Guide to Island Sanctuaries Leveling in FFXIV
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.
Levelling 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.
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. As you can see rank 8 is where the main progress unlocks stop.
Your main source of experience during this is from building new buildings and gaining a first time bonus, in later ranks your main exp is simply gathering 10xp at a time. If you take it slow you can gain around 6k a day from daily content.
|Sanctuary Rank(Experience 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 III, 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|
It is expected that more may be added to later ranks down the line in future updates.
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.
Leveling Up At 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.
Leveling Up At 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 3 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.
Leveling Up 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/ 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 you should also go down there as the nodes are still compact 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.
What Do I Do After Reaching Rank 16?
From here we recommend the following:
- Upgrade any remaining Workshops or Granaries if not already.
- 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.
- Grind the peak of the mountain now accessible with flight to farm the 30,000 nodes hit achievement.
- Purchase all the mounts, minions, fashion accessories and more.
If you have not already you can also turn your pasture and cropland onto automatic. They last 20 days before running out of space for additional items giving you plenty of room to take it easy and collect materials and sort out your workshop on a weekly basis.
Preparing For Future Ranks
There will likely be future ranks added again and you can prepare ahead of time for these in a few ways. These are:
- 2 Weeks before a patch with an island update set your workshop up. You gain xp for every hour crafted so you can set for 1-2 weeks and then do not interact until after the next patch to gain 50,000+ xp.
- Stockpile items in your inventory used for crafting food and restraints. You can grab 999 of these materials and quickly produce as much food and restraints as possible to gain more xp on future ranks.
- Stockpile items to be prepared for future upgrades. Never leave yourself low on cowries or materials so that you are as prepared as you can be.
- Turn off automatic on your pastures the day before the patch comes and turn off automatic crops a few days before so they can grow. This allows you to gain the xp from collecting these items instead of losing them to the automatic harvest.
- 29 May 2023: Updated for 6.4.
- 14 Jan. 2023: Updated for 6.3.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Guide added.
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