Friends of Mineral Town was the game that got many of us into the farming-sim genre, back when it was still under the name Harvest Moon as opposed to Story of Seasons. Playing the new refinished version is like visiting an old friend for those of us who hit our first farm sims on PlayStation or Game Boy Advanced years ago.
And for those who are curious about the games that inspired Stardew Valley, it’s still a neat little farm-sim game that works…but doesn’t offer as expansive a world to run around, explore, forage, and do things that are much more common in later games. This can make the Winter seem like a pretty boring where there just isn’t much to do.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth!
Experienced Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town players will tell you that winter is a great season to upgrade buildings, upgrade tools, buy & raise animals, mine in the Lake Mine, level up your fishing skill, train Nature Sprites to be better workers, and improve relationships with various townspeople.
This makes for a very busy winter – but let’s dive in deeper to show just how rich and fulfilling the Winter season can be!
What Can I Do In Winter In Story of Seasons Friends of Mineral Town?
Because Friends of Mineral Town is a much smaller world than many modern gamers are used to, the first winter can be a rough one. There are no craps, there is no foraging, you only need so many ores from mines to upgrade tools – and they don’t sell for much – so…what is there to do? One of the most common questions is “What can I do in Winter in Friends of Mineral Town?” and for players who started with Stardew Valley or later games, it’s not hard to see why.
These are 8 major actions you can take during winter that will help improve your farm, upgrade your Mineral Town experience, and keep you plenty busy throughout all of Winter!
Work The Lake Mine (and Repeat!)
Winter is the only season where you have access to the Lake Mine. This is your chance to explore, and you’d be a fool not to take advantage of it!
Since time stops while inside, your only limit is your energy and with the smart use of food, a fully upgraded backpack, and the Hot Springs, you can make multiple Lake Mine runs per day.
There are several benefits that even the earliest floors of this mine offer, which include:
- Extremely valuable gems that can make selling ores actually valuable
- Adamantine to create special farm tools
- Mithril for those high-end tool upgrades
- A Power Berry on Level 19
- A King Fish on Level 9
Once you have unlocked the Elevator even more things become available at deep levels, but even if you only have access to the top 10 levels in year one, there are many benefits including enough special metals to heavily upgrade your tools, create a Mayo Maker and Yarn Maker for the farm, and make really solid daily money from ores that actually pay off when shipping.
The Lake Mine should be a huge part of your winters in Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town.
Work on That Romance Partner
This doesn’t take long, but a quick hello and a favorite gift for a few days in a row can move things along quite nicely, and getting far enough in your relationship by the end of winter can result in an invitation to stay with the family for a special celebration.
A little extra time wooing you future bride-to-be or groom-to-be is a good way to spend those cold winter days in Mineral Town.
Train Up The Nature Sprites
The Nature Sprites are a major part of the game and have received a massive upgrade from the originals, to the point where you can get them incredibly effective at watering a huge number of crops, harvesting a large number of crops, or taking care of even fully upgraded and filled barns and chicken coops.
This is easy to do since the Sprites always love flour. Bring enough to give one to each when you visit, then ask to play, and these games train up their skills and abilities when they actually work for you. Plus since they like you more, they’re more likely to do a good job and want to help you out each season.
Upgrade Barns, Coops, and Your House
You’ve worked hard, if you haven’t started upgraded your properties, now is the time! An upgraded house leads to a kitchen, bigger bits of furniture to store more, and room to eventually have a family.
This is also a good time to upgrade any farm buildings you haven’t upgraded yet, especially if you have sold some of Van’s Favorite Thing for massive amounts of gold. Expanding the barn opens you up to new animals, more animals, and the ability to build a yarn maker (assuming you have the requisite wool and yarn maker).
An upgraded coop doubles the number of chickens and rabbits you can have, and opens up room for a Mayo machine to turn eggs into mayo, which sells for a lot more and can also be gifted or used for cooking.
If you’re not going to upgrade now when you don’t have seed expenses, then when?
Improve General Relationships – Chase Cut Scenes
Your future loving spouse isn’t the only one who you can improve relationship with. It is winter, so why not use that extra time to visit people in the morning, make those daily offerings to the Harvest Goddess, and gift people to improve relationships?
This can also help you find cut scenes so you don’t stack them up like I did end end up seeing 4 clinic scenes in a row when I just wanted to buy some caffeine.
Unlock that story and enjoy getting to know the residents of this town even better!
Level Up Your Fishing
If you make one or two easy to make mistakes, you can easily go a full season or more before finding the fishing rod. If you’re still going to be chasing those King Fish and looking to max out all the tools you have, then you’ll need to get that fishing experience and the winter is as good a time as any to get some of that experience.
Level Up That Water Can
There aren’t any sprinklers in Friends of Mineral Town, and no matter how much the Sprites love you, you can’t boss them around endlessly. They need a break, too, so that means you need the most upgraded watering can you can possibly get. You don’t want to be trying to water massive fields with a copper watering can.
Get that water can up to mithril as quickly as you can…or even further if you had a truly amazing first year.
When spring comes around you’ll be glad you were responsible with those upgrades during winter!
Cook Away To Learn New Recipes!
You can get some recipes from good relationships with townspeople, other from an occasional TV show, but many recipes you just learn once you’ve cooked enough dishes. Food gives you great energy compared to basic food/ingredients, so if you can cook a lot to give yourself food that gives good energy while also improving the number of recipes you can make.
That’s a win-win situation for sure!
Winter Is A Busy Season In Mineral Town!
If you do it right, Winter is still a very busy time in Friends of Mineral Town! You can spend big and make big bucks from the rarely available Lake Mine, vastly improve your relationships, do a bit of fishing, and come home to cook before bed. There’s no reason that Winter won’t be one of your busiest seasons in the game, but it’s all about focusing on what you need to do and then taking off to do it.
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find you have no shortage of things to do in winter in Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town!
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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.