A large portion of Stardew Valley‘s progression is centered on your ability to make a good income to spend on cool items and expanding your farm. Naturally, making money is a popular topic among new players. In this guide we will go over major points regarding money making starting with the basics.
When you begin the game you will only have 500G. With this, you will want to immediately invest in crops. During Spring you will have several choices, with Potato and Cauliflower being arguably the best starter options due to their quick harvest. You can read about the most profitable crops for each season here.
To plant your crops, you will need to till soil with your Hoe and then plant the crops. Be sure to water your crops every day or they will wither.
When you aren’t planting or watering crops, you will want to spend your time either in the Mines (you can read our Mines guide here), which are unlocked on the fifth day, or fishing. Fishing tends to be the best supplemental income early in the game, and with enough practice and investment can outpace your revenue from crop harvest.
When you find yourself with spare time and aren’t busy fishing or giving gifts to people, you will want to be gathering resources, more specifically wood and stone from your farmland. Both of these resources are important for numerous purchases, including crafting materials.
After a few days of gathering resources you should have at least 300 wood from chopping down trees. Once you reach this milestone, visit the right side of the Beach and repair the bridge to gain access to a new area. This area will have coral, mussels, clams, and sea urchins for you to gather each day at no cost. Once you’ve opened up this area, you’ll want to fit it into your routine schedule.
Once you have some money saved up you may feel compelled to invest in animals. Don’t bother. In their current state animals are a heavy investment that is complicated by the game’s problematic Hay mechanics. You will make money more reliably and with less frustration by focusing on crops, fishing, the Mines, and the Beach.
It shouldn’t be long before you unlock the ability to craft your own Basic Fertilizer. From this point forward you will want to invest the 2 Sap per unit required to create and plant fertilizer on every tilled crop square. Fertilizer will grant a significantly increased chance to grow a high quality crop which has an increased sale value.
Once you finish your first month, you’ll notice that your crops have withered. This happens at the end of every month and affects most crops, although a couple are exempt (i.e. Corn). Due to this, it is recommended that you invest as much money as possible into crops at the beginning of each month to get the highest revenue possible from your investment.
During your second or third month you should have enough money to plant upward of 50 crops at once. When you get to this stage, the amount of time that watering your crops takes becomes a hurdle. At this point you’ll want to wait until you unlock the Quality Sprinkler and craft several of them (1 Iron Bar, 1 Gold Bar, 1 Refined Quartz). Well placed sprinklers will save you time each day that you can spend on supplemental income.
Ultimately, your goal should be to build up a large sum of money that can be used to build huge groups of crops as it is the highest rate of return source of income in the game.