In the magical world of Stardew Valley, the power is always in your hands! I am sure that this level of control given to its players keeps keen farmers returning to the game year after year and farm after farm.
I know that if I had less autonomy and freedom of exploration in Pelican Town, I would still play but certainly not play as much!
You are never forced to engage in specific tasks; take fishing, for example. This was never really my thing. I am so glad that I never really had to fish and that the game allowed me to explore at my own pace. For the first few months, I wandered around and spent hours decorating tiny details of my home and farm.
Another great thing that Concerned Ape trusts its players to do for themselves is to decide how they want to progress and move forward!
Much like a skill tree in RPG games, as you hit certain levels, you will get the chance to pick between different professions; each will offer its unique advantage that you can select which works best for you and your farming style!
Main Differences Between Forester vs Gatherer
The main differences between Forster vs Gatherer are:
- The Forester benefits you only when chopping trees, whereas the Gatherer benefits you only when foraging for items.
- The Forester provides you with 25% more Wood, whereas the Gatherer only allows a 20% chance of finding double foragable items.
Foraging for Points
As you progress through the game, you will develop a few different skills; foraging is one of the primary skills you will create. Foraging is likely my favorite thing to do in Stardew Valley, closely followed by decorating and mining, that is (and feeding my adorable little chickens).
Foraging in one of its many senses refers to finding items on the ground while you are out adventuring and exploring.
This specific branch of foraging (if you call it that) is my favorite of all its components. Who would not love finding free things while you are calmly walking around a beautiful and serene town? Beats me!
Another way you can forage is by gathering other natural resources you find on your adventures. This also then includes chopping down trees to gather Wood.
The sounds in Stardew Valley are all absolutely musical to my ears, and the thawnk of chopping a tree is one of the best! Beautiful sounds, free resources to make beautiful things for my farm? A win-win!
The final way to forage is by harvesting crops from Wild Seeds. There are four Wild Seed types, one for each season, in Pelican Town. As you progress through the different levels of foraging, you unlock each of the recipes for the Wild Seed types;
- Spring at Foraging Level one
- Summer at Foraging level four
- Fall at Foraging level six
- Winter at Foraging level seven
Forester vs. Gatherer; The First Choice!
As you forage and forage your heart out, you will eventually (and likely quite quickly) reach foraging level five. When you get to foraging level five, you will be presented with your first choice of profession.
You can pick either a Forester or a Gatherer profession. A Forester profession allows you to get 25% more Wood when you chop down trees, logs, and stumps. In contrast, a Gatherer profession allows for a 20% chance of double harvesting foraged items.
About the Forester Profession
Let’s start with the Forester profession! When you chop down a fully grown tree, you can get 12-16 pieces of Wood. With the Forester profession, you can get 15-20 bits instead. For Mahogany trees that produce hardwood, you can get 12-13 pieces with the Forester profession.
When chopping down a stump, you can usually get 4-9 pieces of Wood, but with the Forester profession, this increases to 6-11 pieces.
Finally, for large logs, regular players can get eight pieces of Wood or ten pieces for those of us with the Forester profession!
About the Gatherer Profession
The Gatherer profession means there is a 20% chance that there will be double the number of items that you can find. These items you can see when exploring Pelican Town are just lying around the roads and paths! Items can be found in any of the following areas;
- Secret Woods
- Cindersap Forest
- Forest Farm
- Pelican Town
- Bus stop
- Farm Cave
The items you can find in these areas change each season, adding a fun bit of variety and excitement to the game.
What can you find in Spring;
- Common Mushroom
- Spring Onion
- Wild Horseradish
What you can find in Summer;
- Common Mushroom
- Fiddlehead Fern
- Red Mushroom
- Spice Berry
- Sweat Pea
What you can find in Fall;
- Common Mushroom
- Purple Mushroom
- Red Mushroom
- Wild Plum
Finally, the following can be found in the Winter;
- Crystal Fruit
- Snow Yam
- Winter Root
Which is Better, Forester or Gatherer?
Initially, I thought this was a tricky question and an even more difficult choice to make, but now that I see it in black and white, it is much easier!
The key is in the specifics in the descriptions of both professions; one (Forester) is an extra 25% each time, while the other (Gatherer) is just a 20% chance of getting additional resources.
Not to mention that the Forester profession is much more practical as Wood is such an essential part of the game. One needs to build additions to your farm that are super fun and exciting, like a coop or barn! These are costly in Wood, which only worsens as you progress; the deluxe barn, for example, requires 550 pieces.
Wood is also needed for home upgrades, which are exciting and allow you to decorate more and start to cook! The first upgrade, which provides a kitchen, requires 450 pieces.
Wood is also an essential part of your daily life regarding crafting! Decorating is fun and addictive and requires Wood for most of it; take your fences, for example.
These can require an awful lot of Wood depending on how you are decorating, and if you have a lot of animals, these can damage your fences over time which is such a headache if you don’t have Wood on hand to replace them!
You also need Wood for Artisan Equipment, which allows you to create unique supplies that can help you progress, complete quests and bundles, and make a lot of money! You need Wood to create each type of equipment (except the oil maker)
Wood is also needed to complete the construction bundle in the community center. When this bundle is completed, you get a charcoal kiln which can help ensure a steady supply of coal so that you can constantly smelt bars together!
Not to drag on and on, but you can’t guess what goes into the kiln to create coal. Yep, Wood.
Is There Any Benefit to the Gatherer
While the Forester profession is much more helpful than the Gatherer, this does not mean there is no benefit to the Gatherer.
Foraging items is good from a monetary and friendship perspective, foraged items can be sold for money, and of course, with the Gatherer profession, there is a chance to make more money here (double actually), and of course, foraged items can be given to friends to develop your relationship with them,
More foraged items also mean you may find it easier to complete community center bundles and to get more quality items for the Fall Fair (but again, these use cases are one-offs)
Question: How Much Wood do you get From a Tree in Stardew Valley?
Answer: A mature tree can produce anywhere from 12-16 pieces of Wood.
Question: What is the Most Profitable Forage in Spring?
Answer: The most profitable item to forage during the Spring is the Morel which can be found in the secret woods, forest farm, or farm cave if you select to grow mushrooms. This, at a base level, sells for 150g.
Question: What is the Most Profitable Forage in Fall?
Answer: The most profitable thing to forage in Fall is the Purple Mushroom which can be found in the forest farm or farm cave if you choose the mushroom option. This, at a base level, sells for 250g.
Forester vs Gatherer Stardew Valley: Summary
Given the essential nature of Wood in the world of Stardew Valley, the Forester profession to me is much more valuable than the Gatherer, although I love gathering free items. The main point for me is that the Forester benefit is guaranteed while the Gatherer is just a 20% chance!
That being said, you should always pick what is right for you, what suits the things you enjoy most, and what your play style is!