Foraging 101: How to become the Best Gatherer

Like Farming and Fishing, Foraging is another one of the five main skills in Stardew Valley that can be levelled up to level ten. Having trouble getting there? We’ve got your back!

Chopping down wood is one way to increase your foraging level!

What is Foraging?

Foraging is one of the five main skills in Stardew Valley. It is the skill associated with collecting wild resources – forageables  – and chopping down Trees.

How does levelling Up Skills work?

Each of the five skills can be levelled up to level ten. Levelling up skills unlocks higher proficiency with tools, which affects energy consumption when using the specific tool, crafting recipes, and, finally, professions.

Professions are skill-centered bonuses which can be selected at levels five and ten. Your selected profession will enhance your ability to benefit from using your skill in a particular way.

Why Should I level up Foraging?

1. To Collect More Wood

Wood is an extremely important resource in Stardew Valley, necessary for a wide variety of recipes, constructing new farm builds, and upgrading the Farmhouse. Each level in Foraging adds +1 to your Axe proficiency, which allows you to chop down trees more efficiently and conserve more energy doing so. Furthermore, achieving level five in Foraging gives you the opportunity to select the Forester profession, which gives you the ability to gain 25% more wood when chopping!

2. To collect more Hardwood

Hardwood is one of the rarest and most precious resources in Stardew Valley. The only way to obtain Hardwood is by chopping down Mahogany Trees, Large Stumps, and Large Logs. If you had previously selected the Forester profession, you may at level ten choose to become a Lumberjack. As a Lumberjack, all trees you chop down have a chance to drop Hardwood.

3. To unlock the Tapper

At level three of Foraging, you unlock the crafting recipe for the Tapper. This is a type of refining equipment necessary to produce Maple Syrup, Oak Resin, and Pine Tar. You will need these three to craft the Bee House, Keg and Loom respectively. All three open up new avenues to profit!

4. to Increase Profit

A higher level of Foraging equals a higher profit from selling or manufacturing things out of forageables. This is because a better Forager will collect higher quality items. Furthermore, forageables collected by a player with the Gatherer level five profession have a 20% chance of getting two items from a single pick-up. Players who had previously selected the Forester profession can at level ten choose to become Tappers, and sell their Syrups for a higher price!

5. to gain Access to Iridium quality Forageables

Players who had selected the Gatherer profession at level five can become Botanists at level ten. Only Botanists can find Iridium Quality foraged goods. Iridium Quality Forageables can be sold for more gold, grant more energy and health upon consumption, and can be useful for the annual Luau or Stardew Valley Fair Festivals!

How to level up in Foraging

A screenshot of the skill screen, displaying the five main skills in Stardew Valley - Farming, Mining, Foraging, Fishing, and Combat
The five main skills in Stardew Valley – Farming, Mining, Foraging, Fishing, and Combat

As we mentioned before, your foraging skill is improved by gathering forageables or chopping down trees. Here’s the breakdown of how much experience you gain from which foraging activity:

  • 25 XP for removing Large Stumps and Large Logs.
  • 12 XP for chopping down a tree with an axe, and an additional 1 XP for removing the stump.
  • 7 XP for each forageables picked up from the ground.
  • 3 XP for each Spring Onion collected during Spring.

Like with all other skills, in order to get to level 10, you will require 15000 XP in total.

If you were to do these things every day, eventually you will level up foraging to level ten. However, there are ways to optimize the levelling up process.

Method #1: Tree Farm

This first method requires you to have level seven in Foraging, a good stock of Fiber and Stone, and some Tree seeds. Using the stone and fiber, craft as many Tree Fertilizers as you have seeds.

With the seeds and fertilizer ready, clean out an area of your farm and plant as many Acorns, Pine Cones or Maple Seeds as you would like. Then, fertilize the seeds with the Tree Fertilizer. After five days, the trees will be fully mature and you can now cut them down.

In the below example, I planted 20 seeds. Each tree awarded me with 13 XP, which means that I earned 260 XP from this one small endeavor. Aside from that, you’ll be continuously stockpiling Wood with this method, which is always useful!

Without the fertilizer, trees normally take nearly a full Season to grow!

For extra efficiency, consume a meal that grants bonus Foraging skill. This will allow you to conserve some energy while cutting down trees. Pancakes are a good option since you will acquire a recipe for them in 14 Summer Year 1 watching the Queen of Sauce, and they only require Wheat Flour and an Egg to make. Another option is the Survival Burger. You’ll get its recipe from getting Foraging level 2, and then you require bread (purchasable from Gus), Eggplant (an Autumn crop) and a Cave Carrot (common Mine forageable).

Method #2: Secret Woods

This method is appealing because it is a lot less time consuming. All it involves doing is spending a couple of hours of each Stardew day going to the Secret Woods in the Cindersap Forest. To access the Secret Woods, you must travel to the upper-left corner of the Forest with a Steel, Gold, or Iridium Axe. You’ll notice a Large Log that needs to be chopped down before you can continue your journey.

The Secret Woods contains seasonal forageables and six Large Stumps which regrow everyday. If you cut down all six, you will gain 150 XP. If you do that every day for a week, you’ll have earned 1050 XP!

An additional benefit is that this method will yield a lot of Hardwood. It’s a bit inconvenient to travel there every day, but other than that you do not need to sacrifice much time nor Energy like you do with Method #1.

Method #3: Gathering Forageables

This method requires you to snag the Gatherer profession at level 5 and possibly the Tracker profession at level 10. It involves the manual collection of forageables as you see them. Forageables change by season, but are usually found in the same places – The Cindersap Forest, The Mountain, the Bus Stop, The Mine and the Beach.

The Gatherer profession grants you a chance to pick up two foraged items instead of one whenever you collect something. Notably, this also doubles the amount of XP you gain.

This method will not yield great results on its own, but it does once you start acquiring, crafting, and planting Wild Seeds. Wild Seeds are a craftable recipe unlocked by getting level one in Foraging. The recipe yields ten of either Spring Seeds, Summer Seeds, Fall Seeds, or Winter Seeds, and are crafted by the respective seasonal forageables. If you were to plant 50 of these seeds, you would have 50 forageables (with some possibly being doubled) in one week to collect. This effectively yields 350 XP every week. A lot less efficient than method #1 or #2, but will also yield crops that you can sell or eat.

Meet the author

I'm a content writer and an avid video game player whose favourites are either chill RPGs or super competitive shooters with no in-between! If anyone is still reading this please help, Joja has trapped me in a guide-writing factory and I'm so tired of drinking Joja Cola.

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