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This hardcore Stardew Valley mod creates a more realistic farming experience

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Become a formidable farmer with these Stardew Valley guides

(Image credit: Eric Barone)

Stardew Valley mods (opens in new tab): The best agricultural tweaks
Stardew Valley multiplayer (opens in new tab): Farm with friends
Stardew Valley tips (opens in new tab): Become a farming master
Stardew valley endgame (opens in new tab): What to do
Stardew Valley Sebastian (opens in new tab): Schedule, gifts, and heart events
Stardew Valley Leah (opens in new tab): Schedule, gifts, and heart events
Stardew Valley secret notes (opens in new tab): How to read them

The breezy farming sim Stardew Valley (opens in new tab) is laid-back in its nature. Running a farm and earning a profit is relatively easy, and further fulfils the fantasy of leaving our responsibilities behind and escaping to a more relaxing life. However, modder Juanpa98ar wanted to create a "more difficult and realistic experience" of farming life, and so has created Hardew Valley (opens in new tab)—a mod that changes the cutesy farming sim to labour intensive grind. 

It might seem counterintuitive to the game's core, but Stardew Valley fans have always found ways to make the game more challenging. (opens in new tab) Players have created their own sets of rules to follow, like Wafflebro's 5th Candle Challenge (opens in new tab), and there are hardcore mods that crank the enemy damage up 200 percent (opens in new tab).

But Juanpa98ar's Hardew Valley mod raises Stardew Valley's challenge in other ways, specifically by focusing on modes of production. Crops sell for less, more materials are needed to craft, and the amount of resources to build the community centre has increased. 

Specifically, the mod introduces a decrease in the monetary value of goods, meaning that anything gained from animals, foraging or produce has been reduced more than three times in value. Materials needed to craft items has increased, and rare item drops are even rarer. Robin's buildings are now double their original cost, and bundles that are needed to rebuild the community centre include more objects. On top of all that, enemies have double the health and there's a greater range to the random damage inflicted on enemies, making fights more unpredictable. 

This is definitely a challenging mod—one that adds a little more structure for those who are following their own set rules. Check out Hardew Valley's page on Nexus mods (opens in new tab) for information on how to download it. 

If you would rather make playing Stardew Valley easier, check out our handy hints. We have guides to finding all the secret notes (opens in new tab), the best layouts for sprinklers (opens in new tab), and an overall guide (opens in new tab) on becoming a formidable farmer.  

Rachel Watts
Rachel Watts

Rachel had been bouncing around different gaming websites as a freelancer and staff writer for three years before settling at PC Gamer back in 2019. She mainly writes reviews, previews, and features, but on rare occasions will switch it up with news and guides. When she's not taking hundreds of screenshots of the latest indie darling, you can find her nurturing her parsnip empire in Stardew Valley and planning an axolotl uprising in Minecraft. She loves 'stop and smell the roses' games—her proudest gaming moment being the one time she kept her virtual potted plants alive for over a year.