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Stardew Valley patch 1.6 has arrived, and it’s huge

The latest Stardew Valley update adds a huge amount of new content to the life sim, with new festivals, new quests, and even new neighbors.

Stardew Valley‘s hotly anticipated 1.6 update has finally arrived, and it looks like it was well worth the wait. The patch adds loads of new stuff to the massively popular farming game while also overhauling lots of its core systems and cleaning up a bunch of minor bugs and errors.

There’s no way to get into detail on all of the changes to Stardew Valley in update 1.6 here, but let’s hit a few of the farming game’s top changes, starting with new content. There’s a brand new mastery system, which you’ll access through a whole new area, and through this you’ll be able to earn “powerful perks and items.” The new Desert Festival is a three-day event in the spring, which you’ll be able to participate in once you’ve gotten the bus repaired.

The patch also adds a new farm type called the Meadowlands Farm, where you’ll find a special “chewy blue grass” that’s good for grazing. You can also have multiple pets once you max out your hearts with your starter pet, and any pet that loves you will occasionally bring you gifts. These pets can now include turtles, and there are two new breeds of both dogs and cats.

Speaking of gifts, the patch also adds a bunch of new NPC dialogues, such as new custom gift reactions, dynamic reactions to in-game events, and restored cut dialogue for several characters.

There’s also a new big tree, which has a new quest line “which ultimately gives you some new neighbors.” The patch notes don’t elaborate on this, but new NPC characters are going to be a big deal for hardcore Stardew fans.

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The list of new items is dizzying: There’s a new food dehydrator, a big chest, 280 new pieces of furniture, four new crops (carrots, summer squash, broccoli, and powdermelon) and two new giant crops, four new home renovations, a bait maker for producing fish-specific baits, 19 unique books of power, 25 new hats, 41 new floor styles, 24 new wallpaper styles, a Sonar Bobber that tells you what kind of fish you have on your line… and loads more. Stardew dev ConcernedApe also says there are secret items, so the list in the patch notes is not exhaustive.

One notable new feature is a change to the way randomization is handled. Now systems using randomization will truly be randomized, rather than producing “simple repeating patterns.” This has been key for some Stardew Valley speedrunners, who could use the predictability of the old system to quickly work out where certain resources were going to spawn. They haven’t been left out in the cold, however – ConcernedApe has also added a new option to switch back to “legacy randomization” (although some patterns may still change due to the update).

It’s a truly gargantuan patch, and you can read the full patch notes either at the official Stardew Valley site or the Stardew Valley wiki. You also might want to check out our list of the latest and best Stardew Valley mods, or for a slight change of pace, have a look at our roundup of the best games like Stardew Valley.