Stardew Valley looks like a happy-fun-time farming sim, but there’s a darker, deeper side to it - and it lies within the Mines. Located in the northeast of Pelican Town, the Mines are Stardew Valley’s primary source of not only mining, but monster-based combat. Every level has progressively tougher and tougher baddies, and you’ll need to beef up your little farmer in order to reach the bottom…

Getting Started

As mentioned above, the Mines are northeast of Pelican Town. You’ll find the Mines most easily by heading to the Carpenter’s Shop, just north of town square, and then wandering east along the paths that run north along the end of the river. The Mines will not be open right away, however - you need to wait for the dude working on the giant rock that’s blocking your way to move it. You'll get notice of this happening on the 5th of Spring via a letter from Joja Mart.

Upon entering the Mines you’ll find an old, wizened dude named Marlon, who will give you a Rusty Sword and dare you to challenge the depths. After you’ve entered the Mines and killed at least one Slime Marlon will give you the quest Initiation, and if you complete it he’ll allow you to enter the Adventurer’s Guild that’s near the Mines. Here you can sell any loot dropped by the monsters, as well as purchase combat equipment for your farmer. The equipment he has on sale gets better as you descend deeper into the Mines.

Once you’re ready, interact with the ladder by the entrance of the Mines to start descending into the bowels of the earth.

Wandering the Mines in Stardew Valley.
Note the floor number in the top-left corner.
The Basics

Though the Mines get broader and more challenging as you go along, they always (so far as I’ve seen, anyway) adhere to a set of rules:
  • Each level contains a combination of rocks you can mine and monsters you can slay. Rocks drop Ores, Minerals, and other precious items; monsters drop Monster Loot and equipment. You may also come across boxes that you can bash open to find other items.
  • To descend to the next level you must find a hole with a ladder. Typically ladders are located under the rocks, though if you get lucky you may also find ladders after killing enemies. You’ll need to mine and kill to progress. If you wish to bypass ladders you can also Craft Staircases for 99 Stone and lay them down right where you are.
  • You can, at any time, use the starting ladder on a floor to exit the Mines. This will jump you aaaaaall the way back to the start, however, so avoid using these unless you’re desperate to escape.
  • Every five levels you will find an elevator. This connects to other fifth-level floors, and can take you back to the surface.
  • Every ten levels you’ll find a small, undefended room. These rooms sometimes contain treasure chests. More on that below.
What you get out of the Mines is ultimately up to you, but most players will probably use this dungeon to gather Ores and Minerals, increase their Combat Skill, and discover new secrets.


Combat in Stardew Valley is fairly simple. You have a weapon, usually a sword; you swing it. Using a weapon is like using any other tool, though unlike other tools you do not expend Energy when swinging a weapon. (Feel free to correct me on this, but I’ve tested it and didn’t see any change in my Energy level.)

The Mines are filled with all manner of beasties. They start out relatively simple - Slimes are the staple basic foe - but as you get deeper you’ll start coming across nastier creatures. Upon entering the Mines you’ll receive a Health bar, and if your HP runs out you’ll collapse, wake up at either Harvey’s Clinic or back at the entrance, and have to pay a rather nasty medical bill (1,000 gold). You’ll also lose a large number of items from your inventory, and may lose some of your overall progress in the Mines (ie the elevator won't go as far down). For this reason it’s wise to bring restorative food with you, in case your health gets too low.

In order to offset the growing threat of enemies you can equip your character with items, via the Inventory screen. Your farmer can wear a hat, two rings, and footwear. Upgrade your hero whenever they start getting overwhelmed by the monsters they’re facing. You’ll also find new weapons, in which case you’ll probably want to sell your old stuff to Marlon.


Every now and then you’ll come across an especially-powerful version of a normal enemy, always (in my experience) a Slime. Bosses are tougher than normal enemies, but will drop powerful equipment if defeated. Keep an eye open for these baddies.


Every so often the music will stop in the Mines, and a strange Mist will fill the area for about a minute. During this time enemies that spawn at random - Bats and those Moth things are good examples - will come at you with extra vigour. Unless you’re near a ladder already, you should probably ignore all other concerns and be ready to defend yourself. Once the mist clears away enemy spawning will return to normal.


Periodically, particularly in the lower levels (60 and below, I've found) you'll run across areas that have no stones and only enemies. They'll be denoted by a skull symbol, which appears inplace of the floor level. These floors will either appear normal if you're going to fight a range of monsters or with a green palette swap if you're going to be fighting primarily Slimes. Overrun areas typically require you to kill every enemy before the exit appears, in which case it will pop up in front of the entrance ladder.

Level Breakdown

Each level of the Mines is different, but they’re nevertheless broken up into distinct environments, each with standard enemies and challenges. Expect the following:
  • Levels 1 - 29: Easy street. The Mines are well-lit, the enemies aren’t too ferocious, and the environments are relatively small, though some of the maps get rather large later on. A Level 2 or higher weapon should suffice for most of the trip, along with some basic defensive gear. Copper Ore is abundant here.
  • Levels 30 - 39: Getting harder. Most of the Mines are dark, and new enemies start to come out of the woodwork. Bats are particularly nasty, as they tend to appear in flocks, and will mob you during misty periods - and mist pops up a lot more often. You’ll want Level 4 to 5 weapons and some better gear. Copper Ore continues to be abundant.
  • Levels 40 - 69: Icy! Visibility stops being an issue, and it's replaced by faster-paced, stronger, more durable enemies. Rocks are tougher, so you'll want a stronger Pickaxe to avoid using too much Energy searching for stairs. Iron Ore makes its first appearances here, as do more advanced Geodes (Frozen and Omni).
  • Levels 70 - 79: Oooo, castle. Visibility never seems to be an issue down here, but the enemies get stronger with the addition of Skeletons that can use ranged attacks. Not that different than the previous set of caves, but you'll want weapons level six or higher to keep the battles from becoming a monotonous slog.
  • Levels 80 - 120: Back into the underground, though an altogether more heated version. The monsters are substantially stronger, and will start using magic; be ready for trickier situations. Be ready, too, for the occasional level where there's nothing but monsters, namely Slimes, and you need to kill them to make exits appear. Gold Ore becomes relatively abundant down here.

On top of the items you’ll forage by fighting your way through the Mines you’ll usually find treasure boxes on increments of ten floors. (Did anybody get something on level 30? There was no chest for me. Let me know in the comments.) They contain the following:
  • Leather Boots (10)
  • Steel Smallsword (20)
  • Slingshot (40)
  • Tundra Boots (50)
  • Crystal Dagger (60)
  • Master Slingshot (70)
  • Firewalker Boots (80)
  • Obsidian Edge (90)
  • Stardrop (100)
  • Space Boots (110)
  • Skull Key (120)
General Tips

The Mines get pretty nasty as you near the bottom. Here are some hints to help you survive:
  • Tackle the Mines in the Winter, unless you make most of your cash from mining. It takes a while to walk to the Mines (until you get the mine carts working in the Community Center, anyway), and you'll lose a big part of your day if you need to tend to crops first.
  • Bring food. Particularly if you plan on staying in the Mines for most of the day. Food will restore your HP and your Energy, and you’ll need plenty of both.
  • Clear your inventory so you have plenty of room to carry items. Having to choose between one item and another sucks. You should upgrade your Backpack at least once before wandering into the Mines.
  • Always bring your Pickaxe. You can’t get through the Mines without a Pickaxe unless you get really, really lucky. If you’re upgrading your Pickaxe, stay out of the Mines.
  • Keep your music on while you’re in the Mines. There are a few respawning enemies that can be heard coming before they appear on the screen.
  • Try to complete the Mines in five-level increments, leaving whenever you hit the elevator. It's tempting to keep going, but you're better off tackling new areas of the Mines with a fresh explorer.

The Dwarf

When you first enter the Mines you’ll see a stone blockade on your right. The Pickaxe can only chop through this stone once it is upgraded to the Steel Pickaxe. (According to Anon in the comments you can also get through here with explosives, such as Bombs or Cherry Bombs. Thanks, Anon!)

Beyond you’ll find the Dwarf, a stout little guy who seems distrusting of humans - though before you can speak to him you need to find the four Dwarf Scrolls, which are most often found by breaking open Geodes or killing monsters. Donating all four to the Museum will earn you the Dwarvish Translation Guide, which teaches you how to speak Dwarf.

The Dwarf is a vendor with a bunch of handy stuff for fighting in the Mines. His gear is as follows:
  • Life Elixir - 2,000 gold
  • Oil of Garlic - 3,000 gold
  • Cherry Bomb - 300 gold
  • Bomb - 600 gold
  • Mega Bomb - 1,000 gold
  • Miner’s Treat - 1,000 gold
  • Rarecrow - 2,500 gold
  • Weathered Floor Recipe - 500 gold