Best Stardew Valley mods to download in 2022 & how to install

Meg Bethany Koepp
best stardew valley modsConcernedApe / FlashShifter / Nexus Mods

The best Stardew Valley mods add a whole new level to your farm life, and whether that’s with cheats, different portraits, or an upgraded farm layout, there are thousands to download in 2022.

ConcernedApe’s farming simulator, Stardew Valley, 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.

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With so many Stardew Valley mods to choose from in the game, it can be hard to decide which ones are worth installing, so we’ve done the work for you and put together a list of the best mods in 2022.


An image of gameplay in StardewConcernedApe
Stardew Valley is a relaxing farming simulator – mods make it even better.

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.

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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:

Modding on 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 .
    • 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 file. Follow the on-screen instructions, and that’s it!

Modding on 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.

Modding on 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.

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stardew valley modseemie / 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
  • 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

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.

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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 Stardew Valley mods that you should download:

Stardew Valley Expanded

stardew valley expanded modFlashShifter / 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.


Gift Taste Helper

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

We’ve all been there when playing Stardew Valley; you’re trying to level up a relationship so you can marry them or get certain gifts. You then start Googling “Stardew Valley gift guide” in hopes of figuring it out. Well, look no further – the Gift Taste Helper mod is your best friend.

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The mod displays a character’s favorite gifts when you hover over them on the social page, or if you do the same over their birthday on the calendar. This mod means you’ll no longer need to wonder anymore whether Shane likes Pumpkin or not.


Lookup Anything

lookup anything mod stardew valleyPathoschild / 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.

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


NPC Map Locations

stardew valley npc map locations modouhm / 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 shows you exactly where they are on the map at all times, so you’ll never need to wonder again.

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Experience Bars

stardew valley experience bars modspacechase0 / 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.


Anime mods

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

If you love anime, then 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.

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So if you want Elliot to look even more like your type, or to make Haley look like she’s just come out of a Studio Ghibli movie, then this is the mod to download.


Friends Forever

stardew valley friendshipConcernedApe
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 with them is going to suffer.

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 because you’re busy working on more important things.

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Elle’s New Barn Animals

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

The Elle’s New Barn Animals mod 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.

Seasonal Japanese Buildings

Japanese BuildingsConcernedApe
The Japanese Buildings mod completely changes the game’s vibe.

Stardew Valley has a very European / Western vibe when it comes to aesthetics and architecture, but this mod replaces all the classic farm structures with traditional Japanese buildings. As the seasons change, so does the entire mood of the game.

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The changes are purely cosmetic, but they make Stardew Valley feel like a completely different experience. The mod can be downloaded here.

You can also download a hot spring mod that goes with this one quite nicely.

Pokemon Retextures

Stardew Valley Pokemon modConcernedApe
The Pokemon mod makes Stardew Valley look like an early Pokemon game.

Pokemon fans will adore this Stardew Valley mod, as it re-skins livestock, villagers, and buildings into styles that resemble sprites from an early Pokemon game from the Game Boy color era. You can visit the Pokemart instead of the general store, and walk around admiring the various Pokemon that have replaced the game’s animals.

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If you’ve wanted to settle down and start a Miltank ranch in a region that resembles Kanto then now’s your opportunity. You can also add the Seasonal Japanese Mod to this to make the game look like the Sinnoh region from Pokemon Diamond and Pearl.


CJB cheats menu

Stardew Valley mods cheatsConcernedApe
The cheats menu mod gives you a lot more freedom.

The CJB cheats menu mod in Stardew Valley does the job of various mods, but roles their benefits into one. The mod provides you with a comprehensive cheats menu that lets you tinker with nearly any aspect of the game. You can freeze time, have unlimited stamina, set your relationship statuses with villagers, and so much more.

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This cheats menu takes a lot of the grind out of Stardew Valley, allowing you to tailor the game to your pace, or so that you can focus on the activities that interest you the most. This really is the ultimate Stawdew Valley mod.


Daily Tasks Report

Stardew Valley daily tasksConcernedApe
The Stardew Valley daily task mod helps you get organized.

This mod may sound slightly dull at first, but it’s a great tool if you struggle to keep track of your Stardew Valley to do list. This mod essentially sends you a report of how well you did at the end of each day, letting you know what you’ve missed and what still needs to be completed.

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Not milking your cows for one day isn’t a big deal, but this mod stops you from making the same mistakes multiple times. You can use the reports as a checklist to make sure your farm is running smoothly, something the game doesn’t give you in it’s vanilla form.


So, there you have it,  that’s the best Stardew Valley mods you can download on PC in 2022.

If you’re looking for more mods lists, make sure to check out our other guides:

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About The Author

Meg was Weekend Editor at Dexerto before leaving us in April 2022.