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What is FarmVille?
FarmVille is a free-to-play casual game for Facebook and the iPhone. Also called an "application," FarmVille is made by Zynga, which has also produced games such as FishVille, Cafe World, and FrontierVille.
The premise of FarmVille is that players build their own farm by growing and harvesting crops, tending animals and trees, and crafting items through the Farmer's Market. As a player, you begin with a modest sized farm, and gain experience as you take care of your farm. As you gain experience, you can further gain levels, which unlock more items in the market and more options for your farming expansion.
FarmVille also incorporates a sense of multi-player by encouraging players to become neighbors. Neighbors are friends who have FarmVille installed, and can gift items to each other, tend each other's farms, and help each other build on the farm as well as receive bonuses on special events.
Bright Hub has rated FarmVille 5 out of 5.
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Crops and Farming
The most essential thing to learn in FarmVille is how to farm - that is, how to plant crops, grow them, and then harvest them when complete.
Crops come in four varieties: fruit, vegetable, grain, and flower/other. Every farmer begins with a few basic crops at level 1, and as they level up, gain access to more advanced crops in the Market. Farmers must first lay down plots on which to farm, and then seed them with the desired crop. Crops take a specific amount of time to grow, and may be harvested when the time is up. Crops can also wither if not harvested within the same amount of time it took them to grow (for instance, Raspberries, which take two hours to grow, must be harvested within 4 hours of planting or they will wither). Once harvested, the land can be plowed again for re-planting.
Crops are useful for several functions: not only do they earn coin and experience, but they can also be mastered. There are three levels of mastery, which results in better experience upon harvest. Mastery also increases the numbers of bushels, found randomly when farming, which are used in the Farmer's Market.
You can also join Co-Op farming, a special "job" in which you join your neighbors in farming specific crops. Farm the required amount by specific times, and you can earn gold, silver, or bronze rewards for you and your participating friends.
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Animals and Trees
Farmers may also earn money, without experience, by harvesting animals or trees. Both animals and trees may be found in several ways: they may be purchased in the Marketplace with either coin or FarmVille Cash, gifted, found in Mystery Gifts, or rewarded as special bonuses from neighbor's friend feeds. Rarer animals and trees result in larger coin rewards per harvest.
Like crops, animals and trees take a specific amount of time to grow before harvesting. However, they do not spoil, and remain ready for harvest until the player collects from them. Animals also have special buildings available to them, which allows players to store specific animals inside and then collect the harvest from them. These buildings include the Chicken Coop, Dairy Farm, Horse Stable, and Nursery Barn. In addition to harvesting coins, these buildings can also sometimes yield a special baby animal (or in the case of the Nursery Barn, an adult animal).
Players can also raise their own puppy into an adult dog, and teach it tricks to entertain visiting neighbors.
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Vehicles and Machinery
As a farm gets larger, it can be more difficult and tasking to plant crops in FarmVille. To aid farmers, Zynga created machinery (also known as vehicles) to speed up the process, available at level 12.
Vehicles include the Tractor, Seeder, Harvester, and Biplane. The first three aid in plowing, seeding, and harvesting respectively, at a beginning rate of 2x2 (4 total plots in a square). The biplane requires FarmVille Cash to use, but instantly grows crops. Vechiles can also be stored and upgraded through the Garage feature.
Except for the biplane, all vehicles use Fuel, a special FarmVille commodity. Fuel can be found randomly while harvesting crops, in Mystery Gifts, and purchased for FarmVille Cash. Fuel can also be received by using crafted goods from the Farmer's Market (goods made from the Bakery, Spa, or Winery). These goods grant a specific amount of fuel based on their level, and can be purchased for coin, making fuel accessible for everyone.
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Ribbons and Collections
To encourage farmers to go above and beyond, FarmVille also has an achievement system, known as "Ribbons." Ribbons are special achievements earned by doing various tasks around the farm, or meeting certain milestones. There are four levels of ribbons: yellow, white, red, and blue. Each ribbon earned also earns a small bonus for the farmer, plus allows for extra bonuses to be granted to friends through FarmVille's friend feed. Read our ribbon tips to get started on your collection.
In addition to achievements, FarmVille also has collections that players can hunt for and earn rewards from. Collection items are found by doing various things around your farm and helping your neighbors, as well as from gifts and bonuses. Certain collections are called "Lightning" because they last for a limited time only.
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Making Money & Getting Free Stuff
If you don't feel like paying real world money to play FarmVille, we also have a guide on how to get FarmVille Cash for free.
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While there are hundreds of forums out there for FarmVille, we have a few particular recommendations of fan sites - and the official site - which can serve as your FarmVille community home. In addition to offering help and advice, these forums often have threads for players to find new FarmVille friends on!
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FarmVille is a big game with millions of players - and so from time to time, players have problems. Whether it's gifts not being received, FarmVille not loading, crops not harvesting, or losing connection to the FarmVille server, there are many issues that can be solved with a little know-how.
If you're having problems with FarmVille not loading, or having problems accepting neighbor requests or gifts, check our our guide on fixing FarmVille problems.