The beloved life simulator role-playing game Stardew Valley has attained immense popularity due to its charming aesthetics, relaxing setting, and compelling mix of farming and other life activities included in its open-ended premise. In the game, players assume the role of a character who takes over their deceased grandfather’s farm. The farm is based in the eponymous Stardew Valley. Once at the farm, the player has the opportunity to befriend locals, engage in farming activities (e.g. growing plants and other crops, taking care of livestock, selling produce), and even begin a family. Fans and critics enjoyed the game so much when it was first released that it even went on to win the “Breakthrough Award” at the Golden Joystick Awards in 2016.
It was recently reported that, as of 2020, Stardew Valley has sold over 10 million units across all its available platforms (PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Android, iOS) since its initial release in 2016. This game has a dedicated following, and it is available on many platforms. But has this charming simulator finally enabled cross-platform technology to allow crossplay? We at Nerds & Scoundrels will be breaking down this question here!
Is Stardew Valley Cross Platform? Unfortunately not.
The short answer to the question “Is Stardew Valley cross-platform” is “no.” However, there’s more to it than just that.
When Stardew Valley was first released in February 2016, it was limited to single-player play. Along the same lines as games like Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon, players could only experience their new virtual lives on their own, interacting solely with NPC’s in the game. They were able to enjoy a variety of solo activities. Unfortunately, they couldn’t invite their friends or meet other farmers in the game.
Stardew Valley was created and developed by a man by the name of Eric Barone, who may be more well known by his online handle “ConcernedApe.” Even after the game was released, Barone took fans and critics’ feedback into consideration and began planning patches and updates to try and implement some of the features that were being requested. One popular request was the inclusion of some form of multiplayer mode.
In August 2018, Stardew Valley released an update that allowed the formerly single-player game to be enjoyed by up to four gamers at once. This multiplayer mode was first introduced in a closed beta, but since the update has been available for all players. All three friends can live together in their own personal cabin as well as enjoy farming activities altogether. Such multiplayer activities include mining and fishing, both of which have new benefits when done as a group.
Multiplayer mode also allows players to enjoy in-game chatting with custom emojis. They can enjoy the real thrills of living together with communal money. They also have the ability to romance and eventually marry if you’re both feeling a romantic connection.
While the multiplayer update appeased a lot of fans’ hopes to allow their farming dreams to be played out with other gamers, the ability to play multiplayer cross-platform (or, in other words, to be able to play with others across the different platforms Stardew Valley is available for) was not included in the update. To this day, only GOG and Steam players can crossplay across computer platforms. But the full cross-platform functionality for consoles beyond that is not in the game yet.
While many fans would love the chance to play Stardew Valley across consoles and connect with even more people, the likelihood of that happening is unfortunately very low.
Why It’s Unlikely
As he was the sole developer of the game, Barone single-handedly worked on and produced the entirety of the game over a span of four years. Though video game publisher Chucklefish eventually found Barone and offered to help with publishing his game to give him more time and resources to work on it, the bulk of Stardew Valley’s development has come from him.
While this feat, and the resulting game itself, are both incredibly impressive, fans should remember that Stardew Valley is still a single-person operation, and that implementing some as technologically complicated as “cross-platform” compatibility is an immensely difficult task.
Barone himself has commented on the lack of crossplay, answering a fan’s question on the possibility of that addition on Twitter saying, “Apparently, the technical barriers are very high. It’s still something I really want to add and I promise to look into it more closely”.
This response isn’t surprising given Barone works on the game single-handedly. It’s unlikely for a sole developer to not announce any definitive release date or promise complicated updates before anything is ready. Luckily, fan replies to his honesty have been very understanding and considerate to Barone’s capabilities.
Cross-Platform in the Future?
However, despite not looking great for cross-platform compatibility at the moment, it’s clear from Barone’s response that crossplay is something that he’s still very much considering. He is also open to implementing cross platform play in the future. His Twitter reply implies that he is looking into the possibility of adding crossplay in the game in the future. He even admits to wanting the function for his own game.
As long as fans remain patient and understanding and continue supporting the game and Barone, that’s all we can do. Perhaps one day in the (hopefully near) future? For now, we’ll dream of the ability to farm with our friends across platforms and consoles alike.
Nerds and Scoundrels
And that concludes our breakdown on cross-platform functionality in Stardew Valley. Did we leave any details out? If so, don’t forget to let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to check out our Stardew Valley Miner or Geologist Guide!