The very best crops in ‘Stardew Valley’
Through more than five years on the market, Stardew Valley has somehow managed to remain one of the most popular farming sims out there.
The game, developed by Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone, allows players to bask in the seemingly simple ⏤ but actually quite challenging ⏤ task of keeping up and running a farm. Delivered in charming, colorful 8-bit art, this game is far more than it seems on the surface. While developing and maintaining a bustling farm ⏤ ranch, really, since you can also add livestock into the mix ⏤ is at the core of this 2016 title, it also incorporates a number of side quests and gameplay options that help the game stay surprisingly fast-paced and interesting.
This isn’t a story about why you should play Stardew, however, even though you definitely should. It’s an explainer on how to make your farm as successful as possible by tracking down and planting only the most lucrative crops. While the initially high cost of seeds might steer new players away from some of the higher-priced crop options, you’ll quickly find that these crops are the best way to make your farm a success.
Discerning the best approach to any Stardew game is a truly singular experience, as it entirely depends on how you’d like to approach your game. An emphasis on livestock can yield mayonnaise, cheeses, and that sweet, sweet truffle oil, but if you keep your eye on farming, it’ll eventually pay off in exorbitantly priced bottles of wine.
For anyone aiming to put the majority of their effort into farming, a few crops are clear winners in the lineup of harvest options. Grow these crops to sell for a high price all on their own, or hang onto them a bit longer to transform them into lucrative wines, juices, and preservatives.
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There are a number of spring crops that may look appealing, particularly to first-time players, but many of them are not great options when it comes to earning potential. If you’re looking to rake in cash from sold crops, consider growing cauliflower, potatoes, and rhubarb. All three take a bit longer than other crops, like parsnips, to produce, but they yield far more in the long run. The overall best spring crop to grow are strawberries, a multi-yield crop that, if planted straightaway, will result in numerous harvests.
Once summer rolls around, even first-time players will be somewhat familiar with the process of farming. You’ll want to make sure to invest in a good number of seeds at the outset of the season to ensure as many yields as possible. The best crop to invest in during the summer months is blueberries, another multi-yield crop that can help players quickly rack up cash. Other good summer plants include starfruit, a highly lucrative plant that sells for a mind-boggling amount when made into wine, along with corn and hops, both of which will ⏤ like blueberries ⏤ yield multiple harvests.
Fall has a few solid options for eager Stardew farmers, though many of them will require more work than the relatively easy hops or strawberries. The best fall crop is easily cranberries, which produce multiple yields per harvest and continue to fruit throughout the season. Other good fall crops to consider are bok choy, which has a nice, short grow time, and pumpkins, which have the added bonus of potentially producing a giant crop.
With the greenhouse unlocked, all crops can be grown year-round within its walls, but until players have accomplished this task, you’ll be stuck with primarily seasonal plants. No crops grow during the winter and even the most stalwart of plants die during the season, so “year-round” crops don’t technically exist without the greenhouse. There are a few good options that can cut down on maintenance and grow in multiple seasons.
The clearest choice for year-round (ish) farming is the ancient fruit tree. Once these trees begin fruiting, they produce a new ancient fruit every seven days. They continue to produce fruit through spring, summer, and fall, but will die during the winter months if planted out in the open. If sold as they are, ancient fruits sell for between 700 – 1125g, depending on star level, and they can be turned into jelly or wine, selling for 1550g and 2250g respectively.