Coal is used in Stardew Valley to craft items and smelt copper, iron, gold, and iridium bars using a furnace. Due to its many uses, you’ll need to know how to get coal to optimize your crafting.
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Get Coal From the Mines
The best way to get coal, especially in the early part of the game, is by visiting the mines. The mines, located north of Town Square and east of Robin’s shop, offer several different ways to earn some.
Inside the mines, you’ll encounter various stones. The stones that appear depend on which level of the mines you’re currently on. Regardless, they all have a chance of offering coal when broken.
To break open the stones, walk up next to the stone and hit it with your pickaxe. Some stones require you to hit them several times before they break. The chance of a stone producing coal when broken depends on your luck for that day. If you choose the Prospector profession, then when you reach a level 10 mining level, your chance of finding coal is doubled.
As you’re walking around the mines, you may also come across mining carts and backpacks abandoned by miners. Both are full of coal, so if you see them, walk up to them and press the Confirm button. The resource will scatter on the ground, and you can just walk over it to collect it.
Yet another way is by busting the old wooden crates and barrels, which often contain coal.
If that weren’t enough, you can also collect it by slaying Dust Sprites, found on floors 41-79. Each slain Dust Sprite bears a 50% chance of producing coal.
If the Mines are a bit too dark and scary for you, or if killing innocent Dust Sprites isn’t your thing, then there are other ways of getting coal.
Buy From Clint the Blacksmith
Coal can be purchased from Clint, the local blacksmith, for 150G per coal during the first year, and 250G from the second year onwards. Clint’s shop is located on the eastern side of Town Square, just north of the library.
Visit Clint between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm on any day but Friday. Talk to him from over the counter and select Shop.
Select coal from the menu and press the Confirm button to purchase one coal.
Keep in mind that purchasing coal can quickly drain your finances. If you’re short on cash, have a charcoal kiln, and it’s still the first year, you can buy 10 pieces of wood from Robin and turn them into coal for cheaper than buying one piece from Clint. This only works during the first year, though, since prices increase beginning the second year.
Make Coal in the Charcoal Kiln
If you have some extra wood lying around, throw some in a charcoal kiln to make some coal. To get a charcoal kiln, you can either craft one using 20 pieces of wood and 2 copper bars, or by completing the Community Center’s Construction Bundle or Sticky Bundle in the Crafts room.
Once you have a charcoal kiln, place 10 pieces of wood inside it. It takes 30 in-game minutes to burn down the wood into a piece of coal.
You can also get your hands on some coal by panning for it. To get the copper pan, you’ll need to complete the Fish Tank Bundles at the Community Center (or you can purchase “Panning” from the Joja Community Development Form, should you choose that route).
Once you’ve completed the Fish Tank Bundles, the Glittering Boulder will be removed. Go to the Mountain path any day after it’s removed and Willie will give you the copper pan.
You can use the pan in any pond, river, or lake where the shimmering light appears. Just walk up to the light in the water and press the action button to begin panning.
There are several different items you can pan for, but you have around a 50% chance (depending on your daily luck) to get coal. The amount you get is randomized.
While fishing or looting trash bins, you’ll often come across trash and driftwood. While it’s tempting to just discard these items, they can actually be turned into coal with a Recycling Machine. To get a Recycling Machine, complete the Field Research bundle on the Bulletin Board in the Community Center, or craft one using 25 pieces of wood, 25 stones, and 2 iron bars.
Once you have a Recycling Machine, put one piece of trash or driftwood in it. The trash has a 30% chance of turning into coal, whereas the driftwood only has a 25% chance.
The amount of coal you receive ranges from one to three pieces.
Dig In Artifact Spots
Ever notice those worm-like things protruding from the ground? Those are called “Artifact Spots.” Hitting the Artifact Spot with your hoe will produce an item.
Depending on where you are, the item may be coal. Hitting an Artifact Spot with your hoe on your Farm or in the Mountains, you have a 4% chance of getting coal, while Artifact Spots in the Backwoods have a 5% chance.
How to Quickly Farm Coal
There are many ways to get coal in Stardew Valley. So, which way is the quickest? If you’re out to go coal farming, then you’ll definitely want to visit floors 41-79 of the Mines—where the Dust Sprites live. With a 50% chance of dropping coal, killing a few Dust Sprites will see your stock quickly increase.
To speed things up even more, equip the Burglar’s Ring to make monsters drop twice as much loot. The Burglar’s Ring can be obtained by visiting Gil at the Adventurer’s Guild after killing 500 Dust Sprites.
Other Ways to Get Coal
If you needed even more ways to get coal, then Stardew Valley delivers. Here are some additional ways you can get that black chunk of carbon:
- Purchase it from the Traveling Merchant, located in Cindersap Forest on Fridays and Sundays, for 100-1,000G. The Traveling Merchant’s inventory is random, so she may not have coal in stock the day you visit her.
- When fishing, you will sometimes see a treasure chest appear in the fishing bar. If you successfully retrieve the treasure chest, there’s a small chance you’ll receive coal from it.
- A fully mature fruit tree, when struck by lightning, will produce coal instead of fruit for several days.
- There’s a chance you’ll receive some from a processed Geode. Geodes can be processed by paying Clint 25G or by using a Geode Crusher.
- There’s a 10% chance you’ll receive some after slaying one of these enemies:
- Stone Golems
- Wilderness Golems
- Metal Heads
- Shadow Brutes
- Shadow Shamans
- Slimes (Red, Purple, or Black)
Now that you know how to get coal, you’ll never have to be without.