10 Things that Make Stardew Valley a Must-Play Game

Ever wondered why everyone's obsessed with Stardew Valley? Find out soem of the best reasons.

By GamesRecon

Are you into simulation role-playing video games? If yes, Stardew Valley might just be your new choice of play. This indie farming game has taken the gaming world by storm since its release in 2016. Developed by Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone, Stardew Valley evokes a feeling of nostalgia with its pixelated graphics and gameplay which gives the feel of of classic farming sims like Harvest Moon.

However, Stardew Valley is far more than just a blast from the past. With its stunning open-ended gameplay and quirky characters, this game has earned its reputation as one of the best indie games of all time. Don’t know if it’s worth the time investment? Here are some key features of this farming sim game that can change your mind if you haven’t tried it yet.

1. It Lets You Live Your Best Farming Life

Basically, Stardew Valley starts with your avatar inheriting their grandfather’s old farm plot. It is situated in the old Pelican Town. The farm, however, is overgrown and in desperate need of some TLC. This is where you come in, it’s up to you to clear the land. You can plant crops and raise animals to rebuild the farm and turn it into a thriving homestead.

The game gives you plenty of freedom in how you develop your farm. You can focus on growing a single lucrative crop like ancient fruit. Or, create a coop full of chickens and mayonnaise machines. The choice is yours and with so many options, the game lets you live out your own ideal farming fantasy.

2. The Satisfying Gameplay Loop

A typical day in Stardew Valley goes like this: You wake up and water your crops, gather eggs from your coop, then head out to fish or mine for resources before stopping by the local saloon to gift your favorite villager. For many new players, fishing might seem a bit tricky, but with the right guidance, you’ll become a pro in no time. This repetitive but satisfying loop is incredibly addicting.

There’s always something to do and a new goal to work towards. Whether it’s saving up money for a new barn or trying to catch the one last fish for your collection, Stardew Valley keeps you engaged with different activities and steady progression.

3. The Memorable Characters

The residents of Pelican Town are anything but ordinary. You have George, the grumpy old man in a wheelchair, Elliott, the romantic poet who lives in a cabin on the beach, and Abigail, with her love of adventure and eating rocks. With over 30 unique villagers to befriend, there’s no shortage of quirky personalities in Pelican Town.

Getting to know the locals and learning their backstories is easily one of Stardew Valley’s highlights. You might even find a special someone to marry if you give them enough gifts.

4. It Lets You Play Your Way

A major reason Stardew Valley draws you in is that it doesn’t force you down a set path. You have the freedom to play exactly how you want. If you want a profitable farm, you can focus on crops and artisan goods.

If you just want to explore the mines and fight monsters, you can spend your days doing that. Maybe you just want to fish by the lake all day or devote your time to raising animals like chickens, cows, and sheep; the choice is yours.  Stardew Valley works because it lets you play at your own pace.

5. The Attention to Detail

It’s incredible just how much care and detail is packed into every corner of Stardew Valley. The changing seasons affect the types of crops you can grow and fish you can catch. Villagers have set schedules where they move around town and interact with one another. You can unlock more areas to explore the more you play. There are even hidden secrets and side quests that you could easily miss if you don’t pay close attention. This level of depth and polish is a shred of evidence of the solo developer’s passion.

6. It Evokes the Cozy Small Town Feel

From the lush forests and sparkling rivers to the quaint cottages and community center, the world of Stardew Valley feels alive. Pelican Town harkens back to a simpler time when everybody knew their neighbors and life moved at a slower pace. It’s the type of idyllic small town you’d want to move to escape the rat race. The game does a fantastic job of worldbuilding and making the town feel like home.

7. The Charming Retro Appeal

Stardew Valley employs a pixelated sprite-based art style kind of older consoles like the SNES. While the graphics are simplistic, they have their unique charm. The pixel art allows your imagination to fill in the gaps, and combined with the upbeat soundtrack, the retro aesthetic makes the game feel like a warm, nostalgic hug. It’s hard not to smile when your little farmer avatar digs up potatoes or goes fishing.

8. Multiplayer Lets You Farm with Friends

Stardew Valley’s multiplayer update in 2018 added cooperative play so you can live the farming life with friends. Up to four players can reside on the same farm, allowing you to take on many tasks together. One friend can focus on fishing while you grow the crops, and another can collect resources. Not only does multiplayer enable new ways to play, but it also makes social interactions even more fun. Starting a farm with friends adds a whole new layer to the experience.

9. It Never Truly Ends

You may think Stardew Valley ends once you fully restore your grandfather’s farm or “beat” the community center bundles. But the game opens up in new ways during the post-game. You can focus on collecting every fish, mining deeper than ever in the Skull Caverns, building relationships, and so much more. Many players log hundreds of hours in the game without running out of things to do. With so many paths and choices, the game offers near-endless replay value.

10. The Active Modding Community

On PC, the modding community has expanded Stardew Valley’s content exponentially. Mods let you adjust gameplay aspects, add new crops and farm buildings, change characters’ looks, and introduce entirely new locations. Mods keep the game fresh while allowing you to tailor the experience to your preferences. The modding scene ensures even veterans have new ways to enjoy Stardew Valley.