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Disney Dreamlight Valley’s Early Access launch is now here. For Disney fans jumping into this life-sim, here are some things I wish I knew when I first stepped into Dreamlight Valley.


Explore unlocked areas and homes for treasure chests and memories

There are plenty of collectibles and items in Disney Dreamlight Valley and they’re scattered throughout the land. With each house you “unlock”, inside there will be treasure chests and memory orbs. The treasure chests are easy to spot (typically a green, red, or yellow oversized chest with gold embellishments), but the memory orbs aren’t exactly in plain view. If you see anything that is sparkling (gold, glittering star-sparkle effect), interact with it and you’ll find a memory orb. Pick it up, and you’ve unlocked a collectible!



Typically, each biome, home, and realm will have at least one treasure chest and one memory orb. In the case of realms, interact with every object, especially all the breakable rocks in the Frozen realm. You’ll never know what you’ll find in ’em!


Forget eating dishes, restore your energy at home!

Specific actions require energy and you start out with only so much. Sure, your max energy will increase with each level you reach, but in the meantime, the fastest way to refill your energy bar is to step inside your home. Once done, your energy is instantly refilled! The whole thing! So save those cookies Merlin gave you at the start, and sell ’em or gift ’em instead.


Utilize the “hang out” system

When a Disney or Pixar character reaches a friendship level of 2, you’ll unlock the ability to hang out with them and assign them a role. These roles are focused on specific activities: gardening, fishing, mining, foraging, and digging. These roles will give you item bonuses depending on what type you select.



  • Gardening: Character can find more crops while you’re harvesting crops you’ve grown.
  • Fishing: Character can find more fish when you successfully caught a fish.
  • Mining: Character can find more items (mining materials for crafting and gems) when you break apart mine rocks with your pickaxe.
  • Foraging: Character can find more wild “Harvest”-able items that spawn throughout Dreamlight Valley when you harvest them. (Items that have the “Pick up” interaction do not count.)
  • Digging: Character can find more items that you successfully dig up with your shovel.


There will be quests that ask you for x-amount of items, and those item bonuses will help you out big time! These bonuses can also stack on top of special bonuses (glowing crops, multiple items glowing on the ground while music plays to countdown its disappearance). In addition to these item bonuses, whichever character you’re actively hanging out with will earn friendship experience points when you’re doing any activity, including removing Night Thorns. This is the best, and fastest, possible way to increase a character’s friendship level (the max level is currently level 10).


Save (hoard) your items

Crops, foraged items, crafting materials, gems – they’ll be required for completing various tasks. Don’t sell everything at first, as you might find yourself waiting on some good ole RNG to get a specific gem for a certain quest (Emeralds for me…) Plus, since DDV is in its early access phase, there are some bugs when it comes to obtaining specific items. All I can say is, hoard all the seaweed you find in each biome as it’ll be needed for multiple quests. The same goes for Dream Shards (obtained from Night Thorns).


Build friendships with key characters

While you may be focused on unlocking Dreamlight Valley’s biomes and restoring the various orbs, you’ll want to forge friendships with various characters and unlock them. A few will even upgrade your tools, making them more powerful than ever. Upgrades will happen in multiple waves, but the initial upgrades can start early as friendship level 2. Here’s which characters you should focus on befriending and unlocking first:

  • Merlin (& later WALL-E): Upgrades your Watering Can so you can get rid of purple mushrooms blocking paths in the Glade of Trust
  • Anna: Upgrades your Shovel to destroy mushroom-covered tree trunks blocking bridges in the Forest of Valor and Frosted Heights
  • Elsa: Upgrades your Pickaxe to break through rock-like ice in Frosted Heights and Dazzle Beach
  • Maui: Upgrades your Pickaxe to destroy the green, turtle-like rocks scattered throughout Dazzle Beach


Merlin is luckily the first character you encounter in Dreamlight Valley. As for the rest, they’re tied to the various realms housed in the Dream Castle. Make sure to save up enough Dreamlight and Star Coins to bring ’em back home.

  • WALL-E: Residing in the WALL-E realm portal on the first floor. Unlocking this door can be free if you pick it as your first unlock. If not, it’ll cost 3,000 Dreamlight. Once completing the quests there, you’ll need to place his truck in Dreamlight Valley and pay Uncle Scrooge 2,000 Star Coins to get it completed.
  • Anna and Elsa: In the Frozen realm portal on the second floor. Costs 4,000 Dreamlight to unlock the door. You’ll also need to unlock the Forest of Valor and Frosted Heights before inviting them to Dreamlight Valley (as well as complete the quests within the Frozen realm). They do not require a housing fee. Before inviting Elsa to DL, you must complete Anna’s first quest and level up her friendship level.
  • Maui: He, along with Moana, is in the Moana realm portal on the first floor. Similar to WALL-E, this door can be free if you pick it as your first unlock. If not, it’ll cost 3,000 Dreamlight to open the door. Complete all the quests there, bringing Moana to the valley first (housing costs 2,000 Star Coins and you’ll need Dazzle Beach unlocked). After having her settled in, return to the Moana realm and talk to Maui. Complete his quest (which includes building him a home on the water for 5,000 Star Coins) and he’ll join your community. You’re welcome.


Don’t forget about your Dreamlight Duties!

You’ll need plenty of Dreamlight to progress through the game and you can earn it by completing various duties. There are lifetime duties and a “Dreamlight Duties” tab that’ll list six different duties. If you’re short on Dreamlight and can’t seem to complete any lifetime duties, visit the Dreamlight Duties tab and complete those tasks. When you complete a task, a brand new one will take its place too.



Gonna stream your DDV adventure? Turn on Streaming-Friendly Mode

Since this is a Disney game, there will be plenty of classic Disney tunes playing throughout your time in Dreamlight Valley. If you want to stream or upload videos of your adventures, make sure you go to Settings -> Sounds -> Streaming-Friendly Mode -> ON via the main title menu. With that active, you won’t have to worry about copyright strikes or your stream suddenly ending because of ’em.



That should do it to get you started on your adventure in Dreamlight Valley!


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Written by Jennifer Burch

Illustrator, designer, writer and big Nintendo geek, you can find Jennifer with an N3DS within reach 24/7. As the oldest of three, she has survived many Mario Party, Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart sessions intact in addition to getting her brothers hooked on some really weird games. (Cubivore anyone?)