The Most Common Mistakes New Players Make in Stardew Valley

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Stardew Valley just sold 1 million copies. And now it's also one of the highest-rated indie titles out there.

With its player base on the rise, new players are looking for guidance. I don't mean to brag, but I consider myself pretty knowledgeable when it comes to the gameSo I'd like to take it upon myself to help new players however I can.

Although I can sit here and regurgitate the usual "tips and tricks to starting up your farm," I think it would be more effective if I talked about the most common mistakes new players make.

This Stardew Valley beginner's guide will walk you through these common mistakes and how not to make them. 

1. Ignoring the worms sticking out of the ground

This is definitely one of the tips that I should've followed on my first play-through.

You know those little worms you see sticking out of the ground, wiggling? Well they're not just a design. When you use your hoe on those little "worm" tiles, great things can come your way.

Worms TileFor example, some of the books in the library are missing. Sometimes you'll be able to find and recover some of these books when you use your hoe on one of these tiles. These "worm" tiles are also a great way to get clay and artifacts that you can't otherwise obtain.

For all my Animal Crossing lovers out there, think of a "worm" tile as the X that marks a buried item. These "worm" tiles will spawn randomly everyday, and you can get some great stuff if you dig them out.

You might find some valuable artifacts or treasures that can help speed up the completion of your museum collection. So, it's best not to ignore them.

2. Thinking there are 30 days in a season

There aren't. There are four seasons in the game, and each one lasts 28 days.

I repeat, each season lasts 28 days.

I'll often hear of new players who make the mistake of thinking that a season lasts 30 days. It's important to realize that there are only 28 days in a season, because if you plant a seed that does not transition into the next season, it will wither and die.

If you plant a seed that takes five days to grow on the 25th. It's not going to grow in time. When the season changes after the 28th, it's going to die, and you just lost profit.

3. Not feeding their animals

No, that isn't a bench or a bed. That's a feeder

In order to feed your animals (more specifically, your chickens) you grab hay from the hay stack and put it on the feeder for them to eat.

I'll be honest, this is the biggest mistake that I made. It took me a while to figure out why my chickens hated me so much. It was because I never fed them.

Don't make this mistake because food affects your animals' happiness rating. The happier they are, the higher quality their product may be. Chickens may lay bigger eggs, same goes for ducks, and so forth. 

So what can you take away from this mistake?

That's not a bench, and feed your animals.

4. Not getting started on bundles sooner

If you're like me, you like finishing bundles as soon as possible.

A common mistake I see players make is that they are not getting started on their bundles right away. Once you finish a certain quest, you gain access to bundles. You can check on your bundle progress through your inventory menu. 

Once you gain access to the bundles, start on it right away. Some of the bundles are season specific, so if you miss a season, you could be pushing your bundle completion back another year. And the completion of some bundles is required to gain access to other game content.

You don't want to have to wait a year to advance.

5. Getting more than necessary to finish your bundle

Pay close attention to what your bundle actually requires. 

While initially it may look incredibly daunting, sometimes the bundle doesn't require all of the items pictured.

Stardew Valley

For example, the "Exotic Foraging Bundle" asks for:

  • a coconut
  • a cactus fruit
  • a cave carrot
  • a red mushroom
  • a purple mushroom
  • Maple syrup
  • Oak resin
  • Pine tar
  • and Morel

That's nine items. And while it may seem like a lot, in reality, you only need to gather five of the items listed above to complete it. Some of the bundles are like this. Pay closer attention to what the bundle is asking for.

Don't work harder than you have to. 

6. Forgetting to socialize

Talking to your fellow neighbors is one of the easiest ways to gain friendship points.

Every time you talk to someone you gain 20 points. 2500 points is required to attain the maximum amount of hearts possible with someone. 

It's just a matter of talking to anyone you come across. Take some time out of your day to converse, because down the road when you're scavenging and trying to find the right gift for everyone, you'll regret not following this advice.

7. Using the shipping box as storage

When you start up your farm, there will be a chest outside. Lewis, the town mayor, tells you that he will come and collect whatever is inside the chest and sell it. 

Don't use that chest for storage.

Unfortunately, some people do. It is a shipping box, not a chest. Whatever goes into the shipping box, is sold at night and cannot be reclaimed. Please, if you want extra storage, use an actual chest.

Don't make the mistake of selling your seeds or other farm-specific valuables.

8. Forgetting to watch TV

Similar to starting your bundles as soon as possible, it's important to watch the television as soon as you can. 

The television gives you access to four channels, and one of them is the Cooking Channel. The channel teaches you various recipes. If you miss one, you'll have to wait another year until it re-runs.

Here's a brief run-down on the channels:

Weather Report

This will tell you the weather forecast for the next day. This is helpful because you can adjust your plans for tomorrow accordingly.

For example, if the weather says, "A storm is on it's way tomorrow!" Then that means you don't have to water your crops the next day. You could upgrade your watering can the day before it rains so that your crops don't go unattended. 

Fortune Teller 

This will tell you what your Luck will be that day.

Luck is a stat that can affect a variety of things. It can affect the amount of resources dropped when foraging or mining, to the chance of finding treasure or catching rare fish. However, don't let it affect your planning TOO much. In the end, the channel will just help you explain why you've only been catching newspapers and broken CD's.

On occasions, you'll also get two more channels:
  • Living Off the Land will give you some tips related to foraging or farming. 
  • Queen of Sauce (Cooking Channel) will teach the player various cooking recipes.

When you finally upgrade your farmhouse, you'll get a kitchen. There, you can try out the various recipes you've learned from this channel. Some of these recipes are great for replenishing health, and some even offer stats benefits. A farmer's time is money, and food is a great way to add more time to your day.

Remember, in Stardew Valley, the television is your friend.

Conclusion

These are the most common mistakes I've seen people make in Stardew Valley.

If you're just getting started, use this as a guideline of what NOT to do when you're starting up your farm. Stardew Valley is an amazing game. Unfortunately, it may not be the most forgiving or most informative. You may have to restart a couple of times before you get the hang of it.

Feel free to refer back to this guide to help you out.

Happy farming!
Published Apr. 12th 2016

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Ian is on a difficult journey to become one with video games.

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