One of the goals of Stardew Valley is to bring the community center back to its former glory, grow your own farm, and be part of the community.
As soon as you start getting your legs under you (by making 25,000 G), a man named Demetrius will invite you to participate in an experiment. If you accept, you must decide whether to use your cave as a home for some fruit-providing bats or a garden for some mushrooms.
But which one should you choose? The answer is clear: mushrooms.
The purpose of this short guide is to explain why you should host mushrooms in your Stardew Valley cave and what benefits you will receive from doing so.
The Best Thing about Mushrooms in Stardew Valley
Mushrooms Are a Time Saver
Perhaps the biggest benefit to using mushrooms is the fact that it saves so much time. It is difficult to get mushrooms in a pinch since they are usually only available for a short period of time. Additionally, the only reliable way to get purple mushrooms is through mining — and you may have to mine up to the 90th floor before you start seeing large amounts of mushrooms. If you value your life, then mining that much requires a lot of time and can be risky.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any mushrooms growing right in your cave, as long as you have plenty!
Mushrooms are More Consistent
The bats are, well, bats. In addition to not always bringing fruit, they sometimes get random fruit. Unlike the mushrooms, however, they always bring fruit. There will be six planters, and every two days, those will net you six mushrooms.
While the mushrooms you get are on a more reliable timetable, they are still random — so you will get some duds.
You Can Grow Fruit, But Not Mushrooms
Fruit trees of all types can be grown eventually. The process is not very time-consuming. But you can only grow mushrooms in 1 of 2 ways. The first way is through the cave option we’ve discussed here. The second is entirely luck-based and can’t be controlled. You can sometimes see mature trees transformed overnight into Big Mushroom Trees in the Fall. While this tree will spread like other trees, you cannot actively plant it, making it unreliable.
Further, unlike the mushroom cave option, this one only includes familiar, red, and purple mushrooms, as opposed to the mushroom cave option, which provides all kinds. As a result, when you choose the mushroom option, you can get mushrooms without actively gathering them on your own.
As a result of stocking the cave with Fruit Bats, cherries, peaches, apples, and berries are occasionally dropped by the bats. Every one of these items is easy to get, but they help give gifts to villagers. They do not play into any significant crafting recipes, though you can make wine with them. Getting all of these requires foraging and growing fruit trees, but they are handy for completing bundles. They’re some of the most accessible bundles so long as you feed each season.
The fruit is randomly generated each day. Either nothing or fruit spawns. You never know what you’ll get, but you should probably check every couple of days.
Mushrooms Let You Make Life Elixirs
There are two types of people in this world: those who swear by life elixirs and those who prefer spicy eel. As it turns out, I am the former type. Life Elixirs restore all of your health, so they are useful from the beginning until the end of the game. Simply put, Life Elixirs are one of the most effective healing items.
Additionally, Life Elixirs do not offer a buff, so they will not overwrite an existing one. As soon as you reach Level 2 in combat skills, you can make Life Elixirs using one (1) of the following:
- Red mushroom
- Purple Mushroom
The ingredients are hard to find without mushrooms, but hilariously easy to obtain once they are available. As a result, you will not have to worry about healing throughout much of the game.
The Only Case for Choosing Bats
One of my biggest issues with bats is that they don’t appear as frequently as mushrooms do. It’s not just annoying when you don’t know for sure you will have Y number of berries every X number of days. Still, it can also literally result in you having significantly fewer berries than you would have earned in an equivalent amount of time getting mushrooms.
Then again, some fruit trees can be expensive to purchase, and their seeds can be difficult to obtain. In addition, some fruits — blackberries and salmonberries in particular — are only available on certain days in their respective seasons, which makes foraging for them difficult.
Bundles like the Artisan Bundle, which consists of fruits instead of mushrooms, can also be completed with fruits. Some villagers especially enjoy particular fruits. Most villagers enjoy all the fruit varieties available in the village. So these factors are all worth considering.
It Doesn’t Matter Nothing Matters
Ultimately, however, neither decision matters forever. So don’t stress too much. Mushrooms are more helpful to me, but if your current situation dictates that you will need fruit, then go for the bats. You can choose mushrooms or fruits depending on whether you’d rather have enhanced use of them early on.
I go with the mushrooms. The reasoning for this is that I already have excellent access to all the items offered by fruit bats. With the seed maker, I can make trees as well as wild seeds. Since I can get mushrooms from anywhere, I can store them up for life elixirs and other cooking needs (such as stir-fries).
You can only pick the fruit if you want to gift it to the residents of Stardew Valley since the fruit is technically free. Overall the mushrooms are more practical, at least in my eyes. You know the pros and cons, so take your pick!