What a great month for us farming sim lovers: the first specially developed Story of Seasons for the Nintendo Switch is here. We’ve had a crossover SoS game with Doraemon and there was a remake of an older game, Friends of Mineral Town. But Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is entirely new and especially made for the Switch!
And as usual, when we love a game, we make a guide. As Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is such a big game that these are tips & tricks to get you started. Plus, always good to have a beginners guide to learn how some of the basic things work. Still on the fence about whether to go for the game or not? Be sure to read our review here. our review here.
At the start of the game you can choose to go in on normal mode, or seedling mode, which will give you extra bonuses. I took the normal route, which means that at first Gold is hard to come by!
Starting your new life
Story of Seasons Pioneers of Olive Town (SoS: POOT) starts off with customising your character. At first, it doesn’t mention male or female. Instead, you can choose hair length, your bearing (powerful or charming) and the colour of your motorcycle. It’s only when you arrive in Olive Town that major Victor asks whether you are your grandfathers’ grandson or grandaughter.
Victor gives you tools, and they go in a sort of hidden pocket in your bag: Press X, go to the Bag tab, scroll down to the bar Tool Bag. If you press it, it shows you the tools you can drag to the main body of the bag. Later on, when your bag is constantly short on storage, it’s nice to use this hidden compartment to put away your tools so that you can take those last pieces of silver with you in the mine!
You start off sleeping in a tent in a wilderness that is supposed to be your farm. There’s even a dilapidated coop and a chicken running wild! Of course, you have to try and repair the coop as soon as you can, as the eggs will be a source of income. The wild plants you can harvest can be shipped too in the shipping box and doing so will mean a bigger range of seeds to buy in the store.
Victor gives you your first structure too, a well. You will find it in your bag, place it where you want, as long as the tiles needed to place it turn blue.
A few things that are good to know:
- You can save anywhere by pressing +, or by clicking on the journal in your tent or cabin when you upgrade. But the game also auto-saves regularly, so you won’t lose a thing.
- Upgrading from your tent to a log cabin is doable pretty soon after the start. Go to Nigel’s Handiworks shop with 20 wood and 2,000 G. Not only will you get a cabin, but also a fridge and kitchen to cook in (with some recipes included) plus a bathroom where you can replenish a bit of your stamina (but it costs you half an hour to do so).
- You also have a Dresser now to change your clothes. You can buy those at the Boutique which will come to Olive Town a bit later in the game, or make them yourself.
- When you’ve upgraded, go to the Hoof House Animal Store to get a leash. When you buy a pet, you can take walks together using this leash. It’s put directly into your tool bag.
- You can now place furnishings in your house, which you can buy or make yourself using the recipes in your notebook. I have found though that you can only place them in a designated spot.
- Lovett, in the big house to the side, sets your goals to deliver dishes to him to level up your cooking!
Access your Notebook by pressing X. In here there is a lot of useful info:
- Your own status, like your pioneering info, animal information and your photo album
- Your bag and tool bag (see Stamina Depletion/ Leveling up your skills)
- How your skills are coming along
- Recipes for crafting (see Crafting recipes in this chapter)
- Your friendship with villagers (see Friendship with villagers in this chapter)
- The calendar (see Calendar in this chapter)
- The map (see Map in this chapter)
As you play on more and more crafting recipes will unlock, the tab with the hammer is the one you want. The recipes unlocking is tied into your skills levelling up in the Skills Tab, so it’s best not to ignore any activity. Otherwise you may be missing out on a recipe you need. Stupidly enough, I forgot about that tab and had played many days wondering why I didn’t get a storage chest. Turns out I had to make one myself, so check it as soon as you can.
And another thing: I waited too long thinking I’d get a Maker to turn glass blobs into glass sheets that I needed. Turns out the recipe was here in Crafting Recipes all along.
Friendship with villagers
Part of the game is, of course, your relationship with the people in the village. There’s always someone to talk to, there are many events going on throughout the year and as you progress, more shops will open up or expand.
The tab in the notebook shows all villagers and how your progress in Friendship is in hearts.
Some villagers can be romanced.
- The guys: Damon – Emilio – Iori – Jack – Ralph
- The girls: Blaire – Bridget – Laura – Linh – Reina
There’s a map in your Notebook that depicts all the houses and shops. Click on the button Facility Information when it’s red outlined and you’ll see all the info you need like opening times and what day it’s closed.
The Calendar in the Notebook shows you all birthdays and special events. No need to go back to your cabin as you can check it anywhere.
Working the Land and Tending to the Animals
Below you’ll find the description of the first basic plot you get. Later on, with unlocking new areas new mines, animals and new materials will be added. Read more about that under the chapter Pioneering and Making Olive Town Prosperous.
For my crops, I usually make a 3×3 grid when planting crops in farming games, especially since you unlock the skill to sow 9 at a time pretty soon. But after a while, you get the recipe for making a Sprinkler. And to use that it’s best to put it in the middle of the 3×3 grid and let it automatically water the 8 tiles adjacent. Saves lots and lots of time!
Have you tilled the soil and want to revert it back to regular land? Use the hammer on it to do so. And see the pesky seedling trees coming up way too quickly? Either wait till they have grown to chop them for wood, or use the hammer on the seedlings.
Don’t forget to buy tree seedlings for fruit trees at the Olive General Store. Sure, they take a while but they last forever giving crops in the season that is suited for them.
After a good rainfall, you will see puddles of water on your land. Clemens will give you a bucket to clear them away, which gives you clay. Later on, in the game, you will also find little ponds on your land. Empty them with your bucket and you may find a treasure chest on the bottom!
The chickens are a grateful bunch leaving eggs from the first day with you. When they stay in the coop they need food, which you can harvest yourself by sowing grass. The grass gives you several crops, but it doesn’t last till winter like in other SoS games. To give the feed to them, stand in front of the through and click Y. The through can hold up to 10 feed.
You can also put them out to forage for themselves by ringing the bell outside. And the good thing is: no need to worry about bringing them in. At the end of the day they return automatically.
At the far corner of your first plot, you find an entrance blocked by stone. Reduce them to rubble and enter the mine. This first mine has 10 levels for you to clear. In it, you’ll find stone and Iron Ore, pretty useful early on to upgrade tools and repair some structures.
In the lower levels, you may also stumble upon Raw White Opals. At the lowest level 10, I encountered the Magma Sprite who gives you three White Opals. The ladder down is visible at times, at others, it’s underneath one of the boulders.
Visit Marco’s House and you’ll get a fishing pole. Press Y to fish, hold it if the fish bites. While pulling a fish in the durability of your rod will slowly decrease. Watch the little fish in the meter to know what to do: a white fish symbol means real in slowly, a red fish symbol means stop pulling and a blue fish symbol means that it’s tired, real it in quick! If the durability meter hits 0 then the fish gets away.
Not only can you craft items from your Notebook yourself, but you can craft other materials by using Makers. Some of them are made from the recipes in your notebook, some you get as a reward for levelling up your skills (see: Stamina depletion).
They are pretty useful: put in Iron Ore and get an Iron Ingot after a set time, or egg and get Mayonnaise. It takes some attention too, as you can only make one item at a time, which means you’ll need duplicate makers and you have to check them several times a day to keep your mini-factory going. After all, pretty soon the projects you want to take on costs ingots, cloth, bricks etc.
These are the makers I’ve found so far:
- Ingot Maker: costs 10 iron ore, 10 logs. Makes Ingots from all kinds of ores
- Lumber Maker: costs 20 logs. Makes lumber from any kind of wood
- Powder Maker: costs 3 silver ingots. Makes seasonings (coffee, wheat, herbs)
- Seasoning Maker: costs 5 solid lumber and 2 iron ingots. Makes seasonings (pepper, salt, sugar)
- Dye Maker: 3 iron and 3 silver ingots. Turns flowers into dye
- Thread Maker: 10 twines and 10 logs. Turns grass into thread
- Brick Maker: 5 mortar and 5 iron ingots. Turns clay into bricks
- Mayonnaise Maker: 3 lumber and 3 iron ingots. Converts an egg to mayonnaise
- Seed Maker: 5 supple lumber, 5 gold ingots and 10 charcoal wood. Turns crops into seeds
- Yoghurt Maker: 3 solid lumber and 3 iron ingots. Turns milk into yoghurt
- Condiment Maker: 3 silver ingots. Makes seasonings (beans, rice)
- Textile Maker: 3 thread and 5 iron ingots. Turns thread into cloth
- Yarn Maker: 3 solid lumber, 2 iron ingots and 1 glass. Turns wool and fur into yarn
- Butter Maker: 3 lumber and 2 silver ingots. Turns milk into butter
- Essence Maker: 3 silver ingots and 5 glass. Converts flowers and fruits into an essence
- Cloth Maker: 3 solid lumber, 2 silver ingots and 2 glass. Turns yarn into cloth
- Cheese Maker: 3 lumber and 2 silver ingots. Converts milk into cheese
- Jewel Maker: 5 iron ingots, 10 silver ingots and 1 raw white opal. Turns a raw gem into a jewel
You will find your Stamina (hearts) will deplete rather quickly. When you’re halfway down you get the message ” I’m getting a little tired”. With two hearts left the message changes to ” I feel I may pass out”. You can use the bathroom in your log cabin but it takes half an hour and doesn’t replenish a lot of hearts. Eating will up your stamina too. It’s easier and eating meals gets you more results. You can make meals or go into town. I took to taking a meal in the bistro or hotel after the standard farming chores. Sure, it costs G but you can get good results by eating, for instance, an Omelet for 140G. And time is really of the essence in the game. There’s always such a lot to do!
Levelling up your skills
Everything you do levels up your skills, which means that the things you do cost less stamina. And you will learn special traits and learn new crafts. Plus, it can make work easier, for instance, watering a set number of times upgrades you to watering 3 tiles at ones by instead of pushing Y to water, holding Y to charge.
Another nice addition is that with every higher level reached means a reward for you. When you see the little announcements pop up on the right of your screen, be sure to check the counter at the Townhall. Here you get a reward for skills reached and they can be quite nice. For instance, sometimes a maker, sometimes a town coin.
Upgrading your tools
Another way to minimise the stamina drain is to level up your tools, going from your regular tools to iron tools, silver tools, gold tools etc. You can upgrade those tools, and buy a bigger bag at the Worker’s Base Tool Shop. Of course, it costs money and the ore that you need for your next level tools.
At the Tourist Counter in the Harbor, you can register for online play. This means that while you play, people can visit your town and appear as tourists. You can see who has been in your town by looking at the Visitor Log. Clicking on one such visitor you can see a limited amount of details about the person.
Of course, your character can go to other people’s games too by the option Register for a Trip. You’ll see what other people see in your bio.
It also means that the photos you make can go into cyberspace and pop up in other people’s game. Choose the option Send a Postcard and select which ones you would like to send into cyberspace. You see theirs during the loading screens in the game.
First, though you need a photo camera. Visit the Olive Museum and see Gloria. She gives you a camera because she wants you to take pictures of wild animals. When you bring them back to the museum, they make a 3D statue of it. You equip the photo camera in the same way as other tools.
Aside from that, you can bring relics and fish to the museum, the latter to fill their aquarium. It took me a while to figure out what the relics are. They look like little clay bowls (called Timeworn Objects) and you start finding them once you access the land across the river.
Pioneering and Making Olive Town Prosperous
Bringing in Tourists
Major Victor needs your help to make Olive Town more attractive for tourists and has several ideas on how to do that. He does ask for your opinion but I don’t think it matters much what you choose, in the end, he decides.
To do this he needs materials for which he puts up requests in the town hall, Olive Hall. You can find them on the Bulletin Board, they are called Town Requests. Usually, I see three Town Requests of various materials, but as soon as I’ve fulfilled one, the other two disappear. I guess someone else is helping out too, lol.
The villagers put small requests up too, and most of the time this pays handsomely. Very welcome when money is always tight.
Pioneering into new areas
Usually, in these games, new areas unlock when you progress in your game. But thinking that set me back a bit in my first weeks in Olive Town, as I didn’t realize the broken bridge across the river on my land could be repaired by me using lumber and money. I just couldn’t figure out how to get Solid Lumber, lol. Seems it’s the trees across the river!
Across the bridge there a big plot of land for you to work on, a dilapidated barn and even a cow roaming free! To repair the barn you need 10 Solid Lumber, 10 Iron Ingots and 50 Flexible Grass. Once the barn is up, pet the cow and it will automatically go into the barn. Later on, you will find a sheep in the same way. And what’s nice, no need for sheers or milkers: the game automatically assumes you have them.
In that area, new wildflowers, mushrooms, wood and more are found. And there’s also a new mine! This one gives you Silver Ore, but you may also find other gems. Most importantly, there are little mole-like creatures called baddies that try to rob you of your stamina. Knock them on the head and you’ll get ores, charcoal or more importantly: they leave behind relics!
Once you’ve conquered this area, it’s on to the next one which has a horse and a lama running wild!
The Earth Sprites
Did you notice, while working your land or chopping trees etc, that at times it’s like a little ball bounces away? One night, while you go to sleep, you will be initiated in a different kind of reality and the little balls make sense. You find yourself in the Earth Sprite Village and the little balls you see skitting away are follower sprites you accumulate.
At the centre of the village is the Manager Sprite. When you’ve found enough Follower Sprites, speak with this little green sprite to assign them to your Leader Sprite of choice. For every kind of activity (working the land, chopping trees, working in the mines etc.) there’s a different Leader Sprite in this village. The more followers you assign, the more spoils a leader like Grass Sprite, Log Sprite, Stone Sprite will bring you each day you visit the Earth Village. Once you become friends with them, they may offer you rare crops and materials from their village.
Navi Sprite is the one that is, from then on, stationed next to your house. Talk to him to go the Earth Village, and to the special places that are added during your gameplay. Like Beanstalk Island, where you can do little mini-games for rewards. It’s a pity that even there time flows in the same way as in Olive Town. As if there wasn’t already enough to do in a day!
This is where our guide ends. I think, if you’ve come this far into the game it won’t hold much secrets for you anymore. But there’s still lots to explore, experience and have fun with!
How do you use the ball to play with the dog
Use the leash on your pet and then throw the ball. Its a one time use toy.
Thanks! I’ve been wondering about that myself too, as I tried using it on the farm and in the house, didn’t work. Good, I’ll add it to the guide too!
you dont u give as gift to friends
I have my mortar but game wont let me place it
Thanks for your comment, Mary, but why would you want to place your mortar? I think it is an ingredient for other recipes?
Thank you for this guide! I’m new to farming games so no idea how to start this help me a lot. I’m so glad that looking for tips on the game and came to this website love the content. Happy gaming!
Thank you Ashley for your kind comments! Have fun, and don’t hesitate to ask if you get stuck!
How do you visit other people’s farms?
I haven’t found any way of doing this, I don’t think you can. A missed chance for the developers I think!
this is amazing! I’ve just started playing and this helps so much 🙂
I’m glad it’s helpful Michelle! Have fun with the game!
Thank you for all the tips (and for your lovely website in general)!
Thank you for your kind words, and I’m glad the guide was helpfull!
How do I get fruit off my fruit trees please? No option to harvest shows
Hi Zoe, thanks for reading first of all. I think it must be because the fruit on the trees isn’t ripe yet. It’s been w while since I played, but I think the harvest option only appears when it’s ripe to pick. Hope that helps!