Earning money is an important goal to progress far in Stardew Valley. You can make money in plenty of different ways, which is part of what makes the gameplay fun and immersive. If you’re wondering how to make a hundred thousand, if not a million gold, in your first year, here is a list of various activities you can try!
In Stardew Valley, you play as a farmer living their best life in a relaxing countryside with abundant natural resources. Most of the items you pick up here can be sold for some gold. But some are more valuable than others. Getting lucrative products may seem impossible in the early game, but there are some methods you can use to take shortcuts to definite success.
Selling foraged items is one of the easiest ways to earn gold in your first days as a farmer.
While waiting for your planted crops to mature, you can roam around the valley to search for wild berries, plants, and mushrooms. Most of them are found in the Forest, Mountains, or anywhere in Pelican Town.
Best Foraged Items to Sell in Year 1
In Spring, the best items to forage are Wild Horseradish and Leek. They can sell well in bulk, despite not being that scarce. In Summer, you can look for fruits like Grapes and Spice Berries. Fiddlehead Ferns are edible shoots found mostly in the Secret Woods, and they sell for 90g per piece.
Pick up all the Chanterelles, Red Mushrooms, and Purple Mushrooms. These profitable mushrooms usually spawn in the Mushroom Cave and the Secret Woods in the Fall season. You can also earn a few hundred gold from selling a bunch of Wild Plums and Hazelnuts.
Lastly, you know it’s Winter when the ground starts the freeze. This is the time of year when valuable items like Crystal Fruit, Snow Yams, and Holly appear.
East Part of The Beach
Try to unlock the east part of Pelican Town Beach when you can. Corals and Sea Urchins spawn near the tide pools. They can be sold ranging from 80g to 320g. You can access this section of the beach by fixing the wooden bridge once you gather 300 pieces of wood or by investing in Robin’s Second Community Upgrade.
Early Access to the Secret Woods
Can’t afford to break the huge wooden log that blocks your access to the Secret Woods? Thankfully, since the 1.5 update, players have found an exploit to help them enter the woods early in the game.
The Secret Woods is where you can forage Mushrooms, Fiddlehead Ferns, and important resources like Hardwood and Mahogany Seeds. You can only access it after removing the obstacle in the way, which is a sturdy tree log. However, you can only chop it up once you upgrade your rusty axe into a Steel Axe.
The 1.5 update allowed players to sit on surfaces like chairs or stools. So players can now place a decorative chair near the log northwest of the Cindersap forest. Place the chair on the leftmost corner of the screen, right-click on the chair to sit on it, jumping over the log. You can use another chair to go back to the Cindersap forest in the same way.
Fishing is another activity you can regularly do to earn money, but it takes a certain skill to profit hugely from it. Fish are sold to Willy at his shop or placed in the Shipping Bin.
After obtaining your starter Fishing Rod from Willy, you can start fishing on the beach, the river near your farm, the town, and the mountain lake.
Fish serve many purposes in the game. You can sell them, cook them, give them as presents, or keep them in ponds. The type of fish that spawn in the valley is determined by what location, season, weather, or time of day you catch it.
Best Fish to Sell Early
The most profitable fish to sell early in the game are Catfish, Tiger Trout, and Tuna. Catfish inhabit the Rivers in Spring and Summer and spawn at any period of the day. What’s more, they are not as slippery as other expensive fish. However, they only appear when it rains.
Regardless of the time and weather, Tiger Trout can spawn in the Rivers and the Cindersap Forest, but only in Fall and Winter.
And Tuna may not cost much by itself, but you can throw it in a cooking pan along with Tortilla, Red Cabbage, and Mayonnaise to make Fish Taco. This delectable dish will earn you 500g each.
You can sell any fish you want, but make sure they are not included in any Community Center bundle if you want to finish the restoration project in your first year.
Try to purchase a better rod like the Fiberglass Rod, which you can buy from Willy’s shop for 1,200 gold. A small investment for a lifetime of profit, as having a better rod can get you good-quality fish. Don’t forget to purchase some Trout Soup and Bait to increase your chances of catching more fish.
Raising Fish in Ponds
Building fish ponds is recommended to get more resources and a passive income. But you’ll need to fish frequently to get materials for building a fish pond.
Robin can build you a fish pond, but you’ll need 200 pieces of Stones, 5 Green Algae, and 5 Seaweed. Green algae can be reeled in with a rod from freshwater fishing spots, while Seaweed can spawn in the ocean.
Build at least two ponds that can house two different types of fish. The Sturgeon is easily one of the best picks when choosing the type of fish to raise. Sturgeon can give you Caviar, which you’ll get after processing Sturgeon Roe in a Preserves Jar. Sturgeons can be found in the mountains during Summer and Winter.
Super Cucumbers commonly caught at night in the ocean during Summer and Fall can inhabit your second pond. When placed in a pond, Super Cucumbers sometimes produce Iridium Ores, which are used to upgrade your farming tools and craft Iridium Sprinklers.
Mining is a productive use of your time, especially during Spring in your first year. As your first crops grow, you can collect minerals, ores, and gems from the mines and sell them for quick cash.
Best Gems to Sell Early
The Prismatic Shard is the most expensive gem in the game, but selling it for extra gold is not the best use for them. If you somehow bagged this rare gem early in the game, you can use it to acquire the Galaxy Sword in Calico Desert instead.
The Galaxy Sword is one of the most potent weapons you can wield. Stand in the middle of three pillars found northwest of the Bus Stop while holding the Prismatic Shard to get the Galaxy Sword.
Diamonds are the second most valuable gem you can sell. They’re pretty rare and are extracted from Diamond Nodes or Gem Nodes. These nodes usually spawn on lower floors in the mines starting from the 50th floor.
Other minerals worth selling are Dolomite, Helvite, Neptunite, Fire Opal, and Star Shards. You can acquire them by breaking some Geodes, Magma Geodes, Frozen Geodes, and Omni Geodes.
Unlocking The Skull Cavern
The Skull Cavern is a bottomless dungeon in the Calico Desert where myriads of monsters and strange creatures dwell. It is also bountiful stones and nodes that give you Iridium Ore. Five Iridium Ore can be smelted into an Iridium Bar to craft money-making objects and machines.
It is quite easy to unlock this area. You must pay the Joja corporation to repair the Bus that can take you to Calico Desert. Or you can take the more difficult but more ethical route by completing the Vault Bundle in the community center.
You’ll need the Skull Key to unlock the Skull Caverns entrance. You’ll acquire it after getting down on the 120th floor of the Mines. After obtaining it, you’ll see it displayed in your Wallet in the Player’s Menu.
Plant and harvest crops with high-profit margins to help you earn a good amount of money in your first few weeks. If you want to make a living from farming, consider the type of crops you will mainly invest in.
Best Crops to Sell Early
Crops like Potatoes and Cauliflower are best to grow in the first year of your Spring. In Summer, you’d likely grow Melons because of their value and Blueberries because they are a multi-harvest crop. Fall is when top-selling crops like Pumpkins and Cranberries can grow.
However, these seeds can be pricey for fledgling farmers. To be cost-effective, you can plant Mixed Seeds, which produce random seasonal crops when they mature. The good thing about them is that you won’t need to purchase them from shops as they sometimes drop when you dig dirt or cut weeds.
Hops are one of the best but overlooked crops you can sell. They can be harvested multiple times as long as it’s Summer. These plants grow on a trellis and can give you Hops almost daily. Therefore, you can gain a daily income from Hops if you water them regularly.
Strawberry and Star Fruit are crops guaranteed to bring you heaps of gold. But unlike the crops mentioned above, their seeds can’t be typically purchased from Pierre’s or Joja’s store. Pierre will sell Strawberry Seeds at the Egg Festival held every Spring 13.
Although they cost 100g per Strawberry Seed, their value becomes 120g when they mature. Additionally, Strawberry plants regrow their fruit after four days. You can get multiple harvests from your Strawberry crops before they wilt in Summer, assuming you can plant them on Spring 13.
Meanwhile, if you can get into Calico Desert in your first year, you can purchase Star Fruit seeds. These Summer seeds cost 200g, but after 13 days, they sprout fruits that sell for 750g per piece.
Apply Fertilizers on Crops
Mix some Fertilizers, Retaining Soils, or Speed-Gros with your crops to take your farming up the notch. Fertilizers can make silver, gold, and iridium-quality crops, meaning you’ll earn more gold from selling them at a high value.
Retaining Soil is a type of fertilizer that helps players who don’t have time to irrigate their crops daily. When incorporated with crops, there’s a chance they will stay hydrated and don’t need to be watered until you harvest them. Speed-Gros shortens the time it takes for crops to mature. Put them on multi-harvest plants to maximize crop yield.
Best Animal Products to Sell Early
Having a farm filled with animals may be every rancher’s dream, but getting there may take some time. In the early game, chickens are the easiest to raise, providing a steady supply of eggs.
Take care of your chickens to gain their trust. In return, you’ll receive high-priced Large Eggs. Moreover, eggs can also be turned into Mayonnaise, which can be sold for even more profit. But first, you’ll need a machine called a Mayonnaise Maker to get Mayonnaise.
Speaking of machines, you can craft Artisan Machines that can produce items like Mayonnaise, cheese, and wine to sell for a good price.
Machines require effort to build as they are crafted by hand, so you’ll need to gather crafting resources. In addition, you must improve your skills and get to a certain level to acquire crafting recipes. Relying on artisan products alone may not be the most practical method if you’re just getting started in the game.
That’s not to say that you can’t earn tons of gold from selling artisan, affordable artisan goods.
Best Artisanal Products to Sell Early
As stated, Mayonnaise, made from eggs, is a great early-game artisan good that can be sold for profit. Made from Milk in a Cheese Press, Cheese is another artisan product you may want to invest in early in the game.
Coffee processed from Kegs can also be a steady source of income as you can harvest Coffee Beans from Coffee Plants daily.
Harvesting Honey from Bee Houses can yield a great profit and is relatively easy to start.
6. Completing Quests
When not engaged in the usual farming activities, you can complete quests for the villagers to earn rewards and money. Right from the start, you’ll be given tasks or quests that serve as a tutorial. Finishing them will make you some gold which can be a great help if you’re in a pinch.
You’ll get different quests from NPCs as you play the game, but you can also accept quests from the “Help! Wanted Board” and “Special Orders Board.” The Help! Wanted Board is outside Pierre’s General Store, while the Special Orders Board is located north of the Mayor’s house, but only after you reach Fall 6 in your first year.
Aside from treating them as a side hustle, completing quests is also one of the ways you can get closer or gain relationship points with the villagers.
7. Choose the Right Professions
Each skill you level up leads to opportunities that help you become a better farmer. Sometime after reaching specific skill levels, you can unlock Professions, which refer to the choice of specializations with a unique set of bonuses.
Choose the professions that could double your earnings from selling products. For example, if you pick the Tiller and Artisan Profession for your Farming Skill, your crops will cost 10% higher, and your artisan products become 40% more valuable.
8. Managing Your Time Effectively
Players must learn to manage their time efficiently to maximize their earning potential. Try minimizing the time spent on activities like actively socializing with the villagers or sleeping early.
Focus on achievable goals and pace yourself to make steady progress. Another thing is to plan your inventory carefully to avoid too much clutter and backtracking, allowing you to work on your farm without difficulty.
Whether you’re new to Stardew Valley or not, you’ll find that making wealth from humble beginnings can be one of the most satisfying outcomes you will get in the game. Ultimately, figuring out the best money-making method for you still hinges on your preferred playstyle.
Remember that it’s essential to invest your earnings back into your farm. This way, you can expand your operations and earn even more gold!