Island Sanctuaries are finally available in FFXIV, and I’m unapologetically among the many who have succumbed to this addictive piece of land. Now, as I’m writing this, I’m sitting at rank 6, so this first part of the series will contain some intro tips that I’ve learned along the way. I’ll try not to include the stuff you can already read in the in-game guide as it’s pretty well-put together, so we’ll be going over the practical stuff that’ll get you to rank 6 more easily. After I’ve hit rank 10, I’ll be sure to make a follow-up guide with additional tips from my journey to max level.
Firstly, if you are yet to unlock this feature, all you need to do is to look for the Clueless Crier in Old Sharlayan (X: 11.9 Y: 11.0) who will give you the quest “Seeking Sanctuary”. After starting it, you will go through a quest chain that will teach you the island basics.
The greatest and most important tip for when you’re starting is to not get tempted into buying things like minions, glamour stuff and anything else that will not get you to actually progress. It sounds like a min-max tip, but trust me, once you’ve experienced the system, you’re gonna wish you had kept those Cowries. The reason is because Blue Cowries are also the currency used for the other expansions. This includes making your crop fields and pastures larger, forming new build sites, and funding foraging expeditions once you’ve gotten your Granary going. Saving a little now will save you a lot of waiting in the long run, so don’t get tempted by all the adorable stuff, as hard as it is.
When it comes to buildings, early on it’s super important to build a second Workshop once you have enough land tiles. This will help you get more experience and Cowries, which is how you’re going to fund the rest of your buildings. Having two workshops means needing more resources to produce all your scheduled stuffs and things, but hey, that’s what the Island is about, and I’m sure you’re ready for all the addictive gathering you’re about to do.
Another thing about the Workshop that I found really important is digging through the menu and getting familiar with which produce belongs to which category, and you can even display specific categories and see what goes into them. Efficiency bonus sounds like something rather optional, but if you do schedule items that are within the same family, you’ll get more items, more experience and more money, so there’s no reason not to do it, even if some of those items are showing up as plummeting on the Workshop Market Board. The easiest way to do this very early on is to alternate between making Potions and Firesand. Both are in the Concoctions category, so they’ll get an Efficiency bonus. You’ll notice that you can only produce on 5 days of the week, but you can use those two days to get ahead of farming materials.
As you’re exploring the Island and gathering your mats, the last thing you want to do is run back to the other side once you’ve returned to your base because you’ve forgotten something. Make it a habit to check up on your Deficits, which is a list of supplies you’re running low on. You can find the Deficits list in your Island Sanctuary Menu, and it’s the Material Allocation tab that’ll show you this info.
Mounting in Island Sanctuary feels amazing, but to avoid the hassle of having to do it all the time, make sure to keybind the special actions that show up on your screen, as that’s where your Island Sanctuary sprint is. Unfortunately, this is not a toggle and has to be pressed over and over, but if you conveniently bind it and make it a habit to press the button every 20 seconds or so while gathering, it will make your life easier and you won’t need to wait for the mount-up.
Finding a good loop for certain resources may or may not be something you want to do in your Island, as you’ll discover where to get mats over time, but this is something that can really help you save time and will get you more resources.
Building a Landmark that doesn’t seem to do anything may seem like a pointless endeavor, but the experience you’ll gain after setting one up, along with the buffs to your workers are invaluable. Apart from being beneficial and practical, they also look amazing, so there’s no reason not to set up as many as you can. When it comes to the difference in buffs between the different kinds of Landmarks, there doesn’t seem to be any, so you’re free to build whatever you think looks good that your Mammets will enjoy! Oh, and this may be an unnecessary advice, but when your buildings are complete, you have to click on the sign in front of them to actually have them completed, otherwise you won’t be getting any bonuses even if they look like they’re complete.
Each type of animal on Island Sanctuary that you can catch has its own leavings, which is what you collect as produce, but having rare ones is not only cool, but also good for those unique recipes that require specific ingredients you can only loot from those animals. A lot of them only spawn during certain server times, in specific locations, or during specific weather conditions, so if you really want to capture a certain rare, it’s good to get to know its habits. Also, until you get to rank 6, you’ll only be able to create small nets, which work only for certain types of animals, but as you hit rank 6, you’ll be able to craft a tool that’ll allow you to harvest more different plant materials like Hemp, which you need for the lasso-like restraint you need to capture Medium sized animals, both rare and common.
Petting and Beckoning sounds like something that’ll improve the mood of your animals, but unfortunately, this has no visible effect on them except for being cute. If you want your animals to be happier, and produce twice the amount of goods in return, you have to feed them well. Crafting the Island Sweetfeed might seem tempting as it’s easy and you probably have plenty of them due to Vine farming, but it’s not as good for your animals as the Island Greenfeed and Premium Island Greenfeed. Those will really boost your animal’s mood, but you can only craft them from the crops you’ve grown, so it’ll take a bit before you get your first batch of actually good food, but that’s okay! If you want the best quality food though, it needs to be crafted from 2 different types of plants, so plan your crop growing accordingly and always have two different kinds on hand. It doesn’t really matter which two plants you’ll use for this, so just craft the food from the plants you don’t plan on using for the Workshop and such. The animals will drop their leavings once a day, at 10am server time, but depending on the food you’ve used, they’ll either drop the regular or the double amount.
If you haven’t taken a look at your Challenge Log yet, make sure to do so and take advantage of the additional 2000 Blue Cowries a week. The tasks are fairly simple, involving gathering 100 things from your Islands, and making 20 produce deliveries in the Workshops, which is pretty reasonable.
Once you’ve unlocked Granaries, which are kind of like your Venture missions, you can allow yourself to be a little tactical. As some locations will grant you rare items you can only get from there, you can take a look at which recipes you want to create and schedule at the Workshop first, and then send your exploratory missions to the places where you’ve discovered all the resources, and there’s a rare item you need, as you can only get items you’ve previously picked up. This makes it a little hard to play the supply and demand game, as the deliveries happen once a day, but you’ll just have to commit to what you’ve chosen to do with those rare items regardless of their demand, or you can sit on it and wait for them to become increasing in demand again.
I’d also like to shoutout some members of the community who have gone out of their way to create incredible resources for us, and I’ll link all of them in the description of this video. A Reddit user Sewer–Rat created an amazing Google Sheets file with information on gathering nodes for all the resources, cropland legend pictionary, an amazing pasture resources with all the animals and their leavings, building resource requirements, and so much more, so check it out!
CivilizedPsycho on Reddit has also compiled the list of basic and rare animals, along with their size, spawn location, spawn time and weather conditions!
RoboticAnxiety on Reddit has posted an Island Sanctuary Gathering Reference, along with the required tools to gather all of them, which is super useful.
Mentize on Reddit has created a Basic Island Sanctuary Pasture Leavings Calculator, which will help you figure out your Daily Leavings calculations and a lot of people are finding it to be of use, so try it out.
And that’s all I’ve got for you so far. I’ll make sure to update this guide with another one! If you’re more of a visual person, and you don’t mind getting easy wins in-game, you can check out all of this in my video – and subscribe for more awesome FFXIV stuff!