Since its release in 2016, Stardew Valley
has grown into one of the most popular life simulation games in the world. And thanks to constant support from developer ConcernedApe, the game continues to get better and bigger with new ways to play, romance your fellow villagers, and streamline how you take care of your farm.
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a bustling Stardew mod community to expand your Pelican Town experience even more. Most mods contain quality-of-life fixes or added content, but they’re not all created equal. When it comes to customizing the game, you’ll find that there are plenty of different ways to punch things up.
With these 15 mods for Stardew Valley, you can change a variety of things, from the way you rest in-game to adding a tractor. These are all simple additions, sure, but they can make a world of difference when it comes to playing the game the way you want to play it.
How to install Stardew Valley mods
Almost all the mods for the game are hosted on NexusMods
, so you only have to search one site. There’s also just one prerequisite for many mods. You must first install the Stardew Valley
Modding API. Fortunately, it’s easy to do:
- Find Stardew Valley Modding API (SMAPI) on NexusMods, download the installer, and run it
- After installation, find your content folder (usually “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Stardew Valley”)
- Create a folder inside called “Mods” if one isn’t already there
- Unzip whatever mod you want to install into that folder
- It’ll automatically load when you launch the game
Before you mod
Watch out for these three things when installing Stardew Valley mods:
Game version compatibility
Not all Stardew Valley mods are compatible with every version of the game. When the latest version of the game arrives, mod creators must update their work to ensure continued compatibility. Sometimes, a minor patch won’t affect whether a mod works, even if it hasn’t been updated. However, major patches will almost always break the more complicated mods, those like “Stardew Valley Expanded.”
Some mods are incompatible with each other. This problem usually pops up when you use mods that impact the same aspect of a game. For example, if you use two mods that change an NPC, either just one will work, or neither will. The best-case scenario is that one of the mods works. In the worst case, the game won’t launch at all or will immediately crash. Fortunately, fixing this is as easy as removing the offending mods from your Mods folder.
Most mods have no requirements other than SMAPI. However, some will need you to install another mod for them to work. This is easy to check on NexusMods. On the mod page, there will be a Requirements tab. Click on this to show both what’s needed to install a mod and which mods depend on it.
15 best mods for Stardew Valley
Now that you know how to mod the game, let’s take a look at Stardew Valley’s best mods that make an already-delightful game even better.
1. Let Me Rest
In Stardew Valley
, the only way to rest (and regain stamina) is to either eat massive amounts of food or go to sleep for the night. The Let Me Rest mod
adds a more realistic approach to stamina. Once installed, you can sit down, ride a horse, or stand to recover stamina.
How much stamina you recover depends on your surroundings. A well-decorated room with a comfortable chair has a higher stamina restore multiplier than just standing on a beach. This mod also has a secondary bonus of giving you a reason to decorate your house besides just the visual appeal.
As fun as Stardew Valley
is, it can be a grind, especially as your farm gets bigger. Use the Tractor mod
to obtain a tractor and accompanying garage. Here you’ll house your tractor, which is equipped with all the tool functions you need to take care of your farm. Not only will you make more efficient use of your time, you’ll also create an in-game lore reason for the tractor so it feels more like a tool upgrade than of “cheat.”
3. Better Ranching
The Better Ranching mod
makes keeping a barn full of animals happy and healthy less of a chore. Better Ranching adds an indicator for when you can pet, milk, or get wool from your animals. It also removes the possibility of failed milking and shearing attempts, allowing you to speed up your morning animal care routine.
4. Stardew Valley Expanded
While most of the mods on this list add content to a particular facet of gameplay or act as a quality of life improvement, Stardew Valley Expanded
goes beyond that. This mod is essentially an expansion pack.
Stardew Valley Expanded adds 26 new locations, 12 major NPCs (non-player characters), 2 great new farm maps, an expanded Joja Mart (the game’s version of a big box store) storyline, new character events, new fish, and more. If you’re someone who has played hundreds of hours of Stardew Valley and you want something to make the game feel new again, look no further than this mod.
The DeepWoods mod
adds a procedurally-generated forest to Stardew Valley
that’s different for every save file. This forest is similar to the in-game mines, but it uses wood as the major resource instead of stone. It’s a hazardous area meant to give the late-game some diversity. It’s a great way to shake things up, especially if you have more than enough materials from the mine.
6. Lookup Anything
There’s a staggering amount of information to keep up with in Stardew Valley
, and the base game doesn’t have a way to search for it. With Lookup Anything
, simply hover over something and press F1 to get more info.
This mod allows you to keep up with things like a villager’s favorite gifts, how far a plant is from harvest, fence degradation, and more with the touch of a button. If you’re tired of heading to Wiki for info, this is an essential mod for you.
7. Expanded Storage
Compared to the immense number of items available in Stardew Valley
, the amount of storage in the base game is tiny. The Expanded Storage mod
allows you to put chests in your inventory so you can save space in your backpacks. But there’s some great quality of life improvements in this mod as well.
With Expanded Storage, you can pick up chests with items in them to more easily rearrange your storage. The added search bar lets you search a chest for a specific item, too. And the advanced color picker lets you access a rainbow of color-coding, which is great for anyone who’s particular about storage arrangements.
8. Movement Speed
The default movement speed in Stardew Valley is plodding, so when you’re racing against the clock every day, it’s hard to enjoy the more laidback aspects of the game. Fortunately, this mod makes some small adjustments that do a lot to lower player frustration.
The Movement Speed mod
, predictably, increases the player character’s movement speed by a certain multiplier. It’s a 1.5x speed increase by default, but you can manually modify it even higher. The mod also decreases the time it takes to charge a hoe or watering can, which lets you waste less time when farming.
9. NPC Map Locations
The NPC Map Locations mod
is one of the most useful tools available for players who frequently interact with the NPCs. This mod adds each major NPC’s location in the game to the map. That way, you can tell where everyone is at a glance.
It also adds a redrawn map that shows a more accurate picture of the game’s layout and how it changes with the seasons. The default map in Stardew Valley is pretty much useless once you memorize the layout, but the NPC Map Locations mod adds a layer of functionality that makes it a useful tool again.
It even features filters that allow you to track NPCs based on whether you talked to them that day or not.
10. Save Anywhere
By default, Stardew Valley only saves when you go to bed at night. This can be frustrating if you only have a few minutes to play the game. Luckily, there’s a mod to fix that. Save Anywhere lets players save the game at any time by pressing the K key. It’s a simple concept, but it makes the game more accessible for many players who have real-world responsibilities.
The author abandoned the original mod. The one that works with the current version of Stardew Valley is available on GitHub
11. Skip Fishing
The fishing minigame in Stardew Valley
can be annoying with its precision and repetitive casting. Fortunately, there’s a way to eliminate it and get a perfect catch every time with Skip Fishing
. This mod lets you forgo the fishing minigame but makes sure you don’t miss out on any fish, treasure, or even trash. Some may consider it a cheat to let this mod auto-complete the minigame for you, but you’ll thank us after your thousandth cast.
12. PPJA – More Recipes_A Collection of Recipes
Give your crops and food items more utility with this mega mod collection of recipes
. This mod includes new recipes, new food graphics, and everything you could want to expand your culinary selection.
13. Seasonal Villager Outfits
Tired of the NPCs wearing the same old thing year-round? The Seasonal Villager Outfits mod
gives each NPC a seasonal outfit that fits both their personality and the weather. It includes new sprites and new portraits as well. This mod integrates with the game so well it’ll feel weird playing without it.
The versatile To-Dew mod
allows you to set reminders that display on the screen like a personal quest list. Reminders can appear only on certain days, during certain seasons, or only when it’s raining or sunny. This is incredibly useful when developing a daily routine since it ensures you won’t accidentally forget anything.
15. Chests Anywhere
Tired of having your storage split across so many places? The Chests Anywhere mod
grants you access to all of your owned storage containers from anywhere in the game. This means you don’t have to leave the mine or stop foraging or fishing when your inventory gets full. You can just whisk those items across the ether into any of your containers.
Keep an eye out for more Stardew Valley mods
These 15 mods are just a taste of what the community has to offer. Browse NexusMods
to find even more to personalize Stardew Valley to your tastes and find new ways to enjoy one of the most charming indie games ever released.
About the Author: Brittany Vincent is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Brittany is a gaming and tech journalist, consultant, and author. She collects retro and modern gaming consoles, niche titles, and she loves helping others succeed in their favorite games.