If you're anything like me (lucky you!) then the idea of a game like Stardew Valley will immensely interest you – but once you get thrown into its open, free world, you may begin to feel a bit daunted.
What do you do next? Where do you even begin in removing all that rubble from your farm? Where do you go? Help, someone help!
Never fear; I've got your back. I've done the hard work so you don't have to. My first few hours in Stardew Valley were a bit of a mess of aimless wandering, but after some perseverance (and a bit of sneaky Googling), I got into the swing of things. Stardew Valley is a wonderful game with so much to offer if you can get past the first few hurdles. Once you're hooked, there's no going back.
I'm not here to reveal the game's secrets – another time, perhaps – but for those of you just starting out on your farm, here are some wise words of advice from one pixelated farmer to another.
There is no right or wrong – do whatever you feel like!
This is perhaps the most important thing to remember. If you're used to playing sandbox-style games, then this will be nothing new to you, but if you're usually playing narrative-driven games with an end goal, then you may struggle to accept that there's not any one particular thing you should be doing at any one time.
As you play Stardew Valley, you'll be given objectives and tasks – do these if you like, but you don't have to. Take some time to explore; see what the town has to offer, and go wherever your interests take you. You may feel a little limited in the first few days, but as you progress and more of the town opens up, it'll soon become natural.
Plant seeds on the first day of every season
You live on a farm, so farming is, naturally, a big part of Stardew Valley – or at least, it can be if you want it to be. It's a great place to start though, and a good way to earn some money. Crops only last for the season they're planted in, so to make the most of the time you have, plant them on the first day of every season.
All seeds take a different amount of time to grow – some are as short as five days; others can take upwards of 12 – so plan carefully. Some seeds also keep giving you a harvest once they're planted – these were my favourite. Plant once at the beginning of the season, and reap the benefit throughout the season.
Plant trees on the first day of the season
Trees can be bought from the shop for 1,000G. It seems like a lot of money to begin with, but after your first season or so it shouldn't be a problem. It's a wise idea to buy a tree or two at the start of every season; they take a full season to mature, so buy Autumn trees in Summer, Spring trees in Winter, and so on. Once they're matured, they'll give you fruit every day for the season.
Sell items in the box at the side of your house
When you arrive on your farm, you'll notice a big box at the side of your house. No, this isn't a storage box, as I found out after unloading around 10 items in there and realising I couldn't get them back. It's a shipping container – put almost any item in there, and you'll receive money for it the next morning. It's handy if you don't want to have to trek to town to get rid of your goods, especially if you have limited inventory space.