When Slime Rancher was in early access, and even when it released, it was a game that, for some reason, barely blipped on my radar. I can't put my finger on exactly what it was about the game, but something about it didn't interest me right off that bat.
But I can say now with absolute certainty that I was wrong; Slime Rancher is awesome. The game-world is an incredibly cute and relaxing place to spend your time in, and there's just enough complexity behind the curtain to keep you thinking about the game after each session. If you happen to be new to the game like me, here are some tips to get you familiar with it.
10 Slimes And Plorts
So for those who came in with zero knowledge of the game whatsoever, I'll start with the absolute basics. The adorable Slimes are the creatures you're corraling and Plorts are what make you the big bucks.
When a Slime eats, it drops a Plort.
Each Plort can be sold at your ranch for varying values based on some different factors I'll talk about later. The more Slimes you have and the more food you can produce is going to up the amount of money you can make.
9 Keep The Pink Slimes Contained
Keep the Pink Slimes contained, lest ye be ruined. Seriously, while it may be tempting to have a free-range ranch, it is nearly impossible to achieve — at least in the early game. The Pink Slimes will eat absolutely any food source they can get their mouths on, in effect wiping out all the food around your ranch. This can cause particular problems when there are other types of Slimes around, and with food you can't easily reproduce, like meat.
Gardens are likely going to be the bread-and-butter of your food sources for a while, if not throughout your ranch's life. Simply stick in a carrot, a Pogofruit, etc., and the garden will continually produce that food source. This is a consistent source of food that's super-easy to manage and can be catered to a Slime's diet.
Different Slimes eat different things. I've already mentioned that the Pink Slimes will eat anything (making them a possible nuisance), but Rock Slimes, for instance, will only eat vegetables; its favorite food being the Heart Beet! Some Slimes will only eat meat, some only fruits, and so on. You'll need to cater your ranch specifically to the types of Slimes that you're taking care of, or you could have a significant problem on your hands.
6 Rock Slimes
Rock Slimes, because of their easy-to-manage diet, are a pretty good Sime to open your ranch to in the early going. Their Plorts sell for quite a bit more than the Pink Slimes, and they can be useful for breeding new kinds of Slimes shortly down the road. Be careful though; if a Rock Slime happens to roll into you, it can leave a mark...
5 Placement Of Gardens/Coops
Be very careful with where you place your Gardens and Coops; if a meat-eating Slime can see the Coop from their Corral, they are going to try their darnedest to try and escape the Corral. They'll then break their way into the Coop and go full John Wick on the poor Chikadoos. The same goes for the Garden; if whatever you're growing is ripe for the picking and the Slimes can see it, they'll try their best to break free. This is less of an issue with the Garden because it's just going to grow more food, but with the Chikadoos, you'll have to venture out and find some more.
The in-game, economy is by no means set at a fixed value. The prices of the Plorts you collect are going to change over time, based largely on what you've been selling in the past. If you spend a lot of time gathering Plorts from Pink Slimes, then the value of the Pink Plort is going to plummet over time, making it not worth your while. Change up what you're doing every now and then if you're looking to maximize income.
There are quite a few quality-of-life upgrades you can add to your ranch to make things a little easier on you. For example, it can be pretty tough to grab the Plorts that your Slimes drop without sucking up the Slimes themselves. Or, even worse, it can be a hazard to enter the Corral with your Slimes, in the case of some of the more dangerous ones. Luckily, you can build a Plort Collector that gradually collects the Plorts and dispenses them to you just outside the Corral. If you don't want to manually feed your Slimes all the time, you can build an Auto-Feeder that should help keep your Slimes happy and healthy.
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There are a lot of Slime types that can be immensely useful that you can't necessarily just go out and find. Breeding two Slime types together can have mixed results. Sometimes it can produce a Slime that's more useful than its predecessor, but other times it can create something not nearly as useful, or occasionally something that could be a hazard to you. There are definitely guides out there with information on how to create each type of Slime, or you could do it the way I do: just put them together and see what happens.
The world of Slime Rancher is surprisingly huge. There's a lot out there to go out and collect, and the more you explore, the more cool ideas you're going to have for things you could use to improve your Ranch. Not only is exploration beneficial for improving your ranch, but it's also just a lot of fun. I said it in the beginning: the game-world is an incredibly cute and relaxing place to spend some time in. The landscape of Slime Rancher changes the deeper you get into it. Go out and explore; who knows what you'll find?