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Stardew Valley

Which Tools Should You Upgrade First in Stardew Valley?

Posted on by justin
Every Stardew Valley player will start the game with a set of tools. But these pieces of equipment can only get you so far in harvesting materials. Eventually, you must upgrade them to improve your experience - but what tools should you upgrade first in Stardew Valley?

Upgrading Tools in Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley Tools To Upgrade First Before upgrading tools in Stardew Valley, it’s important to learn how to upgrade these items. Note that you can upgrade most tools in the game in Clint’s Blacksmith in exchange for certain materials. Each upgrade level uses the same price and ingredients for all the tools you can improve in this establishment.
  • Copper: 2,000 gold pieces and 5x Copper Bar.
  • Steel: 5,000 gold pieces and 5x Iron Bar.
  • Gold: 10,000 gold pieces and 5x Gold Bar.
  • Iridium: 25,000 gold pieces and 5x Iridium Bar.
However, some tools have special upgrading requirements. For example, you must upgrade your Fishing Level before buying improved fishing rod versions from Willy’s Fish Shop. As for your backpack, you can increase your inventory size by purchasing a larger pack from Pierre’s General Store. On the other hand, upgrading the Scythe to the Golden Scythe requires you to complete the Crafts Room bundles in the Community Center to access the Quarry Mine. Then, brave through the Quarry Mine’s hazards to obtain the Golden Scythe. Also, Clint requires time to improve your tools. But you’ll receive a notification when that NPC finishes the job request.

Best Tools to Upgrade First in Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley Tool Upgrades Ranked Below, you’ll learn the tools to upgrade first in Stardew Valley, sorted by importance. Note that the following list isn’t the “end-all” way to proceed through the game. But these suggestions may help develop your farm sooner than later.

5. Trash Can

Every Stardew Valley beginner will start with 12 slots in their inventory. So, juggling to free space in your inventory becomes a norm during the game's early stages by throwing things in the trash. However, the standard Trash Can doesn’t offer perks apart from helping you free up some storage space. But upgrading the Trash Can to its higher-tiered version can refund you some of the deleted item’s monetary value. That way, you can recover some funds while freeing up valuable inventory space. Also, this compensation increases with each upgrade.
  • Copper Trash Can: Reclaim 15% of the deleted item’s monetary value.
  • Steel Trash Can: Reclaim 30% of the deleted item’s monetary value.
  • Gold Trash Can: Reclaim 45% of the deleted item’s monetary value.
  • Iridium Trash Can: Reclaim 60% of the deleted item’s monetary value.
While this is far from the most important tool to improve in Stardew Valley, it's a way to get extra convenience in the later game.

4. Pickaxe

You’ll start with the standard Pickaxe in Stardew Valley. But you can only break small rocks with ease using this tool. In time, you’ll encounter tougher stones that require higher-tiered tools. Some of these boulders even block entrances to caves, preventing you from obtaining the treasures from within. Each Pickaxe upgrade increases your ability to break larger rocks. Plus, each advancement will quicken your mining efforts for smaller stones.
  • Copper Pickaxe: Break copper nodes in two hits and break all rocks on floors 1 to 39 in one hit and two hits for the stones on floors 40 to 79.
  • Steel Pickaxe: Break the boulders on the farm. Use it to break Iridium nodes in six hits.
  • Gold Pickaxe: Breaks meteorite and iridium nodes in four hits.
  • Iridium Pickaxe: Breaks all rocks in the Quarry Mine and Skull Cavern in one hit and allows breaking diamond nodes in two hits.

3. Watering Can

The standard Watering Can helps you water crops, albeit inefficiently. This beginner tool only has 40 charges before it needs refilling. Also, it can only water one tile at a time. Increase efficiency in caring for your crops on your farm by upgrading the Watering Can. Each enhancement increases the tool’s maximum charges and improves its maximum area of effect.
  • Copper Watering Can: Maximum capacity increased to 55 charges, and maximum area of effect becomes a 3-tile straight line.
  • Steel Watering Can: Maximum capacity increased to 70 charges, and maximum area of effect becomes a 5-tile straight line.
  • Gold Watering Can: Maximum capacity increased to 85 charges, and maximum area of effect becomes a 3x3 area.
  • Iridium Watering Can: Maximum capacity increased to 100 charges, and maximum area of effect becomes a 6x3 area.

2. Axe

The Axe is the counterpart to the Pickaxe for harvesting wood from logs, stumps, and trees. Also, you can use an upgraded Axe to destroy some bushes in the Forest and Riverland farm maps as of version 1.11.
  • Copper Axe: Chop large stumps and reduces the number of chops to cut small stumps and fully-grown trees.
  • Steel Axe: Chops large logs and further reduces the number of chops to cut small stumps, fully-grown trees, and large stumps.
  • Gold Axe: Further reduces the number of chops to cut small stumps, fully-grown trees, large logs, and large stumps.
  • Iridium Axe: Further reduces the number of chops to cut small stumps, fully-grown trees, large logs, and large stumps.
Note: The tree stump blocking the entrance to the Secret Woods requires a Steel Axe or a higher-tiered variant to break it. Also, any Axe variant with the Powerful enchantment can remove large stumps and logs.

1. Hoe

Like other tools, using the Hoe depletes energy for each use. Also, the standard Hoe will only till one tile, making it an inefficient soil preparation tool. Fortunately, the Hoe’s upgraded variants increase the tool’s maximum area of effect, allowing you to preserve as much energy as possible.
  • Copper Hoe: Maximum area of effect increases to a 3-tile straight line.
  • Steel Hoe: Maximum area of effect increases to a 5-tile straight line.
  • Gold Hoe: Maximum area of effect increases to a 3x3 area.
  • Iridium Hoe: Maximum area of effect increases to a 6x3 area.
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