Stardew Valley only came out at the end of February and it doesn’t have official Steam Workshop support yet, but that hasn’t stopped the modding community from getting to work straight away. There’s already a variety of mods out there that do everything from changing what your dog or cat looks like to making fishing easier to adding items and adjusting game balance. Most of these mods were found over on the Stardew Valley Mod forum, and I can’t wait to see how that community grows over time.
An important thing to note before you jump in is that Stardew Valley developer Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone is still actively (and rather frequently) updating this game. Since there isn’t any official mod API or support (yet) there’s a chance that mods will break or need to be reinstalled after updates. It’s also advisable to back-up any files you are going to modify before doing so, in case you need to revert the changes. Such is life when modding a game so soon after it releases.
I’d also recommend you back-up your save data, which can be found by default at C:Users[YOUR PC USERNAME]AppDataRoamingStardewValleySaves in case one of these mods introduces a nasty bug of some kind.
How to install mods
Most of the mods on this list a simple modifications to the game’s XNB files. That means all you need to do to install them is download the modified XNB, find the corresponding XNB file in the Stardew Valley ‘Content’ folder—default location is “C:SteamsteamappscommonStardew ValleyContent”, the XNB you are looking for may be in a subfolder within the ‘Content’ folder—and then replace the original XNB with the one you downloaded. Though, like I said, you should make a back-up of the original in case you want to remove the mod.
A few mods towards the end of the list require the “Stardew Modding API”, or SMAPI for short. This is a community-made API that is frequently being updated and allows you to use DLL mods. It’s a slightly bigger hassle to install these mods than the XNB ones—as you first need to install SMAPI and then download DLL mods to place into SMAPI’s mod folder—but it also allows those mods to make much deeper changes. You can download SMAPI on Github, but for now I’ve put the best SMAPI mods at the bottom of the list as it’s currently the most unstable area of modding for the game.
Now then, let’s get to the mods!
Mod forum page — Direct download
One of the most common complaints I’ve seen about Stardew Valley is that the fishing is too hard. I think this is probably because we’re so used to fishing being an easy, menial chore in game’s like this, so Stardew’s more skill-based fishing minigame catches people off guard.
Still, I can understand the sentiment, and so can modder steffjes who decided to lower the difficulty on the mini-game. The mod doesn’t make fishing mean nothing, but steffjes has adjusted the game to make fish move up and down on the meter less frequently, along with smoothing their movement out so they are easier to track, allowing letting you still enjoy fishing without ripping your hair out. Not a necessary mod if you don’t have trouble fishing, but most likely a vital one for many players out there.
It’s worth mentioning that steffjes has also made a Harder Fishing mod for you sadists out there.
Modder WildSpirits has started a series recolors for Stardew’s three pets: the cat, dog, and horse. This is a very light-touch mod, specifically aimed at adding new breed’s of each animal to the game, and you can download whichever specific ones you would like while skipping the alternatives. Pet Replacements currently has a Border Collie skin for the dog, a Calico for the cat, and either a Painted or Blue Roan skin for the horse. More skins are on the way, as WildSpirits plans to add a Pug and a Shiba Inu for the dog and a Siamese for the cat. Definitely a mod pack to keep an eye on as it grows.
Annoying Dog from Undertale
Another way to change what your dog looks like, this mod does a little bit more than just change the color scheme. Modder FinalMantasyX has entirely swapped the pixel sprite for the regular dog with the Annoying Dog from Undertale. It’s a brilliant little mix of pixelated indie hits, and an oddly appropriate reskin for one of Stardew Valley’s pets. As of now, the game’s cat and/or dog have no impact on gameplay, and generally just run around getting in your way—most notably the they can do so when you are trying to place a building for construction, allowing the Annoying Dog to remain true to its name in Stardew Valley as well.
Next up, running around my farm with this song playing on a loop.
This is definitely a mod that won’y appeal to everyone, but it’s hard to deny the quality of it. Modder toonyoza has taken on the rather large task of recreating each character’s in-game portrait with a version that’s anime-styled. It’s a pretty big undertaking, considering they have to both match and modify the game’s current art style for many different poses on dozen’s of characters.
toonyoza has started with the female romance interests and will then do the male ones, and although I won’t personally be using the mod, I hope they continue on to remake the entire town! The custom portraits are very well made and do a nice job of subtly changing Stardew Valley’s tone.
This is pretty much as simple as mods can get, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad by any means. Modder ShamanKem84 so a space that needed filling, and happily obliged the community. This mod simply replaces the first choice of hairstyle with a bald option instead. Plain and simple. If you want to be a bald farmer with what I imagine will be a very sunburned head, get this mod.
Note: The mod file for Bald Hairstyle is uploaded directly to the Chucklefish forums, so you’ll need to create a free forum account to download it.
Another straight forward mod that does its job well. Stardew Valley has roughly two full hours of original music in it already, but much of that is spread across four seasons and different locations, weather conditions, etc. It’s not unreasonable to want a few more songs added to your farming routine. Modder Drogean has borrowed seamlessly looping songs from the likes of Undertale and Dropsy to give Stardew Valley a little more variety without feeling to far out of its style. Additionally, the songs have been put over ambient sound tracks, meaning the world won’t otherwise feel quiet while they’re playing. It’s a small touch, but one that makes a big difference.
Mods that require SMAPI:
TimeSpeed Mod – Configurable Day Lengths
Sometimes the stress of Stardew Valley’s clock can be too much. How can you possibly water and harvest all of your crops, give gifts to the special someone, and go hunting slimes in the mines when the day goes by so quick? Modder cantorsdust agreed, creating a mod that let’s you adjust the amount of seconds each 10 minute block of game time takes.
By default, the TimeSpeed Mod doubles the length of a day, but you can go in and manually adjust how much longer (or shorter) it should be. For reference, a day in Stardew Valley (from 6am to 2am) takes 14 minutes not includes pauses. Adding just one second to each 10 minute block of game time extends the length of the whole day by two full minutes. Or, if you are looking for an added challenge, you can shorten your days and race the clock even further.
FreezeInside Mod – Freeze Time While Indoors
Not interested in changing the speed of time so blatantly, but still feel like days are going by too fast? Then Modder Cantorsdust has a separate option just for you! Stardew Valley is easily compared to Harvest Moon, but one of the subtle differences is that in the Harvest Moon series, the clock stops when you are inside a building, giving you more time to make purchases and socialize at you leisure. The FreezeInside Mod brings that feature to Stardew, allowing you to add precious minutes back onto your clock without changing any numbers by brute force in the way the TimeSpeed Mod does. It’s a nice compromise, and one I’m considering using myself.
Items show sell price in your inventory
This is one of those mods I could see quickly getting added to the base game. Modder CJB has made it so items tell you exactly how much they will sell for while they’re still in your back-pack. This can be incredibly helpful when your inventory is reaching its capacity and you aren’t sure what to throw out. Now you can be a cold, calculating number crunch and lose whatever make you the least money! It would also be helpful while fishing with a full inventory, as you could then choose to eat the cheapest fish to make room for rarer catches. It’s a small feature that makes a world of difference.
Note: This mod file was also uploaded directly to the Chucklefish forums, so you’ll need to create a free forum account to download it.
If you’re looking for some tips and tricks for Stardew Valley, here are 6 things I wish I knew before I started playing, along with a guide on how to take a screenshot of your entire Stardew Valley farm at once.