How To Use The Magnifying Glass In Stardew Valley?

Stardew Valley has plenty of different tools and items to help the player progress and find new content for them to experience within the game. The Magnifying Glass is one such item that allows players to obtain Secret Notes when doing certain actions. However, what is Secret Notes? What are the things you need to do to find them? Furthermore, how do you even obtain the Magnifying glass in the first place?

This guide will not only help and inform you on how to use the Magnifying Glass for its purpose of collecting secret notes but also teach you how to obtain the Magnifying Glass in the first place so you can utilize the benefits it offers.

Also read: How to Change Appearance in Stardew Valley?

Obtaining the Magnifying Glass

You need the get this item first if you’re going to use it at all. Thankfully, you don’t have to go through any complicated loops or hurdles to do it. All you have to do is initiate the quest The Winter Mystery.

For you to start The Winter Mystery quest, you need to wait until the winter season and the time has to be around 6 am to 4 pm. Next, head to the Bus Station FROM your farm, it’s important the route to the Bus Station is specifically from your Farm; otherwise, you will not trigger the cutscene to start the quest. 

After that, you will trigger a brief cutscene where a “Shadow Guy” is suddenly alarmed by your character’s presence and will run away into the town, you will then initiate The Winter Mystery quest. 

From then onwards, all you have to do to finish the quest and obtain the Magnifying Glass is head into town by the Bus Stop route, you will see small patches of holes which are footprints leading to the staircase on your right, head upwards the staircase and you will see more footprints above the fountain which leads into the bush.

Go ahead and interact with the bush, the Shadow guy will jump out and offer you the Magnifying Glass, completing the quest and giving you the item that you will need to obtain the secret notes.

How to Use The Magnifying Glass?

Once you have obtained the Magnifying Glass, it will be added to your wallet so its effect is always active. For its effect to be used, however, all one has to do is do certain activities which include plucking weeds, slaying monsters, chopping trees, fishing, digging up artifact spots, mining stones, and resource clumps, and especially harvesting Giant crops.

The hard and tedious part however will come by trying to actively grind the secret notes. All the mentioned activities have a random chance to spawn in the secret notes. Some have a better chance than others, so you’re going to have the pick the best method for you that will work.

Most of the activities mentioned can allow you to get secret notes simply by doing your set routine, such as fishing and going cave exploring. But if you’re wondering what’s your best chances of getting the secret note then one way is trying to get giant crops to appear on your farm,

The way the calculations of secret notes happens is that doing certain activities will have the game perform a first check that determines an attempt to do a second check, which is based on the number of notes you have. 

What this means is, that the first check is all about doing the activities that will always have a fixed rate of success that will get into your second check, the second check’s success rate depends on the number of secret notes you already have. 

The more secret notes you have, the less likely the second check will fail. This is where the giant crop method comes into place, where it has a 100% chance of succeeding in the first check.

By using either Cauliflower, Melon, or Pumpkins on a 3×3 grid pattern there’s at least a 1% chance every day for the 3×3 grid that you just planted to turn into a giant crop so long as the very middle of the crop is fully grown and watered. Aside from having a greater crop output than a normal 3×3 pattern would give you, you will have an incredibly high chance of getting a secret note.

However, if that feels tedious or you can’t afford the seeds for that method, artifact spots are a great way to gain secret notes whenever you find them. They represent tiles with worms, stems, or twigs on them and can easily be found in most exterior areas in the world. 

Simply going from your Farm to the Bus Stop has a chance of getting an artifact tile and their chances are pretty significant with an 11% of passing the first check.

Fishing is also another great way to get secret notes, all one has to do is fish in almost any body of water and there’s a chance to obtain a secret note upon a successful hook and reel minigame. The way calculations work for Fishing for secret notes is similar to the previous methods but the calculation instead depends if you would replace what would-be a trash catch with a secret note attempt.

It’s important to note however that your attempt to gain trash decreases as you gain a higher level of your fishing skill. Therefore, the higher level your fishing skill is, the less of a chance you may gain secret notes since the fishing method as mentioned previously is based on converting a trash catch into a secret note catch.

Then there are mining and slaying monsters in the caves. These two are almost a necessity for you to progress the game, so it’s a great way to try and spawn some secret notes whenever you are out looking for ore and killing some slimes and bats. 

Each monster slew, regardless of what monster that is, has a 3.3% of passing the first check.  Stone has a very minute chance of spawning a secret note with only 0.75% but resource clumps, which are basically 2×2 large minable or farmable resources like huge stones, large logs, and large stumps, have a 5% of dropping a secret note.

There are also chopping down trees; for each time you swing your axe into a tree, there would be a 0.5% chance of spawning a secret note. Sounds like a really small chance but this is per swing and not per tree chopped down. 

It takes at least 10 hits with your regular starting axe to chop down a fully-grown tree, so this means for each tree you find; there’s a 5% chance of you passing your first check with a regular axe.

Overall, most of the methods listed can be done simply by playing the game as you would, so the magnifying glass is great in that its methods can be done in a pseudo passive style since you don’t have to fully go out of your way to alter your original money-making schedule to get secret notes, however, what is even the purpose of secret notes and how do you even use them?

The Purpose And Usage Of Secret Notes

Now that you know how to find the Magnifying Glass, how to use it, and its various methods you must know to learn how to make use of what it helps you find, the secret notes of course. There are two types of secret notes, one of them being something that lists a villager’s Loved gifts and others are puzzles that can grant special rewards.

All one has to do to activate a secret note is by placing it on the top row of your inventory bar and right-clicking on it to activate it. If the secret note provides you information regarding a character’s loved gifts, then it will be permanently tracked to your villager’s gift log on the social tab of the plater menu.

However, there are also secret notes that are a little bit more than just gift preferences for the villagers. Some of them can provide exclusive rewards by trying to follow cryptic puzzles and going to certain locations at a specific time.

Aside from the puzzles, there are also unique quests that can be activated by reading the notes. For instance, one secret note activates a quest that if completed rewards the player with a permanent blackberry and salmonberry modifier of an amazing multiplier of three.

To summarise, secret note quests and puzzles are well worth the time to try and pursue, although it’s not always necessary for your progress. 


The Magnifying glass is a simple tool to obtain secret notes. The benefits these secret notes provide make it a worthy investment in time for trying to obtain the secret notes as well as pursuing its quests and puzzles. Thankfully, the Magnifying Glass methods aren’t too hard or complicated so you will be using it just about every time you play the game. 

So, whether you’re actively trying to find secret notes or just happen to come across them while playing the game, it’s always going to benefit your current game’s run by simply reading them.

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