Games

The 8 ultimate tips for Stardew Valley on Switch

© Chucklefish/Red Bull
By Mike Stubbs
Just downloaded this charming indie hit on the Nintendo eShop? Then climb your way to the top of the Valley with these tips.
It feels like ages since we first got a glimpse of Stardew Valley on the Nintendo Switch, but the wait is finally over and we can run our farm wherever we choose to go. Crops will be harvested on trains, pigs will be purchased while waiting in line at the post office and, yes, there will probably be more than a few weddings that take place on the toilet.
The world of Stardew Valley is a magical one, where you can do almost anything your heart desires. Want to build up a multi-million-dollar crop empire in just a few years? You can do that. Want to become a master fisherman bringing home only the rarest of aquatic creatures? You can do that. Want to just have a nice life with a stable income and start a family? You can do that too.
While you’re free to do pretty much whatever you want in Stardew Valley, the game doesn’t always make it obvious about how to do things, or explain how certain things work. There are also a lot of hidden secrets and general quality-of-life improvements that you can totally miss if you don’t know what they are. Fortunately for everyone jumping on the bus to the Valley on Switch this week, we’ve already poured hundreds of hours into the game to cultivate these essential tips for you.

1. Upgraded tools cover more ground

Time to confess: when we first played Stardew Valley we totally didn’t realise that upgraded tools can interact with more squares. Upgraded that watering can a few times? Well, make sure to keep the button pressed when using it to water multiple squares at once. It may seem obvious, but we totally didn’t notice that it was possible until a lot further into our farming careers.

2. Don’t cut that grass!

Pretty early on in Stardew Valley on Switch you’re encouraged to build a chicken coop, which seems like a great idea as chickens can provide reliable daily income with little work. But if you do that straight away you might notice a problem; you have to feed them and hay costs quite a bit of cash. There’s a simple solution to this: you should build a silo before the coop. A silo will turn any grass that you cut with a scythe into hay for free, meaning you can feed those chickens without having to break the bank. This also means that you should leave as much grass as possible on your farm at the start, so you can turn it into hay once the silo's complete.

3. Repair the beach bridge

If you head down to the beach you’ll notice there’s a broken bit of wood that seems to lead over the river. You can fix this for 300 wood, which seems like a lot in the early game. However, fixing this bridge is totally worth it unless you really want to get some animals on your farm as soon as possible. Once fixed, this will open up the tidal pools, an area that gives free items such as coral and sea urchins, which are worth a lot. It’s basically a licence to print money for life, all for a mere 300 wood.
A screenshot of the broken bridge in Stardew Valley
Repair this bridge for some easy money

4. Berries make bank

If you want to make a lot of money from farming, then berries are the way to go. In Summer and Autumn you’re going to want to try and max out on blueberries and cranberries respectively, as these have the highest profit margins and require little work. After being planted at the start of the season, all you have to do is keep them watered and then harvest, as they’ll hang around and produce crop until the end of the season. As for Spring, cauliflowers are by far the most profitable.

5. Artisan goods are where the real money is

Got a good berry economy going but feel like you need some extra cash? Turn those berries into wine or jams and your profits will grow even more. Grab a keg or two and throw some of those berries in there on harvest day, and soon you’ll have some fancy wine that will sell for considerably more than the standard crop. To really make this work you’re going to need a lot of kegs, but you can always stick some in a barn to save space.

6. TV is your friend

Considering you escape the corporate and technological world to start your farming adventure within the first moments of Stardew Valley, it may seem strange to recommend watching the TV every morning, but it can certainly help. The weather show will tell you when to expect a rainy day, which gives the perfect opportunity to upgrade your watering can. The fortune teller should be consulted before taking a trip to the mines to see what your RNG will be like and watching Queen of the Sauce will teach you new recipes to cook.

7. Hit those worms on the head

If you ever notice a few worms poking their heads out of the soil, pull out that hoe and smack them on the head. Instead of putting an end to what seems to be a fairly serious worm epidemic in Stardew Valley you will, usually, be rewarded with some kind of useful item. Anything from books to seeds can drop by hitting the worms, so it’s worth it.

8. People love gifts… most of the time

If you don’t fancy spending all your time trying to work your way up the economic ladder then maybe you’ll be on the lookout for a companion to spend your time with. A number of the villagers in the valley can become attracted to you and eventually marry you if your game is strong enough. One way to get people to really like you is to give them gifts, and you can give them pretty much anything you can think of. But be warned, some people will hate certain gifts, so if you get a bad reaction from one gift, remember to never give it to them again, or you’ll be facing many more lonely nights on the farm.
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