With around 82 million players worldwide, odds are at some point you're going to be playing the hit Facebook game, Farmville. Kotaku went directly to Zynga's Farmville team for tips and tricks on harvesting your way to the top.
While I've merely dabbled in Farmville myself, being more of a Petville man, it's hard to ignore a game that's played by more than 1 per cent of the world's population. Love it or hate it, Farmville has spread like crop disease throughout the Facebook community. My friends are constantly posting game updates on their walls, and even my older brother, a manly construction foreman by day, dons suspenders and milks pink cows after he gets home from work. It's slightly frightening.
But rather than raging against my fear, I've decided to embrace it, and game developer Zynga has generously offered to help, by sharing with us Farmville strategy tips on how to make the most of your land, your crops, and your livestock.
Check out the gallery below for Zynga's Farmville advice, along with my own colour commentary in italics.
Make The Most Of What's Around
Utilise the space on your farm efficiently by keeping your plots organised. This will increase your Experience and profit.
My brother is dangerously well-organised. We're like Goofus and Gallant.
Covet Thy Neighbours' Gifts
Instead of purchasing animals and trees from the Marketplace, add some Neighbours! Neighbours can send these items as Gifts to you, for free! Don't forget to return the favour by sending one back to them. Remember, what goes around, comes around!
And then Fahey shared a portion of his Facebook friends list with potential stalkers. Good call.
Take Advantage Of Your Animals
Animals are more than just cute! When your animals' counter reaches 100% you can collect milk, eggs, wool and other items that you can sell for coins!
My cats never give me milk, eggs or wool. Hmph.
Here's Why You Build Them Up... Buttercup
Buildings not only look great on your farm but constructing them can provide you with a hefty amount of Experience. Horse Stables, Dairy Barns and Chicken Coops can also be used to store your animals. If you're lucky, you might even receive a Foal or Calf when collecting from your Horse Stable or Dairy Barn.
The more I read, the more pathetic my farm looks. Buildings?
Expand Your Horizons
Feeling cramped? If you need more room to grow, expand your farm! Additional land can be purchased from the Marketplace for Coins or Farm Cash. Remember, in order to expand your land for Coins, you must have enough neighbours! Check out the Marketplace to review how many neighbours you need to gain additional land.
I have one neighbour. What'll that get me?
Pimp Your Farm With Your Rides
Vehicles can be purchased from the Marketplace to assist with your farming needs. FarmVille features a Hot Rod Tractor, Harvester and Seeder that can be used to plough, plant and harvest your farm in no time!
Everyone needs a Hot Rod Tractor.
Become A Tree Hugger
When your trees' counter reaches 100%, you can collect various types of fruit that can be sold for coins! Fruit does not rot, so no need to worry about them withering.
Yes, my farm is a pathetic fallacy, but I have a tree!
Farmville features numerous Achievements that can be obtained by completing various tasks within the game. In addition to a Ribbon to show off to your friends, you can also gain Experience points, Decorations for your farm and Coins!
If they linked these to Gamerscore, you all would play, and you know it.
Time Your Harvest Well
Farmville features crops that are ready to harvest at varying times. Make sure to plant crops that ripen when you are available. Doing so will ensure that your crops are less likely to wither.
Look at me, ploughing the land like an old farm pro!
Assisting neighbours with daily chores and fertilising their crops will provide you with valuable Experience points and Coins. Fertilised crops will reward additional Experience points when harvested, so don't let them wither.
I don't know about you, but I get by with a little help from my friends. Just sayin'.
Don't Keep Your Comments To Yourself
Want to talk to your neighbours? Leave them a comment! The new Comment Box can be used to send messages to and receive messages from your friends. You can also easily keep track of who has visited your farm, fertilised your crops, fed your chickens and sent gifts sent to you by clicking the "visits" tab in the Comment Box.
I wonder if he'll make the connection?
Save Your Coins
When starting Farmville for the first time, make sure to save your coins. Plant and Plough in moderation for the first few levels. Gradually add more plots of land once you are more familiar with the game and its mechanics. If you add too many plots of land too soon, you may not have enough money to buy crops!
Or buy more coins! That's the beauty of having money to burn. There was an economic crisis? When?
Farmville features various consumables that will make your daily chores a breeze. Use the "Arborist" and "Farm Hands" items to harvest all of your trees and animals with a single click!
If all else fails, hire someone else to play the game for you.