Stardew Valley is an incredibly fun and complex farming simulator that has the player working to bring their inherited farm back to its former glory and build a life for themselves. While the concept sounds simple enough there are a lot of moving parts in this game and some mechanics that might not be readily apparent.
This can be a problem for new players who could be wasting valuable time in the beginning trying to figure the game out and end up missing golden opportunities for shortcuts or experience setbacks.
10 Thinking Seasons Are 28 Days Long
This is an understandable mistake considering most months of the year in real life have 30 days and new players will automatically assume that seasons are the same length of time. In reality, the seasons are 28 days each, not 30.
This can cause problems as players need to prepare their crops for each coming season. If a plant takes five days to grow then planting it on the 25 will cause it to die as they’ll be underdeveloped when the 28th rolls over into the 1st of next season. Players should be planting that five day crop on the 23rd instead.
9 Ignoring Worms
In the game, there are dirt tiles that will sometimes have worms sticking out of them. Most players may assume this is just a cosmetic element of the game, but in reality, it’s a rewarding treasure hunt for players.
When a player digs up the wormy tile with a hoe they can uncover things like books for the library or valuable artifacts for the museum. This can dramatically help the player progress and minimizes the grind of the game so it’s important to take advantage of these as soon as you see them.
8 Ignoring Grass In The Fall
This is a costly mistake many players make in the first year of play. Grass seems like a pain in the beginning, but is actually a great source of free hay for most of the year, except winter. Most players will ignore the abundance of grass around their farm thinking it’ll be available year-round and then lose it all in winter.
To avoid this problem and having to rely on Marnie’s Ranch for hay, which costs 50g each, it’s important to run around and gather up all the grass using the scythe no later than the 28th day of Fall. This way you’ll hopefully have a good storage of hay to last through winter.
7 Neglecting Storage Space
As you begin gathering items in the game you’ll find that you will quickly start running out of room to store items and will be tempted to either trash or sell things you might genuinely need. To avoid this problem it’s smart to build chests to hold all your stuff.
But even more important than chests is making sure to upgrade you backpack as soon as funds allow. 12 slots runs out quickly so upgrading to the Large and Deluxe backpacks which contain 24 and 36 slots respectively is vital to keeping all the things you find.
6 Thinking The Game Saves On Exiting
Perhaps the most painful lesson new players learn in Stardew Valley is realizing that the game doesn’t automatically save when you close it. There are no checkpoints or autosave features that kick in every ten minutes, the only way to save in this game is to go to bed.
Admittedly it isn’t the most tragic occurrence in the world, as you’re only losing a single day of progress, but considering how tedious some of the chores in this game can get this can be really annoying. So before you log off for the day make sure you tuck your character into bed first.
5 Starving Animals
The game was designed to prevent the player from suffering the heartbreaking realization that their beloved cow has starved to death, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid feeding your animals. A common mistake players make is not only not feeding their pets but failing to realize feeders are needed to do it.
Animals that are neglected will stop producing valuable resources you need to make money and progress in the game. Make sure they have access to a Feeder, make sure to supply it with food every day, and your animals will merrily churn out the resources you need.
4 Ignoring Bundles
Bundles are special quests in the game that requires the player to amass a variety of items for the Junimos. Initially, many players may ignore this thinking the effort is too tedious or they can get it later, but this is a mistake.
The bundles can offer very valuable rewards that can speed along your farms’ progress dramatically. Completing the Construction Bundle, for instance, yields a Charcoal Kiln which is absolutely needed for bigger building projects. Another reason it’s bad to ignore these bundles is because they’re often season specific and require items only found in particular seasons, which mean if it’s fall and you have a spring bundle you’re going to have to wait nearly a year for spring to roll around again to get it done.
3 Living Like A Hermit
There are a variety of NPCs in the game that provide life to the game and interacting with them can be a welcome break from the grind of farm life. While it’s not exactly essential to socialize there are some benefits so it’s important to have conversations.
At the very least you should be invested in finding a spouse. Spouses provide a number of benefits like kisses that remove exhaustion and they sometimes do chores for you around the farm. Having a spouse around can ease the burden on your character to get things done so go out and socialize.
2 Ignoring Exhaustion
Speaking of exhaustion, a common mistake players make is ignoring their energy bar and letting their exhaustion max out. It’s very easy to deplete your energy bar as nearly every activity in the game requires energy.
If your character becomes exhausted they run the risk of passing out which ends the day, regardless of what time it is. You can also lose 10% of your money, lose some items, and have less energy the next day. It’s tempting to burn the candle at both ends, but it’s not worth it in the long run.
1 Early To Bed
That famous adage is definitely true in Stardew Valley and many players are slow to learn this lesson. If your character goes to bed before midnight they receive a 100% energy restoration allowing them to get a lot done the next day.
But if your character goes to sleep after midnight they will reduce the amount of energy they get back. The energy reduction grows more and more severe until the player passes out from exhaustion at 2 a.m. Your character isn’t in college they’re doing hard labor on a farm, send them to bed early and they’ll get more done the next day.