Tap Farm: game tips, cheats, help and the unofficial user guide

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Here are a bunch of tips I have found for Tap Farm, the farming app for the iPhone that is taking the mobile gaming community by storm. This will give you a lot of tips but make sure and visit the resources link at the end of this post for more information.

If you have any tips leave a comment and share your knowledge with others.

Tap farm starts out with a few barren plots of land in which you are expected to plant crops. And it turns out that crops are the best initial and basic producer of experience, and that’s what you’ll likely play with first. Your first efforts were probably spent farming tomatoes every three hours until you could fill up your farm with 15×15 patches of crops. Then you probably started wondering which of these crops yields the most experience.

I’m guessing that if you’ve gotten onto Google and managed to find this page, then you’ve already probably started recording the various prices and experience given by various crops. I’ve been doing that too, and I threw them in a spreadsheet so I could start to compare the various crop options.

I’ve thrown up a snapshot of my spreadsheet below for your review. Please be warned that it’s for crops up to about Level 33, and some folks might take that as a spoiler. As you increase in experience it unlocks more and more crops (and the level required is shown in the seed menu. You can scroll to the right as far or as little as you like if you don’t want to peruse the later crops.

If you’ve unlocked additional crops, I’d love to see what they offer, or if you can fill in other blanks in the spreadsheet, please let me know. Excel represents zeros with dashes, so the dashes indicate data is present, and the value is nil.

You’ll notice a few things about this list. First of all you need to calculate two important values: which crop gives the most cash, and which gives the most experience. Since they all take different times to grow I calculate this as “Profit/Hour/Square” and “XP/Hour/Square” which adds in the coins and experience from plowing, sowing the crops, and reaping the crops, and normalizes it over the hours it takes to grow.

You’ll notice that the best cash crop I’ve found so far is Cucumbers, with Garlic, and Eggplant being good options too. You’ll also notice that the best experience crop is Artichoke, with Garlic being a good second choice. When the “visit neighbor” option was actually working, this is why you’d see most farms planting Artichoke, Cucumbers or Eggplant. (There was no Garlic option then.)

Trees and Orchards
Lemons, Apples, Oranges, Peaches, Cherries, Coconuts, and Star Fruit! They all grow well together in your climate!

When you start looking at what you get in the way of coins and experience from trees, you’ll probably be a bit disappointed. Trees are much more expensive than crops to plant. Of course you only have to plant the trees once, and then they keep producing fruit to harvest every two to five days (depending upon the tree), so they eventually pay for the initial cost. But crops pay for their initial cost after only one harvest, and their harvest times are faster than trees! So the next thing you’ll calculate will be the profit per hour for a tree. That news is dismal too — the trees all show much lower profit per hour than crops. So perhaps you looked at that and relegated trees to the realm of decoration. I know that I initially did think they were useless.

But, hold on friend! Trees have one big advantage we have to put into our calculations — you can plant them in Orchards!

Click here for the ULITIMATE guide to dominating Tap Farm!

What is an Orchard
What’s an Orchard you ask? Well, I think of an Orchard as being a bunch of trees planted closely together. You see, crops can only be planted in “patches”, which you create with the “create patch” tool. But these patches are actually 4×4 blocks in size. Trees on the other hand can be planted anywhere on the grass (which you reveal again when you delete patches with the “delete” tool) and only take up one block. This means that you can plant sixteen trees in the same space in which you would have planted a single 4×4 crop patch. That’s what I call an Orchard. An Orchard is a square of sixteen trees. You can see a few Orchards of ripe cherry trees in the picture to the left.

If you arrange your patches on the free farm, you can fit at most 225 patches (15×15), and this limits the maximum rate at which you can produce coins. However, you can fit 3,600 trees (15x15x16) on the same free farm — giving you the ability to produce much much higher rates of coin production.

Although we can still calculate the profit per hour with trees, to compare it with using our farm for crops we really need to calculate the “Profit/Hour/Square”, which is sixteen times higher. This is the amount of money that we could make with an Orchard of trees instead of planting crops in a patch. We then also want to compare the experience that we’ll produce with that 4×4 bit of land holding an Orchard instead of planting crops on it. That’s in the “XP/Hour/Square”.

As you can see, Star Fruit trees give much much higher profit per hour per square than any crop planted in the same square, but they cost a huge amount to plant an Orchard (320,000 coins). But if you do have 320,000 coins sitting around that you don’t want to spend on decorations, you could plant an Orchard of Star Fruit trees. Of course, it will take a long time for that Orchard to return 320,000 coins again — 80 days. And during that eighty days, you could have been farming cucumbers on that square. But after some period (92 and 1/2 days), you’ll be holding more cash than you would if you were farming cucumbers. And you’ll have the Star Fruit Orchard to continue producing at that high rate of cash production (320,000 every 80 days).

Every other tree gives lesser returns than Star Fruit, but they also require lower initial investment, and therefore pay back their investment much more quickly (on the order of 30 days). In addition, cherry tree Orchards are actually pretty, making them an attractive initial orchard investment in my opinion. I don’t think Star Fruit are actually a needed investment because by the time you have enough cash to buy more than a few Orchards, you’ll be able to get into dog-farming, which is even more lucrative, but there is no arguing that Star Fruit are the best return available initially.

Do note however, that the experience produced by an Orchard is much lower than you could get using the same area to farm crops.
How to Harvest Orchards
If you are planting Orchards, then you’ll find there is a bit of a problem when it comes to harvesting them. First of all, you can’t tell when the individual trees are ripe for the picking. Look at the two pictures below. On the left you see Orchards of unripe cherry trees, and on the right ripe ones. Can you count how many trees are ripe? No, because only the ones on the edge show the fruit on them. As a matter of fact, you only have my word that the trees on the left are all unripe — if there were ripe ones in the center, they would display no differently.
So the first thing you’ll want to do for harvesting Orchards is to keep them all on the same ripening schedule. If you add more trees to an Orchard, wait until they all are ripe before you harvest them — then you can tell that the whole Orchard is ripe when you see any tree on the edge ripen. And don’t block of a group of Orchards entirely from view with other things, or you’ll need to use an indicator item to remember when to harvest it. (By indicator item, I just mean planting one item with the same harvest schedule as the trees where you can see it.)

The second challenge for harvesting an Orchard is to manage to harvest all sixteen trees in the Orchard without forgetting some. This is easier if you use the “queuing” feature of Tap Farm where you can queue up multiple harvest, plow, and planting actions. To do this, let your crops and Orchards both become ripe, and then harvest your crop land first. If you harvest the crops quickly, you will “queue” up all of the harvest actions, and have quite a buffer before the game finishes harvesting them. You can extend this buffer to several minutes if you harvest, plow, and plant your crops all at once.

With your crops queued up and merrily planting away, you can then start to harvest your Orchards. As you touch each individual tree, it will “grey” out the tree that is queued up to be harvested, showing more clearly the other trees that remain to be harvested.
Harvesting Orchards
ou can see that process in the picture to the left. Notice that there are “greyed” out crops that have been queued up visible just below the Orchards . The Orchards are partially harvested, and the trees that have been harvested are greyed out on the left side of the picture. You can see that the ripe trees on the right side of the picture that were previously hidden behind other trees are now exposed. And the one tree towards the right that was overlooked in the harvesting till now is very obvious once all its neighbors have been greyed out.
Harvesting Coconuts
This makes harvesting a more leisurely process where you pick all the fruit trees clean and then watch the cash roll in. If I don’t do it this way, it seems to be a frustrating, blind, tapping hunt for trees that you didn’t yet happen to tap, until you give up looking for any you missed. In the photo to the left you can see that the palm Orchards were picked clean (with the greyed out harvested trees on the left still queued up). You can also see that the Tap Farm game has finished the crop harvest and is now harvesting the queued up palms (from right to left) and popping up 1000 coins worth of coconuts from each.

Tap Farm had an update in January that changed the experience levels and added new crops, animals, trees, decorations, and levels. All accounts kept the same amount of experience that they had earned, but the levels now required more experience to achieve. As a result, some accounts (mine included) dropped down in level since the accumulated experience was not enough to have reached the same level. Thus, your level is calculated from your accumulated experience, and that calculation has been changed in the past. Currently, you need somewhere around the following:

* Level 31: ~252,000 experience
* Level 32: ~282,000 experience
* Level 33: 312,000 experience
* Level 34: 342,000 experience
* Level 35: 372,000 experience
* Level 60: 1,122,000 experience

(I’m just extrapolating to Level 60 by assuming that the current 30,000 experience per level holds true — Level 35 is an actual current value). The initial levels required smaller amounts of experience, increasing with each level, but then somewhere around level 25 capped out at 30,000 experience per level.

If you fill your entire farm with artichokes, and wake up through the night to promptly harvest and replant every four hours, then you could earn 14,850 experience per day. (This can be calculated from 2.75 per hour per square from the crops page times 15 x 15 squares x 24 hours). In actual practice, you’ll earn slower than this assuming you sleep through the night, forget to harvest your crops some days, and devote some land to decorations. But with an artichoke farm at this theoretical rate, it would take 76 days to reach level 60. You’ll also accumulate just over three million coins from farming artichokes. This gives you some basic estimates of how long you might be playing this game before you hit Level 60 (assuming you don’t lose interest well before that ;-) .

Of course, you can accumulate coins much much faster raising dogs than you can planting artichokes.

Click here for the ULITIMATE guide to dominating Tap Farm!

Turning Coins into Experience
So you’re probably thinking at this point “I thought this moron was supposed to be telling me the fastest way to produce experience.” Well, sure, but I tend to digress :-) But since you’d like to know… crops seem to be the fastest way to do this. But most of this site focuses instead on production of coins. I think that’s because I’ve found it hard to separate production of coin and experience. In fact, it’s possible to convert coins to experience.

To do so you simply do the following:

1. Start with some open grass area.
2. Create a patch using the “Create Patch” tool. (minus twenty coins, plus one experience)
3. Delete the bare patch using the “Delete” tool. (plus one coin, plus ten experience)
4. Tally up your earnings: minus nineteen coins, plus eleven experience.

By repeating this process you convert nineteen coins into eleven experience, or about 58% conversion of coins. This is an interesting fact, since the highest producing items (trees and animals) produce large amounts of coin, but low amounts of experience. But if you could convert the coins into experience (even at a discounted rate) they would be the highest producers of coins, and thereby experience too.

In fact, converting a measly three million coins would get you the experience required for level 60 and access to the Chateau. But before you consider your road to a Chateau solved, consider that there is one really big problem with coin conversion… It’s a royal pain. You must create each patch and delete each patch manually, and they don’t queue up like harvesting, plowing, and planting crops do. That means it’s (probably deliberately) horribly slow and painful to convert experience. One can probably convert at a rate of about 6000 experience per hour, but I can’t stand doing that for more than 10 minutes or so. But, if you’re willing to do a bunch of tapping, it’s a ready source of quick experience that doesn’t make you wait on crops.
The Fastest Way to Produce Experience
Well, all that analysis to tell you what you already knew… you’ll probably want to farm crops as your fastest route to gaining experience.

However, if you are really patient and love tapping the tool buttons in Tap Farm, the fastest way to get experience is to gain coins in the fastest fashion possible (see the “Getting Coins” page) and convert the excess coins to experience.

If you aren’t willing to convert coins to experience, then you are best off harvesting tomatoes until you can plant a full field of artichokes. Then you should plant artichokes until you get tired of that and switch to eggplants or garlic so you can produce coins and experience at the same time. Meanwhile you should use the coins to buy decorations, or to acquire more coins as described elsewhere.

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