There are many ‘obvious’ elements to Stardew Valley that took me an incredibly long time to notice/learn. Hopefully by noting down some of the bits n bobs here, other players will catch on quicker (and other players can fill in gaps!)
Stardew Valley, drawing inspiration from classics such as Harvest Moon, is an open-ended country life RPG. Starting on a farm you inherit from your grandpa, you can grow crops, raise animals, fish, forage and mine to build a dream life for you and your potential in-game partner.
The pickaxe can un-till soil.
You can use the pickaxe, axe or hoe to empty casks before they’ve finished maturing.
You can water / hoe multiple areas at once with upgraded tools by holding down the left mouse button.
All fruit and veg are worth more when turned to wine (in a keg) or jam/pickles (preserves jar)
When you find your first ancient seed, plant it rather than donating it. Ancient Fruit can then be turned into more ancient seeds.
Put a tapper on a giant shroom (appears from weeds in Fall) to generate mushrooms.
Corn and sunflowers (standard/silver quality) can be put into the oil maker to make oil, which is worth more than the origin products.
Always close barn/coop doors after the animals have gone to bed, to protect their happiness rating (happier animals give better quality products).
Animals left ‘trapped’ outside at night (with barn/coop door shut) are susceptible to wolf attacks.
The chance of a pig finding a truffle is greatly reduced at peak happiness (see explanation) – pet pigs every other day (or stop petting throughout winter) to keep pigs only mildly happy, increasing truffle profit.
Turn on the ‘Always Show Tool Hit Location’ option in Settings.
Holding right click whilst e.g. collecting veg or animal products, or distributing into kegs, barrels, etc speeds up the process.
Sprinklers make mass farming doable. Krobus sells iridium sprinklers on Fridays. Close the chat and talk to him again to buy a second, third etc sprinkler.
Mayo machines, kegs, etc can be placed inside barns, coops and sheds to maximise space outside.
Several (non-rubbish) items caught by the crab pots are classed as fish and can be turned into sashimi and sold for a profit: Clam, regular and silver quality Cockle, Mussel, regular Shrimp, regular Snail, periwinkle, and Oyster.
The above also applies to smaller fish: Anchovy, Sardine, Bream, regular and silver quality Smallmouth Bass, regular Perch, Carp, Sunfish, Herring, regular and silver quality Red Snapper, Ghostfish, regular and silver Chub, and regular Shad.
The Statue of Perfection spits out iridium ore every day when placed in your house (or shed). Don’t keep it in a chest for 2 years like I did…
Keep hold of one of every item that you find, farm, forage etc: you never know when they’ll come in handy for quests.
Give a loved gift on villager birthdays to gain a big heart (relationship) boost.
Once you reached 10 hearts (or 8 hearts for a non-marriage candidate) with a villager, you no longer need to give them gifts or attempt to maintain the friendship.
Hoe wiggly worms in the ground (easiest to spot in winter) to find artifacts, clay, coal etc
Go mining in the winter when farm and forage profit is lower.
You can get further in the mines with bombs than bashing every rock and enemy one by one.
You can stand next to a bomb as it explodes without coming to harm as long as you eat/drink something at the same time.
Optimal cellar cask layout (short of filling the entire cellar as you exit, which allows for over 200 casks, but is a PITA to undo/redo)
External Tools & Further Info
- Farm Planner
- Farm Summary Generator (view/browse farms)
- Official Stardew Valley Wiki
- Character/Item Preference Finder
- Crop Planner
Stardew Valley imagery, names, info etc © ConcernedApe