Since Stardew Valley clay launched in February 2016, millions of gamers have given up the harsh city life for the peaceful, idyllic farmer’s lifestyle. But there is a lot to do in Stardew Valley, and without a clear farm plan, even if you make steady progress and avoid passing out on the road at 2 a.m., it can seem like some goals are far away .
For farmers who have picked up a hoe and ax for several seasons but still feel like they still have a long way to go, here’s a clear plan that explains how to turn your farm from a shabby mess into a fine one can transform coordinated operation.
1. Start with a blank board
One of the most daunting tasks for new Stardew Valley players is the absolute mess of a farm that you start the game with. Your new farm is left to the wild will of Mother Nature and overgrown with trees, grass, rocks and all sorts of other debris – a far cry from some of the flawless creations in our gallery of farms. If you clean up the whole thing, you will not only get a good sense of achievement, but you will also get a nice blank canvas. However, tidying up your farm is not only a good move for new players, it’s also a good idea for players who randomly placed their first farm buildings and now have a disorganized, inefficient system of management.
As with any large-scale overhaul, it’s easier to start over and build from scratch than repair a broken system piece by piece. It may seem like moving backwards, but the best way to plan a well-organized farm is to break away from emotions and burn it all down. Chop the trees, blow up the rocks, sell your animals (feeding, loving and milking every day is just another distraction) and destroy all buildings. The fresh slate of an empty farm is now our canvas.
2. Growing things other than grain
Stardew Valley is obviously a game about agriculture. But there are a few things that you will need – especially for our goal of total domination here – many of which cannot be easily planted and grown. Wood and coal are two of the most valuable resources in building the machines to turn your crops and other items into high quality craft items. And since the machines will take some time to process, it is better to run more at once. Wood – okay, this can be planted and grown, but I suggest doing this with a little bit of intent rather than letting nature go wild. I’ve found that lattice trees work best with two spaces in between. It allows for a high density of trees and still leaves room for your horse to walk in between.
Stumps don’t grow back into trees (thanks Emma for pointing this out!). So feel free to chop to the ground and replant. You can use any seeds for your tree farm, but make sure you use a section of oak for tapers. We’ll be using a lot of oak resin later, so start collecting it now.
Coal is the next thing you need for making machines and smelting metal rods (we will need lots of these too). However, since it only occasionally falls off from stone bursting, it can be difficult to farm efficiently. One method, of course, is to simply buy coal in bulk from the blacksmith. But you are going to need a lot, and money on your farm may be tight. Your best bet is to dive into the mines, as the dust sprites that appear at levels 41-79 have a charcoal drip rate of 50 percent – and usually in swarms.
3. Dig deep into the mines
Not every farmer is a big tumbler, and for some, the mines are vast, undeveloped land. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to find your way into its depths quickly. However, before you do so, be sure to spend a few days improving your pickaxe as a gold one will help you negotiate the early mine stages. However, gold ore does not appear until level 80 – sounds like a Catch-22, right? This is a time now that you might want to spend some cash on a long-term payoff. Buy enough ore from the blacksmith for five of each metal bar and use it to get a gold pickaxe.
The increased stone-destroying ability of your shiny new toy will shorten the work of the rocks in the early mine levels and make it much easier to get into the depths where those dust spirits and, yes, gold ore itself can be found.
4. Become a berry baron
We’re going to need money to fund this farm overhaul and Berries is the place. Wouldn’t it be nice to actually do some farming in this farming game?
At the beginning of summer, carve out a huge chunk of land (be careful not to dig a clay you’re digging!) And plant as many blueberry seeds as you can afford. Make sure you hit them with fertilizer (use all of the sap from your tree farm upstairs) for a higher chance of silver and gold crops and wait for the money to come in. The blueberries take 13 days to ripen and three to four to produce more berries every four days after that (don’t let the fast-growing tiller skill tempt you – you want to be a craftsman for our next step). Plant in the first few days of summer and you will see four harvests and a nice payday. (And since they grow all season long, we don’t have to worry about wasting time on replanting.
5. Entry into the alcohol game
By now, your farm should be a fairly fine-tuned operation, but to really bring in the wealth, it’s time to get into the wine business. Barrels take about seven days to turn a fruit into wine, but this triples the value of the fruit entered (even more if you take the Artisan Bonus). This means that we will need a lot of barrels to handle the long turnaround and to keep up with our fruit production. Each barrel contains 30 wood and one clay, copper, iron and oak resin. All this material agriculture pays off here.
You now have a number of options for entering fruit, depending on your overall game progress and the Scrooge McDuckery level. The first step is to just get on with the berry operation and bring out enough blueberry wine to send Ben Wyatt home stunned. But blueberries shine for their multi-crop harvests and return on investment – not because of a high selling price. Because barrels take so long to process, using higher quality inputs results in higher overall profits, even if the initial seeds are more expensive. When summer is coming soon and you have completed the Community Center package to fix the bus to the desert (use part of your berry money to do this), starfruits from the Oasis shop are making an incredible return on investment. The seeds are expensive (400
Once this process goes smoothly, you can expand it with more barrels supported by fruit trees. Redditor OrinMacGregor has a nice description of how many barrels per fruit tree you need.
It’s a lot of work, but the result is a self-sustaining money printing process. Just don’t get burned along the way in such a way that you feel the need to give up everything, move to the country and run your grandfather’s old farm. Oh wait a minute …