Farm Craft Tips
Like Build-a-Lot, there’s a lot more to Farm Craft than you see at first glance. These general tips & tricks will help you come up with strategies to earn the trophies.
- If you don’t want to listen to the story in between levels, keep clicking on the yellow arrow in the lower right of the screen. It will take 3 or 4 clicks to skip the story altogether. However, the story has some interesting twists in it and the voice acting is excellent.
- If you ignore the timer, you can take as long as you like for each level. However, to earn the trophies you must complete all goals for the level before the tracking timer runs out.
- Levels can last as much as 15 minutes with the timer. You’re allowed to save midround and you’ll come back to where you left off.
- The different portals have slightly different versions of the game. Some allow you to save midround and restart with all your clicks still queued up. Others let you restart midround, but you have to redo your clicks.
- You can build click chains pretty much as long as you want. If you right click, all the queued clicks will disappear and you can start again. This is helpful when you get assigned surprise tasks or when one of your farmhands needs to be paid to keep working.
- You do not need to take things to market. Just putting items into a warehouse will result in their sale.
- Items in the store are available under various tabs at the bottom of the screen. Different items are available on different levels, and some items will be added midlevel.
- You will get as many as 10 tasks for one level, but most levels have about 5. You will only be told about 2 or 3 at the start of the round, so be prepared for midlevel surprises.
- Your known goals will be listed on the task board on the upper right of the screen. If you click on this it will open up and you will get more detail.
- Read the goals carefully! You may have a goal to buy carrots seeds. Or you may have a goal to plant carrots or fertilize carrots or sell carrots. Usually you’ll get a goal that involves 2 to 4 different crops. If your assigned goal is to plant 12 cucumbers and 12 strawberries, don’t bother picking and selling the cucumbers until you’ve planted the strawberries, unless of course you need the money from the cucumber sales to buy the strawberry plants.
- The only way to earn the trophies to stay focused on the specific goals listed.
- When a goal says: “Plant 2 carrots,” it means 2 plants. However, “Sell 2 carrots” means 2 crates. A crate is always 4 plants, regardless of the vegetable. So selling tasks take longer than planting and fertilizing, because you’re really dealing with 4 times as many plants.
- The task board will list how far you are in each goal.
- If a midlevel task involves resources like sprinklers or gardeners, you will get to count the ones you already have. So if the task is to have 5 sprinklers and you already have 3, you’ll see the count on the task board as “3/5.”
- If you run out of crates, you can’t sell anything, so always make sure you have at least $1 to buy a crate.
STARTING A LEVEL
- When you first start a level, take a few seconds to review what items you already have. Normally you will have a barn, a fruit tree, a watering can and a crate or a stack of crates. You may also have a bag of seeds on the ground. Some levels have multiple fruit trees along the top to the right. It’s good to know those are there in case you need to do some quick money harvests.
- Also, check the store tabs. Not all levels offer the same supplies or seeds. Most levels add more things to the store as you go along.
- Seeds come in packs of 12.
- When you plant the seeds, try to keep groups of 4 together so they’ll be easy to harvest since each crate needs 4 of a kind.
- Ideally you want to plant, then fertilize, then water when you first plant a crop.
- Fertilizer comes in a small bag of 6 scoops or a large bag of 12 scoops. The price per scoop is the same, the larger bag just saves you a tiny bit of time. Since seeds come in packs of 12, you can use one large bag of fertilizer for each bag of seeds to get them started.
- Each plot of dirt holds one plants.
- When a plant is growing, you can hover your cursor over the plant and you will see two different counters. Hearts show how much fertilizer the plant has had. 5 hearts is the maximum. Water drops show how much water the plant has had. 5 drops is the maximum.
- Some tasks will require you to raise the levels of hearts or water drops to maximum. Normally, you can harvest a plant at any level. You get the same price.
- Plants that drop below 1 on either hearts or drops will die. You will see a large Heart or a larger Water Drop on a plant that needs attention soon.
- The graphics on the game are highly detailed. You will be able to see the plants grow and the dirt dry out through about 4 stages. This lets you plan in advance.
- Crops grow at different rates. Beets and carrots seem to be the fastest growing but don’t earn much money—they’re good for feeding to livestock. Eggplant and mushrooms grow quickly and bring a good price.
- Some plants are sold as seeds, some are sold as “plants.” Strawberries and cucumbers, for example, as sold as plants. If you need a specific crop to meet a goal, check both tabs if you’re not sure where it is in the store.
- Some stores will require you to special order a type of crop before you can buy its seeds. This will vary by level.
- Plum trees and apple trees grow quicker than cherry trees. Banana trees grow very slowly.
- Strawberries and watermelons grow slowly, but make a good profit if you already have a greenhouse.
- The best money crops are mushrooms and eggplants, which grow quickly and bring a good price.
- Sunflowers also grow quickly, but require a humidity-controlled greenhouse for storage.
- You need three different types of warehouses in the game. A regular barn takes all regular vegetables, fruit from the trees, piglets, and wool from the sheep. A humidity controlled greenhouse is for all flowers, watermelons, and strawberries. A refrigerated warehouse is for eggs, honey, and milk.
- Most of the time you will have to buy a permit to run a warehouse for $500, then buy the first warehouse itself for another $500. You need one permit for each kind of warehouse. Once you have the permit, you can add more warehouses of that same type just by buying the buildings. The permits don’t usually last more than one level. If you see a permit for sale in the store, you’ll need to buy it before a building of that type will be available.
- Buildings come prebuilt, so as soon as you pay for one in the store you can place it on the farm.
- If you need to move a warehouse, you can do so by hiring a crane under the SUPPLIES tab. It’s the pincer item towards the far right. It costs $10 to use it, and it’s good for moving one building. If you click on the crane and then decide you don’t want it, right click to put it back in the store. When you are done with the crane, right click to put it back.
- If you have a goal of selling eggs, honey, or milk, you will need to own a refrigerated warehouse before you can complete the goal.
- If you have a goal of selling flowers, watermelon, or strawberries, you will need to own a greenhouse before you can complete the goal.
- The farmhands won’t feed the animals or pick up their output, so you have to do all that yourself.
- The game has pigs that produce piglets, Chickens that produce eggs, cows that produce milk, sheelp that produce wool, and bees that produce honey.
- Bees don’t require any maintenance. Just put the beehives near the flowers (as close as possible), and pick up the honey when the counter gets to 5. The counter over the beehive will flash when honey is ready. The bees will not make more honey until you pick up that batch.
- If you get a goal of more than 3 honey to sell, you will need to add more beehives or you won’t make the goal in time.
- Honey, milk, and eggs are stored in a refrigerated warehouse. Piglets and wool go to the regular barn.
- Chickens, sheep, pigs, and cows have two counters above their heads. The one on the left shows how hungry they are. If it is flashing with a picture of vegetables, they are very hungry—go get that particular kind of vegetable for them. (If it shows two kinds of vegetables, like cabbage and carrots, you can give them either kind.) You have to feed them a full crate (4 plants) every time.
- The counter on the right shows how long until they produce their next output. This is helpful information when you are close to a goal but running out of time. If you have 3 cows and you need one more milk and one of the cows is very close to milk output, just give it all the food until it produces.
- You need a crate to pick up the output. Just click on the animal or the building with an empty crate, and you will automatically pick up the eggs/milk/piglet/honey/wool. Livestock output is sold one per crate, so one milk jug per crate or one piglet or one stack of wool.
- Milk is worth the most, $300, but takes the longest to produce.
- Pigs are the most economical, since piglets sell for $240 and they eat beets which grow very quickly. They also don’t require a special warehouse for the output—just take the piglets to the regular barn.
- Honey takes awhile, but it all happens automatically as long as you have flowers. Generally you will need to have 12 flowers planted for each beehive.
- Chickens produce eggs pretty quickly if they are fed enough corn, but the corn itself grows slowly.
- All of the animals except the bees will give an audio cue when their output is ready. With the pigs and the cows, this can be hard to distinguish from their regular sounds. With the chickens, though, if you hear a rooster crowing it means eggs are ready. This is helpful when you have a money goal and time is running out.
- Ideally you want to plant crops near the first barn, but slightly over to the right nearer the well. You want to put the beehives as close to the flowers as possible, as the shorter the distance the bees have to fly, the faster they make honey.
- Put pigs near the beets, chickens near the corn, and cows and sheep near the cabbages if possible. This shortens your walk to feed the animals.
- Put the greenhouse near the flowers. Remember that watermelons and strawberries also go to this greenhouse.
- Put the refrigerated warehouse near the chickens and the cows and the bees, if possible. One good strategy is to work fields of crops so that beets are near the top, with pigs next to them. Then flowers, with bees on their right and a refrigerated warehouse below the beehives. Then below the refrigerated warehouse put the chickens and the cows, with their feed crops (corn and cabbage) to their left, below the flowers/watermelon/strawberries.
- Always plant seeds together in groups of 4, as it takes 4 to fill a crate whether you’re feeding livestock or selling the crops.
- You can buy additional wells, but it’s almost always better to just buy more sprinklers.
- Always put your watering can back by the well so you know where to find it. You can put stacks of crates anywhere they will be useful. You can only move a stack one crate at a time, so make sure you don’t put it where you’ll want to plant or put a building later.
- Buying crates in bulk saves you a little time, but the cost per crate is the same.
- Ginger and the farmhands can walk across fields without harming the crops, so you don’t need to leave pathways for them.
- On many farms the fences run in a zig zag pattern along the sides which may make it difficult for you to lay out a sprinkler pattern unless you pay close attention to the narrower portion.
- Beehives will fit into small spaces. You can use this to put them as close as possible to flowers.
- When you see a large heart over a plant, it needs fertilizer or it will die.
- Most plants start out at a level of about 2 hearts even with no fertilizer. However, they will grow faster if you add fertilizer.
- Each time a plant is harvested, it loses some heart points. You can usually harvest it 4 times before it needs fertilizer to keep from dying.
- Fertilizer costs $3.35 per application.
- Fertilizing takes time and money. If you see 1 or 2 hearts pop up, you have to decide between fertilizing just those plants and coming back later to do the others when they need it, or fertilizing a whole crop section at once so you won’t have to come back for awhile. In general, we found it easier to earn trophies if we fertilized all plants once when they were first planted, and then only fertilized the ones with hearts showing, but you can experiment to see what works best for you.
SPRINKLERS AND WATERING CANS
- The small orange watering can hold water for 6 plants. The larger blue watering can holds water for 10 plants. It costs $100 in the store. A sprinkler costs $350 and can cover an area of 36 plants continuously for the rest of the level.
- When you hover your cursor over a plant you will see a water meter of from 1 to 5 drops. If a plant needs water, it will have a large water drop above it. If you can’t afford fertilizer, you can use the watering can and give the plants extra water to make them grow faster. You can do this even if you already have a sprinkler installed.
- You will need to learn the sprinkler pattern so you can dig efficiently. Even if you will be using the watering can to begin with, dig in a sprinkler pattern so you can just pop a sprinkler in later.
- If you need to put a sprinkler into a square where you already dug, you can level the earth again using the bulldozer at a cost of $5 per square. But you lose the plant that was there.
- The sprinkler pattern is:
- A row of 5
- A row of 9
- A row of 4, sprinkler, 4
- A row of 9
- A row of 5
- If you hover your cursor over a sprinkler, you can see which squares it covers. But you need to know this pattern before you put the sprinkler in.
- The fastest way to put in a new field is to first dig the row of 9 that will be the second row of the field. Then, in whatever pattern seems the most efficient to you, dig the bottom 3 rows, then come back up and dig the top row of 5 (centered).
- If you are on a level where you have very little cash to start and you are only planting 12 plants, you can just dig the first two rows of the sprinkler pattern (5 and then 9). The main thing is to be ready to pop in a sprinkler easily once you can afford one.
- There are two kinds of farmhands. The one on the left will harvest crops, including fruit trees. He has his own crates so you don’t have to buy those for him. He will choose what to harvest in a random pattern. If you had planned to, say, harvest 2 crates of beets to feed to the pigs and he comes through and picks up one of them, you can either right click to start a new click chain for yourself or just let yourself walk across the field without being able to harvest and then move on to the next thing.
- The farmhand on the right is called an Assistant Gardener. If you get a task to “hire gardeners,” only the ones on the right will count. He will fertilize crops for you. This is really helpful in the second half of a level, particularly if you already have one of the harvest farmhands working. In general you won’t need an Assistant Gardener in the first half of a level if you fertilize the crops when you first plant them.
- It costs $300 to hire a farmhand for the farm, and then you can place him anywhere on the scene. However, he won’t actually start working until you pay him $100 for the current pay period. So it takes $400, not $300, to get a farmhand started. After that you pay him $100 for each subsequent pay period. A pay period lasts about 1/3 of a level.
- In the beginning, before you have livestock or more than about 80 plants, a sprinkler is more useful than a farmhand because you can handle everything else yourself.
- Once you have livestock or you start getting midlevel tasks but you still need money, hire harvest hands so they can pick the cash crops and earn money for you while you are doing other things.
- Once you get to level 6 you will probably need at least one assistant gardener to handle fertilizer chores while you work on things that meet the midlevel goals. Otherwise you spend too much time running around the farm.
- When the farmhands reach the end of a shift, they will go stand and wait for you to pay them before starting again. If they were in the middle of harvesting, they will take their crate with them, even if it was full.
- You will hear an audio signal when the farmhands end a shift. The harvest hand will give a small polite cough. The assistant gardener will whistle. It is now up to you to decide when to pay them to start work again.
- If you have a lot of livestock and not a lot of crops, you may want to use the break between farmhand shifts to harvest a lot of tomatoes and beets and corn to feed to your livestock without having to worry about tripping over the farmhands.
- The best time to dig a new field is when you are working towards a money goal and you have a harvest hand picking crops for you.
THE TRACKING TIMER
- The tracking timer is in the upper left corner. You can only get the trophy for the level if you complete all goals, including any surprise goals, before the tracking timer runs out. It stays green all the way to the end, there is no special warning when you are close to running out of time.
- If the tracking timer does run out, you can continue playing the level anyway, so you can play the game just for fun. It will still store your final time with the level, but you can’t get the trophy.
TIMING IN THE GAME
- Ginger will keep walking around doing things as long as you have clicks queued up. There are some things you can do while she’s working that will not interrupt your click chain. These include:
- Buy supplies at the store, including fertilizer, watering cans, sprinklers, and wells.
- Use the crane to move buildings.
- Use the bulldozer to flatten previously dug land.
- Buy seeds or plants in the store.
- Check the task board.
- Anything else needs to either be added to the end of your existing click chain, or you need to right click and end the click chain to do with the action.
- The following events may occur midround, and you may want to interrupt your click chain to deal with them:
- You get a new surprise task
- Your farmhands reach the end of a shift (even if you don’t want to pay them right away, you might want to change what Ginger is doing, especially if you’re working towards a cash goal)
- Your livestock produces output
- Plants are in immediate need of water or fertilizer
- Livestock is in immediate need of food
- You want to quickly harvest some cash crops or trees to raise money