Inspired by Lotus Blade's recipe guide, I spent some time today putting together a spreadsheet to figure out how to best maximize your profit in FV2. I'm still working through it and will post updates in this thread as I have them. I'm also happy to post a link to the spreadsheet if anyone wants to double-check my math. I have some notes as to how far I'm at in this project, what I am and am not showing here, etc., but I thought most people would want the most interesting information first.
Last point before diving into the advice: when I talk about maximizing profit, I'm talking about making *the most money over the shortest period of time*. Obviously this only works if you are basically playing 24/7, so keep that in mind as you are reading. It also considers only money, not XP.
Oh, and if you like the guide then please add me as a neighbor. You can find my FB page at https://www.facebook.com/jake.reichert.
The specifics of this are explained below, but here is the very condensed version that I believe will make you the most money per day.
- You can completely maximize your profit by only producing powdered sugar for $3425/hr. However, getting to this amount requires you to get 18 sugars/hour, so produce as many of these as you have sugar for and then switch to other items.
- If you find yourself with sugar and you don't have (or can't wait for) wheat to grow for batter, then use your sugar for candy apples.
- For the remainder of the Halloween event, the next best option is using persimmon trees to produce witchin' batter. Even though scary cake gives you more profit per item, it is better overall to use the sugar you need in scary cake for powdered sugar instead, and to just sell witchin' batter after you run out of sugar.
- Plant corn for feed all day long on spare plots.
- Plan ahead for when you will run out of goats and chickens; it is much harder to make money fast without access to animal products. If you are about to run out but have at least six eggs left (and a persimmon tree), plant two wheat and make witchin' batter for $244/hr. If you are short on goats and chickens for milk & eggs but you have a lot of friends who can give you sugar, plant wheat and make powdered sugar for a maximum of $342/hr. If you don't have a lot of friends who can give you sugar (or you need quick cash right now), plant tomatoes and make them into tomato paste @ $100/hr.
- assuming you will be logging off for 8 hours at night, plant pumpkins or onions overnight for feed. They aren't nearly as profitable as blueberries per hour, but you can turn them into feed at a good rate.
I'm putting this at the top because a lot of players who have already read the guide just want to know this information. I cover the various seasonal items here.
- witchin' batter: this remains the best item in the game other than powdered sugar.
- candy apple: at $2,580/hr this is good, but still not as good as witchin' batter or powdered sugar. However, if you have a lot of apples and sugar and can't (or don't want to) wait for wheat to grow, this is the best non-flour item in the game.
- skeleton cookie: at $1842/hr this is good, but notice that it uses just as much batter as witchin' batter to craft, and it is only makes you about 60% of the profit. The one upside is that it uses much less expensive lemon trees than persimmons, so it won't take you nearly as long to pay back your tree investment. As an added bonus, you can use lemons in lemonade recipes - by way of comparison, persimmons aren't used in any other recipes once witchin' batter goes away.
- garlic: as a crop, it's terrible. Slow growing time, worthless as feed, and makes one of the lowest profits per hour. Avoid (no pun intended).
- garlic bread: even more terrible. It takes forever to grow the ingredients, uses batter that you could be using for much more valuable items, and only makes you $146/recipe more than you would make from selling the ingredients (which are already pretty worthless). Avoid.
Maximum Overall Profit
Cost of materials is a factor in FV2, but time is a much bigger factor. There are three ways in which time affects your profit:
- time to replenish water (20/hr)
- time to grow crops/trees
- time until animals can produce products
I have done my calculations to take all three of these factors into account, as well as the cost in gold of materials. Ultimately, to figure out the best way to allocate your resources you need to ask yourself these two questions:
- If I only produced materials to make this recipe, how much money would I make per hour maximum given the above time constraints?
- What could I be doing with the water or raw materials other than making this thing? Would that make me more or less money?
When you anything below referring to "maximum profit", what it really means is this: taking into consideration all of the time factors above, how much money could I make per hour selling *only this item* if I planted the optimal number of crops and trees? It also assumes that you have no wells for extra water; if so, then the true value will be higher (as water always ends up being the ultimate limiting factor).
Enough theory; I have more of that below. Here are the results that most people will care about.
Highest Overall Value: powdered sugar. If you can get the required amount of sugar, this will make you a whopping $3,425/hr. However, in order to keep this up you would need to get 422 sugars each day. Consequently, for most people you will never reach the theoretical maximum. Instead, what you should do is figure out how many sugars you feel you can get per day, divide this by three (since you need 3 sugars/powdered sugar), and plant 4x that many plots of wheat throughout the day. For example, if you think you can get nine friends to commit to giving you sugar, then you would need (9/3)*4 plots of wheat during the day, or 12 plots. This will give you the absolute best return on investment in the game. Once your wheat is ready, use that plus sugar to craft powdered sugar and sell it. This is the highest value item there is, so always do this before doing anything else.
Best, for overall strategy: witchin' batter. If you multiply the amount of water used per hour by the profit, this is more profitable than anything else except for powdered sugar. It only uses 1.8 units water/hr to produce if you have three persimmon trees producing at the same time, and doing that gets you $244/hr. This means you can actually plant ingredients for 10.5 witchin' batters every hour, for a total profit of $2,609/hr. However, note that you will need 30 persimmon trees in order to get to this rate, and at $4500/tree it would take you a while to get there. Best strategy is to just get as many persimmon trees in the ground (ideally in multiples of three) as you feel comfortable with; at the end of October this recipe will likely go away, at which point you only make $40/hr/tree on raw persimmons.
Technically you will make more money per recipe for scary cake than for witchin' batter, but this would require you to use your limited sugar on scary cake instead of powdered sugar - and it is *always* better to craft powdered sugar for money than scary cake. Consequently, witchin' batter is better than scary cake for overall profit maximization.
Worst: tomato paste, ganache, butter. To get the maximum profit for these three items as listed below, you will be using all of your available water every hour. This doesn't mean you shouldn't ever create them, however. Ganache probably isn't worthwhile to craft since it uses your valuable sugar, and I haven't yet found any recipes using butter that are really worthwhile. As mentioned below, however, tomato paste is a great "filler" crop that you can use if you find yourself close to the 30 water maximum and you need to use it or lose it.
Maximizing tree value
The persimmon tree slightly edges out blueberries and tomatoes at $41.25/hr. They are also necessary for witchin' batter, so if you are planting trees these are the ones you want.
Maximizing Feed Value
You can produce 40 feed/hr if all you produce is corn. Blueberries also produce the same amount of feed in the same amount of time, but they produce less profit than corn (2 vs. 4). Given the choice between the two, then, corn offers you more options for the same amount of time and money invested.
Note that strawberries will minimize the dollar cost of feed production (it only costs $18/plot to produce 10 feeds, as opposed to $20/plot for corn to produce 2 feeds), but you lose a lot of *opportunity* cost. In the 24 hours it takes to produce strawberries you can produce (and use for a profit) 288 crops of corn. So while other guides are correct that the way to minimize the cost of any given recipe is to use strawberries for feed, that won't maximize your total profit.
This is similar to selling items in bulk; the seller makes less money on each individual item but they make more money overall because they sell more of those items.
In this section I'm talking about eggs and milk, and I'm comparing the value of production of these products to the value of blueberries needed to produce them. I am also assuming that you get one egg per chicken, and one milk per goat. I know that sometimes you get more than one, but since that seems to happen at random I need to assume the minimum. I also haven't factored in the cost when using the higher-level chickens and goats that are guaranteed to drop more; I will do this in a future update.
It is always better to produce eggs and milk, if possible, than to sell the equivalent blueberries. Goats producing one milk each yield $255/hr, and chickens producing one egg each yield a decent $345/hr. It is also always better to use these products in high-value recipes than to sell them directly.
Maximizing Crop Value
You shouldn't worry too much about maximizing the value of individual crops, as no crops are as valuable as the products you can create with them. However, I have added this section for completeness (or if you are brand new to the game and only have a limited number of things you can craft).
The most valuable crop in the game is a tie between tomatoes and blueberries. They both yield a profit of $40/plot/hr. Note that tomatoes would yield more, but the limitation on water makes it a dead heat between these two. Because blueberries are better feed crops, though, it is probably best to produce blueberries instead of tomatoes.
Note that these are *far more valuable* than crops that take an hour or more to grow. The next closest crop in value after these are daisies @ $15/hr, and for non-limited items it is wheat at a paltry $1/hr. So blueberries are 40 times more valuable than the next permanently available crop in the list.
I already mentioned the "real" best recipes (powdered sugar and witchin' butter) above in the "maximizing overall profit" section. However, there are a few other recipes I want to point out here.
BEST PRODUCT, per recipe: ganache @ $848/hr
BEST PRODUCT, per recipe, realistic: vanilla cream puffs @ $682/hr (runner up: scary cake @ $433/hr)
BEST PRODUCT, per recipe, vegan: tomato paste @ $100/hr
BEST PRODUCT, overall, vegan: strawberry lemonade (but really: regular lemonade. see notes.)
BEST PRODUCT, dining alone: witchin' butter @ $245/hr
PRODUCTS TO AVOID: vanilla cream ( loses $458 in value), butter @$560/hr
GANACHE: ganache is, technically, the most profitable item in the game per unit produced. With sustained production it yields $847.50/hr - but in order to keep this up you need 8 non-prize goats, a few plots of land, and (get this) 10 sugar/hr. You also need to use a ridiculous amount of water to make the feed for the goats, or wait so long for slower-growing crops that you won't get anywhere near $847/hr. Skip this one.
VANILLA CREAM PUFFS & SCARY CAKE: I won't go into the details here because both of these use sugar which, as stated above, you should really be saving for powdered sugar instead. They both use enough water that you actually do better overall by skipping them both entirely even though they look good on a per-unit basis.
TOMATO PASTE: I have included the best "vegan" product because you eventually need to replace chickens and goats that become prized. Thus, you eventually need to spend a bunch of money for expensive troughs and animals for any non-vegan product. Tomato paste is the best vegan recipe at $100/hr - and note that this is superior to selling either straight tomatoes or blueberries @ $40/hr. Interestingly, because of the time it takes to replace the water you make $100/hr on tomato paste whether you raise all eight tomatoes at once or just raise one tomato at a time on a single plot; thus, the latter option is better as it leaves more plots free for other things.
On a practical note, in practice you probably won't end up optimizing your water usage 100% correctly all the time. If you ever find yourself with close to 30 waters in storage, planting long-growing crops will lose you money (since you lose any water above 30). Instead, spend a few minutes planting tomatoes in increments of 8 for tomato paste, or blueberries for feed. Once you have used up some of the water, you can then plant slower-growing crops immediately afterward in those same plots.
WITCHIN' BUTTER: If you have few (or no) friends who can give you sugar, witchin' butter is currently the most profitable @ $245/hr.
STRAWBERRY LEMONADE: When you consider the low water requirements for strawberry lemonade (.6 water/hr), it is actually the maximally profitable vegan recipe at $720/hr (and one of the top five most profitable items overall). However, take a look at the requirements for that: to use up all of your available water (and thus make that maximum profit) you would need to be crafting 32 strawberry lemonades simultaneously, meaning about 5*32=160 plots total. Lemonade is actually a much better deal; it's overall max is $700/hr, but you can do that with just lemon trees and no plots of land required. So you give up a mere $20/hr, but in exchange you don't need a single plot of land.
BUTTER: at $560/hr, butter looks like a winner. However, note that this won't last long: in order to get this rate you will need 2 goats each producing 5 bottles of milk/hr. In a few hours your goats will be used up. Furthermore, the price isn't that great compared to just selling the bottles of milk; the advantage is only $10 per sale, or $60/hr.
VANILLA CREAM: don't ever produce this for the purpose of selling it. As Lotus Blade points out, you will lose $458 per vanilla cream as opposed to simply selling the ingredients it takes to make it. I will post an update with how this factors into the value of recipes in which it is used.
All of the above basically goes out the window when you are close to leveling up. At that point there is basically no time penalty to any crop you plant, so you are only worried about the pure profit value of any given crop or tree. With that in mind here are the items that will be the most valuable to have in the ground right before leveling up. If possible try to get the last few points from leveling by visiting friends' farms; that will leave all of your plots free for crops. Remember to plant your crops *before* visiting friends, though; planting crops gives you XP, and you don't want to find yourself halfway through planting a batch of vanilla when you suddenly level up. If you don't think you can get enough XP just by visiting friends, leave one plot free and use that to grow & harvest your last 5-10 XP worth of tomatoes to get there quickly. The list below shows which crops and trees will be most valuable to have planted when you level up.
- crops, limited: vanilla @ $59/plot
- crops, standard: onion @ $8/plot (for money), or strawberries @ 10 feed/plot (for feed)
- trees: persimmon trees @ $330/tree, more if used in recipes (see note below)
Note on persimmon trees: these will yield the most profit when leveling up but require the most advance planning. If you use them to make witchin' batter for $1,957 profit you will need to make sure you also plant four plots of wheat (plus have six eggs handy). If you want to make scary cake you will additionally need to have 16 bottles of milk and 4 sugars but will gain $3463 in profit. Given the additional $1500 in profit from making scary cake instead of witchin' batter, though, it is worth the extra trouble provided that you are able to get 4 people to give you sugar and you already have the 16 bottles of milk ready to go (or you are willing to grind them out after leveling); even if you had 16 goats available to make the milk when you level up, you would need to plant a bunch of strawberries for 6 feed each, and those plots are more profitably sown with vanilla at level up time. If you don't have friends who are able to gift items to you, then witchin' batter will give you the most when leveling up.
To summarize, then: when leveling up, first make sure all your trees are watered. Then, if you have persimmon trees plant 4 plots with wheat and the rest with vanilla. Have your friends give you 4 sugar and also have 16 bottles of milk ready to go. Use all of that to make scary cake. If you can't do those last two things, then just make witchin' batter instead, which can be made just from your persimmon trees, wheat, and six eggs.
I need to think more on this area, but there are two separate items I would like to address: how to maximize feed production and crop value when you log off for extended periods of time. Of course this will depend on just *how* long you log off for, so I am only focusing on overnight periods (assuming 8 hours).
If you are in the habit of playing all day during the day, then in general it is better to plant crops for feed and not for cash overnight. This is because blueberries are so much more valuable on a cash basis than other crops, so it pays to produce them as much as possible during the day. Strawberries produce the most feed/unit, but they also take a full day to grow. Pumpkins look like the best option since they produce 4 feed/unit and finish in 8 hours, or the course of an overnight logoff. If you will be offline for 12 hours, though, onions are slightly better at 6/unit. Finally, while they are around vanilla beans are an attractive option at 5 feed/unit and are ready in 4 hours, so they are slightly more valuable than pumpkins as feed for the next few days.
Progress: First, in terms of where I'm at: I have only gone through the numbers up through crops available at my current level (8). I have also only gone through the first three and a half pages of recipes. Some crops & recipes beyond that point may be more valuable than what I've listed below. If so, you'll hear about it in future updates.
Underlying Data: I haven't listed the data for all crops, trees, products and recipes because it's a bit overwhelming and takes some analysis to make sense of. Full results are in the spreadsheet, so let me know if you're interested and I'll share the full results as well.
Cost of goats & chickens: this will probably change the calculations above quite a bit as these are expensive to replace once they stop producing. I have made qualitative notes above about the impact of these in your decisions, but I will calculate out the results after I discover how many feeds it takes before a goat or a chicken stops producing (or if you already know the answer and pass it on to me, I'll factor it in immediately).
Improved farm animals: all recipe cost above assume the time, water, and feed involved for the basic chicken and goat. I will update these with better information as I collect the stats on the higher-level goats and chickens.
Fertilizer: fertilizing crops greatly enhances their value when harvested, so I definitely need to put some thought into which crops are best to use your fertilizer on. At first blush, though, I'm guessing it will be the ones that have long growing times and lead to high-value recipes, such as persimmons.
Farmhands: Like fertilizer, these will speed up growth or give you more growth/item. This needs to be included at some point.
Crafting Power: when producing high numbers of crafted goods, the amount of crafting power you have available also becomes a factor in maximizing profit. This needs to be included as well, although at lower levels this shouldn't make a difference.