. This is by far your most efficient xp per hour. Once you unlock the caves at Rank 12 there are compact nodes locations allowing for efficient xp, but also gives you a wider range of materials.

If you are taking it slow, this is a good opportunity to work on maintaining your island. Working on the farm layouts you want and collecting rare animals.

Rank 13-15 provide a range of building upgrades to take a look at as well as pathfinder VI which at this point is not really a worry cowrie wise. It is important to ensure all buildings have been upgraded to IV and all landmarks have been built at this point to continue your progression. Dont forget to click the signboards for upgraded buildings and landmarks for your island to receive the effects of their upgrades.


Rank 16-20

Within this level range, there are a few ranks that are incredibly easy to power through using XP given to you by quests, building new equipment and upgrading your facilities. Rank 16 is mostly completed by quests and so is rank 19.

This leaves rank 17-19 as the area you may consider actively grinding for. There are not many unlocks here, only seeds at rank 18, so I would advise taking it slowly and just using Workshop crafts to finish your progression. If you do want to actively farm, then feel free to at the top of the mountain again.

The final thing to do at Rank 19 is simply to ensure everything is upgraded to Rank 5. This will allow the final parts of the story to be unlocked as well as the new Felicitous Favors mechanic.


What Do I Do After Reaching Rank 20?

From here we recommend the following:

  • Complete the pasture of your dreams with rare animals.
  • Have your farmland setup as per our recommendations.
  • Plan your materials and workshop to start farming Seafarer Cowries for all the glamour and cosmetics you may want.
  • Use Felicitous Favors to obtain more mounts.
  • Purchase all the mounts, minions, fashion accessories and more.


  • 04 Oct. 2023: Updated for 6.5.
  • 29 May 2023: Updated for 6.4.
  • 14 Jan. 2023: Updated for 6.3.
  • 26 Aug. 2022: Guide added.
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