25 Stardew Valley Tips and Strategies For Beginners

The Stardew Valley logo
A chicken sits atop the Stardew Valley logo

So you’ve finally invested in the acclaimed farm simulator Stardew Valley and are wondering where to begin with your new farm. Look no further than these twenty-five tips and strategies to start your farm and maximize profits, while also enjoying yourself on your first playthrough.  


1. Picking the best starting farm

The intro menu lets you customize your character, pick your pet, and choose a starting farm

For beginners I recommend the standard farm because it is the least complex and offers the most space for farming and raising animals. The other farm choices are more specialized (ex. Riverland farm is specialized for fishing, so there is less land. The Forest farm encourages foraging so there’s more wilderness). 


2. Energy

Pay attention to your energy level. You don't start off with a lot and are limited in what you can accomplish. Eating can restore energy and so does sleeping, though sleeping will start a new day. 


3. Planting 

The layout of your farm can be important in terms of organization and style

Plant all 15 parsnip seeds you start off with. Parsnips take only four days to grow, make you decent profit, and help you level up your farming.


4. Watering

Something that is not explained is how to refill your watering can. Stand next to any source of water and "water it." This will fill up the watering can instead!


5. Fishing

Fishing can be a great source of income in game

A lot of people find fishing initially challenging and are deterred by it. I recommend purchasing the training rod from Willy right after receiving the fishing rod from him. It is only 25gp and makes catching fish easier. Remember to get rid of the training rod after reaching level 5 fishing, as it will no longer be more helpful over the other rods. 


6. Buying seeds

By the first or second day on your farm, I recommend going to Pierre’s to buy more seeds to plant. It is important to at least invest in green bean seeds, cauliflower seeds, and potato seeds (it will be important you have one of each later on). I recommend buying two of each of these seeds. 


7. Pierre’s is closed on Wednesdays!!!

Pierre's is closed on Wednesdays no matter how many times you knock

This is so important to remember. Just buy anything you might need from him before or after Wednesday, since the only other store, JojaMart, has higher prices. 


8. Crows

To keep crows away, before you’re able to make a scarecrow, only plant up to 15 crops. Planting anymore will attract crows and they will destroy your crops. 


9. Scarecrow  

Reaching level 1 in Farming will grant you the recipie to crafting your first scarecrow

Build a scarecrow as soon as you are able! It is the only way to keep away crows if you want to plant more than 15 crops on your farm. You need to gain one level in farming to be able to build one. 


10. Weeds

Keep an eye on the weeds growing on your farm or build a fence around your crops. Weeds can grow overnight and damage your garden. 


11. Seasons

Each season is only 28 days long so don’t plant seeds if they won’t have time to grow. The menu in the upper right corner of your game should tell you which day you’re on. 


12. Television

You can watch the weather channel and fortune channel everyday

The television in your house is useful! You can watch the weather channel and fortune channel everyday. Sometimes you can learn cooking recipes and farming and foraging tips too. 


13. Community Center or JojaMart? 

JojaMart's saying is "Join us. Thrive."

You can either donate items to have the town community center restored or pay Joja to expand further and take over the community center. The town is happier if you restore the center without Joja’s help and you will be spending less money taking this route. Plus the Junimos are really cute!


14. Items donated and Prizes

Keep an eye on what each bundle in the community center needs, because the faster you complete them the sooner you get prizes, such as raw materials, food, seeds, and more.


15. Quests

Check your journal for quests to complete and money to collect

Completing quests in your journal is usually a good way to earn gold and friendship with the townspeople. You can access your journal by pressing the exclaimation mark found under your gold amount. 


16. Help Wanted!

The requests on the "Help Wanted" board can be a little odd, but the money is good

A good source of quick income and a way to earn friendship with the townspeople is to check and complete the help wanted posts on the bulletin board located right outside of Pierre’s.


17. Clay

An unexpected good source of income is to sell clay. Clay sells for 20gp a piece. You can find clay by using your hoe to hit dirt or sand.  


18. Birthdays

Looking at the calendar shows you who has a birthday during that season

Giving a villager a gift they like or love on their birthday will give you double the amount of friendship with them, compared to giving them a gift on a normal day. 


19. Mines and fighting

Every level of the mine offers something different

When going into the mines, it’s a good idea to bring at least one snack that restores a decent amount of energy and health. Monsters can damage your health fast and mining takes a lot of energy. 


20. Passing Out

If you lose all your health and pass out in the mines you will lose some of the items in your inventory at random!


21. Adventurer’s Guild

The Adventurer's Guild is located next to the mines

Get into the Adventurer’s Guild as soon as you can. You can buy gear from them, earn prizes from Gil, and they have an item recovery service. The item recovery service can grant you one item back that you lost from passing out in the mines. 


22. Mushroom or fruit cave?

There are five different types of mushrooms you can grow

At some point you will be asked if you’d like to grow mushrooms in the cave on your farm or have bats drop fruit. Fruit trees are a more reliable source for fruit and mushrooms will be harder to come by if you do not grow them in your cave (the fruit cave can be beneficial short term though, if you are interested in finishing the Community Center faster rather than thinking about long-term).


23. Multi-season crops

Some crops, such as coffee beans, corn, sunflowers, wheat, and ancient fruit, can grow during multiple seasons. So keep an eye out for these!


24. Upgrading

A good strategy if you want to upgrade your watering can before winter is to give it to the blacksmith the day before you know it will rain. That way you won’t miss a day of watering.


25. Walking

Horses get you places so much faster than walking

If you are tired of how slow you walk a good way to counter this is to stock up on coffee or save up to invest in a stable and horse. 


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