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Arguably one of the best indie games in years, Stardew Valley is a masterpiece, filled with adventure, romance, and relaxing vibes. With a steady stream of huge updates, added to the game for free, Stardew maintains its playability for years and years. Now that it’s joined Xbox Game Pass, a whole slew of new players will probably be venturing into the valley for the first time. Welcome!
This farming simulator game begins with just you, some tools, and a box of parsnip seeds. But, it’ll soon evolve into an enormous adventure that you’ll struggle to pull yourself away from, drawing you back in again and again.
Whether you’re a brand new player searching for a general Stardew Valley guide on how to start or a veteran who wants to truly master this incredible game, we’ve got guides, tips, and walkthroughs for you. Consider this a Stardew Valley guidebook of sorts, and feel free to return to this page, as we update it regularly.
Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about Stardew Valley, from your first harvest to marriage to late-game tips.
For some frequently asked questions and common concerns, click any of these links to jump right to them:
The Basics/A Stardew Valley Walkthrough
Welcome to the valley! You, like millions of other people, have taken the first step of many in what will soon become an enormous adventure. This will be your new home, and though it doesn’t look like much right now, soon you’ll be a valued member of the town who runs an efficient farm and contributes to the community.
Even though Stardew Valley is a relaxing and fairly simple game, there’s a lot to learn upfront. The first couple of seasons will be more stressful than later years, and there’s a bit of a learning curve when you first start out. If you’re looking to get a headstart and ease into your new life in Pelican Town, we’ve got all the Stardew Valley guides a beginner might need.
Before You Start
After you’ve nailed down the basics and established yourself and your farm, you’ll most likely want to start building up your machinery, farm buildings, and even potentially deciding on a specialization. Do you want to become a truffle oil tycoon, or do you want to start establishing a vineyard? Perhaps you want to grow a bunch of tea leaves or fruit trees.
There are a ton of options available to choose from, or you could do a bit of everything. Regardless, here’s everything you’ll need to know to build up over the next couple of seasons or years.
Farm Building Guides
Click the above link for a guide to every farm building, but if you’re looking for something more specific, here are guides on individual buildings:
Stardew Valley Money-Making Guides
Item and Machinery Guides:
Click above for a guide to all the machinery, but for more specific help with important items and individual machine guides, consider these:
Skills: Fishing, Mining, and More
Stardew Valley isn’t just about farming, though. There are a ton of other ways to live your life in the valley, and you can spend hours in the game without discovering everything. When you’re wondering what to do in Stardew Valley, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. But never fear — there’s no incorrect way to play the game.
In terms of specific experience levels, the game has five types of “proficiency.” These are categories in which you can earn experience, and in turn, make your life a little easier, while also unlocking new recipes and items: fishing, farming, foraging, mining, and combat. Each of them works a little differently, but they’re all useful.
Stardew Valley Fishing Guides
Stardew Valley Combat Guides
Other Skill, Profession, and Mechanics Guides
Romance, Marriage, and Friendship
One of the biggest aspects of life in Stardew Valley is being social with the other townspeople. There are six bachelors and six bachelorettes that are marriage candidates, as well. Once you’ve established your farm and have some money coming in, it’s a good idea to start getting to really know the other residents of Pelican Town and the surrounding areas. Here’s what you need to know about being social, finding a person to romance, and settling down.
Romance and Marriage in Stardew Valley
Around the Valley
Life in the valley isn’t just about farming. You’ll find yourself spending a ton of time on other things, from attending events with the other townsfolk to exploring the many, many locations in the game.
For all the important places to find, things to do, and getting the most out of just vibing in Stardew, here’s everything you need.
Enjoying Life in the Valley
The Community Center and JojaMart
Quests and Special Items
There are quite a few special items in Stardew, like the ever-elusive Prismatic Shard and Dinosaur Eggs. Much of the time that players seek help, they’re likely looking for guides on how to find these important and rare items. Additionally, there are some quests that are difficult but offer great rewards. Here are some tips and tricks for completing some of the harder quests and getting your hands on the best special items.
Specific Quest Guides
Special and/or Rare Items
Stardew Valley is one of those games that you can play forever. If you’ve completed the Community Center or the Joja route and reached max friendship with all of the villagers, you may think you’ve done most of what there is to do. However, that’s just the start.
You can continue playing for several more in-game years without ever running out of things to do. For everything you need to know in the late-game and post-game, check out these guides.
Stardew Valley Late Game Guides
As part of the post-game, you’ll be able to visit an entire new area filled with a ton of content: Ginger Island. This tropical paradise is filled with new items, its own mine dungeon, a new character, and much, much more. Here’s all the important info you need for Ginger Island.
Ginger Island Basics
Qi’s Walnut Room and Qi Challenges
Stardew Valley Mods
Stardew Valley mods are in no short supply. The modding community for SDV is absolutely incredible and extremely active, providing a mod for almost anything you could ever want. Here, we’ll touch on some of the most popular, like Stardew Valley Expanded, as well as how to mod your game in the first place.
Stardew Valley Mods
Stardew Valley Expanded Guides
Frequently Asked Questions and Common Concerns
How to fish and how to use bait in Stardew Valley
One of the biggest issues that new players face is the extremely difficult fishing minigame in Stardew Valley. Don’t worry! It will get easier the more you practice and as you progress through the game.
- Cast your line into the water by using the use tool button. There will be a bar that goes up and down, which determines the power of your cast when you press the use tool button again. After your bobber is in the water, there will be a short time (usually a few seconds), and you may feel a fish bite.
- Press the use tool button (left mouse on PC, Y on Switch, et cetera) to hook the fish when you feel the vibration, hear the noise, and/or see the exclamation mark.
- The minigame will start. The small fish icon will move around, and you’ll need to press the same button as before to keep that little green bar even with the fish. When you press the button, the bar will go up, when you let go, it falls. While the fish icon is inside the bar, the meter will fill up. While it’s outside of the bar, the meter will fall.
- If you can keep the bar on the fish icon long enough as it moves around, the meter will fill up and you’ll catch the fish.
You might find it very hard to keep the fish inside the little green bar. Don’t worry — the size of the bar increases as your Fishing skill levels up. Additionally, you’ll unlock tackle that can be attached to the iridium rod that will change how the minigame functions, making it easier.
For bait, it’s very simple. All you need is the fiberglass rod, which is the first upgrade you unlock at Fishing Level 3. To attach bait, select it in your inventory, and “place” it on your fishing rod in your inventory with the ‘use item’ button (right-click on PC, Y on Switch, et cetera — whichever button you’d typically use to use a tool, with the exception of PC).
How do you install mods?
It’s fairly simple to install mods, but you’ll only be able to do so if you are playing on PC. First, you’ll need to install the SMAPI installer. After that, head to the Stardew Valley Nexus Mods page and look for the mods you want.
Check out our full guide on how to install mods for more in-depth information:
How to get married/how to have children
Getting married in Stardew Valley is a momentous occasion. There are only a few steps required to wed the one you love:
- Reach an eight-heart friendship level with one of the six bachelors or six bachelorettes. This can be done by talking with them, giving them gifts they like, and doing favors for them.
- Purchase a bouquet from Pierre’s General Store, which becomes available for sale the day after you reach eight friendship hearts with a marriage candidate.
- Give your beloved the bouquet. This will enter the two of you into a relationship.
- Continue to level up your friendship with your new partner until it reaches 10 hearts.
- Fix the broken bridge at the Beach (which costs 300 wood).
- Upgrade your farmhouse at least once so it has a kitchen. If your house is still at the base level, you won’t be able to get married.
- Wait for it to rain (if it’s Winter, try using a Rain Totem). When it does, you can head to the eastern half of the Beach. You’ll find a man here (the Old Mariner) that will sell you a Mermaid’s Pendant for 5,000g.
- Give the Pendant to your boyfriend/girlfriend, and, so long as the conditions are met, they’ll accept your proposal. Your wedding will automatically take place three days later.
To have children, it’s very simple. Upgrade your house again so that you have a nursery with a crib in it. There’s about a 5% chance each night that your spouse will ask if you want kids, so long as you’ve kept your friendship with your spouse at (at least) 10 hearts. If you say yes, a child will appear in the crib 14 days later, and will slowly grow up over time — although they stop at the toddler stage.
You can only have two kids, and they’ll always be one boy and one girl. The first kid can be a boy or a girl, and the second will be the other gender you didn’t get the first time.
Should you side with the Junimos or JojaMart?
It’s up to you whether you pick Joja or the Community Center!
If you side with the Junimos, you’ll need to contribute the requested items and gold to rebuild the Community Center. Joja will be run out of town when you finish and you’ll be able to replace the store with a movie theater.
If you side with Joja, you’ll need to pay for all of the repairs, and the Community Center will be demolished and replaced with a warehouse, which can later be turned into the theater as well.
The Community Center is the widely-accepted “better” choice in the community among fans, and the game does heavily imply that this is the moral choice. If you choose the Joja route, you can unlock a vending machine later, which is…cool?
Check out our guide for a full analysis on which is better:
What to do in Winter
When Winter arrives, you might be wondering what to do now that you can’t grow crops on your farm outside. There are many things to do, though, so don’t waste this season! Here are some examples and common activities that players do in Winter:
- Upgrade your tools, especially those that you need for farming like your hoe and watering can, since you won’t lose out on not having them for a few days. Watch out for when you have crops in the Greenhouse or you’ve planted Winter Seeds, though
- Build some farm buildings, especially silos to keep your animals fed, or the animal buildings in the first place (coops, barns, etc)
- Level up your friendship with the villagers
- Make your way through the mines, stockpiling ores and other resources, since you now have more energy that probably isn’t spent on watering your crops/other farming tasks
- Catch some of the fish that spawn in winter and are needed for the Community Center and/or quests (Lingcod, Sturgeon, Tiger Trout, Albacore, Tuna, Sardine, Squid)
- Attend the Winter events: The Festival of Ice (Winter 8), Night Market (Winter 15 to 17), and Feast of the Winter Star (Winter 25)
- See our full guide on what to do in Winter for more ideas!
A very real scientific investigation into how we got here
About The Author
https://www.thegamer.com/stardew-valley-guide-walkthrough/ Stardew Valley: Complete Guide And Walkthrough