Guide to Island Sanctuaries Leveling in FFXIV

Last updated on Aug 26, 2022 at 12:00 by Shikhu 4 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.


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 materials 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 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 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. Remaining 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) Pathfinder V
10(41000) Better quartz and cotton locations unlocked via flight Flight

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.

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 2 weeks.

If you would like to farm and grind your rank the best location is the sand area on the right river which can be located in your gathering log.

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.


What Do I Do After Reaching Rank 10?

From here we recommend the following:

  • Upgrade any remaining Workshops or Granaries.
  • Complete the pasture of your dreams with rare animals
  • Have your farmland setup to grow two of each crop
  • 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.
  • Setup and plan your workshop to grind the 17,000 cowrie in one season achievement.

If you want to start engaging less with the island until the next update you can automate your pasture and cropland for 20 days at a time then check your island weekly for Granaries and to schedule your workshop based on the current weeks popularity. It is less efficient but is an easy method to obtain Cowries over time without having to be hyper efficient.



  • 26 Aug. 2022: Guide added.
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