Stardew Valley has taken Steam by storm over the past week, and that includes myself. It’s been one of the top seller since release, occasionally even the top but usually falling behind one big budget game like Fallout 4’s Season Pass or currently, The Division.
I have been waiting for this game for what seems like, and may have been, years. I discovered Stardew Valley awhile ago after I first got into Steam gaming, I thought there had to be something like Harvest Moon out there for me to get into rather than further emulating Harvest Moon 64. It turns out there wasn’t anything on the market at the time, but there was a development blog going for a one man project called Stardew Valley. I immediately became interested in the project and started keeping tabs on it every few weeks.
(Don’t worry, I have the Harvest Moon cartridge and it may be the only one I keep forever. Bury me with it and a N64. If the Egyptians were right, they probably weren’t, it’ll keep me entertained forever.)
Back to Stardew Valley… Where to begin? I am so engrossed in this game right now. It is everything I wanted for a spiritual successor to the classic Harvest Moon games that I fell in love with. Thank you to Concerned Ape, the lone developer that brought it to life.There is so much to say about this game and the process that brought it to completion. I will definitely be writing a few posts about it, given that it’s all I’ve been playing since it was released.
The first thing that I want to get into is it’s obvious roots in the Harvest Moon series. It is so firmly rooted in classic Harvest Moon that it seems like the developer assumes that you’ve played at least one of them and know the core mechanics. The gameplay is very similar to a point that it was immediately comfortable and engrossing for me to get into it, but this could be frustrating to someone who has no history with the games that inspired it. I don’t think looking at guides online is the answer though, it doesn’t seem like that is what the developer intended.
“I still think that the best way to play the game is to figure everything out yourself and not necessarily try to maximize the amount of money you make in anything, but I can understand that eventually you would want to do that just as a way of challenging yourself within the game.”
-Eric Barone (@ConcernedApe) via Vulture
The “Living off the Land” TV show is great for tips throughout your play through and you should check it out everyday, but I wanted to make a brief primer for people who just discovered the game due to its huge success so far on Steam.
- Water your crops everyday, once a day. You’ll be able to tell if the soil is wet.
- Pet your dog and your other animals, just go up to them and hit the action button. It’s almost as important as feeding them
- You can start planting crops however you want, but eventually your watering can will water 9 squares at a time. (It’s amazing)
- Tools get easier to use, meaning they use less energy, as you use them more. You can make your tools better using mined minerals with the help of the Blacksmith, Clint.
- Robin can build you several buildings which allow you to keep livestock that you can purchase from the ranch just south of your farm.
- Eggs can be hatched into chickens with an upgraded coop
- Giving gifts to the townspeople and talking to them makes them like you more. Don’t look up what gifts to give people, just try out different items to figure out what everyone likes yourself.
- Crops die at the end of seasons. Some crops can be harvested only once where others last the entire season with multiple harvests.
- Don’t miss the festivals, they build up the characters, town, and the game experience.
- You can forage for stuff and sell it to get started, it grows randomly around the town. You can also chop wood and break rocks to sell, but they’re worth more as building materials later on.
Here’s what you should know to get started:
I think that’s enough to get you started. One of the best aspects of this game, and the Harvest Moon games that came before it, is the sense of discovery that you get as you find out how deep the game is.
Is there any basic info that I missed that helped you get a farm started right in Stardew Valley? Let me know in the comments below, but no spoilers!