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How to make money in Stardew Valley

Making money in Stardew Valley is simple. Regardless of what you’re doing, the game does a great job of rewarding you for your time. Growing crops, fishing, and even foraging for wild plants can land you with a bit of cash.

However, some activities are much more lucrative than others. While foraging might offer a fun and easy way to explore the world and run into your fellow citizens of Pelican Town, it’s probably not the fastest way to riches. Taking care of animals and growing a massive roster of chickens and cows isn’t usually worth the hassle, either. If you’re interested in getting rich as fast as possible, here’s what you should be doing in Stardew Valley.

Further reading

Automate your farm

First things first — Stardew Valley is a farming simulator, and it’ll reward you handsomely for getting your farm up and running. Buy your first crops as soon as possible, grow as many plots as you can, and quickly automate their upkeep. It might only take a couple of minutes to water a few rows of hot peppers, but things can get out of hand once you have a massive farm with hundreds of different plants. Sitting around watering your massive farm is wasted time that could be spent doing other activities and making more money.

To that end, you’ll want to quickly invest in sprinklers. These will keep your plants watered without requiring any input. Just place them near your crops, and they’ll be ready to harvest after a few days. Some players believe it’s best to hold off on using sprinklers until you can upgrade to Iridium sprinklers, but either way, you’ll want to include some form of them on your farm.

Not only do these ensure you never forget to water your plants, but they free you up to tackle other money-making tasks. Sprinklers essentially turn crops into a passive source of income — once they’re planted, you can simply leave them be until they’re ready for harvest.

Another great addition to your farm is a greenhouse, which will let you grow any plant at any time of year. We recommend having one of the following valuable crops growing at all times in your greenhouse — strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, rhubarb, ancient fruit, or starfruit. These will give you a continuous source of income even during their off-season and quickly line your pockets with cash.

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Stardew Valley

Process crops as often as you can

Once you’ve grown a few crops, consider turning them into more valuable items. While some crops are worth a lot of cash on their own, many of them are worth considerably more after a bit of manipulation. Mayonnaise is one of the earliest examples of this. On their own, eggs sell for 25G. However, mayonnaise — which can be crafted from a single egg — will net you 100G. If you’re willing to wait a bit for the processing to take place, converting eggs into mayonnaise and crops into jam can be a lucrative — and easy — way to fill your pockets.

Dive into the mines

While you’re waiting for your crops to grow, exploring the mines north of town can be a profitable pastime. With over 100 floors filled with increasingly valuable treasure, Stardew Valley hides some of its most valuable resources in the deepest depths of the mines.

Before heading out, make sure you load up with items to restore your health, as you’ll encounter dozens of dangerous creatures lurking in the dark. You’ll also want to bring a pickax to harvest precious ore while you work your way toward the bottom.

Once you’ve filled your pockets, head back to the surface and turn all your ore into bars. Bars sell for a better price than ore and increase your profit per hour compared to selling the unprocessed resource.

Reel in some legendary fish

If you’d rather partake in a less dangerous — but still lucrative — hobby, fishing might be the perfect fit. And while reeling in any type of fish will provide a boost to your bank account, you’ll want to try and reel in the five legendary fish as soon as you can.

Each of these can only be caught once, but they can be sold for an astronomical price. The Legend, for example, sells for a base price of 5,000. We won’t spoil their locations, but you can always check the valuable Stardew Wiki for info on the elusive fish.

Once you’ve caught all the legendary fish, focus your attention on reeling in other high-value species. These include Lava Eel, Stonefish, Super Cucumber, and Pufferfish. Some of these can be challenging to reel in for beginners — if you’re having trouble, focus on leveling up your fishing skill and purchasing better gear. After a few upgrades, you’ll be ready to reel in the best fish in all Stardew Valley.

Be frugal with your money

While it’s tempting to upgrade all your items as soon as you can, it’s not the best decision for long-term gains. Instead, focus on the gear you use on a daily basis. The hoe should be upgraded as soon as possible, giving you the ability to quickly grow your produce output. Then, you should invest in the watering can. While you’ll eventually want to upgrade to sprinklers, having a powerful watering can is never a bad thing.

Once those are taken care of, you can look toward upgrading your fishing rod or pickax. New fishing rods are fairly cheap, so we recommend using the best available rod at all times. The pickax is also a must-have, so you can efficiently harvest ore and dive deeper into the mines.

Upgrading your ax is more of a luxury, as it doesn’t provide much profit — but it does make it easier to harvest wood. Truth be told, there isn’t a “best” way to upgrade your tools, as most of it is up to personal preference and playstyle. If you find yourself using a tool a lot, it’s probably in your best interest to get it upgraded.

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Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a freelance journalist whose gaming addiction began with the SEGA Genesis. His work has been published on…
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