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Farmville is one of the most, if not the most popular application on Facebook. The game reportedly has over 82 million active users. For comparison, this is more than six times the amount of players World of Warcraft has, which is a game that has become synonymous with online role-playing.

Needless to say, Farmville on Facebook is huge. With so many of your friends likely playing the game, wouldn’t it be great to be the highest ranked among them? Follow the Farmville tips and tricks in this guide and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a master.

Growing Crops

Crops are your bread and butter in Farmville. They are the main thing that will make you money. Each crop has its own characteristics and statistics. Crops costs different amounts, take certain amounts of time to grow, and gives various amounts of experience points (usually 1 to 3 XP).

Tip #1 – Harvest Time

One thing to consider is how long it will take to harvest a crop. For example, strawberries takes 4 hours to harvest after you plant them. You have up to two times the amount of time to harvest a crop after you plant it. So if it takes 4 hours to grow, then you have 8 hours since the time you planted to harvest it. If you don’t, then the crop will wilt and become useless. So be sure to plan ahead! If you know you won’t be at your computer within 4-8 hours, then don’t plant a 4-hour crop.

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Tip #2 – Crop Experience

You’ll want to consider which crops you should plant based on how much time you’ll spend playing the game. Many crops that take a day or more to grow will give you at least 2 experience points. Crops with a shorter harvest time may only give you one experience point, but if you’re going to be available to play, then it could be worth it because you’ll be able to immediately plant another one and continue on. If you’re the type of casual player who wants to “plant it and forget it”, then go with crops that take longer to mature. But if you’re on Facebook multiple times a day, then consider going with crops that grow quickly so you can continuously turn them over.

Tip #3 – Return On Investment (ROI)

If your focus is to earn as much money and experience in the shortest amount of time, then you need to consider the cost of the seeds and what they give back to you over time. For example, one of the first plants you have access to are soybeans. They cost 15 coins to plant but you can sell them for 63 coins, which is 4 times the original amount you paid. However, soybeans take longer to grow than some other plants, so when you factor time into the equation they may not be the best choice.

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The equation to figure out your ROI is ((Sale Price – (Seed Cost + 15)) / Time). The “15” in the equation is the cost to plow your field for each plant. For example, strawberry seeds cost 10 coins, give back 35 coins at harvest, and take 4 hours to grow. Plugging this into the equation gives us ((35 – (10 + 15)) / 4), which equals 2.5 coins per hour. Soybeans give us 1.434 coins per hour, so strawberries are better for getting money than soybeans, as long as you can harvest them every 4 hours. When deciding what crops to plant, you should consider how often you will play (to avoid dead crops) and what your goal is (to make money or to gain experience).

Assuming you plant and harvest them as quickly as possible, the five best current money-making crops are: Peas, Asparagus, Onion, Grapes, and Sugar Cane.

For gaining experience, the five best are berries (black, blue, straw, and raspberries), followed by Aloe Vera, Ghost Chili, Pumpkin, and Tomatoes.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Having many neighbors in Farmville will help you expand your farm and give you more opportunities to make money. The more neighbors you have, the bigger you’re able to make your farm. And the bigger your farm is, the more crops you can plant. You will also have more space to just play around and decorate, if you like doing that. In addition, you can help your neighbors by cleaning up their weeds or fertilizing their plants, which gives you further experience and money.

Tip #4 – Hello Friends!

The easiest way to gain neighbors is to ask your friends to play with you. Even if they’re not active players, as long as they sign up and accept you as a neighbor, then they will continue to be and you will gain the rewards for that. Chances are that at least 20% of your friends are already playing this game, so finding neighbors among them shouldn’t be too difficult. You can find out which of your friends are already playing by clicking on the “My Neighbors” tab on you’re farm.

farmville facebook guide

Tip #5 – FarmVille Forums

If you’ve already added all your farming friends, or don’t want to ask any of them, you can also find new friends by going to the Farmville Forums. You can find the forum by clicking on the Forum link at the bottom of the Facebook page while you’re playing the game. Once the forum loads, there is a section called “Finding Neighbors” for people who want more neighbors.

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Be careful with who you add from these forums though, as some of them are just spam accounts. Check out the profile of your new neighbor and if they don’t seem like a real person, then go ahead and remove them. You don’t want them spamming up your Facebook wall.

The forums are also a great place to just chat about the game, ask any questions you may have, or learn more about other games people are playing.

Growing Up

Tip #6 – Expanding Your Farm

Once you have enough neighbours, you can consider expanding your farm. Initially you start with a 12×12 farm, which is relatively small. With neighbors and coins, you can upgrade to a 14×14, 20×20, and beyond. Having a bigger farm is key to becoming a Farmville master and raking in the (virtual) dough.

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You must be careful when deciding to expand. Many farmers have expanded too early and found they had no money to do anything with that extra land. So make sure to consider how much money it will cost to not only buy the expansion, but also to fill it up with new crops, animals, buildings, or whatever else you have in mind with the land.

If the expansion costs 10,000 coins and you only have 12,000, then it is not a good time to expand. Wait until you have at least 20,000-25,000 coins before you make the big purchase.

Tip #7 – Use Hay Bales For Fast Experience

farmville facebook gameAfter you’ve played for a couple weeks and have managed to build up a nice amount of coins, there’s an easy strategy you can use to quickly boost your experience. The strategy is to simply buy Hay Bales, sell the Hay Bales, and repeat. Although the best choice is always to choose experience-effective crops, if you’ve maxed out your field then the next best thing is the Hay Bale method.

Hay Bales are the most effective item you can buy to gain experience. For 100 coins each one will give you 5 experience points and can be sold for 5 coins as well, so you can basically purchase 5 experience points for only 95 coins. If you have 50,000 coins you’re not currently doing anything with, you could turn that into 2500+ experience.


As you can see, although Farmville is a simple game, it does have its fair amount of strategy and budgeting to succeed. When played in moderation, I think Farmville can even be used as a good tool to teach money budgeting to the younger crowds. For us older crowds, it’s a good way to pass a few minutes and have some sort of friendly competition with friends.

There’s a lot more to discuss about Farmville, with its animals and trees for example, but as long as you can master the act of harvesting crops and gaining experience, the rest is pretty straightforward.

Have you used any of these tips? Do you have any of your own to share? Please leave us a comment and let us know!

Image by: sarcomAroma

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