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Stardew Valley: What Exactly Is It?

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What Exactly is Stardew Valley

Ever get tired of working a dead-end desk job and no one appreciates your hard work day in and day out? Wish you can just quit your job and work on a farm in a peaceful and quiet town? Well, you can in Stardew Valley! Sure, it’s not real life but hey, it is a very relaxing distraction from the stress in life.

Stardew Valley is a farm life simulation game that was created by Concerned Ape and published by Chucklefish. This simulation video game is available for Steam, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. Let’s discuss Stardew Valley’s features to see if this game is right for you!

Character Customization

The Customization menu. A Stardew Valley game feature

You get to design your character at the beginning of a new game file. You can choose gender, hair, clothes, and more!

Since Concerned Ape is very awesome, he keeps making free updates for this game. One of the latest ones introduced tailoring so now during the game you can make clothes and change your outfit whenever you want, as soon as you unlock it of course.

Another thing you can unlock is the hat shop in the forest which, obviously, sells hats for your character!

If you are like me, you will spend probably at least 30 minutes designing a character but it’s important, right?


Your character levels up their skills based on how you play. You level up farming by, well, farming. Fishing by fishing and so on and so forth. After certain levels, you can unlock perks dedicated to that type of level.

Farming In Stardew Valley

Character on a farm in the Stardew Valley game
Default farm map

When you start the game, you inherit a farm that has been abandoned. Trees and rocks everywhere and a run-down looking house. It’s up to you to spruce it up!

In the beginning, you will most likely plant crops and clear land on your farm. As more items unlock for you, you may decide you don’t want to use the farm for farming. You can dedicate your farm for things like husbandry, artisan goods, slime hut, developing gems, or many other things! It’s your farm, enjoy it!

Due to the multiplayer update, you can choose the farm map you want. However, choose wisely because each map has its own benefits and drawbacks. Make sure you choose one that will match your farm’s priorities.

There is a carpenter that will build buildings on your farm for you if you have the money and materials. Sheds can be decorated so you can even have a man cave or she shed on your farm!


Once you have a barn and/or a coop you can start raising some animals. They do need to be fed once a day but if they are fed they will produce items for you.

Cows produce milk every day, goats every two days. Sheep and rabbits produce wool every few days. Chickens lay eggs every day and egg type is dependent on the type of chicken. Ducks also lay eggs every other day.

There is another animal you can raise but… I’ll keep it a secret for now! Trust me, it is interesting.

Artisan Goods, a Stardew Valley Gameplay Feature

Cheese, Wine and Cloth are being made in this barn.

What can you do with crops and animal goods?  You can either sell it or turn it into artisan goods. When objects like the cheese press unlock in your crafting menu, you can build those and be able to produce artisan goods.

Artisan goods are worth more than the basic item. For instance, cheese is worth more than milk. So turn your fruits and vegetables into jellies and pickles. You also can turn your fruits and grains into wine and ale, wool into cloth, you get the picture.


Berries can be gathered. Wood can be cut.

You can forage to find flowers, berries, spring onions, and many other things. Spots with worms coming out of the ground are indicators that something is buried there. Dig it up with your shovel to find seeds, relics, clay, and many other things.

Chopping trees down and destroying rocks scattered throughout the forest and your farm will supply you with wood and rocks. Yes, you can chop the stump down. Trees drop seeds that grow into new trees, especially on your farm. In fact, since trees keep growing and tree saplings spawn every spring, I have never needed to chop a tree in the forest.


As you level up skills, more crafting items will be unlocked in the crafting menu. As long as you have the materials in your inventory, or with the new update in a chest by the worktable, you can craft items. You can craft lighting, paths, recycling machines, kegs, and many other things! Get crafting!


Besides turning crops into artisan goods, you can cook with them, as long as you know the recipe. Fish, crops, foraged food, and some artisan goods can be used to cook food. Food is beneficial because they make good gifts for NPCs as well as restore your stats, increase stats like speed, increase your skills temporarily, increase your luck, and other good benefits.


Mining allows you to find ores, stone, gems, and monsters! Ores are used in many crafting recipes and to upgrade your equipment. Stone is a material that you will need a lot of especially in the beginning. Gems are good to sell or gift to NPCs.

Monsters can drop loot when defeated, which can be used in crafting items as well.


Fishing is a good way to make money and have food at the beginning of the game. Almost any water source can become a fishing spot. There are certain fish in certain areas, like freshwater fish in rivers and lakes and saltwater fish in the ocean. Unlike My Time at Portia, the type of fish can vary based on time of day and season as well!

There are even secret places to fish. On top of that, there are legendary fish that are hard to catch. However, if you manage to catch all of them you will get a special gift. What is it? I’m not gonna tell.

With the newest update, you can breed fish with the fishing pond! You can remove fish from the pool and add one back when the population grows. You also can get items like roe and ink.


Throughout the year, in-game time, there are events held in Pelican Town. Events, like the Flower Dance, Night Market, etc, are a great way to buy rare items, win prizes and increase relationship points with the NPCs.

Relationships with NPCs in Stardew Valley

There are several NPCs that you can befriend in Pelican town. There are benefits to becoming friends with NPCs. You will learn recipes, get gifts in the mail, and gain access to new items and quests.

One of the best ways to make friends quickly is to give them gifts they love! You can give an NPC a gift twice a week, not including their birthday. Make the gift count!

Another way is by doing quests for them. Also, don’t forget to talk to them every day. If their hearts are not maxed out, they will feel neglected and their relationship points start to fall.

Romance, A Stardew Valley Gameplay Feature

What is the best part of this game? You can date and marry some of the NPCs! Once the NPCs with the status of “single” reaches 8 hearts, you can ask them to be your boyfriend/girlfriend. Once they reach 10 hearts, you can propose to them.

The available bachelorettes are:

  • Abagail
  • Emily
  • Harley
  • Leah
  • Penny
  • Maru

The available bachelors are:

  • Alex
  • Elliott
  • Harvey
  • Sam
  • Sebastian
  • Shane

Actually, I take that back. Sebastian is mine so find yourself another one.


Throughout your adventures in Pelican Town, you will encounter gems, artifacts, and minerals. You can donate these to the museum. You get rewarded for certain amounts of donations.


There are tons of secrets throughout Stardew Valley like secret locations, notes, quests, and events. Do you want to know the best part? Concerned Ape said that there are secrets in this simulation game that no one has even found yet and it has been out for years!! Get out there and explore!


This game contains many types of quests. There are quests that appear on the board outside of Pierre’s by the calendar. There are quests sent in the mail, main quests, and secret quests so there are lots to do in Stardew Valley.

That’s Stardew Valley in a Nutshell

Stardew Valley is a fun, relaxing farm life simulation game. The game has several gameplay features and things do to like:

  • Farming
  • Husbandry
  • Mining
  • Making artisan goods
  • Making friends
  • Getting a significant other/married
  • Attend events
  • Fishing
  • Completing quests
  • Filling up the museum
What Exactly is Stardew Valley? Pin

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So, have you decided to take the plunge and relax on your farm?  If so you can get this game on PC via Steam or on console from Amazon. Read the post, 13 Things I Wish I Knew About Stardew Valley to play the game right. Please share this post with your friends, sign up for the newsletter to keep updated and I will see you next time.

Author's avatar

Amber Borden

Amber is an avid gamer. The first game she ever played was Super Mario Bros on the NES. She has seen many genres of videos games due to her 30 years of gaming. However, Amber typically sticks to RPGs, Sandbox and Simulation.
Since she loves gaming, her first job was at a Gamestop. Also, she has written guides for Gamefaqs. Amber was a full time worker in the retail world, but now she is working on this site from home. No matter what, however, she still plays her video games.

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