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Game Breaker / Stardew Valley

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Patches have changed these from time to time, but a few of them still stand out.

  • Every season has a very profitable multi-harvest berry crop:
    • While you can only get them in the second half of spring, Strawberries are very profitable. They grow relatively fast and produce very valuable harvests. Plus, most of the family in the mountains likes them, making them quite handy to hold onto if you want to improve your relationship with Maru and/or Sebastian. It's a smart idea to use the seed maker for Strawberries in advance for the next Spring, where they can be used to their full potential (ie four harvests in the year as opposed to two from the Egg Festival).
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    • Blueberries are the most profitable plant for summer, since they produce several at a time and can be harvested over and over.
    • Cranberries in the fall are even more profitable than both Strawberries and Blueberries, grow faster, and also provide three per harvest. The only catch is the ludicrous cost per seed, but it's well worth it.
  • Coffee. All you need is one bean to start, which can be bought or fished. You get multiple beans per harvest, which can be planted. Then you can re-harvest every two days all the way up until Fall. To put it in perspective, a single coffee bean planted on the first day of the year will yield at least 92 beans throughout Spring and Summer; multiply that by a couple dozen coffee plants, and you start reaching stupidly high yields in short order. And on top of that, you can pop the beans in a keg and get Coffee, which gives you a decent speed boost when drunk. While brewed Coffee and beans don't fetch a great price, it brews in two hours and then you can refill the keg. It makes for a great gift too, since almost everybody in town likes it.
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  • Ancient Fruit, while only the third most valuable crop in the game, are far and away the most profitable in the long-term, beating out Sweet Gem Berries and Starfruit which, while being the first and second most valuable crops respectively, are hit with crippling limitations which cause their long-term profitability to plummetnote . While the seeds are incredibly difficult to come by at first, once you've scraped together a few and planted them, you can use Seed Makers to get roughly double your fruit input back in seeds with each harvest. The other downside is that they take nearly an entire season to mature, but unlike the aforementioned Sweet Gem Berries whose seeds have a similar turnaround time, once an Ancient Fruit plant matures it consistently yields fruit every week as long as the plant remains alive (which on the regular farm is all the way up to winter, and in the greenhouse and island farm is literally forever). While the fruit is extremely profitable by itself, turning it into wine is where it truly starts to shine. Even a baseline Ancient Fruit Wine sells for an incredible 1,650 gold, but taking the time to age them up to Iridium quality in a cask doubles the sale value. Add on the Artisan profession to add an additional 40% on to that value, and you'll have yourself the single most lucrative source of income in the entire game. The best part is how the week-long yield time of Ancient Fruit lines up perfectly with the week-long wine brewing time in a keg, meaning you can put your harvests in kegs to brew and the wine will be available to collect right as the next round of fruit is ready to go.
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  • Beets and artichokes are incredibly profitable fall crops. Their seeds cost a paltry 20 and 30 gold respectively, yet even a basic-quality crop sells for at least five times that amount. Even better, they have relatively short turnaround times: 6 days for beets, 8 days for artichokes. The only downsides are that beet seeds can only be bought at the desert, and artichokes don't become available until year 2. However, once you gain access to both and stock up, you can make some serious bank with these two crops alone.
  • In the late game, Kegs absolutely dominate for making profits. Especially since when you get the final house upgrade, you can place wines in casks to push them up to Iridium quality, drastically increasing the value of them. Iridium-quality Starfruit and Ancient Wines are the most profitable, though you have to wait half a year in-game to get them to that level. Then, stack this with the Artisan profession (40% increase in sale price on Artisan Goods) and you'll hit that million Gold target without even noticing.
  • Preserves Jars. While Wine certainly sells for more than Pickled vegetables and Jellied fruits, you need a lot of Oak Trees and Tappers, in addition to Copper and Iron Ores and Furnaces, to get a reliable amount of Kegs. Preserves Jars take less resources to make, require a lower level to craft, and all their materials can be bought from the town. Not only do cheaper crops yield higher profits from this, they finish faster too. They also singlehandedly turn most fish ponds into a worthwhile investment, since you can also use preserves jars to age the roe they produce, increasing its value dramatically.
  • The Greenhouse allows you to grow any crop in any season, including the abovementioned Strawberries, Blueberries, Cranberries and Ancient Fruit, allowing them to produce fruit forever without withering from the new seasons. It's also completely crow-proof, and you can make a setup with six Iridium Sprinklers, with only four touching the dirt, allowing for an impressive 116 crops. You can also plant trees on the borders of the greenhouse. Of course, this is obtainable only by completing the second hardest set of bundles in the community center, which requires growing crops of every season, all but one of the high-quality animal productsnote , and five gold-star-quality crops of a certain kind from every season, making the greenhouse feel like a Bragging Rights Reward.
    • Take the greenhouse and multiply the amount of plantable space by about seven. Welcome to the island farm. You can only access it after completing the Community Center/JojaMart membership, and it requires a significant investiture of five battery packs, five iridium bars, 200 hardwood, and around a dozen golden walnuts. Once you've finally gotten access to it, however, you can use it to farm your major cash crops in huge amounts indefinitely, setting you up nicely for the late game.
  • Krobus sells a random food item with a randomly selected price each week. Due to the random selection of price, it's possible for him to sell an item at below the price you can sell it for. In the most extreme case a Fish Taco that sells for 500g could be bought for only 50g, returning the initial investment ten-fold. Until Patch 1.4 fixed it, Krobus's stock reset every time the store was opened, so players could buy an unlimited amount of the food for resale at a profit.
  • The Burglar's Ring roughly doubles both the amount of items that monsters drop and the chances of them dropping certain rare items. While this can be useful for getting specific items like Ancient Seeds from bugs, where it really shines is in the Skull Cavern, where nearly every monster can drop at least one highly useful item. Purple Slimes start dropping iridium ore like candy, Serpents rain bombs and Spicy Eels into your pockets, and Iridium Bats become flying piñatas stuffed to the gills with iridium ore, battery packs, and high-level healing items like life elixirs and energy tonics. It requires slaying a whopping 500 Dust Sprites in the mines in order to obtain it, but since they're typically found in large groups and are one of the best early-game sources of coal, players using them to farm coal will likely find themselves hitting the quota before they know it.
  • Spicy Eel is the king of foods when it comes to exploring the mines/Skull Cavern. It's one of the few foods in the game that provides both a speed boost and a luck boost, and it's far easier to come by than any other food that does this; Serpent enemies have a decent chance of dropping them, and a Lava Eel pond has a chance of generating five of them on any given day. Once you've amassed enough of them, it's practically a requirement to eat one before heading into the caves.
  • Hops take 11 days to grow, and then produce every single day. By itself, Hops aren't worth much at only 25g sell price and the Starters each cost 60g, but put them in Kegs and you get Pale Ale, which will make you 300g. And Pale Ale takes less time to finish than other Keg items, at only a day and a half. Granted, Hops use trellises meaning that you have to be careful where you place your Hops Starters, but even just having enough to use all the spaces of a Quality Sprinkler will let you make enough Hops to last you for a few months. And if you get the Greenhouse mentioned above, you can keep making Pale Ales forever on just eight Starters.
  • Spaghetti and Salad, of all things, is fairly broken if you're trying to raise NPC friendliness. They're quite easy to get, as they can be purchased at the saloon all year round, for a fairly low price, and nearly every NPC likes it as a gift, with Robin loving the former and Leah loving the latter.
  • Because they technically count as forageables instead of animal products, truffles also become a serious money-maker with the Botanist profession, with Iridium-quality truffles selling for 1,250 gold a pop. Because having the Botanist profession requires you to get the Gatherer profession first, there's even a 20% chance that a single truffle pickup will award two truffles at once. It's actually more profitable to sell the truffles outright than to turn them into truffle oil unless you've got the Artisan profession. Even then, because it takes time to convert a truffle into truffle oil, the convenience of just selling the truffle outright may outweigh the ~200 gold price difference for some players. In the late game, it becomes extremely lucrative to have your barn consist of nothing but pigs, and let them go hog wild on your farm; by the end of the day, you'll likely have at least a few dozen truffles and around 40,000 gold in the bank. The one downside is that both rain and Winter stop this strategy dead in its tracks - farm animals can't go outdoors during either, preventing your hog army from digging up any truffles. Still, with how much more profitable truffles are compared to other barn products like milk and wool, along with how relatively infrequent rain is in the long run, pigs are still preferable to any other barn animal in the game.
  • Salmonberries and blackberries can become immensely useful in their own ways with the right skillset. With the Botanist profession, both become Iridium-quality when harvested, and both appear in bountiful quantities on bushes during a few days in Spring and Fall respectively. Since the Botanist profession only becomes available at Foraging Level 10, by this point you'll be netting three berries per bush or even four with a food buff, allowing you to easily rake up over a hundred berries per day if you hit every bush possible. Blackberries become immensely profitable if you've also got the Tiller profession and the Bear's Knowledge perk, selling for 132 gold a piece (meaning you'll be pulling in around 15-20K per day from blackberries alone during harvest season). Salmonberries only sell for a quarter of the price, but are useful in a different way; a single Iridium-quality Salmonberry restores 29 health and 65 energy when eaten. Because, as mentioned before, you'll be gathering hundreds of them while they're available, salmonberries will quickly become your go-to standard healing item; you can use them liberally to heal up in dungeons and restore energy when you're low, and chances are you'll still have plenty left over by the time the next salmonberry harvest occurs, giving you an effectively unlimited supply of steady, reliable heals.
  • Loading your slingshot up with explosive ammo can turn otherwise tedious and dangerous excursions in the Skull Cavern into a walk in the park. It's remarkably cheap to craft, only requiring a single Iron Bar and two pieces of coal to make five rounds. Now just sit back, fire off a few shots in all directions, and watch as entire floors' worth of rocks are cleared out in a matter of seconds. Additionally, while it doesn't do much damage against enemies in comparison to more traditional weaponry, it does allow you to permanently dispatch Mummies, which revive themselves a short while after being killed if they're not finished off with explosives. Using explosive ammo is practically required for reaching Level 100 if you choose not to cheese it with staircases, since clearing out rocks manually with even an iridium pickaxe is simply too time-consuming, and even spamming bombs is still a much slower process in comparison.