Harvest Moon has come a long way, and the new Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town remake has been improved with several new features such as an abundance of new livestock (strawberry cows!), and a new system that requires players to put additional effort into raising their livestock. Choosing to reach the maximum affection limit with your livestock will increase the quality of their byproducts, and will improve your profits over time.
Bear in mind, some of these can be spoiler-y. If you’re looking for a clean experience, this guide may not be right for you. Happy farming!
NOTE: Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is a remake of the 2003 GBA release Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town. You can read more about the company’s rebranding here.
The New Livestock Affection Limit
Once your livestock has reached 5 hearts, (the little hearts underneath an animals name), you must breed your livestock to achieve a higher-affection limit of 10 ❤️’s. This process isn’t too arduous, it just takes some dedication and patience. Once an animal on your farm reaches 5 ❤️’s, you can breed them to boost their offspring’s ❤️ limit to 6. Repeat until the offspring has reached ❤️ 10.
Cows, Sheep, and Alpaca’s will give birth at around three weeks, so be sure to plan ahead! Chicken eggs will hatch in the Incubator after three days have passed.
Once an animal on your farm has reached their 10 ❤️ limit, you can use them to breed with your other animals, and if you ever purchase a new livestock of the same kind from Mugi or Lillia, the offspring will immediately jump to 10 ❤️ limit, and will not be capped by the 5 ❤️ limit. Normal cows and Fruit/Flavor cows cannot be bred together.
The Old Affection System
In Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, raising the affection of your animals to 10 ❤️’s was a simple matter of brushing, feeding, and interacting with them everyday. You didn’t necessarily have to let the animals outside to graze to increase their affection limit. In the original game, players didn’t have access to a bell on the side of their buildings to let their livestock out. Instead, you had to manually push them outside or tediously ring the Bell that Saibara gave you over and over again until your stamina drained and you eventually passed out from exhaustion. 😂
If you interacted and fed your livestock daily, it was pretty simple to achieve the 10 ❤️ maximum in the original Friends of Mineral Town, but it felt incredibly boring and bland. Honestly, most of my gold came from the most valuable crops of the season, and there wasn’t much incentive to raise livestock in the original game, especially since the Harvest Sprites would take care of them for you. The new system makes you feel more connected and involved with the animals on your farm.
Why Does It Matter?
Depending on the level of affection your livestock has, the byproduct they produce can jump in quality beginning at “Small” → “Medium” → “Large” → and finally, “Gold”. There’s also an elusive “Platinum” quality that can be achieved by letting your livestock graze outside for several hundred hours.
The amount of gold you receive from byproducts will increase as the quality increases, so it’s definitely worth investing the time if you want to purchase upgrades for your farm. Additionally, the more ❤️’s your livestock have, the higher chance they’ll win festivals. For example, a Cow with 8 ❤️’s will win the Cow Festival.
How To Raise Affection With Livestock
Crops do not grow in the Winter, so it can be a little tricky making a profit on your farm, which is why it’s important to care for your livestock. Be sure to feed, brush your livestock daily, and let them graze outdoors on sunny days. An easy way to corral your livestock outside is by ringing the bell located outside of your Barn House and Chicken Coop. Chicken and Angora Rabbits can graze this way, while barn animals (cow, sheep, and alpaca) consume grass that you’ve planted in the crop field.
Grass seed doesn’t grow in Winter, so be sure to place fodder in their bins daily (or ask the Nature Sprites to do it for you!) You can purchase grass seeds from Jeff’s Supermarket, and a small patch will begin to grow on the south-east section of your crop field on your very first day on your farm. The grass seed spreads over time, spring through autumn, and if you’d like to make it spread faster, just purchase and plant more.
A new (and much needed) feature of the remake is all livestock that are grazing outside will return to the Animal Barn/Chick Coop at 8:00 PM. You don’t have to ring the bell to bring them in.
If you start working hard towards reaching the 10 ❤️ limit in Spring of your first year you’ll quickly reach this achievement in no time. Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town has plenty of long-term changes such as this to keep players engaged well beyond their first year.
Image Credits: Story of Seasons