Unofficial Farmville Guide by Chris Boots-Faubert for SuperCheats.com
Updated: 16 May 2011, V1.0
Welcome to the Unofficial SuperCheats Gameplay Guide and Walkthrough for the Zynga/Facebook Social Game Farmville, a game that takes farming simulation to new levels of entertainment. This is Version 2.0 of our Farmville Guide, and the major version number increase indicates that new content as well as updated content is present. To get the most efficient and productive use from this guide we recommend that you take the time to patiently read through the entire guide, from beginning to end, making notes on the sections that best apply to your play style.
You may find it very helpful to print out the various tables and reference sections that we have created in order to refer back to them, as needed, and put them in a format and upon a medium that both encourages underlining and making your own notes -- that was the intention when we created each of those reference points.
Farmville is arguably still the most popular and complex game on Facebook today, although in recent months it has been joined by other games that rival it in complexity and entertainment potential, most notably The Sims Social, and some new Zynga titles including Hidden Chronicles, YoVille, and the increasingly popular CityVille.
G'day G'day! Welcome to Farmville!
This guide to Farmville provides gamers of every skill level with useful information, tips, strategies, and hints, serving as one of the most effective road maps for attaining the highest levels of enjoyment, entertainment, and progress in the game without spending real-world money in the process -- in fact it is fair to say that the underlying motivation for the creation -- and the updating -- of this guide was primarily to assist gamers in finding different ways to maximize their enjoyment of the game and its fascinating world without it costing them money to do so.
The objective from the start in writing this guide was to chart out a course that packs in all of the fun of playing the game while at the same time removing the burden of having to spend real-world money getting there, which is a much more complex challenge than you may think. Obviously a willingness to spend money -- and the ability to do so -- is one of the surest methods by which a gamer can save time and cut corners, but having said that it is our belief that avoiding that approach not only leads to a much more satisfying gaming experience, but also tends to promote a higher value for most players in their accomplishments in the game!
According to the most recent statistics, on an average day between 50 and 80 million people spend at least some of their online time tending to a farm in the Facebook game Farmville -- an increase of around 30-million over the statistics when the first version of this guide was written. As a web-based Flash game Farmville features about what you would expect from a game that loosely simulates farming, though the addition of new buildings, quests, missions, and crops/animals as well as four all-new farms has increased the fun potential of the game as well as added diversity to its farming environments.
If you are interested in statistical data you may find it fascinating to learn that for average players, eight out of every ten gamers will regularly spend real-world money purchasing virtual currency and coin in the game, with a weekly amount that still hovers around $20 -- and if you do the math that averages out to well over the $800 a year that Zynga suggests is average... Another statistic you may find startling is that it takes the average player just over one year to reach Level 50 in the game, and seven months to reach the "Plantation" Level of Farm size.
About seven out of every ten players collects one or more types of animal in the game as a hobby, with the most popular being event-specific and Limited Edition cows, while just over half of the gamers who consider themselves to be regular Farmville Players today actually began playing the game within the past year.
One of the secrets to the incredible success that Farmville has enjoyed since it was launched on 19 June 2009 is the measure of instant gratification the game offers, while its social-gaming elements makes up the number one reason given by regular players for the attraction that they feel for it. Statistically the average gamer ends up playing the game because one of their friends invited them to -- the same reasons given in mid-2010 when a survey was conducted online via Facebook to learn what it was about Farmville that struck so solid a chord for most gamers. The fact that Farmville is widely considered by the gamers who play it to be a near-perfect fit for the social networking platform that is Facebook is a significant factor in its continued success, but in the end it is the fun that is to be had within the game more than any other factor that gamers say motivates them to build, craft, and otherwise enjoy the game.-- Collectible Content --
While the special buildings, event-based and theme items, and the many holiday items that can only be acquired by playing the game daily serve as the foundation for much of the collection behavior experienced by most gamers in Farmiville, the most popular single item or theme for collecting turns out to be the often cute and sometimes spooky Garden Gnomes that appear in almost every special event, holiday event, or new location in the game.
In addition to the Gnomes -- of which at last count there exists more than 165 unique and distinct examples -- for bovine collectors there are over 140 unique types of Cow, special types of Bulls, and over seven species of horned cow-like animals to be collected, among horses there are over 200 different unique collectible horses, and this does not factor in the additional dozens of unique "Mini Horse" species, nearly 100 "Mini-Horse" types, the 20 types of Stallions, or the incredible number of "Fantasy" horses, which include a wide variety of types based upon the Unicorn and Pegasus arch-type, and combinations that mix the two with horned and winged beasties!
If that fascinates and stimulates your urge to begin collecting, you may also want to bear in mind that the numbers above only cover the adult variates -- most of which, like cows, does not factor in the matching variates of baby versions obtained by breeding the different types using the special buildings set aside for that purpose in the game!-- Keeping up with the Jones' --
Competition plays a major role in the game, with friends competing to make their farm better than their neighbors, to have the best collection of a particular animal, or Gnomes, or even flower collection, and then there is the added challenge of Crop Mastery that provides special, very attractive signs that each Farmer can place on their farm to illustrate their success in mastering each, and do not even get us started on the different trees, or the special types of plants within the crop structure. Add in the various crafting elements that facilitate your indulging in the long and satisfying path towards becoming a master Baker, Vintner, or even operating your own Health Spa at which you craft many of the special treatments that are offered to your guests, and you should begin to sense the complexity of the gaming challenges that await you!
Recent additions to the game include the crafting system, special bonus-adding tree orchards, and expanded buildings that not only add to the different aspects of game play but also add entirely new paths of game play to the game, permitting gamers to diversify their play in order to stand out in a particular area in contrast to their mates.-- A Constantly Evolving World --
That sums up the technical details that contribute to the success of Farmville on Facebook, and it also nicely illustrates why this Guide and Walkthrough are necessary for most players. It has been pointed out that even if a gamer wanted to, it is nearly impossible for any one gamer to master all of the different types of game play in this game -- a situation that is common in the MMO and Action-Adventure genres, but rare indeed in the world of social gaming!
In simple terms, at least part of the reason that this game is so successful is that it is fun. If the statistics are correct, about half of the gamers who visit our site either play Farmville, or have played it in the past, and the rest are likely to try it at some point in the future, and how cool is that?!
Despite a clear system of play that is outlined in the game there are still many aspects that elude even the most expert of players, making the journey from new player to expert a long and often frustrating one, and neatly explains why the creation of this updated guide ended up requiring a team of players in order to manage it! Fortunately you have decided to avail yourself of this guide -- which allows you to benefit from our collective experiences and learn from our mistakes and our triumphs... This guide eventually teaches you all of the things that you need to know to go from newbie scratch-farmer to natural-pro very quickly -- and with its aid you will turn your farm from a generic agribusiness into a showfarm that is the envy of all of your mates!
The SuperCheats Unofficial Guide to Farmville Version 2.0 provides a solid reference manual for every aspect of play, includes tips, hints, and tricks that are used by players who rank in the top 1% in the game, and provides you with just the edge you need to master this and to excel while making it look effortless and easy! Bookmarking the guide is your obvious first step -- though printing out your own personal copy AND grabbing the mobile version for your smartphone is also a good first few steps in the process -- especially when you consider that the reference sections which include the crop and tree tables, mastery information, and the tick-lists in the Appendixes are nearly indispensable to you as you start out and as you progress!-- HELP A GAMER --
As we wrap up this Introduction we want to remind you that if you have questions about the game -- chances are very good that this guide already answers them -- so you will want to take the time to read through it FIRST. We suggest that you sit down at your computer with your beverage of choice and a nice snack, and spend a few hours reading this guide from start to finish. If after that you end up with a question that is still not covered by the guide, you should then access the celebrated "Help a Gamer" mechanism and feature that SuperCheats is growing more well-known for since it was established as a primary feature on the site.
It may help you to understand that in addition to researching, playing, and writing these guides, the games journos, previewers, reviewers, guide writers, and Staff Writers as well as the editors from both SuperCheats AND our sister publication, Gaming Update (www.GamingUpdate.com) also regularly participate in the Help A Gamer system -- so asking your question there is the BEST way to get a fast and reliable answer!
Thanks to this now well-established and reliable Q&A system for games and gaming on SuperCheats, the author no longer accepts questions about the games covered in the guides via email, but only through the Help A Gamer system. If your question does not qualify as a game-related question, or you feel that it is better served by asking it privately, via email, you can still do that, but if the author disagrees or feels that your question should have been submitted through the Help A Gamer system, they may very will bin the email unanswered, so bear that in mind won't you?-- An Expert Education in Farmville --
By the time that you come out at the other end of this guide you will have acquired a level of knowledge and familiarity with Farmville that, when combined with your experiences in actually playing the game, will have turned you into something of an expert in Farmville in your own right -- that being the case, and in consideration of the many tricks for maximizing fun, profit, and advancement that you may find on your own, we hope that you will consider making use of that knowledge and experience by registering an account on the site and participating yourself in the Help A Gamer system as well as the more social-aspect of gaming via our chat boards, and matchmaking for gamers!
The Unofficial SuperCheats Farmville Guide and Walkthrough Version 2.0 Team wishes you good luck and good fortune in your gaming and your life -- and wants to remind you that despite the science and the techniques, this is still just a game -- and it is a game that you are meant to enjoy and find entertainment in. So make sure you are having fun!