With the release of Stardew Valley on mobile platforms, I felt it would only be right to bring out some guides to help you all out since I’m sure you’ll be spending many an hour playing. There’s a ridiculous number of things you can do in this game so for this guide I will be focusing on how to make money during your first year. Even though your finances will be the focus, I’ll touch on other things you could do during each season as well.
Oddly enough, the key to financial success in this farming game is, well, farming. Crops will be your most efficient money maker on the beginning of this game. Although you can make money with animals they can be fairly costly as well, we’ll go more into this later.
Spring – Year One
- Plant as much as you can to be harvested before the 13th
- Get strawberry seeds(100g) from the festival and plant them before the 16th
- Upgrade backpack
- Attempt to improve at least one skill (fishing or mining)
Your starter pack gets you fifteen turnip seeds to start your farm. Take your hoe and prep fifteen spots near a water source, plant the seeds and water them. Watering is going to take up a lot of your time so being near a water source will save you a lot of time running back and forth to refill your watering can. After that I suggest heading to Pierre’s and buying some seeds. Cauliflower is going to net you the largest profit. Green beans come in as a close second if planted by the third of the month as they are a recurring crop. Be careful when planting beans though since they are one of the crops you aren’t able to walk through meaning if you don’t plan it out right you’ll have plants you can’t reach. As for short turn around crops, kale makes a decent profit followed by garlic so as you’re reaching the end of the season, fill your fields with whichever of those is most appropriate according to how many days you have left. One special crop that you can only buy at the egg festival are strawberries. Strawberries are expensive (100g) but if you plant them before the 16th you’ll make a fair bit of money off them before the season is through as they give you two full harvests. If you’ve unlocked the fertilizer recipe I highly suggest using that before planting strawberries, it’ll greatly increase your profit.
There are some other things that you can be doing in order to earn more money and advance your objectives during some of the free time you find yourself with such as: foraging, mining, fishing, and clearing your fields. I’ll talk about the last three at the end of this guide.
Gathering (foraging) during the spring can be time consuming but due to your limited budget your crops won’t end up consuming as much of your time as they will in later seasons. You also start off with the smallest sized backpack meaning that you have very limited items you can carry. To make the most use of what you have, remember that items stack. You may only have twelve item slots but you can carry 99 dandelions all in one slot (assuming they are all the same quality level, something you can’t determine until after you’ve collected/harvest an item). I found it easiest to divide the map into sections where you’re able to go through and pick up everything, return to your farm to sell it and then head off in another direction, avoiding backtracking. This method differs depending on season, backpack size and how good a forager you are. Upgrading to a larger backpack will save you a lot of headaches but it’s fairly expensive in the beginning. If you are going to buy yourself a larger backpack I highly suggest doing it after you’ve purchased as many strawberry seeds as you can. It’s more of a hassle but much better in the long run.
A hint, remember to leave your tools behind giving you a few more slots for foraging.
If you have the chance, open up the bridge on the beach. Across it there are many more items to harvest – increasing your profit (at the initial cost of 300 wood).
- Clear more of your fields
- Upgrade watering can (if you haven’t already)
- Start utilizing preserve jars (to what degree is up to you)
- Open the bridge on the beach
The main Summer crop you want in blueberries. Like the strawberries, blueberries are a recurring crop saving you the hassle of having to replant things every harvest. They also produce multiple berries per plant each harvest, netting you even more. The downside to these money makers is the fact that they take 13 days for the plant to reach maturity. You need to get these going on day one or two of Summer to really get the full benefit out of them.
Remember when planting that watering takes up a lot of energy. If you managed to get your watering can upgrade before summer, you’ll have an easier time of it but either way – be careful. Passing out can cost you a pretty penny, kinda defeating the whole purpose of working yourself into the ground.
Crafting food can save you a lot of expenses but will require materials which, depending on the recipes, can cost you in the long run. Playing it safe and keeping your watering just under your energy limit is worth it. You’re still able to either go fishing or mining on rainy days that way but you’re limited during sunny days. You can forage for items or make friends without using any energy during the rest of the time.
At this point it is very beneficial to have opened up the bridge on the beach. Whenever you have the wood to do so (preferably you already have during the spring) because there are a lot more collectible items just across the water worth a fair bit of money. You’re more likely to find items there on rainy days as well.
The only addendum to this plan of attack for the summer is dependent on whether or not you want to get into the preserves business. Turning an item into a jam or pickles make the artisan item worth double +50g of the original items base value. In this case melons might serve as your biggest money maker. At 250g a piece, their aftermarket value (550g) is significantly better than the aftermarket value of blueberries (150g) unless you have an incredible number of preserve jars that can handle the insane harvest load from blueberries, which would be very impressive.
Remember to spend your excess energy on a combination of mining, fishing, and clearing area on your farm for the future. You’re going to need all that wood and stone to craft things down the road.
- Build a silo
- Fill your silo
- Upgrade your pickaxe before winter
The pattern continues into the fall. Grow as many cranberries as you can manage, they will net you the largest profit and they are a recurring crop. If you haven’t built a silo at this point I would highly suggest building one so that it’ll be finished before the end of the season. This way you can start collecting the hay from cutting down all of the grass in your fields. Hay can be a very costly expense if you get animals and saving up a fair bit before you get them can be great in the long run. Don’t worry about mining and fishing as much if you don’t have the time or energy to do so, you will have lots of time over the winter. Continue foraging if you have the time to net you a little more money without the energy costs. There is a lot of time over the winter to fill in the activities that you missed during the other seasons such as talking with the townsfolk.
I personally would suggest upgrading your pickaxe before the winter hits. This isn’t vital by any means but doing so means that you’ll spend less energy working your way through the levels in the mine. Upgrading it before the winter sets in just gives you a couple more days of use where it’s not in the shop.
- Get coffee from the night market
- Upgrade tools you use most
- Craft seeds if you have fruit saved and a seed maker.
- Start working on the community center bundles (if you haven’t already)
Over the winter there is not a lot of things that you can do to make money aside from foraging and growing winter seeds.
There is one thing that will make you a lot of money during the winter that is a bit unusual compared to the other seasons. The night market has a gentleman that hands out free coffee. You can collect one of these coffees every ten minutes from open to close, every day of the festival. This can earn you the tidy sum of 24,300g if you use it to the fullest extent.
If you’ve acquired the seed maker and have saved some produce from the previous year, you can use the winter to craft the seeds, saving you the cost of repurchasing those seeds each season. This may not be something that you can do this year but in the future it can be very beneficial.
Winter is also a wonderful time to upgrade your watering can and hoe. The hoe is really not necessary to upgrade in comparison to the other tools but if you have the ores and money it does make things easier. The watering can on the other hand makes life significantly easier when upgraded. Remember that the price of ores drastically increases once spring comes around again so if you haven’t harvested the ores you need but still want to do some upgrading keep that in mind. With your amassed wealth, year two should be a lot easier for you!
Winter Horse riding |StarDew Valley
This will become a vital skill in the future of the game for a number of reasons. In the mines you can make a decent amount of money but more important is your resource for, well.. resources. In order to upgrade your tools, you will require metal bars (copper, iron, etc) which you make by smelting the ores you find in the mine. Upgrading your tools will either save you time, unlock new areas or both. As you reach deeper and deeper into the mine the enemies will get harder but the rewards improve. A majority of the crafting recipes will require items from the mine as well. These recipes aren’t essential but things like the preserves jars do craft artisan items which will net a higher profit overall.
You can also buy ores from the blacksmith in town if you decide to avoid mining but be aware his prices dramatically increase when you start your second year. I don’t advise doing this as you will need the mine at some point in the game and even with the first year discount the cost of buying all your ores is expensive.
Upgrading your pickaxe will save your energy levels somewhat while going through the mine. Since passing out in the mine will cost you some of your unlocked levels, money and items, it is really important to keep track of your health and energy levels.
This is one of the few areas of the game that I feel fall short. The mechanics of fishing are really frustrating to use even when playing the game on the PC (its original form). Although you may want to just toss your fishing rod in the trash I suggest trying to get some fishing in when you can. The more you use this skill the easier it will get and you will also be able to get a better fishing rod with the ability to attach bait as your skill level improves. Fishing can make you a fair bit of money, especially once your fishing skill improves, but more importantly is later in the game you will need that skill if you choose to go the “save the community centre” route as there are a number of fish you need for different bundles. Personally I enjoy mining a lot more than fishing but it is with putting some of your free time into.
Fishing I StarDew Valley