Modding Stardew Valley: 10 Best Mods for Beginners

Modding Stardew Valley

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Stardew Valley is the brainchild of game developer ConcernedApe. A passionate project born out of a love for Harvest Moon, it’s one of the market’s most influential life and farming simulators. Even though it was released in 2016, it still has an avid player base that is always looking for ways to innovate their experience. Modding Stardew Valley is one of the reasons the game remains alight with a thriving community. 

Whether you’re a modding veteran or going to test some cool toys on Stardew Valley for the first time, this is how to get into it and some suggestions for beginner mods to try.

Source: Softonic.

What Do You Need to Mod Stardew Valley?

Mods are files players can integrate with the existing game to change any aspect they want. It can be harmless cosmetic changes to removing frustrating game mechanics. Here’s how to get started.

First, you must install the holy grail of Stardew Valley modding — SMAPI. It is a mod loader and game launcher. From now on, you will use SMAPI to boot the game because it will consider and cross-reference all mods for compatibility and operability. There are unique instructions depending on your platform, but it is compatible with Android, Steam Deck and multiple operating systems, including iOS, Windows and Linux.

Then, you’ll need the mods themselves. Some require prerequisite mods that do nothing except support other mods — a few notable ones in the Stardew Valley community are Json Assets or Space Core, for example.

There are separate programs that integrate with SMAPI if you want them in a centralized hub instead of floating in Windows folders. There is Nexus Mods’ client Vortex — which is arguably the most popular. ModDrop is another popular directory. You can also download them to your device in the appropriate game folder. Regardless of where you find mods, ensure you get the latest versions.

But what are some of the top mods that users adore? 

1. Passable Crops

Annoyed that you can’t walk through trellises but have a lot of crops to manage? Passable crops allow farmers to traverse their fields freely without concerning themselves with altering the quality or health of the output. Players can still interact with them similarly, but now more of the map is accessible. Plus, it’s easy to tend and harvest everything.

2. Faster Horses 

Riding a horse is one of the most satisfying and speedy ways of getting around the impressively sized map. Daily, from wooing your fellow villagers to spending half the day fishing or wandering around the mines, there’s a lot to do. You can’t afford to waste time, so why not have a mod that makes the horses even faster than they already are?

3. Friends Forever

Managing relationships is one of the game’s most rewarding yet labor-intensive aspects — and that’s alongside farming and ranching. While spending the entire season ensuring you have enough money to stay afloat, you see the little hearts in your relationships menu for villagers and animals wither away.

Friends Forever stops that from happening if you want to enjoy a more stress-free experience. Once you reach a certain heart level, it will not decay. The modder notes there are a few special exceptions to this rule of actions that will still reduce relationship levels:

  • Spousal relationships still decay, but this is configurable
  • Not feeding animals
  • Sifting through trash

4. Harvest With Scythe

Source: Trusted Reviews.

Manual crop plucking is time-consuming, especially in your most crop-heavy seasons. Ever considered having the ability to harvest with your scythe, an item in the game that doesn’t take away your most precious resource — energy?

Numerous Harvest With Scythe mods exist to make gathering crops easier and faster. It may feel like a hack, but in reality, it eliminates one of the most tedious aspects of the game. So, it’s worth it.

5. Skip Fishing Minigame

Here it is, the mod you have all been waiting for.

No gamer may ever have an answer to why every video game now must include a fishing minigame. Still, they have a reputation for being either the most frustrating or unnecessary parts of the gaming experience. In Stardew Valley, the fishing minigame is cumbersome. Why would you spend all day catching 10 fish when you could double or triple that by skipping the annoying game? 

Plus, it makes your fishing skill go up that much faster. The resident fisher NPC, Willy, will be pleased.

6. Skull Cavern Elevator

The Skull Cavern is one of the most challenging yet rewarding ways to mine in the game, but unlike the main mine, there is no elevator to let you return to the deepest areas you’ve traversed. Adding a Skull Cavern Elevator can minimize the pain of having to redo all of that hard work.

Speedrunners have attempted to reach the bottom of this bottomless cavern, several going past the 1000-floor mark.

7. Tractor Mod

Some mods go past enhancing the quality of life and add new mechanics and fixtures to the game. Consider the Tractor mod if you are in the later years of your game and want to reward yourself for all of that labor. It clears twigs and rocks while picking up your crops. It’s a one-stop shop.

8. Better Ranching

Once you’re a professional rancher, nailing the shearing and milking every time you click, you can remove the potential for not hitting the right pixels by installing Better Ranching. It ensures you never fail to perform ranching actions, including petting, shearing and milking.

9. Need More Maps?

The preinstalled maps in Stardew are nostalgic and lovely, but maybe it’s time to experiment with new terrain. Consider a Tiny Garden farm or Waterfall Forest or more organized and farm-optimized outfits like the Ultimate or Four Corners farm.

10. Need More Crops?

The classic crops are all well and good, but many creative modders have expanded what trees and crops farmers can grow, including:

  • Hass avocado
  • Tomatillo
  • Vanilla
  • Daikon
  • Nettles
  • Brussels sprouts

Stardew Valley Modding For the Win

Mods are a way for players to remove game frustrations and improve quality of life. Especially if you’re a long-time Stardew Valley fan, you might want some spice in a potentially stale multiplayer game or solo campaign. Lucky for you, modding Stardew Valley is extremely simple and is a great introduction to modding other games.

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