Stardew Valley – Progression Guide: How to Progress

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Stardew Valley is a relaxing farming and life simulator where players get to live a new life on a farm in quirky Pelican Town.

Though the premise likely makes most of you imagine that there is no progression, since everything should be relaxing and straightforward, there are a lot of skills in the game and secret items that you can only get by grinding various tasks.

Recommended Read: When Do You Get Your Pet in Stardew Valley?

There is also the Community Center and Ginger Island, which you can only complete and discover if you progress a bit through the game’s mechanics and quests.

In this guide, we will present all the things you can advance and level up in, while presenting how to progress to complete Stardew Valley properly and not miss out on any quests and areas.

Table of Contents

Does Stardew Valley Have Progression?

Yes, there is progression in Stardew Valley. Considering you can fully change how your farm looks, this should be a sign that things will advance a lot for you.

Players can also upgrade and evolve their Farmhouse, add new high-tech buildings where they can house all different types of animals, and marry their choice of villager from Pelican Town.

There are also a lot of types of equipment that you can upgrade to new levels by discovering new ores and crafting their evolved versions.

You will have a lot of things to look out for, and you will have all the time in the world to do it, considering there is no time limit in Stardew Valley and that you can always progress at your own pace.

How Should You Progress in Stardew Valley?

The usual way Stardew Valley fans like to keep track of their progress is to set some goals for each season and year. Usually, the most important year is Year 1 since this is when you will progress the most.

You can generally finish most of the “important” things in the game in Year 1 and discover a new island and dungeons by Year 2 to progress even further than Pelican Town.

However, we will first go through the skills since each of them has 10 levels, which will open up new craftable items to the player, creating a clear progression path.

After that, we will look a bit at farm progression and how you can start upgrading your farm to become the richest man in Pelican Town’s history, and then we will talk about quests and regions, allowing you to know when you should try to discover and complete each one of them.

Generally, the main goal that Stardew Valley players have come up with for the game is to make a lot of money. This is why most “progression” paths tend to lead to better money-making methods.

However, if that is not your goal, it is still important to know how everything works in the game, so this guide can still be useful to you.

Skill Progression

There are 5 skills in Stardew Valley:

  • Farming
  • Mining
  • Foraging
  • Fishing
  • Combat

Each one of them will be very important, and you will need to increase their levels if you want to learn new recipes which can help you make a lot of money.

Evolving skills also allow you to unlock better equipment, which makes you better at that certain skill.


Farming is the best way to make money in Stardew Valley and also probably the most relaxing activity in the game.

Farming has one of the most interesting progression paths in Stardew Valley, alongside Mining, since you will always change how you farm throughout the levels.

At the start, you are likely to use the Hoe to till the soil and the Watering Can to water the crops you have planted.

This can be a very annoying way to farm, considering the crows that keep eating your crops and the loss of Stamina from getting water and throwing it on the ground every day.

By level 2 Farming, players will unlock the Scarecrow and the Sprinkler, two items that will completely change how farming works in Stardew Valley. The Scarecrow will stop crows from destroying your crops in an 8×8 tile radius.

Sprinklers will automatically water the crops on tiles right next to it. This will make farming a much more entertaining part of Stardew Valley since you only need to interact with your crops when you plant them and when you harvest them.

By level 4 Farming, you will get the recipes to build the Bee House and the Preserves Jar. The Bee House will allow players to passively make money as the item will keep producing Honey that they can sell.

The Preserves Jar will allow you to turn vegetables and fruits from your farm into Pickles and Jelly, doubling their sell value.

By level 9 Farming, players will also get the Iridium Sprinkler and the Keg, two items that will make you a lot of money.

The Iridium Sprinkler has a huge watering range, allowing you to plant crops however you want. The Keg will triple the value of fruits by turning them into Wine.


Though you won’t get incredible recipes by leveling up Mining, you will get better at getting the ores that will help you build everything on your farm and upgrade your equipment.

This is why Mining might be at the top with Farming when it comes to skills in Stardew Valley.

There are 4 types of ores that will really matter throughout your Stardew Valley playthrough:

  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Gold
  • Iridium

All equipment items in the game go from Basic quality, which you get at the start, to Iridium. To get those up in quality, you will need to get the ores listed above in the exact order they appear.

At the start of the game, you won’t be able to break most rocks using your Pickaxe, and it will take a few shots to get through the weaker ones.

As you progress through the quality upgrades, you will be able to get Gold and Iridium Ores, as well as break almost all veins in one shot.

This will be your main progression goal for Mining. You just need to look for new and better ores to start upgrading your equipment.

You can get the upgrades from Clint, the blacksmith, and you will need bars made out of one of the ores listed above to evolve.

To make Copper, Iron, Gold, and Iridium Bars, you will need to use the Furnace, which you get from Clint the day after you collect your first Copper Ore.

Mining progression will generally be straightforward since you can see your progress based on the level you’ve reached in the Mines.

The lower you get, the “better” you are at Mining. If you don’t have the right equipment, you won’t even be able to go down the levels.


Foraging is the skill that decides your ability to cut down trees and collect “natural” items from the floor.

Generally, leveling this skill won’t be extremely important. However, picking up all types of forageable items from the ground will be useful for the Community Center bundles.

One of the more useful items you get from leveling up Foraging is the Tapper, which allows you to passively produce items from trees, which sell for great prices and can be used in many recipes.

At level 6 Foraging, players will also unlock the Lightning Rod, which will allow them to produce Battery Packs. These will be extremely important for building Iridium Sprinklers.

Another useful thing you can get from leveling up Foraging is Warp Totem recipes, which allow you to teleport to the Beach, Mountain, and Farm instantly without having to spend a long time walking from one place to another.

The last important thing you can get from Foraging is the Rain Totem recipe, which allows you to make it rain.

Though this might not sound impressive for new players, rain is very often your best friend in Stardew Valley, so it can be very nice to force it to happen as often as possible.


Fishing is relatively straightforward in Stardew Valley, and it might seem like there is no progression. However, the fishing minigame is relatively horrible at the start of the game, and it will become easier as you level up the skill.

As you level up, you will unlock new fishing rods and hooks that you can use to make fishing easier. The whole idea with Fishing is that the minigame becomes extremely easy as you level up.

The green bar to catch the fish will be very large, which allows you to easily follow the fish. You can also choose exactly what you catch by choosing the right hook, allowing you to only get treasures, special fish, or legendary ones.

You can generally catch any type of fish at the start of Stardew Valley, so there won’t be a lot of progression when it comes to that. Things will change a bit depending on the season and the weather, but the types of fish will always be the same.

There are legendary fish that you can catch to complete a special quest. However, they aren’t really mandatory for a normal Stardew Valley playthrough.


Combat is the worst skill in Stardew Valley, and you can generally ignore it. Combat in the game, in general, is kinda bad since you just have to spam the attack button.

To get better weapons, you can just progress through the main dungeon in the game, the Mines and you will get them as rewards.

Just use the best sword you get at each level, and you will likely win all your fights.

Combat will mainly depend on the food you bring with you since you will just need to heal a lot.

Otherwise, bring a sword for every fight and prepare to avoid most enemies if you want to quickly go down the floors.

Farm Buildings Progression

At the start of Stardew Valley, there is only one single building on the farm. You will also find a ruined Greenhouse, which you won’t gain access to for a while.

The Farmhouse where you live has 3 possible upgrades, which increase the size of the house interior, change the exterior design, and unlock new gameplay mechanics such as marriage and having children.

The Greenhouse is also an incredibly important building to get in Stardew Valley since it allows you to grow crops inside, no matter the season, for crazy profits. However, this is a mid-game building that you won’t get soon.

One of the first things you can start building on the farm is a Silo. You will need this building to start collecting Hay, which is the only way to feed your animals in Stardew Valley.

Most buildings for your farm in Stardew Valley are available from the Carpenter’s Shop, situated in the Mountains.

You can then build a Coop, for smaller animals (Chickens, Ducks, Rabbits) and a Barn, for larger farm animals (Cows, Pigs). These buildings will need their own upgrades if you want to place more than 4 animals in them.

At their basic first level, the Coop only allows you to keep Chickens, and the Barn lets you keep Cows. Only after a few upgrades can you get animals such as Goats, Pigs, and Rabbits.

You can also later get Stables on your farm to get a Horse and start traveling faster along the map of Pelican Town and the surrounding regions.

Main Quest and Region Progression

The “main quest” in Stardew Valley is completing the Community Center. Until you finish everything there, there won’t be any more progression for the plot.

This is why the Community Center is also a great way to figure out what to do next since most of the bundles there will require things that are only available in various seasons.

With the help of the bundles, you can generally figure out what you should do next.

They help you understand what crops to plant next, what fish to try to catch now, and what Artisan Goods to make now on your farm.

Not all things in Stardew Valley are made for profit, and the Community Center proves this since you need to get a lot of things that won’t normally make you any money.

As you try to figure out how to get those things, you will progress through all of the skill levels and farm upgrades to get the specific items needed for the bundle you are trying to complete.

When you complete a series of bundles, you also get new things, such as the Greenhouse, access to the Desert, or Minecarts to quickly travel through the region.

Going through the bundles also allows you to discover new hidden regions as you do tasks for the Wizard.

However, you can bypass all of this progression path by just joining JojaMart and paying for all the upgrades you would get from the bundles.


There are a few regions in Stardew Valley, but the main ones where you will spend most of your time are:

This is the exact order you will discover them and spend time in them. After completing 4 bundles, players will discover the Vault bundles.

If you complete them all, using around 42k gold, you can start going to the Calico Desert, where you will discover a very important character and gain access to a new dungeon.

The Skull Cavern is the upgraded version of the Mines, where you will find better ores, more powerful enemies, and more valuable loot.

This dungeon is where all advanced players try to get as fast as possible since this is where the real money is.

Once you complete all the bundles in the Community Center, you can fix Willy’s boat and gain access to Ginger Island, a location that only has Summer all year long.

On this island, you can grow any crops without any fear of them dying when the season changes.

There are also new quests and characters here to befriend, alongside a new, dangerous dungeon.

That’s everything you need to know about progression 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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