Stardew Valley: Beginner Tips and Tricks

Tips and strategies to help beginners overcome Stardew Valley's early challenges.

2 months ago by Larryn Bell in Guides

Now that Stardew Valley has officially launched on Nintendo Switch, it’s the perfect time to revisit your love of farming or cultivate your green thumb for the first time. Newcomers may be surprised to find that the farm life isn’t as simple as it sounds, especially in a game like Stardew Valley. We’ve put together several beginner tips that should help novice farmers get off to a good start early on in Stardew Valley. 

Stardew Valley - Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Choose Your Farm Wisely

If you're new to Stardew Valley or haven’t played since the 1.1 Update, then you might not know that players have the option to choose from different starting farms after creating a character. These different farm types focus on specific skill areas. For example, the Riverland Farm is composed mainly of water, which is great for fishing, but offers little farmland to work with.

If you’re playing Stardew Valley for the first time on Nintendo Switch, then we suggest you stick with the standard farm for balanced amount of resources. The other farm types, such as the Wilderness Farm, are better for advanced players who are already familiar with the game’s mechanics.

Source: Stardew Valley Wiki

Don’t Overexert Yourself

In Stardew Valley, you have a limited amount of stamina and energy to get you through the day. Most activities on the farm, such as using tools, fishing, or fighting, will consume energy, so it’s best to perform these tasks first while your energy is high. You can replenish your energy by eating food or going to the spa, but you'd be better off reserving food for when you really need it most (like visiting the mines).

Do your farm work early in the day, then spend the rest of the day doing less strenuous activities, like visiting NPCs in town or foraging in the forest. Sleeping will also completely restore your energy, but this will also end the day and start the next one, so make sure to rest at a reasonable time to ensure you make the most of your waking hours (more on that below). 

Go to Bed at a Reasonable Time

Following from the previous point, your character needs to rest after a long day of work. If you stay up late and don’t go to bed until 1 a.m., then your character will remain tired and have less energy the next day. Stay up until 2 a.m., and your character will just pass out from exhaustion where they stand. A portion of your gold is given to whoever takes you home, and you’ll wake up with less energy the next morning. Less energy means less efficiency while working on the farm, so you’ll have to work less or consume more food to make up the deficit.

Just like in real life, getting an adequate amount of rest in Stardew Valley is important for your efficiency as a farmer. Work late to make the most of your waking hours if necessary, but know when to hit the hay.

Watch TV Each Morning

In Stardew Valley, you have a television in your house that isn’t just there for looks. There are several channels to choose from, and each can offer valuable information for your day ahead.

The Weather Report will offer a weather forecast for the day, which can help you plan your activities depending on if it’s rainy, etc. The Fortune Teller predicts your luck for the day, which can influence the amount of resources dropped when foraging, mining, or harvesting crops. Living Off the Land will help provide useful farming-related tips, while the Queen of Sauce cooking show can teach you new recipes, which comes in handy when you eventually upgrade your house to have a kitchen. Check the tube each morning to prepare for the day ahead in Stardew Valley.

Save Up for the Egg Festival

The Egg Festival is where you can obtain strawberry seeds in Stardew Valley.

One of the best crops you can harvest early on in Stardew Valley is strawberries. However, you can’t get seeds for this profitable spring crop until you attend the Egg Festival, which happens on the 13th. The festival is practically an all-day event, so be sure to come prepared.

A booth at the festival will be selling strawberry seeds for 100 gold. Strawberries are spring crops, so be sure to plant some strawberry seeds as soon as you get home from the festival to harvest them twice before the end of the season.

Build a Chest Early

Managing your inventory space is crucial when you first start out in Stardew Valley. One useful tip is to build chests early on so that you can store useful resources for later. As you start to grow different types of crops or obtain new seeds, you’ll want to store some of these items in a chest for future use.

When you eventually unlock the Community Center, you’ll be tasked with donating specific crops or items for quest rewards, which are worth doing. Avoid selling too many items early on, and try to save a little bit of everything, just in case you need it for trading or donations. 

Visit the Mines, But Come Prepared

The mines in Stardew Valley are dangerous to explore, but are worth the effort. 

As you explore the areas surrounding your farm, you’ll eventually discover the entrance to a mine shaft. The mine contains all sorts of useful resources, such as copper for upgrading your tools. There’s also dangerous creatures lurking in the mines, so you’ll have to come prepared. Bring tons of food with you to restore energy and HP when needed. You could also place a chest in the mines to store valuable items as you explore.

Just make sure not to pass out in the mines, as this can cause you to “forget” floors that you have previously visited, which will restrict your access to certain levels until you repeat them again. 

Don’t Read Too Many Guides

Yes, it sounds a bit contradictory considering you’re reading a Stardew Valley guide right now. However, going into Stardew Valley blind and discovering new mechanics and features is part of what makes Stardew Valley so charming and intriguing. Knowing too much about the game before going into it can sometimes spoil some of the fun surprises in the game. Granted, there are always a few things players wish they knew before starting, which is what this tips guide is for. Just keep in mind that researching too much of the game can ruin that sense of discovery that leads to some of the most memorable moments of Stardew Valley, so keep your Googling to a minimum.

There you have it. Hopefully these tips will help you overcome some of Stardew Valley’s early hurdles. Check back here for more Stardew Valley tips and strategies.