Hoes

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Hoes are tools that are used to dig in soil or sand and to till fallow soil, primarily on the farm, but also in other areas of the map that have exposed soil. These areas are made visible by their lack of ground cover and different coloration. They can be found in every region, even in the mines. Much of the beaches is tillable. When a tile is dug by the hoe, there is a random chance that something buried will be uncovered, such as Clay, metal ores, Snow Yams or Winter Root (in winter), Artifacts (as prompted with Artifact Spots), or Lost Books.

  • Tilling a dirt or sand tile has a 3% chance to return clay.
  • Tilling an artifact spot has a 20% chance to return a Lost Book if no artifact was found.
    • If all lost books have already been found, Mixed Seeds are returned instead.

The player is given a base-grade hoe at the start of the game, which can be found in the backpack (inventory). Its operation is limited to digging one tile per tool use. The player can purchase upgrades to the hoe at the Blacksmith by paying the proper fee and submitting the needed materials. Each rise in the grade of the tool allows it to perform another higher level of operation, increasing its speed and efficiency. Each higher grade of hoe is also able to perform any of the lower levels of operation, giving it a choice of effect.

Grades of Hoe

Image Name Cost Ingredients Improvements
Hoe.png Hoe Starter Tool
Copper Hoe.png Copper Hoe 2,000g

Copper Bar (5)

Increases maximum area of effect to 3 tiles, in a line in front of you.
Steel Hoe.png Steel Hoe 5,000g

Iron Bar (5)

Increases maximum area of effect to 5 tiles, in a line in front of you.
Gold Hoe.png Gold Hoe 10,000g

Gold Bar (5)

Increases maximum area of effect to 3x3 tiles.
Iridium Hoe.png Iridium Hoe 25,000g

Iridium Bar (5)

Increases maximum area of effect to 6x3 tiles.

Energy Cost

Each use of a hoe uses some of the player's daily supply of energy (visible in-game in the Energy Bar display). The base cost of one tool use is two energy points.

Farming Skill Levels

The player's farming skill increases proficiency in use of the tool, and that skill is reflected in a reduced energy consumption with each use. The reduction is 5% (one twentieth) per skill level. This means that at skill level 5, the reduction is 25% (one quarter), meaning it takes 75% (three quarters) as much energy as the base to use the tool once: 75% of 2 is 1.5 (one and a half) energy points per use. The game does not display fractional amounts, and rounds to whole numbers there, but it retains the fractions internally, so two tool uses cost 3 energy points instead of 4, even if that is not always immediately visible precisely. At farming skill level 10, then, the reduction is 50% (one half), meaning it takes only the other 50% to use the tool: one energy point per use, the smallest cost available.

Tool Upgrades

The base-grade hoe is capable of only a single mode of operation: that is, the digging or tilling of a single tile with each tool use. With this operation mode, then, energy consumption per tool use is the same as energy consumption per affected tile: from one to two energy points each, depending on skill. With higher grades of hoe, a single tool use in a higher operation mode affects multiple tiles, and all for the same energy cost. While the cost of performing a copper-grade operation (3 tiles at a time) with an upgraded tool is the same as for any other hoe use, the per-tile cost is therefore only one-third as much as with the single-tile operation, because one use affects three times as many tiles. Similarly, using an iridium hoe to perform one iridium-grade operation (3x6 or 18 tiles) costs only one-eighteenth as much energy per tile.

It is good to be aware that it is the choice of operation rather than the grade of tool that determines the per-tile energy cost. An iridium hoe that performs only single-tile base-grade operations uses just as much energy as a base-grade tool; you get no benefit for the tool grade there at all. The greatest efficiency benefit of a higher-grade tool comes from using its highest-available operation, which no lower grade of tool has available. However, if you need to affect fewer tiles with a certain operation, the higher-grade tool does offer that ability - a benefit of flexibility rather than efficiency.