After multiple playthroughs of Stardew Valley, we’ve started to get a hold of what early-game decisions will lead to you reaping the most benefits in the long run. With that said, the early-game decision of choosing between growing mushrooms in your cave or instead, opting for fruit-dropping bats will have a drastic long-term impact on your fiscal gains.
In terms of overall benefit, the mushrooms are generally better than fruit bats. The fungi sell at a higher price and act as a great way to make quick cash early in the game.
However, there’s more to fruit bats than what meets the eye. While they may not initially bring in as much gold, the fruits that bats bring in can be used as gifts to help increase your friendship with villagers.
So, while mushrooms do carry more intrinsic benefits, it’d be unwise to make a decision before going through all the unique nuances that both decisions carry along with them. Just like most other early-game decisions, you’ll be making in Stardew, choosing between mushrooms and fruit bats can lead to you strategizing your farm’s growth in a very different way.
How To Unlock The Cave
If you still haven’t unlocked the cave, you won’t be able to choose between fruit bats or mushrooms in the first place. Doing so is relatively simple, you’ll need 25,000g to have the option to unlock the cave. However, you still will be able to visit the cave prior to making the decision, it just will be empty.
Getting to 25,000 Gold
If you are new to the game and have trouble making money, we recommend resorting to fishing especially in your first year. You’ll be able to go fishing every day, level up your skills really quickly, and use the free bamboo fishing pole provided to you by Willy once you start fishing to start selling in no time.
The morning after you’ve earned at least 25,000g you’ll be approached by Demetrius at your farm. You’ll then be asked as to whether you prefer using mushrooms or bats for his research. Do note that once you make this decision, there’s no going back! As of yet, there’s no way for you to substitute mushrooms for fruit bats or vice versa once you’ve made your choice.
Fruit Bats – Are They Really That Bad?
To quickly premise; no, fruit bats aren’t that bad and definitely do have some uses. We’ll be talking about them in detail. However, as a quick primer, once again, there isn’t really a right or wrong no matter what you go for. It is just in most general cases, you’ll be better off with the multiple uses mushrooms provide as compared to fruit bats.
Once you’ve chosen to opt for fruit bats instead of mushrooms, you’ll see a different assortment of fruits every day. The amount of time it’ll take for each fruit to spawn is solely dependent on the fruits that are already present in the cave. Therefore, you should always collect all your fruits every time you wake up to leave room for more to spawn.
In terms of statistics, the chances of a particular piece of fruit to spawn is as follows:
|No Fruits In The Cave||48%|
|One Fruit Inside The Cave||25%|
|Two Fruits Inside The Cave||13%|
|More Than Three Fruits Inside The Cave||7%|
Note: The spawn rate is irrespective of what kind of fruit is present in the cave.
By looking at the table above, we can clearly see that there’s a lot of benefit of tending to your fruit cave daily. Most players tend to leave the fruit cave for weeks on end assuming that it doesn’t affect their overall growth. But, it ultimately does as it leads to an exponential reduction in spawn rate.
Now that we’ve taken a look at how these fruits spawn, it is also important to take into account what kind of fruits spawn as well. Since most players tend to use fruits for gifting and selling, there’s quite a reasonable amount of chance involved in your daily yield.
|Fruit Name||Selling Price (Updated January 2022 – Normal)||Gold Quality||Iridium Quality||Spawn Chance|
Before you take this table as the Gospel, do note that spawn rates for fruit are completely random and perhaps, that seems to be their biggest drawback. You can’t ever really be sure of what kind of fruit you are going to be getting tomorrow. Plus, the spawn rates above are only for normal quality fruit. The quality of the fruit that spawns in the cave can range from normal to gold, significantly boosting their price.
Moreover, even the amount of fruit you get every day leaves a lot of uncertainty. Sure, there’ll be days where you’ll be greeted with a plethora of high-value fruits like Apples and Peaches ready for harvesting. However, on some days, you’ll be lucky to get even 50g from a day’s worth of cave excavations.
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One distinct advantage you have with a fruit cave is the ability to get out-of-season fruits. So, if you wanted to gift fruit to a specific villager to increase your friendship with them, you won’t need to find any alternative means and can just wait for that particular fruit to spawn inside the cave.
In terms of why you should choose them over mushrooms, here’s our take:
- You Can Get Mushrooms In Other Ways: There’s tons of different ways to get mushrooms. You can find them in various caves, the secret woods, and even trees can mutate to mushrooms on your farm as well.
- Fruit Trees Are Expensive: Fruit trees are extremely expensive and are nigh-impossible to get in the early game. You’ll need a lot of fruit to be able to complete the community center. If you want to have that happen quickly, bats can speed the entire process up by a considerable margin.
- The Botanist Trait: Once you get the botanist profession, all your fruit will now be of Irdium quality. This increases the price of the fruit by a signficant margin.
Mushrooms – The Better Option?
If you’ve chosen to grow mushrooms in your cave, you’ll be greeted with six bins. These bins will spawn different kinds of mushrooms. The kind of mushrooms you end up getting is completely dependent on their spawn rate.
Before you get started harvesting mushrooms, there’s one mechanic you should be aware of. The time at which you sleep will dictate the growth rate of your mushrooms. To clarify, going to bed at a later period will result in your mushrooms growing quicker. If you were to sleep at 3-4 AM, you’d see full-grown mushrooms by 1-2 PM by the next day.
As of yet, only five different types of mushrooms have a chance to be spawned in the bin. Unlike fruits though, all mushrooms that are spawned in the cave will be of normal quality, no exceptions. Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect from the mushroom cave:
|Fruit Name||Selling Price (Updated January 2022 – Normal)||Spawn Chance|
There are a few distinct advantages that Mushrooms have. These particular nuances have led us and the community to agree that mushrooms are better for the late game as well as the early game. However, as always, the decision ultimately rests on you.
- Cost and Time Efficient: Most mushrooms are only available in a single season. So, if you need them in a hurry, you won’t be able to get them. Moreover, the cave can spawn rarer mushrooms like the Purple Mushroom which can only be acquired through rigorous mining. This ultimately leads you to save a lot of time by going for mushroom caves.
- Not A Game Of Chance: Unlike fruit caves which as mentioned earlier, are a game of chance, mushrooms are much more consistent in their tidings. You can with utmost certainty know that you’ll have at least 6 mushrooms waiting for you every day ready for harvesting. However, luck is still involved as you won’t always be sure of the kind of mushrooms you will be getting.
- Mushrooms Are Harder to Grow and Find: Fruit trees, while expensive, can easily be planted and is a part of your core harvesting cycle. However, mushrooms can only be grown in two ways. You can either opt for a mushroom cave or wait for a tree to mutate into a mushroom during the Fall season. As you can imagine, this is completely luck based and not that reliable.
- All Your Mushrooms In One Place: If you were to get a mutated Big Mushroom Tree, there still are some caveats. You’ll only be able to get the Purple, Red and Common Mushrooms from it. This means that there is no way for you to naturally grow Morels and Chanterelles other than the Mushroom cave.
- A Stash Full of Life Elixirs: We swear by the power of Life Elixirs. They’re really great and can help you in a pinch. If you aren’t sure about them already, they happen to restore all of your HP. This makes them a great late game and early game item. Thankfully, all the ingredients you need to craft Life Elixirs are found in a mushroom cave. While there still is some chance involved, you’ll still be able to craft Life Elixirs eventually even if it means waiting for a fe wdays.
With that said, our playthrough with the mushroom cave ended up feeling much less strenuous. This was primarily because we didn’t have to go mining for purple mushrooms until we had the luxury of harvesting from a Big Mushroom Tree. Plus, the ability to heal to full health at any point with the help of free life elixirs crafted from our cave was a big bonus!
Bonus Tip: If you do end up opting for mushrooms and are not able to get fruit trees, we recommend opting for sashimi (the recipe is given to you by Linus) or coffee (you can snag a coffee bean from the traveling cart) instead. They act as great gifts for villagers and can be used to accelerate your relationship with villagers.
The Final Comparision – Fruits Or Mushrooms?
Now that you’ve gone through the rigorous process of knowing the pros and cons of both the decisions, now comes the final question, what should you finally opt for? Well, we’ve answered that already, mushrooms seem to be the better choice for most playthroughs.
But, hold up! Depending on your playstyle, both options can have some advantages and disadvantages. To make things easier for you, we’ve sorted them out for you. With a quick glance, you’ll be able to decipher your needs and hopefully make a decision that goes in your favor!
The Case For Choosing Bats
- Seeds can be expensive to purchase for certain fruits and might involve a lot of luck. Having fruit bats handly can help alleviate your woes.
- Fruits like Blackberries and Salmbonberries grow in a very particular season. So, they can be hard to get in a pinch especially if you need them for villagers.
- Fruits help you complete bundles like the Artisan Bundle which mushrooms aren’t helpful for whatsoever.
- To establish friendships with villagers, fruits are a necessity. Most of them love the fruit kinds that bats bring and the variation helps increase your friendship with certain villagers.
- The randomization can go in your favor sometimes, you might end up with tons of good fruit the next day you wake up.
The Case For Choosing Mushrooms:
- Mushrooms are hard to scavenge and find and can even lead to your death in certain situations. Therefore, not needing to go through the pain of mining is a great plus.
- If a cave has mushrooms, it is bound to be more consistent and will mostly always lead to more profit per day as compared to fruit.
- Mushrooms provide more consistent ingredients for crafting supplies such as the extremely helpful Life Elixir.
We hope you are now able to finally get an idea of whether you should pick mushroom or fruit caves in Stardew Valley! With that said, no matter what decision you opt for, there will always be some caveats on each side.