When referring to new players in Final Fantasy XIV, the word “Sprout” is commonly used.

This is because a “Sprout” indicator will appear next to a new player’s name to let veterans know they should be cautious around them.

When you have played for more than 168 hours in total and have completed the Stormblood Expansion, your Sprout status will be removed.

It’s totally understandable if you have no clue what this icon represents.

After beating the main game, the first expansion, and putting in hundreds of hours, you’ll still just be a Sprout.

You may even look around at the other players and feel a pang of existential dread as you realize that they, too, are still Sprouts despite their seeming superiority to you.

The good news is that this is only a temporary status that will be removed once you fulfill a few basic requirements.

When Do You Lose Your Sprout Status?

You’ll need to play for more than 168 hours and get through everything in the Stormblood expansion up to Patch 4.5. The little green man will disappear from Shadow bringers’ door until you are quite close.

It would be nice to have 168 hours to do something (and to be fair, it is).

However, there are players I know who have spent well over 600 hours in the game and are still considered Sprouts.

A “new player” in XIV’s eyes may be a bit of a nebulous concept.

However, once you have un sprouted by fulfilling these requirements, there is no turning back.

A player who has been gone for 45 days or more is considered a Returner and given a flower icon.

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Players who have returned to the game are given a level 20 experience boost when playing with Mentors and access to The Novice Network.

However, returning players are not required to accept the Returner designation and can opt-out if they so choose.

What’s The Point Of Being A Sprout?

To a large extent, XIV is a game about its players. A new player may feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content, including features, lore, and years of story developments.

By labeling persons new to the game with the Sprout icon, it becomes easy to identify folks who might need a little bit of aid and support.

The Sprout technique is quite effective generally.

Back when I still had the status, experienced players would often help me out. Some even handed me gifts and Gil in the middle of the street!

Obviously, you can’t bank on that level of generosity everywhere. Still, it’s a fantastic thing to witness.

Certain players will also be identified as Mentors.

Mentors have passed some very stringent criteria to be regarded as good role models and educators for new players.

Mentors offer assistance to Sprouts primarily through The Novice Network.

To put it simply, it’s a chat room within the game itself, and there are no such things as foolish questions.

While Sprouts and Mentors are eligible to join The Novice Network, membership is not automatic. To join, you must first receive an invitation from a Mentor.

If you want an answer quickly, try asking nicely in a chat room in a major city.

Can You Turn Off Sprout Status?

You can, but there are a number of advantages to using the green arrow instead.

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The internet is full of jokes and fears that seek to stigmatize what is actually a system designed to serve everyone.

When paired up with Mentors, you do not only gain access to The Novice Network and an experience boost, but you also receive a little bit of extra help and for bearance from the more seasoned members of the community.

However, if you insist on turning off that Sprout, you may do so by typing /nastatus into the chat box and hitting enter.

You can toggle your Sprout status with this until you reach Shadow bringers and are no longer qualified to be one due to having played for too long.