Monster Harvest

Monster Harvest is an odd blend of farming sim (think Stardew Valley) with the monster-collecting of Pokémon. If that’s not the recipe for a truly addictive gaming brew, then I don’t know what is.

Now, the game features some of the common elements you might expect from a farm sim, but it also offers its own twist on the genre, with a few unexpected changes that can feel a bit disorienting to new players.

So I’m going to rattle off some tips and tricks that will help you make the most of your time with Monster Harvest.

Your time is your own, but stamina is everything

Monster Harvest

In farming sims like Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, and Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town, there’s a perpetually ticking clock. Not so in Monster Harvest. No, time only progresses when you sleep. That means you can explore to your heart’s content without having to worry about falling asleep in a cave somewhere and forcing some poor soul to find you and drag you home.

On the other hand, stamina is king. Most of the actions you take, whether it be mining a rock, tilling some soil, or chopping wood — will drain stamina (rolling to move faster actually doesn’t cost stamina, as far as I can tell). Once your stamina is gone, you have no choice but retreat back to your bed.

Now, there are a few ways to restore stamina — eating food and sleeping, primarily — but for the most part, when you get tired, you’re going to have to go to bed rather than fight the inevitable onset of sleep deprivation.

Don’t waste your evenings

Monster Harvest - Sleep

To follow that last point, when you lie down in your bed for the first time each day, you’re given two options: Rest until the evening, or rest until the following morning. If you take a quick little nap, you’ll restore some stamina and get to see the town at night.

Always take the “Evening” option. Not only does it give you free stamina, giving you just a little bit more time to get your chores done, but you can only enter the dungeon after dark. Plus, there are certain fish that are only available to catch at night.

The triangle button is your friend

Monster Harvest - Consignment Board

This is a bit of advice for PlayStation users.

Moving things around in menus can be a pain. Move the cursor to the item, press X, then move the item to the place on the grid where you want it to go. Sigh.

Thankfully, there’s a shortcut that will make things a little easier. If you are in your menu on the consignment board or a chest, pressing triangle will automatically move the thing you have selected from one inventory to the other — so, from your inventory to the consignment board or vice versa.

This is something I wish I’d have discovered way sooner, because I spent my first 30 days or so moving every single item with the X button. Oof.

Clear the rubble on the left side of town first; save the rubble on the right for later

Monster Harvest

There is a road that cuts through Planimal Point from left to right, and both sides are blocked by rubble. If you pay $1,500, you can clear away the pile of rocks and open up passage to the new area. In the early stages of the game, that’s kind of a lot of money, so you’ll want to be smart about which one you choose.

It’s best to clear away the debris on the left side of the map, which leads to Calming Cove. You can save the other side of the map, which leads to Glowing Glade, for later.

See, Calming Cove is where you’ll acquire your fishing rod, and even though fishing takes a ton of stamina, you’re probably itching to start catching all of the fish in town. It’s definitely worth the $1,500.

Glowing Grove, on the other hand, just has a furniture shop. Sure, you’ll eventually want to unlock this when you’ve got scads of cash, but in the early part of the game, you’ve got more important things than furniture to think about.

Pick up these things

Monster Harvest - Honey Pepper

The thing in the image above is a Honey Pepper. You can pick those up and sell them. This is not super important, but I spent almost the entire first month of game time thinking those were decorative rocks. I even tried to mine one with my pickaxe at one point…

But you will need at least one Honey Pepper if you plan on filling in the notice board.

And speaking of which…

Selling on the consignment board will also fill in the notice board

Monster Harvest - Consignment Board

In the middle of town, you’ll find a notice board. If you submit the correct items, you will be rewarded with exclusive upgrades. However, the game isn’t super clear about how you go about doing this.

Well, it’s as easy as selling those items on the consignment board near your house. As long as you use the consignment board to sell something you need for the notice board, the corresponding slot on the notice board will be filled the following morning.

Pickling a vegetable will increase the price by 50%

Monster Harvest - Pickled Mutato

When your character hits level 8, you’ll unlock the crafting recipe for the pickler. This allows you to pickle a single vegetable at a time.

I’m just going to leave you with some math so you can make an informed decision: Pickling a vegetable increases its price by 50%. That means Radishes, which normally sell for $60, will sell for $90 when pickled. Mutatoes, which normally sell for $100, will sell for $150 when pickled.

You can pickle one vegetable at a time, and the process takes about three days. To me, that doesn’t seem worth it, but I suppose if you set up a huge row of picklers, you might be able to turn a tidy profit on pickling.

Slimes glow, so you can see them through trees

Monster Harvest - Slime

If you see slimes bouncing about, you definitely want to kill them. They drop slime, which allows you to mutate your crops and make Planimals. You can always buy slime at the Simory, but there’s no reason to when you’ve got slimes hopping around in the forested areas.

Of course, they do like to hide behind trees. Thankfully, you can spot slimes through trees because you can see their glow. So if you see something glowing behind a tree, go whack it with your sword.

There’s Planimal permadeath, but dead Planimals are good for your soil

Monster Harvest - Heartslime

When one of your Planimals kicks the bucket, it’s gone forever. At first, this seems incredible stressful. After all, it sucks to level a Planimal up to 5 or 6, then have them bite the bullet, forcing you to start over.

Thankfully, there’s a benefit to killing off your Planimals.

Every time a Planimal dies, it leaves behind Heartslime. You can spend Heartslime at your farm to raise the level of the soil (simply interact with the signpost that has a heart on it). By raising the level of the soil, you increase the level that your Planimals are born at.

For example, if your soil level is 6, all of your Planimals will start at level 6 instead of level 1. So yes, go ahead and sacrifice some Planimals. Raising your soil level is more than worth it.

Hitting a monster with your sword will give you the first turn in battle

Monster Harvest - You Struck First

Battles are turn-based in Monster Harvest. If you manage to hit a monster with your sword before the battle starts, you will get the first turn. If not, the monster will always get the first turn.

Also, if you upgrade your sword, you’ll also deal damage to the creature, which transfers into battle.

Oh, and speaking of upgrades…

Upgrade your tools as soon as you can

Monster Harvest - Slimory

The building shown above is called the Slimory. Inside, you’ll find Thorn, who will sell you various types of slime. However, if you scroll down to the very bottom of Thorn’s shop menu, you’ll see that you also have the option to upgrade your tools. The first upgrade for any tool costs $1,000 and 10 Gold Ore, which isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s worth it. Upgrading a tool reduces the amount of stamina that tool uses. Plus, upgrading the watering can allows it to hold more water, and upgrading the sword causes it to deal more damage.

You can also upgrade the fishing rod at the fishing shack in Calming Cove.

You can create hybrid crops

Monster Harvest - Hybrid Crops

If you visit Professor Spark in his lab, he’ll show you a machine he’s working on that will allow you to create hybrid crops. Simply put one crop in one side and a different crop in the other, and bam! You’ll end up with seeds for a hybrid plant. And once you’ve unlocked a seed this way, it will then show up for sale at the General Store. So you only have to make one of each hybrid type, then you can buy the seeds and grow more.

Hybrid vegetables will sell for more than their standard-version counterparts, but they can’t be slimed. This is an option for folks who want to make their money the old-fashioned way (by selling veggies), I suppose.

You can buy hybrid seeds if you find Cassidy in the dungeon

Monster Harvest - Dungeon Seed Shop

There’s a second way to find hybrid seeds. Occasionally, you’ll stumble upon the trusty shopkeeper Cassidy hiding out in the dungeon. If you do, he’ll offer to sell you hybrid seeds. If you buy a variation from him that you haven’t unlocked yet, that variation will then be available for purchase in the General Store.

Find titanium on the second floor of the dungeon

Monster Harvest - Titanium

If you can reach the end of the dungeon’s first floor, there will be a treasure chest and an enemy (usually a diplo, but sometimes it’s a koala). If you can beat the enemy, you will unblock the door to the next floor.

And the second floor of the dungeon is almost always loaded with titanium. If you’re looking for absolute boatloads of the stuff (which you will be), then the second floor of the dungeon is going to be your best friend.

And you’re going to need tons of the stuff if you want to…

Build an irrigation system as soon as possible

Monster Harvest - Irrigation

Watering your crops every day takes up tons of stamina, and every bit of stamina you spend on your crops is a bit of stamina that you won’t be able to spend mining ore in the dungeon.

Thankfully, you can remove the need to water your crops entirely by building an irrigation system.

One your character hits level 11, you’ll unlock the crafting recipe for the pipe (which takes two titanium to craft). If you can feed one end of the pipe into your pond, any piece of dirt the pipe touches will be watered every morning. This means you can run a length of pipe along your field and water two rows of crops with it.

For the most efficient irrigation system, you’ll want to keep your pipes two spaces apart. (Also note that I messed up in the image above — I ran a pipe in the top section of the field, when I should have run it one space lower to double the amount of soil that was watered.)

The Dark Season is super weird

Monster Harvest - Dark Season

This isn’t really a tip or a trick, but more of an observation. The Dark Season is really weird. In fact, I don’t think you’re going to be prepared for how weird it actually is; you might not even recognize your town anymore. And the grass colors might give you a craving for Fruity Pebbles cereal.

I guess all I can say is: When the Wet Season is ending, prepare yourself for some top-tier weirdness.

Mystic Ore is really easy to miss

Monster Harvest - Mystic Ore

Mystic Ore is a top-tier ore that is green. Because of its color, it can oftentimes be hard to spot (especially when it ends up jammed into a thicket of tall green plants). In fact, it doesn’t look all that different from the Honey Peppers…

Anyway, I started finding Mystic Ore after I completed the dungeon for the first time. Note that it’s very possible it was there the whole time and I just completely missed it, but if you’re not finding Mystic Ore on the proper dungeon floors, try a successful dungeon clear and then see if you can find some on your next run.

You’ll find it on floors 3-5, with floor 4 being the one where it seems to be the most common.

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