With almost 80 million users, Farmville’s by far the biggest game on Facebook. But how can you get ahead of your friends? We’ve done the math: follow these tips, and you’ll be raking in the (pretend) money in no time.
Easy as 1, 2, 3
When choosing which crop to buy, unleash your inner capitalist and focus on profitability. Here’s how to figure it out: take the cost of the seeds, add the charge for ploughing a plot — which is 15 coins — and there’s your cost. Subtract that from the price your crop fetches when you sell it to get your profit. Divide the profit by the number of hours the crop takes to mature, and you’ll have a measure of the profitability of one plot of that particular product.
Take strawberries. At four hours, they’re one of the fastest beginner crops to mature, and at just 10 coins, one of the cheapest to plant. 10 coins per plot, plus a 15 coin ploughing fee makes a total cost of 25 coins. They sell for 35 coins, so you make a 10 coin profit. Divide that by the four hours they take to mature, and you’ll arrive at the profitability: 2.5 coins per hour per plot.
Sound good? Actually, no, not really, although it’s far from the worst. Blueberries, unlocked at level 17, are a much better four-hour crop, with a profitability of 6.5 — but hold out until level 20, and you’ll unlock tomatoes, which are a top performer at a little over 14 coins per hour per plot.
Are You Experienced?
It’s not quite that simple, though. You’ve got to get some experience behind you in order to unlock the better crops, and the best way to do that is with quick-turnover crops, because no matter whether the crop gives you one, two, or three (or zero) experience points, you always get an extra one for ploughing the plot. Plough more often, and you’ll level up more often. Hint: if you really want to level up quickly, buy a bunch of hay bales at five XP a shot.
Ain’t No Sunshine
Just how long can you leave your crops until they wither away and destroy your investment? Exactly the same amount of time as they take to mature. So a tomato plot (an eight-hour crop) can be left safely for another eight hours after it matures. Once that time’s up, the crop will start to wither, but it won’t all wither at once: it’ll take another half of the maturation period before the whole crop is lost. So if you plant tomatoes at 8 AM, they’ll mature at 2 PM, begin to spoil at 10 PM, and be a total loss by 2 AM.
Don’t Fence Me In
Actually, being fenced in is (surprisingly) not a bad idea at all. When you plant a plot, harvest a crop, or do just about anything else, you have to wait for your farmer to find his (or her) way across your farm to the right location. If you fence in the square where your farmer starts when you load the game, he’ll be stuck — and your actions will happen immediately, without needing to wait around.
Ain’t Gonna Work on Maggie’s Farm No More
Want to really get ahead? Get some neighbors. You’ll earn cash and experience for doing tasks, you’ll get bonuses every time they earn a ribbon, and if you’re nice to them, they might even send you gifts. There’s really no reason not to buddy up with a few other farmers.
Won’t Get Fooled (Again)
Get 40 of your friends to join this group, and you’ll get the ZOMG NUCLEAR FUSION NITROTRACTOR! Buy this “book” for $30 and you’ll find out all the TOP FARMVILLE CHEATS! Become a fan of this page and you’ll get INFINITE MONEY! Uh, no, you won’t. You’ll waste your money, your time, and the goodwill of your friends — and the last thing you want is to be That Guy (or Gal) who’s constantly hassling their friends to join scammy Farmville groups.