Stardew Valley Botanist or Tracker: Which Profession Is Better?

Stardew Valley Botanist or Tracker: Which Profession Is Better?

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Everyone in Stardew Valley has always been stuck with this dilemma at one point, first, you make the harsh decision of picking Gatherer or Forester at level 5. Then you continue as if nothing happened, then at level 10, you are left wondering again, which of these two specializations, Botanist or Tracker should you pick? Which of the two professions is better?

Looking at the perks that come with both Tracker and Botanist, it is certain that Botanist is by far the best out of the two. Sure the Tracker perk does reduce the time it takes you to find items, but observant players don’t need that. They instead need the Botanist perk which guarantees them high-quality items.

Although, despite such a conclusive answer, players still debate on which of the two professions is better. If it were up to me I would say choose according to what fits your playstyle, or better still make the choice according to the type of gameplay you are engaged in.

What I mean by this is, if you are playing a speed-run kind of game that is focused on gathering gold then Botanist is the best choice, but if the speed-run or gameplay centers around how many items you find within a specific time, then Tracker is the best choice.

Stardew Valley has a lot of skills and Specialisation but Foraging is one of the easiest skills to have in the game because it levels up through easy tasks. If you don’t want any problems or complicated tasks to reach new levels then you should be a Forager. However, once you do reach these levels you have to choose out of the two professions presented to you.

Just in case you are left wondering which to pick between Botanist and Tracker, just remember that you are reading this post for a reason. We are going to be taking a look at both professions and I will break them down to make it easier for you to understand. So just read on.

Botanist Profession

Stardew Valley Botanist or Tracker: Which Profession Is Better?

The Botanist profession has been dubbed by many as the best Foraging skill tree in Stardew Valley, and for good reason. This skill gives players a perk that converts all foraged items to the highest possible quality. What this means is that the said item will always be either Gold or Iridium quality.

When you combine this buff with the double harvest buff that you get from the Gatherer perk then we’ll I guess you already know what that means. The buff also works on any wild seed you planted, can you believe that? Just imagine having the highest quality on all your Quartz, corals, and Forageables, how awesome is that.


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Fruits, vegetables, and flowers all of which are labeled as forage also gain the benefits of this buff. This includes Blackberries, Salmonberries, and more, however, the buff doesn’t apply to Sap and Cave carrot. Fruits left behind by fruit bats also gain this buff, provided you pick the option when it is prompted to you by Demetrius.

The buff also applies items foraged from the beach, Truffles, and wild seed crops. 

That being said, the Botanist perk does not apply the Iridium quality to mushrooms you pick up from the ground. It also doesn’t apply the Iridium quality on Mushrooms you tap from a mushroom tree, or the mushrooms you get from the farm cave.


It converts the majority of all foraged items to the highest possible quality.

You tend to gain more gold from selling items thanks to this perk.

You don’t have to search too long for high-quality items.


Some items like Sap, Cave carrots, and Mushrooms do not benefit from this buff, so if your gameplay is centered around these items then picking the Botanist specialization may not be the best choice.

It could be useless if you barely go out to forage for items.

Tracker Profession

Stardew Valley Botanist or Tracker: Which Profession Is Better?

This profession is more or less a simple UI buff that effectively helps you out when you go foraging. It does this by showing arrows on your screen which indicates where the closest gatherable or forageable item is. In a way, it can be considered pretty lackluster when compared to the Botanist profession.

To be honest, if you pay more attention to your screen and the potential or hidden items around you, then you wouldn’t need the arrows to assist you. The tracker works in a pretty straightforward manner, small yellow arrows at the corner of the screen always point towards the off-screen forageable items which include the inaccessible items and artifact spots. While a small green arrow points towards the off-screen shimmering lights.


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It makes any spawned forageable item in your current location easier to find.

It reduces the time it takes you to forage for items.

Newer players tend to find this perk useful, it is user-friendly.


It does not detect or indicate berry bush locations.

If you are very observant with your surroundings or your screen or you understand the map well enough, then the tracker perk becomes useless.

Which Profession Is Better in Stardew Valley: Botanist or Tracker?

Stardew Valley Botanist or Tracker: Which Profession Is Better?

When I compare both Botanist and Tracker, you will notice that they have some obvious standout traits. They coincide well with one another but unfortunately, we can’t learn both professions.

Botanist ProfessionTracker Profession
Foraged items are always gold or Iridium quality.Locations of forage items are revealed.
You must be an observant Forager for this perk to be effective.You don’t need to be observant, the perk does the work for you.

As a Gatherer, I would like to know that every item I forage is of the highest quality that way I know I won’t waste much of my time searching for high-grade content. But I still don’t want to waste too much time foraging for items that I can easily find with a tracker. So the question remains, which one of these 2 professions is the best to take under certain conditions?

Depending on how well you understand Stardew Valley, I would easily say;

The Tracker profession is best if you don’t want to work too hard for your meals because the UI does the job for you. But if you want to stack up gold fast by selling high-quality forage items, then Botanist is the best, people sometimes say that Botanist is the best out of all 4 professions.

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