The lazy guide to leveling your island sanctuary

I spend a surprising amount of my time looking for guides and tutorials for the things I’m trying to do. Whether it’s a new crochet technique, trying to figure out Twitch overlays, plotting my next build in League of Legends, or picking up obscure quest chains in Final Fantasy, I’m always up to something and I want to know the best way to do it.

I especially like when I can find what I call a lazy guide; something that helps me figure it out, even if I don’t know all the theory behind it, and that I can use to speed up the process a little.

When I was grinding out the last few levels of my island sanctuary, I noticed—a few times, to my growing frustration—that there aren’t really any guides for the leveling process, let alone lazy ones.

So today, I thought I’d share some of my less-than-ambitious techniques for unlocking everything your island has to offer.

Gather, gather, gather.

Every gathering node on your island gives you 10 experience points, which isn’t really a lot, so you’ll have to do plenty of it. And if you’re going to do it the lazy way, you’ll need two things:

  1. A good farming spot
  2. A good macro

Your farming spot

You’ll want to find at least 11 nodes fairly close together that you can cycle through.

My favourite spot is the top of the mountain because it has exactly 11 nodes and prevents your character from wandering too far away from your spot once you start using the macro, but other good options are the sugar cane plants near the northward stream and the trees right outside of the path from your hideaway.

Your macro

The macro is the real magic here. Here’s what you’ll want to write into it:

/gaction “Duty Action I” <me>

Basically, what this does is automatically target the nearest NPC target, which in your farming spot, will be a gathering node. Then, it casts Isle Sprint on your character, locks your target, and tells you to run. It will make a huge difference in your gathering!

Just for fun, too, I have it keybound to the 3 on my numpad, so all I have to do to gather is hit 3, wait a few seconds, and then hit 0 on the numpad to confirm gathering.

Craft things you don’t need.

Crafting items doesn’t give a ton of experience for individuals, but when you make stacks, you can get some nice bonuses. Do I need 999 island greenfeed? Or premium island greenfeed? I absolutely don’t, but the nearly 7,000 experience points sure were nice.

If you’re worried about running out of your crops, don’t forget you can craft lots of restraints, too!

Whenever you can build or upgrade, do.

Whenever you can build or upgrade, do. You get huge chunks of experience just for building or upgrading the various structures on your island, so whenever you get the opportunity, make sure you are!

I’ve found that you usually get about an eighth to a sixth of a level’s experience requirement per major structure.


The extra-lazy way to take care of this is to run your granaries constantly. Your best targets will be mossy mountains, wild woods, and fatal falls for building materials like stone, logs, and clay.

Always run your workshops.

As soon as you unlock them, you’ll want to start crafting things in workshops. It doesn’t really matter what you craft; you get a flat rate of experience just for the shops being in action.

I don’t fully remember what the experience numbers were earlier on, but since I built the fourth workshop, I’ve been consistently getting around 1,100 experience points for every four-hour block. And that stacks for all the time it’s running.

Don’t be afraid to use cheese methods.

A few times, I’ve come up just short on experience points for a new rank, but with a little too much left to comfortably gather it out. So what did I do?

I turned to cheese methods.

It’s nothing too serious, and definitely nothing that will break the game for anyone—but if you do things like rebuild your landmarks a whole bunch of times for 285 experience points each time, you’re going to reach your goal faster. Of course, it does go through materials quickly, so the rule about running granaries applies here too!

Make your mammets do the hard work.

This is perhaps the laziest tactic on this list, and it definitely falls into the cheese category, but it’s worth a section all on its own.

Once you unlock the creature comforter and the produce producer, they’ll take care of your crops and animals—but if you let them gather things while they’re doing their caring thing, you miss out on all the experience of collecting crops and leavings yourself. So here’s what I do.

  1. I set up my mammets to do their caring around 7 a.m. for the day. I know that animals drop leavings at 4 a.m. ET (for now, at least, until the time change in a couple of weeks). I also know that is the time when you get charged your seafarer’s cowries for the day’s worth of care.
  2. Around 8 p.m., I log back in and cancel the caring service. Because if you cancel a service before the 4 a.m. reset time, you’ve gotten a full day of the mammets feeding and petting your animals without paying the cowries for it, and you still get the experience from collecting leavings when you log in in the morning. You don’t get experience anyway for feeding or petting, so it works out!

It might be a little disingenuous, but I figure at this point I’ve dealt with years of them being passive-aggressive little bots, so it’s even.

It’s a similar thing for crops—your crops will always take exactly two days to grow from the hour you plant them, so keep track of when you plant them, and cancel your gardening service as late as you can the night before. If you planted them at any point before noon, that usually gives you enough water to carry through until they’re ready without having to do the work of watering them.

There’s no real way around paying the cowries here unless you start and cancel the service every day, but I usually just suck it up and pay until my crops are ready.


I hope my tips for lazy ways to level up your island sanctuary help you achieve all your Monte Cowrie dreams.

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