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What To Know Before Playing ‘My Time At Portia’

My Time At Portia is finally out on the Nintendo Switch! It’s been on the Steam Store since January this year, but for those of you just discovering it be prepared for the charm.

If you’ve played games like Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon, you’ll know that the beginning of any farming-life simulator is the most important part of the game. Here are a couple of tips to get you set up.

 

Upgrade Your Equipment ASAP

One of the very first missions in the game asks you to go and craft a Simple Axe and a Pickaxe. Axes will allow you to chop trees and shrubs for wood. While a Pickaxe will allow you can mine underground and at the various rock outcrops around for valuable minerals. Upgraded Axes and Pickaxes can fell larger trees or mineral deposits, which yield larger and more valuable returns. You’re going to be needing a lot of wood and rocks early game so it’s worth upgrading these items to make your life easier.

The upgrade kit can be bought from Total Tools in the town. For bronze, you’ll need to find tin and copper ore from mining in Abandoned Ruins #1. You want to look for the brownish parts of the rock, as those tend to drop copper and tin.

 

There Are Two Stamina Bars

The first stamina bar performs like most stamina bars in game. Think Breath of the Wild, where running and rolling around will cause your stamina wheel to drop. To replenish it just wait around for a moment and it’ll go back up.

The other stamina bar for you to watch out for is a more permanent metric. It starts at its maximum each day based on your level, and then particular actions such as chopping or mining reduce it. If you’ve ever played Harvest Moon this would be similar to your fatigue level. This means there is only so much physical activity you can engage in each day before your character passes out.

To help with this you can carry certain items which refill your meter. Or craft/purchase items that you can wear or store in your house to improve your stamina.

 

Fix Up Your House Straightaway

Your shack of a house is pretty much unlivable when you first get it. And as long as the holes go unrepaired, you won’t be able to get a good night’s rest. This means you start the day with less than a full Stamina bar.

Losing out on 80 Stamina per day in the early game is a big problem. So get off your digital butt, go outside and get some wood. You can do this by gathering from small piles or by making an axe and chopping down some small trees. Then interact with the holes to fix your home. You’ll need about 40 wood to fix all the holes.

 

Be A Gatherer First

As you gain experience points in My Time At Portia, you’ll level up and be able to spend it in your skill trees. There are three trees for you to spend points in – Fight, Gather and Social. I’d recommend at the beginning of the game for you to focus on the Gather tree.

The early parts of the Gather tree reduce how much Stamina you spend on gathering while increasing what you get, letting you get more for less. Meanwhile, fighting isn’t something you’ll do for a while and the Social tree isn’t as useful for earning early-game money. When you get to the fourth row in the Gather tree (which starts focusing on animals,) you can start looking at diversifying your skill points.

 

More Storage Space

Games like My Time At Portia really hone in on my hoarding impulses. And if you’re anything like me you’re going to need a ton more inventory. The best thing to do will be to craft a ton of storage boxes and keep them in the house. You don’t want to waste that precious outdoor space. I know it makes your house look like a crazy hoarder nest but it’s worth it. I’d recommend one boxy by your crafting stations as well as one by the gate as well for easy access.

Additionally you’re going to want to increase your backpack inventory. The game makes this process simple, simply click on a locked row, and you’ll have the option to spend gold to pay for more slots. I had no idea it was that simple until I actually did it.

 

Hand Your Data Discs To The Research Centre

“But wait!” I hear you cry, “I can’t see any upgraded versions of equipment in my Assembly Station!” And that’s because aside from some story-related blueprints that get added to it, most of those pages need filling by you. To do this you’ll have to revert to the Old World technology in the form of Data Discs. Handing a few of these into the Research Centre will allow them to work on a new blueprint for you, and they’ll post it to you within a few game days. You can offer more discs to speed up the process if you want to, but I don’t think that’s really necessary.

Data discs are found in the Abandoned Mines in the game and can either be found randomly whilst mining there or sometimes bundled in with relics when you discover those. Normally a good mining session can unearth 10-20 of these, so repeating this for a few days could put you in a great position.

Always make sure that once the Research Centre has finished and sent you a blueprint, that you hightail over there and offer up some more discs so they can start another. Gotta make sure everyone is working as hard as you are, right?

 

Turn Stone Into Gols

You’re going to need a lot of everything, to begin with, and more gols never hurt. I’m not really sure what’s going on with the name gols – is that just gold misspelt? Okay well anyway as well as earning money from completing commissions, you can sell the things you make for a quick buck.

A good early game money maker is the stone tables, which require 20 stone and 2 marble. You can get stone from any rocks you mine or from mining in the ruins, and it’ll likely never be a problem. Meanwhile, marble can be gained from rocks you mine in the world. There’s a good bunch of rocks to the left of the main town gate. The stone stools, which only take stone, are a cheaper, but easier option, and can be used to make furnaces.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the selling and buying prices of items are that it fluctuates every day. If the market price for something you’re selling is below 100% and you don’t need the money now, you might want to consider waiting a bit.

 

Don’t Try To Be Friends With Everyone

You’ll notice very early on in My Time at Portia that there’s an entire, structured social aspect to the game where every named character you meet has an established affinity towards you. You’ll be able to raise that affinity by simply chatting to them, gifting them items and even having a friendly bout of fisticuffs. Completing commissions that have been set by certain characters also gives you a boost of a few relationship points too.

But that’s barely scratching the surface of what this is all about. You get different perks in the game if your relationship is at certain levels with certain characters. Every single one of them likes and dislikes different types of gifts, and to make matters worse, your relationship can deteriorate if you don’t interact with a person for a few days. Because there’s so much going on my advice is to pick a few characters you like and stick to socialising with them and gradually raising their affinity to you.

The game records any gift preferences you discover in the Social menu so refer to that if you forget what your friends like or dislike. You’ll find it’s much easier to focus on just a few residents than all of Portia.

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