Many people think of video games and their minds go straight to titles like Call of Duty and Halo. But as Stardew Valley demonstrates, not all video games are violent shooters. This charming 16-bit game sees you start a small farm in a peaceful fishing town. You fill your days wandering the caves and becoming close with the locals. While there is a storyline concerning the sinister corporation attempting to take over the town, these stakes are rarely enough to upset Stardew Valley’s peaceful vibes.
While the title earned considerable acclaim for its calm atmosphere, many fans still wanted more. The game supports a very large modding community. Creative players are introducing all sorts of changes to the title, from small tweaks like UI updates to massive mods that change the genre of the game itself. If you want to explore this world of custom content for yourself, here are some of the best Stardew Valley mods for you to try.
SF Daphne’s Buildable Ice Cream Truck
This charming little mod introduces an addition to your farm that is indispensable in the warm summer months. Daphne’s Ice Cream Truck, created by wabiii, delivers on what the title implies. You can build an ice cream truck on your farm and the new NPC, Daphne, will use it to sell a variety of cold treats. There are several color schemes available for the truck, and Daphne will even host an in-game event to introduce herself once her truck is ready. For the sake of verisimilitude, Daphne’s ice cream truck is closed in winter. This mod might not present any sort of major overhaul for Stardew Valley, but when you’re spending a hot summer day working the fields, there’s no better treat than a nice cold ice cream cone.
One of the more exciting things to try during your time in Stardew Valley is venturing into the mines. This procedurally-generated set of caves offers valuable minerals and other treasures, but also dangerous monsters for you to fight. Like every other aspect of the game, these mines can be mastered, and eventually, with perseverance, you can reach the bottom. If you still want adventure after this, the DeepWoods mod by Max Vollmer is for you. This mod adds a new series of procedurally-generated environments to explore, rich with even more dangerous creatures. DeepWoods is very much geared for the late game, so make sure you’re ready before you take it on.
For all the tools you can build in Stardew Valley, there’s one iconic piece of farming equipment that’s glaringly absent. Pathoschild’s Tractor mod corrects this injustice. The tractor functions as all tools at once. This allows you to clear debris, fertilize and plant crops, and even collect milk from the comfort of your tractor seat. By editing the mod’s file, you can even use the tractor to mow down enemies in the mines. However, the modder warns that this interaction is very overpowered and liable to break the progression of the game. If you want to add a tractor to your farming arsenal, just download the mod and have Robin build you a tractor barn.
A less dramatic aid to your farming endeavors comes from the Range Display mod, created by Cat. This is a very simple mod but one that will help you immensely in your farming endeavors. This mod shows you which tiles are covered by things like sprinklers, scarecrows, and beehives. With the help of this mod, you can rest easy in the knowledge of exactly how many of your crops are protected from crows and how much of your farm is covered by your sprinkler system. This isn’t an especially significant change; the mod doesn’t boost the range of these tools at all. But when you’re planning out your farm, it can be absolutely vital to understand exactly where to place these things. To that end, this mod can save you a lot of time and headaches.
If you’re a huge fan of Stardew Valley who’s truly exhausted everything the game has to offer you, you’ll want a very comprehensive mod to draw you back in. Ridgeside Village, by Rafseazz, is one such mod. The expansion adds a whole new city for you to explore, populated with over 50 new NPCs for you to meet, befriend, and even romance. New stores in Ridgeside Village offer new items, and there are even custom quests for you to experience. You can even take part in special festivals that are unique to this charming new town, which is accessed by cable car. This truly immense mod will give you hours of new content to experience, and should keep you busy for quite a while once the base game has lost its luster.
Of course, not every mod needs to add a whole new city to be worthwhile. Some minor quality of life mods can provide small but pivotal upgrades to the experience. One of the most important minor mods is Loved Labels by Advize and Jinxiewinxie. This simple mod adds a small indicator to show which farm animals you’ve given pets to and which ones still need affection. This might sound inconsequential, but when you’re running a big farm with a lot of animals, it’s vital to make sure you’ve given them all the affection you can.
Elle’s New Barn Animals
While you’re improving relations with your livestock, you might look into expanding the diversity of your barn as well. Elle’s New Barn Animals, a mod designed by the titular Elle, gives you several new creatures to look after. This includes a wide variety of new colors for pre-existing creatures, but also some new faces, like alpacas and even deer. All the new additions are technically just reskins of existing creatures, meaning they won’t behave any differently than the standard animals. That said, a little added variety is nothing to sneer at. These new animals can really spice up your farming experience.
Seasonal Outfits – Slightly Cuter Aesthetic
Farm animals aren’t the only ones in need of a new look. As the name suggests, Poltergeister’s Seasonal Outfits mod overhauls the character portraits and sprites of every NPC in the game. This gives them more seasonally-appropriate garb and helps them look a little bit more charming to boot. Much of the appeal of Stardew Valley is in its charming aesthetic, and this mod heightens that. There are even seasonal outfit options for the player character, allowing you to get into the spirit and change your clothes with the weather.
Spouse Rooms Redesigned
Building relationships with NPCs is a major part of Stardew Valley, so it’s no surprise that a lot of mods revolve around them. Spouse Rooms Redesigned is one such mod. As the name suggests, this update takes effect when you marry an NPC. In the base game, once your spouse moves in with you, they get an extra room for their belongings. Spouse Rooms Redesigned alters the design of this room to better reflect the personality and interests of your new partner. The mod takes the already-customized spouse rooms and gives them an update to better match their character. This is a pretty important mod for the romantics in the Stardew Valley community, as it allows your home to reflect the traits that made you form a connection with your beloved NPC in the first place.
Stardew Valley Expanded
This mod adds just about everything you could ask for from a new content mod. Stardew Valley Expanded is a full-size expansion created by FlashShifter that makes the game bigger in every conceivable way. The mod adds a staggering 50 new locations to explore, populated by 27 new NPCs to meet and interact with. 260 new character events take place in these new locales, allowing you to get richly acquainted with your new friends. You can also catch 27 new fish from this mod, plant new crops, find new items, and much more. And Stardew Valley Extended doesn’t stop there, either. Areas from the base game are reimagined and redesigned, and there are even two new farm maps for you to try your hand in. Stardew Valley Expanded is one of the largest mods available for the game, and well worth checking out.