Fruit Bats or Mushrooms

Boo1972

Planter
A while back, someone had mentioned doing a foraging run in the forest farm layout. Basically, you rely on mixed seeds and the seed maker for your plants. You can buy fruit trees and trellis plants, preferably from the traveling cart. For my second farm, I decided to try this. But I’m not sure what do with my cave. I feel like it might be easier for me to forage mushrooms than afford to buy fruit trees but I’m not sure. I’d like to finish the community center By the end of year 2. Thoughts?
 

Xyrella

Farmhand
Could be me as we talked about my forest farm and relaxing foraging. ^^ I always prefer the fruit bats, especially with the botanist profession as they drop a lot of fruits which are out of season and you'll get them in highest quality. The mushrooms in the cave are always in normal quality. Most in fall there's a good chance to get all mushrooms in the secret woods in highest quality (botanist) and remember that there's also a chance to get some mushroom trees in fall if you have common trees on your farm.
 

ShneekeyTheLost

Sodbuster
From a cash perspective, it's pretty much a wash. Technically, the mushroom cave tends to average a little more, but even at an overestimate on the average yield, the profits are less than a single chicken producing mayo daily. Very rapidly, the amount of money you get from it will be entirely negligible. Therefore, we need to consider utility when deciding which to go for.

Mushroom caves can get you some of the rarer mushrooms, including Red and Purple Mushrooms and even Morels and Chanterelle which are normally found exclusively in the Secret Woods (or possibly on the farm if you chose the Forest Farm layout). This means you have inconsistent access to Life Elixirs (200E 90H). Note the word 'inconsistent', it's not super common to get Chanterelle or Morel in the cave, these will likely be your choke point. So don't expect the mushroom cave to be 'I have all the Life Elixirs I want', because that simply won't be true. From a bundle completion perspective, this can net you mushrooms for completing the Exotic Foraging bundle quest easier.

Fruit Bat caves can net you various fruits. The key difference here is that with the Botanist perk, they're guaranteed to be iridium-star quality, which actually pushes their profitability higher than mushroom caves, but still less than what a single chicken yields, even when factoring in the occasional double-yield you get from the Gatherer perk. They can also be processed, although most of them probably won't be worth your time to process. The key here, though, is that you can also rarely get the fruit tree fruits which can be used to complete the Artisan bundle much easier.

For myself? The Artisan Bundle is generally harder to complete than the Exotic Foraging bundle for me, so I go with Bats. Plus, when discussing where I'm laying my paths on my farm with the local handylady for planning out future buildings, I can proudly proclaim: "To the Bat Cave, Robin!".
 

Lew Zealand

Planter
As others mentioned, I choose the Bat Cave as I find it to be more useful in finishing the Community Center as the fruit trees are so expensive and slow growing.

And I never caught MushroomMan and FungusBoy on TV when I was a kid, so "to the BatCave!" has more meaning to me.
 

AliceKerr813

Greenhorn
As others mentioned, I choose the Bat Cave as I find it to be more useful in finishing the Community Center as the fruit trees are so expensive and slow growing.

And I never caught MushroomMan and FungusBoy on TV when I was a kid, so "to the BatCave!" has more meaning to me.
However the longer you have the fruit trees the better the quality. Also they can be turned into wines, jams and that is a nice return investment.
 
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ShneekeyTheLost

Sodbuster
However the longer you have the fruit trees the better the quality. Also they can be turned into wines, jams and that is a nice return investment.
But, other than in the Greenhouse, they only produce one season out of the year. And have a high initial cost. Sure, they eventually pay off, although it takes almost your entire first growth season to hit your break-even point, even using preserves jars or kegs. Then it's a whole 'nother year before you can see any kind of RoI. It is profitable, and consistent, but not particularly so. Especially not compared to other options that present themselves.

Quality of fruits is irrelevant in the face of processing. If you plan on turning them into preserves or wine, quality is ignored entirely in final profits.

Other than an Apple tree to satisfy the Fodder Bundle, I rarely bother with trees outside of the Greenhouse. Now inside... that's another story entirely.
 

Lappy

Sodbuster
I chose fruit bats my first playthrough, and mushrooms the second (current) time around.

As mentioned by others, the fruit path is great for the community center. What I looked forward to with mushrooms was being able to make life elixirs pretty early in the game. But the relative scarcity of the purples (or really, anything besides "common mushroom") didn't lead to a steady stream of elixirs.

Another difference between the two is that you're limited to six boxes to harvest mushrooms from, whereas the limit for fruit seems to be some percentage of the total number of tiles in the cave. However, the spawn rate of fruit seems to be less than the six per day you get of mushrooms. So if you're good about consistently checking the cave every day, mushrooms may be the better option. But if you're like me and only get around to the cave every few days (or over a week), fruit may be more suitable to your play style.

Other differences (as I discovered on the wiki):
  • fruit gives you foraging xp; mushrooms do not
  • fruit is universally liked, whereas mushrooms are kind of a crapshoot - ~3-5 villagers like each EXCEPT everyone dislikes or hates reds and one love
    Wizard loves purples
Later in the game, I don't think it matters very much - you'll have established friendship with all the villagers and your cash flow and growing capability will be enough such that you can cook food or buy elixirs to heal yourself.

Thinking about it, I think ConcernedApe did a really good job of balancing the two options. If there was a poll, my guess is that the fruit would win for giving you a jump on the community center bundles. But I definitely would not fault anyone for preferring mushrooms. To me, mushrooms are the more interesting option for the long-play, for the somewhat steady influx of the rarer fungi. Not that I would need them for anything, but just because I'd already be getting the non-foraged fruit from trees.
 

Lew Zealand

Planter
Another difference between the two is that you're limited to six boxes to harvest mushrooms from, whereas the limit for fruit seems to be some percentage of the total number of tiles in the cave. However, the spawn rate of fruit seems to be less than the six per day you get of mushrooms. So if you're good about consistently checking the cave every day, mushrooms may be the better option. But if you're like me and only get around to the cave every few days (or over a week), fruit may be more suitable to your play style.
Ah, so Bat Cave/Fruit is more conducive to the lazy play style. It's nice to know that I fell into that in a natural way as sometimes I wander into the cave and it's almost completely full, including the hidden spots at the bottom.
 

Lappy

Sodbuster
Ah, so Bat Cave/Fruit is more conducive to the lazy play style.
Well, I don't know if I'd necessarily say lazy - though I would admit to feeling that way about my play style too sometimes - it's just that there can be so many things you're trying to do and you only have so much time in a day to do them, and harvesting your cave is something that frequently gets pushed down the priority list.

At least... that's what I tell myself.
 

One More Day

Farmhand
What I looked forward to with mushrooms was being able to make life elixirs pretty early in the game. But the relative scarcity of the purples (or really, anything besides "common mushroom") didn't lead to a steady stream of elixirs.
Honestly, I think Life Elixir is hugely overrated. If you're going to Skull Cavern and want food for health, just buy a stack of Salad from Gus. It's cheaper, it's easier, and best of all, it's available in unlimited quantities. You'll use maybe 50 of them, tops, in an all-day expedition into SC, costing just 11,000g.

Or, if you're determined to do to the mushroom cave, you could just take a stack of the common mushrooms, which are super cheap for the energy they recover.
 

Lappy

Sodbuster
Honestly, I think Life Elixir is hugely overrated. If you're going to Skull Cavern and want food for health, just buy a stack of Salad from Gus. It's cheaper, it's easier, and best of all, it's available in unlimited quantities. You'll use maybe 50 of them, tops, in an all-day expedition into SC, costing just 11,000g.

Or, if you're determined to do to the mushroom cave, you could just take a stack of the common mushrooms, which are super cheap for the energy they recover.
It's not that I opted for mushrooms for elixirs - I selected them just because I wanted to see what the opposite choice from my first farm was like - but that elixirs were something useful I could make out of all the mushrooms. The elixirs would then have been a bonus, not a replacement for salads, etc.
 
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lilan castel

Planter
A while back, someone had mentioned doing a foraging run in the forest farm layout. Basically, you rely on mixed seeds and the seed maker for your plants. You can buy fruit trees and trellis plants, preferably from the traveling cart. For my second farm, I decided to try this. But I’m not sure what do with my cave. I feel like it might be easier for me to forage mushrooms than afford to buy fruit trees but I’m not sure. I’d like to finish the community center By the end of year 2. Thoughts?
Mushrooms. easier to get the purple one for life elixir and for the bundles.
 
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Tom

Sodbuster
Great thread! Great example of the value of these forums for authoritative reference.

To me, mushrooms are the more interesting option for the long-play, for the somewhat steady influx of the rarer fungi. Not that I would need them for anything, but just because I'd already be getting the non-foraged fruit from trees.
I like this. I started with Mushrooms my first few savefiles, moved to Fruit Bats (Community Center), and now find myself missing the occasional rarer fungi for cooking, which I like to do for fun.

Bottom line for me, though, is I don't like running to that Mushroom Cave every other day, especially in the Year 1 Spring and Summer. So it's the "To the Bat Cave, Robin!" for me.
 

Shar

Farmhand
I'm on the bat cave bandwagon for all the previously mentioned reasons. Community center fruit being the main one.
You get random red/purple mushrooms in the mines not frequently but often enough. And if you get secret woods access in spring, the other rare mushrooms are there each season (again not frequently but often enough). Just go on Friday or Saturday before the week ends.
And the common mushroom is super common, especially in fall.
 
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