Disney Dreamlight Valley - 20 Tips For Beginners

Live your best farming life while you upgrade your House of Mouse.


Disney Dreamlight Valley is out now on PC, Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox, and is included in Game Pass. After dozens of hours in the game, we're bringing you some tips to help your garden figuratively and literally grow. The (eventually) free-to-play game will require a Founder's Pack to get into the early access period, which the team at Gameloft says will last about a year. You can check out the game's many buying options in the meantime using our Disney Dreamlight Valley preorder guide. But if you're already ready to play or soon will be, here are 20 quick-hitting tips to help you keep your wardrobe stylish, your house fancy, and your neighborhood full of Disney and Pixar friends.

Set up cloud saves to enable cross-progression

The first thing you'll want to do is set up cloud saves, enabling you to access your save file across all available platforms. This means you'll only need to buy a Founder's Pack once to play during the early access window. To set up cloud saves, select the option from the main menu and follow the steps that follow.

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Now Playing: 8 Ways Disney Dreamlight Valley Is Different From Animal Crossing

Experiment with ingredients to discover new recipes

Cooking food is a big part of Disney Dreamlight Valley, and though you'll gain new recipes from missions, you can happen upon them by simply getting creative in the kitchen. At any cooking pot, chuck in a few ingredients and start cooking. So long as you use a combination of new ingredients, it's likely that you'll chance upon a new recipe to add to the game's collection of over 100 different dishes.

Sell food to Goofy's Stall to make a quick buck

The best way to make money in the early portion of the game is to sell food to Goofy at his farmer's market-like stall. High-end dishes can go for several hundred coins or more, and the ingredients are often free as they grow around town or in your garden. How's that for profit margin?

Be very social with your neighbors

Some of the story missions are locked until you befriend enough neighbors, plus each neighbor has their own friendship level with you, ranging from 1-10. Not only does increasing these levels with folks like Goofy, Remy, and Scrooge McDuck help unlock new missions, each friendship gives you rewards as you level up with a character. The best way to be social with others is to make small talk with everyone each day, bring them gifts, and ask them to "hang out," which makes them tag along as a companion NPC and steadily improves your friendship together.

Learn what gifts friends love

As mentioned, gift giving is a great way to get to know someone. In Disney Dreamlight Valley, each neighbor will have three items they're eager to receive each day. These could be particular food items or gems, or something else entirely. Interacting with a character will tell you what they'd love to receive on that day, and giving them any of those items dramatically improves your friendship level. Just note that their preferred gifts will change each day, and you'll only receive the bonus the first time you give them an item on any particular day.

Each neighbor's preferred gifts will change each day.
Each neighbor's preferred gifts will change each day.

Request items from Scrooge McDuck

In addition to the many items showcased around Scrooge's store, you can select a number of other clothing items by talking to Scrooge. Ordering items from him directly will see you paying for them upfront before receiving them via your inventory menu. On that note, be sure to check your mailbox regularly so you don't miss other items and information sometimes too. It's always fun getting a package in the mail, isn't it?

Coal might look unappealing, but it's important

Oftentimes, digging and mining around town will net you lumps of coal. This may seem like a throwaway item that gets in the way of nabbing the good stuff, but in actuality, you need coal to cook, so don't discard it. So long as you're working around town at an average pace--digging when you see glowing spots, mining when you pass a chunk of ore--you should quickly have plenty of coal to burn for cooking, so be sure to always keep some on-hand for when you head inside to cook.

You can learn any item's spawn area in the Collection menu

The number of items overall in Disney Dreamlight Valley is staggering. From recipe ingredients to minerals to crafting items, and more, it can be difficult to remember from where each item originates. Thankfully, the game offers a shortcut: Head into the Collection menu and highlight an item, such as clay or oregano. You'll be told exactly where it may be found. Then all you have to do is go and pluck it from the earth.

Each biome includes exclusive crafting materials

Following on from that last tip, keep in mind most items are not universally available across all biomes. This means some crafted objects, recipes, and other things you may want to make might not be available until you unlock the right location in which you can find its missing parts. Use that Collection menu we mentioned to ensure whatever it is you want to build or cook is actually already available to you.

The map reveals character locations in real-time

It's important to know where your neighbors are at any time, in case you want to hang out, give them a gift, or complete a quest. Thankfully, the in-game map reveals character locations in real-time. You'll see them move around the map whenever you're looking at it, which helps you track them down quickly and get onto the next part of your adventure.

Realm missions should be done as soon as possible

Unlocking Realms requires Dreamlight, which operates sort of like Nook Miles in Animal Crossing--they're earned by completing a never-ending list of challenges. There are four available Realms at launch, and each door to one of these Realms can be unlocked by redeeming Dreamlight. You should do these as soon as possible, as they open up new story missions that end with characters like Remy, Wall-E, and Moana moving into your neighborhood. More neighbors mean more friends, which in turn means more things to unlock.

Finishing up in a Realm will bring one of the local characters back to your town as a resident.
Finishing up in a Realm will bring one of the local characters back to your town as a resident.

Some characters grant you tool upgrades

In addition to bringing characters to town as neighbors, you'll also want to complete Realms because they teach you new things and grant you upgrades. For example, during the Moana Realm missions, you'll receive a free upgrade to your pickaxe courtesy of Maui, making it able to break tougher rocks that may drop crafting items or simply stand in your way. Each Realm is a multi-purpose mission that goes beyond simply exploring a Disney world you may already adore.

You can layer some furniture in creative ways

This one took us by surprise in a good way. You can layer some furniture objects, such as hanging wall art or light fixtures on chimneys. Combining furniture like this allows you to build on the foundation of nearly 1,000 furniture items already in the game at launch. It makes it so that even if two people like several of the same in-home items, they may still end up with very different styles, which is a really satisfying touch in a game like this.

Leveling up improves your stamina

As you play through the game, you'll level up, which most importantly improves your stamina, allowing you to mine, garden, and perform other strenuous tasks for longer periods without a break. Though, as we'll explain in the next section, those breaks aren't so intrusive anyway. Keep leveling--virtually all tasks contribute to your level, it seems--to make use of this benefit.

You can refill stamina simply by going inside your house

When you've run out of stamina, you can easily refill it in a few ways. Eating a basic food item, such as a piece of fruit, will replenish some stamina, but to refill the whole stamina bar, you'll want to head home. Simply stepping inside your house (but only your house) will instantly refill your stamina. As the world of Disney Dreamlight Valley is much bigger than Animal Crossing, this would get tedious if not for the wishing well fast travel locations you'll unlock in each biome. Use those to get home fast and take a breather.

You can overfill stamina with a hearty meal

Filling your stamina bar is nice (and sometimes crucial), but even better is overfilling it. You can do that by eating high-level meals such as ratatouille. You'll see your stamina bar fill up in blue, as normal, but then a second stamina bar will fill past that in yellow, making you sort of like an overpowered boss in a more combat-heavy game, but don't worry, in Dreamlight Valley, no one is coming for your head. Not even the Red Queen.

Assign roles to friends to receive buffs

Each friend you make can be assigned a role, which essentially acts as a buff to the things you'll already be doing, like fishing, mining, and gardening. You should consider whether you want to give your friends different roles, so that you're always receiving a buff of some kind no matter what you're doing, or if you want to stack the same buff on several characters which further enhances its benefits. Just remember, to receive a particular buff, you'll want to be actively hanging out with a friend who has been assigned the corresponding role.

Your friends can grant you bonuses to tasks you'll be performing anyway.
Your friends can grant you bonuses to tasks you'll be performing anyway.

Prioritze upgrading your backpack

Games like this love making you work within stringent limitations to start, teaching you to chase upgrades. One of those upgrades you'll want soonest is the backpack upgrade. Trading some coins while looking inside your backpack will expand your inventory by another seven slots, which you can do up to three times. That means you can eventually double the size of your backpack, which comes in handy when you're spending long days foraging and crafting.

Access build mode at any time using the Furniture menu

One of the coolest features in Disney Dreamlight Valley is the ease with which you can customize your town. Simply by going into the furniture menu while outdoors (or indoors if you want to alter your home) lets you rearrange the town however you see fit. This includes totally uprooting your home, a neighbor's home, or even businesses. The entire town is yours to shuffle as much as you want, and you can do it all for free at any moment.

Check your mailbox for Founder's Pack items and more

Whether you're looking for your Founder's Pack cosmetics, an item from the town store, or perhaps another surprise, it's a good idea to check your mailbox often, just like in Animal Crossing. You'll know you've got mail when the mailbox flag is raised, so if you see it sticking up, hurry over and reveal what kind of gift or purchased item you may have received.

For more on Disney Dreamlight Valley, check out all confirmed (and rumored) Realms so far, and figure out that elusive ratatouille recipe for Remy's story missions.

Mark Delaney on Google+

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