Being all alone on an alien planet means you’ve got to make do with what you have, and what you have is all around you: Plants! Plenty of them, and they’re ripe for the picking. Through thousands of years of human civilization, from Earth to the stars, one thing’s true: Everything new comes with some kind of work, so get ready to roll up your sleeves and dig your hands into some soil. Or in this case, punch the ignition on your mech, and get planting! Read more below, and we’ll fill you in on how you’ll go from growing gardens to growing harvests in our game.
On first arrival, you’ve got a basic, but essential building available to you: The 3×3 Plot! This box of dirt, wood, and nails represents the humble beginnings of what will eventually become a sprawling harvest as you expand. In your explorations of the Frontier, you’ll come across a variety of plants for you to scoop up and bring home, eventually sowing the seeds of a diversified crop! Look high and look low, as plants come in all shapes and sizes. As you upgrade your mech, you’ll also have the ability to plow your own plots straight into the ground, freeing up space and allowing you to make any field setup you want!
Scoop n’ Sow
Obtaining seeds to start your harvest is just as important as the plots themselves! As previously mentioned, you’ll come across various potential crops in your journeys, using your mech’s tools to bring them back to your fields for sowing and growing. At the same time, once you’ve harvested your crops, you’ll regain the seeds of those crops to plant again! If you’re looking for specific seeds and don’t want to hoof it out into the wilds for them, you can also buy them at the merchant.
Of Fields and Foliage
Given the biodiversity of the Frontier, you’ll encounter different sizes of plants, big and small. Naturally, the process of planting, tending to, and harvesting them is different; smaller plants can be easily planted in large quantities, but require a plot of some kind to plant, and each seed only exists for a single harvest. Larger plants, in contrast, are planted outside of plots, and each one stands individually. It takes more time and effort to keep them healthy, but these can be continually harvested for a certain amount of time, as long as they’re maintained! In addition, to maintain your lumber sourcing, you’ll have to replant the trees you cut down! Like bigger plants, they can be planted near the homestead and harvested all the same.
Each seed type needs the right tool to plant it! Your mech features two tools that are used to plant the seeds of various sizes. Your rapid-fire Seed Shooter can deliver a salvo of small seeds, and can be upgraded to automatically lock onto plots when firing. The Sprout Cannon launches the bigger seeds, driving them directly into the dirt for you to set up as you please! Just like building structures, the Sprout Cannon will show an outline of exactly how much space the plant will take.
Weeding Them Out
Managing your crops properly will be the biggest sweat on your brow, and it all goes towards maintaining a key aspect of your crops: Their Yield! The Yield determines how many resources will come out of each harvest, and can be positively affected by other factors, like buffs or the use of fertilizer. Managing your crops consistently means protecting them from hazards, as well as harvesting them as soon as they’re ready! Each crop takes a different amount of time to grow, so make sure to keep them consistently watered, as well. On occasion, you’ll have the fortune of having some rain come your way, automatically watering your crops!
To go with watering your crops, you’ll be able to create fertilizer for them! Fertilizer bumps up the Yield of a crop significantly, and a fully-fertilized field is sure to produce a heck of a harvest as a result. Making fertilizer takes patience and effort on your part, though, as you’ll need to build a Compost Box, fill it with organic scraps (like plant fibers), and wait for it to decompose. Once that’s all said and done, collect your fertilizer and feed your fields the nutrients they so desire!
Finally, after putting enough love and care into your fields, your budding sprouts will mature into a fully-grown crop, ripe for the harvest! Using the Vacuum Harvester tool on your mech, reap the fruits and vegetables of your labors. As you improve your mech, your Vacuum Harvester will become more powerful, able to suck up wide swathes of resources in a matter of seconds! Once you’ve finished collecting your harvest, be sure to reseed your plots, as unattended plots have a chance to grow weeds. These weeds can be removed with the Vacuum Harvester, but your time is precious!
I’ve Got the Goods
You’ve got the goods, now it’s time to put them to use! With your newly-harvested crops, you can choose to process them into materials using your Constructs, sell them at the merchant for some cash, or store them in containers for later use. Your crops are a huge part in your progression on the Frontier; every upgrade, building or processed item you make comes from the raw materials your plants provide. Keep them happy and healthy, and you’ll have an advanced farm teeming with high-quality crops in no time!
Lightyear Frontier Joins the Wholesome Snack
It’s the end of the year, y’all, and we KNOW we’ve been heads-down making Lightyear Frontier a real relaxing, chill farming game! That being said, we also know y’all want to know what we’ve been up to, aside from covering off on the major stuff just ahead of an Early 2024 release! With that in mind, we’re gonna be part of the Wholesome Snack: The Game Awards Edition on December 6th @ 9am PT / 12pm ET! Watch the stream, and get a boatload of info on super cool games (including ours), updates, and more! We’ll see y’all then!