Yesterday, Stardew Valley creator Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone surprised fans by releasing the long-awaited version 1.5 content update several weeks earlier than planned. V1.5 adds new tasks to complete, new community upgrades to unlock, and more. Best of all, there's a whole new area to explore in Ginger Island!
Ginger Island is a tropical island located to the south of Stardew Valley. It is home to colorful tropical parrots and threatening volcanic creatures. Exploring Ginger Island lets players unlock new crops to grow, new fish to catch, new NPCs to befriend, and a powerful new ability which enhances the strength of your existing weapons and armor. There's even plenty of hidden secrets to discover!
This guide explains how to get to Ginger Island as well as how to best take advantage of the many exciting opportunities this new area offers.
How to Get to Ginger Island
To unlock Ginger Island, you first have to help Willy the Fisherman repair his boat. This quest unlocks when Willy sends you a letter asking you to come to the back room of his fishing shop, which is located on the dock on the beach south of Pelican Town. Willy will ask you for the following items:
- 200 Hardwood to fix the ship's hull. Hardwood can be found by cutting down Large Logs and Large Stumps in Cindersap Forest. Large Stumps require a Copper Axe or better to cut, while Large Logs require a Steel Axe or better. The Secret Woods in Cindersap Forest contains six large stumps which re-spawn every day, dropping a total of 12 Hardwood. Players who have reached Level 10 Foraging can select the Lumberjack Perk, which gives every tree a chance of dropping Hardwood when cut with any axe.
- 5 Iridium Bars to fix the ship's anchor. Iridum Bars are created by smelting 5 Iridium Ore and 1 Coal in a Furnace. Iridium Ore can be found by breaking rocks in the lower levels of the Mines and any level of the Skull Cavern. Purple Slimes, Shadow Brutes, Shadow Shamans and Iridium Bats have a small chance to drop Iridium Ore or Bars when killed.
- 5 Battery Packs to fix the ship's ticket machine. Battery Packs can be harvested by placing Lightning Rods around your farm and waiting for the rods to generate them after being struck by lightning. Iridium Bats in the Skull Cavern have a small chance to drop Battery Packs when killed, and the characters Pam and Kent may send them as gifts in the mail at high friendship levels.
Once you have delivered these materials to Willy, the boat to Ginger Island will be available beginning the next day. The boat is available beginning at 8am on all non-festival days. A ticket to Ginger Island costs 1000 gold.
How to Collect Golden Walnuts
The parrots who live on Ginger Island absolutely love Golden Walnuts. Certain birds located around the island will ask for donations of Walnuts in order to unlock new areas or features. In order to experience everything Ginger Island has to offer, you will have to collect lots of Golden Walnuts.
Luckily, Golden Walnuts can be found in many different places around the island. Here are the methods which can be used to collect Golden Walnuts for the Ginger Island parrots:
There is a small chance of catching a Golden Walnut whenever you go fishing on Ginger Island. Fishing in bubbling spots slightly increases the chance of catching a Golden Walnut.
All monsters on Ginger Island have a small chance of dropping a Golden Walnut when killed. Chests and boxes inside the Volcano dungeon, where these monsters live, can also potentially contain Golden Walnuts.
Exploring Ginger Island is the best method of collecting Golden Walnuts. Golden Walnuts have a small chance of dropping when you break rocks with your Pickaxe or cut down trees, logs or stumps with your Axe. Additionally, some plants on the island will naturally grow Golden Walnuts which can simply be picked up. These Walnuts have a small chance of re-spawning each day.
Many Golden Walnuts are hidden around Ginger Island. To find hidden Walnuts, look for natural signs. Small circles of rocks or oddly-colored sand squares may indicate the presence of a buried Golden Walnut, which can be excavated with your Hoe. There are also hidden paths throughout the rain forest which can lead to Golden Walnuts. Observe the movements of monkeys, parrots and other animals residing on the island to find these paths.
Some Golden Walnuts are located in trees or on top of ledges, too high for your character to reach. Bring a Slingshot loaded with stones with you on your trip to Ginger Island, and use it to shoot down these out-of-reach Golden Walnuts and add them to your collection.
What to Do on Ginger Island
While collecting Golden Walnuts is tons of fun, there's plenty of other things to do on Ginger Island! Make sure to explore every nook and cranny of the island to discover all the hidden secrets and new items waiting for you.
Food, Forage & Fish
There are plenty of new food items to find by exploring the island. Lionfish and Stingray can be caught in the ocean surrounding this tropical paradise. You can dig up patches of Taro Tubers or the Ginger which gives the island its name. Your explorations might even net you some brand new tropical fruits, such as pineapples, mangoes and bananas, which you can take back to Stardew Valley and grow on your Farm. Of course, with new foods come new recipes you can cook, so make sure to do some experimenting in your Kitchen!
Meet New Friends / Leo
In addition to the parrots and monsters, Ginger Island is home to a number of new NPCs which you can meet and befriend. You might encounter the scholarly Professor Snail or Birdie, the wife of a famous pirate captain, both of whom have quests for you to complete.
One of the residents of Ginger Island is Leo, a young boy raised by parrots. Leo lives in a hut in the eastern rain forest and is extremely shy. He will not talk to you until you have fed enough Golden Walnuts to the island's parrots. Like the residents of Stardew Valley, Leo has a friendship meter, with events which will unlock as you grow closer to Leo. You can also give him gifts and discover his likes and dislikes, as well as learn more about his past and how he came to live on Ginger Island.
Journals of a Journey
When breaking rocks, cutting down trees or fighting monsters on Ginger Island, you have a chance to collect dropped Journal Scraps. These Journal Scraps chronicle the adventures of a sailor who was previously shipwrecked on Ginger Island. Reading these Scraps will help you learn more about the island and perhaps even discover the sailor's buried treasure!
Help Professor Snail
Once you have paid the parrots to repair the broken bridge on Ginger Island, you can find a cave with an entrance blocked by rocks. Use a Bomb or Mega Bomb to clear the entrance and free the trapped Professor Snail, who has been living off cave mushrooms for months.
After his rescue, Professor Snail will inhabit a tent in the centre of the island. He will provide various tasks for you to complete, including collecting bones and answering trivia questions about the island. He will provide you with unique rewards in exchange.
Visit the Volcano
At the northern tip of Ginger Island is a volcano which contains a ten-level dungeon full of monsters to fight and treasure to discover. Floors 1-4 and 6-9 are randomized, meaning you can complete them over and over again. Floor 5 contains a shop run by a Dwarf, while Floor 10 features a Forge which you can use to enhance your weapons and armor. (Once you reach Floor 10 for the first time, you can unlock a side door which will allow you to visit the Forge directly without having to traverse the entire dungeon.)
The Volcano dungeon is unique in that it contains rivers and lakes of lava which must be crossed. Bring a Watering Can with you and sprinkle water on the lava in order to create stone paths which you can safely walk upon. The paths vanish at the end of each day, so bring your Can with you on each and every visit. There's a water refill station on Floor 5 of the dungeon, but it's the only one - so ration your precious water supply carefully!
Welcome to Paradise
Feed Ginger Island's parrots enough Golden Walnuts, and they will repair its abandoned buildings to their previous gorgeous states. One is a Farmhouse, which you can fill with furniture and create a "home away from home" for your farmer. The other is a Resort, which the residents of Stardew Valley can visit once it is open. On each visit to Ginger Island, you have a small chance of encountering a random assortment of characters at the Resort. These characters will be wearing new tropical outfits and will have new dialogue with your farmer.
The Curious Qi
Mr. Qi is one of Stardew Valley's most mysterious residents. This blue-skinned stranger runs a casino in the desert, leaves secret messages for you in unexpected locations, and challenges you to some of the game's most difficult quests simply for his own amusement.
The mysterious Mr. Qi can once again be found on Ginger Island, with new challenges based around collecting the island's riches and fighting the monsters living in the Volcano. However, Qi has hidden himself behind a door, and will only let you visit him once you have collected 100 Golden Walnuts.
Secrets & Shrines
Probably the most exciting thing about Ginger Island is that it is absolutely filled with secrets and puzzles to discover. The rain forest is criss-crossed with hidden paths, caves contain puzzles to solve, and the Sailor who left the Journal Scraps has buried treasure around the island.
Most mysterious of all is a Hidden Shrine found deep within the rain forest, which Leo's best parrot friend likes to drop cryptic hints about when you visit his hut. Simply finding this shrine will not be enough, as its plinth contains a riddle which must be solved in order to reap the rewards. The solution to the Hidden Shrine's puzzle is considered Ginger Island's greatest mystery.
Ginger Island is Stardew Valley's biggest content update yet, and as you can see there is so much to do and discover. Use this guide to make the most out of each and every visit to Ginger Island!
Stardew Valley version 1.5 is currently available on PC. The update is currently planned to be released for the console versions of the game sometime in 2021.