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'Stardew Valley' Multiplayer: The Beginning of a Beautiful Adventure

Love 'Stardew Valley?' Now you can play with your friends.

This is a screenshot from my personal multiplayer farm. Each little character has been custom made by a friend of mine (I'm the girl with dark hair).

Stardew Valley is one of the hottest casual farming games for PC. Welcome to Pelican Town, an idyllic place settled in lush Stardew Valley. You've inherited a farm from your late grandfather, and can participate in all facets of country life: planting crops, raising animals, fishing, mining, and developing relationships with the townsfolk. The game was released in 2016 and has received critical praise. But there's more: the developer, ConcernedApe, has just released a public beta for Stardew Valley's multiplayer mode!

I love Stardew Valley; it's preciously cute, and there's endless stuff to do and experience in the game. Now, I'm excited to discover all of what the multiplayer mode adds to the game.

I set up a multiplayer farm with some close friends of mine, and we played for a good couple of hours. Here are some tips and things that we've noticed about the new part of the game.

A Farm All Our Own

The living arrangements unfold like this: whoever hosts the server—in this case, it was me—lives in the house that a player would occupy while playing solo, and each player who joins the server is given a little cabin on the property. We selected the option to have these cabins spread out on the property, but they can also be placed close together if desired. These cabins can be decorated just like the farmhouse, so everyone gets their own personal space. The placement of crops and farm buildings are up to you, so set up your farm however you like! We've opted to each plant our own crops in front of our houses, but you could easily designate a space and farm communally if it suited you.

As for the basic workings of the game, we've noticed some things. Our money is shared, meaning that we can each do our part to make income, but we need to agree on purchases like farm buildings and upgrades. We also share the mailbox, but each of us gets the same mail for the most part, so it's not a huge deal. Collections like the community center and the museum are shared, as well. With the museum, we each get our own rewards—for example, we earned the chicken statue, and we each got our own. However, rewards from the community center are only given once and are granted to whoever collects them.

We've been finding that we're pretty independent of one another—while one of us goes to the mines, another can fish, while another forages and tends crops. That's probably the best part so far. We can all do as we like without getting in each other's way. The most problematic thing for us right now are upgrades, particularly to the backpacks. These must be purchased for each player, but because our income is shared, it's taking us forever to get everyone an upgraded inventory.

How to Set Up Your Own Co-Op Farm

This mode is still in beta, but it's public, so I strongly encourage you to go out and play! It's only available to Steam users right now, but other platforms will be added soon. Here's how to set it up:

1. Go into your Steam library and right-click on Stardew Valley in the title list. Select 'Properties' and click the 'Betas' tab.

2. Make sure that you have beta content enabled. Enter the beta code 'jumpingjunimos' and click 'Check Code' to enable the multiplayer beta.

3. HOST: Open the game and click the 'Co-Op' option in the main menu. Select the 'Host' tab to set up a new server. Create your character, name the farm, and start the game to create the server. Then, enter your settings menu and click 'Show Invite Code' to get the code for people to join your server.

OTHER PLAYERS: Open the game and click the 'Co-Op' option in the main menu. In the 'Join' tab, click the 'Enter Invite Code' button and enter the code provided by the host. Create your character and enter the game!

There are also options to invite players directly in Steam, or to create a LAN game, but this is how we set up our server. Please note that the host MUST be in-game for others to join and play, and that the invite code changes each session. If the host logs out and logs back in, the code will be different.

I hope you enjoy the Stardew Valley multiplayer mode! I might publish updates as my own game progresses, but for now, have fun!

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