Choosing a Farm
All that really matters is what you like best.
Standard Farm (Farming)
Best for min/maxers
Pros: Lots of space, high ceiling for creative people, great for animals
Cons: Too much space, minimal shoreline for fishing/crab pots, aesthetics are awful for this map without significant effort
The specialty maps don't compare very well to the standard farm. Available space is roughly two times larger the riverlands, hill-top, and forest farms and roughly 1/3 larger than the wilderness farm. The unique layouts of the specialty maps create some constraints that some players may find appealing, especially for players who are bored of the standard farm.
That said, these smaller maps reduce some of the complexity/overwhelm of the standard farm.
Trees (including fruit trees!) can be planted on the grassy areas in the specialty farms so the naturally provide places to plant trees.
Most of these farms are severly limited by the spawn rates of their focus, specifically the wilderness and hill-top farms don't spawn their perk nearly enough to be worthwhile.
Riverlands Farm (Fishing)
Best for unique end game strategies and people who want a challenge
Pros: Lots of space for crab pots, convenient access for late night fishing (river fish)
Cons: Smallest map in the game, building structures is highly restrictive (don't bother with animals), fishing isn't any better than fishing in town (significantly loses value after repairing the minecart)
Originally, the riverlands farm was rated poorly but offers significant potential when using a crab pot strategy with recyclying machines. The large availablity of shoreline on this map could make it better than the standard map even though the map is so much smaller than the standard map. This farm's layout makes it signifantly harder to raise animals, so look elsewhere if you're interested in raising a variety of animals.
Having issues with lure master and picking up crab pots? Esotericine has a tip:
Put a sickle in your hand. Or some garbage, such as some of your crab pots are guaranteed to produce. As long as you have SOMETHING in your hand that does nothing on the normal 'use' event, it works fine.
Also, PSA: Time freezes not just when harvesting crops, but also when harvesting from crab pots, so collecting from infinity crab pots only takes the time necessary to walk alongside them. Just hold down the button with bait in hand (if you don't have luremaster) and work your way down the row.
Forest Farm (Foraging)
Best for beginners
Pros: Early access to hardwood, random foraging items, lots of berries during berry season, relatively large farming space, unique weeds drop mixed seed, very pretty
Cons: None really, not that much space for animals.
The forest farm offers the most quality of life improvements over other farms. While the additional hardwood is fairly marginal, the mixed seeds and seasonal forage items offers a huge advantage when trying to complete the community center, especially for new players.
The additional berry bushes makes it very easy to build a winery without putting too much effort in growing crops early in the first year; these berries are also extremely using for keeping energy levels high early in the game.
Hill-top Farm (Mining)
Best for generalists and people who like aesthetics
Pros: Easy access to mining nodes early in the game, large river for fishing and crab pots
Cons: Mining nodes respawn slowly, no space for buildings, incovenient placing of logs/stones until you can upgrade tools
The mining part of this farm is completely outclassed by the quarry. The river through the middle of the farm offers a lot of potential for crab pots, not as much the riverlands farm but offers a different aethestic appeal.
Wilderness Farm (Combat)
Best for masochists (hard mode)
Pros: Decent space (highest of the specialty farms), more engaging than other farms, prettier the standard map
Cons: Monster spawning can get annoying, monster loot tables are lackluster, any map can spawn monsters later in the game
The advantage of starting with the wilderness farm is somewhat negated by giving a strange bun to the Dark Shrine of Night Terrors in the Witch's Hut; the wilderness farm can also be disabled using the same pocess.
Tip: Don't attack with your axe. Your sickle is your best friend until the mine is unlocked and you can get your sword.
By the Numbers
From the Farm Type Buildable Area Comparison Guide, here's the quick breakdown for each farm:
- The standard farm has room for 3662 items, 3427 of which can be crops.
- The riverlands farm has room for 2094 items, 1578 of which can be crops.
- The forest farm has room for 2903 items, 1413 of which can be crops.
- The hill-top farm has room for 2578 items, 1648 of which can be crops.
- The wilderness farm has room for 2575 items, 2131 of which can be crops.
- Farm Maps
- Farm Type Buildable Area Comparison
- Stardew Valley: Which Farm Design You Should Choose
- Stardew Valley - 5 Farm Layout Reviews
- Best farm type
- Best Farm Type?
- Which farm type is best?
- Farm Maps
- Can we discuss the pro/cons of each new farm layout?
- best farm to start with?