Gifts from your lovely neighbors are a crucial element to your success in Famly Barn. It ranges from produce, trees, gear parts, quest items, pet food and materials. I would even go far as to say that neighbor gifts are the second most important resource after RC. But because we think of them as “free gifts” we tend to squander it. Don’t. Neighbor gifts, when used wisely, could really contribute in the overall productivity of your farm.
I see a lot of people asking their neighbors for simple produce, like milk or cheese or honey. But why do that when these are things you can easily produce yourself! My advice is instead to get items you can only get from neighbor gifts each time and keep investing in your farm’s buildings. For example, do you have a greenhouse? No? Start building one! Apply your neighbor’s gifts to the materials required to build the greenhouse. If you already have enough greenhouses, move on to the water well. Both the green house and the water well can increase your farm’s productivity immensely and you will reap the benefits in the long run. Don’t forget the warehouse! While the warehouse doesn’t directly increase productivety, it contributes by conserving space. Both the water wall and the warehouse can be upgraded repeatedly so keep doing that to meet your farm’s growing needs!
Most of the gear or machinary requires parts that can only be acquired through neighbor gifts or RC. And without gear, you can’t produce those cute little cakes and teddy bears. So keep thinking about what new gear you can get with the help of your neighbors and use those gifts wisely!
In general, I like quests. They force me to plant crops that I don’t ordinarily plant, which could be pretty fun. The demand in sheer volume also pushes me to expand my crop space, which ends up in increased overall productivity. And I love getting rewards, be it coins or experience! But there is one type of quest that I dread, and that’s the tree quest.
The thing about trees is that you cannot switch them out like you can with crops. Once you plant, say, a chocolate tree, it’s there producing every harvesting cycle. That’s great in theory, but it also means you’re stuck with that tree using up that plot of land. Of course you can delete the tree itself, but that would mean you’re foregoing your original investment and who wants to do that! Remember, that tree was most likely expensive! So if you’re going to plant a tree, you might as well do your best to keep it.
Trees require careful planning. Remember that quest that made you bake eighty Black Forest Cakes? One of the first mistakes I made with trees was to plant far too many gisela cherry trees. Back when I was on the quest, it seemed like a good idea to just have a lot of them producing gisela cherries so I could get the quest out of my way in a day or two. But once the quest was done, the trees were still there. And after a couple of weeks, those gisela cherries started collecting in my barn. I tried to make use of it by producing more cakes, but corn and wheat production just couldn’t catch up with the volume of gisela cherries. That in itself was okay since I just let the cherries pile up. But as the almond and banana quests followed, I realized that I just didn’t have the kind of space to keep a dozen of every tree species in Family Barn. So when I get tree quests now, I brace myself and prepare for the long haul. For example when I got the “Harvest 75 Chocolate and Pears” quest, it took me more than a week to finish it, simply because I decided to just cope with three chocolate trees. With each chocolate tree costing 5 RC and being at a junction where I needed RC for other objectives, I just couldn’t afford to plant anymore.
As a general rule, I try to scale the number of trees depending on their harvest time. For example, I only have four pear trees because their harvest time is the shortest — just four hours. On the other hand, I have ten peach trees because their harvest cycle is 24 hours (Speaking of which, if you haven’t had the peach quest thrown your way yet, brace yourself — that one is a pain!) Obviously if the tree is offered as neighbor gifts (like apples and bananas), you can just plant a dozen when you get the quest and delete them afterwards. On the other hand, the trees that can only be acquired with RC are tricky. I try to get by with as little as possible since I hate spending RC unnecessarily.
One last thing — I don’t recommend getting the tree greenhouse, only because its purpose is just that — for trees. While I do think the tree greenhouse looks super cute, the space underneath the trees are completely wasted because you can’t plant crops inside. And there are long spells in the game where tree production isn’t a priority. So if your goal is to speed up your trees, I would just get a super greenhouse instead!
While Family Barn is a pretty self explanatory game, the thing that always sends me in slight panic mode are the beer quests. Maybe it’s because I don’t drink beer. but when the game tells me to make 70 Munich Beer for a theme party, I’m like “Huh?!” The beer machine takes wheat, barley and rye, so it’s gotta be one of them, but who wants to wait 12 hours to find out that you’ve made 70 of the wrong crops for nothing! In my desperation, I googled “Munich Beer”. It took me to several websites with photos of jolly men and women raising their beer mugs excitedly, but didn’t really offer any clues to which grain to use.
But this is where having higher level neighbors come in handy. I typed in the comment section of girlsgogames: “Which grain for Munich Beer?” Even though I wasn’t expecting an immediate answer, five minutes later, a kind, higher level neighbor was nice enough to offer guidance. I don’t know, maybe she’s a big beer drinker. I was thinking I might have to use my fertilizer to test out which grain produces what beer but was very happy I didn’t have to resort to that!
So just for the sake of anyone who is as clueless as I am, Wheat makes Munich Beer, Barley makes Berliner Weissbeer, and Rye makes Stout.
Maybe it’s because I’m a practical type of girl, but I don’t really get the purpose of Love Animals. For example, I don’t get why I should use my precious gifts to feed a Deer and a Panda, just so I can get a Capricorn Bear. I mean, 48 coins in one minute is not too shabby but the bear takes far more space than, say, a plot of corn. And he’s not that good looking either, is he? I don’t have one, but I saw one in a neighbor’s yard, and he and the black buffallo just looked like they were splashing up mud and making a big mess! But who am I to talk when I haven’t even tried? So during the last few days, I raised some Love Animals myself, just to see if there was some hidden pleasure I was missing.
Guess what? I didn’t discover any. I purchased a deer, fed him all the deer food that my good neighbors sent me, made 60 Deer Coins and exchanged him for a Capricorn Flower, the seemingly most unintrusive item. So now I have the flower and it makes 25 coins with a very long cool down. The flower is pretty and doesn’t take too much space, but I can be making more coins using that plot to raise produce, I think. So I don’t really think it was worth the work required to get one.
Am I wrong? I would love for someone to enlighten me on this issue…
First of all, this is not a “powerleveling” guide. I can’t really tell you cheats or secret tips that will make you level 50 tomorrow because… well, I know none. But I see a lot of players stay low level for a long time. So I thought I’d write about a few basic things you could do to avoid falling into that trap.
- Maximize space. In Family Barn, “space = experience points”, but only if you use your space wisely. Having a big open plot that’s being used for nothing is the dumbest thing you can do, and will definately keep you from leveling fast. The smart thing to do is to conserve space. So… is parking 10 rabbits a good idea? Maybe, if your goal is to have the cutest rabbit farm… but not if you want to level fast. Sure, it’s nice to have angora hair super fast. But considering you’re going to have to wait 8 hours for those carrots to grow anyway, what’s the point? Also, use your coins to expand your farm as soon as you’re able to. Again, the more crops, the faster you level.
- No resting crops. By “resting” I mean crops that sit there unharvested or unplanted for hours. I said before that “space = experience points”, but so is time. Every minute your crops sit without actually GROWING is wasted time. So the best thing to do when planting is to think about your own schedule. When is the next time you can sit in front of your PC to harvest? If you’re about to go to bed and won’t be able to harvest until you’re back from school the next day, plant something that will take forever to harvest, like corn. It will slowly keep growing the whole time you’re away, and will give you more profit than, say, clover. Make sure your plants are always growing, harvest and replant promptly when they’re ready.
- If you have a lot of free time, plant faster crops. Not many of us have the luxury of playing Family Barn all day, but if you’re one of those lucky people and want to level fast, planting crops with a shorter harvest time is the way to go. This is because the game gives you XP each time you plant and harvest. It also gives you XP every time the plant you harvested is made into something else, like wine, or milk or sausage. So you’ll gain more XP in a 12 hour period if you plant and harvest cucumbers six times than if you have wheat growing slowly that whole time.
- Do what Ol’ Macdonald tells you to do. The tasks Ol’ McDonald gives you will award XP, coins, at times even OP or RC. The special missions and events they have like the truffle challenge or the Euro Cup challenge will also do that in addition to giving you fancy goodies at the end. Don’t neglect them! (As of August 2012, Ol’ Macdonald has slinked away in the background and instead there is Darry, a younger boy that resembles Diego from “Dora the Explorer”. I miss Ol’ Macdonald! Why do I have to take orders from Darry, who looks like my little brother?)
- Friends can help you level. When you visit a neighbor’s farm, you receive 5 XP and 10 coins per day. S0 if you have 500 friends, you can earn a total of 2,500 XP and 5,000 coins a day. If you want to put in the extra work to level faster, make sure you have as many friends as possible and visit their farms everyday!
Until a few weeks ago, if anyone asked me what my favorite thing in Family Barn was, I would have said the cake machine. Before I owned one, I only thought of it as just another equipment that would take up valuable crop space. But once I purchased it and saw a black forest cake being decorated with precision — one gisele cherry after another being tenderly dripped on a layer of whip cream — I was positively in love.
But guess what? After 10 wood, 10 tiles, 10 buckets of paint and 33 RC later, I finally acquired a warehouse. And I honestly can’t believe how I played this game without it! Let me tell you — I love the warehouse so much, that I wouldn’t trade it for — let’s say a super duper mega greenhouse that makes crops and trees grow 90% faster (if Family Barn were to make such a thing).
Outwardly, the warehouse is cute as a button! But it’s also functional… so frickin’ functional. It can store away all the equipments that can make your farm look like a junk yard. It can contain those animals that you had to purchase for one quest or another, but never really seem to use. This means you can use that extra space for crops, increasing your farm’s overall productivity. It especially comes in handy when you’re trying to free up space so that you can lay down the foundation for a greenhouse. Just click, click, click and voila! Like magic, you have the space you need!
The warehouse also solved one of my major dilemmas in the game. You see, I’ve had a duck pond smack in the center of my farm ever since the quest that asks you to make 80 duck eggs. Every once in a while, I would have an itch to move the pond to some other location, but didn’t know how I could go about it without buying MORE pond water. Because in order to move the duck pond, you need pond water to set it down, but since my cursor is occupied lifting the duck pond, I couldn’t move the pond water below it at the same time. And I wasn’t going to spend another 2,500 coins x 4 to make 4 more plots of pond water that I don’t need. But the warehouse allows you to store the duck pond so that your pond water is freed up for a relocation!
I’m one of those players who always seem inpoverished for OP. In case you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, OP is represented by the little wheel sign above the row of neighbor avatars. I’m guessing it stands short for Operation Points. Basically it’s the amount of automation you have in the game.
When I pull up the rankings and sort it according to OP, I’m always at the bottom five, even though I’m no where near there in terms of level, XP or coins.
I don’t know why I’m so fail when it comes to OP. Once upon a time when I had just discovered the OP wheel, I went a little wild and kept all my machines on auto-run. Also, I had taken to planting and harvesting nine plots at at time with my cursor set on 3×3 mode. Not reading the little lettering that says “Cost OP”, I even planned my whole farm layout in 9×9 so I can plant and harvest faster. Considering I had to sit in front of my PC and click anyway, what a waste! But once I realized that was eating up my OP, I switched to planting and harvesting snail mode! Yes, I do use it on quest items so I can find out what sadistic Ol’ MacDonald wants from me next. But other than that, I really only allow my beehives to go fully automatic. And no, don’t ask me to wait for those bees to finish their pollinating and harvest one clover at a time. If I had that kind of patience, I’d be harvesting crops in the real world.
Sometimes I dream of winning 500,000 OP. While my philosophy on games is that a certain amount of constraints makes it more interesting, I don’t think my gaming experience would be ruined at all if I had unlimited OP…
Don’t you hate it when you’ve done something you had no intention of doing and it’s irreversible? In Family Barn, disaster is looming one careless click away. Here’s some of my biggest miss-clicks in the game:
1. When trying to complete a level 5 water well, I accidentally clicked on the green “Use 50 RC to complete this now” button, even though I had already managed to collect ALL the necessary materials from my neighbors, save the one sprinkler offered through RC. There goes 50 RC down the drain. Thank you, developers, for placing it a hair above the “Buy 1 RC” button…
2. When, being unaware of my cursor being on “Sell tool” setting, I got rid of my Labrador Puppy. I was *just* planning to move him next to the mill! Alright, what was all that effort I put into completing that 7 day dog quest for…?
3. When I hit the “Sell all” button in my Barn, without realizing that the “Select All” option was checked, and sold everything… yes, EVERYTHING in my barn. That was easily 50,000 coins worth of raw materials. Bye bye, 50 almonds squirreled up for the almond harvesting quest…. Farewell, all the saved up flour, eggs and love fruit waiting to be made into beautiful cake… So long, dream plans for 25 x 25 expansion…
Please share your biggest miss-clicks so we can learn to avoid them!
We all know that having neighbors in Family Barn can help a great deal. Just like in real life, good neighbor relations goes two ways. If you’re a lousy neighbor who’s never there, have a major dump for a plot, and don’t do anything for your friends, chances are your neighbors who fertilize your crops and send you presents everyday are starting to feel like they’re getting the short end of the deal. Pretty soon they’ll walk away in search of better neighbors. Then you’ll be left surrounded with a bunch of lazy neighbors just like yourself! So once in a while you should ask yourself: Am I really a good neighbor?
- Do you visit your neighbor’s farm everyday? Yes, sometimes this could be tiresome, especially if you have a lot of neighbors who have unchanging, poorly kept farms that are eyesores to say the least. But if you have friends who have nicely thought out farms, it could be interesting, sometimes even inspiring. And remember, when you visit a neighbors farm, you receive 5 XP and 10 coins per day. S0 if you have 500 friends, you can earn a total of 2,500 XP and 5,000 coins a day!
- Do you fertilize your neighbor’s crops? Needless to say, we all want our own crops to be fertilized, so be a nice neighbor and click on all five of your neighbor’s crops when paying a visit. Remember, you get 1 experience point every crop you fertilize, so this helps you level up fast too. It’s truly a win-win act! And if you want to be a TRULY helpful neighbor, don’t click on the crops with the shortest harvesting time (Pastures and Clovers come to mind). My favorite neighbors always go for my Corn and Love Fruit! People do tend to notice who fertilizes their crops regularly. I for one can definately name a dozen or so neighbors who consistently fertilize my crops, as well as those who never seem to bother. Well, guess what? On those days when I only have 5 minutes to fertilize, who’s crops do you think I’ll be working on? I also routinely delete selfish neighbors who never seem to reciprocate favors because, really, who wants to be sucker and just keep on giving?
- Do you give your neighbor their wish everyday? You do know that you can send a gift to every one of your neighbors everyday, right? Yes, this could be any one of the produce, trees, animals, equipments or materials offered in the floating red gift box, but really, GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT. My biggest pet peeve in the game is when someone gives me an item I didn’t even put on my wish list. Isn’t something better than nothing? Yes… still, it’s hard to be glad about getting a bag of deer food when one more pipe stack could have completed that green house I’ve been working on for a week!
A few days ago, I accumulated 70 RC. I managed to squirrel this away by refusing to spend RC on anything for weeks. Oh, I was tempted by the cute piggy pens and fancy red barns everytime I went to fertilize my neighbors, but I wanted to invest in something that would surely pay off in the long run.
At this point, I saw in the “Expand Ranch” section that there was an option to buy a “Small Farm” for 250,000 coins or 60 RC. By “Small Farm”, and the little caption, “Accept trees, machines, animals and decorations”, I thought perhaps this was like an annexed land that no one but I could see, which would allow me to store all the gadgets and machinery that I use but don’t look good. Basicaly like an outside warehouse. Being a sucker for pretty farms (yes, it keeps me from progressing), I decided to just try it out. Expanding always pays off in the form of more crops, right? Well, it turns out that a “Small Farm” is a narrow strip of land on two sides of your existing farm. So it’s basically a farm expansion with an added limitation that you can’t grow crops on it. This strip of land is also entirely visible to your neighbors. Feeling a little jipped, I proceeded to fill up the space with all the equipment, animals and trees that I could possibly squeeze, and decided to use the space I gained for crops…
Keep in mind that expanding to 23 x 23 is also 60 RC. Had I known that the “Small Farm” was exactly the same land amount without the ability to put crops on it, I would have preferred to get the 23 x 23 expansion instead!