If you’re a fan of Super Gamecast 64, you are already well aware of my love affair with Stardew Valley. I’m perversely proud to admit that I have purchased the game on multiple platforms, and have logged countless hours in the bucolic countryside with each iteration. What better way to share this experience than in a quick startup guide to the fast-paced, penny-pinching first hour of this pixelated masterpiece? If you’re just starting out, these Stardew Valley tips should be just what you need to have a bustling farm in no time.
Top Tips for Getting Started in Stardew Valley
Your eyes flutter open as the soft dawning sunlight diffuses through the blinds into your modest farmhouse left to you by your Grandpa. You stretch and yawn, noting the momentary peace before the driving pace of the day proceeds. Upon exiting you note a friendly greeting in your mailbox from Mayor Lewis. Enclosed within are some Parsnip seeds! You’re off to a good start.
These seeds will be the first thing grown on your plot. But prior to that, you need a plot to plant in! Use the tools provided to clear a space for crops. Don’t go too crazy here, as the process will deplete precious energy. In addition, anything you clear and then leave empty will slowly refill with branches and stones all over again! Once the plot for the parsnips is tilled and planted, give them a good watering and pat yourself on the back. Farm chores day 1: complete!
The day is still young, so use this time to explore a bit! Greet your neighbors, poke around a little and acclimate yourself with the map. It’s likely that by now you’re fresh out of energy as is, so there’s nothing to do but wait for nightfall. If you prefer, you can certainly retire to bed at any time as well.
Queen of Sauce, Weather Report, Livin’ Off The Land, Fortune Teller
Yesterday was productive and educational but today, the real work starts. I recommend getting into the habit of checking the TV every morning prior to leaving your house. Here you will learn valuable info about the state of the weather, your daily luck, and even occasionally a recipe or two! The weather is particularly important for many reasons, but perhaps the most important is to keep an eye out for rainy days. Since the rain will be doing your job of watering for you, you’ll have plenty of energy to run around and fish, mine, or upgrade your tools.
Drop the Bass
Speaking of fishing: this is one of the best things you can do for your pocketbook early in the game. Rainy days are perfect for fishing, so get your rod and toss it in the nearest body of water (not on your farm unless you want to catch garbage!). This has the added benefit of netting you a number of fish needed for the community center bundles (more on this later), as well as providing a healthy income.
Your first plot will likely be parsnips. These are a great starter due to their short grow time and relatively inexpensive seed cost. Once the first group is grown, either drop them in the shipping box, or go to the General Store and sell them. Use this money to reinvest in more seeds! Experiment a bit, and see what you like to grow. As a general rule, plants that produce multiple harvests tend to be the most cost-effective. Another important thing to remember is the damage that crows can and will do to your veggies. Make sure to plop a couple of scarecrows on your farm! A clever player will find scarecrows during their playthrough that double as fun decorations.
Save the Trees (for later)
During your playthrough, you will be tempted to try daring things with your land. A good example of this are fruit trees. These are pretty expensive and take a long time to grow and bear fruit. Due to the particular nature of their growth needs, I highly recommend waiting on these bad boys. Instead, shoot for growing some blueberries in the summer, or cranberries in the fall. They’ll produce multiple harvests and keep you lousy with berries to sell well until the winter festivities.
You’ll find yourself in the bowels of the mines at some point. You will also inevitably run out of energy while mining, leaving you without much choice aside from leaving. Early on in Stardew, foraging is your best friend. Salmonberry season will be upon you before no time, so make sure you go out every day and gather as many as you can. What I tend to do is stockpile these bad boys until winter when you’ve got nothing better to do but try to dig down to level 100 in the mines!
It Takes A Valley
After a little while, the Community Center will open, allowing you to start putting together bundles for the benevolent Junimos within. Completing these bundles is a great way to kickstart your productivity through various means such as the mine carts that allow you to travel from one place to another with ease!
One. More. Level.
Days in the Valley only last about 17 minutes meaning each one is harder to quit than the one before. Don’t be afraid to take a break, but do remember that your skill level will increase with gameplay. Foraging, mining, fishing, and many more will become easier due to increased aptitude. In addition to this, spend some time getting to know your neighbors! They’ll give you gifts of gratitude, and even fall in love with you if you’re lucky.
There are countless “right” ways to play this incredible game. This is simply a starting guide for anyone looking to dive right in and work their way through the first months. Just remember to play at your own pace, enjoy the journey, and don’t let anyone tell you that rifling through the garbage cans is wrong.
If you’re still thinking about grabbing Stardew Valley, grab your physical copy by using the links above! (Paid links)
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