BDO Farming Guide (Black Desert Online 2019)
Originally written by Eminent (u/CadeGuitar), who generously published a Farming Guide in "Eminent’s Life Skill Guide". This well-received, 260 page guide has been added to and edited by me. It's now kept current on GrumpyG, with Eminent's permission. Thanks Eminent! ! I will update this Farming Guide with any new BDO patches/changes. (Eminent is currently taking a break from Black Desert Online.)
Eminent’s BDO Farming Guide
Farming lets you pick a plot of land almost anywhere in the world and grow crops on it. These crops are extremely useful for cooking, upgrading an alchemy stone, or just selling for profit. Farming is one of the most profitable uses for your Contribution Points, but if you don’t like it, it will just end up being a chore. After spending 100 Contribution on large fences, it can be leveled fairly quick.
Farming requires a few things:
- Fence: (rent with CP or free for 1 slot fences)
- Seed: (Seed Vendors, Marketplace, rarely from Gathering)
- Time: (and plenty of it... must be logged in for crops to grow)
Farming is really the only Life Skill that requires CP to do (technically you could level Farming without spending CP using up to 10 Shabby Fences, but it would take much longer).
Your yield when harvesting a crop is based on the rarity/grade of crop you’re growing.
- Normal crops yield 60-80
- High-Quality crops yield 40-60
- Special crops yield 20-40
Farming Yields Update: 200% crop growth no longer lessens crop amount gathered: Crops used to yield significantly less at 200%. But the 4/21/2018 Patch Notes state, "Even if the growth of crops at garden reaches 200%, the yield will not be reduced anymore."
Seeds can be purchased with silver from the Marketplace or from a Seed Vendor. Too find all the Seed Vendors you have already spoken to, use the NPC button on the top right of the screen. Type in "seed" in the search.
Most Seed Vendors only sell Withered Seeds, but these can be bred into a normal quality seed. It takes some time and relies on luck, but eventually you will have an upgraded seed to plant. Ahr is a Seed Vendor located in Calpheon City, who sells normal/white quality seeds. Her prices are expensive, but it may be worth it to you to pay extra. For example, her grape seed sells for 4,320 silver, but you can buy it on the Marketplace for...
Notice the extremely low quantities of white seeds at the Marketplace. Most of the time, high-demand, white seeds are completely sold out.
Gathering Seeds for Farming
Seeds are also obtained rarely through gathering. The gatherables that drop seeds is a long list that includes: Fruit Trees, Shrubs, Thickets, Dry Thickets, Bushes. But this way of obtaining seeds is really hit or miss and it's hard to know which seed you might get. For example, look at the image showing 1% drops for 4 different seeds obtainable from gathering Fruit Trees. (Source: bddatabase.net)
If you look at the drops from gathering Shrubs, you will find that only Olive and Grape seeds drop from them. Shrubs also have the same low RNG percent drop rate for seeds as Fruit Trees.
You can either put workers on your farm to tend to it (keep away bugs, prune it, etc) or you can do it yourself.
Then you have to wait x hours for your crop to grow to at least 100% growth. From here you can either harvest your crop, or breed seeds.
If you choose to breed the crop, you’ll get 1-3 seeds for that plant. There is also a chance that the rarity of seed you get will be higher than what you planted (for example if you planted a High-Quality Sunflower Seed, you could breed a Special Sunflower Seed).
In my opinion, you're better off buying seeds instead of breeding them, even if it's from the Seed Vendor, Ahr. She already saves you hours trying to get lucky breeding a Withered into a normal quality seed. Breeding takes hours to attempt and you may only get 1 seed of the same quality back! Grrrrr! However, you may be more interested in the rare procs from breeding, like Fruit of the Sun from breeding Wheat Crops. (Withered crops do not produce Fruits. Must be white/normal grade or higher)
Magical Seeds & Mysterious Seeds
Mysterious Seeds produce 7x the crop. If you breed them, you get a random amount of the corresponding fruit (eg. 'Fruit of Nature' or 'Fruit of the Sun').
Magical Seeds produce a crop that breeds and harvests 5x the normal amount. They take up 5x the farm slots. Magical seeds require Artisan 1 Farming skill. These seeds are only beneficial if you're looking to save time/energy/fertilizer. If your goal is to get shards, or level up Farming, you wouldn't want to use these.
Magical Seed Benefits:
Takes up 5x the slots to yield 5x the crops. This means farming time is 5x quicker and less hassle for you. (If you find pressing the R key 4 extra times a hassle.)
You get 5x more fruits/byproducts per seed bred (on average).
Save on energy. For example, if you have 10 Large Fences, you only need enough energy to breed/harvest/prune 10 times instead of 20 time.
Workers almost never run out of energy removing blights in Magical Seed Farms before the crops hit 100%. This means you can do 3 harvests per day if your reason for farming is crop gathering.
Fertilizer lasts longer since they get consumed slower by less amount of crops.
Magical Seed Cons:
5x less Farming XP chances
5x less sharp/hard shard chances while pruning
Requires Artisan 1 Farming skill
How to Obtain Magical and Mysterious Seeds:
Magical Strawberry Seed = breeding Special or Magical Crops
Mysterious Seed (generic) = breeding, harvesting, pruning, killing pests of Special or Magical Crops
Mysterious Strawberry Seed = Processing > Shaking: 1 Magical Strawberry Seed + 5 Mysterious Seeds (generic)
Perhaps the single most crucial thing for farming is the fence. Without renting a fence, you can’t really do anything, so this should be your first step.
You can use the NPC finder by your minimap to search for NPCs that sell fences and auto route to them.
There are 5 kinds of fencing total:
|Fence||Size (slots)||Cost (CP)|
Old Moon Fence
Requires Farming Master 1
|Shabby Fence||1||Free (quest reward)|
Smaller fences are more efficient (give more slots per CP). With that in mind, you might think the best thing is to use a ton of Shabby Fences or Small Fences. At some point we run into a problem though -- you can only have 10 fences total.
This means that, depending on how much CP we want to spend, we have to balance our fences a little bit.
Using this chart will give you the most plots for the CP you have available.
Chart found in horse discord; no idea who made it
This chart doesn’t mention the Shabby Fence. Remember the free 1 slot fence that doesn't cost Contribution Points? You can only have 10 farms total, but if you only had 5 fences anyways, wouldn’t it be better to plop down another 5 free fences for 5 more slots?
Shabby Fence is a reward from the quest Because I Like You. It can only be done once per character, so for each shabby fence you want you have to do the quest on an alt. You also need Beginner 7 Gathering to avoid the prerequisite quest line.
Additionally, you could just get 10 Shabby Fences and have a really small, low-yield, low-maintenance farm.
Old Moon Fence
Old Moon Fence is a nice reward once you obtain Farming Master 1. This is a helpful fence because it takes up less room than a Large Fence, but gives the same amount of farming slots. This makes it possible to use less water and fertilizer. Old Moon Fence can be obtained by visiting an <Old Moon Manager>. One is located conveniently inside the northern inn in Heidel. NPC name: Stee.
Thank you to MikeyMutz's screenshot below, taken from their forum post, showing the place to stand that will water and fertilize all 10 Old Moon Fences at once.
Best Place to Farm
Now that we have some fences, it’s time to decide where to put them. I mentioned before that you can’t place fences in a node war area, and also not in a safe zone. (ex. You can’t place a fence inside of Calpheon, but you can place one right outside)
They generally have to be placed in grassy areas, but sometimes you can place them on sand (I’ve fit a 10x10 on a beach before). You can’t place it if the ground is just pure stone. You can place a fence if there is a rock or tree inside, it’ll just be really annoying to have to deal with trees inside of your fence.
When deciding where to place your farms, there are a few important things you have to consider, like temperature and humidity. When you place the seed, a window will pop up showing that crop's information.
- Temperature: % growth every 5 minutes
- Humidity: % chance of your plants getting blighted every 5 minutes
- Water: without water your Moisture bar will lower
- Fertilizer: +20% growth rate (1 hour for a full bar)
- Growth: at 100%, you can Harvest or Breed the crop
- Health: when this decreases from bird attacks, you get less crop yield
- Moisture: if this reaches 0, your yield will be 50% less (normally only a concern in desert areas like Valencia)
Arguably, the most important parts are the meters for temperature and humidity.
Every crop has a preferred temperature it likes to grow in. If your fence is in a location that the crop likes, it will grow normally. If it’s in a temperature the crop doesn’t like, it will take much longer to grow. (up to 2x longer or more)
Similarly, each crop has a preferred humidity it likes to grow in. Depending on how you balance the humidity, it will affect how often your crops get “blighted” (need to be pruned or have bugs).
bddatabase.net has some great resources to help you decide where you should farm. You can view the Water, Humidity, and Temperature effects on different crops.
Start with their Farming List. Just click on a Farming item to view that crop's details. Then hover your cursor over the Water/Humidity/Temp bars at the bottom to view the crop's Weather Preferences.
Bddatabase also has a list of nodes that shows the Weather info for each region. Notice the high Water and Humidity levels that are found in the swampy regions surrounding Glish.
If you open your world map, you can use the controls on the top right to view Weather details about the region that will help you in picking a location for farming.
The cloud button called Humidity Information will show the most humid regions, which are a darker red. Low humidity is white. The colors will fluctuate a little as rain comes, but we can expect some regions (like swamps) to be more humid than others.
The water droplet button called Groundwater Information will show the regions with the most ground water. Regions with the highest ground water are shown as a darker blue. Low ground water is shown as white. But it's a little misleading. The colors will fluctuate and move dramatically as rain comes. You would expect "Groundwater" to not move as much as it does. For example, land around lake and river regions should have more ground water, but this isn't true. It looks like it's more a reflection of current and recent rainfall than what we normally think of as ground water (for digging wells, etc). You really can't count on the blue areas staying blue for very long. Honestly, I don't see how this helps farmers much. If you know, please pass the info to me!
The barometer button called Temperature Information will show the region temperature differences. Cooler regions are shown as green. Medium temp is shown as yellow and the hotter climates are orange/reddish color. The colors will not fluctuate like they do for humidity and water. Expect hotter climate (higher percentages for temp) in Mediah and desert areas like Valencia.
How Important is all This Weather Info?
I believe temperature and humidity to be secondary to the single most important thing: convenience.
If I am cooking in Calpheon City 8 hours a day, but the optimal farm location is in Velia, I don’t want to have to run across the map to prune my crops. In my opinion, unless you’re wanting to devote time to power leveling farming, fences should be placed wherever you’re spending most of your time. You shouldn’t need to waste time travelling just to prune your crops. To bypass traveling time, you could assign an Alt to be your dedicated farmer and just periodically log them in. But the down side is that it may discourage you from playing that Alt if you ever want to hunt far from your farm.
That’s mostly just a matter of opinion, but I think convenient fence placement is the key to farming success.
Which Crops are Best to Farm?
The next thing you should think about is what to grow in your fences. You should decide this based on the following criteria:
More or less in that order. A huge emphasis needs to be made on “usefulness” here, because if you’re not growing something useful, it’s very likely that you shouldn’t even be farming.
So what’s “useful”?
Farming for Crops You can Use
Special Strawberries are useful for upgrading alchemy stones because they give the most XP. If you’re going to be doing cooking/alchemy/processing/gathering in the future, you’re going to want a good alchemy stone. Instead of spending billions buying strawberries on the market, you could grow your own. Strawberries are also very useful in cooking. For example: Tea with Fine Scent, Essence of Liquor, Vinegar, and many more.
If you want to cook specific dishes that happen to require a rare ingredient unobtainable via nodes (say, onion or garlic), you would probably need to farm those yourself. (or expect to pay high special crop rates for them: 6k-7k each) As with most cooking ingredients, it's rare to find cheap, normal/white grade crops on the Marketplace.
Other rare and useful ingredients you obtain from farming include those used in alchemy. Breeding seeds sometimes produces Fruits of ______. Weeds are common from pruning. You could grow cereals to aid your beer production. With haystacks you could farm milk, and chicken feed provides eggs
There is almost certainly something you could grow that would be extremely useful to you in the future.
Fruits Obtained From Breeding Crops
|Fruit of the Sun
|Fruit of Abundance
|Fruit of Perfection
|Fruit of Magic Power
Fortune Teller Mushroom
|Fruit of Crimson Flame
|Fruit of Destruction
|Fruit of Enchantment
||Dry Mane Grass
Fire Flake Flower
Silk Honey Grass
|Fruit of Nature
Farming for Silver
If, after careful thought and consideration, you realize you don't want to actually use your farming goods, then you might consider farming for silver. Here, again, Special Strawberries are still a good choice. Many players also grow Special Sunflowers and have their workers pack them into crates for trading. (Artisan 2 Trade required.) These are also often sold on the Marketplace.
There’s a few things to consider here.
First, if you’re selling products to the market, you need to consider your output vs how much people are buying. If you are selling thousands of crops every day, but only 200 things get bought, it’s not really maintainable.
Second, it’s almost always significantly more profitable to buy seeds than to breed them yourself. In that case, you have to consider the availability of seeds on the market. If you can’t reliably buy a certain kind of seed, you might make more money growing something else.
Farming for Farming XP
Picking your crop based on Farming xp will probably be your last consideration. To maximize your xp, you must increase the blight rate. The more often things get blighted, the more often you can prune them, and thus the more xp you’ll get.
By picking a crop that is extremely incompatible with that region’s humidity you can raise your Farming xp per hour. Northern Cienaga is one of the highest Humidty areas in the game and it's very close to Heidel. If you find a crop with low preferences for Humidity, like Dry Mane Grass...
We can see here that Dry Mane Grass loves dry, hotter climates and would do extremely poorly in a cool swampy area like Northern Cienaga. Therefore, it will have more instances of Blight and you will have to attend to it more often, and earn more Farming xp per hour.
Find every crop's best growing conditions in bddatabase's Farming List. Weather Preferences are shown when you click on a Farming item to view that crop's details. Then hover your cursor over the Water/Humidity/Temp bars at the bottom.
Farming is a slow skill to level, if you don't dedicate a full 100 Contribution in fences to power level it at once. This strategy takes dedication and patience, but it has been reported that you can achieve much quicker results. (Three days for Artisan level farming.) Crops that aren't tended take forever to grow: 10-16 hours. If you have the patience and fortitude and don't care about profit, go for it. But, you may enjoy just growing something that's useful and get farming xp slowly as it comes.
Farming Benefits of Blight
Depending on the humidity, your crops have a chance to get blighted. This blight chance is rolled for each individual crop (aka, if one crop is blighted, they don’t all get blighted) on a tick system. After every x amount of time (a tick) it will roll for the healthy crops (based on % blight chance) and then update the status for the affected crops.
If a crop is blighted, it will grow much slower than a healthy crop.
To fix this, you simply need to walk up to the affected crop and hit “prune”. If you don’t feel like tending to your crops yourself you could also have your workers do it for you. To do this click the Farming icon on the top left of the screen.
Pruning manually or letting your workers do it is actually a fairly important decision, so you should consider it carefully. Let’s compare the two.
- Pruning is really the only legitimate way to get farming xp
- Chance to get hards and sharps
- Decent way to supply weeds for alchemy
- Crops will take longer to grow because you can’t always be perfect and keep crops blight free
- Extra work, kind of annoying/high maintenance
- Completely afk, no effort involved (except for planting/harvesting)
- Crops will grow faster because they are never blighted
- Have to cover the cost of beer
- No hards/sharps
- Barely any weeds
- You’ll get basically no farming xp ever
Given that information you should be able to make a reasonable decision on which you want to do.
If you do decide to go the route of having your workers prune for you, there’s a couple tricks you can do.
One thing that’s important to realize, is that farms are not nodes -- meaning they’re not connected to any town. This means you can send workers from anywhere in the world to work on them.
Remember each town has 1 base lodging, so rather than wasting lodging in important cities (where you would have to pay CP), you can use the free lodging in places you would otherwise never touch (such as Iliya Island, Shakatu, etc.).
Also remember that p2w lodging adds lodging to the entire region, not just a specific lodging. So if you buy all 3 p2w lodging for Valencia, it will add those to other desert cities as well. This will allow you to get 10 workers without spending any CP on lodging.
Which Workers are Best for Farming?
Workers assigned to fences act differently than workers assigned to Nodes. They continually work and remove blight and only run back to storage when their Stamina in drained, hopefully carrying a few Weeds with them. When your workers are coming from Iliya and the desert, the travel time for your workers to get to your farms is really long. Because of that, you may want to use workers with lots of Stamina (Giants). Keep them fed and they won't have to waste 2 hours running back and forth from Storage Keeper to Fence.
Additionally, it doesn’t matter if they have low work speed, they’ll do the same job on farms. If they have high work speed though, they’ll get exhausted faster and then have to walk back to their town of origin.
With this information, the conclusion for best farm worker is: green giants.
Naive giants have the same work speed as green, but less stamina so those are no good.
Also, a tidbit of information that you may or may not know, is that there are two kinds of green giants (or any green worker).
They look identical, but if you look at their stats you’ll realize that half of the green giants have 25 stamina and the other half have 30. You’ll want to get the ones with 30.
With this setup your giants should last overnight and your crops should be permanently healthy.
However, if Weeds are your goal, you will want to place Fences nearby the Storage Keeper and use low Stamina workers like Goblins.
- Do I need scarecrows and waterways?
- In my experience they’re unnecessary, and you’d benefit more using those slots for more crops
- Do I need to manually water my crops?
- I’ve never had an issue with water
- Should I use workers on my farms?
- If you’re trying to get Farming xp, definitely do not use workers.
- If you’re trying to maximize profit and minimize work, workers are probably the way to go
Thanks for reading Eminent's BDO farming guide! If you would like to contact GrumpyG, you can do so via PMs on BDO's forum or Message me on Reddit.com. If you have any questions, please ask!
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