Choosing Between Rancher and Tiller
Tilling Soil in Stardew Valley

Skills are an integral core mechanic of Stardew Valley. These are attributes that can provide you with exclusive perks once you level them up over time. You’ll earn experience points each time you perform an action associated with a particular skill. Once you rake up enough experience points – you’ll level the skill up!

As you progress through the level of skills, you’ll unlock new crafting recipes and items on each level. On every 5th and 10th level, you’ll be prompted to choose between two different ‘professions’ instead of unlocking the usual crafting recipes. 

Among these different skills, today I’ll be focusing on farming. Each time you plant, grow, or harvest a crop – you gain experience in the farming skill. The same happens whenever you take care of your farm animals. 

Once you reach levels 5 and 10 in farming, you can choose between different professions – each of which offers certain perks to you. On farming level 5 – you’ll be prompted to choose between the Rancher or Tiller professions.

What are the Rancher and Tiller Professions?

Choosing Between Rancher and Tiller

The Rancher profession increases the value of animal products by 20%, whereas Tiller increases the sale price of crops by 10%. Both of these are unlocked once you reach level 5 of farming, at which point you’ll have to select between the two. 

It’s apparent that both of these increase the sale value of products. They only differ in the items for which you’ll receive the upgrade. Rancher applies the increase in value to the base price of all animal products. The bonus offered by Tiller, on the other hand, is applicable to the base value of all Vegetables, Flowers, and Fruits that have not been foraged!

Once you hit level 5 in farming and go to sleep, a prompt will appear while your character is asleep. This prompt will ask you to choose between the two professions. Be careful while doing this – once you select a profession, you won’t be able to change it till you unlock the Sewers area!

When it comes to picking one up and dropping the other, the choice is a no-brainer, Tiller. 

Why Tiller?

Tiller is the much better profession of the two. In a normal playthrough, you’ll be farming crops much more often than looking after animals. This remains true for both the early and late game phases of your playthrough. Additionally, the profits you generate from farming will, on average, be much higher than those of animal products. 

Of course, there are exceptions to this. For example, you can net a ton of money from farming Pigs by effectively collecting Truffles. However, under normal circumstances, the immediate bonus offered by Tiller is much more effective as compared to that of the Rancher. 

Another thing to note is that you’ll have access to a plethora of crops and farming techniques right from the start of your playthrough. The same doesn’t apply to farming. The start-up costs of making farm buildings and then purchasing the animals themselves are huge! 

Additionally, it takes a while for animals to mature before they finally start netting you some money. In retrospect, the only actual costs associated with farming are the purchasing prices of crops. Considering all this, Tiller takes a considerable lead over Rancher any day of the week!

Professions Leading Into Professions

Choosing Between Artisan and Agriculturist

Another factor to focus on is the perks you can unlock once you reach level 10 with either of the professions. If you’re unaware, the profession options you unlock at level 10 will stem from the ones you select at level 5. This means that if you choose Rancher at level 5, you won’t be able to pick the profession options that unlock at level 10 from the Tiller pathway.

Both Rancher and Tiller lead to 2 additional profession options at level 10. To be more precise, Rancher ultimately leads to Coopmaster or Shepherd, whereas the Tiller gives you the option between Artisan or Agriculturist. 

Coopmaster and Shepherd allow you to befriend animals more quicker. The former applies to coop animals and also reduces the incubation times of animals to half. The latter applies to barn animals and also increases the rate at which Sheep produce Wool.

The Artisan and Agriculturist professions, on the other hand, increase the value of Artisan goods by 40% and make crops grow 10% faster, respectively. You can find additional information on each of these on the official Stardew Valley Wiki!

Among all these different options, the best profession to exist is Artisan. It is undoubtedly the most lucrative option available to you, as it can open you up to specific farming strategies that’ll make you rich in no time! Even if the initial perk offered by Tiller doesn’t sit that well with you, picking it solely for the reason that it eventually leads into the Agriculturist profession is entirely worth it!

So, considering all arguments, if you’re still confused about choosing between the Tiller and Rancher professions in Stardew Valley – choose the former without giving it a second thought! 

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