In Stardew Valley, when your total income exceeds 25,000 gold, a character will visit your farm and ask you to choose between a Mushroom Cave or a Fruit Bat Cave. The cave on your farm will transform into the chosen type the next day. This choice can only be made once, and cannot be changed in-game. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of each cave option.
The Mushroom Cave
When you choose the Mushroom Cave, six common chests will appear inside, each producing a mushroom every day. There are five types of mushrooms produced, all of which are of regular quality and not affected by any skills. The chances of obtaining each type of mushroom, from highest to lowest, are: Common Mushroom (69.8%), Red Mushroom (12.3%), Morel (8.1%), Chanterelle (7.3%), and Purple Mushroom (2.5%). Although mushrooms are required for certain offerings in the game, they are not difficult to obtain, even without a Mushroom Cave.
The energy-to-gold ratio for each mushroom type is as follows: Common Mushroom (1.053), Red Mushroom (negative energy), Purple Mushroom (2), Chanterelle (2.13), and Morel (7.5). Compared to the energy-to-gold ratio of a salad (1.946), the Common Mushroom is better suited for energy replenishment. The other four mushroom types are best sold to buy salads, although Purple Mushrooms and Chanterelles can also be consumed directly without much difference.
Using mushrooms to craft Life Elixir is not recommended. A Life Elixir fully restores health and provides 200 energy, but crafting one costs 635 gold. When converted to the equivalent of salads, you can restore 144 health and 326 energy, making crafting Life Elixir inefficient in the early game.
According to the probabilities mentioned above, the daily average yield of the Mushroom Cave is 159 energy points and 236 gold. When converted to energy using salad, it amounts to 280 energy points, roughly one extra energy bar per day. However, the drawback is that you need to spend several minutes every day to collect the mushrooms, which could be used for other tasks like fishing or farming.
The Fruit Bat Cave
Some players may think that the Fruit Bat Cave is filled with bats and might be hesitant to choose it. In reality, the Fruit Bat Cave is a place where bats bring fruits. There are a total of ten types of fruits in the Fruit Bat Cave, including four seasonal forage fruits and six tree fruits. The Fruit Bat Cave does not contain the Ginger Island additions of bananas and mangoes.
The fruit generation mechanism in the Fruit Bat Cave is quite complex. On average, one fruit is generated per day when the cave is empty. If there are fruits on the ground that have not been picked up, the probability of generating more fruits decreases. With half the cave floor covered, the average daily fruit generation is approximately 0.7.
The probability of generating each type of fruit is not equal. Forage fruits have a 20% chance, apples have a 2% chance, and other tree fruits have a 3.6% chance. If you pick up fruits after a long time, you will likely get about one apple every six months, one other tree fruit every month, and a small daily energy replenishment from forage fruits. Selling fruits is not very profitable, but the Fruit Bat Cave has several benefits:
1.Bundles: You can complete the Artisan and Animal Bundles with fruits from the Fruit Bat Cave, reducing the need for advanced animal housing or planting trees.
By the fall, you should have collected at least three types of fruit. The Animal Collection Bundle requires four items, which can be obtained from a chicken coop or barn. You can build basic versions of these buildings and produce Large Milk without needing to plant fruit trees or having high-level barns and pigs. This significantly lowers the threshold for unlocking the Greenhouse, making it more beginner-friendly.
Having the Greenhouse early on can speed up late-game development, especially for getting through winter. The Enchanter’s Bundle’s pomegranate can be obtained from the Bat Cave, although it may take time. However, getting three apples for the Fodder Collection Bundle can be quite challenging. If you want to complete the Bundles in the first year, it’s best to plant the trees yourself. If you plan to finish by the second year, you can rely on luck, as the odds of obtaining five apples are decent, but not getting three is still considered normal.
2.Foraging experience: Picking up fruits from the ground grants foraging experience points, which can accumulate over time and help level up your foraging skill.
3.Gifting: Fruits make great gifts for villagers, especially when they are their favorite items. For example, Elliott loves pomegranates, Robin adores peaches, and Gus is fond of oranges. High-quality fruits, boosted by your foraging skill, will earn you more friendship points.
Especially in the later stages of the game, the Botanist skill allows all foraged items to be of iridium quality, which would make fruits from the Fruit Bat Cave more valuable than planting your own fruit trees, which only produce iridium quality fruits in the fourth year.
For first-time players who do not want to follow a specific guide, we recommend choosing the Fruit Bat Cave to lower the requirements for unlocking the greenhouse, which can be particularly helpful for new players who might not know to plant fruit trees in advance or have the spare gold to do so. Unlocking the greenhouse early on can help with overall progress and provide a sense of accomplishment.
For experienced players or those following a guide, the Mushroom Cave is recommended. With efficient time management, the early-game energy boost provided by the Mushroom Cave can be more noticeable. Planting fruit trees and raising animals in advance is more stable and faster in progress than relying on the Fruit Bat Cave, as long as they are utilized effectively. If you are just going to store mushrooms in a chest, you might as well choose the Fruit Bat Cave and save the daily trip to collect them.