How to Get Skull Key and Where to Use It

Stardew Valley is a game that offers far more than a first look would have you believe. It's a veritable iceberg that can lead players on an addictive journey through a well-designed gameplay loop in its quaint, yet charming pixel art style. Stardew Valley is not just a farming simulation roleplaying game – it's a real sandbox, and one of the more comprehensive alternative ways to play the game, either to complement your farming lifestyle, or to commit full-time (such as in Winter), is to go adventuring in the mines.

Where And Why To Obtain The Skull Key In Stardew Valley

The Mines in Stardew Valley offer plenty of lucrative rewards for the eager adventurer, be it in the loot found among its denizens, or by breaking apart the many stone and gemstone nodes that litter the map on a player's way to the next level. The mines have treasure chests found at the end of every tenth level with the exception of Floor 30, and the Skull Key itself is awarded to the player at the bottom-most layer, on Floor 120.

RELATED: Stardew Valley: How To 'Feed The Sand Dragon His Last Meal'

The Skull Key represents a culmination of the player's efforts in clearing the mines and braving its many challenges, yet it is also in itself an invitation to greater challenges that await the player in the Skull Cavern out in the Desert. To unlock the Desert, the player must have either completed the Vault Bundle in the Community Center of Pelican Town or bought the Bus Repair Community Development Form if they went the Joja route.

With access to the Skull Cavern unlocked, and with their Skull Key in hand, players in Stardew Valley need only take a bus ride out into the Desert and find their way to the entrance in the northwest area of the zone. By inserting the key into the keyhole, they can open the door to some of the most challenging content the game can offer.

The chief difference between the Skull Cavern and the Mines is that the progress made by the player in the Skull Cavern isn't saved. There are no checkpoints. Normally, this would award cautious, patient gameplay – but with the added wrinkle of the manner with which Stardew Valley handles save games and the passage of time, a player only has a limited window of opportunity to descend down the Skull Cavern, and stake a claim on its treasures.

The mysterious Mr. Qi in Stardew Valley can offer the player a challenge to reach Floor 100 of the Skull Cavern (after previously offering them the initial challenge of reaching Floor 25). But on a conceptual level, there is no limit to the floor depth that one can descend into and the chance of finding the rare and extremely valuable Iridium Ore increases the further down a player goes.

Stardew Valley is out now for PC, Mobile, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.

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