Here are 6 Palia tips for getting started in the life sim MMO

Though it’s still in open beta, social sim MMO Palia has been attracting plenty of players since its launch on PC this summer and now its launch on the Nintendo Switch. I’ve been quite jazzed by Palia thus far, not just as a new chill chore ’em up game, but as proof that MMOs can still broach new genres. 

If you’re just getting started in Palia though, you may find yourself overwhelmed. Coming from the likes of Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing, being online in Palia is a whole new beast. And if you’re already an MMO player but aren’t well-versed in cozy games, you may not immediately know where to start either. Here are five quick tips to get everyone going in Palia, no matter which corner of gaming you’re coming from.

Always remember to eat to earn XP 

MMO players, this is business as usual: don’t leave home unbuffed. For my farm sim fans, there isn’t an energy bar in Palia the way you’re used to—you’ll never pass out at midnight or be too tired to chop trees—but you should treat the purple Focus bar in the top right of your screen the same way: don’t let it get empty.

Food fills your Focus, which in turn gives bonus XP to all your activities—whether you’re fishing, farming, hunting, or so on. You will be putting yourself at a disadvantage if you don’t keep that Focus bar fed. Early on, you can just cook yourself grilled mushrooms or meats on your campfire at home, but later you’ll unlock more advanced cooking stations and recipes.

(Image credit: Singularity 6)

Start making money by fishing, then move to farming 

Farm sim folks know this drill: fishing is your first reliable cash source because it doesn’t have a recurring input cost. Meet Einar the big robot friend by Fisherman’s Lagoon on your map as the local angling expert. Hit up the bubbling white circles in bodies of water for the best catches and don’t forget you can head to Bahari Bay east of the Kilima Village map for an even greater variety of fish. Other players seem to have luck mining ores as a cash source but I prefer fishing, which you can continue doing endlessly without running around hunting for ore nodes. 

After you save up a bit, you can start investing in additional soil plots for your home garden by talking with Badruu at the family farm in Leafhopper Hills just west of the village. Until you have a seed maker, you’ll need to buy seeds from Zeki’s general store in town. That’s where the real cash is, once you have the gold to invest.

You can fast travel, but it costs money 

It’s easy to miss that there is actually a fast travel system in Palia. Fast travel points are marked by a horseshoe symbol on your map—there aren’t mounts though, despite them being called stables. It costs around 25-50 gold to travel, so I don’t actually recommend doing it given that Palia’s map really isn’t that big right now. You can also travel home for free once every 30 minutes by using the “Return To Housing Plot” button on your map.

(Image credit: Singularity 6)

Absolutely do not let your tools break 

Beware, farm simmers: once upgraded, your tools all have durability. Make sure to regularly craft some Repair Kits and go pay Sifuu the blacksmith in town to fix your gear up.

If your tools lose all their durability, represented by the colored circle around them in your tool wheel, they will be downgraded to a lower tier. So your standard axe could become a basic axe and so on, which will leave you high and dry for gathering higher-tier resources. If that happens, you have to re-upgrade your tool with more metal bars and wood, which can really set you back if you were saving up for other projects. Repair kits just take a few sapwood planks and one copper bar for a set of 20, which you’ll then take to Sifuu and pay a bit of gold to keep things maintained. Don’t be like me and wear out your watering can.

Call out purple Flow Trees in chat 

This is an online etiquette thing that may initially baffle players who aren’t accustomed to MMOs. The glowing purple trees you’ll occasionally spot are a rare Flow Tree resource that drops Flow-Infused Wood when you chop them down. You can’t do this alone with your starter tools, because the trees regain health while you’re trying to chop them. If other players join you in chopping though, everyone who pitches in will walk away with some special lumber. 

Conversely, don’t just go sniping the rare purple trees. Even if you don’t need help, leave a quick message in the server chat to say “flow tree south of mirror fields” or something similar and give folks just a moment to say they’re on the way to pitch in. You don’t need to agonize about standing around waiting, but it’s polite to offer before giving it the ol’ timber.

Flow Trees have a glowing purple trunk like this. (Image credit: Singularity 6)

Lean on the community resources 

Like so many other MMOs, Palia already has a very active community of players helping each other out with cheat sheets and website tools. The PaliaNPC site tracks what each villager’s favorite gift of the week is, which you can give them to gain friendship without having to uncover it yourself.

Another helpful tool is the Palia Garden Planner site that lets you plan a garden layout and attempts to predict yield and watering needs. Planting certain crops next to one another can give them both bonuses like water retention or weed resistance, so this garden planner helps optimize before you commit. 

For even more tips, tricks, and advice, you can talk in the game’s chat channels or join the official Palia Discord.

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