Forester or Gatherer? Choose The Best Profession For You

About to reach level five in foraging? It might a little difficult to choose your profession between being a Forester or a Gatherer in Stardew Valley, but we’re here to help you decide!

A screenshot from Stardew Valley in which the player has to choose between the Forester or Gatherer professions.
What sounds better?

What are Professions?

Each skill in Stardew Valley has six unique professions which you can unlock as you level up. Once you hit level five, you’ll get to choose between profession A or profession B, which impacts what pair of professions you can choose when you reach level ten. Professions impact how you interact with each skill and how you earn money.

The skills tab in Stardew Valley.

When it comes to foraging, at level five you’ll be given a choice between Forester and Gatherer.

SkillLevel Five Profession #1Level Ten Profession OptionsLevel Five Profession #2Level Ten Profession Options
FarmingRancherCoopmaster / ShepherdTillerArtisan / Agriculturist
MiningMinerBlacksmith / ProspectorGeologistExcavator / Gemologist
ForagingForesterLumberjack / TapperGathererBotanist / Tracker
FishingFisherAngler / PirateTrapperMariner / Luremaster
CombatFighterBrute / DefenderScoutAcrobat / Desperado

How To Level Up In Foraging

Foraging is one of the five main skills in Stardew Valley, and the one associated with collecting resources. In particular, foragers focus on resources you can find on the ground – forageables – and wood.

As such, to gain experience in the foraging skill, you can do the following things:

  1. Remove Large Stumps and Large Logs (25 XP)
  2. Chop down Wood (12 XP)
  3. Pick up forageables (7 XP)
  4. Harvest Spring Onions (3 XP)

Large Stumps and Large Logs can be found on your farmstead at the beginning of the game. They are obstructive, and cannot be removed except with an Axe of high quality. To remove Large Stumps, you need a Copper Axe or better, whereas, for Large Logs, you’ll need a Steel Axe. Instead of dropping normal Wood, these large pieces of lumber yield Hardwood – a rare and precious type of Wood.

A small pro tip for any forage enthusiast is to select the Forest Farm upon creating your character. On this farm map, you can find eight renewable Large Stumps you can cut down every day.

Some of the renewable Stumps on the Forest Map.

Chopping down Trees, on the other hand, is a lot more straightforward! You can find trees all around and there are four types: Oak, Maple, Pine, and Mahogany. Each kind of try produces a special type of syrup – Oak Resin, Maple Syrup, and Pine Tar respectively – but what we’re really after as foragers is the wood itself.

Mahogany trees produce valuable Hardwood, whereas the other three types produce normal Wood. Over the course of the game, you’ll need a lot of wood, so you’re bound to level up in foraging if you’re just playing the game. Wood is used to create buildings and craft items, and can be used to craft Coal if you have a Charcoal Kiln.

A Charcoal Kiln creating Coal.

Harvesting forageables is something you should do whenever you see forage items on the ground. There are different forageables around, depending on what Season it is and what part of the map you’re on. For example, you can find Sweet Peas in Pelican Town during the Summer, but Crocuses in Winter. In the Calico Desert, you’ll be able to find Cacti and Coconuts. On the beach, you can find some Coral or Rainbow Shells depending on the Season too.

The farmer collects some of the beach forageables.

Keep up with these activities, and you’ll gather experience in no time. As you level, you’ll unlock great crafting recipes and items such as the Survival Burger, Wild Seeds, Field Snack, and more- Once you’ve managed to reach level five, it’s time to make a decision; Forester, or Gatherer?

Forester Breakdown

If you choose the Forester profession, you’ll start to gain 25% more Wood when chopping trees. This passive ability applies to normal Trees, Stumps, and Logs as well, which means you’ll be gaining more Wood and more Hardwood if you choose this profession.

You can also find renewable Large Stumps in the Secret Forest.

Is Forester Worth It?

There are definitely arguments to be made for selecting this profession. After all, anyone who’s played Stardew Valley knows how valuable wood is. There are countless recipes that require Wood, and nearly every building requires some as well.

The question is, does the Forester profession make that much of a difference? Is a 25% increase enough? Some would argue that, no, it isn’t. This is partly because the amount of Wood that Trees drop is random, and a lucky non-Forester can gain more Wood from a Tree than an unlucky Forester.

Another point to consider is the level ten professions you gain if you choose Forester. These are the Lumberjack and Tapper professions. The former grants you a small chance to gain Hardwood any time you drop a Tree; no matter what kind. The Tapper profession increases the price of any Syrups you sell by 25%.

While syrups are not very pricey, they are valuable for crafting.

If you didn’t choose the Forester Map, you may want to have access to Lumberjack so that you have a steady income of Hardwood during the game. Tapper on the other hand is only useful if you want to tap trees and invest time and effort into that. Tapping takes a long time, and syrups aren’t valuable enough to invest in. To illustrate, a Maple Tree takes nine days to produce a single Maple Syrup, which is then sold for just 200g (250g with Tapper).

Gatherer Breakdown

The gatherer profession gives your farmer the chance to gain two forageables from one harvest. While this can be extremely rewarding, it’s worth noting that the odds for this are just 20%.

Mushrooms are one kind of Stardew forageable.

Is Gatherer Worth It?

Double harvest is a fantastic passive to have, especially as the game goes along. Once you have a higher foraging skill, you’ll be collecting forageables of higher quality and value.

The most valuable forageable is the Rainbow Shell, which you can find by foraging on the Beach in the Summer. An Iridium Quality is 600g, but, with this passive, you’ve got a 20% chance to harvest two instead of one, earning yourself 1.200g for little to no effort!

Gatherers can get multiples of rare forageables!

Another plus for this profession is the Botanist level ten profession you’ll get access to. Botanist’s forage only Iridium Quality forageables. Not only is that very useful on its own, but it’s also the only way you can find Iridium quality foraged goods period. In other words, if you want Iridium forageables, you need this profession.


Farmers who have the Forester profession get 25% more Wood when cutting down trees. This applies to both normal Wood and Hardwood, so any farmer in need of these resources should consider grabbing this profession. The downside of choosing Forester is that the level ten professions are a bit underwhelming, and the simple fact that Wood is not very hard to find. You can even just purchase it from the Carpenter’s Shop!

Gatherer, on the other hand, gives the farmer a 20% chance to gain two forageables when they harvest a foraged good. Additionally, Gatherers later gain access to Botanist, which is a fantastic profession. Botanists only ever get Iridium Quality forageables, increasing profit exponentially, and the potential Health and Energy you gain from eating your forageables.

All this to say, we recommend grabbing Gatherer at level five. The 20% chance to get double harvestable can come in clutch and earn you some good money. Furthermore, the Botanist profession is not to be missed out on!

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.

Popular Content

Learn about the most profitable crops for each season to make the most profit. Just follow the link to find our definite farming guide!

What is the best profession? Professions in Stardew Valley have their very own pros and cons. Learn if the miner or geologist profession is better for you!

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments