🌾 dCrops game strategy + Beta strategy speculation

Hive’s quaint idle farming game is starting to bloom! Recently out of Alpha, dCrops’ Beta Packs will add many new layers of decision making and gameplay. This post aims to cover the high level strategies of the base game, plus how I anticipate the new elements to impact our choices.

Play dCrops here

💡 Amazing gameplay overview post


🎯 The Core Alpha Game Strategies

In Alpha stage—which I feel will officially end on August 25, 2022—the core game revolves around efficiently generating CROP tokens.

CROP tokens have several uses:

  • 🌿 Buy game items on the secondary market (grow your farm / get new crops)
  • 🚀 Buy booster items in-game (increase odds of favourable events)
  • 🎲 Reroll quest requirements (speed up likelihood of quest completion)
  • 📈 Contributes to the CROP POWER stat (rise higher on leaderboard which pays passive rewards)
  • 💱 Exchange for SWAP.HIVE on the secondary market (use however you like!)
  • 🎴 Newest use: buy Beta Packs with CROP
  • ⭐ More uses will be coming in the beta release, such as being able to buy Quest chests directly with CROP

So, at a high level, everything revolves around creating more CROP tokens. Whether you’re enjoying the game for the game’s sake or trying to generate a profit—CROP token generation is central.

Efficient CROP token generation (alpha)

So, how does one maximize the production of CROP tokens?

💸 The simplest way is always going to be to buy game items of CROP tokens directly using SWAP.HIVE. This is the ‘pay to win’ element—whaling in with a nice chunk of change can shoot you up the leaderboard and start you off with tons of CROP generation.

But for the rest of us, you can get started with a small upfront cost of less than 5 SWAP.HIVE (at the time of writing). This buys you the basic land card and a single starting seed.

In the Alpha stage, most game decisions revolve around three things:

  1. ⌚ Timing your planting and harvesting
  2. 🚀 Buying, obtaining and applying boosters
  3. 📦 Selling or retaining harvested crops

⌚ Timing is always going to be an interesting element of dCrops. Alpha seeds take anywhere between 2 and 12 days to grow, and Seasons only last 15 days. You can’t harvest a plant if it doesn’t match its season, so there’s a timing puzzle involved: can you “fit” all your seeds into the growth window?

If you have more plots than seeds, then it’s not a problem—except now you have unused plots that could be working for you!

The core challenge is to try and keep every plot you own as active as possible without mismatching the plants and their seasons.

🚀 Boosters are a big part of taming this challenge. Most notably, the SPEED-GRO booster. As the name implies, it can reduce growing times by up to 50%! Currently it costs 30 CROP to buy.

The Mystery Seed can be useful for filling a ‘hole’ in your growing plans—but it’s probably best to use this booster early in the Season, lest the random crop turn out to be something that takes too long to grow!

📦 Once you have crops, you can either sell ‘em for shares (which turn into CROP at end of Season) or hold onto them for future use.

The choice to hold may not seem intuitive at first, but there are (currently) two good reasons:

  • Quests will often require you to sell a certain kind of crop, and these crops can be out of Season! If you have a nice stockpile of all kinds of crops, completing these Quest items is much easier
  • Holding onto 3-star crops raises your CROP POWER. This is a long-term passive approach to the game. CROP POWER past a certain amount gives you a daily dividend of SWAP.HIVE. As the game grows, the rewards pool also grows.

🏆 Quests

Completing quests rewards you with random items. In the early days, these were the booster items. The average worth of the boosters is 30 CROP and the quest chests have 10 items. So it was worth roughly 300 CROP to complete a Quest.

Later, crafting items were added to the Quest loot, and Beta will likely add even more stuff!

At the time of writing, the cheapest crafting item is listed for 1200 CROP!

One fun game choice is: will I make more CROP by selling my harvest, or by holding and completing a quest with them? Quest items are random, but you can use 10 CROP to reroll the tough or impossible ones away until you get something you like… how much CROP will you spend to do that? Another choice.

🌽 Beta Features and impact on strategy

Beta is literally a game changer.

The full list of changes is detailed here, but the quick list is:

  • 🔨 Crafting system & blueprint cards
  • 🥧 Recipe cards
  • 🌳 Trees and flowers
  • 🏠 Buildings and NPC quests


🔨 Crafting system

This will be like many RPG games. If you want the fancy item, you’ll need a bunch of less fancy items plus the “means” to craft it.

The “means” to craft may be nothing at all (simple crafting) or it may require that you own a special building. By the sounds of it, most crafting in the Beta launch will require a building or special equipment.

To get the special equipment, you’ll need the right blueprint card plus basic crafting materials (which come from completing quests).

Furthermore, equipment will take up a land plot spot—permanently!

Here’s how this impacts strategy:

  • Quests and materials gained from them increase drastically in importance
  • Since equipment locks up a plot, you will need to either be selective on what you build or be prepared to try and find more land!
  • Math for efficiency gets more complex: is it worth all the effort to climb up the crafting tree or is it better to sell the components? Generally, I assume the effort will be worth it, but you never know!

🥧 Recipe cards

These NFTs can be burned to learn a recipe, which is another form of crafting. Cooked recipes do not have a current use, but will become critical for future updates.

The main strategic question is: do you focus on developing your recipe game for the future requirements, or do you put effort elsewhere until newer updates release?

🌳 Trees and flowers

Trees take up a land plot permanently. They will produce fruits when the fruit is in Season.

It’s a tradeoff: you lose a land plot for all the off-seasons for that tree… but when it’s in season you don’t have to worry about remembering to plant. For those who much prefer passive and idle game styles, an orchard strategy might work best for you!

🌺 Flowers are no different than other seeds, except they can be combined with beehives to produce flavoured honey!

🍯 Strategically, one could focus on being a honey producer vs plants. At this time it is unknown if flavoured honey would give better CROP token yields vs other seeds. The math on that needs to be figured out. I suspect that it’ll be a better path than vanilla farming since it’ll be tough to find the material and blueprints for lots of beehives. One tradeoff in focusing on honey is that Quests may be harder to complete.

🏠 Buildings and NPC quests

These will not be released until later. But we can expect the following:

  • A building will need to come from a blueprint
  • A building will take up at least one land plot permanently
  • NPCs will give your farm buffs

Strategically, the best move right now may be to anticipate wanting a few free land plots (aka maybe overbuy land cards a little) and making sure you have a stockpile of crafting items.

🌿 Conclusion

At its core, dCrops is still about managing the timing of your actions across a 15 day season. You also want to balance your farm so that all your land plots are ‘busy’ most of the time.

Too many seeds = wasted seeds. Too much land = wasted land.

Key decision: Holding game assets for future potential or selling them for CROP at Season end.

The Beta features generally add layers of tradeoff complexities. Basic crops can now be sold, or crafted upwards into better things. There will be tons of new basic harvestables (flowers, fruit, etc.) New crafting systems and cards result in land plots being locked up permanently, which will likely drive up land prices (land is hard to find in the Beta packs!)

CROP tokens also gain more utility: buy Beta Packs, buy Quest Chests, likely other stuff!

I hope you found this helpful! I own the license to all images in this post, except for the dCrops logo. Thank you to OCD for incentivizing this content with their dCrops contest!

3 columns
2 columns
1 column