FFXIV Island Sanctuary is basically Animal Crossing on PC

A full demonstration of the FFXIV Island Sanctuary shows off the new mode for the MMORPG, which includes farming and crafting like Animal Crossing on PC

FFXIV Island Sanctuary - an NPC in a red coat and white hood, with two robot-like eyes peering out, on an island farm

Final Fantasy XIV director Naoki Yoshida has shown off the new FFXIV Island Sanctuary mode for the critically acclaimed MMORPG, confirming that it’s basically Animal Crossing on PC. The demonstration of the farming game mode took place as part of the latest developer livestream – for all the other information from that event, check out our full Live Letter 72 breakdown.

Final Fantasy XIV’s Island Sanctuary launches on August 23 alongside patch 6.2, and gives every player their own individual island to explore and build upon. You’ll have to complete the events of patch 6.0 – that’s the base Endwalker storyline – to gain access to the island, first arriving on one of its beaches.

The size of the islands is really something special – and the amount of content included appears to match. Yoshi-P says that the tutorials for the mode alone are likely to take players around two and a half hours to complete, giving you some idea of just how much is on offer. Players can gather resources, turn them into tools and materials, and use these to build structures and organise your facility.

There are no battles on the island, and increased mount speed along with reduced sprint and return recast times while there should make getting around simple. Everything related to the island goes into a specific inventory unique to the mode – meaning you can keep it separate and not clutter up your regular inventory with stuff. Gathering in Island Sanctuary isn’t tied to your characters usual gathering and crafting classes, so anyone can get involved out the gate.

As you progress, you’ll be able to capture the wildlife running around the island and bring them back to your base, where they can be farmed for additional resources. Bugs can also be captured using nets, and also provide their own materials. You can build some starter buildings immediately, but later ones will take a pre-designated time period for construction to complete, much like Animal Crossing. The building designs get more advanced over time, although Yoshida reassures players that they can keep the simpler looks if they prefer.

Your island also has its own rank and experience, so it will level up and award distinct island scrips that can be used for unique glamours and mounts that can be used anywhere in the game (none of which are gender-locked). You’ll be working alongside an NPC who is an expert in crop cultivation and can teach you the essentials of farming. Crops will have to be watered regularly or they’ll stop growing – but rainfall will also count, so you may not have to do all the hard work yourself.

Once you have progressed enough, you can also assign NPCs to complete your busywork for you. You’ll be able to release up to 40 of your favourite minions to roam around the island as well, which should help the Island Sanctuary feel even more like a home away from home. It certainly seems like somewhere that players are likely to find themselves getting completely lost in – at least you’ll be able to queue for duties while you’re there, if you manage to remember that you’re still playing an MMO!

If you’re diving into the new mode, be sure to check our FFXIV Island Sanctuary guide for all the details you need to know to make the most of your island getaway. Meanwhile, Yoshi-P has been discussing the new story pace for the FFXIV 6.x expansion series, and fans have recreated an iconic Lord of the Rings meme in FFXIV as a tribute to its creator.