The Farming skill in Stardew Valley is easily the best skill in the game. You’re going to spend a lot of time farming your crops and raising animals, so you should familiarize yourself with the unlocks and Farming professions ahead of time. This will help you plan out future decisions on your farm and ensure that you get the most out of Stardew Valley that you can.
The main choices you’re going to have to make are about the Farming professions at level 5 and level 10. Your level 5 choice will influence your level 10 professions, so make sure you understand which path you want to go down first before picking between Rancher or Tiller in Stardew Valley. Here’s our quick guide on which bonuses to look out for, along with which professions are the best ones to take.
Farming Level Bonuses
Farming is the most relaxing aspect of Stardew Valley, hands down. You’ll get experience from harvesting crops, petting or milking animals, and picking up animal products. Every level gives you +1 proficiency to your hoe and watering can, reducing the energy cost they require to use.
Leveling farming is an easy way to get quality products that can be sold for lots of money or turned into other products. You’ll also unlock new crafting and cooking recipes as you increase your Farming level. Here’s what to expect from levels 1 through 4 and 6 through 9.
Farming Levels 1 – 4
- Level 1 – Scarecrow and Basic Fertilizer recipes unlocked.
- Level 2 – Mayonnaise Machine, Stone Fence, and Sprinkler recipes unlocked.
- Level 3 – Bee House, Speed-Gro, and Farmer’s Lunch recipes unlocked.
- Level 4 – Preserves Jar, Basic Retaining Soil, and Iron Fence recipes unlocked.
Compared to Fishing or Mining, there are a ton more unlocks as you level up Farming. The best unlocks here are definitely the Sprinkler, Farmer’s Lunch, and Speed-Gro. Sprinklers automatically water your crops, while Speed-Gro will decrease the time it takes for them to grow.
Farmer’s Lunch increases your Farming level by 3 for 5 minutes and 35 seconds. It’ll also give you 200 energy and restore 90 hit points. These early unlocks help automate your farming, speed it up, and increase the quality of the products that you harvest.
Farming Levels 6 – 9
- Level 6 – Cheese Press, Hardwood Fence, and Quality Sprinkler recipes unlocked.
- Level 7 – Loom and Quality Retaining Soil recipes unlocked.
- Level 8 – Oil Maker, Keg, and Deluxe Speed-Gro recipes unlocked.
- Level 9 – Seed Maker, Iridium Sprinkler, and Quality Fertilizer recipes unlocked.
Levels 6 through 9 come with even more unlocks, including the prized Iridium Sprinkler, which makes watering your farm even easier. Iridium Sprinklers water any tilled tiles within 2 squares of it. You’ll also get different recipes for producing more complex goods like the Cheese Press, Loom, and Oil Maker. Quality Fertilizer is a must once you unlock it since, at later levels, it basically ensures that your crops are always Gold, sometimes Silver, and almost never Regular.
Rancher or Tiller in Stardew Valley
The first choice you’ll have to make for a farming profession is at level 5, between Rancher or Tiller. Rancher is great for people that want a farm filled with animals since it makes animal products worth 20% more. Tiller, on the other hand, is better for players that like farming crops. Tiller makes all your crops worth 10% more.
The choice between Rancher or Tiller in Stardew Valley is entirely up to you. There’s no true winner here, and both have great level-10 professions. The best advice we can give is to pick the one that aligns better with your play style. Rancher does offer a bigger boost to the value of products, but animals require more area, so it makes sense. In the end, you’ll have to pick whichever one you like more.
Coopmaster or Shepherd in Stardew Valley
If you like caring for animals, you probably took Rancher at level 5. Once you hit level 10, you’ll be given the choice between Coopmaster or Shepherd in Stardew Valley. Coopmaster is for those who like coop animals. Coop animals include chickens, ducks, rabbits, and (spoiler alert) dinosaurs. You’ll get better quality products from your coop animals, and all incubation times are halved, even for Ostriches, which are considered barn animals. You’ll also befriend these animals quicker.
Shepherd is basically the exact opposite. It increases the quality of all your barn animal products, and sheep produce wool twice as fast. You’ll befriend barn animals quicker too. Barn animals include ostriches, cows, goats, sheep, and pigs.
Coopmaster and Shepherd are equally as good in Stardew Valley; it just depends on your playstyle. Since you took Rancher, you clearly want a farm filled with animals, but what kind of animals? If you tend to have more coop animals, take Coopmaster; if you have more barn animals, Shepherd is the way to go. There’s no wrong answer here!
Artisan or Agriculturist in Stardew Valley
For all the farmers out there that picked Tiller at level 5, level 10 will bring you a choice between Artisan or Agriculturist. While there wasn’t a clear winner before, there is definitely a clear winner here. Artisan is one of the most profitable professions you can take in the game.
The 40% buff to the value of artisan goods like honey, cheeses, alcohol, and other products is insanely good for your wallet. Agriculturist just makes your crops grow 10% faster, which is nowhere near as good as the value buff Artisan gives.
In short, if you’re trying to pick the best profession for Farming in Stardew Valley, pick whichever one aligns with your play style. Rancher or Tiller in Stardew Valley is easily decided by whether you want to farm crops or animals. Coopmaster or Shepherd is more about which type of animals you like to farm, and Artisan is easily way better than Agriculturist. Let us know what Farming professions you like to pick in Stardew Valley!