Welcome to A 90’s Kid. We’re back again with another five tips for y’all. Now listen up!
Did you laugh at my Livin’ Off the Land reference? A faint chuckle even? No? No matter, I’ll still give you some more beginner’s tips for Stardew Valley. Check out this article for my first round of tips before learning even more of them below.
1. You, yes you, can learn to fish!
Fishing is one of the first frustrating mechanics you’ll run into in Stardew Valley, but anyone can master it with some practice. Whatever button your version of the game has you push — left mouse button on PC, Y on the Switch — it can be difficult to keep the bar lined up with that shifty little fish. Instead of holding down the button, which can send the bar soaring up the meter way past the fish, try quickly clicking the button to move the bar at a bit more leisurely of a pace. Rarer fish will still give you some trouble by jumping around the meter, but by practicing your well-timed button clicks, you’ll be reeling in those tuna and salmon like a pro soon enough.
2. Pay attention to the calendar.
The calendar posted outside of the general store is important for a number of reasons. It shows townsfolk’s birthdays as well as events you’ll want to attend. You should plan to give gifts to people on their birthdays, especially if you’re looking to romance them, because birthday presents give you the biggest boost in hearts (relationship levels) of the year. You can take your time to figure out what gifts your favorite characters like the most, or you can get a little cheatsy and check out the Stardew Valley Wiki for a gift guide.
You’ll also want to pay attention to how many days are left in the season for your crops. All crops die at the end of each season — unless they carry over into the next season, like corn in summer and fall — so you need to make sure you have enough days left to grow and harvest the seeds you’re getting. Nothing is worse than losing hundreds in gold because you didn’t realize you only had 10 days to grow those cauliflower, which take 12 days to mature.
3. Use rainy / high luck days for the mines.
The mines are an essential part of Stardew Valley. They offer you lots of ore, coal, gems, and a host of other items you’ll need for a prosperous farm. Going through the mines takes time, though, so you’ll want every second of the day possible to get through enough levels to find an elevator and save your progress there.
One method of doing this is going to the mines on rainy days since you won’t have to spend precious time watering your crops in the morning. Make sure to watch your TV and plan ahead when you see a rainy day is coming. Put away non-essential items and get out your sword and food the night before so you’re ready to book it to the mines first thing the next morning.
Other perfect days to spend in the mines are those when the Fortune Teller says you have good luck. You’ll move through the mines faster with higher luck, because you’ll have a much better chance of finding a ladder to the next level. Good luck will also influence the amount of coal you get from rocks and your geode drop chance.
4. Upgrade your watering can strategically.
All of your tools can be upgraded by Gus, the town blacksmith, with the proper amount of smelted bars. Your watering can is the first you’ll want to upgrade so you can water three crops at a time instead of just one, but it’s also the tool you have to be the most strategic about upgrading. Gus takes two full days to upgrade your watering can, which means your crops will go unwatered if you don’t plan accordingly.
I know I’m a broken record on this, but watch your TV every day. When the Weather Report says the next day will bring rain, that is the day you take your watering can to Gus. Water your crops like normal that day, take your watering can and copper bars to the blacksmith, and come back the day after next to pick it up. The rain will water your crops the next day, and you’ll be able to use your shiny upgraded watering can the day you pick it up from Gus.
5. Don’t sleep on the Traveling Cart.
Did you know a traveling merchant will sell you rare items from her cart certain days of the week? The Travelling Cart is a shop that appears south of your farm, in Cindersap Forest, on Fridays and Sundays. The merchant sells a selection of random items in limited quantities, sometimes outside of their normal seasons.
This can be very helpful for completing Community Center bundles, like those that rebuild the Greenhouse on your farm. The merchant will sometimes offer animal items like wool and milk, which you need for those bundles, and can be difficult to obtain if you aren’t upgrading your coop and barn quickly. You’ll also find rare items that make perfect gifts for that special someone in your life.
For more on Stardew Valley, read over our review of the Nintendo Switch version of the game, and look out for more tips and tricks here on A9K.