A Powergamer's Build Order for your first Spring

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ShneekeyTheLost, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. ShneekeyTheLost

    ShneekeyTheLost Master Astronaut

    Warning: This post is rated N for Number Crunching. This post contains scenes of extreme optimization which is not suitable for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.

    Furthermore, this is not intended for the first-time user. I feel that you should play through the game at least once before trying this out. I do not want you to miss the magic of the game by focusing on the numbers. You only get to play through your first time once, enjoy it.
    EDIT: This build order is somewhat VERY out of date, expect a new one Soon(tm).

    Those who also play RTS games like Starcraft may be familiar with the concept of a 'Build Order', basically a plan of what you build when in the early game to optimize or maximize your benefits. Because, as in Stardew Valley, early moves can snowball to have huge consequences later in the game.

    Disclaimer: I make no claims as to being the 'best', nor do I claim to be the most optimal. I simply present this as a fairly user-friendly way to get a decent start on crops with cash and bundle completion as primary criteria.

    Second Disclaimer: This guide is going to be most effective on the Normal, Forage, or Combat maps. The Fishing and Mining maps will not have sufficient acreage to follow this build order.

    Third Disclaimer: This is ONLY concerning itself with crops and farming. It may mention other topics, but will not lay out exactly when those other topics should be addressed. It should leave you with enough time left over to do other things, but those other things will not be specifically mentioned, except in passing.

    The Build Order:

    Spring 1: Clear out minimal area to house 40 parsnips, including tilling and watering. At 9:00 AM, go purchase 25 parsnips from Pierre (you can meet everyone in the store at the same time), then finish your clearing, hoeing, and watering and plant all 40 immediately. Finish the day foraging, especially Spring Onions, and do what socializing you feel like. Ending up with 50 wood for a chest today is going to be extremely valuable, if at all possible.

    Note: DO NOT SELL SPRING ONIONS. You will be eating them to supplement your endurance.

    Spring 2-4: Keep your parsnips watered. Actively forage every day, especially checking for more Spring Onions, since it takes no endurance to forage. Socialize as you like. Spend your remaining endurance clearing out a larger plot, one capable of handling 80-120 crops. Ultimately, you'll be having 160 crops in your area, so pick your area carefully. On all three maps that this strategy works for, there's an area just below your greenhouse that should be sufficient. This one I use is found here:


    Also, you're going to be wanting 80 sap on the 6th, so keep that in mind. But don't cut down too many trees until you get a level in Foraging to get seeds from the trees you chop down. Or at the very least, don't cut down Oak trees until then.

    Spring 3 is the rainy day. If you think you are pro enough, go fishing for Catfish, and don't forget Shad and at night in the ocean the Eel for bundle completion. If you don't care about/want to fish, then just clear more ground for your 160 crop plot.

    Once you get Foraging high enough that you start getting seeds, you want Acorns, preferably 20 of them eventually. Use your hoe on the little seedling icons near oak trees. You can also right-click and shake them to see if a seed comes out. As your Foraging skill increases, the odds of an acorn dropping when you fell an Oak Tree increases.

    Spring 5: Harvest your Parsnips. Keep any Gold quality parsnips, go to Pierre's. Purchase 40 parsnip seeds, and if you have enough money, 40 Potato seeds as well. You are planting the potatoes TODAY, but you are NOT planting your Parsnips today. Yes, there is the risk you may lose one potato today, but trust me, delaying a day is going to hurt you far more than one potato. So till 40 squares in your new plot area (if it is also where your old plot area is, it may save some endurance, but may not be possible due to map constraints), water, plant potatoes.

    Spring 6:
    Craft and place your Scarecrow. Craft 40 Fertilizer. Till 40 squares, fertilize, water, then plant the Parsnips. If you have 300 wood to spare, craft your beach bridge so you can forage the tidal pool. Also go beachcombing, and go foraging in the forest. You should have at least one of the spring foraging bundle items by now. Cutscene with Lewis about the CC happens. Don't forget to check the slab so the next part of the quest unlocks tomorrow.

    Spring 7: Sunday. You should get a message from the Wizard today. Keep your parsnips and potatoes watered. Go talk to the Wizard. Go complete the Foraging Bundle. Get 30 Spring Seeds. If you have the energy (including onions), hoe, water, and plant them today.

    Spring 8-11:
    Keeping everything watered is going to eat up most of your endurance at this stage, especially if you have your Spring Seeds down as well. Don't worry about it too much. If it rains, go mining. At this point, you need copper. Anything else you bring up is gravy. Hopefully you will get enough minerals/artifacts to Gunther to get the Cauliflower seeds by now. Put them in the dirt before the day after the Egg Festival at the latest. On the 11th, you will harvest your Parsnips. That's 40 crops you don't have to water, huzza! Hopefully, you now have 5 gold-star parsnips. If not, retain all gold-star parsnips, sell the rest (except one for the bundle) buy 40 more, put them where the last ones are. Yes, you get to re-use your fertilizer, you don't need more of it.

    Spring 12th: Okay, your potatoes came up. Sell them (except one for the bundle. This is exactly why you planted the potatoes the very day your parsnips came up, instead of waiting an extra day. If you have 4,000g SAVE IT. No, do NOT get that backpack. You should still be stuck with a single row of inventory at this point. That's not a problem. If you have MORE than 4k, then you can buy more potatoes. In fact, if you have 6k, go ahead and buy 40 more potatoes. Don't buy more than that. You're going to end up writing a check your endurance can't cash if you get more than that. But under no circumstances should you let your gold go under 4k by the end of this day, that takes precedence.

    Spring 13: Egg Festival
    . BEFORE GOING, water your crops, and hoe out & water 40 more spaces. Then, go to the festival, and make sure to purchase 40 Strawberry Seeds from Pierre. From there, do what you like. Socialize, participate in the egg hunt, whatever. When you get back, IMMEDIATELY, tonight, before going to bed, plant your 40 Strawberry seeds on the plot you set up this morning. This will let you get two harvests from the Strawberries before the end of the year.

    Spring 14th-19th:
    If you had to plant a second batch of Parsnips, they came up this week. Also, your Spring Seeds should come up this week. This dramatically reduces your endurance drain every day. Now you only have to keep your potatoes and strawberries watered. Oh, and your cauliflower. If you haven't gotten the 9 cauliflower seeds as a reward from Gunther, buy at least one on the 14th for the bundle. If you haven't put down a Green Bean yet, go ahead and do that at the same time as well. You'll want one for the bundle.

    Salmonberries are in season now. Hit those bushes, they heal twice as much endurance as onions do. And net you foraging experience.

    When given the choice, go for BATS, and *NOT MUSHROOMS* for your cave. Trust me. Any of the 'tree' based fruits that can be turned in for the artisan bundle? Go to retiring that bundle. Pomegranates have the option of going to the Wizard bundle instead, but since you're going to be planting Pomegranate trees in bulk in the greenhouse anyway, you can safely put him off.

    Your potatoes should come upon the 18th, if you planted on the 12th if you had 6k in the bank. It is tempting to get another 40 and put them down, however you're going to do that in two days anyway, and you can't afford the endurance load while still mining. If you are chock-full of salmonberries, and you want to risk it, go ahead. But failing to hit at least Iron level by the end of the month is going to be brutally punishing, and not having enough copper for your hoe and watering can upgrades by the 1st of summer will cripple you.

    Hit the mines hard, especially if you only have Strawberries, Cauliflower, and the Green Bean to keep watered. You need 5 copper bars, which is 25 copper ore, plus 20 copper ore for the furnace, which is 45 copper ore you need before the last rainstorm of the season. Once you have 5 copper bars, you will need to keep an eye on the weather channel. On a day he says it will rain on the next day, and you have at least 2k in your pocket, go upgrade your watering can. Your hoe will be the next item to upgrade. With luck, you should get them both upgraded by the end of Spring. If you don't get a rainy day in which you have both 5 copper bars and 2k gold, do it on the 27th, as you won't need to water anything on the 28th. Progress down to Iron level, but don't feel pressed to go too far below that. You want a few pieces of iron, but no more than 5. Really, what you're going to want to do is hit level 30-39 over and over again. You're going to need 50 copper ores in very short order, and really you're wanting MORE than that.

    Once you hit Foraging 3, you're going to want to start with Tappers. One on a Pine Tree, one on a Maple Tree, and as many on Oak Trees as you can afford. If you have been collecting acorns, as I advised earlier, clear out an area and plant 20 of them. You're going to want them down soon because they take so long to grow, and you're going to need them to get your Oak Resin production into high gear for your Kegs.

    If, after your allotment for the final batch of potato seeds, you have enough money for your Hoe AND your Watering Can to get upgraded, you STILL have over 2k in reserve, go ahead and get your bag upgrade. I guess. But don't forget your basics. This is the first time in which you may have enough money to afford it, depending on how well lady luck has favored you.

    Spring 20th: You're on the home stretch for the season, but you need a lot of money for Summer. This is when your first batch of Strawberries comes in, and your last chance at planting Potatoes. Sell the strawberries, purchase 40 more potatoes. At this point, you should have 40-80 potatoes down and 40 strawberries.

    Don't stop hitting the caves, especially when it rains. Don't forget to upgrade your watering can when it rains, if it hasn't, but wait for your Hoe upgrade until you do the watering can. It would be ironic if it rained right when he was in the middle of upgrading your hoe.

    Ultimately, you're wanting money for the following:

    * 40 Melon Seeds: 3,200g
    * 8-16 Corn: 1200-2400g
    * 8-16 Hops (depending on how much gold you can afford): 480-960g
    * 1 Hot Pepper: 40g
    * 1 Tomato: 50g
    * 1 Sunflower (Dyes bundle): 200g
    * 1 Poppy (Chef bundle, AND honey): 100g
    * 10 Wheat (Fodder Bundle): 100g

    = 5370g-7050g

    And the rest of your farm plot of 160 should be filled with Blueberries and whatever gifting options you want to plant. Personally, I count on 80 Blueberry seeds, which is another 6400g

    That comes to a total of around 15,500 or so, depending.

    Buying up gold is expensive, but if you can, you can start Summer with one or two Quality Sprinklers. Surround them with Hops, and you'll never need to worry about watering them. Ultimately, we'll get low enough to mine gold, but you won't be able to do that yet. That will be mid-summer. Also, the Ghosts in 40-79 have a chance of dropping Gold Ore. It's a slim chance, but it'll really help you if it happens.

    Oh, if you luck into a Gold Star Cauliflower... don't sell it. It is about the only way to net the best response from your first luau, unless you manage to keep a gold-star Catfish or something.

    Summer 21-28: Harvest everything that comes up. Complete spring crops bundle. DO NOT plant anything else. If you haven't upgraded your Watering Can, do so at your earliest opportunity (either the next day the weather man says it is going to rain the following day, or on the 27th after you've watered everything). If you have your Watering Can upgraded, upgrade your Hoe. If you have both upgraded, congratulations.

    DO NOT retain your second crop of Strawberries to turn into a Seed Maker for seeds for next year. I know, it seems like a forward-thinking thing to do, but it is really a trap at this stage. You NEED that 4,800g NOW far more than you need the strawberry seeds at the beginning of next year. You can always plant Rhubarb next spring, or coffee beans. But the second year, you'll have enough financial reserves to purchase 160 strawberry seeds so that year 3+ you will be planting exclusively Strawberries. This is enough for the two gold bars worth of gold ore from Clint if you were worried about not being able to afford them. Or, if you find yourself a little short on what you need for your summer crops, this will push you over the edge. At the end of the first of summer, you won't have a dime left to your name, even if you sell them. But you'll be in a position to multiply that money through the additional crops purchased.

    As things mature, and are harvested, you will have more energy to do more mining. Any rainy days, and the 28th itself, you will be hitting the mines. You will ultimately want as much Copper as you can get, at least a couple of iron (more is better, but not necessary), a couple of Refined Quartz, if you can afford the 2k-4k for 1-2 gold bars worth of ore, do it. You'll have your hops around them at the beginning of summer.

    By the end of the month, you should have the following:

    • a minimum 15,000g in reserve. Preferably as high as 20k.
    • Your tier 1 bag upgrade (but not the second) (Optional)
    • A farm plot capable of taking 160 crops surrounding a single scarecrow which shelters them all that is already set up to accommodate 20 Quality Sprinklers.
    • 1-2 Quality Sprinklers (if possible, without bringing your financial reserves below 15.5k)
    • Copper Hoe and Copper Watering Can
    • 20 oak trees planted in an organized manner as a future location of your oak resin tapping area (not fully grown yet)
    • All spring bundle requirements done (spring foraging, spring crops bundles completed. 5x gold star parsnips for the quality crop bundle turned in, all Spring-exclusive fish)

    In Conclusion

    As you can see, early mistakes can cost you. Delaying planting your first crop of Potatoes until after your Scarecrow is made, for example, means you can't sell them before going to the Egg Festival, losing on the opportunity to purchase as many Strawberry Seeds, which translates to over nine thousand in lost profits, which translates to not being able to afford as many seeds at the beginning of summer, which puts you behind on your animal buildings... it snowballs from there.

    This may not be the most 'optimal' build order, but it is a solid and simple one. A great deal may flex depending on what happens, as any build order will need to take into consideration.

    Obviously, if you end up with a spring Ancient Seed, that needs to go in the ground immediately. Planted in Spring, you will have a minimum of 8 fruit, for roughly 15 or so seeds by Winter 1, which means your greenhouse gets filled FAR faster. You basically save over a full season's worth of waiting for expansion that way for no real cost to you.

    I hope it has been of use.
      Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
      Balduranne, feelreldan, Desyr and 3 others like this.
    • bobucles

      bobucles Scruffy Nerf-Herder

      You can make 500 gold the first day of fishing, 2k after the fiberglass pole/bait and 6-8 k a day when maxed out.

      The power gaming strat to end all strats is as follows:
      - fish up to 2k gold
      - check the travelling merchant for coffee beans.
      - if no seeds, reset.
      - plant coffee(use those first parsnips to tech up speed gro and use it on the first few generations)
      -Clear farm in preparation for coffee hell
      - plant coffee with coffee all day every day until you throw up, then plant some morr
      - boost your watering abilities to the max

      Using this strategy you can get a million gold before the end of the first summer.
      • ShneekeyTheLost

        ShneekeyTheLost Master Astronaut

        Coffee beans sell for 15g each. You get 4 every other day, or roughly 30g/d once they fully mature. You would need over sixty six thousand of them to get 'a million gold before the end of the first summer' if you intend to maximize your speed by not selling any beans until the very last crop. There is no way you can have that much endurance to water that many crops. Even if you stopped for ten days to harvest everything, you'd STILL need over six thousand of them, and there's no way you are going to be watering that many either.

        Also, if you started on day 5 with a coffee bean (and by the way, cart vendor does not work that way, determination of vendor goods occurs prior to save, not after, you can't 'save scum' it), you would have 25 coffee plants down by Summer 1. Mind you, it will go up more rapidly as you now have twenty something plants producing roughly two beans a day instead of just one, but you're still going to hit a limit very sharply, just in how much space to hoe out and keep watered, long before you hit the required number of coffee plants to support your claim.

        Coffee beans just don't sell very well. Sorry.
        • Obesius

          Obesius Big Damn Hero

          Yeah, Coffee beans have a really low profit, the only way to really get mad money from it is getting one seed and putting in your greenhouse.
          So you can have more seed's for free.
          And this isn't possible on the first summer. (unless the RNG gods blessed you with cart vendor that is cheap + have exactly what you need.)
          • nevyn21

            nevyn21 Cosmic Narwhal

            The contents of the wandering merchant are set when the game saves the day before. The only way to save scum it is to rollback your save to the previous day, over and over. That's only possible on PC.
            • bobucles

              bobucles Scruffy Nerf-Herder

              Oh. Hoho. You don't know. You REALLY don't know.

              Let's start with a simple question. What do you do with your starter crops? That's right, you sell them. What do you do with the money? Buy seeds for more crops. So there is a loop where you dump money into crops to grow your assets as quickly as possible.

              How do Coffee beans work? You plant them, and you get 4 more beans. What do you do with those beans? Plant them, of course! Every 2 days. Until those seeds ripen. Then you plant the 16 seeds from the 4 plants. then the 64 seeds from the 16 plants. Then the 256 seeds from the 64 plants.

              Do you see it yet? I was playing with a few spreadsheets. If you get your first coffee seed on the 4th (thurs) and buy 21 speed gro for the first 2 generations(2100G), you will have 277 coffee in the field by the end of summer 2. That's about the limit of manual watering without upgrades. Stop there and you will end summer with nearly 9000 Coffee beans, banking 144K gold. If you continue to be a complete madman and keep planting coffee, by summer 14 you will have enough Coffee to plant every single tile on your farm. Buying a second coffee bean on the 7th only pushes the schedule up 3 days, letting you max out on the 11th for an extra harvest or so.
              I didn't say reload. I said RESET. As in starting all over from day 1. It's only 4 days, and the odds of a day 4 coffee bean are pretty good at 25%. If you're feeling lazy there's another 25% chance on day 7.
              That is actually AMAZING. Look at the alternatives.
              Parsnips make <4G/day. Potatoes 5G/day. Cauliflower makes 8G/day. Coffee averages out to about 21G/day over both seasons, just barely squeaking ahead of blueberries. But for the cost of 31 blueberry seeds, you can instead have ~300 coffee plants kicking around at that time.

              Keep in mind that the gold/day is the same thing as the gold/watering effort. Everything needs to be watered daily, and rain isn't reliable. In a water triage the crop with the most profit per day is the crop worth watering.

              There are certainly plenty of reasons to grow other plants of course. You need energy, bundle materials and gifts for the town. Kegged hops kill everything hands down, averaging ~130 gold/day over the summer and getting more insane with artisan. There is no reason to ever skip hops day. Kegs will only double the value of coffee, leaving it far behind with 42G/day. It's still not as far behind as the other typical options.

              Coffee may not make you that million gold by the end of summer (the impossible maxed+watered farm makes over 600k) but is still big money. The schedule leaves plenty of fishing/caving time before summer 2 to get as many sprinklers as possible before the coffeepocalypse reaches full steam.
                Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
                WilliamZ likes this.
              • WilliamZ

                WilliamZ Phantasmal Quasar

                This sounds like a challenge, I confess that It picked my attention xD

                But take easy on @ShneekeyTheLost , because he said:

                • queertactics

                  queertactics Subatomic Cosmonaut

                  any additional advice for a joja run? a lot of these timings are based on community center bundles, does anything really change if you're more interested in profit than bundle completion?
                  • Pillowtroop1

                    Pillowtroop1 Void-Bound Voyager

                    I wouldnt mind seeing a strategy for the rest of the year. Or even a speedrun guide for the community center
                    • Jerev

                      Jerev Pangalactic Porcupine

                      I started a new farm following your guide and I ran into a little problem:
                      It was raining on the 6th day. That resulted in me not getting the community center cutscene :'(

                      But I did manage to get 36 potatoe seeds on the 5th day and lost none to crows. I restored the little "bridge" on the beach on day 4 which helped gathering some fast money.
                      • ShneekeyTheLost

                        ShneekeyTheLost Master Astronaut

                        There's a kind of a problem with that. You see, just like every build order is concerned exclusively with the very beginning of the game, so too does precise instructions start to break down during the summer due to the increasing number of factors that can significantly change your build order.

                        There's really no One True Way, and you have to be flexible enough to take advantage of luck if it falls your way, or to recoup from if it turns against you. However, there's some things:

                        * I've given you a pretty good list of seeds to buy Summer 1. This will net you a sizable profit margin, with enough other crops to handle the bundles you'll need to turn in.
                        * You should have copper hoe and watering can, so you can still do mining, especially after the 3rd when the spa opens up.

                        Your goals should be:

                        * Getting tappers on the trees you planted last season as rapidly as possible. This will require 40 copper for 20 tappers.
                        * Getting down to gold level (80+). Just keep trying to hit that next five levels. If you hit the next elevator level, you did good.
                        * Building a Silo, a Barn, and a Coop. Get 4x cows and 4x chickens. Get at least one or two mayo machines and cheese presses.
                        * Getting enough sprinklers to passively water your entire plot.
                        * Once you unlock it, start getting Kegs, with a side of preserves jars.
                        * Possibly get a shed for your kegs, you'll need it in the Fall if you don't get it now. Same for Jars.
                        * Profit! Cranberries are hella expensive. You can also use Grapes instead, I think you're only about 8g shy on monthly profit with grapes instead of cranberries, but are Trellis crops.
                          Desyr likes this.
                        • Obesius

                          Obesius Big Damn Hero

                          I went for a little different road, my first spring is a xp farm, forage and plant every seed you can, while breaking stones and trees around the farm, once I get spring forage bundle complete I plant it, harvest it making more seed's and planting again, fishing everyday with the time left and stocking up on cash, getting 30 strawberry's seeds for the next year, I usually have both bag upgrades on 1 summer, then I do the same thing with summer bundle seeds while I manage the blueberries I can effort (asap buying new blueberries.)
                          The first year goes like this, money and exp only, second year is bundles and marriage and third year is marriage and money.
                          • Jerev

                            Jerev Pangalactic Porcupine

                            @ShneekeyTheLost What do you recommend to do with the Spring Seed crops (around day 14)? Sell them like they are or turn them into seeds and sell them or turn them into seeds and save some for next season?
                            Please answer me oh Cruncher of Numbers.
                            • bobucles

                              bobucles Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                              That's a pretty easy question to answer. Plant them! Stockpiling seeds does no one any favors. Grow your money and resources any way you can when the opportunity presents itself. That way you have the option to liquidate crops for money, and will have extra flowers for gifts.

                              Same thing with Strawberries. Do NOT save them for next year! Plant them as well for the two juicy strawberries. If you need the money they make excellent money as strawberry jam, otherwise hide them deep in storage. It isn't too difficult to reach farming lvl 9 before the end of the year, get the seed maker, and turn those two berries into 2-6 seeds. That will easily triple next year's strawberry harvest and is well worth the wait.
                              • Jerev

                                Jerev Pangalactic Porcupine

                                And up until now I would have planted them right away. But with ShneekeyTheLost's build I was able to plant 43 strawberries on the day of the egg Festival. So my endurance wouldn't be enough for anything than watering if I planted additional 30-40 seeds on top of my 101 other crops. (43 strawberries, 40 parsnips, 9 cauliflower and 9 potatoes) That's why I merely ask if I sell or keep them.
                                I will store some strawberries to feed them into the seedmaker later and make some more during winter.
                                • bobucles

                                  bobucles Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                                  There's nothing wrong with eating food to get a little extra kick of energy. Parsnips grow very fast so they will be off the farm soon enough.

                                  Salmonberry season is coming up (15-18), so don't worry. You'll have piles of berries to recharge energy.
                                  • Kickz

                                    Kickz Space Penguin Leader

                                    Man the pure agriculture looks painful in comparison to a hard fishing start
                                    • Jerev

                                      Jerev Pangalactic Porcupine

                                      For me it's quite the opposite. I really don't like early level fishing. So the idea of spending the first days only for fishing doesn't appeal to me.
                                      • bobucles

                                        bobucles Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                                        Fishing is the absolute fastest way to grow your wealth in the first 20 days. The maturation curve is only a few days from making a few hundred gold per day to pulling in several thousand gold per day. Unfortunately pure fishing maxes out just as quickly, capping out around 5-8k a day with the money perks.

                                        Getting the most out of fishing means going at it non stop for the early days. It is a total grind and isn't for everyone. But if you are persistent and a little lucky you can even bag the legend fish in the first season.
                                        • ShneekeyTheLost

                                          ShneekeyTheLost Master Astronaut

                                          Wait until the Parsnips come up. Assuming you now have all five gold-star parsnips, plant the 30 Spring Seeds in their place.

                                          DO NOT keep your second batch of Strawberries. You're going to need that cash at the beginning of Summer to get 160 crops down. Your second year spring is going to be a mixture of Rhubarb and whatever Coffee seeds you've harvested from the soot sprites while farming iron.

                                          You will be able to afford 160 seeds in your second year's egg festival for year 3+ strawberries.
                                            Last edited: Jan 18, 2017

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