Stardew Valley: Rancher vs Tiller – Which Is Better For You?

Stardew Valley occupations

Stardew Valley: Rancher vs Tiller – Which Is Better For You?

Playing Stardew Valley is all about choices. The Farming skill is critical and will likely involve your most important choice between its two distinct professions: Rancher and Tiller. The biggest difference between a tiller and a rancher is how much you will earn. The professions allow you to play the game with different benefits depending on your style. While the rancher spends more time bonding with animals, the tiller makes more money off the crops they are planting and selling. To break down the two options, let’s look at the details of the paths.

Stardew Valley is a farming simulator. The goal is to take your grandfather’s old farm and rejuvenate it. To return the farm to its former glory, you must work full-time as a farmer and, consequently, a small business owner. Therefore, you’ll have to raise animals, grow crops, sell goods, gather resources, and protect your business to succeed. The five skills in Stardew Valley separate these tasks.

The 5 Stardew Valley Skills

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  • Farming
  • Foraging
  • Mining
  • Fishing
  • Combat

Each skill has options as you level up in its specific area. Leveling up requires you to perform tasks using that required skillset manually. For example, planting and tending crops raises your Farming skill level. As your level rises, you eventually will have to select professions. The professions provide you with boosts to attributes within that skill. For example, choosing Tiller as a profession within Farming makes your crops each sell for 10% more gold. For today’s vs. comparison, we are looking closely at the choices within the Farming skill: Tiller or Rancher. 

Stardew Valley: Rancher vs. Tiller – Side by Side Comparison

Stardew Valley occupations
ProfessionLevel 5Level 10
TillerAll crops sell for 10% more goldAgriculturist — Crops grow 10% faster
Artisan — Goods sell for 40% more gold
RancherAnimal products sell for 20% more goldCoopmaster
-Befriend coop animals faster
-Egg Incubation time is halved
-Boosts coop animal product quality
-Befriend barn animals faster
-Sheep wool produces faster
-Boosts barn animal product quality

Stardew Valley: Rancher vs. Tiller – Gold or Animals?

Stardew Valley gameplay

©Stardew Valley gameplay screenshot – Original

You’ll have to level up to level 5 using your general farming skills. Leveling up will involve being a bit of both a Rancher and a Tiller. This period is important as it will show you which style of play you prefer or want to lean on before a big decision about your profession. Farming is a mix of taking care of livestock and poultry, such as cows and chickens, and planting and cultivating crops, such as pumpkins and wheat. While working with these two aspects, you’ll determine whether you enjoy caring for animals more or simply growing and selling crops.

Both paths will earn you gold. Animals are resources as they produce products such as Milk for gold. You either sell the Milk raw or turn it into cheese and sell the cheese. While Milk is an animal product, Cheese counts as an Artisan product. There is also the matter of the cheese quality, though. When your friendship with the cow is higher, and its subsequent mood is better, you can produce Large Milk. Large Milk is more valuable than Milk and produces gold-quality Cheese. Gold-quality Cheese sells for more gold.

Rancher’s level 10 skills boost your friendship with the animals and the quality of the products produced. So it seems that while Rancher is about raising animals, you will ultimately sell the animal products intending to get as much gold as possible.

Tiller, on the other hand, gets you more for your crops in general as well as boosts how much you get for your crafted items. Since some of these items are animal product-based, Tiller gives an advantage in multiple areas, all of which increase gold earnings. Choosing Tiller equals faster crops and more gold for all your work. Consequently, it doesn’t help you in the Doctor Doolittle department with making the animals love and work harder for you.

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Stardew Valley: Rancher vs. Tiller – Lists of Options

Stardew Valley promo screenshot of multiplayer

©Stardew Valley gameplay screenshot – Original

Those who choose Rancher will have various animals to choose from and multiple products they can create and sell from those animals. The Tiller profession will prioritize growing crops but also applies to some animal products. Looking at the lists of specifics may help some choose their path ahead of time based on their interests.

List of Farming plantable crops by season:


  • Strawberry
  • Rhubarb 
  • Potato
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Greenbean
  • Garlic
  • Parsnip
  • Jazz Flower
  • Tulip


  • Blueberries
  • Starfruit
  • Red Cabbage
  • Melon
  • Hops
  • Hot Peppers
  • Tomato
  • Radish
  • Corn
  • Poppy
  • Spangle
  • Wheat


  • Cranberries
  • Pumpkin
  • Artichoke
  • Grapes
  • Beets
  • Amaranth
  • Yam
  • Eggplant
  • Bok Choy
  • Fairy Rose
  • Corn
  • Sunflower

List of Farming non-raisable animal Artisan products 

  • Honey
  • Wine
  • Pale Ale
  • Beer
  • Mead
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Juice
  • Truffle Oil
  • Oil
  • Pickles
  • Jelly

List of Farming raisable Animals:

  • Chicken
  • Void Chicken
  • Golden Chicken
  • Duck
  • Rabbit
  • Dinosaur
  • Cow
  • Goat
  • Sheep
  • Pig
  • Ostrich

List of Farming Artisan animal products:

  • Cheese
  • Goat Cheese
  • Cloth
  • Mayonnaise
  • Duck Mayonaise 
  • Void Mayonnaise
  • Dinosaur Mayonnaise
  • Aged Roe
  • Caviar

Stardew Valley: Rancher vs. Tiller – Final Decision

Stardew Valley promo screenshots rain

©Stardew Valley gameplay screenshot – Original

So what is the conclusion? Well, in general, it seems that Tiller is a better choice. Tiller is superior because it makes you more gold throughout the game. At the same time, it doesn’t punish you for not choosing Rancher. While you won’t have an easier time making your animals happy, you can still have them and sell the products they produce for more money with the Artisan bonus Tiller provides.

However, if you enjoy being an animal master, and that’s why you’re playing Stardew Valley, then Rancher should be your choice. Whether you prefer livestock or poultry at level 10, it’ll be up to you, but they both produce a similar benefit.

Finally, there is a third choice. You can choose one path and later change your style or live a second life playing the other side. The Statue of Uncertainty is where you can switch between Rancher and Tiller. It will cost 10,000 gold, but it can be done as often as you like.

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