Beginner's Guide to Staxel: Tips and Tricks for Getting Started
Staxel is a delightful new Harvest Moon-meets-Minecraft-style game from developers Plukit. It's currently in Early Access and will likely undergo changes before its official launch. If you're diving into the game while it's still in development, though, this guide is for you.
There are plenty of things to do in Staxel, and if you're just trying the game out for the first time, it can be hard to know where to begin. There are elements of farming, building, crafting, landscaping, fishing and bug-catching, developing the town, and much more. At this moment, Staxel is a completely open sandbox game with no stamina or health system and no combat, which means how you play is entirely up to you. If you're feeling a little lost in the vast realm of possibilities, here are some of our tips to getting started on building a bustling village and a thriving farm.
Note: We tested the Early Access game on a keyboard in single-player mode, but these tips will still be helpful whether you're playing alone or with friends!
Keyboard Tricks and Shortcuts
You can view the default key bindings for both a keyboard and a controller at any point in the game by entering the game's menu and selecting Control Hints. But as you play you will discover further tips and tricks, and a few buttons that are not mentioned in the menu:
- Watch the lower left corner of the screen to see what effect pressing the left or right mouse button will have. Right-clicking on a patch of grass, for instance, will clear it, while left-clicking on a rock with the hammer selected will break it. Most of these instances are pretty self-evident, but it's worth keeping an eye on the UI tips to learn the finer workings of the mechanics.
When placing items, hold down the left mouse button to view, and use the mouse wheel to rotate the piece to your liking.
- Holding down the left mouse button when using a tool will power up the tool, saving you time. Some tools' power-up will only spread to other similar blocks, making it easier to clear a certain kind of block quickly. (For example, holding down the left mouse button with the shovel on a grass block will only remove other grass blocks around it, leaving other types of blocks untouched).
- Although there are hotkeys for the items in the top row of your inventory, you can also cycle through them with the mouse wheel.
- Hold down Left Shift when buying from a Lief or Aliza's stores to buy 10 of the same item at once.
- Right-click on an item on the ground to pick it up. Groups of the same item (like wood, for example) will be picked up at the same time if they're next to each other on the ground.
- Some actions (like removing grass and weeds) can be repeated by holding down the left mouse button and moving the cursor around.
Interacting With NPCs in Staxel
Part of the fun of Staxel is in getting to know the quirky villagers who inhabit your world. These characters have some great personalities, and befriending them is a fun aspect of the game. Here are some tips regarding NPC interaction:
You can help out villagers every day by talking to them then running various errands for them.
- Visit Rowan at the local pub to listen to some juicy rumors -- in other words, to find out which villagers could use some help.
- Sometimes you can tell when a villager wants to talk to you when they start waving their arms at you.
- You can see the current location of every villager by checking the map (M on the keyboard).
- Occasionally, you will find random items like socks and phones in unexpected places. These belong to the villagers -- speak to the NPCs to discover who lost their socks on your farm (but not what they were doing to cause that to even happen in the first place. Some questions are best left unanswered.).
- You can develop your little village into a more thriving metropolis by proceeding down the quest line that begins with the tutorial.
Creating and Exploring
A huge part of Staxel is the creative license you're given to do pretty much anything. Each world is large and procedurally generated, and exploring it can be a rewarding experience.
- If you've strayed too far from home and are lost, you can always orient yourself by opening the map. The map only shows your immediate surroundings, but it also always displays the current location of every villager.
- You can move while the map is open. This makes getting back to the village easier and quicker.
- Select a recipe to have its ingredients show up on your screen even with the inventory closed, to keep track of what you're missing easier.
- Although you can create a workshop on your farm grounds by buying machines like the power saw, you don't have to -- Aliza has the basics available in her shop, and you can use them anytime for free.
- There is very little mining to be done, at least as far as we can tell -- we spent a full in-game day digging straight down and another day digging straight forward, and it appears to be rock all the way down.
There are, however, other biomes to discover. Tired of the same view? Explore the world to find snowy mountains, sandy beaches, and more. Each biome also has its own items to find, like corals and seashells at the beach.
- Structures like the farm must be built within a certain physical parameter and must contain the items listed on the structure's building sign. Other than these requirements, you are free to design and assemble your buildings in any way you wish. (For instance, as long as your farm has a roof, walls, a door, and two troughs, the game doesn't care if you decide to craft it in the shape of a pink castle).
General Staxel Tips and Tricks
Now that you have a basic understanding of how to play Staxel, here are a few more general tips for enjoying the game:
- We recommend following the tutorial quest line if this is your first time playing. The tutorial guides you through the finer details of the game's mechanics and awards you a number of free items as rewards, from tools to chickens.
- Seasons are 16 in-game days long.
- If you're missing a bug or a fish from your collection and you can't seem to find it anywhere, purchase an item catalogue and a shipping station at Lief's supermarket to gain instant access to a huge amount of items, including bugs and fish. You don't need to wait until the next morning to receive your shipment, either -- click to "expedite" your order and receive it immediately.
- Where you sell items from makes no difference on the price. You can sell items to the vendors at the village market, or use the shipping station once you set it up.
- You can get most of the tools for free by doing the tutorial. The tools you receive through Farm Fan's and Maximillian's quest lines are: hoe, watering can, hammer, shovel, and axe. The rest of the tools (most notably the bug net and the pickax) are available at Lief's store for a pretty low price.
- Nearly everything in the game can be taken apart with no repercussions, including villager homes.
With these beginner's tips and tricks, you can enter the world of Staxel and enjoy the game's freedom! Stay tuned to GameSkinny for all your tips and guides to Staxel.