How To Play Co-op With Friends – Stardew Valley Guide

Savanna Garza

While Stardew Valley is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable games to play by yourself, the game can be exponentially more fun when played with friends in co-op. With the 1.3 update of the game, ConcernedApe introduced a multiplayer feature that would forever change the way Stardew was played. 

Whether you are looking to start an entire village with friends, or simply want to spend time with your significant other in-game, Stardew co-op has many features and advantages that you won’t find in the single-player game. Further ahead you can read to learn some of these features to get a better idea of whether co-op Stardew Valley is right for you.

How To Play Co-Op

Starting a multiplayer farm in Stardew Valley is incredibly simple. Ideally, you would start from scratch, making a new farm together so that everyone gets to experience the joy that is watering strawberries during the Spring of Year 1. However, if you already have a solo farm that you simply want to invite your friends to, that works too.

Co-op menu

On the main menu, select the co-op tab to get started. Unless you are playing together on the same network (LAN – in the same house), one of you will have to host the farm. This is quite an important decision actually, as the host player HAS to be present in order for everyone to play. 

In the in-game menu, you can modify the multiplayer settings by scrolling down to the Multiplayer section, and then hitting “Start Local Co-Op.”

How To Play Co-Op on Stardew Valley Through Main Menu

Hosting a farm

Selecting host from the title screen will bring up your list of farms, allowing you to host an existing farm in multiplayer mode, or create a new farm altogether. Load into the game and you are all set to get started!

Invite friends

Once the farm has been loaded, the host needs to send the invite code to the other players so that they can join. Some platforms allow you to join their game session without the use of the invite links, but using the code is a sure way to join.

What are the Benefits of Co-op in Stardew Valley?

Everything is better with friends, and Stardew Valley is no exception to that rule. Playing multiplayer has a number of benefits that you and your friends can take advantage of on the farm. Unlike other simulator games, access to Stardew Valley multiplayer is completely free and doesn’t require any subscription.

Sharing the Chores

Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming to maintain the farm by yourself in Stardew Valley. This is where co-op really shines as it allows you and your friends to split up the chores evenly so that everything gets done on time. 

Access to more professions

Since each player has their own skill levels, NPC relationships, and energy bar, you can choose different professions to increase your revenue. The separate player professions and leveling systems in Stardew give great benefits. When in a multiplayer game, professions like artisan (+40% sell value) will be applied to everything sold, not just items sold by the player with the profession leveled. This allows you to take additional professions for even more perks.

Collaborative Decisions

In Co-op, choices like when to sleep, when to start a festival, or how to restore the Community Center are made together. 

– To go to sleep, all players must be in bed. 

– To enter or exit a festival, all players must gather at the festival entrance to start or end it.

Exploits

As with most games, Stardew Valley isn’t without its glitches and exploits. One of the easiest ways to take advantage of your co-op playthrough is by duplicating items. This is done by simply hitting the item together at the same time. This can be used to duplicate machines like kegs, increase your farming rate for high-value nodes like iridium, or even create a rarecrow army with ease.

Quests and Progress

Quest, recipe, and crafting progression is kept at an individual level, but you and your friends can help each other out. Quest difficulty is determined by the highest-level player on your farm.

The progress of the Museum Collection and the Mine are global, but each player has to collect their own set of rewards.

Multiplayer Farm Options

When creating a new farm, there are a number of different options you can choose for you and your farmhands that will directly affect your co-op experience.

Co-Op Host Character Menu

Shared or separate gold

Most notably would be choosing to share or have separate gold. While many will share their gold to progress the farm together, the separate gold option is great for anyone whose gaming partner simply can’t control their virtual spending habits. This option is set when you are creating a new game, but if you do end up changing your mind, you can swap this setting at Mayor Lewis’ house at any time.

Starting cabins

The number of starting cabins you choose will determine how many new players you can have living on the farm with you. Each cabin is for an additional player not including the host since they live in the farmhouse. If you do end up needing to add more cabins to accommodate for additional friends you can do this at any time through Robin, the Carpenter, for a mere 100g. 

Cabin layout will determine whether the starting cabins are near the host’s farmhouse, or spread out on the farm. Choose whichever you like, you can always change your mind later through Robin for free.

One of the best parts of being the host in a multiplayer farm is visiting all of your friends’ cabins and decorating your farmhouse along with them.

Farm type

With a number of different farms to choose from, it is important to decide on one together so that all players are happy with their new home. If you don’t have interest in any of the default farms or are just looking for something new, there are mods that allow you to choose modded farms that have a little more space for multiplayer farms.

If you’re unsure of which map to go with, the Four Corners Farm Map was designed with co-op in mind!

Marriage

With the addition of co-op in Stardew Valley, you can now choose to marry your friends! A recipe for the new wedding ring item is available from the traveling merchant every time she appears for 500 gold. It requires 5 iridium bars and a prismatic shard, so crafting one will be no simple feat. 

Once you’ve crafted the wedding ring, gifting it to your partner will prompt them to accept or deny your request. If they say yes, congratulations! Three days later, you will have your in-game wedding.

Is marriage worth it?

While the idea of marrying your friend in-game may seem like fun, is it really worth it? To be completely honest, there is very little benefit to marrying another player in co-op. All that marriage has to offer is a wedding cutscene and subsequent anniversaries on the calendar, the ability to have children, and the ability to hug each other.

Honestly though, marrying the NPCs doesn’t do much for you either. Occasionally they will gift you a meal or fix a fence, and they set up their own space in your house. Other than that you really aren’t missing out on too much by choosing to marry a player over the NPCs.

Cross Platform

For anyone who is looking to play with friends on another platform, sadly Stardew Valley does not support cross-platform play. The only exception to this is that Mac and PC users can play together on the shared PC version.

Mobile

Unfortunately, there are no multiplayer options for mobile users at the current time.

However, co-op play is available on both PC and console versions as long as you are on the same platform. 

Nintendo Switch

Switch users can enjoy multiplayer mode in both online play and through local split screen. Enabling split screen is as simple as going through the options, then connecting with the controller once the game has been loaded up.

Online remote play requires a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. However, Switch players that are close to each other can use also local communications play to play together. Any multiplayer farms hosted by your friends will appear in the “join” tab in-game.

Xbox and Playstation

Much like the Switch, multiplayer is simple to set up on the Xbox and PlayStation consoles. Both also offer split screen.

PC

It is just as easy to set up a multiplayer session of Stardew Valley on the PC. Simply choose to host or join a multiplayer game then invite your friends. Players who are on the same network can take advantage of LAN connection for local co-op.

If you are using Steam, any multiplayer farm hosted by your Steam friends will appear on the co-op join screen in-game.  

If you are using GOG Galaxy or do not see your friends via Steam, an invite code will appear in the in-game options.  

Mods

For anyone who doesn’t mind playing Stardew Valley with mods, there are a number of great mods that can completely change the way you play the game in multiplayer. Such mods include:

Warp Multiplayer

The Warp Multiplayer mod is by far one of the most convenient mods out there. With the simple press of a button, you can instantly teleport to your co-op partner. This has an infinite number of uses and can make life a whole lot easier for your friends on the farm. While this mod can certainly be a bit exploitative and might make some aspects of the game too easy, it is definitely worth checking out.

Cats and Dogs

While Stardew Valley already has pretty cute cats and dogs that you can own as pets, the Cats and Dogs mod allows you and your friends to add additional pets at any time! Simply interacting with the water bowl while holding fiber for cats and wood for dogs allows you to adopt a new pet.

Elle’s cat and dog replacements is another mod that works with this one and allows you to choose from a great variety of different breeds of cats and dogs.

Stardew Expanded

Stardew Valley is a huge game with so many things to do and accomplish. However, eventually, you will run out of things to do and at this point, it is hard to not get burnt out on the game. That is where expansion mods like Stardew Valley Expanded come in.

This is one of the most popular mods out there and for good reason. It adds an impressive amount of new content that seamlessly branches out from the base game, allowing veteran players to experience Stardew Valley for the first time all over again.

Meet the author

“I am a writer and UNT student majoring in English with experience in fiction, short stories and rhetoric or articles.

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