Farm Town tips: Six easy ways to level up fast

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Farm Town on Facebook was the first virtual farming game to hit it big... that is before Zynga's FarmVille came along and stole its thunder.

The farm game from Slashkey currently has 13 million players, and would-be homesteaders plant and harvest crops, in addition to trees and animals in exchange for coins and experience points. If you're new to the game, these six tips will take you from the farm league to the big leagues in no time.

1. Plow as much of your farm as you can -- buy houses and cute hammocks later. For now, use as much of your farm for actual farming as possible. Each field plowed will yield 1 XP (Experience Point).

2. Plant crops frequently. Sure, you will make more money -- in the long run -- on crops that take longer to grow, but save that until later. When you first start out on Farm Town, try to earn as many XPs (Experience Points) as possible, and the easiest way to do that is by planing crops that are ready to harvest in four hours during the day and 12 hours at night. Grapes, for instance, are a good choice for a four-hour crop. (FYI, When you plant seeds you get 2 XPs per plot). Be sure to harvest your crops around the time they finish growing so they don't go to waste.

3. Send gifts to friends. Be generous, and they will be generous as well. I usually send trees and then receive trees in return. The other gifts are nice as decorations, and fuel will come in handy later in the game. but trees will help you out a lot more. They continually bear fruit with no effort required on your part. Their fruit never spoils either, which is handy if you're away from your computer for an extended period of time.

farm town -- hire employees in the marketplace

4. Work, work, work! Go to the Marketplace and get a job. There are always people waiting in the Marketplace to hire people. Later in the game, you'll be able to hire people as well. Just be aware that you only earn XPs by plowing for other people, and you'll get 1 XP for each plot you plow. When harvesting crops for neighbors, you will earn coins instead of XP for your efforts. The payout is pretty decent -- 15 coins for each plot versus five coins per plot for plowing. If your goal is to make money, harvest. If you want to earn experience points, plow. Also, be friendly in the Marketplace -- farmers like to hire nice people.

5. Add as many friends as possible. This will benefit you in many ways. You can work on their farms to make money, as well as experience points. With more neighbors, you will also have the opportunity to earn more trophies, which will be helpful later in the game. For example, once you acquire five neighbors, you win the "Popular Neighbor" trophy. This will enable you to use more features, such as hiring people, later on (depending on your level). So invite your friends to play and ask them to be your neighbors.

farm town listings in the Realtor Office

6. This goes along with #1. In addition to plowing as much as possible, you should also try to buy larger farm as soon as possible. With a larger farm, you'll be able to plow more and harvest more, gaining both money and XP. To buy a larger farm, click on the map in the game's menu, then visit the Realtor Office. A pop-up window will have a list of expansion options for both coins and cash. Advanced players will be able to buy a second property and expand their farming empire.

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