Final Fantasy 14 Island Sanctuary gives raiders their hardest challenge yet: relaxing

Final Fantasy 14
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy 14's take on the chill, relaxing gameplay of farming sims has arrived with Island Sanctuary, and naturally players are already optimizing the fun out of it.

If you haven't opened up Island Sanctuary yet, it basically adds gameplay systems in the style of Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing, letting you build a farm and slowly make money. Many of your investments, like crops, livestock, and facilities, will generate money in real time, so Island Sanctuary is built around the idea that players will check in for a few minutes a day, make a few upgrades, then enjoy the rest of what FF14 will have to offer.

But just like Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley before, some players are going hard into grinding through Island Sanctuary as quickly as they can manage. Since the systems are time-gated and designed to be played over the course of weeks, the main way to grind quickly is just gathering materials. Over and over and over again. For hours on end. And, naturally, people have already mapped out all the Island Sanctuary resources with pinpoint precision.

Some players were hitting Sanctuary Rank 10, the maximum level, on August 24 - just a day after the patch launched. As Sfia, one of the early players to hit Rank 10, explains, "I saw a bar that needed to be filled."

Obviously, players are free to play Island Sanctuary however they want, and if they're enjoying grinding up an absurd mountaintop, more power to them. But the rush to power through content that's been described as "casual" by the game's own developers is already becoming a meme in the community.

While you can grind as you want, you can also restore your soul by petting animals in Island Sanctuary.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.