Stardew Valley is ripe with opportunities to live off the land, and not just through the player’s crops. The forest, beach, and mountains are full of nature’s bounty. From mushrooms to berries to oysters on the beach, there are plenty of items to pick up and sell.
While it’s a great way to earn money early on, many players let Foraging fall by the wayside once their crops start to make a lot of profit. However, with a little effort, players can still make heaps of gold from what the valley has to offer. Here are a few tips for Stardew Valley players both old and new who want to up their Foraging game.
10 Know What Actions Raise The Skill
Foraging can be a tricky skill to level at first, largely because certain actions that would seem to grant EXP do not. Digging up ginger on Ginger Island, shaking berries from bushes, and digging up Snow Yams or Winter Roots are all great ways to forage for items; however, they don’t raise the skill.
Picking up foraged items from the ground—including those grown from Wild Seeds — will raise Foraging, as will harvesting spring onions. The most efficient way to level this skill is with the axe.
9 Upgrade The Axe
Chopping wood is the fastest way to level up Foraging. Upgrading the axe decreases the number of times a player must strike a tree to chop it down, meaning more resources and EXP for less energy. It also allows the player to break large stumps and logs, which grant more Foraging EXP than anything else.
An upgraded axe is also necessary to access the Secret Woods. This area contains several large stumps as well as rare forage items, such as fiddlehead ferns and chanterelle mushrooms.
8 Choose the Botanist Profession
With this profession, all foraged items, including berries shaken from bushes, will be of Iridium quality. This massively increases the amount of money players can earn by foraging. This effect also applies to items the player picks up on the beach, such as coral, seaweed, and shellfish.
To get this profession, choose the Gatherer option at level 5. This provides the possibility to collect two foraged items instead of just one. The Botanist option becomes available at level 10.
7 Keep an Eye On The Farm Cave
Once the player’s total earnings reach 25,000g Demetrius appears and asks to use the farm’s cave to attract research specimens—it just turns out that these specimens are quite useful to a forager. Both the fruit and mushroom options for the cave provide their own benefits.
The mushroom cave doesn’t grant Foraging EXP, nor are its items affected by the Botanist profession. However, some players like having a reliable source for relatively rare fungi. The fruit cave, while its items are more common, helps raise Foraging and can provide high-quality items.
6 Use Wild Seeds (Especially In Winter)
As the player levels up the Foraging skill, they’ll unlock Wild Seed recipes for each season. These can be planted on the farm to grow even more forage items. Each harvest can then be used to craft even more seeds, resulting in dozens of wild flowers and fruits.
Wild Seeds come in handy early in the game, before the player has money to spend on vast amounts of seeds. It’s also a great way to earn money during the barren winter season, during which the player can’t grow normal crops.
5 Befriend Jas and Vincent
Building relationships is a core mechanic in Stardew Valley, and even Pelican Town’s children prove to be valuable friends. Once the player reaches eight hearts with Vincent and Jas, enter the woods before 5pm on a sunny spring day.
A short scene will play in which Jas and Vincent teach the player how to clean the spring onions that grow in the southeastern area of the forest. After this cutscene, the player receives the permanent buff Spring Onion Mastery, which increases the value of spring onions five times over.
4 Give the Bear a Sweet Treat
This hidden tip lies in Secret Note #23. Through the strange grammar and spelling of this message, players can make out a request to come to the Secret Woods with a jug of maple syrup. If they do so, they’ll find a bear waiting for them, eager for the treat.
After guzzling the syrup, the player’s new animal friend teaches them some forest secrets, permanently increasing the sell price of blackberries and salmonberries to triple their base value. Like Spring Onion Mastery, this is a permanent foraging buff.
3 Pick Lots of Berries
Throughout Cindersap Forest, the Mountains, and Pelican Town, the player can find bushes that bear fruit in certain seasons. Salmonberries grow from Spring 15-18; from Fall 8-11, players can find Blackberries.
With a little dedication, the player can collect hundreds of these wild berries. With the Botanist profession, these are worth a considerable amount on their own, especially if the player has the Bear’s Knowledge buff. Players can also turn them into jelly or wine, highly profitable with the Artisan profession.
2 Gain Buffs with Food Items
Pancakes and Survival Burgers both increase the Foraging skill. Not only does this increase the chances of finding high-quality items, but it can even increase the number of berries that fall from bushes.
Other buffs can prove useful as well. Magnetism ensures the player doesn’t leave behind any berries or pieces of wood, and can be achieved with Bean Hotpot or Crispy Bass. Speed is always a handy effect—a few cups of coffee can help the player cover more ground as they search for foraged items.
1 Give Back
Plenty of foraged items make great gifts for several of the townsfolk. For example, Haley and Sam love coconuts and cactus fruit respectively, which can both be foraged in Calico Desert. Harvey, Leah, and Linus also like a lot of foraged items such as mushrooms.
Meanwhile, wild flowers such as sweet peas and crocuses are on almost everyone’s list of liked gifts. All things considered, gifting foraged items is a quick and low-cost way for players to endear themselves to their neighbors.