Clay farming isn’t a glitch per se, but it comes from speed runners and especially min-maxers in Stardew Valley who have figured out how the game “randomly” determines where clay appears when hoeing ground and use that pattern to their advantage to farm a huge amount of clay in Stardew, often from the beach.
Despite what some top search results say, the fastest way to get clay is NOT to just start tilling every spare patch of dirt. Clay farming is the best way to get clay in Stardew Valley, and to get a lot of clay fast.
The rest of this guide will explain what clay farming is, how it works, and how you can learn it to get thousands of gold worth of clay each and every single day, if you have the energy and if you so choose.
Let’s dive right in!
What Is Clay Farming in Stardew Valley?
Clay farming is the practice of making every hoed spot of ground reward the player with clay by finding a clay producing spot and then using the known game’s program for generating clay to move to the next spot where it will be generated. By understanding the pattern, as long as a player goes from one exact spot to another, they will always receive clay for hoeing up that ground in that order.
This was originally discovered by Twitch streamer “piano_addict” (twitch.tv/piano/addict), a Stardew Valley speed runner. Clay sells for 20 gold so when you have the ability to manipulate the game so you get hundreds of clay on day one, that’s many thousands of gold. Backpack day one? An unbelievable amount of gold for Starwberry seeds when the fair comes along? A fully upgraded farm on year one?
This is all possible for a skilled clay farmer.
Pros of Clay Farming in Stardew
- Very consistent – it’s literally based around a pattern
- Available from day one of gameplay
- No specific character skill level needed to unlock
- Can produce massive amounts of gold from day one
- Repeatable strategy
Cons of Clay Farming in Stardew
- Can be intimidating to learn – it does take time to get good at this
- Very easy to mess up the pattern
- To purists this feels like cheating or feels glitchy
How Do You Clay Farm in Stardew?
Clay farming in Stardew Valley isn’t especially difficult, it just takes some time and practice to figure out. I’ve found this is slightly easier if you play chess, as you can think of a knight moving the “1 up and 2 over” and that helps you keep the pattern straight for the till by till movement, and then only need to learn the starting spots and “reset” spots for every six tills for clay.
Starting out, make sure:
- Your hoe and pick axe are on you, not stored in a chest
- In settings you have “Always show tool hit location” turned on (not sure why’d you ever have this setting off)
- Step 3: Run to the beach!
Run down to the beach (around 2:35 on in the video below if you want a visual cue) and till an area until you find clay. It makes sense to go to an area towards the bottom of the beach and hoe a space. If you get a piece of clay, you’re good to start. If not, then use the pickaxe to put the space back to normal before hoeing it again. Repeat until you actually get a clay on that tile.
- Once you have a clay, move up one and over two to the right and hoe again
- Repeat for a total of six hoed plots
- Line up the top of where your 6th spot is and run straight to the left, the direction you originally started. This should line you up with the first spot you hoed, only higher on the screen.
- Repeat the exact same process for your next 4 hoe strikes, striking at the starting spot, then moving one up and two over before hitting again
This should leave you with six hoe strikes moving in an upward diagonal direction at the bottom, and four hoe strikes also moving in the same upward diagonal direction further up on the screen for 10 total hoe strikes and hopefully (though not always) 10 pieces of clay. This is your first “6-4.”
Once you’re at that spot return to the very original spot where you started out on the beach.
- Go to one sport above your original hoe strike and hit, this should provide clay
- Do the same with every single spot you hoed earlier, in order – this still follows the 1 up, 2 over pattern for each new strike
- Repeat the process with the top section to complete your second “6-4.”
Now there’s a section of the pattern called the 1-1. You need to go to the second spot where you started tilling, not the first (so on the grid pic below you would count one right and one down from A2), and go one spot to the right, and one spot down. This is your new starting spot to repeat the pattern.
That’s the 1-1 and this is the new starting spot. Then you do the same “1 up, 2 over” pattern to do another 6-4, 6-4. Then repeat again as long as it’s viable on screen and you have the energy to do so.
This keeps you digging up clay.
I get it, this is complicated to explain without visuals, even with the color coated grid. Here’s a screenshot of how that grid looks when the clay farming is actually done:
I was going to show this on video but honestly, the best tutorial for how to do this already exists and the video by BullTG is linked right below, so please watch that if you need a more visual instruction for how this technique works. The video is the best I’ve seen – so why not subscribe to support his YouTube channel, as well?
The combination of that graph tool and the video below will make sure after even just half a day of practice you’ll be an expert at clay farming in Stardew Valley, and reaping all the benefits, in no time!
Yeah, I can’t play Stardew Valley on normal speed. I know I should buy more strawberries with the money from clay farming, but that first batch is going to a LOT of coffee.
We can make the rest work from there…and now I can guzzle coffee while playing in real life, as well!
Full Stardew Valley Clay Farming Tutorial Video – Best I’ve Found on YouTube
Best Places to Clay Farm in Stardew Valley
There are a few places that work well for clay farming in Stardew Valley. The first and most obvious location is the beach. The beach is the best location for Stardew clay farming for a variety of reasons.
For one, it’s available from day one. That’s huge because anyone who has done the early min-max knows how important it is to get money early, and taking advantage of this bit of design in the game can allow you to really stock up your gold early on to grab salads, backpack upgrades, and seeds for planting to your heart’s desire.
Later in the game a cleared quarry, the large lower section of the Beach farm (when cleared), and sections of Ginger Island (once unlocked) all act as places where it is really easy to use clay farming.
Clay Farming: In Conclusion
There is no question that getting good at clay farming will take time and practice. This is one of those practices that takes time to master, but if you repeat it on the beach enough times, eventually it will become second nature like so many other skills and practices in Stardew Valley.
Clay Farming won’t be something every Stardew player wants to practice, but it is a great way to min-max some cash, use carefully for certain types of speed runs, or use as a way of creating a ton of income on those end of season days when the last harvests are done and you have time before the next season begins.
So while it takes some time to learn, that time can be well worth it.
Other Video Game Articles of Interest
- How to Stop Stardew Valley from Lagging
- How to Make Money Portia
- Stardew Valley Beach Farm
- How to Get Rid of Bushes Stardew Valley
- Valid Housing Guide Terraria
- Farming Blue Points Graveyard Keeper
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.