9 Simple Ways to Pause Your Game in Stardew Valley

Off for a mini rest or have something to do while playing? Don’t know how to pause? Don’t worry. We’ve got you everything in this guide!

The player sleeping on a comfy bed in Stardew Valley (as a pause).
You’ll need a break sometimes from playing and farming.

Sometimes, you’ll need a 5-minute break from the computer while playing Stardew Valley. Remember: A full in-game day is worth seven minutes, and if it isn’t affecting your eyes, you’re built differently. Unfortunately, it’s not the same for every player that needs extra care.

Time moves fast in the valley, so leaving it open while resting is a bad idea. The same case if you’re desperate to return home quicker. Do you have to repeat the day and lose your hard work?

This guide will teach you several methods to pause your game. Whether it’s a screen break or reading one of our guides to progress the storyline, we’ll help.

Why Should I Pause?

The reason for calling a timeout will depend on the player. It may be personal or in-game: from resting for spare minutes to searching for guides. But regardless of the reason, it’s an excellent initiative for every gamer to relax.

There are multiple ways you can halt your Stardew Valley game for a while. These are:

Player Menu

An in-game prompt of the Character Menu in Stardew Valley.
You can access the in-game menu by pressing your designated hotkeys.

Hitting the “ESC” or “e” buttons is one of the most common ways to stop the clock from ticking. You may press your “Journal” tab and other configured hotkeys too.

Interacting With Any Storage

Two frames of the storage and fridge chest.
No rush on getting the items you need!

You can right-click for an alternative pause, whether it’s chests or fridges. 

Consuming Items

The player drinking a Life Elixir in Stardew Valley deep the Skull Cavern.
A split-second before the player dies from Mummies and Ghost.

Before a swarm of Royal Serpents kill you at the last minute, consuming Life Elixir can help. This strategy stops the time and every monster in the room. If you’re also done fighting with them, you’re a click away from your consumables before slaughtering them again.

Talking to NPCs

Mayor Lewis' dialogue asking if the player is taking a break inside his house.
At least ConcernedApe respects your space between a villager.

For beginning players, new dialogues are always exciting. However, it can also pause the game as long as you’re not clicking anything! This approach isn’t popular, but if you find yourself talking with the townspeople and something urgent happens, you’re at the right time.


Abigail helping the unconscious player after taken down by a Golem.
Abigail’s touching 14-heart event.

Any cutscene with dialogues will make time freeze. It’s similar to villager interaction but with added suspense.

Fishing Mini-Game

The player fishing at the Pelican Town in Stardew Valley.
With the clock not ticking, you can focus more on reeling that big catch!

Many players mistake fishing as a time-consuming activity, but it isn’t. It may be grindy, but every time you bait and the mini-game pops, you’re technically on pause. Unfortunately, you have to fill the bar, and failing will unpause your session.

Interacting With Objects and Animals

Inside a coop, buying a Joja Cola for 75g, and playing the Junimo Kart inside Gus' Stardrop Saloon.
Performing several actions halt the advancement of time in Stardew Valley.

Watching TV, playing arcade games, dispensing a Joja Cola, and looking up the Calendar will pause your session. You can also interact with your farm animals to see what they’re feeling!

Buying From Shops

Pierre's Shop Inventory.
Pierre’s generous deals (vs. Jojamart) are always enticing, so browse right away!

Having a quick peek at Pierre’s inventory? Take your time!


The player spending time with Pelican Town citizens at the beach for the yearly Luau fest.
The Luau – a perfect festival to dump Mayor’s Purple Shorts.

You can freeze time in Stardew Valley with festivals, but your movement speed bonus won’t work. If you want to trade perks for pausing, it’s up to you.

Meet the author

Stardew Valley is perhaps the most chill game out there. If you're a new player and hoping to join Pelican Town, we've got your back with all the basics.

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