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Disney Dreamlight Valley: A Rift in Time brought a whole host of new characters and challenges with the arrival of Eternity Isle, but Ancient Machines might be the most valuable part of the entire DLC. For the first time since launch, a layer of automation has been introduced that allows players to scale their resource gathering to whole new levels.
When you first get rolling on Eternity Isle, the sheer Mist cost of Ancient Machines and their complex purposes can make it tempting to move on. In this guide to using Ancient Machines in Disney Dreamlight Valley, you'll learn how to make the machines work for you.
That's so much Mist, are Ancient Machines worth it?
As soon as you arrive on Eternity Isle, you'll learn that this separate region uses Mist as an important currency instead of Dreamlight. You need Mist to unlock the various biomes, to upgrade your Royal Tools, for various quests, and more. All of that can make the random arrival of Ancient Machines, which do a bunch of stuff you're used to doing your without them, get overlooked.
There's definitely an upfront investment to them, both for the Mist that's needed and rare items like Ancient Cores which you'll need for many important crafting recipes. However, there's absolutely no doubt that Ancient Machines are worth it. Even if you don't want to regularly spend Mist on some functions, the Basic Ancient Gardener alone is a godsend for overnight farming.
How to Unlock Ancient Machines in Disney Dreamlight Valley
If you're just diving into A Rift in Time and want to know how to get your Ancient Machines automating things right away, the first most important steps are obtaining and upgrading the Royal Hourglass. After you acquire it and a Timebending Table during Sands in the Hourglass, you need to spend 5,000 Mist to upgrade it to Level 1 at a table so you can search for Ancient Cores.
Once you've covered these bases, it's just a matter of gathering the necessary Mist and materials to craft Ancient Machines. Make sure you've got a companion with Timebending as their skill alongside you while searching for items, as that should help speed things up.
How to Use Ancient Gardener, Ancient Cooker, and Ancient Vacuum
Let's start with the simplest of the three in the Ancient Cooker. While Coal can be an early obstacle to cooking meals, your eventual headache will simply become the repetition of cooking each individual meal. Fortunately, the Ancient Cooker does all that for you.
Simply open the Ancient Cooker, select your ingredients or recipe, and spend a little Mist to get things cooking. While it does actually take longer to cook meals with the Ancient Cooker, you'll be free to go do other things while they're being crafted.
Ancient Vacuums are also fairly simple, and you'll want to get in the habit of moving it around. You generally don't need to leave an Ancient Vaccuum active, but instead can place it, spend the Mist to collect items around that biome, and pop it back into storage to be placed in a different biome later on.
Lastly, the Ancient Gardener is by far the most valuable of the Ancient Machines. If you want to massively automate farming, you can have up to four Ancient Gardeners (of any tier level) actively operating per biome. If you want to spend Mist, they'll automate digging up a plot of land to plant crops and later automate the collection of them.
However, we've found these are most helpful solely for the purpose of watering crops. So many of the most valuable crops in the game, Pumpkins in particular, need to be watered more than once before they can be harvested. If you leave them growing overnight, they'll need water by the morning. If you have an Ancient Gardener active, it'll keep watering them (for no Mist cost) until your crops are ready.
Unless you're purely looking for the automation to eventually sell these crops, using Mist will speed that up. However, we recommend digging, planting, and harvesting manually. Every single one of those actions gives a small Friendship boost to a companion that's with you. Using a digging companion will give you some extra items, and using a gardening companion will majorly increase the amount of crops you harvest.