Core Keeper is a beautiful single-player and optional-multiplayer survival sandbox indie game released in 2021 by Fireshine Games, developed by Pugstorm. This survival sandbox is still in Early Access but still indulges players with almost hundreds of hours’ worth of game time.
Although money may not be one of the first things someone thinks about when the game’s genre is brought into the picture, it is one of the many elements players can experience and deal with.
Although most of the items players can buy are low-cost, there are a few high-cost items that bring about the question of how to make money and how to make it quickly. This Core Keeper Money Making guide aims to help you determine what can make you money and the easiest way to do it.
At a Glance
There are three different merchants in Core Keeper that you can sell to and buy from: The Bearded Merchant, the Caveling Merchant, and the Fishing Merchant.
You will need Ancient Coins to buy items from them, but, fortunately, you can also sell items to them to earn some coins. If you struggle to find these coins throughout your explorations, you can sell various items to them, such as valuables, metal bars, old equipment, boss items, fish, and crops you grew.
The only currency in Core Keeper is Ancient Coins. These can be found in locked chests or hidden throughout the different Biomes.
If you have a hard time finding coins, you can sell different items to merchants in exchange for coins, but you’ll only get access to each Merchant after defeating their boss (or, in the case of the Seasonal Merchant, placing down a seasonal calendar), and making a room for them to live in. As of the current update, Ancient Coins are only used to barter with the merchants.
There are currently four different in-game merchants; each has their own prerequisites before you can access them or trap them within your base, never to escape or see the light of day again (not that they try particularly hard to leave).
How to Trap the Merchants
Whether you consider your actions trapping them, bringing them home, or giving them a safe place to hang out and trade occasionally, you can hole away all four merchants in your base. All of them, generally, will have the same requirements.
- You need to make them a room. It must be smaller than an 8×8 area, or they will not appear.
- They need at least one square of floor that is not occupied by any furniture or torches. As such, the area has to be bigger than a 2×2 square.
- They need a bed in their room, though they don’t mind if you share it with them.
- Their room needs a door. Without the door, it doesn’t really count as a safe room, does it?
- You must place their spawn item inside the room. Spawn items and how to obtain them can be found under each Merchant’s section.
It is worth noting that Merchants will not share a bed together, even if they are willing to share with you.
The Bearded Merchant is likely to be the first you encounter and the first you can get in your base. To first access the Bearded Merchant, you need to defeat Glurch the Abominous Mass. After this, the Bearded Merchant can be found wandering around the boss area, but you can lure him back to your home base if desired.
If you were likely me and accidentally spawned the King Slime immediately after defeating Glurch because you didn’t know what the summoning totem did, I highly suggest bringing the Bearded Merchant Home.
To do so, you need to place the Slime Oil in their designated room. Fortunately, you get Slime Oil from defeating Glurch the Abominous Mass.
The Bearded Merchant sells a variety of products, some of which are only available after activating the various statutes and the Core at the center of the map. Once sold out of a product, the Bearded Merchant’s inventory will refresh in 30-45 minutes.
- Scrap Parts, 5 Ancient Coins.
- Slime, 5 Ancient Coins.
- Fiber, 8 Ancient Coins.
- Copper Ore, 8 Ancient Coins.
After Activating the Ghorm Statue
- Tin Ore, 15 Ancient Coins.
- Larva Meat, 10 Ancient Coins.
After Activating the Hive Mother Statue
- Iron Ore, 30 Ancient Coins.
- Gold Ore, 55 Ancient Coins.
After Activating the Core
- Shiny Larva Meat, 75 Ancient Coins
The Caveling Merchant will likely be the second Merchant that you can find. Like the Bearded Merchant, this Merchant is only available after killing a boss. For the Caveling Merchant, you will need to valiantly slay Ghorm the Devourer. Upon killing Ghorm, the Caveling Merchant should begin to wander the area until you put the Mysterious Idol in a room.
Unlike the Bearded Merchant, the Caveling doesn’t sell anything new for activating the various statues. Instead, the Caveling Merchant only gains new items to sell after activating the Core. The Caveling Merchant sells some much more expensive products, so be prepared to sell an arm, a leg, and both of your kidneys to afford it.
- Caveling Bread, 25 Ancient Coins.
- Flintlock Musket, 340 Ancient Coins.
- Giant Slime Summoning Idol, 500 Ancient Coins.
- Ghorm Summoning Idol, 500 Ancient Coins.
- Hive Mother Summoning Idol, 500 Ancient Coins.
After Activating the Core
- Mechanical Part, 55 Ancient Coins.
- Ancient Gemstone, 60 Ancient Coins.
- Rune Parchment, 2000 Ancient Coins.
- Empty Crystal, 3000 Ancient Coins.
The Fishing Merchant will only be available after you have beaten Azeos the Sky Titan, found in Azeos’ Wilderness. You can only access this area after beating Glurch the Abominous Mass, Ghorm the Devourer, and the Hive Mother.
There is also a small chance you will run into the Merchant before beating Azeos the Sky Titan while you’re wandering through the boss’s biome. However, the only way that you can bring the Fishing Merchant home is by placing the Pile of chum item inside the Merchant’s very own room.
Thanks to the fact that you can’t access the outer biomes without activating the Core, as soon as you gain access to the Fishing Merchant, all of their items will be readily available to you.
- Orange Cave Guppy, 50 Ancient Coins.
- Dagger Fin, 50 Ancient Coins.
- Azure Feather Fish, 50 Ancient Coins.
- Green Bait, 5 Ancient Coins.
- Red Bait, 5 Ancient Coins.
- Purple Bait, 10 Ancient Coins.
- Sea Foam Ring, 90 Ancient Coins.
- Neptune Necklace, 1890 Ancient Coins.
If you’re struggling to find Ancient Coins or don’t have enough to buy something from the Merchants, selling your items to them is always an option. It’s a great way to empty chests and level up some skills you might be ignoring.
There are around 70 valuables in Core Keeper (yes, I counted). These items will generally have the tag “valuable” and will have no purpose other than to be sold. With that in mind, I’ve gone ahead and picked out the top five most expensive valuables you can get your hands on.
- Sells for 222 Ancient Coins
- Found on the Temple Pedestal in the Titan Shrine
- Found in the Desert Queen Grave in the Omoroth Maze
- 4.42% chance when digging in the Desert
- 6.98% chance when defeating Ra-Akar the Sand Titan
- Sells for 235 Ancient Coins
- 1.42% chance of being found in an Ancient Chest, which can be found in the Forlorn Metropolis
- 1.4% chance of being found in a Large Metropolis Crate
- Sells for 250 Ancient Coins
- Found in a Grass Digging Spot in the Field of Glow Tulips
Black Desert Diamond
- Sells for 333 Ancient Coins
- 0.88% chance of being found in the Desert Sand digging spots
Ancient Golden Coin
- Sells for 500 Ancient Coins
- Found in the Desert King, Queen, and Prince Chests
- 0.3% chance of finding one in a Temple Crate
- 0.73% chance of finding one in a Large Temple Crate
If you don’t have a lot of valuables on hand or you’ve already sold them all, consider selling your old non-broken gear. The items you’ll never wear that are cluttering your chests will work excellently to sell as well.
You won’t get nearly as much money as you would sell valuables, but hey, every little bit counts, right? Especially when you’re trying to buy just about anything from the Caveling Merchant.
Crops are a great way to have a consistent, albeit low profit, income flow. Farming might be on the skills you’ve been ignoring, so if you need Ancient Coins, it’s time to get leveling!
Although crops won’t bring you nearly as much money as valuables, they will be more reliable. Crop prices can range from 1 Ancient Coin to 6 Ancient Coins, but Golden Crops can fetch you 10-12 Ancient Coins (a significant jump from their more common counterparts).
Fishing is an even better way than Crops to earn Ancient Coins. Most fish you get can be sold for 10 Coins, meaning that you can net a high profit pretty quickly for a little bit of Fishing. Compared to Fishing, crops aren’t even worth spending time on. At least, that would be if they didn’t grow while you did other things.
With Fishing, you can’t just walk away from it and return later to profit – you have to actively spend time fishing instead of searching for valuables or ores. With that said, though, the next way you can earn a profit is through smelting and selling your bars of metal.
If you find yourself with an excess of metal bars, it could be worthwhile to sell them. Would I recommend selling them if you are actively using them?
No. But if you have 120+ bars of copper lying around with no purpose, you might as well sell them for 2 Ancient Coins a piece and roll around in your 240+ Ancient Coins of profit. I know I have more than my fair share of Copper Bars in whatever chest they can fit in.
Assuming you are skilled enough to kill them in a reasonable amount of time, bosses are an excellent way to get materials and valuables to sell. You can get various items from fighting bosses, whether they’ve been resummoned to fight or if you’re fighting them for the first time. Bosses can drop material, jewelry, equipable items, armor, and valuables.
These can be sold for different prices, but they’re generally good encouragement to use any summoning idols you get. Plus, they work as good milestones to see how far you’ve come in your game.
So What’s The Best?
At this point, I’ve thrown a lot of information at you, and I feel it necessary to tell you what your best option is to make money in Core Keeper and make it quickly. In the end, your best option is going to be Fishing. Valuables are more likely to make you a lot of money, but they can take a long time to hunt down.
Fishing, on the other hand, doesn’t take nearly as long, and if your Fishing skill is leveled up enough, you can rake in a decent haul in a short amount of time. It only takes ten fish to get 100 Ancient Coins. Even still, I recommend you pair this with something else – smelt all of the ores you have while you fish or reel in your next catch while you wait for your crops to grow.
Question: What do I do With Valuables in Core Keeper?
Answer: Until you have access to a merchant, store your valuables in a chest. Once you have access to one of the three merchants (likely the Bearded Merchant), sell them all and store the Ancient Coins until you need or want to buy something.
Question: Is Core Keeper Fun Alone?
Answer: Yes, Core Keeper can be very fun alone. However, it can offer a different and more cooperative experience if you’re playing with other people. In the end, it all depends on your personal preferences.
Question: What is the Best Starting Class in Core Keeper?
Answer: The best background you can take when starting out is the Explorer, and this is notable for one reason: the Explorer class starts you off with a small lantern that can be equipped in your off-hand (the same area where you equip your armor).
This can help you to preserve the minimal amount of wood you have at the beginning and give you a decent amount of vision in the area around you.
Worth the Time?
So we come to the final question – is it worth your time to farm for money in Core Keeper? The answer I can provide to you? It depends. Most of what you can sell is for lower profits than one would think is truly worth the time you spend, especially compared to a fair bit of the things the merchants sell (especially the Bearded Merchant).
It really does depend on what your end goal in the game is. If you’re aiming to collect every weapon or unlock every area, then yes, you are absolutely going to have to find a way to earn a lot of Ancient Coins because you do have to buy the most expensive items from the Caveling Merchant to craft the Admin Key and the Rune Song legendary sword (and it’s a really cool sword).
The merchants provide convenient access to materials that might be a pain to track down, especially if you run out of them right when you need them. But, hey, that’s what the merchants are there for and why you can move them into your base. Their one caveat is that you have to pay them, so you might as well rack up some Ancient Coin, just to make sure you never run out.
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