The New Mastery System in 'Stardew Valley' Is For Seasoned Players

You'll need a lot of patience if you want to earn Mastery Points with this new system in 'Stardew Valley'

Sara Belcher - Author

Mar. 25 2024, Published 6:54 p.m. ET

The 1.6 update for Stardew Valley brought a plethora of new content to the well-loved indie farming sim, giving so much more for even the most seasoned players to dig into. With all of the hours of new content, there are some new systems in place that even those who once thought they'd completed the game will have to complete, including the new mastery system.

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Anyone who has spent time on a Stardew Valley farm has probably maxed out all of their skill levels, becoming masters at farming, fishing, mining, foraging, and combat. But those who previously had no way to further their skills now have some more grinding to do if they want to fully complete Stardew Valley. Here's everything you need to know about the game's new mastery system.

The entrance to the Mastery Cave
Source: ConcernedApe

The entrance to the Mastery Cave

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How to unlock mastery in 'Stardew Valley.'

You can only unlock mastery in Stardew Valley after you've achieved level 10 in all five skills. From there, you'll have to locate the Mastery Cave. This is in the southeast corner of Cindersnap Forest near where the spring onions sprout in the spring. If you venture there before you've maxed out all five skills, you won't be able to enter. Instead, you'll be greeted with the message “Only a master of the five ways may enter."

Once you reach level 10 for a specific skill, you'll continue to earn XP for that specific skill, even if you haven't unlocked the Mastery Cave yet. This XP will be important to achieving mastery, but you can't access the rewards until you've hit level 10 for all skills.

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When you're able to enter the Mastery Cave, you'll find five totems dedicated to the different skills you can develop. From here, you'll be prompted to reach new Mastery Levels, starting at a threshold of 10,000 XP, to earn Mastery Points. From there, it only gets more demanding.

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Each new Mastery Level unlocks a Mastery Point, which can then be used to unlock a specific reward in the Mastery Cave. These differ between the different skills, and each unlocks new perks and bonuses that will help you become even more fluent in that specific skill — but you'll want to choose carefully, as the threshold for the next Mastery Level increases significantly.

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How to earn XP fast in 'Stardew Valley.'

Reaching 10,000 XP for the first Mastery Level is a challenging feat — but thankfully, ConcernedApe included some new methods of increasing your XP quickly in the game that don't focus solely on grinding.

If you really want to level up quickly, you'll want to visit the bookseller when he comes to town twice a season. Located in the northeast corner of Pelican Town behind Jojo Mart, the bookseller offers a variety of books for purchase.

Some of these tomes will offer you a significant amount of XP for reading — which will be crucial in reaching the next Mastery Level for your skill of choice. You can check the calendar located outside of Pierre's shop to see when the bookseller is coming next, but be prepared with quite a bit of gold, as these books are pricey.

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