How to Beat Journey of the Prairie King

Within the Stardrop Saloon in Stardew Valley, there’s much more to do than just hang around with some friends and drink a couple of beers. You can also play some arcade games, tucked away in the small room to the right of the main bar.

Some of the games you can play include Journey of the Prairie King, a top-down shooter mini-game that will require you to defeat enemies and bosses to get further through each level. However, this game is a lot harder than it might seem on the surface. To help you complete the full game, this guide will provide you with some tips.


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Where to Find Journey of the Prairie King

Image of a character approaching the Journey of the Prairie King arcade cabinet in Stardew Valley

To get started on playing Journey of the Prairie King, you’ll first need to locate the game. Take a trip to Stardrop Saloon within the town center, which is the bar south of Pierre’s General Store. Stardrop Saloon opens at 12 pm, so make sure to visit after then.

Inside the bar run by Gus, take a right and make your way into the room with a large arcade sign, and a pool table in the middle. The first arcade booth with a star print on the front will be Journey of the Prairie King. You won’t need to pay anything to play the game, so you can play it as much as you want.


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Best Upgrades for Journey of the Prairie King

Image of the three upgrades you can get in Journey of the Prairie King in Stardew Valley

After having yourself a nice meal at the bar and making your way over to Journey of the Prairie King, you’ll notice there are upgrades you can pick up off the ground that enemies have dropped, as well as purchasable upgrades. These purchasable upgrades include:

  • Boots: Upgrades movement speed.
  • Ammo: Increases bullet damage and penetration.
  • Gun: Increases shooting speed.
  • Super Gun: Gives a permanent ‘shotgun’ effect, which shoots three lines of bullets at enemies. The Super Gun will also shoot at the same fire-rate as a regular gun. Super Gun is only available in Hard mode.
  • 1-Up: Increases lives by one.
  • Sheriff Badge: Gives the same effects of the enemy drop Sheriff Badge, which increases fire rate and movement speed, and also allows you to shoot three lines of bullets like the shotgun.

When you get to the first upgrade, you’ll be able to choose between Boots, Ammo, and Gun. We recommend either choosing Ammo or Gun to make the next few stages easier, with Ammo being the best one overall, since it will increase your power. As you get further in the game, enemies will be much harder to defeat, and you’ll need to hit them with multiple shots if you do not upgrade your Ammo. This will eventually cause you to be overwhelmed by enemies, so it’s best to focus on the Ammo upgrade first. If you don’t have enough coins, the Gun upgrade is useful as well. You won’t really need the Boots, unless you are at a point towards the end where you can’t afford the other options.

As for upgrades that are dropped by enemies on the stage, you should pick up every single one that you find, unless it puts you into a compromising position and will cause you to be overtaken by enemies. The best upgrades are the Sheriff Badge, 1-Up, Shotgun, and Wagon Wheel. You’ll want to pick up every 1-Up you see if possible, so you have more lives and can last for longer.


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Tips for Beating Journey of the Prairie King

Image of the beginning of the first boss in Journey of the Prairie King in Stardew Valley

Now that you’re aware of the upgrades you can pick up in Journey of the Prairie King, we are going to provide you with a few additional tips to make your run easier, and allow you to obtain your own Journey of the Prairie King arcade system to decorate your house and play from home.

Stay Towards the Middle of the Map

Image of the player staying in the middle of the map in Journey of the Prairie King in Stardew Valley

This first thing you’ll want to focus on doing while playing through Journey of the Prairie King is to make sure you’re sticking to the middle of the map. This is to help prevent you from getting stuck in a corner and being unable to move, resulting in losing a life. You’ll have more freedom to move around if you stay towards the center.

Hold Down the Shoot Button

Image of the character repeatedly shooting at enemies in Journey of the Prairie King in Stardew Valley

While playing, you’ll notice that you can tap the shoot button or hold it down. You’ll want to continuously hold down the shoot button since you have infinite ammo, as this will make it easier to take out enemies before they even enter the stage.

Don’t Use Item Upgrades Immediately

Image of the character using upgrades picked up from enemies in Journey of the Prairie King in Stardew Valley

When you pick up item upgrades dropped by defeated enemies, they’ll sometimes be used immediately by your character or get placed into your item bag. Though it might be tempting to immediately hit Space and use this item upgrade, it’s better to time the usage of the upgrade strategically. There’s no need to use your upgrade if there are only a few enemies on the map, for example. The best time to activate them is when a ton of enemies suddenly appear, and you know you’ll be overwhelmed without a buff.

Shoot Using Diagonals

Image of the character shooting diagonally in Journey of the Prairie King in Stardew Valley

You might be tempted to stick to the regular controls of up, down, left, and right, but we highly recommend using diagonals for this game. You can shoot diagonally by pressing down on two direction buttons at once. Since most enemies will not always be perfectly aligned with your character, using diagonal shooting will prevent you from having to excessively move around the map to perfectly line up with each enemy.

Use Trees and Gravestones to Defend Yourself

Image of the character using a tree as a barrier in the Journey of the Prairie King in Stardew Valley

After the first stage, you’ll find a ton of barriers in the following stages that allow you to defend yourself. You’ll want to utilize these as much as possible, especially since enemies are attempting to run towards you directly, and hiding behind a barrier will prevent some enemies from coming at you while you try to defeat others. Some of these barriers you can actually shoot through as well, which includes trees and gravestones. Use this to your advantage to protect yourself, while also still taking out all the enemies surrounding you.

Grab Coins to Get Better Upgrades

Image of a couple coins on the screen available to pick up in Journey of the Prairie King in Stardew Valley

Coins are a lot more important than you might think. As we mentioned earlier, there will be certain parts of the game where you’ll be able to buy upgrades. The better upgrades are going to require more coins, especially the Ammo upgrade, which starts at 15 coins. The Boots upgrade is the cheapest, but it is the least desirable. So, whenever you see a coin, make sure to pick it up unless it puts you in a compromising position.

Stay In the Corner For the Bridge Level

Image of the character staying in the corner during the bridge stage in Journey of the Prairie King in Stardew Valley

In the second area of the Forest stage, you’ll have two rivers going across the screen with some bridges attached. Instead of staying in the center, you’ll want to stay in a corner for this stage to prevent any enemies getting behind you. You can shoot across the river and bridges, so you can get enemies from far away.

Use Barriers During Boss Fights

Image of the first boss fight in Journey of the Prairie King in Stardew Valley

We mentioned barriers earlier for regular stages, but you’re also going to want to use the barriers set up for the first two boss fights as well. You can easily defeat bosses by staying behind the barriers, and coming out and shooting them when they’ve stopped shooting for a moment. Just make sure you’re staying as close to the barrier as possible. With all of these tips, you’ll be a better player in Journey of the Prairie King, allowing you to easily beat it and work on finishing your completionist route.

stardew valley

Stardew Valley

February 26, 2016


RPG , Simulation

Antonio Josse

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