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Stardew Valley tips and tricks: how to make the ultimate farming empire

Stardew Valley is one of the best games of its kind to ever exist, standing proudly alongside the likes of Animal Crossing: New Horizons as relaxing, satisfying experiences that can zap away dozens of hours within an instant. It’s also available on every platform under the sun, meaning it’s hard to find an excuse not to jump in nowadays.

With such depth to all of its mechanics, a number of things can go over the heads of players as they settle into Pelican Town. Trusted Reviews has your back, and we’ve compiled an essential list of tips and tricks to help you out.

Once you’ve left the hustle and bustle of the city and moved into Pelican Town you’ll be greeted with an overgrown plot of land desperately in need of attention. Decaying heaps of grass and ragged rocks are strewn about the place, and you’ll need to spend a few solid days clearing space for your very first crops.

We recommend taking extra time to make sure the entirety of your farmland is cleared, as you’ll inevitably hit a wall with how many plants and vegetables you can display without doing so. You’ll need to keep on top of general maintenance as seasons change, since unique debris will appear to reflect the changing times.

There’s a handful of shops in Pelican Town, all of which provide the player with loads of handy items that become essential as you progress. The General Store is the most important, acting as the place where you’ll purchase all your seeds, fertilisers and decorative items for the homestead. You’ll also need to buy a Bouquet for engaging to loved ones before marriage.

Willy’s Fish Shack can be located on the beach and, while selling a far smaller number of goodies, provides you with bait, fishing rods and crab crates for players hoping to catch underwater creatures. Finally, you can unlock shops in the underground mines, desert and sewers after a couple dozen hours of progress, give or take.

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It can be tempting to just throw away all of your resources on crafting small objects and amenities in the first few hours, but objects like wood, coal and stone will prove precious once you start upgrading tools and building new facilities.

The former is especially important as you’ll need to report to townsfolk to build facilities to house animals such as chickens, goats and cows. Milk and eggs become essential economic cornerstones of your farming empire going forward, and that all starts with a collection of resources.

There’s only so many hours in the day. This sentiment rings increasingly true in Stardew Valley as you rush around Pelican Town completing an assortment of different tasks. We often spring out of bed with a formulated schedule, whether it involves watering crops, spelunking in the dungeon or taking a brief bus journey to the desert.

However you spend your day, it’s very easy for things to get away from you after just a few minutes. Stardew Valley isn’t real time (thank goodness) so days pass by in a fraction of the time, meaning you’ll quickly notice the evenings drawing in as you’re digging the thousandth hole for an epic haul of parsnips.

Keep the encroaching night in the forefront of your mind, as it’s very easy to accidentally run out of energy and end up awaking the next day unable to so as much. It’s not real life, but. Stardew Valley still rewards you for having a responsible bedtime.

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We’ll be honest, the starting tools in Stardew Valley are a bit rubbish apart from your Scythe, a godless bush killing machine that will serve you well.  which starts out as a perfect way to slice away messy bushes. Everything else, is noticeably mediocre until you begin enhancing them.

Enhancing your tools to bronze, steel, gold and finally iridium is a long process, as you’ll need to collect individual ore before smelting them into bars and paying the local blacksmith to whack up a shiny device. After this you’ll need to wait a couple of days to pick it up, so make sure crops don’t need tending before giving away your watering can.

With everything else going on, it can be easy to forgot that Stardew Valley has a robust dungeon-crawling element spanning hundreds of floors both in Pelican Town itself and hidden in the dessert once recovering a certain key. Ripe with monsters, and hidden secrets, we recommend dropping into the mines whenever you can.

For us, the ideal time often landed after finishing our usual farming chores in the middle of the afternoon. With a few hours to kill and some energy in reserve, head on over to the mines and start, well, mining. Also, don’t be afraid to slash away at monsters using your sword as they’re likely to drop geodes, slimes and other potential goodies.

Every 10 floors or so you’ll be greeted with a treasure chest harbouring some rare loot, much of which will prove relevant as you dive even deeper where elements such as ice and fire come into play. The Desert Dungeon is far more perilous, so go in expecting a steep challenge.  

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Every citizen in Pelican Town has their own personality, routine, likes and dislikes. They feel like real people, reacting to each gift you bring them or when you’re caught rifling through bins outside the local pub. Yeah, don’t do that last thing.

But what you should do is focus on building relationships with friends across town whenever you can. You can check on progress through the in-game menu, and reaching certain milestones will result in special events. Or even love if you play your cards right.

Some of Stardew Valley’s most satisfying and heartwarming moments come from building up relationships in Pelican Town, and finally bonding with your village sweetheart after hours of trying is a really lovely moment. No, YOU’RE crushing on pixelated people!

The Stardew Valley Community Centre is unlocked in the early hours of the game. Abandoned and filled with debris, your job is complete a number of packages to restore the facility to its former glory. These packages consist of common, rare and unexpected items which, once finished, reward you with items and even access to new devices across town.

Dedicated time to this cause will result in bus travel to the dessert, mine carts for fast-travelling across town and even a greenhouse that allows you to grow anything regardless of season. The latter is something we used to grow Starfruit by the hundred, resulting in a gargantuan profit.

 

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