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Stardew Valley: Beginner's Guide To Modding

Modding in Stardew Valley can be a real game changer. Fortunately, it's not all that difficult to do with this handy guide.

By Aku

July 21, 2022

Stardew Valley is a game that has grown a huge modding community. It’s thanks to that huge community that there are mods for almost anything. Whether you’re bored of the usual character dialogues, want some help keeping track of NPC locations, or are just looking for a pretty house, there’s something for you. If you want to join this growing community, this guide will help you find your footing.

For starters, you need to be aware of the platforms that are possible to mod Stardew Valley on. The game is available on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC, Android, and iOS devices. However, installing mods on gaming consoles is either impossible or very difficult, depending on the console. If you’re trying to start out modding, it’s best to do it on PC or Android.

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When installing mods on PC and Android, the first step is to install SMAPI. SMAPI is an application that loads mods along with Stardew Valley whenever you start the game up. It’s completely safe and does a lot to make your modding experience a convenient one, such as alerting you for mod updates and intercepting errors whenever any mods cause the game to crash. It’s basically a necessity.

The next step is the fun part: finding mods. There are thousands of mods, so it’s more than likely that there’s one to fit your specific wants and needs. Even if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you can find a list of suggestions to fit your situation, whether you’re starting Stardew Valley for the first time or want a smoother post-game experience. The best websites for mods are nexus.com or gamebanana.com (you can also find the SMAPI mod loader on these websites). However, there are many other websites where you can find mods to download, so don’t be afraid to look around elsewhere to find whichever website suits you best.

A really good mod is the Fisharia Anime Portraits mod. Created and uploaded by Kareeeee, this mod gives all the character portraits a cool anime makeover. The cool thing about it is it keeps the pixel art style that the portraits already have, so they feel completely natural in the game. If you’d like a mod with some utility, a good choice would be the NPC Map Locations mod created by both Bouhm and Pathoschild (the latter of which is also behind the creation of SMAPI, so make sure to appreciate their invaluable contribution to Stardew Valley’s modding scene). As the name of the mod implies, it shows you the locations of all the NPCs on the map at any given time. It’s very helpful when you don’t want to waste precious time running around to find a specific character. This mod also provides you with the locations of other players during a multiplayer session.

Fisharia Anime Portrait Mod, created by Kareeeee

If you want a mod that adds even more content to the game, look no further than Stardew Valley Expanded. This is a mod created by FlashShifter that adds new NPCs, locations, items, maps, and more. It’s the perfect mod for veteran players to find new things to discover in the game. This mod also gives new players even more endgame content to look forward to than the base game alone. All of the previously mentioned mods and more can be found on the previously linked Nexus website.

After you’ve found and downloaded your mods of choice, the next step is to find your game folder and unzip the mods into it. The location of the game folder can be different depending on which type of PC you have (as well as if you downloaded the game from Steam or not). In any case, you can easily find the game folder by using SMAPI. When you open the mod loader, a second window will pop up where you can type in commands. If you enter the command “show_game_files” you should be able to find the Stardew Valley game folder.

After you’ve unzipped the mods into the game folder, all that’s left to do is launch the game. SMAPI should load whatever mods you’ve unzipped into the folder as the game loads. When it’s done, you should see the mods in effect when you start playing. That’s all there is to modding Stardew Valley.

Modding a game can seem like a daunting task at first (and in some cases, it really is). But modding Stardew Valley is much simpler than it seems. Uninstalling a mod when you’re done with it is also simple. All you need to do is remove the mod in question from the game folder (to make this easier, be sure to add and organize folders as you unzip mods into it). Make sure to try out many mods and find your own perfect way to play the game. Maybe you’ll find yourself making an essential mod list? Have fun!

Guides
Aku

Aku is a Features and Guides Writer from South Carolina. He has previously worked extensively at The Games Cabin. He specializes in Nintendo-related topics and is highly skilled at a variety of games, especially fighting games. His favorite game is Monster Hunter Rise and he loves eating candy.

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