Stardew Valley – How to Reach & Survive Level 100 Skull Cavern

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The best location to get Iridium, the most powerful material in Stardew Valley, is the Skull Cavern. This curse cave is the place where most Stardew Valley players realize that they hate combat in this game.

The mobs are very powerful, there are a lot of them, and you won’t have many chances to survive if you don’t pay attention to your health.

Recommended Read: How to Rotate Furniture in Stardew Valley

The deeper you get inside the Skull Cavern, the better the rewards. Unfortunately, there is no elevator to quickly recover your progress. So, how do you get to level 100 in the Skull Cavern?

To get to level 100 in the Skull Cavern in Stardew Valley and survive, you will need bombs, staircases, and Iridium-quality equipment.

Table of Contents

What is the Skull Cavern and How to Get There in Stardew Valley

One of the first important locations that players discover in Stardew Valley is the Mines.

This is the only place in Pelican Town where you can get crafting materials and ores. It is also one of the only places at the start where you can fight monsters.

Once you unlock the Calico Desert, you will discover that there is a place that is much more dangerous and full of loot than the deepest parts of the Mines, and that is the Skull Cavern.

The Skull Cavern is situated in the northwestern part of the Calico Forest, and you can enter it the moment you get there.

There is no elevator system as in the Mines, so you will always have to start from floor 1. The deeper you get into the Skull Cavern, the better the rewards.

If you manage to get down to level 100 and then go even lower, you will start seeing only Iridium nodes left and right.

There are also secret treasure rooms that can spawn while you go from floor to floor based on your daily luck and general luck from food.

The reason why many players might want to get to level 100 is because there is a guaranteed treasure room there each time you reach it.

If you complete Qi’s Challenge and also read Secret Note #10, you will find Qi’s secret room at level 100, where he will reward you with Iridium Snake Milk. Players can drink it for a permanent +25 Health.

So, there are many reasons why you would want to reach level 100. However, this will not be an easy feat without some practice and help.

Here is what you need to do to get to and survive level 100 of the Skull Cavern in Stardew Valley.

How to Get to and Survive Level 100 Skull Cavern in Stardew Valley

There are a lot of things that you will need to do to prepare to get to level 100 in the Skull Cavern in Stardew Valley.

Firstly, we will go through all the items that you need to prepare to see that you have the right inventory for the job.

After that, we will go through some of the strategies that have helped many veteran Stardew Valley players defeat the Skull Cavern time and time again.

Best Inventory for the Skull Cavern

The first thing that we will talk about here is the pickaxe. The best pickaxe for the Skull Cavern is also the best one in Stardew Valley, and that is the Iridium Pickaxe. With this pickaxe, you can destroy all simple rocks in the cavern in one hit.

However, if you don’t possess it yet, the Gold Pickaxe is also acceptable for players that are earlier in their playthrough since it can still destroy the rocks in two hits.

When it comes to weapons, the only acceptable ones are swords. If someone ever says that any other weapons are good in Stardew Valley, they are lying.

The swords are the fastest blades in the game with a decent reach, allowing you to keep enemies away from you and protect you from damage.

Of course, the best choices for the Skull Cavern would be the Galaxy Sword or Infinity Blade. If you didn’t know, you can get the Galaxy Sword, which is one of the top 3 swords in the game, by bringing a Prismatic Shard in between the pillars in the Calico Desert.

The weakest sword you could bring to the cavern and still make it to floor 100 would be the Lava Katana that you get from the Adventurer’s Guild after reaching level 120 in the Mines.

Still, by that time, you should have managed to get at least one Prismatic Shard to get the Galaxy Sword.

If you haven’t reached floor 120 in the Mines, then don’t even think about trying to go through the Skull Cavern.

You are going to need a lot of food for healing in the Skull Cavern. The best food to get into the dungeon would be ones that don’t have any buffs. This is because you can only get the benefits of a single buff at a time.

Usually, it might be good to consider what type of food you can cook in abundance. Easier recipes such as Omelets are really good, as you only need Milk and Eggs to make them, and they regenerate 45 Health and 100 Energy.

Otherwise, if you are invested in Farming, then you can make a lot of gold quality Cheese. A single gold-quality Cheese will recover 101 HP, and you can easily get them if you can get a lot of Large Milk or have unlocked the Cask.

Generally, if you are in the early game then a full stack of Omelets might be enough to keep you alive, but otherwise, gold quality Cheese is the best healing food you can use in the Skull Cavern in Stardew Valley.

For the buff, you should either opt for Luck or Speed. Each one of them would be incredibly useful in the Skull Cavern, as they would make the whole run a lot easier. Usually, it depends on your patience.

If you prefer to go fast, then a Speed buff would be the way to go. Just get a lot of Coffee (or evolve it into a Triple Shot Espresso) and pump them every few minutes to keep that Speed buff up.

If you don’t mind walking really slowly in the dungeon, then eat a lot of Luck buffs.

Magic Rock Candy is the best food item to buff Luck, but it is a very late-game item that you probably won’t have too much of.

Usually, it might be best to go for the best of both worlds and make a lot of Spicy Eel. You can get this recipe from George once you get 7 hearts with him, and this dish will get you +1 Speed and +1 Luck, allowing you to get everything you want.

This might be the most important part, as the items we will talk about here will make or break your adventures in the Skull Cavern. These are the vital items that you must bring with you to reach level 100 in the Skull Cavern:

  • Around 50 Bombs
  • 10 to 15 Staircases
  • Warp Totem: Farm and Warp Totem: Desert

You will need to prepare these items beforehand, as you would waste a lot of time getting them on the days you want to head inside the Skull Cavern.

The Pickaxe is incredibly ineffective in the Skull Cavern. Even the Iridium one is relatively weak when hitting Iridium nodes.

This is why you will need a lot of Bombs. With their help, you can break a lot of rocks easily and discover the ladders faster on each floor.

Though some might consider Staircases a cowardly way to advance through the cavern, it is actually one of the most important things that will allow you to reach level 100.

There will be floors where there will only be enemies. Instead of fighting all of them and wasting precious time, you can just place down a Staircase and advance to the next floor.

Players can get Staircases from the Desert Trader on Sunday in exchange for Jade.

Finally, you will need a Warp Totem to get to the Skull Cavern fast and then to come back to the farm to sleep.

Otherwise, you will lose a lot of time. Without the Totem, you would get to the Desert at 10 AM, wasting 4 hours for nothing. You will also need at least an hour and a half to get back to the house without the Totem.

Best Strategy for the Skull Cavern to Reach Level 100

Don’t Go If You Aren’t Lucky

To get to level 100 in the Skull Cavern in Stardew Valley and survive you will need to reach the dungeon first thing in the morning. The first thing you will have to do is check the Fortune Teller on the TV.

There are only two answers that the Fortune Teller can give you that is good enough for you to head over to the Skull Cavern:

  • The spirits are very happy today! They will do their best to shower everyone with good fortune.
  • The spirits are in good humor today. I think you’ll have a little extra luck.

If the spirits are in any other neutral or annoyed mood, then avoid going to the Skull Cavern, as you would waste your time and resources.

Generally, it is best to go when the spirits are very happy, as then you will have the highest chance of getting the best loot possible inside the cave.

If you are lucky enough that day, then instantly use a Warp Totem: Desert, eat the buff food, and head inside the Skull Cavern.

Don’t Fight Any Enemies

The enemies inside the Skull Cavern are incredibly powerful. It will take a lot of hits to take down one of them, even if you have the best sword in the game. This is why you should generally go around enemies.

The only reasons you might want to defeat an enemy are if they are harassing you too much or if they can give you good resources that you might need (Mummies for Solar Essence or Purple Slimes for Iridium Ore/Ingots).

Prehistoric and infested floors only have enemies, so you have to make sure to bring Staircases, as you would otherwise be stuck fighting all of the monsters on those levels.

This can lose you a lot of time and will stop you from reaching level 100.

Use Bombs All the Time to Find Ladders and Shafts

The first thing you should do on each floor is to look for a good square to place your Bombs. Place them as fast as you can to get resources and discover the ladder to the next floor.

If you are lucky, there is a 20% chance that, instead of a ladder, you will find a shaft. These can take you anywhere from 3 to 15 levels down instantly. However, you will also get damaged by the fall.

Here is the damage you get per fallen level:

  • 3 Levels – 9 Damage
  • 4 Levels – 12 Damage
  • 5 Levels – 15 Damage
  • 6 Levels – 18 Damage
  • 7 Levels – 21 Damage
  • 8 Levels – 24 Damage
  • 9 Levels – 27 Damage
  • 10 Levels – 30 Damage
  • 11 Levels – 33 Damage
  • 12 Levels – 36 Damage
  • 13 Levels – 39 Damage
  • 14 Levels – 42 Damage
  • 15 Levels – 45 Damage

Though you can’t die from the fall, there might be enemies right where you spawn, so make sure to heal before going down a shaft.

Slingshot Cherry Bomb Strategy

The best way to get through the Skull Cavern, which requires a bit of practice, is using a Slingshot with Cherry Bombs as munition.

Cherry Bombs are cheaper to manufacture and are just as effective at destroying everything in the Skull Cavern as higher-level Bombs.

If you learn how to use them properly by shooting the walls and enemies with them, you can quickly get through the Skull Cavern faster than you would, placing Bombs everywhere while avoiding enemies.

That’s everything you need to know about how to get to and survive level 100 in the Skull Cavern in Stardew Valley!

Have any input or suggestions for this guide? Let us know in the comment section below.

Adrian Oprea

Based in London, United Kingdom, Adrian Oprea is a Guides Writer. As a professional single-player RPG player, Adrian has often been stigmatized. He has decided to pour his frustration into writing guides!

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