11 essential My Time at Portia tips to know before you play

When it comes to My Time at Portia tips there’s one thing you should know: it’s the kind of game that can - and will - consume your spare time. There’s always something else to build in My Time at Portia, more resources to gather, and more dungeons to battle your way through. Oh, and you’ll have to find the time to do commissions for Portia’s citizens. And decorate your house (which has more payoff than just having something pretty to come home to, promise). And help out the mayor or the Civil Corps - the local police force - keeping Portia a safe and lucrative space for tourists and inhabitants alike. Yeah, that might sound like a lot, but with these My Time at Portia tips you’ll be rolling in gols before you know it, so keep reading to figure out how to become the best Builder Portia has ever seen! 

1. Fix the gaps in your house asap

When you first move in to your dad’s old house, the floorboards are pulled up and the whole place generally looks like a bit of a mess. While there are tons of other things to be getting on with, make fixing up your house a priority, as the sooner those floorboards are fixed, the sooner you’ll regenerate the maximum amount of stamina when you’re sleeping, which means you can do more during the day. To fix every wayward hole you’ll need 33 wood. Either grab the sticks lying around on the grass outside Portia, or craft a stone axe and get chopping. 

2. You can only save by sleeping

Like Stardew Valley, you can only save your game by sleeping and letting a brand new day shine through your windows. Forget this and you’re liable to find that an entire day of work has been wasted as the battery on your Switch died before you got to hit the hay. Consider yourself warned.  

3. Keep an eye on the economy

After voyaging into the Sewage Ruins or one of the Abandoned Ruins you’ll probably find that you have a ton of extra items you don’t really need (like the questionable hot pink leather sofas that were apparently very in vogue before the apocalypse hit). While it might be tempting just to sell them as quickly as possible to clear up inventory space, you’re going to want to hold off until the market is good. You can see how the local economy is doing by looking to the right of the items sold by the merchant. There you can see the percentage of the market price you’ll get for your items. Don’t sell when it’s below 100%, and if you’re patient you can wait for it to get into the 110s. 

4. Purple dots in the Abandoned Ruins lead to Abandoned Rooms 

During your time mining the Abandoned Ruins you’ll be able to detect relics using the Relic Scanner (shocker, I know), which will pop up as little yellow dots on your screen. You’ll also find purple dots, which indicate that an Abandoned Room is nearby. These are areas filled with mostly low-level enemies (I only ever ‘fought’ level 1 snails in these abandoned rooms, although I didn’t fight so much as massacre them) which are easy to clear out, and you can get anything from an ordinary chest, to a blue chest, to even some furniture out of each room. 

5. Putting certain furniture in your house gets you stat bonuses 

Decorating your house isn’t just for those of you who want to be an interior designer. Each bit of furniture you lovingly place in your home gives you stat bonuses: a leather sofa will add to your defence, whereas a cupboard will boost your health. You can craft them using the worktable, and make sure to upgrade it if you want to build the really good stuff. Every now and again you can buy crafting recipes for some bits of furniture from the local shops, so keep your eye out if you want a proper home sweet home.  

6. Fix the Tree Farm as soon as you can

Once you’ve settled into your home you’ll find the kind Aadit and Dawa, who run Portia’s Tree Farm, asking for your help in solving their Panbat infestation problem. Give them a hand and complete their questline as soon as you can, as once you’ve ushered the Tree Farm into a new golden age the pair will drop resources at your door each day for a fee. These can be things like wood, sap, ironwood, hardwood, and loads more. It saves you a bunch of time later on in the game, as who has time to chop down enough trees to build their next masterpiece? Not me. 

7. Double check time limits on commissions

You can pick up one commission a day from the Commerce Guild, but even though some of them might look easy, don’t forget about them. Each one normally has a 10 day limit. If you let the timer run out you’ll use relationship points with the NPC who created the commission in the first place and lose some of your local reputation. That’s what happens if you make promises you can’t keep. There’s a life lesson in there somewhere. 

8. Axe and pickaxe skills are most valuable to begin with because of the crafting 

With three skill trees to manage, you might feel like there’s too much choice at first, especially when you’re figuring out how you want to play My Time at Portia. To start off with you’ll want to upgrade your axe and pickaxe abilities first, as you’ll be mining/chopping wood a lot to begin with and will see the benefits immediately. 

9. There’s a limit that each stat can be increased by in your home

Unfortunately you can’t just endlessly place pink leather sofas in your home to turn you into a hulking stamina machine and sofa king. Look at the home panel that’s by the front door and you’ll be able to see how much each stat is currently improved, along with how much more it can be raised by. When the bar’s filled up there’s no point in placing any more furniture as it won’t have an effect. Besides looking pretty, that is. 

10. You can commission the Civil Corps to gather materials for you

Later on in My Time at Portia you’ll be running around trying to get your hands on a ton of rare materials, but you can save yourself some time by commissioning the Civil Corps to gather resources from the Abandoned Ruins and combat-focused Sewage Ruins for you. Just got to their HQ and find the commissions board, then select the area you’d like them to explore. Field commissions will get you materials, and Ruin Diving commissions will get you items like engines and valves. There's a Civil Corps in each of the five Free Cities too, so you can save a lot of time using their services. You’ll get the items in your mailbox in the next couple of days, which is 100% worth it for the sheer amount of work it saves you. 

11. Inventory space upgrades are expensive but absolutely worth it

The longer the game goes on, the more bits you need for crafting. It's heartbreaking to have to leave a much-needed valve in a ruin because you can't find space, so don’t be afraid to spend your hard-earned gols on unlocking extra rows in your inventory. It might appear pricey at first, but it’s so worth it. 

Those are the 11 My Time at Portia tips you’ll need to help you become the best builder in the Free Cities! If you’re after more to keep you busy, just look below to see what the best Nintendo Switch games are right now. 

Zoe Delahunty-Light

While here at GamesRadar, Zoe was a features writer and video presenter for us. She's since flown the coop and gone on to work at Eurogamer where she's a video producer, and also runs her own Twitch and YouTube channels. She specialises in huge open-world games, true crime, and lore deep-dives.