Farming is your primary source of income in Stardew Valley – especially in its early and mid phases. If you want a challenge and are not touching the farming bit of the game, you’ll have significant money-related troubles, at least at the start.
There are always other ways of earning money – some of which are incredibly lucrative and much better than farming, but these are only viable in the late game. As such, making money without using that Watering Can item will be difficult, and the coins you get might be a bit disappointing.
That said, here are some farming alternatives in the game:
Mining & Minerals
This is probably the easiest and most efficient method to get a good supply of coins. The Mine has more than 100+ levels to explore and contains tons of treasure just waiting for you to pick out! The only downside is – you’ll constantly have to deal with the monsters present there.
You’ll start seeing minerals appear in the Mines once you’ve ventured a few floors in. There are multiple Minerals and Ores that you can find depending on the floor that you’re currently on. Minerals sell for really high prices and can make you rich very quickly!
Take Diamond as an example. They have a base selling price of 750g. Although not all Minerals will net as high prices as that, there’s still plenty that you can earn from them. Ores can also be a good early source of income as they’re abundantly available in the Mines and spawn in multiple nodes on a floor.
You’ll also find Normal, Ice, Magma, and Omni geodes as you explore the Mines. You can ask the blacksmith to open these for you for a small price, and they usually contain precious Minerals and Ores. You can again sell these to make a good living!
As you keep going further down in the Mines, you’ll slowly net up a considerable supply of Stones, which can also be sold – although they’re not as generous in their prices as Minerals and Ores. Additionally, the monsters you slay in the Mines will periodically drop items each time you kill them. These drops can be several items, some of which can be pretty valuable!
Lastly, once you’ve acquired a bunch of Minerals from the Mines and are in your mid-game, you can use the Crystalarium device to replicate these and earn massive coins. Minerals, preferably Diamonds, will be infinitely replicated when placed in the Crystalarium.
You can obtain a small quantity of some precious Minerals from the Mines to get you started and then place these in the Crystalariums to essentially earn money without doing anything at all. (P.s this is one of the best ways of getting coins in the game)
You can also sync this method with the Gemologist profession to increase the base sell price of each resource you acquire by 30%. By combining these methods for reference, you can sell a single Diamond for 975g!
This is another possible source of income you can have. Ranching refers to raising animals on your farm and making a profit. The amount of coins you can make with this is somewhat surprising.
You can collect several different animals, such as Chickens, Cows, Pigs, Rabbits, Ducks, and a few more. All of these have different purchasing costs associated with them. Additionally, they produce goods unique to each animal type and thus, sell for different amounts.
The cheapest animal to purchase and breed is a Chicken. It’s less resource-intensive and requires little attention once everything is set up. The most profitable one, on the other hand, but more expensive is a Pig.
Farm animals can also be sold to get an extra bit of cash. Your value for an animal depends upon whether it’s still young or an adult and its Friendship Points.
Additionally, you can breed your farm animals once they’ve grown into their adult variants. You can then keep collecting more of them rather than having to purchase them from Marnie. This allows you to keep a stable population of animals while selling them off simultaneously.
This table shows all the different animal types in the game, their housing requirement, purchase price, the type of items they produce, the coins this product sells for, and the animal’s 5-heart sale price.
|Animal||Housing||Purchase Price||Produce||Product Sale Price||Animal Sale Price (5-Hearts)|
|Chicken||Coop||800g||Egg / Large Egg||50g / 95g||1,040g|
|Duck||Big Coop||1,200g||Duck Egg / Duck Feather||95g / 250g||1,560g|
|Rabbit||Deluxe Coop||8,000g||Wool / Rabbit’s Foot||340g / 565g||10,400g|
|Dinosaur||Big Coop||N/A||Dinosaur Egg||350g||1,300g|
|Cow||Barn||1,500g||Milk / Large Milk||125g / 190g||1,950g|
|Goat||Big Barn||4,000g||Goat Milk / Large Goat Milk||225g / 345g||5,200g|
(Note that this data is only accurate for the regular variants of these animals)
Fishing is one of the core things you can do in Stardew Valley – and it also has a specific farm map associated with it. There are tons of Fish that you can capture in the game with different seasonal requirements.
You can start fishing for success as soon as you receive your first rod from Willy, which is practically right at the start of the game. Capturing and selling Fish is a viable method of making cash in the early game.
Another benefit this method has is that you can eat the Fish you capture to regain Energy – if you ever fall too low on it and need a quick snack to strengthen yourself again!
You’ll also sometimes come across Treasure chests when playing the fishing mini-game. These can contain many items – some of which can be very high-value ones, such as Pearls and Diamonds.
You should note that Fishes aren’t the most lucrative way of earning coins in the game, and although they’re not as good as replicating Minerals or selling Truffles, they’re an excellent source of stable income to keep on the side as you grow.
Plus, Ranching or replicating gems requires a relatively high investment of coins, whereas you can go Fishing at practically no cost. With zero investment costs and all the benefits – Fishing is extremely useful if you’re staying off the farming scenario!
Here’s a tip for Fishing, if you catch common Fish that sell for less than 75g, go back to your house and convert them to Sashimi by cooking. Sashimi sells for 75 coins and requires only 1 fish as its crafting ingredient. This way, you’ll effectively convert the Fish to a higher value item by using no extra resources!
You can also catch Legendary Fish, which will sell for a lot more than your ordinary fishes – so that’s an added benefit. Lastly, you can also use these Fish to complete Journal quests and the “Help Wanted” ones outside Pierre’s store to get extra cash on your hands.
Foraging is an excellent way of collecting valuable items and earning money. If you’re unaware, foraging in Stardew Valley refers to collecting items naturally found on the ground.
You can start foraging right from the start of the game as it has no pre-requisites. All you have to do for this is explore the world and pick up everything you can. This includes all sorts of Berries, Mushrooms, Treasures, or anything that’s naturally available.
Salmonberries and Blackberries are forage goods that grow all around the map in berry bushes. These can be harvested by walking up to the bush and then right-clicking. Each bush can also provide you with multiple berries. Once harvested, the bush will take a few days to grow another pair of berries.
Salmonberries are available in the Spring, whereas Blackberries are abundant in Fall. Additionally, there’s a 3 day “Berry Season” in the game, which comes around in both the Spring and Fall season. During this Berry Season, every bush in the game will produce berries daily!
So for 3 days, you can harvest all the bushes daily and earn a ton of berries. If you properly use this Berry Season, you can gather hundreds of berries in just a few days! The Berry Season lasts from Spring 15 to 18 for Salmonberries and Fall 8 to 11 in the case of Blackberries.
Cave, Onions & Products
Items that appear in the Cave that Demetrius transforms for you will also count as forage materials. In this case, it’s better to opt for the Fruit Cave as it’ll be more valuable for you in the long term.
In the Spring season, you can find a handful of Wild Spring Onions at the bottom of the Cindersap Forest (Cindersap Forest is located at the bottom of your farm). These grow independently, and you can pick them as a foraging item from time to time.
You can also place the items you pick up in Preserves Jars or Kegs to convert them into valuable products such as Wines or different types of Jams and Pickles. These sell for higher prices and, thus, are better for your early game progress.
Here’s a tip, try to repair the Bridge found on the beach as soon as possible. It requires a few hundred pieces of Wood and gives you access to Shells and Corals that you can pick up.
These wash up on the shore now and then and can fetch a pretty good price! You’ll also find extra Shells and Corals on the 12, 13, and 14th of Summers – so that’s always nice!
Also, if you choose the Botanist profession once available, the quality of any items you forage will always be Iridium. This is exceptionally useful if you’re trying to live a foraging-intensive life.
Trees can be a valuable early source of income for you as you navigate your new life in the Valley. In particular, you can tap trees with the help of ordinary and heavy tappers, which causes them to generate sap passively.
After a few days, this sap accumulates into a bottle of Resin depending upon the type of tree that’s tapped. For example, Oak Trees will produce Oak Resin. You can use this Resin to craft items or sell them to get your hands on some coins!
Although this isn’t the best method of earning coins, you can always use it to get some idle extra cash while you do your other activities.
Questing & Befriending Villagers
This is the last viable method to earn some coins in your game. Although, you should note that this is less reliable than the others here and will have a smaller payout. Firstly, there are a ton of Quests you can take up.
These can be assigned to you by the game in your journal tab and can also be activated through the “Help Wanted” section outside Pierre’s General Store.
Completing these quests will give you some amount of coins, friendship points with the Villagers, and sometimes – different items. You can also find a couple of quests related to slaying monsters in the Mines by talking to Gil in the Adventurer’s Guild. Completing these can reward you with valuable weapons that you can also sell!