Stardew Valley How Does a Lightning Rod Work?

The lightning rod is one of my favorite items in Stardew Valley. It not only protects your crops from lightning strikes that will kill them, but it also produces the valuable battery pack which is crucial for not only finishing a variety of quests in the mid to late game but is also a crucial component for crafting the godsends that are known as iridium sprinklers.

Early in the game, it can be confusing for new players. You craft one put it down…and then what? How exactly do you use the lightning rod in Stardew Valley? How are you supposed to set them up on your farm?

The good news here is that lightning rods are pretty hands-off. I love crafting 20-30, setting out 2-3 rows around the farm and then just leaving them be, running by post-storm to pick up battery packs.

What You Need to Craft a Lightning Rod

  • Foraging Level 6
  • 1 Iron Bar
  • 1 Refined Quartz
  • 5 Bat Wings
lightning rods winter stardew valley
Just a few of my many lightning rods (note the hidden ones behind the fruit trees).

How to Use Lightning Rods on Your Stardew Valley Farm

Just set them up on your farm where it’s easy for you to access them and leave them. The lightning rods draw lightning strikes on your farm during a summer or fall storm, helping to protect your crops.

I recommend a large number for several reasons including:

  • More lightning rods hit means more battery pack
  • More battery packs means more iridium sprinklers
  • More battery packs can also be sold for major income
  • More lightning rods means less chance any of your crops get hit by lightning (and destroyed)
  • Because of how the “Chance to Intercept” math works, you want far more lightning rods on your farm than likely lightning strikes in a stormy day

There are also more lightning strikes on the farm based on how much of the day that you are awake as a player. That means if you like to rush all the way up to 2 a.m. like I do, there will be more lightning strikes and you will want to have more on the farm so you can stay up without extra crop loss.

Keep in mind that once a lightning rod has been hit, it can’t be targeted again until the battery is created and removed. So if you wake up and there are back to back stormy days, you want to collect those morning battery packs as quickly as possible to make sure the lightning rods are open and able to intercept lightning strikes once again.

How Do I Know My Lightning Rods Are Working in Stardew Valley?

Just by being out in a storm they are doing their job of attracting farm damaging lightning strikes away from fences, sprinklers, and crops and towards them. When a lightning rod has been hit it will be moving, like energy is shuffling up and down throughout the day.

This means that particular lightning rod actually was hit in the storm and is now taking that energy and turning it into a battery pack. This will happen overnight, so in the morning all the lightning rods that were hit the day before will now have battery packs for the player to pick up.

The moment the player picks up that battery pack, the lightning rod is then active to absorb any future lightning strikes that may occur on the farm.

Do Lightning Rod Placements in Stardew Valley Matter?

The only part of placing lightning rods that matter in Stardew Valley is making sure they are on your farm. Since lightning strikes only occur on your farm, this is the one requirement for them.

On the farm itself, it doesn’t matter. You can have one long row of 30 on the far side of the farm, or have a dozen here, a dozen there. Lightning is not an AOE effect, it hits one tile, so you can have a long row of tiles by preserve jars, kegs, crops, and not worry about spillover damage.

Tricky Use of Lightning Rod = More Grass

A lightning rod can be placed on some wild grass on your farm. Even more interesting is the fact that your animals can’t eat any grass that a lightning rod is placed on.

This means a row of several lightning rods planted on grass can make sure that patch is constantly growing and expanding, producing more grass for your animals to eat or that can be harvested

Stardew Valley Lightning Rod Commonly Asked Questions

How Many Lightning Rods Should You Build?

There isn’t a set number. Personally, I’ve never had problems with farm damage or crop loss after making sure to build at least 24 lightning rods, though often I will build 36+ and have them all in just 1 or 2 areas where they’re easy to get to but just out of the way enough to avoid becoming a problem

stardew valley lightning rods on farm
Even more lightning rods on the farm. Not pictured: the 15 in storage until spring.

Can You Place Lightning Rods Off the Farm

Yes, it is possible to place lightning rods off of the farm, however in the game lightning only strikes your farm so it’s kind of pointless to do this since you will never collect battery packs from lightning rods set off of the farm.

Does Ginger Island Need Lightning Rods?

No. Ginger Island only has rain, not storms, and therefore there is no need for lightning rods there.

How Do I Get My Foraging High Enough to Craft Lightning Rods in Stardew Valley?

The easiest way early game is to chop a lot of trees down. Gathering wood, sap, pine cones, acorns, and maple seeds all counts as foraging. Besides getting wood for buildings and for fixing the beach bridge, this also lets you sprint up to get double berries for energy and get lightning rods by the time summer rolls around.

Are Battery Packs from Lightning Rods Valuable?

Yes. Not only are they important for certain quests, but a battery is needed to create the incredibly useful iridium sprinkler, and each battery is worth 500g. If you have all the sprinklers you need, a storm that hits 20 lightning rods just made you 10,000g without having to do anything.

Stardew Lightning Rods – In Conclusion

I’m a huge fan of spamming these lightning rods out on your farm, and most veteran players all talk about having 20+ on their farm with many of us shooting for 30+. The biggest mistake most players make is not shooting for a high foraging skill early on in year one so they not only miss out on double salmon berries for near endless energy, but also lightning rods in early summer.

If you have bad luck (especially if a storm hits on a “Spirits are very displeased” day) the lightning can do a freaking number on your crops (my personal record in losing 9 in one day) so make sure to rush that foraging skill and get those lightning rods out in large numbers.

Other Stardew Articles You May Enjoy