Stardew Valley's 1.5 update was a very big deal when it arrived on PC at the end of 2020. More than just a conventional update, it was "the full-on expansion I've always wanted (opens in new tab)," our in-house Stardew farmer Lauren Morton said, with a whole new beach farm, an array of new customization options, and the biggest surprise of all, an entirely new explorable area called Ginger Island. Now, more than two years later, that update has finally come to the mobile versions of the game.
"The mobile 1.5 update has been submitted for iOS and Android, and will start rolling out to users over the next few days," Stardew Valley solo developer Eric Barone tweeted (opens in new tab) in the wee hours of January 7. "The update should already be available to some on Android."
Unfortunately, the release of the 1.5 update on mobile hasn't gone entirely smoothly. Shortly after it went, users began reporting issues of various sorts, including an overly small UI, problems with the toolbar, and most importantly, crash issues. A patch (opens in new tab) to fix the major problems was submitted shortly after the 1.5 update itself.
Despite the trouble, Barone took pains to reassure everyone that the situation was not permanent.
Barone clearly has his hands full addressing problems with Stardew Valley 1.5 on mobile, but it's a testament to his relationship with players that even though his Twitter feed is filled with problems and requests for help, everyone involved seems friendly, understanding, and patient: There's not a rude demand or death threat anywhere in sight. Barone said the next full patch for Stardew Valley 1.5 on mobile should be out on January 10, but some problems, such as the tiny UI issues, will take longer to fix as he said he has to "prioritize game breaking bugs and crashes (opens in new tab)."
Speaking of priorities, there may be some hope that the launch of the 1.5 update for mobile platforms might finally give Barone an opportunity to shift his focus to his new project, Haunted Chocolatier (opens in new tab). And it might! But it also might not. Barone said in November 2022 that the 1.5 update was not the end of the story (opens in new tab) for Stardew Valley, and it looks like that's going to be the case for the mobile version too.
One advantage to this new re-write of the app is that it should be a lot easier to update mobile in the future (for 1.6 and who knows... ).January 7, 2023
"1.5 mobile is, to some degree, a completely new rewrite of the mobile app," Barone tweeted shortly after the update was submitted for approval. "This was necessary for a few reasons, but means that there could be some new bugs.
"One advantage to this new re-write of the app is that it should be a lot easier to update mobile in the future (for 1.6 and who knows... )"
Barone confirmed in a later tweet that there are "no plans (opens in new tab)" for multiplayer on mobile, but I wouldn't count it out completely: I suspect he's going to be working on Stardew Valley, on all platforms, for a long while yet.