Battling demons and growing rice. It’s all in a hard day’s work for Princess Sakuna, the titular hero of Sakuna: of Rice and Ruin. After being banished to an island of ill repute, the harvest goddess struggles against nature and the unnatural to reclaim her birthright. By cleansing Hinoe Island of its demons and cultivating productive crops, Sakuna can right her wrongs and learn a thing or two about modesty.
But, unsurprisingly, being a hero to the unfortunate outcasts trapped on the Isle of Demons builds up quite an appetite. With this guide, you’ll be able to farm quality rice used to keep Sakuna fed and energized for the long fight ahead of her. Sounds interesting right? Well, then remember to get some PlayStation Gift Cards and experience it for yourself!
In Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, the titular crop directly affects the princess’ stats. Much like a warrior that levels up with each battle, Sakuna gets stronger by eating rice. Because of this, you’ll be faced with a conundrum.
Quality or Quantity?
In Sakuna, rice grows at different rates depending on its quality. The higher the quality, the lower the yield. However, higher-quality rice also gives Sakuna’s strength a remarked boost. So, farming comes down to a battle between quality and quantity. Ultimately, though, you’ll want to focus on both, depending on your situation.
Early in the game, you’ll want to focus on quantity. This will give you more rice to trade and more to gorge on for those much-needed food buffs. Quality becomes important when the demons start to become too powerful for Sakuna, and your ventures out into the world are more hazardous.
The Seasonal Change
You also want to keep quantity in mind for the changing seasons. Time in Sakuna advances across four seasons that span three days each. During Spring, you should have seeds out in the field starting to grow. By Summer and Autumn, your eyes should be on the water levels. Winter, however, is a dead season. Nothing will grow, so, like a hibernating bear, you will want a decent supply of food to keep Sakuna going.
Just before the switch between Winter and Spring, you’ll want your field prepared, which means making fertilizer.
How to Make Fertilizer
Before you can prep fertilizer, you need the main ingredient – excrement! You’ll find more than enough conveniently at your outhouse. Drag over a bucket’s worth to the fertilizer pit and toss it in with five of the following:
- Beast Manure
- Beast Hoof
- Fallen Leaves
You also want to include enough Amber that the triangle under “Soil Nutrients” is green. The greener it is, the more nutrient-rich your fertilizer is, which yields a better crop. With the core ingredients in, consider also adding:
- Rotten Food to give stat bonuses (at the cost of insect resistance)
- Salt, Spring Water, and Renowned Water to repel insects (while keeping toxicity down)
- Powder of Transformation for an instant batch of fertilizer, ready to use
Prepare the Field
You’ll need a clear field for a successful crop, so before you start tilling, pick up all those loose rocks lying about. Then, add the fertilizer you created to your freshly cleared dirt. The best practice from here is to start from one corner of the field and start tilling in a pattern of parallel lines. This will make sure you uniformly hit every inch.
Note: As you progress, you’ll unlock the “Furrow Sight” Farming Skill and a cow. Both decrease your tilling time and are very useful for minimizing this step.
Sorting and Grow Your Seeds
At this stage, you need to go back to asking yourself, “quality or quantity?” You’ll use mud and some salt to separate high- and low-quality rice seeds in a bucket of water. The more mud and salt you use, the higher the quality will be but at the cost of the yield’s size.
To sort your seeds, place them in the bucket of water and start adding salt and mud until you’re content with both the quality and quantity. As you add these substances, higher quality rice seeds will stay at the bottom of the bucket, while lower quality seeds will rise to the top.
Once you’re happy with the sorting process, you’ll need to grow them a little before they can be planted. Again, you’ll have to ask yourself, “quality or quantity” as you decide whether to grow them thickly or thinly. Thick growth results in lower quality but more rice. Growing them thinly spreads them out further apart so they can be better quality, but you’ll have less to plant.
Planting Your Bounty
Once grown, the seeds are primed for planting in the field. It can be a painstaking process as you plant each seed individually, and you need to be careful not to plant them too close to each other. After planting, the game will critique your skills, so you know what to change for future harvests.
After your seeds are planted, find the water source, activate it, and flood your field until the water level is at 20% (the water should come up to Sakuna’s ankles). Since water level affects the crop’s temperature, these levels must be as close as possible.
Note: As you progress, you’ll unlock “Planting Instincts,” which overlays a grid on the field for optimal planting. Additional unlockable skills increase planting speed and allow for different formations.
Rice Field Upkeep
You may have demons to slay, but your field needs ample attention as your crops grow. Through all four seasons, you need to keep an eye on water levels as well as crop-damaging weeds and insects. Everything has to be perfect for your rice to thrive.
Ducks are a neat trick to eliminating your insect problem, and weeds can easily be pulled or killed with pesticides. However, as your crops progress, the ducks can become problematic. As your rice starts to sprout, the ducks delight in chowing down on your crops, so be sure to remove them immediately.
Overall, your crops will go through five stages, which require specific attention:
- During the first two Offshoot Stages, keep water levels at 20%
- By the third Offshoot Stage, remove some of the water from the field
- The Sprouting Stage will require a little more water to be added, to about 30%
- If the crop survives, it will enter the Harvesting Stage
During the upkeep process, keep a close eye on the field’s nutrients. If you start to see them drop, you may want to add a little more fertilizer using the recipe above. Otherwise, at about the second stage, develop another batch of fertilizer, this time focusing on stat-boosting ingredients instead of nutrient-rich (Medicinal Base is a good option). Add new fertilizer daily to guarantee a quality yield.
Note: If you find that your field’s temperature is too high, open the flood gates to use the river to cool it down without adding to the water level.
Reap What You’ve Sowed
Fully grown rice can be harvested, but, of course, it’s not an entirely straightforward process. Though actually harvesting your stalks is a breeze, keeping them dry on the drying rack is a little more difficult. Harvesting during a dry season is your best bet as your stalks need to be water-free before being threshed. If it rains, the clock will reset, and they’ll need to sit for longer and dry. If this happens too often, you’re going to lose your yield.
After about ten continuous hours of drying, the rice will be ready for threshing.
Note: As you progress, you’ll unlock the Agricultural Assembly and the ability to offer Amber to prevent rain.
Thresh and Hull
Threshing the rice is a breeze. Hulling, on the other hand, is a little time-consuming. Using the Water Mill and Sakuna’s Rice Pounder, you’ll hull the rice to one of two choices:
- White Rice – Promotes Sakuna’s growth
- Brown Rice – Provides food buffs
The more you hull, the whiter the rice, and there’s no way to go back to Brown. With the hulling process completed, you’ve successfully planted, cared for, and harvested rice to help Sakuna on her quest to cleanse Hinoe Island.
We hope that this rice planting guide has proved useful to you in your quest to reach the best rice planting methods.