Update, April 30: Stardew Valley's multiplayer update is now in public beta.
Been waiting for Stardew Valley multiplayer? You can play it right now. After some time in internal testing, the multiplayer beta is now open to all players on Steam, providing the full suite of options ahead of the new update’s full release. But do mind the (potential) bugs along the way.
Find out more about what's coming to Stardew Valley in update 1.3.
You can opt in to the beta 1.3 update by opening the game properties on Steam, hitting the betas tab, and inputting the code “jumpingjunimos.” That will force the game the to pull down the update and let you start farming with your pals. The beta will also go out to GOG users in a few days.
Fair warning: back up your saves before downloading. This is a beta, and the developers warn any number of bugs may pop up along the way. But hey, here’s a fun side of that note, as you can load up old saves in 1.3 and host multiplayer games with them. That means you won’t have to start a whole new game to get your cooperative farming on.
Up to three players can join your home farm, though you’ll need to build a (relatively cheap) cabin for each to stay in. You can invite people and join games either through the in-game menu, usual friends list options, or invite codes which will allow cross-play between Steam and GOG. You can check out full details on how it all works at the official site.
1.3 also brings some new single-player content, though you’re on your own in finding it right now. More details on that “will be shared at a later date.” We do know there are horse hats, though.
Update, April 10: Stardew Valley’s multiplayer is closer than ever before.
A multiplayer update for Harvest Moon-alike Stardew Valley has been in the cooker for a very long time, but it seems we’re finally closing in on that day. Creator Eric Barone published an update to Twitter today, saying that the update “should be ready in about a month.”
Update on Stardew Valley multiplayer: still making good progress on fixing bugs, if all goes well it should be ready in about a month
— ConcernedApe (@ConcernedApe) April 10, 2018
We learned a few months ago that there would be a public beta for the multiplayer, and it seems that’s what the Tweet is referring to. Barone did follow up to say that the update would head first to PC, then Switch, then the other console platforms.
Original story, February 15: We are creeping ever closer to Stardew Valley's 1.3 update, the patch that will see a heap of new content added to the farm-life simulator, including the long-awaited multiplayer mode.
Unfortunately, we don't actually know when that update will launch but thanks to an update post by creator Eric 'ConcernedApe' Barone we now know multiplayer mode is entering quality assurance phase, with a beta expected in spring.
In a Stardew Valley development blog, Barone revealed the multiplayer update is coming along nicely, with it currently being on track for a springtime release date - just in time for the Egg Festival.
"Work on the new features is done, and we’ve sent all the new text off to be translated into the different languages," Barone explains. "Meanwhile, we are working on bug fixes. Once we’ve received the translated text and integrated it back into the game, we’ll begin a serious QA phase involving thorough testing of all new features in both multiplayer and single player contexts. When that is finished, the update should be ready for a public beta. I am still shooting for a spring release for the beta."
Barone also gave us a sneaky peek of the new signs in action - a feature players have wanted for some time to help organise chests, buildings, and crop fields. There's nothing worse than putting honey into your fish chest, after all.
In the spirit of cooperation, Barone also revealed he's been working on the multiplayer update alongside Chucklefish's Tom Coxon, despite creating Stardew Valley by himself (including the music).
Barone finished the post by calling the upcoming update a "game-changer" and assuring players he will continue to keep us updated.
Top image credit: ConcernedApe