The Stardew Valley Expanded mod is one of the best Stardew Valley mods. The modder, Flashshifter, wanted it to be as immersive and true to the source material as possible. It succeeds in this and more! It was made to give you the same magical feeling as when you first played Stardew Valley, and I believe it succeeded in this. At time of writing, the mod has around seven million total downloads, with glowing reviews and comments abound. Though this article will be avoiding spoilers, it will go over what’s added in broad terms, so you can decide if it’s worth the install!
Stardew Valley Expanded, or SVE adds 27 new NPCs, all written and drawn in the style of ConcernedApe, and all feel right at home in the game. It also changes base game characters, adding 260 character events, fleshing out all the characters and giving much needed love to some. Furthermore, it fills out the valley itself, adding 50 new locations, changing up the vanilla areas, and adding new music everywhere. All these changes feel right at home in Stardew Valley, so much so you’d almost think the game was remastered!
The mod adds several new marriage candidates, some non-marriageable characters with whom you can become friends, and some regular NPCs. The base game NPCs are expanded as well, with some becoming stronger characters, with built up characterizations and personalities. It also adds new events to all these characters; questlines; heart events; and new festivals to enjoy with them! For example, Morris, the Joja manager, is a real character in this mod, like base game NPCs. Marlon is expanded on too, and the Wizard is given much needed characterization.
Many new locations are added as well, from mines to farms to highlands. All of them contain new enemies, NPCs, and fish. Without going too much into them, they add a lot to the world, making it feel like a place people really do live and go about their lives. The mod also adds two new farm layouts, and I particularly enjoyed Grandpa’s Farm. It has all kinds of features from the base game farms, all bundled into one package! I found it to be the more immersive farm out of the two.
Combat has seen a lot of love in this mod as well. Not only have most weapons been rebalanced, but there are four new weapons, and six new enemies. The new enemies are essentially just reskins of base game enemies, but they have increased health and attack you in larger numbers, so it’s a fun new challenge! All these monsters drop some valuable loot as well, with new recipes to go alongside some!
Festivals have been expanded, also. For example, Spirit’s Eve has two new, more difficult maze layouts, and there’s a new festival once you side with Joja or finish the Community Center. The egg festival has been updated with new locations for eggs, too!
The mod even features an expanded Joja storyline, giving you reason to side with them and benefits for doing so, rather than only drawbacks as in the vanilla game. They even adjusted the prices so that you have a reason to shop there!
How to Install Stardew Valley Expanded Mod
That’s all great, but how do you install the mod? Well thanks to Nexus Mods, it’s very easy to do on PC, though modding is not currently possible on the Nintendo Switch. This’ll work for Windows and Linux, but not MacOS as the Vortex launcher doesn’t work on there. Here’s how:
- First, you want to have Stardew Valley installed on your PC and have booted up the game at least once.
- Then you want to go to Nexus Mods and download their Vortex launcher.
- Navigate to games, then unmanaged, then press the button on the picture of Stardew Valley to add it to your managed games. You should now see the artwork on the top left of the launcher!
- Next, you want to download SMAPI, the Stardew Modding API.
- Head to SMAPI’s Nexus page, navigate to Files, then click “Mod Manager Download.”
- Now install it in Vortex, and you’re good to go! If you want achievements and the Steam overlay, keep reading. If you don’t mind not having them, skip to the next section.
- To keep the achievements and Steam overlay, you’ll want to keep the installer window open.
- Then you want to copy the path that ends with “%command%,” the whole thing including the quotation marks. It’ll look something like this: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Stardew Valley\StardewModdingAPI.exe” %command%
- Next, you want to right click Stardew Valley in your steam library.
- Click properties, then at the bottom will be a text box. Copy and paste the path into there. Voila! You now have achievements and the Steam overlay while using SMAPI.
- Now, on the main page of Stardew Valley Expanded you’ll see a box that says “Requirements.”
- Click that, and all the ones on top are needed for Stardew Valley Expanded to work. It may look a little daunting, but they can be installed just as easily as SMAPI was.
- Click on each one, click into Files, and click “Mod Manager Download.” This will place all the mods in the proper game folder; doing all the work for you, making this super easy!
- Then install them in Vortex, same as before. Once you have them all installed, you can install Stardew Valley Expanded, your choice of a new farm map, and you’re good to go. Just remember to make a new save file before starting!
Stardew Valley Expanded is a smart, massive mod with a little bit of something for everyone, with it all meshing with vanilla Stardew Valley extremely well. Exploring mods is a great way to enhance a game and revive one’s interest in it, and this mod is one of the best for Stardew Valley. I can’t recommend it enough if you’ve played through Stardew Valley half a dozen times like me. It’s a breath of fresh air to a game we’ve played so many times.
If you would like to learn more about the Extended mod with all spoilers, Click Here.