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How to find all the secret notes in Stardew Valley

how to read stardew valley secret notes
(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

Stardew Valley secret notes are collectable items that contain rare or useful information about Pelican Town and its cosy community. They can be in the form of diary entries, treasure maps, cryptic messages, or even reveal the locations of rare items and abilities.  

There are 25 secret notes in Stardew Valley in total and many of them can be found just by doing your daily tasks. But, before you start hunting for them you'll need to get a magnifying glass. Here's how to do that so you can start poring over some hidden scribblings.

How to get the magnifying glass in Stardew Valley

This item is part of the 'A Winter Mystery' quest that's triggered after the player enters the bus stop from the farm between 6am and 4pm during winter. During the cutscene, you'll see a shadow monster scuttle away to the town centre. 

Follow the shadow creature into town and you'll see some footprints in the snow that lead to a bush in the playground. Shake the bush and the creature will spring out. Introducing themselves as Krobus, they give you the magnifying glass and run away. Now you can read secret notes.

Where to find Stardew Valley secret notes

Secret notes spawns are triggered after you perform certain actions. You can find them by digging up weeds, killing monsters in the mines, chopping down trees, fishing, breaking stone, digging up artefact spots, and from growing giant crops.

Picking up a note will send it to your inventory. Go into your bag and click on the note (the same way you would use an item) to read what it says. Then it will automatically be added to your secret note collectables tab to which you can return to read it again whenever you like. 

Secret notes can be divided into two categories, the first are notes 1-9 that act as information about different villager's likes and dislikes and don't ask the player to do anything specific. The second batch (notes 10-25) involve a task or challenge that you can do to get a reward. You cannot find the secret items and rewards without first finding the note. For example, the gold statue of Mayor Lewis will not be possible to find unless you have found the corresponding secret note. 

Here are all the secret notes, what they say, and how to complete their quests:

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1. Abigail's diary entry

"It’s a page from Abigail’s Diary. Things I love: the smell of carved pumpkin, keeping an amethyst under my pillow, chocolate cake, the thrill of spicy eel, and the comfort of Mom’s blackberry cobbler (I like to eat!)"

This note tells you Abigail's favourite gifts.

2. Sam's shopping list

"It’s Sam’s holiday shopping list. ‘Everyone’s favourites:

  • Sebastian: Frozen Tear, Sashimi
  • Penny: Emerald, Poppy
  • Vincent: Grape, Cranberry Candy
  • Mom: Crispy Bass, Pancakes
  • Dad: Risotto, Roasted Hazelnuts
  • Me: Cactus, Maple Bar, Pizza."

Sam's helpful shopping list tell us the gifts that certain residents like.

3. Leah's perfect dinner

"It’s written in Leah’s handwriting: ‘My idea of a perfect dinner would be salad, goat cheese, truffle, and wine. For dessert I’d need a poppyseed muffin. Yum! If someone gave me one of these things, I’d melt.

This note tells us what Leah likes.

4. Maru's invention part list

"It’s a note of Maru’s. Parts still needed for my greatest invention yet!: Gold Bar, Iridium Bar, Battery Pack, Diamond, Strawberries”

This tells us what Maru likes.

5. Penny's gift list

"It’s Penny’s handwriting. I want to get everyone something they love!:

  • Mom: Parsnip, Glazed Yams, NO BEER!
  • Jas: Fairy Rose, Plum Pudding
  • Vincent: Pink Cake
  • Mr. Mullner: Leek, Fried Mushroom
  • Granny Mullner: Beet, Tulip”

This tells us what certain residents love.

(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

6. Stardrop special orders

"Stardrop Saloon Special Orders:

  • Mayor Lewis: Autumn’s Bounty (Double order of high-fiber bread on the side)
  • Marnie: Pumpkin Pie (extra whipped cream)
  • Demetrius: Bean Hotpot (Make it spicy)
  • Caroline: Fish Taco (she wants triple the sauce! Better throw in a few extra napkins…)”

This lets us know Mayor Lewis, Marnie, Demetrius, and Caroline's likes. 

7. Diary page

"It’s a page from someone’s diary… There are only a few ‘older’ bachelors in town, and none of them are perfect! Harvey is really anxious and weak, but I know he would make a loyal and devoted husband. He likes coffee and pickles. Elliott is a bit foppish and melodramatic, but he does have a nice chin. He likes crab cakes and pomegranates. Shane is messy and anti-social. But I think his gruff exterior is a defense mechanism, insulating his softness from the world. He likes, Beer, Pizza, and Pepper Poppers."

This note lists Harvey, Elliot and Shane's liked gifts.

8. A letter from Haley and Emily's parents

"To Haley and Emily. Hope you two are doing well! We’ve sent you your favorite gifts: Pink Cake and Sunflowers for Haley, Gemstones and Wool for Emily! – Love Mom and Dad"

These are the gifts Haley and Emily like.

9. Alex's training diet

"Alex’s Strength Training Diet: Complete Breakfast, Salmon Dinner. (I’ve learned to love this food… I can feel the protein!)"

Now we know that Alex likes a Complete Breakfast and Salmon Dinner.

(Image credit: Concerned Ape)

10. Skull Cavern

"Someone is waiting for you on level 100 in the Skull Cavern…"

This unlocks the Cryptic Note quest. If you reach level 100 Skull Cavern you'll be greeted by a character called Master Qi. Impressed by your completion of the cavern he'll give you some Snake Milk—after drinking it your health is permanently increased by 25.

11. An old photograph

This note is an old picture of Marnie and Jaas.

12. Garbage tips

"I've found some good things by looking in the garbage cans, on lucky days. Sometimes you'll find the 'dish of the day' behind the saloon...usually fresh! For dessert, I'll check the Mullners' can for cookies. For treasures, check the cans by the blacksmith and museum."

These garbage diving tips are from Linus, helping your discover new items in the bins of Pelican Town's residents. 

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13. Junimo plush location

"12 o'clock noon SHARP. Last day of the season. Check the bush above the playground."

Head to the bush above the playground at 12pm on the last day of your current season to receive a hidden Junimo plush toy.

14. Stone Junimo location

"I hid something behind the community center."

Head to the back of the community centre at any point during the day to receive the Stone Junimo garden art. Its towards the right ride of the centre and you'll need to click around until the text pops. 

15. Mermaid show puzzle solution

"Mermaid Show: 1-5-4-2-3"

This number combination refers to the Mermaid Show puzzle at the Night Market. Head there, wait until the show ends, and select the shells sequence that the note says. If you select them in the right order you'll receive a pearl from the mermaid.

(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

16. Treasure map 1

This note reveals the location of some buried treasure. Head behind the hot springs, past the train track and to the top left of the map next to the stone wall in the corner. Dig in this spot and you'll receive a Treasure Chest which you can sell for 5,000g. 

17. Treasure map 2

Head to the river next to the community centre and up the right side of the river bank all the way to the very top. Dig next to the big boulder and you'll get a Strange Doll artifact which can be donated to the museum. 

18. Treasure map 3

Another treasure map! This one is located in the Calico Desert. Make your way to the desert and go to the bench in the lower-east corner and dig around the left side of the bend to receive a Strange Doll artifact (there are multiple). You can donate this to the museum to add to your collection. 

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19. Follow the directions 1

This note is a little tricky. It shows a set of green arrows pointing to a secret item. You need to move in the direction until you hit an obstacle and then move in the direction of the next arrow in the sequence. Starting at Sam's house, the directions take you to the Solid Gold Lewis Statue behind Mayor Lewis' house. 

The directions are: Left - Up - Right - Up - Right - Down - Left - Down - Left - Down - Done!

Additional Secret!

Placing the statue anywhere in Pelican Town will result in an extra secret. If the statue is not destroyed by any villagers walking through it, the next day it will be replaced with a rotten plant accompanied by a 750g and a note saying: 

"In the future, I'd appreciate it very much if you refrain from placing my PRIVATE belongings in the town for all to see! I'm very displeased! Take this money and never speak of my 'project' to anyone." 

The statue will then appear in Lewis' bedroom where the player can remove it and place it again in the town, only for the cycle to begin again (without the note and money). 

20. Follow directions 2

These directions start from the town square in the middle of the brick circle. Following them takes you to the truck beside the Joja Mart. Click on the driver's side door (to the right) and you'll start a conversation with the truck driver. The driver will ask you for a Lucky Rabbit's Foot, give one to him and you'll get a Social Charm that increases your base luck. 

The directions are: Right - Down - Right - Up - Right - Up - Right - Down -Left - Up - Left - Up - Right - Up - Left - Up - Left - Done!

(Image credit: Concerned Ape)

21. A not-so-secret meeting

This note is a crudely drawn picture showing another location of a secret treasure. Its has a clock that reads 12:40 am, a moon, and an arrow pointing at a bush. If you shake the bush next to the bridge that leads to the beach at 12:40am, Marnie and the Mayor will burst out of the bush and run away! This awkward run-in fleshes out their romance. 

22. Mister Qi quest

"Greetings, [farmer name]... Have you found my 'secret' in the dark tunnel? I look forward to meeting you! - Qi"

This is part of Mister Qi's questline. Go to the bus stop and then head west to the tunnel entrance and go inside. Around halfway through there's a box on the wall and you'll need to place a battery pack into the box on the wall to start the quest.

23. A maple syrup request

"If yoo can reed dis..come to seecrit wuds. Pleez bring may-pal serrup." / "If you can read this... come to secret woods. Please bring maple syrup."

Make your way to the Secret Woods between 6am and 7pm with some maple syrup and you'll meet a friendly bear. This cuddly chap gives you Bear's Knowledge which trebles the sale price of Blackberries and Salmon berries.

24. M. Jasper's book page

"It’s a page from M. Jasper’s book: …the creatures, known by some as 'Forest Spirits' or 'Junimos', are said to appear in abandoned buildings after they’ve “gone to seed”. As a general rule… when humans leave, and nature begins to reclaim her territory, the Junimos will undoubtedly appear. Folk wisdom holds that the Junimos display some kind of resonant affinity with gemstones that are placed inside their little huts… Of course, all these claims come from dubious, unverified sources…As far as I know, even the mere existence of these creatures has never been proven!"

This information lets you know that placing an gem in the Junimo Hut will change the colour of the Junimos that harvest crops. 

25. Abigail's note

"I 'borrowed' a necklace from Mom, but lost it somewhere near the bath house...She's going to freak out is she notices it's missing."

To find the lost necklace you'll need to fish outside the Spa during spring, summer, or fall to find the Ornate Necklace. Give it to Abigail and receive 100 friendship points with her.