In Black Desert Online, farming becomes the foundation of other life skills such as cooking or alchemy, and can help you earn some extra silver via selling processed crops. Thanks to the patch that allowed players to send workers instead of having to stay at the farm themselves for growing crops, this so-called ‘AFK farming’ has become something you need to do in order to enjoy the game more efficiently.
AFK farming is a method of planting and growing crops that involves no direct management such as pruning or killing insects. It is done wholly by workers, and players can go out to hunt or sail the seas and fish during the process. They then return to harvest when the crops are ready.
The system allows players to earn additional silver by doing other content, and crops from farming can be utilized for extra benefit. Players should, however, constantly recover the stamina of workers with beer, as each action they take such as pruning or killing insects cost 1 stamina and the workers return to the village when all of their stamina is used up.
The usual way to go about AFK farming is as follows: rent fences → gather seeds → build a garden → plant seeds. The process is the same as the general method of farming, except that you do not need to visit the garden until the crops are fully grown.
In order to send workers to the garden, you need to click the fence icon on top left of the screen and use the menu to assign workers at the designated garden. Once you are finished assigning workers, they start managing crops by automatically pruning or killing insects, allowing crops to grow at a steady pace.
However, workers lose 1 stamina each time they take an action, and eventually return to the village when all of their stamina is used up. Thus, you need to constantly recover their stamina with beer so that they don’t return to the village. Because of this feature, the Artisan Giant Worker is considered the best gardening worker. Goblins frequently return to the village if they are not supervised, thus they are not recommended.
The working speed and skills of each worker does not impact gardening in any way at all, which is why Giant workers are the best to use for gardening without major problems. If you can not afford to hire Artisan Giants due to a lack of energy, green-level workers with reasonably high stamina will suffice since skills have no use in terms of gardening. Therefore, it is okay to hire those workers first and get better ones when you have enough energy.
It is time to harvest when the crops are fully grown. When visiting the garden for harvesting, you’ll want to add a bit more time to how long you wait before visiting; about 10% of the regular wait time is generally added. For instance, if a crop takes 6 hours to fully grow, visit the garden 7 hours after you plant the seed and you will most likely harvest crops with more than 100% growth. You can check the status in the garden information section located on bottom left of the screen if you are unsure of the timing.
Remember to improve the breed first and harvest later. If there are crops in the garden that are left for too long, they became rotten when they reach 200% growth, so you need to perform the breed improvement first, as this has no penalty. If you persist on harvesting, however, the amount is reduced to half of the original.
Harvest the rest of crops after gathering enough seeds to plant by breed improvement. You can now use them for your own purposes, or process them at the Crop Workshop into crates and sell them by trading.
It is economically wise to produce trade goods as far from the place where you will make sales as possible, as the origin of products is imprinted depending on the location of the workshop. For example, the distance from Heidel to other places is not long enough to provide additional profits when you sell crates made in Heidel. The most popular method is to make crates in either Calpheon or Epheria, and sell them in Valencia with the desert trade buff. This may take quite some time, but is tremendously beneficial and cost-effective. However, you need to reach trade level 2 first in order to receive the buff.
Wait, what is the desert trade buff?
It is the buff that costs 100 energy to receive at Pilgrim’s Sanctum: Sharing in Valencian Desert. The buff provides the effect of a 50% markup to the original price of trade goods when they are sold in Valencia. In order to receive the buff, the character needs to be at level 55, trade level 2, and has to complete the questline of ‘To the Wild Desert!’ given by Marzana in Ibellab Oasis.
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There are a couple of points you need to be aware of about AFK farming. You need to consider what seeds are the best for your purpose before you purchase them. This rule applies to both general farming and AFK farming. If you intend to make some silver by trading, crops like sunflowers and garlic would be the best choices for their relatively expensive crates. The prices of processed crates of olives and paprikas are similar to sunflowers and garlic, but they require 2 blocks of the garden to be planted, halving the available space of planting. On the other hand, plant mushrooms, grains, and/or herbs if you need cooking or alchemy ingredients.
It is not wise to plant two types of crops that have significantly different growth periods. For example, a crop that takes 4 hours to be fully grown may become rotten when planted with a crop that takes 6 hours to grow.
Regular farming doesn’t suffer from this issue, since you’re always on the farm and can simply harvest them right away and plant new seeds. However, it is good to plant seeds with similar growth periods, since the main benefit of AFK farming is the ability to go out and enjoy other content. Having to return to the garden multiple times for different crops somewhat defeats the purpose of AFK farming.
In addition to that, workers prune and kill insects but do not manage the watering and fertilizing processes. Crops will grow slowly without fertilizer and may even become rotten if they have no water. Fertilizers do not have to be distributed every time since daily harvest targets vary, but water can directly impact the yield. Thus, it is recommended to fill up the underground water supply after planting all seeds.
What does it mean? The definition of terms used for AFK farming
Breed improvement: the process of extracting seeds from fully grown crops. You cannot harvest crops, but you can still obtain more than one seed, and sometimes high-quality seeds can be obtained (e.g. When you perform the breed improvement on a sunflower, you may get a high-quality sunflower seed). Moreover, you may also obtain the designated type of fruits from crops such as a Fruit of Abundance or Fruit of Void which can be used for increased profits. Additionally, the process may provide by-products.
Harvest: the process of gathering products such as grains, mushrooms, or herbs from fully grown crops. The amount of products vary depending on the type of harvested crops. If the growth of the crop reaches 200%, or the amount of water drops drastically due to the lack of moisture, the final yield is reduced. Unlike with breed improvement, there are no by-products.
Pruning, killing insects: actions taken to cancel the status of ‘tangled branches’ and ‘infested with insects’. In cases where the player manages the garden manually, you press R to perform the action on designated crops. Crops with tangled branches and/or ‘infested with insects’ grow slowly, requiring more time before they can be harvested. You do not need to worry about it when you do AFK farming, as workers perform these actions by consuming stamina. You can obtain by-products if you perform pruning and killing insects yourself, but there are none obtained in AFK farming.
Optimal temperature and humidity: environmental elements affecting the crops’ growth rate. Understand the optimal temperature and humidity of your crops and decide the location of the garden. Crops will grow quicker when they are in the optimal temperature, and slower when they are not. Crops in the optimal humidity have a lower chance of infestation.
Fertilizer, underground water: fertilizers can be used selectively for faster harvest, but the lack of underground water directly impacts the amount of product harvested, thus it is best to water the garden in advance.