Stardew Valley

Picking The Best Starting Farm For You | Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley starts out by providing the player a choice of farm, and this is not necessarily an easy choice. Oh sure, you can pick any of those available and have a thoroughly enjoyable time, but their individual differences and changes will eventually impact your in-game life in significant ways. In fact, we’d argue that this is as close as Stardew Valley gets to a true difficulty change, thanks to the myriad of different shapes and sizes of land that become available. To facilitate this, and indeed cater to any level of farming sim experience, we’ve put together the following recommendations and details to guide your layout choice.


Standard Farm

Standard Farm, Stardew Valley

As you might imagine, this is the most balanced and basic farm layout available. It comes with a significant portion of land, on which the player can build all manner of farm layouts. Key to this is that, outside of the clutter, it really doesn’t put up any specific challenge. Others might have an odd shape, rocks or trees in the way or indeed huge amounts of water in the way. The standard farm features none of these. There’s plenty of land, some spots of water that may be used and endless hours of creativity available.

Starting Features

  • Ideal for first time players.
  • Plenty of space to grow and expand into, with little to no obstacles.
  • Features some small patches of water, ideal for Crab Pots.
  • Players more experienced with sim games may find the lack of layout challenge a little off putting.

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Riverland Farm

Riverland Farm, Stardew Valley

As the name suggests, this farm has a great deal of water present. The immediate result of this is that there’s plainly less area on which to farm, via crops and such. It’s more challenging then, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You’ll have to get more creative with building, crop and animal placements, but there is a great deal of satisfaction in learning how to slot everything in place. Additionally, this and one later farm are the ideal choices for players inclined to get involved with fishing, and particularly Crab Pots. There’s a great deal of space here for the prospective fishers out there, but even if you’re not inclined to capture aquatic life, it’s still a great challenge farm.

Starting Features

  • May present too much of a challenge to the first time player. Errant building placement may cause issues as the game progresses.
  • Players more experienced with sim titles will find this more satisfying, since you’ll have to plan your building and farming locations more thoroughly.
  • Large amounts of water mean plenty of opportunities for planting things like Crab Pots, or even just standing around doing plain ol’ fishing.
  • If this still sounds like a place you’d like to start on your first try, then just pay particular attention to building sizes, to ensure that you do not cause yourself problems down the line.
  • Fish found here can appear from both Pond and River sources.

Forest Farm

Forest Farm, Stardew Valley

In our opinion, the Forest farm is by far the most aesthetically pleasing of them all. Still, gold isn’t gained by simply looking good, at least not in the world of Stardew Valley, so what else does it have going for it?

Well, given that it’s a Forest of sorts, it comes with two main bonuses, each befitting of the location name. Firstly, on its western side you will find that Hardwood is available, which is the subject of numerous crafting and building requirements. Secondly, it features foragable items all over the join, which is a great way to find all manner of miscellany, including mixed seeds from some unique weeds. Finally, it even features a few significant bodies of water, meaning you can expand into Crab Pots and general fishing from the comfort of your own farm!

Starting Features

  • Another good choice for a new player, though it’s slightly more complicated than the Standard Farm.
  • Features great extras, like Hardwood that respawns daily to it’s western end and plenty of foraging spots.
  • Good amount of water will allow for plenty of Crab Pot expansion.
  • Slightly limited in space when compared to the Standard Farm, so a little caution is advised when placing buildings.
  • It’s possible to capture a rare Woodskip fish when fishing in this farm.

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Hilltop Farm

Hilltop Farm, Stardew Valley

In our opinion, this farm in particular tends to cater for a rather specific audience, which in this case is Miners. This is because it features an area to the south west that contains ores, stones and geode nodes that respawn. Unlike the Forest Farm, in which the Hardwood respawns daily, these nodes will take up to 4 days to fully respawn, and the entrance to the mining area may be locked off by a stump or log. All of this being the case, whilst it is a great farm on which to practice and improve your mining, it’s not one to be taken lightly. We’d recommend that you approach this farm on a secondary playthrough of Stardew – going in on your first try is likely to result in a lot of Google searches.

Starting Features

  • Much more complicated initial farm layout, which we’d recommend for more experienced players.
  • For those willing to put in the time, it features a mining area, which will expand its repertoire as your mining skill grows.
  • It’s layout may require more than a little creativity when it comes to tilling and placing buildings.
  • This is a great challenge to take on during your second or third play through. Access to additional mining resources doesn’t break the game, but this and the layout make things satisfyingly complex.

Wilderness Farm

Wilderness Farm, Stardew Valley

The best way to describe the Wilderness Farm, would be to liken it to Minecraft. We say this because monsters will spawn during the night time, and may make you recall those dread filled moments as you flee from a creeper or two. That said, it’s a fantastic choice for those that like a little more combat in their life, especially when you consider that the farm can spawn the Wilderness Golem enemies, which are capable of dropping some incredible loot for those willing to take them on enough.

When it comes to the actual layout, we actually consider it to be somewhat similar to the Forest Farm, given that it’s somewhat similar in shape. Still, the main attraction is the nighttime combat, so if that’s your bag then it’s hard to go wrong with this choice.

Starting Features

  • Primarily for players that enjoy combat, since monsters spawn here at night.
  • The enemies have a chance to feature the Wilderness Golem, which is a possible source of excellent loot.
  • We’d hardly call the combat in Stardew advanced, however a new player is unlikely to know exactly what to do with certain monster drops, especially if they have no prior experience.
  • Thanks to the above, we’d certainly recommend that this be played by someone experiencing the game for a second or third time. If for no other reason than to spice things up a bit!

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Four Corners Farm

Four Corners Farm, Stardew Valley

Next up is a farm that we’d consider a real challenge, or rather it’s a farm that will directly challenge the sheer amount of time that you have on your hands. The Four Corners Farm is essentially a multiplayer map, but this doesn’t stop the intrepid player from taking it on alone. Should you wish to do so, then you’ll find yourself in possession of a very large amount of space, trumped only by the Standard Farm for sheer farming space. This makes it quite the undertaking, and given each of the four corners’ hemmed off nature, things can get quite challenging when it comes to positioning buildings.

To make up for the hemmed in corners and clear multiplayer stance, it does include some of the features from other farms, including a mining quarry in the south east and a forest area in the north west, replete with Hardwood spawn and foragables. In many regards, this particular farm has by far the most benefits, but does require a great deal of time commitment from a single player.

Starting Features

  • Very large farm that is quite restricted, due to being designed for accommodating 4 players at once. 
  • It’s also worth noting that the 4 areas can be blocked by things like large stumps, which require the player to upgrade some tools before they can be accessed.
  • Ideal for players that are very experienced with Stardew, and would like an additional challenge in the form of restricted, but very large, space. 
  • Features bonuses present in other farms, like a small quarry for mining in the south east, and forest area featuring Hardwood and foraging in the north west.
  • Probably one of the most challenging maps for a single player to take on, outside of our final option. The challenge mainly comes down to the feeling of restriction in any one single corner, despite there actually being a great deal of space.

Beach Farm

Beach Farm, Stardew Valley

At first glance, looking past the strange external shape of the Beach Farm reveals that there is actually quite a bit of space on which to work. This belief is soon tempered however, when you discover that sand cannot be tilled, and as such your area in which to do actual farming is rather limited. That said, it is replete with opportunities for fishing, especially due to the possibility of capturing ocean fish, which are naturally harder to acquire on land based farms. Further still, random beach foragables and supply crates will frequently wash up on your farm, which can result in you gaining weapons or tools.

In our opinion, it’s essential that a player choosing the Beach Farm have prior knowledge of Stardew Valley. Not only will a veteran player be able to survive without a great deal of farming space, but they’ll also appreciate the fishing opportunities, and be able to direct their effort towards certain bundles in the early game. This is as close as Stardew gets to a ‘hard’ mode, and even then it’s fantastic fun, but it’s certainly not well suited to those completely new to the title or genre.  

Starting Features

  • Probably the most challenging of the farms in Stardew.
  • The farming space is very limited, since sand cannot house a sprinkler.
  • Being a beach, it’s possible to immediately catch ocean fish when fishing, which can be valuable.
  • The space and layout provided will cause some issues when positioning buildings. It’s not impossible of course, but you’ll have to think a little further ahead than usual.
  • This map also features different foragables, otherwise only found at the beach itself, and has a small selection of regular foragables alongside them.

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