Stardew Valley multiplayer mod lets you play online co-op right now

It's not perfect, but it really does work.

One of the most exciting features of Stardew Valley when it was first announced was the prospect of co-op. While it sounds like official multiplayer support is still a little ways off, modder spacechase0 has made a shockingly easy to install mod called 'Makeshift Multiplayer' that does exactly what you'd hope...if in a slightly ramshackle way.

The mode allows you and your friends to join a single game of Stardew Valley to play together online, and it actually works. You share a wallet, relationship progress, and a few other things, but you have separate inventories, skills, and even different farmhouse interiors on the other side of the same same door. The mod isn’t perfect and there are a fair number of bugs, but it could definitely scratch the itch of wanting to play Stardew Valley co-op before it’s officially added to the game. 

The instructions below may look intimidating, but it’s actually surprisingly simple to get working—especially considering the mod is adding networking to a game that previously had no online functions whatsoever. Plus, it’s a great way to get introduced to other amazing Stardew Valley mods

How to play Stardew Valley multiplayer:

All players will need to install both the mod and the Stardew Modding API (SMAPI). Additionally, you will either need to be connected by LAN or the host will have to make sure they’ve forwarded port 24644 on their router before anyone online can connect. 

  • Step 1: Download SMAPI, unzip the folder and place its contents in your root Stardew Valley install folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\ common\Stardew Valley by default) next to the game’s normal exe.
  • Step 2: Download the Makeshift Multiplayer mod, unzip the folder and place its contents in the “Mods” folder that came from the SMAPI zip.
  • Step 3: Launch the game from “StardewModdingAPI.exe. You will still be able to play the unmodded version by launching the game regularly.
  • Step 4: For the host, make a new character or load the game you’d like to play in, then select “Yes” and “OK” on the two pop-up windows that appear and wait. Note: The game will look like it has crashed, but it hasn’t. Patience.
  • Step 5: For all other players, wait until the host has done the above step, then make a new character or load the one you’d like to use. Select “No” on the first pop-up window, enter the host’s IP address and select “OK” on the second, and finally select “OK” on the third.
  • Step 6: The host should now see a pop-up saying a player has connected. If you need to add more players, hit “No” and have the others connect. When everyone is connected, hit “Yes” and you’ll load into the game!

If you are having issues, you can check the 'Posts' section of the Nexus Mods page here to see if others might be encountering the same thing.

There are definitely bugs and problems you should be aware of. Other players will get stuck in an awkward run animation frequently, we had trouble planting seeds in the ground from client characters, and when one of you gets pulled into a cutscene the other person can still run around like normal. Additionally, don’t expect holiday events to behave correctly with multiple player characters, so it might be best to play through those days alone and then have the other players rejoin you after. 

Another big one: time is only linked to the host player. It pauses when they are indoors or in a menu, but keeps on ticking even if others are paused, so you’ll probably want to coordinate to make the most of each day. You could even intentionally keep the host paused while the other players get some extra work done, but where’s the fun in that? And remember, you all have to make it to bed to end a day—don’t let that one party animal in your group make you all stay up until 2 am. 

Even in this rough state, Stardew Valley co-op is pretty fun and gets me excited for the real deal. The mod’s creator is aware of some of the bugs above already, and you can report more here on its Nexus Mods page, but spacechase0 has stated clearly that they “may ignore some minor bugs/discrepancies” as Makeshift Multiplayer is only meant to be a temporary mod until official multiplayer support arrives. When we spoke to Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone recently about the upcoming 1.1 update, he mentioned that multiplayer would arrive "hopefully early next year" but that there was no guarantee, so this mod will have to tide us over in the meantime. 

If you're new to the game, be sure to check out our essential Stardew Valley tips. And if you're experienced looking to shake things up, learn how to transform your farm into a moneymaking winery.


Tom is PC Gamer’s Associate Editor. He enjoys platformers, puzzles and puzzle-platformers. He also enjoys talking about PC games, which he now no longer does alone. Tune in every Wednesday at 1pm Pacific on to see Tom host The PC Gamer Show.
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