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Echoes of the Plum Grove: Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Tips and tricks to help with starting out, from what to eat to how to how to get married.

Echoes of the Plum Grove: Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Basics

So you’ve created an adorable character and they’ve been left clueless on a plot of land. Here are a few tips and tricks and some general information to help you get started.

Little tutorials will pop up as you start doing things, but there are also some helpful tutorial pages in the menu, on the rightmost tab.

If you need to use something on your toolbar that isn’t a tool, hit the spacebar. Space is how you refill your watering can, eat food, and read recipes/blueprints.

Don’t want to worry about food, sleeping or diseases? Turn those options off in the menu. I’d suggest trying with them on though, as it makes the game unique and fun.

Trees!

Always shake trees twice as you go past them. Not only is the wood useful for building things, it also makes you a reasonable amount of money – each piece is worth 10 gold, so a stack of 50 is worth 500. This is an easy and simple way to earn money at the beginning.

Food

At the beginning of the game in spring, the easiest food to cook is survival salad, which you can make with plantains and violets you can forage from the ground.

The best way to continue feeding yourself (indefinitely) is to put fruit/vegetables/fish onto a drying rack or pickling barrel. In 24 hours this produces an item that will refill 10-20 hunger. And all you need are the fruits you can forage off bushes, some crops from your garden, or some spare fish. If you have 2 drying racks and a pickling barrel set up, this will more than fulfill your hunger needs and give you leftover.

To cook, you need recipes that can be obtained through quests or levelling up your cooking skill. These are fun, but require a lot of ingredients and don’t satisfy that much more hunger. If you make food, or receive it as a quest reward, it’s probably worth selling it instead, as it’s worth more to you that way. Keep on the dried fruit diet, it will lead you to victory!

Farming

You need seeds, which you can buy from people working in the fields in the area left of your farm. You can also get a lot of starting seeds by doing the Mayor’s quest to meet people.

When you harvest them, crops are likely to spawn more seeds of that type.

You have to water each plant or tree individually – if you miss a day, the plant will go brown, but will still be alive. If you miss another day, it will die.

Ripe and dead crops are harvested with the sickle – you’ll see the selection square is yellow when you hover over them if they’re ready.

Fertiliser, obtained from putting rot in the compost bin, can help improve the quality of your crops. It does not make them grow faster.

Items gradually turn from gold to silver to bronze quality, and then they rot. Eat/sell your bronze quality food first. But rot is still useful, because you can add it to your compost bin.

Quests

Be aware that you are frequently offered quests that you cannot complete yet – they may require out of season items, crafting skills you don’t have, or things you would have to buy that wouldn’t be worth the reward.

Prioritise quests that give blueprint or recipe rewards, and don’t worry about not finishing them if they end up too hard.

Once you have a comfortable amount of money, take quests even if you cannot produce the items needed but know you can buy them – it’s worth it to get blueprints.

When you have the items you need for a quest, that person’s icon will show up on your map.

Making Friends

Talk to everyone! You can talk to everyone several times per day (until their talk button is greyed out). Once people are friends with you, they will send you presents in the post – sometimes very expensive, helpful ones.

If you see a question mark above someone’s head, it might be that they are offering a quest, but they could also want to give you a gift, so it’s worth clicking on them.

Crafting

Sometimes you need to put several of an item into a crafter for it to work – ie. 3 wheat in the flour mill to get flour, 3 iron ore into the smelter to get an iron bar.

Personal opinion, but I feel like crafting is a bit of a trap early in the game. You are given a crafting station, and might therefore assume you will need to do a lot of crafting to obtain all the items you need. But one thing Echoes does really well is emphasize that your starting character is a farmer. You do not have the skills or the equipment to make your own iron nails, even though you need them for lots of things and your first thought might be that you should make them. But you first need to unlock the anvil (crafting skill 6 or a quest) and a furnace. So embrace the game. Be a farmer. Go to the blacksmith and buy your nails. At the start it might seem like a lot of money, but you’ll soon have plenty, and you’re not in a hurry. Build up your crafting empire gradually – your child can always do what you didn’t get around to.

Disease

Once you have a bit of money, ask the doctor for an inoculation. Smallpox can wipe out half the town, and you don’t want your character to be one of them.

Befriending the doctor means they will send you free medicine, which is great, and likewise quests for them will have medicine as a reward.

It’s nice to gradually build up a stockpile of medicine, because if you get sick, the doctor might not have what you need in stock on the day, or they might be closed.

When sick, ensure you eat regularly and spend most of your time sleeping, to enhance your chances of survival.

Marriage and Children

You don’t need to upgrade your house or bed to get married and have children.

Befriend a villager (gifts can be risky, though they’ll often mention early on something they like; talking to them every day is the safest option) and give them flowers bought from the lighthouse. This triggers what the game calls a ‘date’ but is actually your opportunity to propose. Make sure you have a ring ready for your date. Hopefully a nice one, as there is the possibility for them to refuse.

Once married, there is a ¼ chance to trigger a pregnancy each night when you go to sleep. You can take care of your baby by clicking on it.

Children will go to school by default, but you can also talk to the head of any profession to get them an apprenticeship there.

You can also adopt orphaned children with adoption papers, bought from the mayor.

You can modify the clothing/hair of your whole family at the tailor if you chose the tailoring option, where each of them will have a separate tab.

Lifespan

If playing with normal aging, your character will stay in the adult lifestage until the end of the first year, then become an elder. This gives you a bit of time to make life choices and have a child. But, on the other hand, you could die horribly of a disease, so don’t wait too long to have an heir! If you alter the aging to short, it halves the time for all life stages.

Normal life stages = pregnancy 3 days, baby 3 days, child 2 seasons, adult 4 seasons, elder 2 seasons (not 100% sure on elder).

Miscellaneous

Businesses: If you desperately want to build a house upgrade or buy fish, the responsible people will usefully still do these things for you even if it’s their day off – you just have to track them down.

Paint: To upgrade your house you’ll need paint, which you can buy from the ship captain at the docks at the weekends.

Winter: Assuming you have some drying racks/pickling barrels, you will be fine throughout the winter, as you can stock them with fish. Do a bit of mining, go to bed early, admire the snow.

Livestock: If you have any two of the same species, there is a chance for them to reproduce, which can get you free livestock! On release, all animals are labelled as male, but they will still reproduce.

Written by t_spacemonkeys

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