ConcernedApe’s Stardew Valley allows you to create your own farm, explore caves, and mingle with non-playable characters (NPCs) in a nearby town. At the moment, the entire game is a solo journey, but sometime next year friends can join in on the fun with the addition of multiplayer functionality.
When the update comes out, you and three other players can work together to create a farm. At the beginning of the game, an NPC named Robin will offer to build up to three cabins on your farm to house your friends, aka farmhands. Just like you, your farmhands have the ability to work on the farm, travel to lakes or the beach to gather fish, or even marry one of the many NPCs in the town. As the “host” player, you can dictate multiple game-wide events such as the start and end times for festivals or when to sleep in the evening.
The developers further indicated that a server setup isn’t required to play multiplayer. Instead, your friends can easily join through invitations via Steam. The studio is still working on how to implement the same type of invite system on the console versions of Stardew Valley. It’s important to note that in order for your friends to play with you, they need their own copy of Stardew Valley. Local, split-screen, and player-versus-player gameplay is “not planned at this point.”
The development team just finished a significant hurdle of the feature, which is the issue of synchronizing multiple online sessions by rewriting 15,000 lines of code and reconfiguring almost every source file. The next step is to add the farmhand cabins, player-specific UI and menus, and multiple NPC relationships for each player. A beta test on Steam will start sometime near the end of the year, with the final version launching at patch v.1.3 for the Windows, Mac, and Linux variants. The patch will then come soon after for the consoles, starting with the Nintendo Switch, (although the Switch version of the game is not yet available), but it will take some time before the feature is fully available across all platforms.
|Type||Farming, Exploration, Adventure|
|Publisher||Chucklefish (Windows, Mac, Linux, Nintendo Switch)505 Games (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)|
|Platforms||Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch|
|Where To Buy||SteamGOG (opens in new tab)PlayStation StoreXbox Store (opens in new tab)Nintendo StoreAmazon (opens in new tab)Best Buy (opens in new tab)Target (opens in new tab)Walmart (opens in new tab)GameStop (opens in new tab)|
|Release Date||February 26, 2016 (Windows)July 29, 2016 (Mac, Linux)December 14, 2016 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)2017 (Nintendo Switch)|