There are few games that are as stealthily complicated as Disney Dreamlight Valley. It’s a Disney game, for Walt’s sake: surely it can’t be that bad? Well, think again: while everything is presented in traditional primary colours, there is a depth here that could challenge your average MMORPG.
So, before you embark on your adventure, we’ve got 10 top tips – 10 steps to success, if you will – to get you started. We fumbled through our playthrough of Disney Dreamlight Valley. Now, you don’t have to.
Small steps to success
There is a bewildering amount to do in Disney Dreamlight Valley. You could upgrade your house, complete missions for your friends, collect items, complete tasks, do the ‘Star Path’ battlepass, and so on. All of them have their value, but it’s important to get a single, achievable objective into view, pin it as your current task, and complete it, rather than flitting between (but not completing any) objectives.
A priority list helps. We found ourselves rotating through the following in a given play session:
- Character quests. What can be done quickly?
- Character leveling. Some characters have locked quests that require certain prerequisites. Are these criteria within reach? If so, get them done.
- Conversations. Top up the levels of each character by having a conversation with them. You will slowly nudge up their levels by completing their once-a-day conversation.
- Scrooge payments. Are any areas or homes blocked by needing the Tom Nook-like Scrooge payments? If so, and you are close to that amount of coins, why not sell some unwanted items to bridge the gap?
- Area unlocking. Now check your dreamlight currency. Do you have enough for a new area or new character? If it’s close, you may want to complete some of the tasks located in the Pause Menu.
- Small tasks. Once all of the above is done, or the tasks are too far-flung to really consider, we recommend that you do the smaller ‘dreamlight duties’ or the star path duties, if they are currently ongoing. Not the longer form, bigger tasks: the small ones. By completing these bitesize requests, where you just have to take photos or harvest apples, you are not only getting moonstones and dreamlight, but you are making passive progress to the longer tasks. After completing smaller tasks, you might find that those unachievable goals are suddenly achievable.
Build storage chests, and place them where you need them
The limited inventory is a killer. The first thing to do in Disney Dreamlight Valley is to upgrade your inventory (a ‘+ Expand’ option is within your inventory), but that only gets you so far. You will soon have plenty of unique items, and you will not necessarily want to sell them to Goofy at every point.
It is recommended that you save up for as many chests as you can. These are made at a crafting bench, and cost 25 softwood and 25 stones. Stones are no problem to get hold of – if you are mining, which you should absolutely be doing for the cash – but softwood is more challenging. You will need to pick them up as often as you possibly can, digressing from main quests if you spot them, so that you can construct as many chests as possible.
With chests at hand, we recommend plonking them in a variety of areas, next to a connected resource for example. By putting them in a variety of areas, you are contributing to the furniture missions from Scrooge McDuck (he wants you to place 10 furniture in each region as story quests), but you are also connecting them to a resource for memories’ sake. We recommend you have a fish chest near a fishing spot, a farming chest near a farming spot, etc. That way, you don’t have to walk far, and you can easily remember what chest contains what!
Horde the rare, sell the common
Common items are, as you might expect, extremely common in Disney Dreamlight Valley. You can find stones, carrots and various flowers with ease as you travel around. But there are items that are random and rare, given only occasionally. Yet, characters will want you to supply both common and rare items for their missions.
It may seem obvious, but it’s worth iterating: keep your rare items in a chest until you are confident that you have enough, but you can sell common items without much fear. It’s more likely that you will pause a mission because you don’t have a random rare than a missing batch of commons. Oh, and make sure you have plenty of emeralds, iron ore and shrimp in the opening missions. You will need them!
Cooking and mining are the moneymakers
Sometimes, you just need cash. We have dabbled with a few different moneymakers, but we would suggest that the most time- and resource-efficient are cooking and mining.
Now, which path you take is largely down to preference. Cooking is the fastest gold-per-hour, in our view, particularly when you have a five-star meal that doesn’t require much that’s rare in its composition. You can make a bouillabaisse with basic ingredients and get a hefty wodge of cash for doing so. But it’s also a ballache, as you have to trudge to your stove and input the same items over and over again (a ‘make-x’ would have been lovely here).
If you’re feeling more relaxed, we would recommend something a touch more brainless. Find a circuit of mining seams, and rotate around them. We would start at the beach, move up to the meadows, do the other beach, move up to the forest and then down into the main area. By the time we were done, the seams would be replenished and we could start again. With a few circuits under your belt, selling all of the gemstones is your next job. These go for a hefty price, making it all worth it!
Hold onto your dream shards
At various points in the campaign, the dream shards are listed as ideal gifts for your characters, to level up their friendship values. Well, stuff that noise. That is a waste of dream shards (not to mention that meals are by far the best way to artificially increase friendship values).
Dream shards will become extremely desirable at later points in the game, and having none is a bit of a problem. You can only regain them from unlocking new areas or waiting for the rot to set in: neither of which are particularly player-friendly.
Cheat on Scrooge’s tasks
Scrooge has a number of furniture missions. When you unlock a new area, you will be asked to kit it out with ten furniture items of your choice.
You could build new furniture each time, but if you’re like us, you might just want to cycle the same ten items to each region, as you unlock them. Ten crates got moved to every region in the game and it worked wonders. If you don’t know how to pick up items, enter furniture customisation mode by pressing Y, and you can back out of placing your current item by pressing B to pick up and move any other item in the area!
Characters are fickle… unless you use the map
A major headache in the early stages of Disney Dreamlight Valley is knowing where any character is at a given time. You might check Merlin’s house for Merlin, but he’ll be off fishing on the beach, the scallywag.
Your saviour here is your map. This has the characters moving in real-time, so you can see where they are at a given moment. We’d advise that you walk to them, rather than fast-travel, as they will often move place after travelling…
Fast travel doesn’t need wells
A quick and dirty one, this. It’s easy to assume that you need to walk to a well to travel to another of the game’s fast travel wells. Well, nu-uh, that’s not true. At any point, you can access the game’s map and travel to a well. Saves valuable seconds, that.
Don’t forget the castle
It can also be all too easy to focus on unlocking regions with your moonstones. They’re large, in your face, and hold back swathes of stuff to play around with. All we would say is that you shouldn’t forget the castle. Here, characters can be unlocked by opening doors that start at only 3000 moonstones.
It’s easy to forget the castle exists, as nothing else happens there, but unlocking more characters is vital, particularly when they are requirements for the quests of other characters.
Take a step back occasionally
And finally, the biggie: be aware of diminishing returns. Disney Dreamlight Valley has an Animal Crossing-like system where things grow back… slowly. If you are finding that a resource is not replenishing in the rates and numbers that you want, it can be the game’s way of telling you to go away. Come back in an hour or two, and everything will be verdant and plentiful.
Disney Dreamlight Valley is a game that is plentiful with secrets, best principles and tricks, so no doubt you will find some of your own. If you do, jot them down in the comments below. Others will no doubt benefit from your worldly wisdom!
Disney Dreamlight Valley is available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch and PC. You’ll find the Xbox Store providing a few Standard, Deluxe and Ultimate Editions for the Xbox players out there.