In the original game Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town you can own one pet dog. Your buddy would live on your farm in its own little dog house, and in the evenings it would guard your farm animals by scaring away any wild dogs that visited your farm.
The pet dog has been improved a bit in Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. Rather than just a single dog, there are 10 pets to select from. You can even have up to 5 pets living on your farm! You won't get these pets for free though.
To unlock the ability to purchase pets...
- Step 1: The first criteria you'll need to complete is unlocking Van the traveling merchant. He will start to appear in Mineral Town after you have tossed a gift into the Goddess' pond by the hot spring for a total of 30 days (one gift per day). On the following sunny Wednesday after completing this requirement, Van will greet you at your farm house door to announce that he will be setting up a shop on Wednesdays on the second floor of Dudley's inn.
- Step 2: The second step is for you to wait until the 15th. On this day, even if it isn't a Wednesday, Van will set up a pet store in the southwest corner of Rose Plaza from noon until 6:00 pm. This is the only time each season that you can buy a pet. Van's pet shop only appears on sunny days; if the 15th happens to be rainy or snowy, you're out of luck until the next season.
The purpose of the pets in SoS:FoMT is for entertainment and for participating in the Summer 1 Beach Opening Day festival. There are no wild dogs in the Switch remake, and the pets don't herd animals like in other versions of Story of Seasons. The pets are all technically the same except for their visual appearance.
There are 10 types of pets you can purchase from Van for your farm. You cannot sell unwanted pets back to Van, and the pets never die. Also, you can only purchase one of each of the 10 pets (e.g., you can't own two White Capybara, but you can own both the normal Capybara and the White Capybara).
Van's pet options are based on the current season. He will sell cats during spring season, penguins during summer season, dogs during fall season, and capybara during winter season. If you are trying to purchase a specific pet, you may be waiting several seasons for your desired pet to appear in his shop.
All pets will be babies at the time of purchase. The pet will be full grown after 60 days.
The pets will live inside of your farm house. They will go outside on their own on sunny days, where they'll wander around your farm doing nothing. The pets return to the house around 8:00 pm. On rainy days the pets will stay indoors all day. You do not have to feed your pets. You also cannot pick up your pet and carry it off of your farm.
In the Relationships menu of your game you'll find a section that shows your friendship levels with your pets. Each pet has 10 hearts of friendship with a maximum of 250 Love Points (LP). You can raise your pet friendship by:
- Talking: Earn +1 LP per day for standing next to the pet and pressing the A button.
- Whistling: Earn +1 LP per day for pressing the ZL button near your pet. If the animal hears you, it will start to walk towards your location.
- Pet Treats: Earn +1 LP per day by feeding the pet a special Pet Treat. You can buy treats from Van's pet shop for 1000 G each.
You can also use the Brush tool on your pets, but it doesn't increase their Love Points.
To buy a second pet, your first pet must have 8 or more friendship hearts. Van will refuse to sell you another pet until you have a good relationship with your existing pet. It will take several seasons to earn the minimum 200 LP (8 hearts) you'll need to prove to him that you're a responsible pet parent. To buy a third pet, you need to have a total of 16 or more hearts with your first two pets, a fourth pet requires 24 or more total hearts, and a fifth pet requires a total of 32 friendship hearts or more.
You can see if you're ready to buy another pet by checking your Farm Profile menu. If the five pet-icon boxes on the right-side of the screen (directly above your field level) are dark green, then you don't have what it takes yet. You can buy another pet after the pet-icon boxes are bright green again.
Besides a friendship level, each pet has a green Frisbee disc level under their Relationship menu profile. This bar will fill in as your pets get better at playing disc throw. There are two ways to train this bar:
Huang sells a Pet Ball at his shop for 100 G starting in Fall of year 1. You can toss this ball when standing near a pet on your farm (or inside your house) and it will chase after and return the ball to you. The pet can do this as many times as you want, but only the first throw per day counts towards training its disc distance training. You can play ball with both baby and adult pets.
Frisbee can only be played with adult pets. Huang sells a Pet Frisbee at his shop for 5000 G starting in Fall of year 1. Keep the disc in the item section of your rucksack and head to the sign next to the bench on Mineral Beach. Press A when standing next to the sign to initiate the flying disc game with the pet you select from the sign's menu. All of the pets can play with the flying disc during Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons.
You do NOT have to physically bring the pet to the beach to play disc throw.
On the left-side of your screen is a power bar. The green area represents how far you can throw your Frisbee and have your pet catch it. There will also be an arrow-shaped power gauge that scrolls up the power bar. If you press the A button when the power gauge is inside of the green area, you'll throw your Frisbee and your pet will chase after it. You can throw the Frisbee farther by pressing A when the power gauge is outside the green bar, but your pet won't always be able to catch it. As long as you stay inside of the green area, your pet has a good chance of catching the disc.
When you first start playing with your pet, the green area on the power bar will be very small. You will only be able to throw the disc 10 meters or so and still have your pet catch it. The more successful catches you little friend makes, the more green area you'll gain. Your farthest catch will display on the screen in the upper right corner.
The number of times your pet is willing to chase after the flying disc will depend on its friendship level:
- 0 hearts: Can't play Frisbee
- 1 or 2 hearts: Once per day
- 3 or 4 hearts: Twice per day
- 5 to 7 hearts: Three times per day
- 8 or 9 hearts: Four times per day
- 10 hearts: Five times per day
After you start getting 30 meter or more distance with your little buddy, your pet's disc training green bar is at about 50% filled, and your power gauge marker stops close to the yellow line (above it or below it) on the power gauge when throwing the disc, your pet might sense something hidden in the sand as it chases after the disc. The pet will stop running and dig it up. Often the pet won't actually find anything at all, but occasionally they may find a hidden item. Your pet might find an Agate, Gold Ore, Silver Ore, Copper Ore, some rubbish, or a Ancient Fossil. There will need to be an empty item slot item in your rucksack for the pet to dig up hidden items from the sand.
The Frisbee disc can be stored in the cabinet inside of your farm house when not in use, but will need to be in your rucksack to play the game at the beach.