Despite its release in 2016, Stardew Valley always going strong. But even the best-designed games can be tweaked to your liking using mods. New players may decide they prefer a recolored look, while those with hundreds of hours may be looking for an expanded experience. Either way, we’ve rounded up some of the best Stardew Valley mods to give you tons of options for your next game.
First, you will need to prepare for modding. These mods are primarily aimed at those playing on a PC, although the Steam Deck and Android versions of Stardew also supports some mods. You will need additional software, called SMAPI, which can be downloaded from Nexus Mods. There is also a nice set of instructions for installing and using it available on the Stardew Valley Wiki.
For quite a few mods you will also need to have Content editor, so it is worth setting it up at the same time. Simply unzip the folder inside the Mods folder which was created automatically by SMAPI.
Congratulations! You are ready to dive into the wonderful world of Stardew modding.
Many Stardew Valley mods simply make small changes to how the game looks, and seasonal outfits are a popular example. Its subtitle is “Slightly Cuter Aesthetic”, so it’s not here to revise anything, but it modifies the sprites of NPCs so that they have different clothes depending on the weather, while giving them special looks for the Flower Dance and Spirit’s Eve festivals. This is a great starting point if you want to give the game a little more variety without changing it too much.
The bright colors of the basic Stardew Valley are certainly cheerful, but the recolor mods give players tons of other seasonal palettes and moods to choose from. DaisyNiko’s Earthy Recolour brings the whole game back to a more subdued, grounded palette that’s easier on the eyes. It also replaces the dig point so it grows a cloverleaf instead of those weird worms from the base game, which is a nice touch.
For a slightly more intense aesthetic change, try this mod which replaces all flora and fauna with beautifully pastel versions. I’m a big fan of the spring look, with multiple shades of flowering trees – and giant house-sized mushrooms.
If the standard Pelican Town Bachelor and Bachelorette pixel faces aren’t quite your style, these are anime portraits to the rescue. This mod from OhoDavi is the most popular, making Alex look like a sports anime protagonist and Hayley like a magical girl. But there is hundreds of other options available to suit your personal tastes.
Considering the representation this mod adds to the game, it’s arguably more than just a cosmetic change. This may not directly affect gameplay, but it does make Pelican Town more inclusive as NPC mods add a wider variety of character races, disabilities, and body types. On top of that, Diverse Stardew Valley adds outfit options like season changes, festival outfits, and even maternity clothes.
There is a lot to do in Stardew Valley — but there could always be more! This mod, for example, adds to the variety of animals you can keep on your farm. Along with giving pigs, sheep, goats, and cows cute new sprites, it also adds a few new options for your barn. These won’t act any different, but you can still fulfill your dreams of becoming an alpaca or deer herder.
This mod completely overhauls Stardewkitchen details. You’ll get Grandpa’s old cookbook in the mail, and as you’d expect, it’ll have a bunch of recipes inside. These recipes are totally reworked from the base game, to ensure that they are all worthwhile in terms of buffs and perks. But the mod adds a whole lot more than that, including cooking as a skill you can upgrade, a new frying pan tool you can upgrade, cool crops, and even the ability to burn your food – though you can disable this feature if you like!
Note that this is a mod that requires Json Assets, which itself requires a few other bits to work. But all the details and instructions are presented on Nexus, and it’s worth a little extra effort, because having Json Assets will unlock a lot of content packs. According to its page, it “currently supports crafting recipes, crops (including giant crops), fruit trees, large crafts, hats, weapons, clothes, and boots.” So once you get started, there’s a lot you can do!
If you are one of those people who like to fish in Stardew, rather than one of those who (like me) find it hopelessly difficult, More New Fish is for you. It adds 140 fresh fish to catch, including stingrays, clownfish, and new kinds of eels. You can even catch koi and goldfish and put them in a tank in your house with this mod compatible. There are also a few extra quests for the latest game, so you won’t get bored of fishing anytime soon. (Plus, I’m in awe of your talent.)
Can’t decide if you’d like Shane or Abigail? Want to make a massive polycule of the city? Just want to hang out with your favorite NPC as a roommate? Free Love allows for all of this and more, in the name of creating more complex relationships between your farmer and the townspeople. It is based on, but replaces, the earlier Several spouses mod, which did more than it said on the box – it also added important features like “Allows you to kiss all your spouses as many times a day as you want, because seriously.” So true.
Artisan Valley adds over 200 new items to Stardew, as well as 20 machines to manufacture them. Overall, it’s a huge expansion to the crafting system that should keep things fresh for a long time. It is also one of Json Assets mods, so you can use it with all new fruits, vegetables, trees, flowers, recipes, etc. who are part of this project. In fact, you can grab them all at once here.
Before we get to the biggest full extensions available for Stardew Valley, it’s worth mentioning that many of the more popular mods are much more humble – not less useful. Quality of life changes are some of the most popular mods on Nexus, and they include the ability to keep grass alive through wintera biggest backpackand in real time NPC Locations being marked on the map. Some of them are a bit more in-depth, like the search anything mod, which will give you a ton of information at your fingertips, and some just skip the fishing mini game. A personal thank you to that one. If there’s some sort of annoyance you’re having while playing the vanilla game, it’s worth taking a moment to find out if anyone has fixed it. They probably did.
Eventually, you will run out of things to do in Stardew. You’ll have completed the community center, befriended all your neighbors, and have two happy kids and millions in gold. But you can take that moment far, far away with Stardew Valley Expanded. This mod adds a whole city of NPCs, places to explore, events, quests, cultures, and yes, even fish. Modder FlashShifter says they wanted to recapture the feeling of Stardewcreating more of them for the experienced player, and the popularity of this mod certainly suggests that they succeeded. And as a bonus, many other mods are also compatible with Stardew Valley Expanded. For example, the previously listed anime portrait mod also affects NPCs in Expanded.
Ridgeside Village is another major expansion, opening up a new town accessible by cable car. As you’d expect, that means a lot more NPCs to befriend, as well as new quests, events, and items to flesh out the endgame. You might even find romance in the mountains!
Reach the bottom of the mines? And the heart of the forest? Deepwoods adds a new, dangerous, procedurally generated endgame area to explore. There are monsters lurking there and you might get lost for good, but there are also secrets, surprises and valuable resources at the disposal of the brave ranger who can survive the shady trees.
If you prefer a more laid-back experience, you might want to land a part-time job at the Stardrop Saloon. This lends some depth to both the cooking and relationship mechanics, giving you a good reason to cook up a variety of dishes and a nifty way to increase your friendship with townspeople. It’s also a well-integrated way to learn what your neighbors like, so you can keep the friendship rolling with freebies if you want. Moreover, you will help Gus. What’s not to like?