Best Stardew Valley mods to download in 2021 & how to install - Dexerto
Stardew Valley

Best Stardew Valley mods to download in 2021 & how to install

Published: 24/Jul/2021 1:13 Updated: 29/Jul/2021 13:26

by Meg Bethany Koepp

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Stardew Valley mods add a whole new level to your farm life. Whether that’s with cheats, different portraits, or an upgraded farm layout, there are thousands to choose from. But which ones are the best?

ConcernedApe’s farming simulator is a fantastic game on its own, but mods just take it to a whole other level by expanding the gameplay. Some even add quality-of-life features we wish would be in the vanilla version such as gift lists for each Pelican Town resident and NPC map locations.

With so many mods to choose from, though, it can be hard to decide which ones are worth installing. We’ve done the work for you and put together a list of the best.

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Contents:

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How to mod Stardew Valley

It needs to be stated off the bat that mods only work on PC (Windows, Linux), macOS, and Android phones. So if you’re on console (PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch) or iOS then you’re out of luck, unfortunately.

Before you can install mods, you need to do a tiny bit of setup. All platforms require a loader called SMAPI, so go ahead and download that first from the official website.

Follow the steps below for your system to get yourself prepared to start modifying your game:

PC

  • Windows – There are multiple ways to install mods, but the most popular way is through the SMAPI installer itself. Extract the previously downloaded SMAPI .zip file, and double-click on install windows.bat.
    • Steam – Copy the full %command% line from the installer. Then open Steam, right-click on Stardew Valley > Properties > Launch Options. Paste the text you copied in the text box and hit OK.
    • GOG Galaxy – Open Notepad or another text editor application. Paste in the following command: start "" "C:\Program Files (x86)\GOG Galaxy\Games\Stardew Valley\StardewModdingAPI.exe" and then click File > Save-As. Go to the file path in the code above then hit the drop-down “Save as type” menu and change it to “All Files.” Name the file start.bat and press Save. Open GOG Galaxy, click the Configure button next to the game name, tick the “Custom executables / arguments” box, and then “Add another executable / arguments.” Find the start.bat file you saved earlier and click Open then OK.
  • Linux – Install Mono, a .NET Framework that allows SMAPI to run, from their official site. Extract the previously downloaded SMAPI .zip, and double-click on the install on Linux.sh file. Follow the on-screen instructions, and that’s it!

macOS

Install Mono, a .NET Framework that allows SMAPI to run, from their official site. Extract the previously downloaded SMAPI .zip, and double-click on the install on Mac.command file. A set of on-screen instructions will pop up – follow them and you’re done.

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Mobile

On Android phones, download and install the latest SMAPI APK file from the official GitHub. Then just run the app to install SMAPI. You can delete the installer once you’re done.

stardew valley mods
eemie / ConcernedApe
There are some crazy Stardew Valley mods.

Where to download Stardew Valley mods

There are a few places to download Stardew Valley mods, but the most popular websites are:

How to install Stardew Valley mods

First things first – navigate to your game folder. Here’s where to find it:

  • Windows
    • Steam – C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Stardew Valley
    • GOG Galaxy – C:\Program Files (x86)\GOG Galaxy\Games\Stardew Valley
  • Linux
    • Steam – /.local/share/Steam/steamapps/common/Stardew Valley
    • GOG Galaxy – /GOGGames/StardewValley/game
  • macOS
    • Steam – /Library/Application Support/Steam/SteamApps/common/Stardew Valley/Contents/MacOS
    • GOG Galaxy – /Applications/Stardew Valley.app/Contents/MacOS
  • Android
    • /storage/emulated/0/StardewValley/Mods

Once you’ve downloaded your desired mods, it’s time to move them into place. To do that, drag them into the Mod folder, making sure they’re all in individual folders in the directory. For example: /Stardew Valley/Mods/GiftTasteHelper

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Best Stardew Valley mods

While there are thousands upon thousands of Stardew Valley mods, you can’t install them all (could you imagine?) so you need to choose wisely depending on your playstyle. Do you want to keep it mainly vanilla and just add a couple of extra features, or are you going all out?

Here are eight of the best that you should download:

Stardew Valley Expanded

stardew valley expanded mod
FlashShifter / Nexus Mods
If you only download one mod, make sure it’s Stardew Valley Expanded.

By far the most expansive mod on this list is Stardew Valley Expanded. Aptly titled, it gives the game a whole new dimension, adding a ton of new NPCs and events. It even reimagines some base game areas to make them better.

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Best of all, it adds 32 new locations (yes, 32!), expanding the map by a significant amount. And if you love quests, you’re in for a treat – there are a ton of extra ones here.

To download, click here.

Gift Taste Helper

gift taste mod stardew valley
Tyler / tstaples / Nexus Mods
This mod makes gifting easier than ever.

We’ve all been there: trying to level up a relationship so you can marry them or get certain gifts, Googling “stardew valley gift guide” frantically in hopes of figuring it out. Well, look no further – the Gift Taste Helper is your best friend.

The mod displays a character’s favorite gifts when you hover over them on the social page or their birthday on the calendar. So you don’t have to wonder anymore whether Shane likes Pumpkin or not.

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To download, click here.

Lookup Anything

lookup anything mod stardew valley
Pathoschild / Nexus Mods
Lookup Anything literally tells you everything about everything.

The Lookup Anything mod is pretty self-explanatory and does exactly what you expect it to do. Want to know which materials an enemy can drop? How many points are left until the next friendship heart with an NPC? Then this is perfect for you.

To use it, simply hover over what you’d like more information on, press F1, and it’ll pop up in a window.

Click here to download.

NPC Map Locations

stardew valley npc map locations mod
ouhm / Pathoschild / Nexus Mods
Never lose a villager again.

If you’ve ever tried to find a character, whether it’s to speak to them or give them a gift, then you’ll understand how annoying it can be when you can’t find them anywhere. It can feel as though they just disappear from existence.

The NPC Map Locations mod, quite literally, shows you where they are on the map at all times so you’ll never need to wonder again.

To download, click here.

Experience Bars

stardew valley experience bars mod
spacechase0 / Pathoschild / Nexus Mods
This mod shows you how long until you level up next.

This mod is another game-changer. Usually, when trying to increase a skill, you never know when it’ll hit the next level – it could be after catching 20 more fish, or two. Well, wonder no more!

Experience Bars sits at the top left of your screen, showing you exactly how long you’ve got left until you level up in a health bar-style format.

Click here to download.

Anime mods

stardew valley anime portrait mod
OhoDavi / Nexus Mods
Now Elliot can look like Howl Pendragon.

If you love anime, look no further as this mod was made for you. In Stardew Valley, each NPC has a portrait that shows up next to the dialogue box when speaking to them. They’re usually just a straightforward pixel art style, but the Anime mod changes that.

So if you want Elliot to look even more marry-able, or Haley like she’s just come out of a Studio Ghibli movie, what are you waiting for?

Click here to download.

Friends Forever

stardew valley friendship
ConcernedApe
Your friendship hearts will never decrease again.

One of the most annoying features in the farming simulator is friendship deterioration. Accidentally missed talking to a villager one day because you were too busy mining? Tough, your friendship’s going down.

The Friends Forever mod stops this by pausing the heart meter decay, meaning you no longer need to worry if you can’t speak to someone.

To download, click here.

Elle’s New Barn Animals

elle's new barn animals stardew valley mod
Elle / junimods / Nexus Mods
No more boring animals!

The Elle’s New Barn Animals mod is self-explanatory. It brings new animals and types to the game, so you no longer just have plain goats, cows, sheep, and pigs in your barn.

Now, you can buy alpacas and deer, and also own all of the animals in a whole host of different colours too!

To download, click here. There’s also a coop version.