Stardew Valley Shows No Signs Of Slowing Down 7 Years On (2023)

Stardew Valley Shows No Signs Of Slowing Down 7 Years On (1)

Stardew Valley celebrated its seventh anniversary Sunday while still reigning supreme as the ultimate cozy game. Nearly a decade on, Stardew Valley has become one of the most fascinating case studies among indie game successes. Created over four and a half years by lone developer Eric Barone, who goes by ConcernedApe, the farming simulator slowly spread like a good weed, both to other platforms and in popularity. Stardew Valley’s growth resembled a weed, infecting your crops. But a weed it was not. Stardew Valley was, and still is, a blossoming flower.


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But in 2023, Stardew Valley is ready to go into hibernation. The last major expansion is out, now for all platforms after a delay in its mobile rollout. And Barone is at work on his next project, The Haunted Chocolatier. But hibernation isn’t death. The game is still massively popular, more so even than it was closer to launch. Mobile fans who were the last to receive the big 1.5 update are likely still exploring the rich expansion. And just as Stardew Valley doesn’t end after the big Year 3 mark where the ghost of your grandfather judges your progress, people aren’t putting down the game even if they’ve already logged hundreds of hours.

Stardew Valley is a cozy game staple

Likely helped by the need for comfort many of us felt during the initial throes of pandemic quarantine, the cozy genre has grown in popularity since Stardew Valley first came out. The pixel art farming sim is consistently mentioned in TikTok’s cozy games, relaxing games, or aesthetic games hashtags.


It helps that Stardew Valley made its way to the Nintendo Switch in 2017 after only being available on PC and later PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Despite only arriving on the hybrid platform in October of that year, it ended up being the most downloaded game on the Switch, beating out Minecraft, Sonic Mania, and Rocket League. Speaking from experience, Stardew on the Switch feels like it was meant to be played handheld. The controls are more natural, and it’s the perfect game to relax with in bed. The only thing that has surpassed the Switch experience is playing it on Valve’s Steam Deck, and that’s solely because it offers the Switch’s handheld option with the ability to add mods to the game.

The Switch has also been a vehicle for many indie gems to find their shine. In addition to Stardew Valley, games like Hades, Untitled Goose Game, Cuphead, and Undertale have taken off on the little console that could, regardless of what platform they were first released on. But Stardew Valley, seven years after its release, feels like the biggest standout among its cohort.

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Stardew Valley Shows No Signs Of Slowing Down 7 Years On (2)

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The Stardew community is not putting their farming hoes down

Maybe it’s because Stardew Valley attracts players who don’t consider themselves “gamers” (though I would argue playing Stardew Valley means they are, in fact, gamers) who aren’t likely to rotate between titles, but it seems people never put the game down. Peering into the community, even at surface level, reveals a mass of activity across Twitter and Reddit. People still love discussing which NPCs are their favorites to romance, their farm layouts, or celebrating the arrival of a rare random event like a UFO visit.


The game hit an all-time high of more than 94,000 concurrent players on Steam just two years ago, far after its 2016 release, according to SteamDB, and has net 36,000 average concurrent players in the last 30 days, according to Steam Charts, sometimes even more. Considering Stardew Valley is available on Steam, Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and iOS and Android mobile platforms, that’s just a fraction of the total number still actively cultivating their farms.

The level of engagement is evident in its modding community, as well. As of the time of this writing, 11 new mods have been uploaded to the Nexus Mods today alone. A new player settling into the quiet Valley life for the first time can find a wealth of new custom content and updates to existing ones that do everything from change the world aesthetics, add hair and clothing items, offer quality-of-life changes, or even pack in DLC-worthy additional content à la Stardew Valley Expanded.


That community is why Barone is still so committed to building upon Stardew Valley seven years later, “because there’s so many people who play it still,” he explained in a December 2022 interview with ScreenRant.

Stawdew Valley’s 1.5 update is still changing the game

When the 1.5 update dropped, Stardew Valley had nearly five years under its belt. The patch, though it’s more a blanket than a mere patch, essentially doubled the content already present. Now, you could have a second beachfront farm, a new island location to explore with a couple of additional NPCs of its own. There’s also a new completionist metric in Mr. Qi’s challenges, which tasks you with difficult labor like reaching level 100 in the Skull Cavern or catching the four family members of the legendary fish within three days, to commit to.


Because players can’t even access this area, and therefore most of the 1.5 content, until after they complete the Community Center’s bundles (which can take quite a while on its own), there are still farmers just discovering Ginger Island. Further, the massive game-changing update only came to mobile players this past January.

Once you manage to arrive on Ginger Island, you can cultivate new crops, forage for new items, traverse the Volcano Dungeon while battling enemies, and collect walnuts strewn about the new location. It takes a hell of a long time to get through.


Somehow, Barone finds he has more still to add. Another major 1.6 update is in the works focused on improving modding, Barone tweeted in June of last year, though he added it won’t be as large as 1.5 was. The developer went so far as to say a 1.7 update that isn’t off the table.


Haunted Chocolatier on the horizon

While Barone doesn’t appear completely ready to leave Stardew Valley behind, many fans await news of Haunted Chocolatier. All we know so far is that the title sees you running a chocolate shop. Barone revealed on the upcoming game’s website that Chocolatier will have a greater emphasis on combat and magic, interestingly enough. And it sure looks quite a bit like Stardew Valley, with the landscape and characters so far sharing the same textures and pixel art style.


But Barone is keeping tightlipped, saying on the game’s website he just likes “working in secret” and that he’d “rather let the game be a surprise than reveal everything.”


Barone said he started working on Haunted Chocolatier in 2020, though only during nights and weekends as he was still splitting his time between Stardew Valley. It’s unclear how the developer is dividing his time these days as his first, however, not only between Stardew Valley patches and Haunted Chocolatier but also with other projects. In December 2022, the music video for Canadian band Avvays’ “Many Mirrors” came out, illustrated by Barone, his first foray into 3D art.

Barone is also quick to remind people that, though he’s revealed a new game is coming, Haunted Chocolatier won’t be out for quite a while.


“I have a big, ambitious vision for it. It’s a little bit daunting, the amount of work that it’s going to be. But Stardew Valley took me four and a half years; I’ve been working on Haunted Chocolatier for about a year and a half or maybe two years now,” Barone told ScreenRant.

“In some ways,” Barone continued, “making games and art is just a way for me to connect to people, or for them to understand me. I want people to understand my ideas, my thoughts; who I am. I feel like Stardew Valley is partway there, but it’s not even close to the whole picture. There’s a lot more I need to express, so I’m looking forward to that.”


Stardew Valley has kept us milling away our time for seven years. It might do so for another seven. And hopefully, we won’t have to wait that long to take a bite out of Haunted Chocolatier.



What is the penalty for 2am in Stardew Valley? ›

Past midnight (12:00 am), the player's character becomes tired and in need of sleep. However, the player can stay awake until 2am, after which their character will pass out. 1,000g will be lost (the details of this transaction will appear as a letter in the player's mailbox).

How long is 10 minutes in Stardew Valley? ›

An entire day of Stardew Valley takes about 14 minutes and 20 seconds of real-time to complete. Each 10-minute interval of the game is equivalent to about 7 seconds in real life. This means one in-game hour will take up about 43 seconds of real-time.

Does Stardew Valley end after 4 years? ›

Stardew Valley has no official end to it. You can keep playing for as long as you like. The closest thing the game has to an ending is getting a perfect evaluation by your grandfather. At the beginning of year 3, your grandfather's ghost will appear and score you based on a multitude of categories.

Why isn t my invite code showing in Stardew Valley co op? ›

If the “Enter Invite Code…” option in the Co-op join tab or the “Invite Friend…” and “Show Invite Code” options in the Options menu are unavailable, it means Stardew Valley was unable to access your Steam/GOG account.

Can your husband divorce you in Stardew Valley? ›

Once inside Mayor Lewis's manor, they should head towards the left side of his house, right beside his kitchen. There, they'll find two books. If they choose the book on the right, an options box will pop up to ask if the player wants to get divorced.

Can you kiss your spouse Stardew? ›

Kissing your spouse will remove exhaustion from your energy bar. This works only with the first kiss of the day, when a heart appears over your heads.

Does Stardew Valley end after 3 years? ›

One of the biggest questions in Stardew Valley is whether there is actually an end to the game or not. And the answer is: there isn't one. After three years, the player's grandfather appears to the player in a dream sequence to discuss the player's time at the farm and how they have adapted to living to farm life.

Why is Stardew Valley so addictive? ›

Sense Of Accomplishment

Stardew Valley is certainly a reward-motivated game. There aren't any difficult controls and complex mechanics to master within the game to experience that sense of accomplishment. Rather it comes from the gradual and extremely satisfying growth of your farm.

How many hours does it take to 100% Stardew Valley? ›

When focusing on the main objectives, Stardew Valley is about 52½ Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 156 Hours to obtain 100% completion.

What is the longest someone has played Stardew Valley? ›

Most Stardew Valley Playtime Ladder (Worldwide)
#Steam IDPlaytime (H)
4Magic Conch29,828
156 more rows

Can I play Stardew forever? ›

This is straightforward for a lot of games, but with Stardew Valley though, there is no 'end'. As you play on your farm, you will come across various milestones and progress trackers, but there is no end to the game. Players can continue farming for years in the game without growing bored.

What is the max years in Stardew Valley? ›

There is no limit on the number of days or years in the game. You can play as long as you want.

Can I marry my friend in Co-op Stardew Valley? ›

Can You Marry Another Player In Multiplayer? Yes, you can marry other players in Stardew Valley! However, keep in mind that it's a more complicated process than marrying an NPC.

How long does it take for the co-op to be built in Stardew Valley? ›

The Coop is a type of farm building purchasable and upgradable from Robin at the Carpenter's Shop. It takes three days to build, and two days to upgrade. The coop can house chickens, ducks, rabbits, and dinosaurs.

How do I marry my coop player in Stardew Valley? ›

Craft your Wedding Ring with a prismatic shard and five iridium bars. Once you've crafted the Wedding Ring, find the friend or player you want to marry. Select the Wedding Ring in your inventory and right-click on the other user. Press Yes in the following window to confirm your proposal.

Does Krobus sleep in your bed? ›

He can change your flooring and wallpaper, give you gifts, and his "divorce" price is 0g. It's also worth noting that you can't have or adopt children with Krobus. He will only hug you (spouses will kiss you), he doesn't sleep in your bed, and he won't do chores.

Do spouses get jealous Stardew? ›

The chance that your spouse becomes jealous is between 20 and 40%, depending on daily luck. If your spouse becomes jealous, you get a 30 friendship point penalty, and the next time you speak to your spouse they will give an angry message mentioning your gift.

Can I kiss my boyfriend in Stardew 😭? ›

You can kiss as much as you want without mods, you just get the stamina bonus/the little heart the first time.

Who is the most helpful spouse in Stardew Valley? ›

1. Abigail Is the Best Wife In Stardew Valley. When it comes to Stardew Valley, Abigail is undeniably the best potential marriage partner.

What happens if you divorce your spouse in Stardew Valley? ›

The day after you divorce your spouse, they will move back into their original place of residence. Their unique room in your house will disappear, as well as the spouse hobby area behind your house.

Do years matter in Stardew? ›

Like harvest moon there are only things that happens only in the first year! There's one cutscene with Sam and Vincent during Summer you can miss, because it becomes irrelevant during the second year. Everything else, you can see or do it next year.

What is the end goal of Stardew Valley? ›

In Stardew Valley, there are many of these goals including completing the community center, the museum collection, catching every fish, shipping every possible item., and more. Many of these end game goals are completionist goals and tasks that will take the player a great deal of time to accomplish.

What happens if you go the Joja Mart route? ›

Playing the JojaMart route mostly gives players time back for other activities, like making friends in the community, or pursuing activities like farming and foraging for their intrinsic enjoyment value. Similar to Herriman, Aimee Hart did the JojaMart route because she didn't want to collect all the items.

Is Stardew Valley good for your brain? ›

Video games like Stardew Valley can teach us quite a bit about self-care, as they give us a chance to relax our minds and bodies while still doing something that requires a bit of brain power. Stardew Valley is both peaceful and fulfilling, which is the perfect combination for HSPs who enjoy their alone time.

Do Stardew Valley kids grow up? ›

Children never grow up past the Toddler stage (Stage 4). You will have the option to acquire a second child only after the first child has grown to the Toddler stage.

Is Stardew Valley a never ending game? ›

A BIG YES! It's truly infinitely playable.

What is perfect rating Stardew? ›

The perfection score measures how much of the game content you've completed. Achieving a perfection of 100% unlocks extra endgame content.

How long is 6000 Stardew? ›

It'll turn into Caviar in 6,000 in-game minutes, or four in-game days.

How many hours does gold take Stardew? ›

Smelting Gold Ore in a furnace takes 5 in-game hours.

Do Stardew Valley characters get older? ›

Ageing doesn't happen in Stardew Valley

Once they are born, they will age to toddlers in another 14 days. But that's where the aging stops. They will stay toddlers for the rest of the game, no matter how long that is. The same can be said for players, though they don't age even for the 14 days like babies do.

Who is the best Stardew Valley player in the world? ›

Top Players of 2019 for Stardew Valley
Player ID% of Total
50 more rows

How do you get 100 perfection in Stardew Valley? ›

We've updated this guide with more helpful information on how to complete this goal, as well as new formatting to help you navigate easier.
  1. How To Track Perfection. ...
  2. Ship All Produce And Foraged Items. ...
  3. Build All Four Obelisks. ...
  4. Build The Gold Clock. ...
  5. Complete All Monster Slaying Goals. ...
  6. Reach Maximum Friendship With Everyone.
Jul 20, 2022

Is Stardew Valley grindy? ›

At it's core, Stardew Valley is repetitive and time consuming, but it doesn't feel grindy.

Does Stardew Valley have a player limit? ›

Stardew Valley multiplayer allows a maximum of four players play together on one farm.

What happens when you 100% Stardew? ›

The perfection score measures how much of the game content a player has completed. Achieving a score of 100% unlocks extra endgame content.

Can a 10 year old play Stardew Valley? ›

It is currently rated Everyone 10+. Until this year, players could only play by themselves, which meant that it was a fairly safe game for children to play.

Is 120 the last level in Stardew Valley? ›

Final Level: Lava Earth, Purple

The last floor or Level 120 of the Mines will revert back to a lava-earth with a purple hue of Levels 80 to 109. There won't be any enemies here as well, and no more threats appear in this floor. Treasure: Skull Key. Players can obtain a special Skull Key in this floor.

What happens if you give someone a bouquet while married Stardew Valley? ›

Yes, you will see the bouquet forever, but the person will be listed as single because you are otherwise occupied officially.

Do you need a Wedding Ring to marry in Stardew? ›

To propose marriage to another player, the ring must be given to the player, who has the option to accept or refuse it. If accepted, the two players become engaged. As with villager marriage, the wedding ceremony will normally take place in 3 days.

Can you have multiple boyfriends and girlfriends in Stardew Valley? ›

Okay so i found out that you can have multiple boyfriends/girlfriends in the game at once and I thought it could be fun to reach 10 hearts with all the guys, even though I'm set on Alex. So here comes my question, if i get married to Alex will i go back to 8 hearts with the other guys?

Is building a coop worth it Stardew Valley? ›

Due to being cheaper than a barn and a way to house animals, a chicken coop is a good first farm building to save up for. Once built, there are plenty of methods for making total bank off of your chickens. With that money, players can upgrade the coop and make even more money in a nice circle of profit.

Which is better Big Coop or Big barn? ›

Assuming you have the spare change for the animals necessary to fill it, your first barn should always be purchased before the coop. It gives you greater farm variety and the cow's/goat's milk/cheese will help you complete various bundles in the Community Centre.

How do you unlock the Big Coop in Stardew Valley? ›

You can purchase - and upgrade - the Coop from the Carpenter's Shop located North of Pelican Town. All you have to do is gather gold wood and stone and bring them to Robin's Shop any day - except Tuesdays - between 9 am to 5 pm.

Can two players have a baby in Stardew Valley? ›

If you are playing a multiplayer/co-op file, and you marry another player, you can still have children. It works a little differently, though. The main player will be asked randomly if they want to have a child, similar to the query when married to an NPC. If they say yes, the farmhand will then be asked as well.

Can you get 10 hearts with everyone in Stardew Valley after marriage? ›

It is possible to give a bouquet to any and all marriage candidates, and raise all their friendship levels to 10 hearts, without damage to your relationships with other romantic partners, so long as you have not yet proposed.

Can you marry multiple wives in Stardew Valley? ›

In Stardew Valley, can you marry two people at once? No you can only be married to one person at one time but you can date the whole town which whill trigger a cutscene which you can only get once in each world file.

Is there a way to stay up past 2AM Stardew Valley? ›

At 2:00, when your character just starts to doze off before a late night mugging, you can interrupt the sleep animation by detaching a joycon from the screen. The game normally disables a pause in this moment, but the joycon detachment pauses the game, and when you unpause you can continue walking home.

How do you not pass out at 2AM Stardew Valley? ›

There is a glitch in the game that still works for the 2 am sleep limit. Right as your character is passing out, when time pauses; check your journal. Once you exit your journal, your character won't pass out; and you'll wake up the next day with lower energy assuming you get to bed before 3am.

How long is 1 hour in Stardew Valley? ›

Passage of time
game timereal time
1 hour42 seconds
full day 6am to 2am, 20 hours14 minutes
week (full days)1 hour, 38 minutes
season (full days)6 hours, 32 minutes
2 more rows
Feb 9, 2023

What happens if you leave the coop door open at night Stardew Valley? ›

You can leave the door open all night long and everything will be fine.

What is the golden clock for Stardew Valley? ›

Prevents debris from appearing on your farm. Keeps fences from decaying. 10,000,000g, making it the most expensive building available to purchase.

Who has the most hours on Stardew Valley? ›

Most Stardew Valley Playtime Ladder (Worldwide)
#Steam IDPlaytime (H)
4Magic Conch29,828
156 more rows

Is there a dark side to Stardew Valley? ›

One disturbing element in Stardew Valley is the secret war between the dwarves and the shadow people. It is something you will learn more about in passing and by putting two-and-two together. You can also interact with a dwarf who will be suspicious, believing you to be a possible spy from the shadow people.

What happens after level 100 Skull Cavern? ›

Floor 100 of the Skull Cavern is guaranteed to contain a treasure chest. The only exception is during the run where the player completes the secret.

Can you miss out on anything in Stardew Valley? ›

Beware, though: there are actually three you can miss. If you buy the community upgrade, then you'll miss Penny's heart event. Players who've experienced Emily's heart events (eighth or tenth) cannot see Clint's sixth heart event. Finally, Sam's heart event can only take place in the first year.

How long does Stardew Valley take to 100%? ›

When focusing on the main objectives, Stardew Valley is about 52½ Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 156 Hours to obtain 100% completion.

Is there a maximum years in Stardew? ›

Do you just die at one point? No maximum. You are the immortal god of farming and livestock. There's no maximum, you can go for as long as you want.

Can you get rid of the crib in Stardew Valley? ›

If you remove the crib via a house renovation, you cannot have new children (whether adoptive or biological) unless the crib is replaced. You can have only two children: one male and one female.

Can you sleep with your partner in Stardew Valley? ›

You need to get your wife to 12 hearts and have to nursery upgrade and when you go to bed, she'll ask if you want to have a kid. You need to get your wife to 12 hearts and have to nursery upgrade and when you go to bed, she'll ask if you want to have a kid.

Do gates break in Stardew? ›

Notes. If a gate is open and you stand on its cell, close it, and try to open it again while still occupying its cell, the gate will break off.


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