Papaya Farm is a typical FarmVille-esque freemium title that tasks you with growing crops, rearing animals, and transforming acres of land into a bustling money maker.

However, Papaya Farm is distinctively different from the range of social games available on Facebook and various other devices, often proving confusing to newcomers and genre veterans alike.

Help is at hand, so follow these tips and you'll have green fingers in no time.

Let the games begin


Papaya Farm differs from the social games that you're likely to have played in the past.

So, before we get into seeding, plowing, or harvesting, it's worth looking at some basic principles, like levelling-up, respect points, cash, and the game's premium currency -Papayas.

You increase by one level for every three days that you log into your farm - each level unlocking new crops that can be planted for higher rewards. Crops are purchased with cash.

Like all freemium games, Papaya Farm has its own premium currency - Papayas - that are used to purchase tools and items, such as bags of fertiliser.

Papayas are earned in small quantities every day for simply logging in. However, you can also buy them in bundles starting from 59p/99c for 1,000.

The other thing to keep your eye on is 'Respect Points' (RP), that can be earned throughout the game by sending gifts, stealing crops, and a variety of other methods. You're rewarded every time you reach 300 RP.

Finally, as you begin Papaya Farm for the first time you'll be met by a number of small tasks. Not only do they act as a tutorial of sorts, but completing them rewards you with various gifts.

Fruits and vegetables papaya-farm-iphone-guide-2

Unsurprisingly, crops are your main focus in Papaya Farm, earning you an abundance of cash if successfully harvested and sold at market. Always use items such as blenders - if you have them - as they increase your crops' sale price.

Crops grow at different speeds. Carrots, for example, take three hours to ripen, with Cranberries taking around 36.

Choose which crop to plant carefully and try to harvest them as quickly as possible - a fully ripened crop will begin to rot at the same rate it grew. If you know that you won't be around for a couple of days, don't plant a crop with a short life cycle - it's just a waste of cash.

You can speed the growth process up by using fertiliser, butterflies, and similar items, all of which can be purchased from the store with Papayas.

Unfortunately, your farm will periodically be visited by pests, bugs, and weeds, which stop the growth of your crops unless removed - check back from time-to-time and get rid of them.

Ranch dressing


Between growing crops you can visit your ranch by clicking the signpost in the bottom-right of the screen. Here you can buy animals, raise them, and sell them and their produce for a profit.

Animals go through three distinct stages - growth, production, and maturity.

During growth you have to provide your animal with food - grass and meat - which can be grown on your farm or purchased with Papayas, and water.

During its production stage, your animal will produce offspring or useful products such as eggs which are often worth twice the value of normal items – try to collect these immediately.

You can find out when an animal's next production is by simply tapping on it.

In the third and final stage - maturity - you can sell your animal for cash.

Farming with friends, and foes papaya-farm-iphone-guide-4

Papaya Farm is packed full of opportunities to interact with your friends, visit their farms and ranches, and help them out – which, in turn, also benefits you.

For example, clearing a friend's farm of pests and weeds will reward you with RP and small quantities of cash. You can also exchange helpful gifts, albeit only once a day.

If none of your friends is playing Papaya Farm, you don't have to miss out - simply visit the game's leaderboards and chatroom - you can add people by clicking on their names and sending them invitations.

Once you've added people, you can undertake some devilish looting, robbing your friends' farms of crops, or their ranches of products, each illegal swipe resulting in RP.

Remember, if you do this to a friend he's likely to return the favour. If you've planted a particularly valuable crop it's beneficial to spend some Papayas on a guard dog, which will prevent your crops from being stolen.

Unfortunately, if you partake in such thievery, no amount of Papayas can buy back your soul.