Oh, for weapons and armor, I recommend just making them yourself. Nothing wrong with buying the first few weapons when you dont have the forge yet, but as soon as you get the forge/crafting table, use those. They boost your stats the more you use them, so all the more benefit along with being free(you only need the materials and RP).
Same goes for medicine once you get the chemistry set, and food once you get cooking tools.
I don't know if it's a preferential thing, but I pretty much only buy crop/flower seeds, skill bread(cooking, weapon, etc), and just make/find everything else.
If you have no other use for the 3DS's "play coins" you can cash them in to Arthur at some point. I recommend waiting until they are worth at least 200-300 each, unless you earn them faster than you use them.
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We can't really tell you what to do. Everyone plays the game differently. The beginning of the game imo is best spent befriending everyone so that you can soon bring them along in dungeons with you. Forte's a game breaker in the first dungeon even against the first boss. You can easily build forging and crafting skills by mass buying turnip seeds (10g each) and upgrading either small shields or broads swords (one iron is all you need). This won't break the game for you, as you need to actually use said weapons to be able to craft better ones. I'd say level 40-50 should be enough to get you up to level 79 recipes without needing the post game maze. You get most tools free from the request box along with a lot of other goodies. Talking to everyone gets you prince(ss) points to make orders even generic npcs.
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yeah your field has stats like HP, defense, growth rate, and it levels up too. you mostly manage it by pouring potions on it, and tilling in withered grass (or corn or four-leaf clovers). to see your fields stats you use a magnifying glass which you can buy at the shops. later you can upgrade your magnifying glass to your farming tools so you don't have to switch them out.
My advise would be to pick up just about everything you can see and always work on getting more lumber and material stone (assuming you've already does the requests to get the hammer and axe). A lot of the stuff that you just find laying around are useful in crafting and forging and making potions and food and all that stuff so it's good to have a supply of them. Later on it is a godsend if you already happen to have a couple stacks of lvl 10 ore to make some really good weapons and armors so I always mine every rock I come across. You always need more lumber and material stone to make and upgrade barns as well as the storage capacity of your box/fridge so it's always a good idea to grab that kind of stuff.
Crops don't really make you a lot of money early on, but once you start leveling up your crops and start unlocking better kinds of seeds by doing the requests then you will start making some pretty decent cash that way, early on I think I kept gathering a ton of those purple grass by the summer field and I turned them into Heavy Spice with the chemistry set, that usually got me at least 1k a day early on. Mining isn't a bad way to make money either, since you will want a lot of lvl 10 ores later on you can sell a bunch of your low lvl ore. Ultimately you can make money a lot of different ways, but mostly it's just a matter of progressing the story so you unlock certain areas to get the resources you need as well as doing the requests to unlock new seeds and stuff. Other than that all of it is just time, this game is a huge time sink lol.
Also there is a digital manual that you can check out, just make sure RF4 is selected when you start up the 3DS and in the lower middle part of the touch screen you should see the manual button. Personally I don't think the manual was all that helpful but if you wanted to check it out anyway that is how you would do it.
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