Stardew Valley Mastery Explainer

The Final Path Mastery Progress bar in Stardew Valley's Mastery Cave.

Introduced in Update 1.6, Stardew Valley Mastery presents an end-game Skill system enabling players who have reached maximum Skill levels to progress further, unlocking new Mastery items and perks. The following guide covers all aspects of the Stardew Valley Mastery system you need to know.

Where is the Mastery Cave?

Stardew Valley Mastery Cave door location.
The Mastery Cave door is located at this map location.


To access the new Mastery system, head to the recently added location known as the Mastery Cave. Hinted at in Secret Note #27 from your Grandpa, this cave can be found in Cindersnap Forest, situated along the cliffside to the north of the Sewer entrance. Look for a door within the cliff that leads to the cave.

Before you can enter through this door, there is a requirement to access it. Players must max out all 5 Skills before the door opens for them. If the player hasn’t reached maximum level in all skills, they will receive a message stating, “Only a master of the five ways may enter ([Number of max level skills]/5).”

What’s in the Mastery Cave?

The Stardew Valley Mastery Cave interior.
The interior of the Mastery Cave.

When you go through the door, you enter the Mastery Cave. Inside this room, you will find a note from your Grandpa in the southeast corner that reads as follows:

My dear <player’s name>,

If you’re reading this note, you’ve found the secret room I’ve prepared for you. Within these walls are tips, recipes, and even some of my most cherished tools… all the very best from the many happy years I spent in the valley.

By coming this far, you’ll have proven that you possess the skill and wisdom to make good use of these powerful secrets. I hope my discoveries help you in your journey to making <Farm’s name> a shining star of the whole world!

Make me proud!

– Grandpa

In addition to the note, there’s a Mastery Pedestal in the middle of the room titled “The Final Path” that displays the Mastery Progress bar when interacted with. Also, there are five columns in the back of the room, each representing a Skill category and showing their Mastery unlocks.

How to Level Up and Earn Mastery Stars

You can claim each of the five columns in the Mastery Cave by earning and then spending a Mastery Star. You earn Mastery Stars by leveling up the Mastery Progress bar. To fill the bar do XP-gaining activities, like any of the following:

When you completely fill the Mastery Progress Bar, a message appears stating “You’ve reached a new level of understanding…” and a Mastery Star becomes available to spend in the cave. The table below shows the total experience required for unlocking each star.

Mastery StarExperience Needed
110,000
225,000
345,000
470,000
5100,000

Mastery Rewards & Unlocks

Each time you earn a Mastery Star you can return to the Mastery Cave to spend it. To spend the star approach one of the five columns and interact with it. You will see a set of Skill specific rewards and unlocks available to claim. Claiming a column unlocks that set of rewards in exchange for a Mastery Star. The unlocks for each Mastery are:

Combat Mastery Unlocks

  • Anvil (Recipe): Allows you to re-forge trinkets, randomizing their stats. Costs 3 Iridium bars per use.
  • Mini-Forge (Recipe): Now, you can use a dwarvish forge from the convenience of your home.
  • Trinket (Perk): Unlocks a new equipment slot for trinkets. Trinkets can be found while adventuring and grant special powers.

Foraging Mastery Unlocks

  • Mystic Tree Seed (Recipe): This can be planted to grow a special tree.
  • Treasure Totem (Recipe): Use on diggable terrain to summon a ring of treasure spots.
  • Golden Mystery Boxes (Perk): You now find Golden Mystery Boxes, which contain superior items.

Farming Mastery Unlocks

  • Iridium Scythe (Tool): Can be used to harvest any crops. It’s also excellent at gathering hay.
  • Statue of Blessings (Recipe): Touching this statue gives a unique blessing every day.
  • Golden Animal Crackers (Perk): You can now find Golden Animal Crackers, which permanently doubles a farm animal’s produce. Doesn’t work on pigs.

Fishing Mastery Unlocks

  • Advanced Iridium Rod (Tool): Use in the water to catch fish. Up to two bobbers can be attached at once.
  • Challenge Bait (Recipe): A “perfect” catch yields triple the fish. However, each time a fish escapes the “fishing bar”, the catch is reduced.
  • Golden Fishing Chests (Perk): You can now encounter Golden Fishing Chests.

Mining Mastery Unlocks

  • Statue of The Dwarf King (Recipe): Choose from two mining-related powers each day.
  • Heavy Furnace (Recipe): It’s more efficient than a regular furnace. Requires 25 pieces of ore and 3 coal per use.
  • Gem Rocks Yield (Perk): Gem-bearing rocks now grant twice the gems.

Upon claiming a column, you will receive all rewards and unlocks listed on it. The column will then display the tool icon from that Skill category, indicating that it has been unlocked and cannot be purchased again. A Mastery Star also appears on the Special Items & Powers screen, detailing which Masteries you’ve unlocked so far.

What Happens When You Unlock All Masteries in the Mastery Cave?

The Mastery Cave completed in Stardew Valley.
The completed Mastery Cave.

When you acquire the last Mastery in the Mastery Cave, a special event unfolds. Blue candles light above each pillar, the letter on the right disappears, and Grandpa’s night cap materializes on the pedestal located between the combat and foraging mastery pillars. Additionally, a message reading “You feel Grandpa’s hand patting your shoulder…” appears on your screen.

Thoughts on our Stardew Valley Mastery guide? Drop them in the comments below.

 

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A lifelong gamer who has devoted the last six years to the creation and development of "Hold To Reset," a website tailored by gamers for gamers. Yell your hot takes at him on X.

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