If you buy a membership at Joja Corporation, the Community Centre will be replaced by a Joja Warehouse, where you can pay for the same major community upgrades that are available with the community centre bundle. This means you only need to play a money-making game, and you do not need to develop a diversified farm, nor to explore the breadth of the game elsewhere. If you just want to make money, see the Farming page.
But you came to Stardew Valley to escape a draining and demoralising job at Joja - so the story favours developing the Community Centre as it stands, and the game is more interesting and varied that way, and it leads you to work towards goals that also improve your profits. So we’ll assume that’s what you’re doing.
The bundles in the Community Centre generally run along the lines of collecting one of every different thing in the game. Some things appear twice - many fish and valuable items don’t appear at all - but in general you’re going to want to go everywhere on the map, to try out every different activity, to build many of the buildings and machines that are available.
If you enter the town on (or after) day 5 of the game, you will find yourself encountering Mayor Lewis at the Community Centre. (It has to be a sunny day and you have to be coming from the Bus Stop, but if you’re taking your first harvest to sell at Pierre’s this is pretty likely to happen immediately.) During the cut-scene, Lewis will complain that the place is a mess, that Joja-Corp want the land for a warehouse and he’s *this* *close* to giving up and letting them buy it, and you’ll see something that might or might not be a rat. The Mayor will ask you to sort that out, and he’ll leave the place unlocked for you. You can wander around the community centre as much as you like, but there’s only one action that matters - you have to look at the glowing table in the Crafts Room, and see the message spelled out in gibberish letters.
The day after you’ve done that, you’ll get a letter from the wizard. Go visit him after your farming is done for the day (at this stage of the game that doesn’t take too long.) You’ll get another interesting cut-scene, including having the Wizard feed you some mysterious green potion; this enables you to actually read the gibberish, when you re-visit the Community Centre.
It turns out the Junimos want stuff. At first, only the Crafts Room will show. But once you’ve completed the first bundle (and the Spring Foraging bundle is very easy to complete) two other Rooms will appear (Pantry and Fish Tank), and then one more per bundle as you complete other bundles until all 6 Rooms are available.
Every little bundle will yield a reward, like seeds or equipment or food; completing every bundle in a Room will lead to the restoration of that Room in the Community Centre and yield a major ongoing benefit, and completing all of them will result in a grand party, Joja leaving town, and Pierre’s being open every day of the week.
Bundles are groups of donations you make to rebuild the Community Center and get rewards.
The game is open-ended. You could take five game years to complete everything, there is no penalty. But the Community Center bundles yield nice benefits, and it’s reasonable to want those ASAP. So how do you get there efficiently?
The stardewcommunitychecklist.com searchable web checklist makes it easy for you to see what items you are missing and what items are exclusive to each month along with their respective rewards if you choose to show spoilers.
One bundle asks for Red Cabbage, and you can’t even *plant* Red Cabbage until Summer of Year 2. So you can’t be more efficient than that at completing the Bulletin Board bundles (unless you get quite lucky at the Travelling Cart.)
But you can start preparing for the Community Centre right from day 1.
First, as you wander around and pick up Spring Forage, keep at least one of every different type of thing; when you have delivered all 4 different things to the Crafts Room table, you’ll be rewarded with 30 Spring Seeds, which you can plant to grow into quite a lot of those forageables and sell for quite nice money (just as always watch your energy commitment early on).
Second, plant 13 of your Parsnips plus a Green Bean starter and a Cauliflower seed from Pierre's. See First Day. Then on Spring 5 or 6, buy and plant at least one Potato for the Spring crops bundle to grow along with mostly Kale. You can take one Parsnip, Green Bean, Cauliflower, and Potato to the Community Center on Spring 13 after the Egg Festival and get a Speed Gro reward for an extra Strawberry harvest before you plant your Strawberries. After Spring 13, buy lots of Parsnip seeds, and when you harvest gold quality Parsnips, don’t sell them, because you will want 5 of those for the Quality Produce bundle. Once you have level 2 farming, craft your sap into fertiliser and plant your parsnips in fertilized soil, to improve the odds that Gold quality comes up.
Same again in Summer and in Fall, and while there’s no crops, there’s forage to collect in Winter. These are usually pretty straightforward.
So the difficult bundles are the Exotic Forage and the Construction bundle in the Crafts Room, and the Animal and Artisan bundles in the Pantry.
Exotic Forage allows you a choice of items to feed into it. But syrups are among them, so you can fill three slots easily if you put Tappers on Oak, Pine and Maple trees on your farm during your first Spring or Summer; which is a good idea in any case. Cave Carrots usually turn up as you go mining. Some of the other options are readily picked up once the Vault bundles are complete - being as they are common in the Desert - or in the Secret Woods, once you have a steel axe - however, if you’ve taken the Mushroom cave it’s easy to obtain some uncommon mushrooms far sooner.
The Construction bundle requires lots of stone, lots more wood, and some Hardwood. Stone and Wood are both straightforward to acquire - though you may need to make a special effort to cut enough wood, it being useful for many other purposes. Hardwood will most likely require a Steel Axe, although if you are lucky you may find enough hardwood by smashing chests in the mines. Either way you need to go mining, and probably making your way down beyond level 40. This can be done with difficulty by the end of Summer, and more readily by the end of Fall. Once you have a Steel axe you’ll get hardwood by clearing the stumps on your farm - and more from the Secret Woods that you can now get into.
Once you have completed all the Crafts Room bundles the Junimos will repair the bridge to the Quarry. This gives you access to an area that will initially be almost completely full of the same kinds of stones you find in the mines; most of these are simply rock but many of them are ore or gems. So you’ll get a bit of gold and if you’re lucky, some Iridium. It may take you a few visits to clear all of them - but it’s worth getting rid of all the regular rocks, because new rocks will only spawn in clear space, and you don’t want the spawning of good ore to be blocked by a regular stone. Besides, you can use all the stone you can mine - 999 stone doesn’t last long if you’re using it to descend rapidly in the Skull Cavern.
The Pantry bundles, when they are all complete, lead the Junimos to repair your Greenhouse, which will give you a space that can grow any and all crops, regardless of season, and plenty of fruit trees that will fruit year-round. This requires an investment (the fruit trees in particular will cost a lot) but it is extremely rewarding. If you’re on track to complete it during your first winter, you may want to buy some extra seeds from Pierre before Fall ends - there is soil for 100 plants.
But first you have to get there. The Animal bundle requires happy animals (that’s what it takes to produce Large products) and you’ll need upgrades to both the Barn and the Coop. So long as you are doing reasonably well, you can get both of these before the end of Winter - the hard part is getting the animals happy enough to produce the better products, which takes time. If you’re doing *well* (with both money and wood and stone) you can get both upgrades by the end of Summer. Animals happiness increases in winter if you’ve got a Heater in the shed, and it’s easier to systematically pet them all (and milk them) when they’re staying in their building.
Artisan bundle will take Fruit, and it’s usually straightforward to plant an Apple tree and a Pomegranate tree at the end of Spring, so that will let you fill two slots during Fall. If you’ve got your steel axe you will have the Hardwood to make a cheese press, which combines well with the goats you already wanted for the animal bundle; you can make both Goats Cheese and regular Cheese. Jelly counts, so make at least one preserves jar and put some fruit into it. Unfortunately Mayonnaise doesn’t count. So what to put into the 6th slot? One obvious way to fill this 6th slot is to upgrade either the barn or the coop, buy a wool-bearing animal, and craft a loom; then you can make cloth. But a much cheaper option is to use some maple syrup and iron in crafting a Bee House, which will produce Honey after several days. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to recycle a Soggy Newspaper into cloth. If you’ve chosen the Fruit Bat cave (not recommended) then you may have gotten a good variety of fruit - this too takes luck, as the bats deliver wild fruit and berries as well as orchard fruit. If you don’t get this bundle in the first year, it’s usually much easier to get it in the second year, because you should have more fruit trees.
The common elements here are: you want to mine until you get Iron, farm a variety of crops (including planting trees), try out every machine you learn how to craft, and build and stock an upgraded Barn and Coop. This will also position you well to keep earning money during winter.
The Boiler room bundles will generally be completed soon after you reach level 80 in the Mines. This is the depth you’ll need to reach for Fire Quartz and Gold Ore; it also yields plenty of Void Essence and Solar Essence. Everything else is readily obtained on the way down. If you’re pushing your mining hard, you can get there by the end of Summer; this involves mining on every rainy day (and a bit of luck with the number of days that rain) and on some afternoons after you’ve completed your watering and had a soak in the spa. (This will probably be at the expense of some fishing.) When you have completed all the Boiler Room Bundles, the Junimos will repair the Minecarts, meaning you can instantly get between three spots - one at the Bus Stop, one at the Mines, and one near the Blacksmith’s in Town. (The Quarry will also appear when you have completed the Crafts room bundle.) This reduces the amount of time you spend walking around; you can spend more of it mining.
The Vault bundles are simply purchased with cash. Use the same strategies for earning lots of money that you would be using anyway - re-investing your money to grow your farm, planting valuable crops, and processing some of your harvest and all of your animal products into Artisan goods, which sell for more. There is usually little pressure to complete the Vault bundles until you have either reached the bottom of the mines, or you are approaching the limits of the Fishing bundle (or are going bonkers with Exotic Forage.) The benefit for completing the Vault bundles is that the Bus is repaired, which means that you can get to the Desert. In the Desert you will find the Skull Cavern, like the Mines but with traces of Iridium, and you will find the Oasis, where you can buy seeds that aren’t otherwise available (and Starfruit in particular is very profitable.)
The Bulletin Board bundles are extremely diverse. They are the last to become available and often the last to finish.
To complete the Bulletin board, you will need:
- To upgrade your house so that you have a kitchen and can Cook (you may well get a Maki Roll from Linus after making friends, but a Fried Egg seems to require a kitchen.)
- To find your way into the Secret Woods for some Fiddlehead Fern
- To have a Deluxe Barn with Pigs (very profitable)
- To fix the bridge at the beach so you can find a Sea Urchin (good move early on anyway)
- To get several apples (easiest if you planted an Apple Tree at the end of Spring)
- To get a pomegranate (planting a Pomegranate Tree at the end of Spring)
- To make some Wine in a keg (very profitable)
- To tap different sorts of trees
- To have a Deluxe Coop with Happy Rabbits
- To do a diversity of fishing and mining and foraging
- And to plant Red Cabbage in Summer of Year 2.
…This mostly means going further on every track you were already following for all the other bundles.
The Fish Tank bundles are each named to indicate one of the things you’re going to need to do to catch those fish. Lake Fish are all caught in Lake Water - which actually means anywhere on the Mountain map. Ocean means the Beach map, River runs through both Cindersap Forest and Pelican Town. Night fishing relates to the time of day (although the Walleye can be caught from 12 noon.) Although everything in the Crab pot bundle can be caught with a crab pot (and anything you can catch in a crab pot will count, excepting rubbish), 4 slots can be filled with shells you can also find by foraging on the Beach, and the Hermit Crabs in the mines can drop a crab, meaning you can complete this bundle without fishing - although you need to be able to craft bait to put the reward of 3 crab pots to use, so you need to catch enough junk and cheap fish to get to Fishing Level 2.
Speciality fish: The Pufferfish can only be caught in Summer between 12 and 4 in the Ocean. And it’s a difficult fish to catch, darting up and down. A common tactic is in fact simply to buy one from the Travelling Cart, in Cindersap Forest on Fridays and Sundays - it is the most likely of all fish to appear in the erratic inventory, and usually costs 1000gp. The Ghostfish can be caught in the Mines at level 20, 60 or 100. However it is also often obtained by killing monsters in the mine - in particular the Ghost has a chance of dropping one. The Woodskip is caught in the Secret Woods, which are accessed through Cindersap Forest after you’ve used a Steel Axe to clear the Hardwood Log. The Sandfish is caught in the Desert, so you will need to pay for the vault bundles and go for a bus ride.
The reward for completing the Fishtank bundles is that Panning for ores becomes an option. But first you have to spot a glistening patch in the water, and they’re not particularly common. This reward is not as obviously satisfying as the others - however, if you find Iridium you may decide it’s well worthwhile.