Stardew Valley: Everything to Know About Foraging
One of the five skills in Stardew Valley is Foraging. This skill applies (more obviously) to picking up foraged items around the Valley, but it’s also the skill you use for chopping down trees.
There are a few ways to level up your Foraging skill (both permanently and temporarily), as well as the typical professions you can choose from like with any skill. Here’s everything you’ll need to know about this oft-overlooked skill.
At its most basic, foraging is just collecting resources from around the Valley. This includes the berries, flowers, and other things you see on the ground, like Wild Horseradish and Daffodils. Simply walk up to them and press the action button to pick them up.
However, what isn’t as obvious is that foraging also includes chopping down trees, specifically with an axe — bombing them doesn’t grant XP. Both of these activities will level up your Foraging skill, which can be seen in the skills menu.
In the early days of the game, foraging for snacks like berries is often one of the best ways to ensure you can restore your energy, as well as giving you an opportunity for a bit of cash on the side. Most forageables don’t sell for any stellar amount of money, but since they’re free to pick up, you’d might as well.
As with the other four skills, Foraging has ten total levels. There are a few different ways to earn XP toward this skill, with each level requiring more XP than the previous level. Level 1 requires 100 total XP, while level 10 requires 5,000 after level 9, meaning a total of 15,000 XP.
Here’s the XP gain for each foraging action:
- Picking up a forageable off the ground — 7 XP
- Chopping a tree down all the way (you get all of the XP when the tree falls) — 12 XP
- Removing the stump from a felled tree — 1 XP
- Chopping down large stumps and logs — 25 XP
- Foraging Spring Onions from the forest — 3 XP each
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Certain things will not grant Foraging XP, including the following:
- Forageables picked from bushes
- Trees felled with bombs instead of an axe
- Grapes grown as crops from Grape Starters
- Wild Seed-producing forageables grown in Garden Pots
- Harvesting Ginger
- Items found from Artifact Spots
- Mushrooms harvested from the Farm Cave and by tapping Mushroom Trees
- Foraged minerals like Quartz and Earth Crystals
- Forageables dropped by monsters.
Skill Level Rewards
As with every Stardew Valley skill, you’ll earn certain rewards at each Foraging level, including some proficiency at using tools and crafting recipes.
At each level, you’ll earn +1 proficiency for your axe, meaning it’ll use less energy with every swing.
Here are the rest of the rewards:
- Level 1: Spring Wild Seeds recipe, Field Snack recipe, and trees will sometimes drop seeds that can be planted to grow more of the same species of tree
- Level 2: Survival Burger recipe
- Level 3: Tapper recipe
- Level 4: Charcoal Kin recipe, Summer Wild Seeds recipe, and an additional berry when harvesting wild berries
- Level 5: Choice of Forester or Gather profession (covered below)
- Level 6: Fall Wild Seeds recipe, Lightning Rod recipe, Beach Warp Totem recipe
- Level 7: Winter Wild Seeds recipe, Tree Fertilizer recipe, Mountains Warp Totem recipe
- Level 8: Farm Warp Totem recipe, an additional berry when harvesting wild berries
- Level 9: Cookout Kit recipe, Rain Totem recipe
- Level 10: Choice of a profession (again, covered below).
Like any other skill, you’ll be given a choice between two professions at Foraging level 5: Forester or Gatherer. At Level 10, there are another four choices, two if you chose Forester and two if you chose Gatherer. Which skill you choose will depend on your own personal preference, but here are the details of each.
Forester grants an additional 25% more wood when chopping, including trees, stumps, and logs. If you choose Forester, you’ll be given a choice between Lumberjack and Tapper at Level 10.
Lumberjack makes it so every type of tree can drop Hardwood. Meanwhile, the other choice, Tapper gives you an additional 25% more gold for selling syrups.
Choosing Gatherer at Level 5 gives a 20% chance of double harvest for foraged items (you get double the XP, too!). Then, at Level 10, you’ll be given a choice between Botanist and Tracker.
If you choose Botanist, all forageables will be of their highest quality when you pick them up. Tracker, on the other hand, creates small arrows on your screen that lead you to both forageables and places where you can pan for ore.
Any profession can be changed for any skill, though, if you aren’t happy with your choice or its usefulness runs out for you. Just head to the Statue of Uncertainty in the Sewers. For 10,000g, you can remove your professions for a certain skill, and you’ll be prompted to pick new ones when you go to sleep that night.
Buffs to Foraging
There are certain food items that will grant you a temporary buff to certain skills. Foraging has a few, essentially adding additional levels for a short time. This means that you can increase your Foraging level up to 14. Note: at Foraging Level 12 and 13, you’ll harvest a maximum of four berries from bushes.
These are the food items that will buff your Foraging (as well as restoring some energy and health):
- Autumn’s Bounty: This meal is made from a yam and a pumpkin and grants +2 Foraging and +2 Defense for seven minutes and 41 seconds. Demetrius sends you the recipe when you reach seven hearts with him.
- Pancakes: This meal is made from a box of wheat flour and an egg. You can learn the recipe from the Queen of Sauce on Summer 14 in Year 1 (or the following Wednesday as a re-run) or purchase it from Gus at the Stardrop Saloon for 100g. it gives an additional +2 to Foraging for 11 minutes and 11 seconds.
- Survival Burger: You’ll learn this recipe at Foraging Level 2, and then you can make it by cooking together some bread, a Cave Carrot, and an eggplant. It gives a +3 buff to Foraging for five minutes and 35 seconds.
- Tropical Curry: This recipe can be purchased from Gus for 2,000g when he is at the Ginger Island Resort. It requires a coconut, a pineapple, and a hot pepper, and grants a whopping +4 to Foraging.
Each season comes with different forageables, as do different areas. For specific areas for the more common forageables, consult the official Stardew Valley wiki. However, here we will list the forageables by season and explain some of the more specific area forageables.
Note: Many forageables can be found on the Forest Farm, if you choose that particular layout.
In Spring, you’ll find Wild Horseradish, Daffodils, Leeks, and Dandelions around town and the outskirt areas. In Cindersap Forest, near the Sewer grate, you can pull up Spring Onions. Morels and Common Mushrooms can be plucked from the Secret Woods, and Salmonberry bushes will produce berries from Spring 15 to Spring 18.
In the warm summer months, you’ll be able to easily find Spice Berries, Grapes, and Sweet Peas in many places around town and the outskirts of town. Red Mushrooms and Fiddlehead Ferns can also be found in the Secret Woods. Additionally, Summer is the only season when you can find Rainbow Shells at the Beach.
The most common forageables in Fall that are found around Pelican Town and its outskirts are Wild Plums, Hazelnuts (which can also be dropped from Maple Trees after Fall 14 when you shake them), and Blackberries. From Fall 8 to Fall 11, you can also find Blackberries on bushes. Chanterelles, Common Mushrooms, and Red Mushrooms can also be found in the Secret Woods (Common Mushrooms can also be found in the Forest, Mountains, and Backwoods).
In Winter, there are still some things you can find around town, the mountains, and other outskirts. Crystal Fruits, Crocuses, and Holly are readily available, and you can find Snow Yams and Winter Roots by tilling soil. Additionally, Nautilus Shells can be found at the Beach during Winter.
There are some forageables that are found in specific places but are not season-locked.
At the Beach, you can forage for Clams, Cockles, Mussels, Sea Urchins, Coral, Oysters, and Seaweed. In the Mines, you’ll find Cave Carrots, Purple Mushrooms, and Red Mushrooms. In the Calico Desert, you can forage for Cactus Fruit and Coconuts. Finally, on Ginger Island, you’ll be able to dig up Ginger and you can find Magma Caps in the Volcano Dungeon.
Truffles and Sap
Sap is not really put into one of the former categories easily, but is considered a foraged item. It drops from trees when they are chopped down.
Truffles are a bit of a strange and special case. They’re kind of an animal product, as they’re dug up by pigs on your farm when they’re well-fed and happy (except in Winter). However, the game classifies them as mushrooms and grants foraging bonuses for them, meaning they’ll grant XP when picked up, and they will always be iridium-quality if you have the Botanist profession and may be granted double harvest by the Gatherer profession.
NEXT: Stardew Valley: Complete Guide And Walkthrough
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Michael is a journalist with several years of experience writing about video games, television, and social issues. He loves indie platformers, Pokémon, and Hack ‘n Slashers.
Currently playing: Animal Crossing New Horizons, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, and Stardew Valley.
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