Look no further if you’re one of the many people who become confused and frustrated when attempting to manually install mods for video games, specifically your favorite farming game known as Stardew Valley. The gaming world revolves around mods, content created by the community. However, most games do not directly support or have a way to manage mods, making it difficult to do so on your own.
Modding guide to get started
To ensure that mods work properly with the game files and are supported, you only need to take two small steps before downloading them. The first two steps are to install SMAPI and Content Patcher.
1. First step, installing SMAPI
After you install SMAPI from here, it will do the work for you. This is a small program that lets you load and manage mods in Stardew Valley. First, extract the downloaded SMAPI file to a location other than the game’s main folder. After that, double-click the file name for the operating system you’re using.
The rest will be done for you by a small, black square window that will appear. It will direct you to the location of your future mods within the game’s folder. SMAPI will check for out-of-date mods whenever you run Stardew Valley. After you’ve configured SMAPI, you’ll need to direct Steam to the correct application when it boots up. Inside the game folder, SMAPI creates a “StardewModdingAPI” file. You can either directly click this within the game folder to load up modded Stardew Valley, or you can redirect Steam’s game launch to that file, so that when you press play in Steam, the modded version is opened.
To find the modded Stardew Valley application:
- This PC > Local Disk (C:) > Program Files (x84) > Steam > steamapps > common > Stardew Valley > StardewModdingAPI
To redirect Steam to the modded version:
- Right-click the Stardew Valley game in your library
- Click Properties
- In the General tab at the very bottom will be “Launch Options” with a text box. You must enter the designated location of the API file into here word for word.
- Type this into the text box, including the quotations and percentages:
“C:\program files (x86)\steam\steamapps\common\Stardew Valley\StardewModdingAPI.exe” %command%
2. Installing Content Patcher
After successfully installing SMAPI, you’ll want to download Content Patcher here. This is what will allow your mods to function properly within the game and not break anything.
When you install the zip file, you should move it to your Stardew Valley folder’s Mods folder and then extract it inside the Mods folder. The simplest way to get the file there is to move the window that is open in your Downloads folder, or wherever you downloaded the zip folder, to one side of the screen. Then, on the other side, open a new file window with your Mods folder open. Drag the Content Patcher zip folder into the Mods window from there. You’re done once the zip folder is extracted into the Mods folder!
To get to the Mods folder:
- (C) > Program Files (x84) > Steam > steamapps > common > Stardew Valley > Mods
3. Finding Your Files
Now that those two steps have been completed, all that remains is for you to extract any mod files you desire into your Mods folder and then launch the game as usual.
When you find a mod you like that is compatible with SMAPI and Content Patcher, simply unzip it into your Mods folder and extract it there. All mods should be loaded when you launch Stardew Valley. Remember to either open it by double-clicking the StardewModdingAPI application in the Stardew Valley folder, or by redirecting Steam to the application, which will open the mods for you.
Error messages – STARDEW VALLEY MODS NOT WORKING
1. “missing executable” (Steam only)
Steam can’t find the game launcher, usually because your Steam launch options are incorrect. Common fixes:
If you want to use SMAPI:
make sure it’s installed and your launch options are correct (see install guide)
If you’re uninstalling SMAPI:
1. In Steam, right-click Stardew Valley and choose Properties.
2. Click the Set Launch Options button.
3. Make sure the textbox is completely empty.
2. “Could not load file or assembly”
If the ‘file or assembly’ starts with Microsoft or System (like “FileNotFoundException: Could not load file or assembly ‘System.[…]’ or one of its dependencies“) OR you get something like “The library ‘[…].dll’ required to execute the application is not found in ‘C:\Program Files\dotnet`” (often this is hostpolicy.dll), something is wrong with the core frameworks used by the game.
– Reset the content files
– If that doesn’t work, uninstall Stardew Valley (and fully delete your game folder) and then reinstall it.
– Check to make sure you don’t accidentally have two copies of the game.
(Stardew now comes packaged with the dependencies needed to run, so you shouldn’t need to install them yourself.)
You may also see an error like this if you installed SMAPI manually (by renaming the .bat to a .zip and moving files yourself). Try reinstalling SMAPI using the installer if that is the case.
3. OutOfMemoryException errors (Windows only)
Your log shows OutOfMemoryException errors in the console, and the game may severely lag or crash. That means your game ran out of available memory mid-session.
Some common fixes:
– Make sure you have the latest Stardew Valley 1.5.6, which is 64-bit and doesn’t have the 32-bit limitations of older versions.
– If you still get the error, you might need to remove content mods you don’t need (particularly content packs for Custom Music or TMXL Map Toolkit, which can use a lot of memory).
4. SMAPI takes forever to load! (Select Mode)
Make sure you’re not in Select Mode (noted by the word “Select” top left corner of the SMAPI Window.) This mode pauses loading so you can see what the console says, and you can enter it by selecting any text on the SMAPI console.
**To Fix**: Just click on the console and hit enter a few times to get out of it.
Best Stardew Valley mods
1. Stardew Valley Expanded
Stardew Valley Expanded is one of the most popular Stardew mods available, and it truly feels like a proper Stardew Valley expansion. It introduces a slew of new characters, each with their own backstory and set of events. It includes new farm maps as well as a slew of new in-game locations. Those are only the major changes. SDVE also includes a slew of minor tweaks, and if there’s one mod worth reinstalling Stardew for, it’s this one.
The Automate mod, which reminds me of complicated redstone machinery in Minecraft, is a huge boon to farm productivity. You can pair chests with machines that automatically pull raw materials from a connected chest and push the output back into the same chest using Automate. Smarter people than me will be able to chain together complex interactions that will save you from running around your farm all day filling up machines.
3. Tractor Mod
Farmers of today, rejoice! It is no longer necessary to submit to ancient farming techniques when escaping to the countryside. The Tractor Mod enables you to purchase a tractor that performs the same functions as many of your basic farm tools, but at a faster rate. It can do everything from tilling dirt to breaking rocks to planting seeds from the comfort of a comfortable seat.
4. Stardew Valley Anime Mod
For good reason, Stardew Anime Mod is one of the most popular portrait mods for Stardew. Its detailed and brightly colored pixel work complements vanilla Stardew Valley perfectly. Unfortunately, it only includes portraits of Stardew Valley’s young women, so the bachelors will all appear a little less sparkly in comparison.
5. Always Raining In The Valley
Always Raining Mod brings Sterling, Mia, and Henry, as well as 13+ new recipes, events, and over 1000 lines of conversation, are included in this heartwarming Custom NPC micro expansion. The valley does not get any further rain. For the sake of East Scarp!
6. Lunna Astray in Stardew Valley
The main focus of this Lunna Astray mod is Lunna, a girl with a secret past and claims to not come originally from our land but instead from a place called Umuwi. She is also under the care and supervision of M. Rasmodius the Wizard! Lunna Astray mods get some answers concerning her mysterious through sentiment occasions all spread out to pass on a story with which one can be inundated!
7. Stardew Valley Save Editor
This save editor is a separate tool, not a mod, that allows you to change specific variables in your save file without having to dig around in a text editor. Sure, you can use it to add money and power to your game, but it also allows you to do more difficult things. The save editor can be used to cheat your way through the game, but it can also be used to subtly adjust variables that you wouldn’t be able to control otherwise, making it a useful tool even for those of us who don’t use any mods at all.
8. Skull Cavern Elevator
The Skull Cavern now has an elevator, just like the normal mine, is updated every 5th Floor by default. It should be noted that the elevator is always placed to the right of the ladder. This Skull Cavern Elevator version adds a cost per elevatorStep configuration as an option. This means you can now be charged (money) for using the elevator based on the “ElevatorCostPerStep” field. If you enter a value greater than zero, the cost will be displayed in the menu.
9. Deep Woods Stardew Valley
The secret woods now have an explorable forest. How far does it delve? Try on Deep Woods mod. It’s a mod that adds to the game an explorable, procedurally generated forest. In a nutshell, something akin to mines, but with wood as the primary regrowing resource rather than stones. DeepWoods is the name I gave it because it is large and full of things to discover.
10. Gift Taste Helper
With Gift Taste Helper, when you mouse over an NPC’s birthday on the calendar or the social page, a helpful tooltip appears that reveals their favorite presents. When you mouse over an NPC’s birthday on the calendar, this mod displays an useful tooltip that indicates their favorite presents. This applies to both the calendar furniture piece that you may have in your home and the calendar on the town billboard.
Visit Stardew Valley Wiki for more information:
More recommened PC game mods below: