Disney Dreamlight Valley beginner tips
Image: Josh Broadwell / Nintendo Life

Disney Dreamlight Valley might be a straightforward and approachable life sim, but that doesn’t make the early hours any less overwhelming. A wave of possible activities, investment opportunities, and enticing new areas to spend Dreamlight on washes over you as you start putting roots down in the valley.

While you can do pretty much anything you want without negative consequences, our Disney Dreamlight Valley beginner’s tips guide has some handy pieces of advice to keep in mind that will make the experience that much smoother and more enjoyable.

Making Money

Ignore Goofy’s stall (for a little while)

You gotta save money to make money! When you first meet Goofy, Dreamlight Valley introduces the upgrade system, where you invest your hard-earned coins into local businesses to help them grow. It may be tempting to do that with Goofy’s stall once it opens thanks to your initial investment – but you shouldn’t. The money is much better spent on Scrooge’s shop or saved for expanding your inventory.

Goofy’s stall, especially the meadow location, stocks items you can mostly find elsewhere, so you aren’t really missing out on anything.

Disney Dreamlight Valley Scrooge's shop
Image: Josh Broadwell / Nintendo Life

Scrooge is your friend, though

Yes, we just recommended saving money, but you should spend at least the initial investment amount of 1,000 coins on Scrooge’s store as soon as possible. It gives you a new place to shop, but more importantly, progressing Scrooge’s questline is necessary for unlocking house upgrades.

Steal plants

You can just go into Furniture Mode, pick up the forageable trees and bushes from other biomes, and bring them to wherever you want them to be. This means you can make a garden full of free plants! Nice!

Go fish. A lot

Fishing is one of the best activities you can do in Dreamlight Valley. There’s the obvious benefit of providing catches you can cook to restore stamina, but uncooked fish also sell for significant sums. Look for the red or blue bubbles in a pond for better chances of catching rarer fish, and then take your haul to Goofy.

Fishing spots respawn after a very short period, so by the time you come back from the stall, you’ll probably find two or three new ones already.

Disney Dreamlight Valley fishing
Image: Josh Broadwell / Nintendo Life

Fish anywhere

Maybe other people knew this, but we didn't! You don't just have to fish where the bubbles are — you can fish anywhere in the water, and in some cases, that's preferable. You'll never get seaweed in the bubbly spots, because those are guaranteed fishes, so make sure you're fishing all over the place!

Enjoy the miner’s life

Mining is another solid method of acquiring high-value items. Look for the black, upright nodes around the edges of the meadow and the plaza for your best chance of finding rare gems. If the node has red or brown pieces sticking out of it, then you’re guaranteed a gemstone. These are sometimes a character’s preferred gift of the day, but if not, the best thing to do is sell them.

Like with fishing, mining nodes tend to respawn fairly quickly, so you won’t be short of places to swing your pickaxe.

Do your dailies

You get several straightforward tasks each day that can range from planting seeds to catching fish, and while it might seem like a waste of time when you have big plans for the valley, completing them is a solid and easy way of getting Dreamlight.

You need anywhere from a few hundred Dreamlight to 5,000 or more to unlock new Realms and biomes, so every bit helps.

Disney Dreamlight Valley
Image: Josh Broadwell / Nintendo Life

Cook everything

Disney Dreamlight Valley forgives you for your cooking mistakes and always ensures you walk away from the stove with something useful, so there’s never any waste. When you find new ingredients, take them back home and see if you can figure out a possible new recipe by combining them with whatever else you have on hand.

Typically, the game defaults to the most logical dish if you try something unorthodox. Raspberries and carrots just turn into a basic veggie appetizer, for example. Wheat and fish, on the other hand, turn into fish sandwiches. It’s always worth trying just in case – especially since Dreamlight Valley is a bit stingy with handing over new recipe books in the early game.

DDV cooking
Image: Kate Gray / Nintendo Life

Stamina Saving

Fill up stamina with lemons

We think lemons are a great way to recover stamina. They don't sell for much, but they recover 400 stamina, and they aren't used for a lot of recipes. Also, we think it's hilarious to imagine our character chomping down hundreds of lemons to stay awake.

DDV Lemons
Image: Kate Gray / Nintendo Life

Eat the good stuff

Eating entrees, a category which is limited to grilled fish for the first several hours of the game, gives you extra stamina in the form of a gold bar on top of your usual blue bar. It’s always a good idea to take a few entrees with you while you’re exploring and gathering materials.

Sure, you can fast travel back home – but it’s much quicker to just have a speedy snack.

Go home, you’re tired

Dreamlight Valley uses a stamina system, similar to other life sims, but it’s not quite as rigid as the likes of Stardew Valley. You can’t complete activities once you run out of stamina, but you won’t faint.

Eating a meal is the best way to recover your energy, but if you don’t have anything on hand or plan on saving ingredients for something else, just go home. Your energy bar refills completely as soon as you step foot inside.

Making Friends

Getting more friendship is easy

DDV friendship
Image: Kate Gray / Nintendo Life

No, really! Ask any character to follow you around while you're doing menial tasks — foraging, watering, cooking, digging, planting, fishing — and you'll receive a small boost when you perform the task. You can make friends in no time.

Invite new friends

One of the earliest quests you take on is entering the castle with Merlin, where you learn about the existence of Realms. These are where you find characters such as Remy and WALL-E and have the chance to invite them back to the village.

More friends means more quests and items to unlock, and some of them are necessary for upgrading your tools.

Befriending animals

You've noticed those little critters running around the place, haven't you? Did you know you can befriend them by feeding them? And that they have a favourite food? And that they give you presents as thank yous? Aaaaaand that they can become your permanent companions once you've befriended them, following you around like you're Snow White? Yuuup.

There are different approaches to befriending each one, as some are skittish and others are picky. Here's a guide — we'll have one of our own coming later!

And it's not just boring old squirrels and raccoons. There are also rare critters, obtained through Star Path points, or by turning up on the right day to discover rare variants like the Celestial Sea Turtle, so keep an eye out!

Snoop around your neighbors’ homes

Once you see inside Mickey’s house or WALL-E’s truck once, you might think you’ve seen all there is. And you’d be wrong. Occasionally, you’ll run across new items or recipes, indicated with a sparkly aura like the one you see around items in the wild.

It’s not completely clear if raising your friendship level with the homeowner is what triggers the new discovery, but it’s worth checking every now and again either way.

Disney Dreamlight Valley recipe books
Image: Josh Broadwell / Nintendo Life

Upgrade Yourself

Expand your inventory as soon as possible

Like most life games, Dreamlight Valley starts you off with a cramped little backpack. You can invest in storage options or sell things at Goofy’s stall, but the limitations quickly become apparent as you venture further afield or into character realms, most of which have no storage options.

The first expansion costs 5,000 coins – a hefty sum when you’re likely just getting 20 at a time for clearing away Night Thorns. There are some handy money-earning tricks, though.

Masculine frames can wear dresses and skirts

And they look fierce, too.

You can swap your frame and your body shape at any time from the Wardrobe menu.

DDV Clothing
Image: Kate Gray / Nintendo Life

And that's it for our Disney Dreamlight Valley Starter Tips. Ready for some more advanced advice? We've got you covered:

We hope this guide helps you as you start out in Disney Dreamlight Valley. Let us know how you're getting on below!

If you're looking for more info about Disney Dreamlight Valley, check out our guides detailing How To Raise Friendship Fast, How To Upgrade Your House, How To Upgrade Tools, How To Earn Star Coins Fast, and How To Make The Ratatouille Recipe.