FFXIV Island Sanctuary Leveling Guide: How to Rank Up Fast

It may take a while to get your Sanctuary Rank up but our Island Sanctuary leveling guide will show you where all the Island EXP is at.

The Island Sanctuary in Final Fantasy XIV may be described as a simple and relaxing way to engage with some Stardew Valley-like activities. The island can be exactly that, but on the other, it has systems you can master to optimize your progression and profits of course! This Island Sanctuary leveling guide focuses on the latter so you can level up your rank fast.

Although Island Sanctuary has been designed to encourage players to take a slower pace in terms of progression, there is a list of good practices that you should focus on in case you want to reach higher ranks with your island fast. Doing so is not only a matter of crossing things off your daily Island Sanctuary to-do list, but it’s also about using your base’s capabilities to accelerate the process. The higher the rank of your island the bigger the list of items you have access to as well as new functionalities increasing the island’s quality of life.

To structure this list, we’ve taken into account not only the amount of experience you get from a certain activity but how much effort one must put into it. Since Patch 6.2 came with lots of new content, saving some energy to run the new raid or to queue in PVP is also important. Keep in mind this guide assumes you know the basics about the Island Sanctuary — if you need general help, check out our FFXIV Island Sanctuary guide and tips!

How Progression Works in Island Sanctuary

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In Island Sanctuary, important features like better facilities and tools determine the materials and animals you can gather. And access to those facilities and tools is determined by your Sanctuary Rank, which represents the progression of your island.

Leveling up demands that you engage with the activities on the island like quests, farming materials, making Handicrafts, among other things. Each thing you do gives you Island EXP, but to varying degrees. Although you can use some of the island’s features at the start, such as buying items with Seafarer’s Cowries (the island’s main currency), you’re only going to make the most of Island Sanctuary if you increase the Sanctuary Rank. It will then unlock new features, crafting recipes, and so on — and most importantly, earn Seafarer’s Cowries faster.

First, let’s start with a list of some tools and features you get at each rank.

Sanctuary Rank New Feature You Can Access


Cozy Cabin I
Islekeep’s Stone Hatchet
2 Cropland I
Pasture I
Islekeep’s Stone Hammer
Makeshift Net
3 Workshop I
4 Cozy Cabin II
Cropland II
Pasture II
5 Granary
Boiling Bathhouse
Islekeep’s Shovel
6 Workshop II
Granary II
Makeshift Restraint
Islekeep’s Copper Scythe
7 Cozy Cabin III
Cropland III
Pasture III
Islekeep’s Bronze Gig
8 Workshop III
Granary III
Makeshift Soporific
Islekeep’s Bronze Beakaxe
9 New Landmark
10 Flying with your mounts

Now that you have an idea of what you can get from leveling up, the next step is to learn the ways to make this process faster.

How to Level and Rank Up Fast in Island Sanctuary

Going through the main tutorial will show you the ropes and net you enough Island EXP to get to Sanctuary Rank 3. You’ll also get a decent chunk of Seafarer’s Cowries. But afterward, you’re left to your own devices. What do you do now? Well, while trying to increase your Sanctuary Rank, you’ll end up dealing with two types of activities.

First, completing Visions (quests), making Workshop Handicrafts, and building facilities will give you a considerable amount of Island EXP and will demand less grinding. The downside is that most of them will take real-time hours to get completed. For example, a Landmark can take half a day to get done while a Workshop takes around three real-time hours to do so. And for a full cycle of making Handicrafts means waiting a whole day.

Second, you can engage with activities that are not time-gated, so you can perform them whenever you want. Even so, in terms of earning experience points, these activities are far less efficient than the ones we first mentioned. You can gather materials, craft items/tools, or capture animals, but they give you small chunks of Island EXP.

The secret to level up faster is to know when to focus on each type of activity. They all have their advantages, so by mixing them at the right time you’ll reach the higher ranks quite easily. Tackle the top priority activities first and then go for the lower priorities ones when you are waiting for the next building to get constructed or need very little experience to rank up!

Top Priority for Island Sanctuary Leveling

Complete Visions

This one it’s pretty straightforward but totally necessary. During the first hours on the island, you may have the desire to explore everything, know every corner of the new area, or spend hours collecting materials. Even though this can be fun, you should focus on completing the Visions as soon as possible. They’ll not only give you a lot of experience, but Visions are also going to unlock key features, such as the Workshop, the Pasture, and the Cropland.

Build Every Facility Once They’re Unlocked

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In Island Sanctuary, facilities are not just nice buildings you construct to decorate the area. Each has a function that you can use to help in your progression. For example, the Workshop is where you create a schedule for your workers to make Handicrafts (which are automatically sold for Seafarer’s Cowries while giving lots of Island EXP).

Besides that, facilities will also grant you a lot of experience points. For example, building a Granary gives you 1,980 Island EXP while a Workshop 1,425 Island EXP. It’s important to gather the materials necessary to order the facilities’ construction as soon as possible since it takes a lot of real-time hours for them to finish. And remember, expanding your home base in order to build these facilities requires Seafarer’s Cowries — hold onto as many as possible and spend them on base expansion.

Keep Your Workshop Running, Crops Seeded, and Animals Fed

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With the Workshop, Cropland, and Pasture unlocked, you can then start working on Handicrafts, growing vegetables, and taking care of animals from whom you can gather specific items. By simply harvesting your crops and collecting materials from your animals when they’re ready, you earn some Island EXP.

In addition, these materials are also used to make Handicrafts in your workshop. Although the amount of Island EXP may not be huge at first and is subject to passing real-time hours, consistently getting a Workshop schedule will add up over time. You will eventually get a total of three Workshops, tripling your production potential and Island EXP gains — a full day of Handicraft production with three Workshops can get you around 5,000 Island EXP per day.

Gather Only the Necessary Materials

This tip is important to avoid wasting time while you have the three aforementioned activities to tackle. Try to spend time only gathering the number of materials you need in order to complete a facility, seed your crops, or complete a Vision. Otherwise, you’ll end up taking more time than necessary.

This is especially true once you get deep into Workshop and Handicrafts. A tip for efficient gathering is to schedule your Workshop Agenda first, then use the Material Allocations menu in the Islekeep’s Index to keep track of which materials you need and how many to gather before Handicraft production starts.

Lower Priority for Island Sanctuary Leveling

Craft Items and Capture Animals

Every time you craft an item or capture an animal, you earn a small amount of experience. While it’s not something that requires you to wait real-time hours, these two activities are limited by how many materials you’ve gathered and free slots in your Pasture. It’s a bit hard to recommend using this method consistently. However, it’s a good way to get some bits of Island EXP that can make the whole process faster, especially if you just need a little bit to get to the next Sanctuary Rank.

Grind for Materials

This is probably the best method to earn Island EXP when you have no Visions to complete and you’re between periods of construction or Handicraft production. If you have a few minutes to spare, you can earn around 1,000 Island EXP easily depending on the grinding route you use.

Since each gathering node respawns after you collect 10 nodes after it, you must find a place where nodes are bunched up closely then go through it fast. However, it’s important to know that trying to level up by only gathering materials is not exactly efficient and a very tiring method for a lot of people. But to help with that, we have two suggestions of where to grind for Island EXP.

The Best Routes to Grind in Island Sanctuary

In terms of collecting materials to earn Island EXP, there are two routes that are great considering the EXP gains in a short period of time. The first is in the Eastward Stream, where you find many Island Clay/Island Sand nodes near each other with some Island Vine, Island Log/Island Branch, and Island Stone/Island Limestone nodes around them, too. This route can be completed in around one minute, giving you 1,000 Island EXP every ten minutes of grinding.

A second option would be in the Northward Stream. In this route, you find most of the same materials as the previous one but with an Island Palm Log/Island Palm Leaf node and an Island Sand/Island Tinsand node. Since some of the nodes in this area are closer to each than in the first route, you may complete the whole path in under a minute; just keep your Isle Sprint up all the time.

In case you want to farm materials you need, just try to set a route that can be fast so you can capitalize the most out of your grinding session. If you want some help with that, we already have a handful of guides on key materials with the location of each gathering node.

And this is how you can level up your Sanctuary Rank faster! It’s important to keep in mind that even following these methods Island Sanctuary was designed to hold players from rushing the content. Take your time and enjoy your island!