Obviously, the more Adventures you have available, the more time you can spend farming. See Adventures and Extra Rollover Adventures for ways to get more turns. Also, see Maximizing Your Rollover Adventures for examples. Eating, drinking, and spleening to your maximum will provide even more adventures, and thus more Meat; just make sure that your consumables aren't costing you more per adventure than you can earn! (See Basic Cost-Effectiveness, below.)
Certain equipment, effects, skills, and familiars can increase the amount of Meat or items that is dropped in a location. See the following pages for more information on Meat and item drop increases and how they work:
In general, increasing Meat and item drops results in a) more Meat and b) more items to sell. You should equip non-consumable drop increasers you already own anytime you are farming, including a Leprechaun-type or Baby Gravy Fairy-type familiar. (Advanced farming scenarios may use different familiar, such as a Stocking Mimic.)
Many farmers don't have all the farming skills permed; instead, they rely on bots to provide some or all of their buffs, such as Polka of Plenty, Fat Leon's Phat Loot Lyric, or Empathy. There are some well-known, long-lived and generally stable buff bots, but the list does change over time. One may ask the /newbie channel or consult the wiki's Buffbot article for a current list.
Buff bots offer their services very cheaply. Most of them provide "philanthropic" buffs for a pittance (under 30 meat for a whole day's worth), as well as longer buff durations for a reasonable price.
A common question is whether to increase Meat drop rates or Item drop rates. For most basic farming strategies a Meat drop increase is the better choice. This is because there is no cap on the modified amount of Meat that a monster can give, but it can only give 1 of each item it drops. A Knott Yeti, for instance, can give over 1500 Meat to a well equipped adventurer, but it can only ever drop one yeti fur, no matter how high your item drop rate is. In more complex farming strategies, especially when farming specifically for particular items, an item drop increase may be more advantageous, up to the point where the item in question has a 100% chance to drop.
When you farm for items, there are multiple ways to exchange them for Meat. Some are more effective than others.
Nearly all items can be autosold for Meat. Just go to your Inventory page and click the Sell link. However, autoselling items should be your last resort because you might be able to get a better price by selling them to another player.
Some items, like an old coin purse, an old leather wallet, an ancient vinyl coin purse, a Warm Subject gift certificate and a Penultimate Fantasy chest drop Meat or items when used from your inventory. Like non-combat adventures, these items are not affected by drop increasers.
Any player level 3 or above can buy or sell items at The Flea Market in Seaside Town. However, there is a listing fee and a time limit for each item put up for sale here, and it is extremely difficult to buy or sell items in bulk here; as such, relatively few items are sold here.
The Mall of Loathing in Desert Beach is the best place for a farmer to buy or sell items. Any player level 5 or above can buy items here. In order to sell items here, you must be level 9 or above, and you must purchase a store for 50,000 Meat. This may seem like a lot, but remember, you have to spend Meat to make Meat! Some particularly common items, like items from The Castle, can sometimes be difficult to sell, because the large supply outpaces the small demand, but by investing in a Mall store, you will be able to leave items up for sale for as long as you want. Also, it's easy to buy or sell large quantities of items in the Mall.
Many items that you obtain through farming will sell for far more than their autosell cost - in fact, all items must be sold for at least twice their autosell cost, or 100 Meat, whichever is more. Demand is usually higher for consumables such as food and booze.
Check the prices for an item in the mall before you attempt to sell the item. The market may consider the item to be more or less valuable than you initially thought. Bear in mind that mall prices are occasionally subject to some manipulation; a wealthy player may buy up most or all of the item in the mall, and then offer them in his or her own store at an inflated price. This is not the norm but is something to watch out for.
Another resource to help determine the true value of an item is the Coldfront Marketplace. All the tradable items on this wiki have a "View market statistics" link in the upper right-hand corner. You can use this to see long-term trends in the item's price.
If you're not in Hardcore or Ronin, you might consider selling directly to other players via the Trade Chat Channel. While you can find good deals here, watch out for bad deals and scams. Prices are frequently worse than the Mall, but bulk sales (with discounts) are more common. However, you might be able to find someone willing to buy items that won't sell for the minimum price in the Mall and still get more than the autosell value.
Even if an item is so common and worthless that it will never sell in the Mall even at minimum prices, there will usually be someone who wants to have the most of them in their Display Case. By checking the Display Case Database, you can find these people even if they don't hang out in /trade. The second-place collector might even be willing to pay more than they usually would if you're selling enough items to give them the lead.
While Meat and items can be farmed from any location, some are more effective than others. Other tactics may help as well.
Locations and tactics available to lower level characters.
The drunken rats in the Tavern Cellar will always drop a rat whisker. These can be sold for 50 Meat to the Pretentious Artist once you have completed the Pretentious Artist Quest. After the Tavern quest is completed, you can fight an unlimited number of rats by clicking on A Rat Faucet. Effects that increase item drops will not affect the rate at which the whiskers drop (they're a 100% drop), but they will increase the drop rate of rat appendices, and these can be sold in the Mall for quite a good price (because they are a chow mein ingredient).
The Cobb's Knob Treasury is also a good location to farm, due to the relatively high amounts of Meat, meat stacks and items dropped. This is the first truly lucrative Meat farming zone in which most players can adventure. The monsters have a reasonably high base Meat drop (for a level 5 zone), and there are also noncombats which give 300 and 500 Meat. Spending one adventure per day in each of the Knob Goblin Elite Guard Uniform and the Knob Goblin Harem Girl Disguise will guarantee some easy Meat.
There is also a minuscule chance of fighting an Ultra Rare monster here, but you shouldn't expect to see it.
The Hermit will trade three or four ten-leaf clovers per day for worthless items. The clovers can be sold to other players.
The other method for obtaining clovers is to increase item drops as much as possible and farm The Valley of Rof L'm Fao for various scrolls and construct 31337 scrolls. The first 31337 scroll will give a hermit script which will increase the hermit's clover inventory by one per day; each one after that will give worthless items and ten-leaf clovers, with no daily limit.
In Cobb's Knob you can farm dry noodles from the Knob Goblin Master Chef in the Kitchens, or farm scrumptious reagents from the Knob Goblin Very Mad Scientist in the Laboratory. Due to constant demand, prices of these items are unlikely to drop significantly. Depending on your item and Meat drop rates and character power, this could be more efficient than farming the castle.
At The Barrel full of Barrels adventurers have an opportunity to pick up stat-boosting items which auto-sell for 100-150 meat, some basic booze, plus an extra ten-leaf clover per day. The good news is, this requires nothing to get started - item or meat boosting gear is not required (and also not helpful). The bad news is, the returns are relatively low, and explosions and mimics might interrupt your farming.
The Boss Bat's Lair is unique in that it can only be used before completing the level 4 quest. Beefy bodyguard bats drop 200-300 base Meat, one of the highest drops in the game for normal monsters (compare to yetis at ~200), certainly higher than anything else available to lower-level characters. You will no longer encounter bodyguards once you encounter the Boss Bat.
Turtle Tamers can use their unique ability to, well, tame turtles in order to get some easy meat. Just buy some turtle pheromones at The Smacketeria, use them, and adventure. There are three tradable turtle familiars that can only be obtained in this way - the sleeping wereturtle in the The Spooky Forest, the grinning turtle in the Orcish Frat House, and the syncopated turtle in The Hippy Camp. Only three of each of these turtles may be tamed per ascension, so the low supply means you may be able to sell some for several thousand meat each. You can tame turtles without the pheromones as well, but it takes longer; consider the cost of pheromones against potential profit if you plan to go this route.
Once every 180 adventures or so, you will be able to obtain a special adventure known as a Semi-Rare Adventure. For farming purposes, the most valuable of these include Lunchboxing, in the Outskirts of Cobb's Knob; The Bleary-Eyed Cyclops, in The Limerick Dungeon; and, at higher levels, Rokay, Raggy! in Menagerie Level 2. You can predict which turn your Semi-Rare adventure will happen in by eating fortune cookies; see the Semi-Rare Adventures page for more detail.
One important thing about Semi-Rares - you can never get the same one twice in a row. For example, once you encounter Lunchboxing, you will never encounter it again until you encounter a different Semi-Rare.
If you don't have a specific clan that you want to join, but you need Meat, go to the Clan Recruiter in Seaside Town, open the Advanced Search, and search for a clan with any or all of An Exotic Hanging Meat Orchid (in the first clan furniture dropdown), A Potted Meat Bush (fourth dropdown), and A Potted Meat Tree (sixth dropdown). Using these furnishings in the Clan Rumpus Room will give you 3000 Meat per day.
Locations and tactics available to mid level characters.
Monsters in the Library don't drop any meat, but bookbats drop tattered scraps of paper, which are always in high demand. However, to make farming the library truly profitable, you need Transcendent Olfaction to attract more bats, or a source of Banishing to remove other monsters, meaning this may not be the ideal farming spot for beginning farmers.
In the early history of KoL, The Icy Peak featured nothing but Knott Yetis, and was the best place to farm for Meat by a wide margin. The addition of other, lower Meat adventures changed that, but still, yetis do drop a large amount of Meat and it is a good farming spot for mid to high level adventurers. Increasing Meat drops is the best tactic because of the huge amount of Meat dropped by Knott Yetis(200 Meat base) and upgraded rams (100 Meat base). Don't forget to trade yeti furs for yak skins at The Trapper's Cabin before autoselling them - yak skins are worth slightly more Meat. One advantage to farming this area in Hardcore is that food, booze, MP restorers, and a potion which increases Meat drops are dropped here, obviating the need to get them elsewhere.
Cold Resistance is required to adventure here, so when you're getting your buffs, don't forget Astral Shell and/or Elemental Saucesphere. Also, have a plan to deal with the Snow Queens; they don't drop Meat, and they resist physical and cold damage, so be prepared to deal non-Cold elemental damage, banish them, or Run Away.
Like the Treasury, you could run into an Ultra Rare monster here, but don't count on it.
The nightstands of The Haunted Bedroom in Spookyraven Manor drop no Meat or items, but after each combat with three of the five monsters in the zone, you will encounter a choice adventure which will provide either Meat or a Meat-generating item. Increasing item or Meat drops will not help here, but banishing the animated rustic nightstand and/or elegant animated nightstand (whose choice adventures have no meat drops) will. Note that in a best-case scenario you can earn only 600 Meat per turn here, making most other locations better for a well-equipped adventurer.
Using a meat vortex in combat will cause a monster to drop Meat immediately. The Meat dropped varies between 1 and the maximum amount of Meat the monster can drop. It is unaffected by Meat drop increasers.
While it is theoretically possible to make a profit, it is not usually cost effective to buy meat vortices to use in this manner, and there are better techniques than to farm for them. If you already have them from farming The Valley of Rof L'm Fao for other items, then this is a good use for them.
During the Mysterious Island Quest, you will encounter dirty thieving brigands, which boasts the largest amount of Meat dropped of any creature by a huge margin (averaging around 1000). You don't get to keep any of the Meat they drop at the end of combat, but you do get to keep the Meat you get from using a vortex. On average, this will be about 500 meat, more than many monsters even with moderate drop increases, which is usually enough Meat to justify buying a meat vortex in the mall. However, once this piece of the quest is complete you will not be able to encounter any more brigands.
Meat vortices should be treated like temporary potions like Knob Goblin nasal spray and carefully checked for cost-effectiveness.
NOTE: This information is based on the pre-revamp (prevamp?) Gallery. The bull's base meat drop is lower than stated here.
The Haunted Gallery can be a nice Meat farming area. The cubist bull has an especially high base Meat drop (200 Meat), and drops two pieces of equipment which can be sold or Pulverized. The empty suit of armor doesn't drop Meat, but it can drop four pieces of equipment which autosell for 160 Meat each - just don't try to Pulverize them into wads! The non-combats can provide stats and items, or they can be skipped without spending adventures if you want to focus on fighting bulls.
Locations and tactics available to high level characters.
The three zones of The Castle in the Clouds in the Sky have many advantages as a farming spot. Most of the monsters drop a large amount of Meat (about 100 or 150 base each), and many of the items they drop have large autosell values. Any high level character can adventure there, without needing any special equipment, effects, or strategies. If you're not sure where to start your farming, as long as you can keep your Moxie above 150, the Castle is never a bad choice.
Increasing Meat drops is the best tactic, but item drops will also help. Because of over-farming, many of the items from this area won't sell in the Mall, so expect to pulverize most of the equipment into 4 twinkly nuggets or 1 twinkly wad, which you can sell in the Mall. If you don't have the Pulverize skill, smashbot will pulverize and smith wads for you. thin black candles consistently sell well. Warm Subject gift certificates should not be autosold - use them instead to gain three times as much meat.
At An Oasis, you can find a swarm of scarab beatles, which has a base Meat drop of 175 and several appealing item drops, including high level pieces of equipment for Pulverizing and mojo filters. You can also fight blurs, which drop drum machines. Each monster here drops at least one good quality food or booze. The main disadvantage is that you will lose one out of every six adventures here to the Glug, Glug, Glug non-combat unless you're willing to spend ten-leaf cloversto get Some Things Never Change.
The Upper Chamber and The Middle Chamber of A Small Pyramid each offer some item farming opportunities. The ancient vinyl coin purses in The Upper Chamber and the tomb ratchets in The Middle Chamber are both valuable, and many of the items dropped there can be smithed into equipment and smashed into wads.
The Hidden Hospital in The Hidden City can provide excellent meat farming opportunities. Every adventure spent there will result in a combat, all with high meat drops and a good chance of getting items with a high autosell value. Make sure to banish the pygmy janitor for maximum effect (this can be done for free), and then the pygmy witch nurses, which drop the least meat of the 3 remaining monsters. Note that the Pygmy witch surgeon will stop dropping items if you do not autosell them frequently (pulverizing head mirrors for more valuable elemental wads seems to be the most profitable approach).
After completing the Mysterious Island Quest, McMillicancuddy's Farm will re-open as an adventuring area. The ducks here have base Meat drops equal to the giants in The Castle (150 Meat), except for the mean drunk duck (200 Meat), and the rotund duck (300 Meat). Increasing Meat drops is obviously useful, but increase item drops can also be profitable, since each duck drops duct tape, four of which makes a duct tape wallet, which can be used to gain about 3000 Meat.
Fights in this location are limited to 5 per day if you didn't complete McMillicancuddy's side questduring the war, 10 per day if you completed it as a Hippy, or 15 per day if you completed it as a Frat Boy.
Locations such as The Sea and the dungeons in the Clan Basement offer some of the highest profits in KoL, but the amount of preparation required makes them unsuitable for a Basic Farming scenario.
Note that it is possible to spend more Meat on items and effects than you gain while farming with them. Be cautious about buying extra equipment unless you're sure that the benefit outweighs the cost, particularly from The Mall. Basic cost-effectiveness is calculated by comparing the amount of Meat you spent on an item (or could get from selling it if you already have it) to the amount of Meat you could potentially gain through the use of the item. If the first number is higher, you will lose money by using the item (or you would make more if you sold it). The actual calculations for cost-effectiveness can be somewhat complex and vary by location so they have not been included here. Also, see the Advanced Farming guide for more information on a cost-effectiveness comparison of certain items in a specific location. Yarrh has a site that calculates the cost-effectiveness of any given item in any given location, which can be found at Meat Calculator
By adding more valuable encounters, and removing low value encounters, you can get more out of every adventure.
Depending on where and what you're farming, adjusting the frequency of combat or non-combat encounters could lead to more encounters of a preferred kind. For most farming, you'll either want to increase combats or leave them alone.
Transcendent Olfaction is a very difficult skill to obtain, requiring many days of bounty farming to get the Manual. However, it is extremely useful both for completing quests and for farming. The best uses of Transcendent Olfaction are beyond the scope of a basic farming guide, but some places it has been used for farming include:
If you're planning to play KoL for any length of time, start collecting filthy lucre now. It's worth it!
A less powerful but easier to obtain way to attract a specific monster is the Get a Good Whiff of This Guy ability of the Nosy Nose.
Banishing low value encounters will make high value encounters more likely. Buying an ice housefrom the mall will let you remove one monster permanently, and being a Seal Clubber will let you use Batter Up! to remove a monster as well. Other banishers typically require expensive Items of the Month or being in a specific Special challenge path.