In the question of Stardew Valley Botanist Vs Tracker debate new players might be a bit nervous making a choice between botanist or tracker because they want to make sure they choose the best one. For experienced Stardew players, this is an easy choice when it comes to choosing between these forage based professions.
All Stardew Valley players who chose the Gatherer Profession at Level 5 should pick the Botanist perk over the Tracker perk, which is superior in virtually every way.
In fact, I can’t find a Stardew player who is going to unironically choose the tracker profession over the botanist profession. It just doesn’t make sense, especially in the context of where you are in the game when it’s time to make this decision.
I’m going to go right into why the Botanist profession is the best choice to make once you hit level 10 for your foraging skill, and then show my work with why virtually every Stardew Valley player agrees. Let’s dive in!
Why Botanist Is the Best Choice at Level 10
When you’re looking at these two professions, you’re dealing with forage. Stardew botanist boosts your forage items by making sure every forage item you get with quality rankings is now iridium quality – the highest quality in the entire game for forgeable items.
I can also attest from many hours of gameplay, and being one of the weird players who loves planting Winter Seeds around sprinklers in the Winter, this includes forage items you grow through farming from spring seeds, summer seeds, fall seeds, and winter seeds.
The only exception I’ve found are the mushrooms that grow in the cave on your farm if you chose mushrooms over fruit bats.
This means that even the expensive and valuable truffle is now always iridium quality since the truffle counts as a forageable in the game.
This means that when you take botanist:
- All forage items are iridium quality and thus their most valuable
- All truffles are iridium quality and thus their most valuable
- All planted Wild Seeds on your farm produce iridium quality forage
That leads to a massive boost in money you make from selling crops and means any of these items used as a Liked or Loved gift will also give you an additional boost in friendship points with the recipient.
That means Botanist gives you a big boost in so many areas – and makes wild seeds much more profitable. Compare this to Tracker which lets you see on a map where wild forage items are located.
Between the two this isn’t even a competition. When it comes to botanist or tracker in Stardew, the botanist profession is better. This is the best level 10 foraging option and the one that you should go with.
Why Is Tracker in Stardew Valley Such A Bad Choice?
So why should you choose botanist? Why is tracker in Stardew Valley such a bad pick? Because while opening the map and seeing where forageable items are on the map so you can plan your route through the day, you’re never going to plan a route purely around forageable items.
On top of that, you don’t make this choice unless you already chose Gatherer over Forester at Level 5 (extremely likely) and are now at Level 10 skill in foraging.
That means even if you sped run the forager skills in Stardew Valley you are probably in late Fall of year one or even later.
At that point, you have all the forage items you need, and likely more. Forage is something you might pick up on the way but you won’t waste time going out of your way for anything.
The focus on foraging tends to be an early level activity, and knowing where forage is doesn’t compare to every single one of the forageables you find being best quality.
By the end of Level 10 there’s no reason to need to know where a handful of foraging items are on the map.
Even for gathering tons of salmonberries and blackberries for near endless energy (love those double harvest boosts) you just keep going from berry bush to berry bush instead of needing to track down random items.
You go foraging looking for specific items in the early game, you don’t care by the time you max out your levels. At that point you’re looking at more late game goals.
While the argument can be made that this includes trying to complete the museum, and tracker does show artifact spots, which makes it slightly better than it otherwise would be, but even then when it comes to Tracker Stardew Valley players know to go with the more useful specialization and pick Botanist.
Why Didn’t I Get the Botanist and Tracker Profession Choices at Level 10?
The only way this happened is if you picked Forester for your level 5 foraging bonus instead of taking Gatherer. In that case you would get the Lumberjack vs Tapper options once you max out this stat. If for some reason you made this mistake, remember you can always change your profession in Stardew Valley by paying money to the Statue of Uncertainty located in Krobus’s sewer.
This means even if you went with Tracker just to try to locate artifacts and finish things up, you can go back to switch to Botanist later, but I’m not sure that the foraging profession of Tracker really helps out with even that.
Stardew Valley Botanist Vs Tracker – Final Thoughts
When it comes to picking the best foraging professions, it’s pretty easy to figure out the way to go, both at level 5 and level 10. Take Gatherer and funnel that into eventually taking Botanist. While foraging is often one of the more forgotten Stardew Valley skills, that doesn’t mean that it’s not useful in multiple situations.
With my playstyle forage actually is a big deal, and getting iridium forage is a big help. If you love the forest farm, that also makes this boost even better because of the many forage items that show up in those forest areas…not to mention recurring hardwood that makes random drops less important.
While some of the other profession guides are going to be harder to decide between the argument between Stardew Valley botanist vs tracker is one where the right choice is easy. Botanist is the clear winner!
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Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.