Stardew Valley has been one of my biggest addictions yet. There’s just no other game out there that feels as fulfilling as spending a virtual day growing virtual crops, and raising virtual livestock. One ingame day is about 20 minutes of real life time, which is plenty of time to spend getting a quick fix. With the game out on the Nintendo Switch, it has made it all the easier to pick up and play at any time.
But the more I play, the more my “hardcore gamer” mindset starts to kick in. After spending years of building great big farms with loads of fruits and veggies, I started thinking of ways in which to get better at the game. I understand the game has no limit or ending of sorts, but the end goal is always the same: make more money so that you can buy more things that let you earn even more money. In this post, I will be discussing the best way to make money in Stardew Valley.
Making Money is a Long Term Investment
This is a really important thing to note before even starting out. Just like in real life, you have to plan out your money spending habits, and wisely spend it on the things that will give you the best return on investment.
Try to think ahead to the next season. Will you have enough money to buy a lot of seeds on the first day of the season? If not, you may be missing out on a lot of potential profit.
Farming is the Key to Riches
In the beginning, farming is key. You use money to buy seeds, to grow into crops, and sell those crops for more money, which you then use to buy more seeds… and the cycle repeats itself. This is pretty much the endgame for many players playing Stardew Valley, and it really works.
It may seem boring having to wait for days until your harvest, but farming crops is easily the best way to make a ton of cash in this game, especially if you start processing them into Artisan Goods.
Starting out, you may not have much in the realm of money and supplies, but it always helps to plant as much as you can afford in the beginning. Every seed you plant is a crop that will provide a return on investment. From the simple parsnip to a large pumpkin, you will always have a profit so long as you care for your crops.
From the moment you start with your 15 Parsnip Seeds on Day 1, you will want to dedicate as much of your money into buying seeds. Especially the high value seeds, such as berries and the giant crop seeds. These crops will give you the most money per day, even more if you fertilize.
Here’s a really good example for how Farming is the best way; growing Hops in Summer. One seed costs about 60g, and when properly grown from Day 1 of Summer, you can expect to have about 17 Hops per tile. Each Hop sells for 25g, and so selling them all will give you 425g. While this may seem like a lot, the trick is to process those Hops. One single Hop can be used in a keg to produce Pale Ale, which sells for 300g each.
300g x 17 Hops = 5100g
As you can see, this is a pretty significant amount of profit. And this is only for one single tile used for hops, and without any Farming perks, fertilizer, or professions! If you build enough Kegs to process as much as you grow, you can really rake in a lot of cash. The best thing about this is you can do this in Year One, which can set you up for a nice second year of growing the fancy new crops!
You can take this strategy and use it with pretty much any high value, high yield crop. Harvest a lot, and then process them. Simple as that.
Related Post: Stardew Valley Crop Guide
Try to avoid investing in too many animals
If you really want to get the money rolling in, you will definitely want to resist the temptation to build some coops and barns. These kinds of things are huge money pits, and will set you back a ton.
When I first started, I did the Chicken Coop side quest suggested in Year One. Sure, I eventually had chickens, but the amount of time and money spent building the darn thing could have been better spent trying to grow more crops.
The only plus side to having livestock is during Winter. As you cannot grow crops in the frozen ground (except for the Greenhouse), the only way you’ll have a means of income is from your animals producing goods. Even then, you will want to make sure that you have enough Hay to last you throughout the season.
The other main drain on your wallet is getting Feed for your animals. Sure, you’ll have lots of grass initially growing on your farm, but once Winter rolls around, the grass has to grow back.
If you have too many animals on your farm, the grass won’t grow back fast enough to provide for them, which leaves you with no choice but to buy Hay from Marnie’s Ranch. And with hay costing 50g, your animals will eventually drain your hard-earned money.
Seeing as the Community Centre quest requires several animal products, you may want to only invest in the bare minimum to get the right items. The bottom line: avoid livestock like the plague, at least until you have loads of money to spend!
Related Post: Stardew Valley Guide to Coops
Fish and Mine during your downtime
Fishing has been a mixed critique of many players. It has a crazy hard learning curve, but at the same time, you can easily make a lot of money very quickly. The problem with fishing is that, no matter how good you are, the amount of fish you reel in is limited by your Energy.
There’s plenty of fish in the sea, but you don’t have enough energy to go chasing around all of them!
The same can be said for Mining. There’s only so much that you can do with your daily energy, and mining ore does not make as much as growing crops. What it does provide are resources that can be used to upgrade your tools.
The trick here is to Mine and Fish in your spare time, when you have no more crops to tend to. Even better is to save these skills for when it is Winter, and there are no crops to worry about (unless you grow wild crops). These activities still have their merits. Mining ore will give you resources to upgrade your farming tools, which make your job a lot more efficient. Fishing gives you a chance to reel in some chests which may contain some valuable items.
Related Post: Stardew Valley Fishing Guide
The Bottom Line
All in all, the game gives you so many ways to make money, but I’ve felt that dedicating your farm to a crop-growing, artisan good processing plantation will give you a very profitable endgame farm to look forward to. If you plan it right, you will have a nicely automated farm of sprinklers, and lots of time and energy to enjoy the rest of what the game has to offer!
So long as you time your seed planting right, and invest your money properly, you can net yourself a nice little nest egg of riches before your year is over!
But most importantly, don’t lose sight of having fun! As much as I enjoyed building a massive money making farm, the message of Big Business vs Country Living tends to get lost when everyone decides to build the most profitable farm out there. Remember to slow down, relax, and enjoy everything that this game has to offer!
I hope you have enjoyed this guide. If you have any thoughts or feedback, I would love it if you leave a comment down below.
Take care, and happy farming!