FFXIV Island Sanctuary guide - rewards, macros, and maps

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FFXIV Island Sanctuary in-game visuals.
September 3, 2022: If you're grinding away on the FFXIV island sanctuary this weekend, check the below maps and macros to speed things along.

The FFXIV Island Sanctuary feature is being flouted as a glorified Animal Crossing game on PC and PlayStation: the two platforms you can currently play Square Enix’s blooming MMORPG, Final Fantasy XIV, on. It’s not that accurate a comparison, but it’s a relatively easy way to convey the general idea.

Once the content now out with FFXIV 6.2, we’ve overhauled the general speculation page into one long FFXIV Island Sanctuary guide. In essense, it should answer any key questions and guide you through the entire process of unlocking the feature, planting your first crops, discovering the wider landscape, and building things up to the point where you can afford some of the rewards it offers.

On the topic of guides, we’ve already figured out how to unlock the Mandragora mounts you’ll find in this new private island. There are three different versions that’ll set you back the same amount each. And if you’re hopping into the rest of the patch’s content, we’ve pieced together a FFXIV 6.2 quest locations list to help you unlock them all.

How do I unlock Island Sanctuary in FFXIV?

Unlocking the Island Sanctuary is like one grand reward for anyone who has completed the base Endwalker expansion. If you’re a new player or someone who’s still catching up, you won’t be able to get stuck in on launch day.

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The quest giver for the FFXIV Island Sanctuary unlock.

If you’re lucky enough to have seen the end of the Endwalker saga, though, you’re all good to go. Get yourself down to Old Sharlayan and you should see an unlock quest on your map from the Clueless Crier. Just look for the sea of people.

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Rare creature spawns in the FFXIV Island Sanctuary.

FFXIV Island Sanctuary rare creature locations map and chart

As is usually the case with any deep content like this, the FFXIV community has worked hard to uncover and document every little nook and cranny. For one, FFXIV subreddit user CivilizedPsycho drew up an annotated map of when and where rare creatures spawn all across the Island Sanctuary.

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FFXIV Island Sanctuary animal mood icons explained

Just like with the Island Sanctuary rare creature locations map, another member of the FFXIV community put in the effort to key each of the obtuse animal mood markers as well.

So if you've been wondering why those animals with a lightning symbol have been chasing you, it's not that they're excited: they're pissed. We have Kyvix2020 to thank for doing the dirty work there.

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A fan-made FFXIV island sanctuary gathering node map.
Credit: Reddit user 'Roboticanxiety'

FFXIV Island Sanctuary gathering node locations and tools

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In a similar manner to the rare creature locations map, another FFXIV Reddit user (roboticanxiety) annotated their own map to show the Island Sanctuary gathering nodes and their required tools.

It's worth noting that nodes are scattered around the island, but the areas denoted in the map highlight higher concentrations of them. With the macros we'll get into soon, you'll be able to power through gathering them up if you're in these hotspots.

FFXIV Island Sanctuary nets and net levels explained

Simply put, the kinds of Island Sanctuary creatures you can capture ultimately depends on the level of the net you use against them. Here's a quick look at how things work:

  • Small net
    • Apkallu
    • Squirrel
    • Coblyn
    • Monkeys
    • Sheep
    • Beachcomb
  • Medium net (rank six)
    • Chocobo
    • Dodo
    • Armadillo
    • Chocobo
  • Large net (rank eight)
    • nanny
    • Alligator
    • Buffalo
    • Zu
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With those quick notes in mind, you can refer back up to the rare species map above to pick out the rarer creatures you want, knowing you have the right net for the job.

FFXIV Island Sanctuary gathering macro

Something that made the rounds on Twitter when the Island Sanctuary first launched in August was a macro that made the laborious gathering run just that little bit easier.

  • /merror off
  • /targetnpc
  • /lockon
  • /ac "Duty Action I"
  • /automove
  • /micon Sprint
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By pasting the macro into the macro menu and assigning it to a slot/keybind, you can turn the process of running to a node, targetting it, and gathering the produce into a single button operation. It's great for watching shows on the side while you grind away.

What level is the FFXIV Island Sanctuary?

Though you’ll obviously need to have a max-level character to hit the Island Sanctuary unlock quest, you won’t need to have any gathering or crafting classes levelled up to enjoy it.

You’ll be mining, chopping, fishing, and crafting throughout your time on the island, but these unique recipes and nodes don’t need high level skills and gear to use. So, if you’ve never picked up a tool besides your weapon, you’ll still be able to enjoy this one no problem.

How to get around the Island Sanctuary

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Despite the size putting the Island Sanctuary somewhere between being its own entire zone, you might be worried about getting around without turning the whole thing into a chore. Thankfully, the developers thought about this, too.

Though you’ll have to build things up before you can start sticking aetherytes down, you can get around on your mount just fine. In fact, not only will you not need to worry about aether currents this time around, but your mount will travel faster than it usually does as well.

Further to that, getting around on foot is easier, too. Sprint is on a shorter cooldown on the Island Sanctuary, so you’ll be able to sprint to your heart’s content. No Peloton Bard necessary.

How to leave and get back to the Island Sanctuary

If you're just unlocking the quest and making a quick exist for other FFXIV 6.2 content, you'll likely need to know how to get back. Though you're free to teleport off the Island Sanctuary, getting back if you've left so soon can be tricky.

Until you set up an aetheryte, the only way to get back to the Island Sanctuary is by revisiting Baldin at Moraby Drydock in La Nocsea. The man took you there one time, and given the pirating days of Limsa Lominsa's leader and her lackeys is over with, he should still be there, ready to ferry you back.

The Island Sanctuary UI in FFXIV.

How do I build in Island Sanctuary?

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Once you’ve gathered up your resources by herding animals, chopping trees, and putting all the pieces together, you’ll be all set to start building up your island.

To get started, you just need to head back to the landing spot, where you’ll find things like a notice board and vendors in a little hit. It’s here where you’ll be able to browse the structures you’re able to build with the current state of island. Just select what you want to place, and you’re good to go.

What are the Island Sanctuary rewards?

In a surprise twist, the developers even made an effort to show us the Island Sanctuary rewards screen, showcasing what we can spend our island-specific Scrip on. Though it was in Japanese, the FFXIV Reddit community quickly translated the vast majority of it. Here’s what you’ll be able to pick up in this first run.

  • Island Mandragora mount
  • Island Onion Prince mount
  • Island Egg Knight mount
  • Mr Catears minion
  • Blue Pixie Wings (fashion accessory)
  • High ponytail hairstyle
  • Jenomis hairstyle
  • Adventurer’s Respite orchestrion roll
  • Plentiful Island orchestrion roll
  • Island Pioneer Chocobo barding
  • Farmer’s Haybed (furniture)
  • Coconut Juice (furniture)
  • Fireworks
  • Hi-Cordial
  • Ruby Red Dye
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Beyond the new mounts, minions, and other collectibles, one of the noteworthy rewards here would be the Ruby Red Dye. This one used to be locked behind the Skybuilder’s currency. It being present here would suggest the rest were further down the list, offering a way for those who haven’t levelled up their Hand/Land classes to obtain the popular colours.

How do I change the music in Island Sanctuary?

Given you’re likely to be spending an unholy amount of time on the Island Sanctuary, you’ll be glad to know that it looks like you’ll be able to change the music manually.

If you’re sick of the default tune, the live letter showed what looked like an orchestrion in the main hut where you redeem your rewards and pick up materials. Right on the desk, you should be able to interact with it and select any music track you’ve unlocked the orchestrion roll of, blasting it out across the island like you do in an estate.

When will we get new Island Sanctuary content?

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Toward the end of the last live letter before patch 6.2, the development team mentioned that new Island Sanctuary content would arrive roughly every two major patch cycles. That means with it arriving in 6.2, the feature will be expanded again in 6.4 - which is expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2023.

And that’s probably about everything you need to know about the Island Sanctuary right now. Of course, we’ll have a lot more questions to answer once we go hands-on with the new feature. Until then, comb over the FFXIV 6.2 live letter yourself if you’re anxious to see more before the big day. Come back here when it lands and we’ll hopefully already have your pressing questions answered.