Modding:Player Guide

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Player's guide to using mods SMAPI mascot.png


Do you want to play Stardew Valley with mods? This guide is for you!

Intro

A "mod" is just a package of files which changes Stardew Valley in some way. Mods can add features (like showing NPCs on the map), change game mechanics (like making fences decay more slowly), make cosmetic changes (like making your house look like a hobbit home), and more.

Using mods is easy! You just need to...

  1. Install SMAPI. This is the mod loader for Stardew Valley — it launches the game with mod support and lets mods interact directly with the game code. It's safely installed alongside your normal game, and you can uninstall it anytime.
  2. Unzip mods into your Mods folder.

That's about it! If you're ready to start, see Getting Started.

Frequent questions

Can I use mods on Linux, Mac, Windows, or consoles?

Mod support for each platform:

Platform Mod support
Linux ✓ fully supported
Mac ✓ fully supported
Windows ✓ fully supported
Nintendo Switch ✖ no mod support
PS4 ✖ no mod support
XBox One ✖ no mod support

Almost all mods will work on any supported platform, since SMAPI rewrites them for compatibility.

Can mods corrupt my save?

Yes, but it's extremely rare. Only a few mods affect your save file at all. If you avoid those, mods are very unlikely to corrupt your save file. In most cases, you can fix save corruption by undoing the last save.

If you're worried, just back up your save files occasionally. That's strongly recommended even if you don't use mods, since save corruption is almost always caused by the game itself. SMAPI also creates a daily backup of your saves automatically; you can retrieve those from the Mods/SaveBackup folder.

Can I stop using mods later?

Yep. With a few exceptions (see previous question), mods don't directly affect your save file so you can stop using them anytime.

Do mods disable Steam achievements?

Steam achievements work fine, as long as you launch SMAPI through Steam. Make sure you follow the install instructions to configure Steam on Windows (no Steam changes needed on Linux or Mac). If the Steam overlay works, the achievements should work too.

Do mods work in multiplayer?

Yep. Stardew Valley 1.3 is still new, so check the SMAPI compatibility list to see if the mod is compatible.

How they work depends on the mod. Usually each player can have their own mods, and you can mix modded and vanilla players. Some mods don't work (or work poorly) in multiplayer, or affect other players too. Try checking the mod description for details about multiplayer (often under a 'compatibility' header).

Here are some approximate rules for mods that don't specify:

type of mod effects summary
Content Patcher depends See Multiplayer in the Content Patcher readme (applies for XNB mods too).
Map replacements local That includes mods which replace an existing map (without adding special logic with SMAPI). These are only visible to players who install them. Players without the custom map will see the normal map and will be subject to the normal bounds (e.g. they may see other players walk through walls, but they won't be able to follow).
Visual changes local That includes custom portraits and sprites, custom farmer appearance (except GetDressed or Kisekae), recolors, etc. These mods only affect the players who installed them. Other players won't be affected. If both players have the same mods, they'll see the same visual changes though.
Time changes global That includes any mod which pauses time, changes the current time, or changes the rate of time. These mods only work when installed by the main player, but will affect all players. They will have no effect when used by farmhands.
Custom UI local That includes mods that add new icons, tooltips, and menus. These mods only affect the players who installed them. Other players won't be affected.
World changes global That includes any mods which edit things in the world — durable fences, monster stat changes, etc. These mods affect all players, no matter who installs them.
Other mods depends See the mod's description for details, or ask the author.

What is SMAPI?

SMAPI is the mod loader for Stardew Valley. It works fine with GOG and Steam achievements, it's compatible with Linux/Mac/Windows, you can uninstall it anytime, and there's a friendly community if you need help. SMAPI is required for most types of Stardew Valley mod.

SMAPI does a lot for you. For example, it will...

  1. Load mods into the game and provide APIs they can use. Many types of mod aren't possible without SMAPI.
  2. Rewrite mods for crossplatform compatibility, so you can use almost any mod on Linux/Mac/Windows.
  3. Intercept errors. If a mod crashes or causes an error, SMAPI will intercept the error, show the error details in the console window, and in most cases automatically recover the game.
  4. Provide update checks. SMAPI automatically alerts you when a new version of a mod is available.
  5. Provide compatibility checks. SMAPI automatically detects when a mod is incompatible and disables it before it causes problems.

Where are my...