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Best Stardew Valley Mods to Download and How to Install

By 

Certified Awkward Tech Guy™

Last Updated 24 Sep 2021


Ever since Stardew Valley was released in 2016, it became quite popular, and as a result, thousands of mods were created to help change almost everything about the game. Taking advantage of the best Stardew Valley mods is one of the best ways to benefit from playing Stardew on a PC.

The most important thing is finding the perfect mod setup. You don't want to have to undo all the work after you've spent hundreds of hours. It is all about getting the right balance. As a result, you should pick the one you need without having to damage any idea of progression.

So, before we get onto the best Stardew Valley mods, it is important to understand what they are. 

What Is The Most Popular Stardew Valley Mods?


What is a Stardew Valley Mod?

A Stardew Valley mod helps change just about anything on the game, from adding items, adjusting the game balance, changing what the animals look like, and making fishing easier. These mods add a new whole level to farm life.

Despite Stardew Valley mod scene not having an official Steam Workshop support, it has been thriving on PC. Modders are working to change everything found in the game, from visual overhauls that change Stardew Valley into a pixelated fairytale to adding the game-breaking cheats like god mode.

Since Stardew Valley doesn't have a Steam Workshop support workshop, getting the mods to work may require you to change the internal files of the game. For this reason, we highly recommend backing up your files before downloading and installing the mods.

Here are some of the best Stardew Valley mods to help celebrate creativity in the modding scene, with a great selection of mods that offer gameplay changes, visual overhauls, and some cheats as well.

1. Stardew Valley Expanded Mod by FlashShifter

Stardew Valley Expanded Mod by FlashShifter

Image Source: https://www.nexusmods.com/

The Stardew Valley Expanded Mod by FlashShifter is the most expansive mod on this list as it gives the game a whole new dimension. With this mod, you can add lots of new events and NPS as well reimagine some base areas to make them even better.

Furthermore, it adds 32 new locations allowing you to expand the map by a significant amount. It is a great option for people who love quests since they are lots of extra ones here.

2. Gift Taste Helper by Tyler

Gift Taste Helper by Tyler

Image Source: https://www.nexusmods.com/

The Gift Taste Helper by Tyler is a mod that displays the favorite gifts for the character when you hover them on the social page or birthday on the calendar. This means that you don't have to worry whether Shane will like Pumpkin or not.

3. NPC Map Locations by Bouhm and Pathoschild

NPC Map Locations by Bouhm

Image Source: https://www.nexusmods.com/

If at any one point you've tried looking for a character, whether to give them a gift or speak to them, then you probably understand how disappointing it can be when you can't see them anywhere. It feels like they have disappeared from existence.

To solve this issue, the NPC map locations mod will help show where the characters are on the map at all times. This means you don't have to wonder again about where they are.

4. Lookup Anything by Pathoschild

Lookup Anything by Pathoschild

Image Source: https://www.nexusmods.com/

The Lookup Anything mod by Pathoschild is a self-explanatory mod that does what its name implies it should do. For example, would you like to know how many points are left until the next heart with an NPC? Want to know the materials that an enemy can drop? This is a perfect mod for you.

To use this mos, you simply need to hover over what you would like to know more about, press F1 then the information will pop up in a window.

5. Deep Woods by Max Vollmer

Deep Woods by Max Vollmer

Image Source: https://www.nexusmods.com/

If you have experienced boredom and are looking for adventure, the Deep Woods will provide you with a procedurally generated forest to explore. Like the Skull Cavern of the vanilla game, the proc gen makes it stand out. It provides an unending forest for you to go further and further into it.

However, it is a dangerous place, so you need to be prepared to find the monsters as you're looking for ore. It is always a great idea to have a mod like this in order to keep the Stardew Valley ticking along when everyone is happy and the crops are perfectly sown.

6. Diverse Stardew Valley By Notsnuffie

Diverse Stardew Valley By Notsnuffie

Image Source: https://www.moddrop.com/

As much as you may love the characters of the Stardew Valley, there is a small diversity issue in Pelican Town. The Diverse Stardew Valley By Notsnuffie allows you to edit the Stardew's villagers to add more ethnic, body diversity, gender identity, and culture into Pelican Town. This mod will overhaul the character's profile picture and sprite and also comes with seasonal outfits for the characters.

7. Tractor Mod by Pathoschild

Tractor Mod by Pathoschild

Image Source: https://www.nexusmods.com/

The Tractor Mod by Pathoschild is not only a practical mode but is also quite amusing. When rebuilding a farm, it only makes sense to have a tractor. A tractor is more than just a fun ride since you can tune it to help with a number of aspects of the game, including sweeping away debris, harvesting resources, or planting grass seeds.

As one of the best Stardew Valley mods, this mod provides you with a cool tractor to roleplay as Kevin Bacon in Footloose and will help as much as you want it to.

8. Map Editor By Adenthorn

Map Editor By Adenthorn

Image Source: https://www.nexusmods.com/

The Map Editor mod By Adenthorn enables you to easily make edits to a map by copying and pasting a tile to another location on the map. Once you start up the map editor mode that is assigned the F10 key by default, then you can click on the existing tile before you copy and paste to your desired location.

With this mod, any changes can easily be reverted as long as you won't exit the editor mode. Furthermore, you can also play around with the custom tile changes. It really comes in handy in making the laying out of your farm a bit easier.

9. Ali's Overgrown Fairy Buildings

Ali's Overgrown Fairy Buildings

Image Source: https://www.nexusmods.com/

Although fairies are not everyone's taste, Ali's Overgrown Fairy Buildings is impressively made not to include on this list. It restructures all the farm buildings to white and pink as well as ensures that they are covered in flowers and vines.

This mod offers an amazing way to personalize your farm, and you love flowers, you may consider pairing it with Ali's flower grass that turns the long grass in the farm into vibrant flowers.

10. Anime Mod

Anime Mod

Image Source: https://www.nexusmods.com/

If you're a lover of animation, then it is most likely that this mod was created for you. In Stardew Valley, every NPC has a portrait that shows up next to the dialogue box while speaking to them. The Anime mod will change their simple and straightforward pixel art style. If you're hoping to make Elliot more marry-able, then this anime mod will help you do so.

How to Mod Stardew Valley

Before installing the mods, you are required to do a bit of setup. However, you need to note that the mods will only work on Android phones, MacOS, and PC (Windows, Linux). So, if you're on iOS or on a console like Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PS4, then you're unfortunately out of luck.

All these platforms may require a loader known as SMAPI, which you may need to download first from their official website. So, where can you download the Stardew Valley mods?

Downloading the Stardew Valley Mods

When it comes to downloading the Stardew Valley mods, there are a few places you can get to do so. However, the most popular ones include

  • Nexus Mods
  • ModDrop

Once you download your desired mods, it is now time to move them to one place. To do this, you need to drag them to a Mod folder, ensuring they are all in their individual folders in the directory, like /Stardew Valley/Mods/GiftTasteHelper.

How to Install Stardew Valley Mods

There are two main types of mods in Stardew valley;

  • Mods that need the Stardew Modding API (SMAPI) to install
  • Mods that will replace the existing XNB files in the content folder.

But first, you need to navigate to your game folder, and here’s where you can 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

So, here is how to install the mods;

1. XNB Files

Most Stardew mods will make tiny changes to the game, like reskinning assets and altering visuals. To install these, you need to replace the existing XNB mod file with a new and modified version. Once you download your XNB file, it may be named, for example, a cat.XNB.

You need to find the corresponding XNB file in the Stardew Valley content folder, as shown above. There are several subfolders that you will find in the content folder. Most of the important assets like villagers and animals will have their own folders, making it easy to find them.

For the cat.XNB file, you need to go to the Animals subfolder and replace the existing cat.XNB file with the new modded file will show up in the game once it's booted. It is recommended to keep the unmodded files backed up in case you ever want to uninstall a mod.

2. Content Patcher

A content patcher is a mod for SMAPI that enables you to download the content packs that can change the visuals or assets of the game like XNB mods without the need to alter the XNB files manually. In addition, it is a much more reliable way of installing mods instead of replacing the XNB files. This is because they can be automatically installed, updated, and uninstalled through SMAPI.

3. SMAPI

SMAPI may be required for installation in mods that make bigger changes to the game, for example, altering events. This is an open piece of software maintained by the Stardew Valley modding community. It allows for the installation of DLL files SMAPI that helps manage your files by checking when the mods got an update.

Moreover, they can also be used to rewrite any installed mods if a Stardew Valley update makes changes to any part of the game that affects the mods. Once the SMAPI is installed, all you will be required to do is to place the files in the SMAPI mod folder, and you will be good to go.

4. Stardew Valley Mod Manager

Stardew Valley Mod Manager also referred to as SDVMM, is a fantastic tool made by modder Yuuki. It comes in handy if you like to keep the mods organized and neat. It also allows you to manage SMAPI and keep track of all your mods.

This manager boasts the ability to turn mods off or on without having to delete the files. This feature comes in handy for incredibly indecisive people or has lots of different grass mods that they are hoping to try out.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Stardew Valley Mods

1. Is Stardew Valley better with mods?

Stardew Valley is still one of the best laptop games you can play on a low spec machine, even with mods. However, before jumping into the mods, it is important to note that Stardew Valley will still get updates. So, due to the lack of any official mod support, there is a chance that the mods might break or require reinstallation after the updates.

2. Are Mods safe for Stardew Valley?

Nowadays, modding any game has become pretty safe. The best thing you can do when you want to mod Stardew Valley is to backup the files somewhere, install the mods, and in case something goes wrong, you can reinstall it and have your games files safe.

3. How do I get Stardew Valley mods on Steam?

Stardew Valley lacks any Steam Workshop support, which means that getting the mods might require you to change the internal files of the game.

4. Do Stardew Valley mods work in multiplayer?

Many mods will work in multiplayer too. The instructions for the single-player are similar to the multiplayer. The Star Valley will automatically synchronize most changes to other players. This helps to eliminate the multiplayer and sync issues that players might experience.

About the author

Anton is the founder of 25pc. He is a huge gaming tech nerd and loves helping people save money. To find out more about him read his about me page.

Anton is the founder of 25pc. He is a huge gaming tech nerd and loves helping people save money. To find out more about him read his about me page.

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