Everything You Need To Know About The Mines

Fans of lifestyle games will appreciate Stardew Valley for its unique take on the farming simulator. After all, Stardew Valley boasts some of the most complex farming systems available to a game. For instance, aside from farming specific plants, players can venture off into other activities such as forming relationships and customizing their farm. Moreover, players can even explore other locales inside the game - including the Mines.

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In Stardew Valley, the Mines open another layer of gameplay for players to experience. Essentially, the Mines serve as the location of both the mining and combat element in Stardew Valley. However, how exactly do the Mines change the gameplay dynamic for this farming sim?

The Mines serve as the primary mining component of Stardew Valley. However, unlike other simulation games with mining elements, the Mines in this particular game also have a simple combat system. Essentially, players enter the Mines not just to get ores and special loot but also fight various monsters along the way.

At its core, players can venture deeper into the mine's multiple levels - each containing varying degrees of environments, monsters, and items to collect.

Where Is The Mine Located?

Players will first encounter the Mine as a quarry entrance along the northern part of the Mountains. Specifically, players can get to the Mines if they go west from the Adventurer's Guild or northeast from the Carpenter's Shop.

The Mines don't have a visible sign. However, it does have a wooden doorway that leads into a cave on the plains along the base of the Mountains.

When Is The Mine Unlocked?

Interestingly, players can almost always encounter the Mines if they tour around town. However, the doorway to the Mines will remain blocked by rock debris until 5th Day Spring in Year 1. By then, players will receive a letter that will start the questline to remove the debris blocking the entrance.

It's common knowledge amongst Stardew Valley citizens that monsters and treasure lie deep inside the Mines. Unfortunately, as a farm owner, players do need to venture into the Mines to gather valuable resources for their projects. Here are some important considerations:

The Mines has 120 Levels. Players have a ton of content to sift through as they venture into the Mines. The Mines is separated into 120 Levels or floors, each divided by a ladder that either goes up or down a floor. Players need to defeat an enemy or break some rocks in order for exit ladders to appear for them.

Rocks and Dirt Patches contain items. The game's mining component rests within Rocks and Dirt Patches. Players need to use a Pickaxe to break Rocks and get its geodes, ores, and stones. Meanwhile, players need a Hoe to collect cave carrots, clay, ore, artifacts, and minerals from Dirt Patches.

Limited exploration time. Sadly, players can't exactly stay inside the Mines. Players will be ejected from the Mine if the time of day reaches 2AM, pass out from exhaustion, or become defeated in battle. If ejected in this manner, players not only lose 10-percent of their Gold acquired but they may also lose items they've acquired.

The Dwarf serves as the main resident living in the Mines. It's a Valley Resident, meaning players can form a meaningful relationship with it, albeit more of a as a friend. Here are some notable things about the Dwarf:

Dwarvish Language. The Dwarf will first speak Dwarvish to the player, which they won't initially understand. They need to get four Dwarvish Scrolls inside the Mines in order to find a way to comprehend the language.

Unique Shop. The Dwarf has a shop that has mine-themed items. Items include things such as bombs, Life Elixir (full health), Oil of Garlic (weak monsters ignore the player) or even Miner's Treat (maintain energy).

Loves Rocks. Essentially, the Dwarf loves most Ores and Gems players obtain within the Mines. They can boost their friendship with the Dwarf faster with items such as Topaz, Ruby, Jade, Emerald, Aquamarine, and Amethyst.

Hates Vegetables, Flowers. Interestingly, the Dwarf seems averse to flowers and vegetables. It doesn't like items such as Daffodil, Dandelion, Ginger, Leek, and even the Common Mushroom.

Despite its small entrance, the Mines appears to be a huge network of various terrain. In fact, some players might consider the Mines to be its own minigame due to its new combat mechanics and vast exploration opportunities. However, some eagle-eyed players may want to pay attention to certain details:

120 Levels across Three Sections. The Mines have three (3) Sections, each with 40 Levels. These clusters of Levels also share unique themes, monsters, and items that players can acquire.

Corresponding Levels across Sections share a layout. While each Section of the Mines has a common theme, their Levels do share layouts depending on their number. For instance, Level 1 has the same layout as Level 41 and Level 81. Meanwhile, Level 2 has the same layout with Level 42 and Level 82.

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Special theme for Last 10 Levels. The last 10 Levels of every section have a modified theme based on the original theme of their Section. This change denotes the arrival of stronger monsters and better loot.

Fast travel with the Minecart. Players who want to access fast travel to and from the Mines can get to the Minecart in the entry floor. Players can unlock this handy vehicle if they complete the boiler room bundles of the Community Center. They can also buy the Minecart via the Joja Community Development Form.

Section 0: Entrance

Players get to the Entrance as soon as they enter the Mines. It has a brown-earth theme that gives off the vibe of what a "regular" mine would look like. Here are some notable aspects of the entrance:

Minecart. The Entrance has the Minecart that players can use to fast travel across four destinations in Stardew Valley, one of which is the Mines.

Dwarf. Players can talk to the Dwarf residing in the Mines in the area's eastern section. At first, the passageway to the Dwarf's home be blocked by debris, so players need to use a Cherry Bomb or Steel Pickaxe to break it.

Treasure: Rusty Sword. Players can acquire the Rusty Sword in the Mines. This isn't the most powerful weapon around, but it's a handy tool for players who have just entered the Mines for the first time.  

Section 1: Brown Earth

Players who venture down from the Entrance will arrive in the game's first Section. This one has a brown-earth theme, with an abundance of rocky undertones, weeds, and a general "cave" aesthetic. For all intents and purposes, this Section has a familiar theme that can help players get more acquainted to the game's mining component. Here are some things to note:

Enemies: Players in this Section will be facing some of the more common and weaker enemies in the game. These include the Green Slime, Duggy, Bug, and Rock Crab. As they progress through the levels, they'll encounter Grub and Cave Flies as well.

Resource: Ore, Gems. Players can start mining Copper Ore and dig Amethyst, Earth Crystal, Quartz, and Topaz beginning Level 2.

Resource: Ghostfish, Stonefish. Players can start fishing for regular fish and even Stonefish and Ghostfish beginning Level 20.

Treasure: Leather Boots. Level 10 contains Leather Boots.

Treasure: Steel Smallsword. Level 20 contains a Steel Smallsword.

Section 1.5: Grey Earth, Shadow

Players who end up in Level 31 will start to feel a change in the Section's overall aesthetic. Instead of brown-earth, the Mines will have a more grey-earth feeling with an abundant shadowy atmosphere.

Enemies: Players in this area will be able to fight Bats and Stone Golems.

Resources: Geodes and Copper Ore are common in the last 10 Levels of this Section.

Section 2: Frozen Earth

Players who survive past Level 39 will find themselves welcoming the icy locale of Section 2. This particular set of Levels have a frozen-earth theme, which comes with its own set of new challenges to overcome, treasures to collect, and resources to harvest:

Enemies: Ice-themed monsters such as the Dust Sprite, Frost Jelly, and Frost Bat will regularly appear to fight the player. Likewise, more advanced Levels can spawn Ghosts as well.

Resource: Ore, Gems. This time around, players can mine Frozen Tears and Frozen Geodes in this Section alongside Iron Ore, Aquamarine, and Jades.

Resource: Diamonds. Rare Diamonds will appear beginning Level 50, albeit with a rarity of 1:500.

Resource: Ice Pip. Aside from Ghostfish, players can fish for Ice Pip in this Section.

Treasure: Slingshot. Level 40 contains the Slingshot, a basic ranged weapon.

Treasure: Tundra Boots. Level 50 contains the Tundra Boots.

Treasure: Crystal Dagger. Level 60 contains the more powerful Crystal Dagger.

Section 2.5 Frozen Castle

Players who venture into Level 70 will begin to see a slight change in atmosphere. Instead of navigating an icy environment, players stumble upon what appears to be a Frozen Castle. Unlike Section 1's shadow theme with limited monsters, the Frozen Castle has most monsters from the frozen-earth theme alongside one addition.

Enemies: The Skeleton makes its first appearance in Levels 71 to 79.

Treasure: Master Slingshot. Level 70 has the Master Slingshot, a more potent version of the Slingshot.

Section 3: Lava Earth, Purple

Players who venture much deeper into the Mines will realize that the Earth gets hotter the closer they get to the core. This time around, players will end up in Section 3, dominated by a theme of lava and purple-earth. As a result, players encounter fire-themed monsters and what appears to be a civilization of Mine-dwellers.

Enemies: Players will start to square-off against fire-themed opponents in this Section. These include the Lava Crab, the Lava Bat, and Red Sludge.

Enemies: Interestingly, other unique characters exist in this Section as well. These include Shadow Brute and Shadow Shaman, both of which seem to belong in the same clan. Meanwhile, Squid Kid and Metal Head also make their appearance in this Section.

Resource: Ore, Gems. This Section gives players access to rarer forms of Ores and Gems. These include Magma Geodes, Fire Quartz, and rarer treasures such as Gold Ores, Rubies, and Emeralds.

Resource: Lava Eel. Players who love fishing may also acquire a Lava Eel beginning Level 100.

Treasure: Firewalker Boots. Level 80 will give players Firewalker Boots, which is very appropriate for this Section.

Treasure: Obsidian Edge. Level 90 grants players access to Obsidian Edge, one of the most effective swords in the game.

Treasure: Stardrop. Level 100 gives players a Stardrop.

Treasure: Space Boots. Level 110 gives players access to Space Boots.

Section 3.5: Lava Earth, Crimson

Players who venture into the last 10 Levels of the Mines will encounter the same lava-themed environment, albeit this time with a crimson hue. Interestingly, players will face the same set of opponents here as they would in Levels 80 to 109 of Section 3. There aren't any notable items here as well.

Final Level: Lava Earth, Purple

The last floor or Level 120 of the Mines will revert back to a lava-earth with a purple hue of Levels 80 to 109. There won't be any enemies here as well, and no more threats appear in this floor.

Treasure: Skull Key. Players can obtain a special Skull Key in this floor. This Skull Key will give players access to the Skull Cavern (in the Desert), and a minigame in the form of Junimo Kart (in the Stardrop Station).

Thanks to the rather simple format of the Mines in Stardew Valley, players can easily prepare to venture deep into the Mines to gather treasure and kill some monsters. However, players might want to consider special factors that can affect their overall exploration. Here are some advanced exploration tips:

Level Interactions

Aside from typical exploration, players do need to pay particular attention to certain gameplay mechanics that can affect their progress in any particular level. Here are components inside Levels that players need to take note:

Ladders mean escape. Players in a pinch need a Ladder to get to the next level. Essentially, each Level has a 95-percent chance of immediately spawning a Ladder somewhere in the map. Meanwhile, all monsters have 15-percent chance of spawning a Ladder if they're killed in tiles that are unobstructed. Lastly, even Rocks have a 2-percent chance of spawning a Ladder that can increase depending on the player's luck value.

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Barrels and Crates can give random items. Aside from Rocks and Dirt Patches, even Barrels and Crates in Levels can yield interesting treasure. These containers will drop at most one item but can drop in multiple copies. Likewise, these containers will always respawn whenever players enter a floor. Loot includes Ores, Gems, and even Food.

Containers may have Treasure. Interestingly, aside from random drops, the aforementioned containers also have a 2.2-percent chance of dropping a treasure or a special item. These range from things such as a Carving Knife, a Small Magnetic Ring, Genie Shoes, and even an Immunity Band.

Beware The Final Level

As mentioned, reaching Level 120 or the final floor of the Mines will give players access to the Skull Key. However, players should take note that reaching this far will also change some aspects of the game. Upon reaching the bottom-most part of the Mines:

Rarer drops. Diamonds and Prismatic Shards become extremely rare drops from random monsters.

Stronger monsters. Likewise, some monsters will become much stronger the next time players go back to the Mines.

Additional quest. Some NPCs may begin asking players to collect Purple Mushrooms and Gems for them as quests.

Additional loot. Trash bins will sometimes contain Purple Mushrooms and  Gems when searched.

Remixed Rewards

As players might notice, rewards commonly appear every 10 Levels within the Mines. However, they aren't necessarily set rewards. If players go to the Advanced Options and select "Remixed" rewards at the start of the game, players can instead get special rewards every 10th Level. Here are things to consider:

More versatility. Unlike the set rewards every 10th Level, Remixed Rewards do allow players some degree of flexibility in items they can acquire. For instance, for Level 10, instead of typical Leather Boots, players may instead draw a Wind Spire dagger.

Not always Remixed. Interestingly, despite choosing Remixed Rewards, there's no guarantee that players won't obtain the normal reward every 10th Level.

Unchanged Rewards. Moreover, despite choosing this option in the Advanced Options, 10th Levels don't always have Remixed Rewards. For instance, Levels 30, 40, 70, 100, and 120 don't have Remixed Rewards and therefore revert back to their normal reward.

Combat remains as one of the most vital components in the Mines. Thanks to various weapons, players can actually take on Stardew Valley's most infamous monsters while searching and mining for Ores, Gems, and other Treasures.

Players who want to master the art of combat in Stardew Valley needs to understand some intricate aspects of combat as well:

Weapons Come In Many Forms

Interestingly, players don't necessarily need a sword in order to fight enemies in the Mines.

Rather, players can even use a Pickaxe, Scythe, or Axe as a weapon should the need arise.

Mind The Food

Players who want to stay alive during their stay in the Mines should always carry food with them. It's important that players carry a substantial amount of these food in order to increase the time duration of their buffs and also heal their Health and Energy. Here are other considerations:

Be careful with existing buffs. Remember, eating buff-empowered food will override existing buffs. Likewise, eating food with no buffs won't affect any existing buffs in the player.

Take advantage of stackable buffs. Buffs from food such as Ginger Ale, Triple Shot Espresso, and Coffee can work in synergy with other food. They won't stack with themselves, though.

Staircases, Elevators Galore

Players who need a quick exit off a Level can actually use the Staircase. Using this item will give players instant access to the Level next to the one they're on. Here are other characteristics:

Mining Perk. Players who have Skill Level 2 in Mining can craft a Staircase with 99 Stone.

Unlocks the Elevator. By the time players can create Staircases, Elevators will also appear every five levels. This allows players instant access to any Levels that end in 0 or 5 at any given time.

The Shrine Of Challenge

Players who have completed their exploration of all Levels in the Mines can actually change the final floor's appearance. If they complete the "Danger in the Deep" quest via Qi's Walnut Room (Ginger Island), they unlock something called the Shrine of Challenge. Here are some characteristics:

Final Floor variation. The Shrine of Challenge will replace the final Level of the Mines once it's unlocked.

Difficulty toggle. The Shrine serves as a "toggle" that will alternate the strengths of enemies inside the Mines. They can be enemies of normal or harder difficulty.

Radioactive Nodes. When players toggle the harder difficulty via the Shrine, Levels will now feature Radioactive Nodes that contain Radioactive Ore.

Day's worth of change. Toggling difficulty in the Mines will only last a day.

Interestingly, players might notice that some Levels in the Mines don't always follow "convention." Some of these Levels don't share the same theme or layout, and may even have a completely different aesthetic. Players who experience this means they're actually inside a Special Level. These floors have special elements that slightly change the way players navigate the Mines. Here are those areas:

Infested Floors

Sometimes, players may enter a floor that's almost completely covered with slime. These include slime on the floor and the walls, and even a profound lack of rocks. In this case, players have entered an Infested Floor. Here are some things to note:

Level variation. Players who encounter an Infested Floor in a particular day will find that Level as infested until the day ends. Afterward, that Infested Floor will move up one floor.

Unique monster combos. Unlike other floors, an Infested Floor will have different monster variations. Most of the time, these Levels contain a lot of Slimes.

Kill everything. Players need to kill all the monsters in the area in order to proceed. The Ladder to get out of the Level spawns in place of the last monster killed.

Staircase exit. Players can also use a Staircase to escape.

Oil of Garlic. Players can avoid Infested Floors if they eat Oil of Garlic prior to entering a new Level.

Dungeon Floors

Interestingly, players who want a more fantasy take on their journey in the Mines can look forward to Dungeon Floors. Its theme looks similar to the Quarry Mine. Here are some characteristics:

Randomly generated. Dungeon Floors can spawn at any Level in the Mines.

Considerably harder. Enemies encountered in Dungeon Floors appear much stronger than the Level they've replaced.

The Mushroom Floor

Among the Mines' lowest section will have something called a Mushroom Floor. Unlike other Levels, the Mushroom Floor will have an abundance of purple and red mushrooms as well as various colored lanterns. Here are some characteristics:

Lower Levels. The Mushroom Floor can spawn amongst Levels 81 to 119.

Exceptions to the rule. Interestingly, there are certain floors that can't become a Mushroom Floor. These include elevator floors (Levels that end in 0 or 5) and even Infested Floors.

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Rhenn Taguiam (680 Articles Published)

Rhenn is a Manila-based content writer with a love for all things geek and pop culture, and science and technology. He has a BA Journalism degree, and has since then pursued making content about geek culture. Rhenn used to write for a couple of geek and gaming publications, and also served as editor-in-chief for Philippines-based What's A Geek!. He constantly plays video games but also takes the time to try out older titles. If he's not playing video games, he's probably playing TTRPGs.

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