Skull Cavern: Here Are 7 Tips To Reach Level 100


You’ve just started exploring the treacherous Skull Cavern. You’ve made it to level 25, and some faceless person named Mr. Qi has paid you 10,000g for your trouble. Soon you find a cryptic secret note that reads:

Secret Note #10 that reads "Someone is waiting for you on level 100 in the skull cavern..."
Secret Note #10, which initiates the quest “Cryptic Note.”

But that seems impossible! How can someone make it down a hundred levels in a single day? Have no fear. Your guide is here! Here are some fool-proof tips and tricks to help you make it to level 100 in Skull Cavern quickly and in one piece.

What is The Skull Cavern?

After reaching floor 120 in the mountain mines, you receive the mysterious “Skull Key.” Then, after completing the Vault room in the Community Center, you’ll have access to the bus that takes you to Calico Desert. If you walk all the way to the northwest most part of the map, you’ll find the entrance to Skull Cavern.

What Makes Skull Cavern so Unique?

Unlike the mines found back in Pelican Town, Skull Cavern has no elevator system. Each floor is completely random and you have no way to guess what’s coming next. Additionally, since there is no elevator system, you’ll need to complete your quest to meet this mysterious “someone” on level 100 in a single day. While this might seem like an impossible task, the reward is well worth the effort.

How to Reach Level 100 in Skull Cavern

1. Practice!

Take some time to understand Skull Cavern. It can still be intimidating regardless if it’s your first time playing or you have hundreds of playtime hours. Visit Skull Cavern regularly before your run to floor 100 to know every monster that spawns and grows accustomed to their attack patterns. You might even find a Prismatic Shard if you’re lucky!

2. Bring a good weapon and plenty of bombs

The weapon you bring will depend mostly on your fighting style. However, we always recommend the 10 Best Swords in Stardew Valley to give you the best edge! For beginners, the Galaxy Sword works well. This weapon is obtainable by bringing a Prismatic Shard to the center of the three pillars east of the desert’s cave entrance.

A screenshot of a player character with light blue hair and mouse ears standing near a hole in Skull Cavern.
Occasionally you’ll find a hole instead of a ladder, which allows you to skip anywhere from 3-15 floors.

Additionally, you must bring lots of bombs with you, a minimum of 50. This option will be the quickest way to find ladders or holes beneath rocks. Find an area with a high density of rocks, place your bomb down, and clear the site as quickly as possible. With good Luck, you’ll find a convenient way down quickly.

3. Wait For a day with the best luck

Checking the fortune teller on the TV daily will tell you about your Daily Luck. The best waiting moment is when the “The spirits are very happy today!” text appears. This is known as a “best luck” day, sometimes called a “Stardrop Luck” day by community members since the television shows Welwick holding a Stardrop. 

A screenshot of the player character with light blue hair and mouse ears watching the fortune teller channel on TV.
Luck has a huge impact on gameplay, and not just in the mines.

Better daily luck will increase your chances of finding a ladder or hole underneath rocks. And good news! There are other ways of improving luck as well.

4. Bring the right food

A big stack of food is indispensable as you can use it to replenish energy and health quickly. If you’re a beginner, feel free to use any food items as long as they don’t sell well but regenerate your health and energy. Anything past that level is where you may bring consumables you want while digging down in Skull Cavern.

A screenshot of the player character with low health holding cheese above their head with the text box "Eat Cheese?" and a flying serpent coming right for them.
The game pauses while you’re eating, giving you enough time to restore health and energy.

Additionally, bring a few stat-boosting foods to eat throughout the day. Your best bet will be Spicy Eel, which gives you +1 luck and +1 speed and have a 6% chance of being dropped by Serpents. You can also bring Coffee or Triple Espresso since drink buffs don’t remove food buffs, and it’ll give you an extra +1 speed.

A screenshot of the player's bag with the mouse hovering over Magic Rock Candy which is described as "A rare and powerful candy infused with the essence of prismatic shard."
You can also obtain this food by donating 90 items to the museum or buying it from the Desert Trader for 3 Prismatic Shards.

However, if you have the Prismatic Shards, you can exchange a Magic Rock Candy from the Desert Trader every Thursday. You may also get it from slaying Haunted Skulls at a 0.13% chance. This incredible food gives you +5 to luck, +1 speed, +3 mining, +5 defense, and +5 attack. You’ll be nearly unstoppable!

5. Craft or purchase stairs from the desert trader

Stairs are another valuable item when making it to floor 100 in the Skull Cavern. You can craft them with 99 stones each or buy one from the desert trader on Sundays for a Jade. If you put the mineral in a Crystalarium, you’ll increase the number you can buy.

Stairs can be handy when you’re struggling to find a way down or if you come across an infested floor, which often wastes precious time. While you get different dialogue from Mr. Qi if you’ve used more than ten stairs in your journey, the results will remain the same.

6. Set up your Inventory the night before

A screenshot of the player's bag which is empty save for a galaxy sword, a gold pickaxe, magic rock candy, 45 Qi beans, 2 triple espressos, 100 bombs, 200 gold cheese, a home totem, and a desert totem.
Clear your bag of anything to save space for more important items.

Since speed is the key to reaching level 100, you shouldn’t waste time grabbing all the tools and supplies you need in the morning. Prepare your items if you’re planning to venture deep into the Skull Cavern on the next in-game day.

Think about where stuff is placed in your bag as well. Your weapon and pickaxe must be at the front of your inventory for easy access. It’s also crucial to put food items near your tools. Capitalize on the shift button on your keyboard if you prefer placing them somewhere else in your bag.

Get a Desert Totem ready as well, so when you have good Luck the following day, you can transport yourself to the desert at 6am.

7. Don’t be afraid to restart the day

Completing the “Cryptic Note” quest might be one of the most challenging things to do in Stardew Valley. Restart the day if you die or pass out and don’t want to deal with Harvey’s fee or lose important items. It’s no shame if you do that; it isn’t worth the stress.


Level 100 in Skull Cavern! A screenshot of Mr. Qi telling the player character "Well, well, well... you made it."
What on earth could that purple milk on the pedestal be?

The run to level 100 in Skull Cavern is extremely tough. You might need to take a few tries, going back multiple times. But don’t worry! Follow these steps, and you’ll eventually make it down there. Who knows, maybe you can get past the 100th floor!

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Meet the author

I started playing Stardew Valley on a 17-hour drive to my new home in Missouri, and I haven't stopped playing since! It's a great game to play while watching YouTube, listening to a podcast, or even just hanging out with friends.

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