Stardew Valley | Forester or Gatherer? Foraging Skill Guide

Stardew Valley is a great game focused on bringing life to your grandfather’s old farm. One important skill you’ll constantly use on your farm is Foraging. Foraging is associated with gathering any berries or other wild resources that spawn on the ground in Stardew Valley. It is also associated with chopping down trees with your ax. One little known fact is that Foraging also increases if you harvest crops grown from Wild Seeds. As you level up, you’ll eventually be given a choice between professions in Stardew Valley, Forester or Gatherer? Here’s a complete guide to the Foraging skill that will answer that question and more!

Stardew Valley Foraging Levels: 1-4

stardew valley foraging forester or gatherer
  • Level 1: Wild Seeds (spring), Field Snack, Trees sometimes drop seeds when cut down
  • Level 2: Survival Burger
  • Level 3: Tapper
  • Level 4: Charcoal Kiln, Wild Seeds (summer)

The first few levels unlocks for the Foraging skill are fairly useful. Wild Seeds contain a random plant from that season, so at level 1 you can make Wild Seeds that contain spring plants and level 4 you can make Wild Seeds that contain summer plants. The tapper is used to get different products from trees. If you put the tap on a tree you will get either maple syrup, oak resin, or pine tar after a number of days. Obviously, each product corresponds to the tree you put the tap on. You can’t get maple syrup from an oak tree! The survival burger gives a +3 boost to your foraging skill giving you a better chance at foraging goods of a higher quality. At level 5, you get to choose between two professions, Forester or Gatherer.

Stardew Valley Foraging Level 5: Forester or Gatherer?

stardew valley forester or gatherer

At level 5 Foraging, Stardew Valley players will be given a choice – Forester or Gatherer? If you pick Forester, wood is worth 50% more. Gatherer gives you a chance to double harvest foraged items. This means you have a chance to get two items from a single harvest! This only applies to foraged items, not things you plant on your farm. The chance to get double goods is 20%, not a bad chance at all.

In our opinion, Gatherer is the way to go at level 5. Sure, Forester gives a nice buff to the price of wood, but the double harvest from Gatherer combined with Botanist at level 10 is a huge buff. Forester is pretty useless because you usually never sell wood for profit in the early game. Maybe you sell a few bundles of logs in the beginning for some quick cash, but you won’t be doing it again after that. Let’s first take a look at the unlocks for the next four levels before we get into the level 10 professions.

Stardew Valley Foraging Levels: 6-9

stardew valley forester or gatherer
  • Level 6: Lighting Rod, Wild Seeds (fall), Warp Totem: Beach
  • Level 7: Wild Seeds (winter), Warp Totem: Mountains, Tree Fertilizer
  • Level 8: Warp Totem: Farm, +1 Wild Berry harvesting
  • Level 9: Rain Totem

The Foraging level 6 to 9 unlocks are pretty useful. Now you have access to Warp Totems which can be activated to teleport you to specific locations. You also finally get the winter and fall Wild Seeds.

Stardew Valley Foraging Level 10: Lumberjack or Tapper? Botanist or Tracker?

At Foraging level 10 you will be given a choice between another two professions. This choice is dependant on what you picked at level 5, so if you’re reading this before level 5 make sure you plan ahead! If you picked Forester at level 5, you pick between Lumberjack and Tapper. If you picked Gatherer, you choose between Botanist or Tracker. Here are our preferred choices for these four professions.

Lumberjack or Tapper?

lumberjack or tapper

This choice between Lumberjack or Tapper is actually a pretty easy choice. If you picked Forester, you are most likely aiming to fix that lack of hardwood most players find themselves facing in the late-game. Tapper is considered underpowered by a lot of players since the +25% sell value to syrups is considered almost useless.

It’s a pretty clear choice here for us, Lumberjack is the better choice. Hardwood can be hard to find and accumulate for buildings in the late-game and Lumberjack is a good fix for that.

Botanist or Tracker?

stardew valley botanist or tracker

Botanist is the best profession in the Foraging skill tree hands down. Botanist makes all the items you forage the highest quality possible. This means that they will always be gold or iridium quality. This also applies to the double harvest buff from Gatherer you picked at level 5! It also applies to any Wild Seeds you planted. Imagine, all the quartz, corals, and forageables of the highest quality you could ever need! Tracker is simply a UI buff. It throws an arrow on the screen indicating where foragable or gatherable items are. We find it pretty lackluster when compared to Botanist. Just pay more attention to your screen and you won’t need those little arrows!

So, What Foraging Professions Should I Pick in Stardew Valley?

So, what should you take in Stardew Valley, Forester or Gatherer? Lumberjack or Tapper? Botanist or Tracker? Well, we think there is a clear winner here when it comes to the Foraging professions. The optimal profession path is Gatherer and then Botanist. The double harvest from Gatherer paired with the Botanist buff is a great way to get gold or iridium foraged goods.

Forester and Lumberjack is our 2nd choice since hardwood can be hard to come by at the end of the game. Since you need hardwood to make buildings, this can be a good choice if you hate grinding away for hardwood.

If you’re interested in more Stardew Valley content check out our other guides on whether to pick Mushrooms or Bats, Fighter or Scout, and whether to be a Miner or Geologist!