We all know what it’s like to get lost in our quiet Stardew Valley games. We get in our modes and habits of farming, mining and foraging but it’s always been such a solo prospect. Well, until now: Stardew Valley’s multiplayer beta is here and we got into it.
Now, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Stardew Valley (which would be shocking because it’s one of the highest selling games and has been for the past year now!) it is essentially a definitive Harvest Moon style video game. Harvest Moon may be far more familiar as it arrived on the scene in 1997 on the Super Nintendo and had kids and adults everywhere living a more provincial life for fun and profit. Like in Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley is similar in the ways that you are raising a farm that was left to you by a relative and you have a certain amount of time to make it run properly. Now, the differences tend to end there as Stardew Valley does not have an end-game of a certain time period and instead gives you about a two year push to make the most out of yourself before you’re visited by your relative. From there on, the sky is the limit!
If you’re new to Stardew Valley, check out GameSharkHD’s 10 Helpful Tips EVERYONE Should Know in Stardew Valley to get yourself a bit sorted out and give you a few non-spoiler related tips!
The one thing that players of Harvest Moon never got was the chance to play these games with your friends. Sure, the most recent Harvest Moon is opening up to co-op but, well, it doesn’t have that same look/feel as Stardew Valley does and it almost seems like a little too much too late. Stardew Valley takes that retro-style pixel sprite work and does it up in a glorious nostalgic reimagining. While Harvest Moon currently is taking on a thousand reboots and identity crisis, Stardew Valley brings it right back to the start and keeps that simpler aesthetic while bolstering the story, the secrets and the adventures more so than previous Moon games had the capabilities to do.
While Stardew Valley is a game built by one person, no joke – ONE person, who did the game coding, the artwork and even the music, it’s quite ambitious to think they’ve been working on the multiplayer cooperative aspect to the title with only one main designer and a few other helping hands along the way. Cooperative in games like this is never as simple as one thinks and when you take a game which is a farming life simulator, that has mostly only been a single player experience and develop it for cooperative, it changes the game entirely. What was once about one human being moving to a farm, away from their dreary city life, and make it about two to four players, the narrative shifts dramatically. That is where the player comes in, making their own narrative work within the world and the other person or people they’re playing alongside.
Personally, when I’m playing Stardew, I zone out into a world of modding textures, adjusting biomes and starting areas to what I feel like challenging myself to and then just fading off into the daydream of it all. With a podcast or a comedy album usually playing quietly beside me, I can take some solace in the quiet monotony of living on a farm and creating my own little piece of paradise. Add another person to it and you’re essentially taking that sliver of silence and placing a live grenade in the middle of it. Will they get along with your concepts? What if they have a better vision than yours for the farm? What if they hate focusing on the Teen Ce– I mean, Community Center? (Sorry, one too many Saved by the Bell episodes.) There are so many possible hand-wringing scenarios when you’re so used to your solo gaming experience in the Valley.
Let me massage some of that fear away. Stardew’s Multiplayer has the possibility of becoming something you, and a likeminded friend, can just zone out to and work together on. The game takes cooperativeness in gaming to the next level. Sure, we’re all going to snap up a friend who doesn’t ‘get’ your vision board for a proper farm, but as long as you find yourself a nice chill friend to relax with — Stardew Valley’s multiplayer will be just what you need in a world of Battle Royale games. With twice the hands per day, the work goes that much faster. With one person focusing on the mining and dungeon work, the other person can make sure the farming gets done within the right amount of time. There’s also the fact that, with twice the amount of hands (or more) you have even more ground to cover on your farm within the first week! Trust me, that’s a pretty great thing.
If you want to learn more about all the work that went into this game, check out The Leaderboard’s 107 Facts about Stardew Valley and feast your eyes on some beauty.
The beta is absolutely a beta though, let me remind you. While ConcernedApe, who is the creator of this game and takes great care in his updates to the title, has stated quite a few things will change by the time the next update comes — it’s not like it isn’t a pain while in the beta. So far, money is a shared thing and while Eric Barone has stated this will change by the end of the beta – he’s also stated that he wants accumulating currency to be the least important thing to the player. There are several things that point that out, mind you, and he has tried to make sure that you make enough to afford being able to work on your farm but there is no cheap solution to anything. You must work for that money and you must be mindful of such things. So, while you may latch onto this ideal of a simple life without so much cash, your friend may not feel that way and be snatching ducats to go upgrade their items without letting you know. Always have a plan of action for the funds and keep things clear. Sometimes your friends may not even know you share the cash, so be sure they’re aware of the plan and work together on it!
Each friend that you invite to your game will have their very own house, so make sure you don’t set someone else in charge of taking upgrade money in — just because you share money, doesn’t mean you share everything. When playing with someone, I had the idea that the extra cabins were only spawn points and we share the main house. When they took money to Robin to upgrade the house, we couldn’t figure out what happened. As it turns out, each player will have their very own separate house with separate belongings. Sharing is only restricted to money and items are first come, first serve. As far as I’m aware, that will be changing in the future but for the beta — watch your dropped items and certainly keep an eye on the shared resources. With the ability to give items to that friend of yours to help them out, have a buffer pal during those festivals and, you know, maybe even marry your pal for fun — there’s a lot of fun to be had here in the Valley.