10 Things to Know Before Starting Stardew Valley
Console fans of farming simulators can rejoice as acclaimed indie gem Stardew Valley makes its way to Playstation 4 and Xbox One this week. The PC master race has been enjoying this incredible game since February and now it’s your turn. As someone who has dumped around 100 hours into the game, I want to see you start your farm off on the right foot. Below is my list of 10 things to know before starting Stardew Valley.
Turn On “Always Show Tool Hit Location”
Stardew Valley is a game about farming, fishing, foraging and fighting (in no particular order). To do this effectively, it requires knowing where your tools are going to strike. When I first started playing I would often till ground I didn’t mean to, or swing my axe just slightly off from the tree I wanted to chop down. Upon venturing into the game settings, I discovered that there was an option to enable “Always Show Tool Hit Location”. Turning this on helps a ton in learning exactly how the tools work and where they will swing.
Sleep, Sleep and More Sleep
Stardew Valley’s day cycle consists of 18 hours in game time (13. 5 minutes irl) and goes from 6:00 AM to 12:00 AM. Like Harvest Moon, the player in Stardew Valley are incapable of working through the night in this case 2:00 AM. If players fail to make it to their bed by 2:00 AM, they will immediately pass out. Passing out results in being carried/dragged back home by various townsfolk. Not only is this embarrassing, it also costs the player money. So get to bed before 2:00 AM!
Another couple of benefits from sleep is that it saves progress and also replenishes stamina. The games only saves after the player has gone to bed and the profit breakdown is accepted, so get some sleep to save. The other benefit of sleep is that it replenishes stamina and health.
- If the player goes to sleep before 12:00 AM health and stamina will be fully restored (excluding not be exhausted).
- The longer the player stays awake past midnight, the less benefit received from sleeping, with the lowest amount being 50% at 2:00 AM.
Basically when in doubt, sleep it out (not sure if this is a saying, but seems applicable here).
On the surface, Stardew Valley appears to be a simple farming simulator game, but there is actually a surprisingly deep decision system within the game. What I mean by this is how you decide to grow your farm. You start your farm with little money, but ample time. As the farm grows, you gain more money, but have less time. Half the fun in the game is making these decision, so I won’t really make any here, but know that certain upgrades and unlocks are ‘strategic investments’ and can help you grow your farm exponentially.
Okay maybe I will make a few:
- Unlock the greenhouse as soon as possible (year round growing)
- Unlock the minecart as soon as possible (fast travel)
- Make watering autonomous with sprinklers (huge time saver)
- Upgrade Backpack as soon as possible (more room means more $$$)
I’ll stop here, but keep in mind that all of these types of decisions can be strategic investments and give the game some serious depth.
The Worms Hold Secrets
As the player runs around Stardew Valley, you may start to notice these worms all over the place. What are they? What secrets do they hold? Well if you ever see them, simply go up to them, equip your hoe and hoe them up. The bonuses they give can vary. Sometimes you will get materials or artifacts and other times you can find Lost Books which are automatically given to Gunther at the library. Lost books give various gameplay hints when read at the library and can prove invaluable for things like fishing.
Build a Silo Before Getting Animals
Animals are a good, easy money maker in Stardew Valley, but they require the input of hay to continually produce byproducts. Hay can be purchased or collected by using a scythe on grass around your farm. Unfortunately collecting grass to make hay only works if you have a silo on your farm. Early into Stardew Valley, the player is given a quest to build a chicken coop. This quest may be super enticing, but don’t rush it. Instead, focus on getting a silo on your farm first. This will save you money and turn what was otherwise a nuisance (grass), into a usable resource. This is not as crucial in the spring/summer/fall months, but is a necessity for winter.
100 x Gold
100 x Stone
10 x Clay
5 x Copper Bars