Although My Time at Portia has been available on Steam for a couple of months now, today marks the release of the game on the major Gaming Consoles. You can surely find a lot of answers online, but I have found myself stumped by the simplest of things when I first started playing.
This is all due to my experience in games like Harvest Moon and Rune Factory, and things in Portia work very differently. That’s why I’m putting up this Beginners Guide. It will get you started!
Still on the fence about the game? Our review is here!
A derelict workshop
First things first: you get to make your character. Lots of customisation options, but I do feel it’s a bit fiddly. colours, shapes, sizes, hairdo. You name it, you can change it. By pressing L and R you to to the next option, press down with the left stick lets you run through all the options. The Name can be reached that way too, by going as far down as you can and press A when the outline of the name box is yellow. When everything is how you want it though, how to proceed? Press the + button on top right!
You inherit the workshop, and it’s been empty for quite some time by the look of it. There’s only a bed (well, that’s something as you need to sleep to be able to save). You might feel as if your house is the least of your priorities. But repairing the wooden boards and putting in furniture has benefits too. I just put a pink sofa in with bear ears ( very cute) that I had found in the ruins and was rewarded with extra attack power!
Stamina and HP
Stamina works differently in My Time at Portia. There are two bars: one for HP (red) and one for Stamina (yellow). You can replenish both by eating or using medicine. At the start though, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. By the time the yellow bar is low, you won’t be able to do anything anymore. No breaking rocks or cutting trees. Just go to bed, and all will be resolved in the morning.
The only way to save it to sleep, which is a bit of a pity. Reminds me of Harvest Moon games. You can stay up without problems until 2.30 am. By then you’ll collapse. But if you are in bed before then, you are fine. It’s not like you will wake up later.
Start off with a worktable and assembly station
What had me confused at first is the various craft stations and machines you need to get ahead. Take this guideline:
- the worktable makes items and furniture. It can be moved across your lot and upgraded at A&G Construction in town.
- to make things on your assembly station you need blueprints in your handbook. You will get them from the research centre in town when you have a special assigment. Or you can have the research centre look at Data Discs you’ll find in the ruins to see if there are blueprints on there. In a day or two you will get new blueprints in your mailbox.
You start with these two, and they make the first machines you need. And those machines in turn will make the more advanced machines you need.
The first assignments
The first assignment using the crafting table is to make a pickaxe and an axe. This is fairly simple, you just need to pick up wood and stone around the farm.
After that, you have to make a Stone Furnace. It wasn’t immediately clear to me that I needed that to make things, but you do: put it in your yard, as you’ll need to make lots with it. It needs wood as fuel, and then it can smelt your bricks from stone, copper bars from copper ore, glass from sand etc.
The next assignment should be the planter box, which will allow you to grow your own crops. That takes a bit more doing as you need “wooden board”. It took me forever to realize that I needed to make a Civil Cutter. Call me dense, but I searched the entire town to find a shop called the Civil Cutter only to realize it was a machine I had to make. 😉
So, off to finally make the Civil Cutter. I’m giving you this first one as an example, as it’s how the game works: The materials you need have to be made themselves first. The quests for the main storyline are rarely straightforward affairs, which only adds to the charm of the game. I call them “Nesting” assignments.
Anyways for the Civil Cutter, this is the sequence:
- make a stone stool using stones on your craft table
- make the Stone Furnace using a stone stool and wood
- Use the stone furnace to make stone bricks and copper bars
- Make a grinder with 2 grinding stones ( to be made on your craft table) and with 2 old parts ( I found those in the ancient ruins)
- Use the Grinder to make copper blades out of copper bars
- Then finally, you can make the Civil Cutter in the Assembly Station.
Farming in planters
The crops you sow don’t need any water. If you can give them fertilizer, it will make the yield bigger. But watering is not needed.
There is a set season though for several crops. But if you do sow the wrong season there’s no stress: the seed will be in stasis in the sand until the right season rolls along.
Eventually you can buy bigger planters too, and Tree seeds. Buy these from the church shop that sets up from time to time in one of the squares in town. You can pay with Data Discs.
Finding base materials in the ruins
You need a lot of materials for all the things you have to make. You will see things in the fields for you to pick up, they always sparkle. But that won’t be enough, as you need much more. Some are easy to get, like wood (chop the shrubs and trees) and stone (break big stones with your pickaxe). Others are more difficult.
A lot of stuff can be found in the ruins. The ruins are quite unlike any other dungeon exploring I’ve ever done. The first one are the Abandoned Ruins where you won’t meet any monsters. More ruins will follow. To enter, you need to pay a weekly fee, but it’ll get you the Relic Detector and Jet Pack.
Entering you see a vast cave of stone, nothing else. Use the scanner while holding the pickaxe. This is important, if you are not holding that, you’ll see nothing. Look around until you focus on a yellow dot. Lock it in by looking at it until the circle is full. Switch off the scanner by pressing ZL and then go to that point.
I was confused at that at first as the distance didn’t get less. But the thing is, this is a point far beneath the surface. Look closely and you will see a vertical line going in the ground. Using you pickaxe by pressing Y hack away at that point. The more you go into the ground, the more you will find.
Be sure to use your scanner again when you are in the bottom of the hole you dug. You’ll find much more stuff down there. And then use the Jetpack to get out of the hole.
You’ll lose your way quickly in the ruins. At least I did. Don’t forget that by going to your Map (- button) you can go to the entrance with a press of the button Y.
Dungeons of various sorts
Aside from the Ruins where you collect your ore and relics, there are dungeons in the game as well. They go by various names but they have in common that you have to fight monsters. Plus, instead of mining, you can get loot from the monsters you slay. One of the first you will enter is the Cave on the island that you build a bridge to. Another one is the Sewage Plant Ruins.
Make sure that you have your weapon upgraded, as you won’t get very far with your practise sword. And remember that you can also improve your stats with furniture in your house. Plus, you can add skills and accessories to your character too.
As My time at Portia is such a huge game, I have only scratched the surface here. Enough to get you going. If you want to know more I would suggest you visit the Fandom Wiki.
All that’s left to say is: have fun!
Did they change the release date?? My gamestop says May??
That’s for the physical copy! The digital one is released
Good stuff, thank you!! I bought the game this morning. I’ll probably finish Earthlock before diving into this but when I do, I’ll certainly have your guide open!
Good! I do hope they will update some things like the loading times soon, but still. I’m really having huge fun!
I don’t have the game yet, but when I do, I’m sure this will be a huge help.
I love these ‘Beginners Guide’ articles!
Finally started Portia late last week, wow, there certainly are ALOT of things to learn in this game.
And what I liked is that it’s so different from other simulation games! Loved delving for treasure in the mine