Since its release in 2016, Stardew Valley has grown into one of the most loved games all around the world. There are thousands of Stardew Valley mods available that change the appearance of your animals, make fishing easier, add new items, and adjust game balance. Our guide to the best Stardew Valley mods that change the game’s appearance and make farm life more convenient has been completely updated.
The majority of these mods can be found on the official Stardew Valley Mod forum or the game’s Nexus Mods page, both of which are constantly updated with new and amazing mods. If you’re wondering how to play multiplayer in Stardew Valley, check out our dedicated guide. Stardew Valley is one of the best laptop games to play on a low-spec machine, even with mods.
How to Install Mods in Stardew Valley?
Before you start playing, keep in mind that Stardew Valley is still getting updates. Because there is no official mod support, it is possible that mods will break or require reinstallation after updates. It’s a good idea to make a backup of any files you’re going to change in case you need to undo your changes.
Furthermore, back up your save data just to be safe. You can find it at:
SMAPI is a necessary tool for downloading Stardew Valley mods. This is a program that runs every time you start the game on Steam and does all of the heavy lifting for you. Within your Steam Stardew Valley folder, it creates a mods folder, which is where you’ll paste all of your mods. Download SMAPI and follow the link for more advanced instructions.
SMAPI isn’t the only tool you’ll need. You’ll also need to get Content Patcher from Nexus Mods. If you want to replace any in-game items with other visuals, such as Elle’s Barn Animals in this list, you’ll need Content Patcher. To use Content Patcher, simply copy the folder into your SMAPI-created Mods folder and follow the instructions for each individual mod.
The majority of Stardew Valley mods make minor changes to the game, such as changing the visuals or reskinning assets. These must be installed by replacing the existing XNB file with a new, modified version.
You’ll need to locate the corresponding XNB file in the Stardew Valley content folder once you’ve downloaded your XNB mod file, which may be named ‘cat.XNB‘ for example. The Stardew Valley content folder is located in C:/Steam/steamapps/common/Stardew Valley/Content.
In the content folder, there are several subfolders, with most of the important assets, such as animals and villagers, having their own, making them easy to locate. You must replace the existing ‘cat.xnb‘ file with our new modded file in the ‘Animals’ subfolder with our new ‘cat.XNB’ file, which will then appear in game the next time it is booted.
As a reminder, any unmodified files should be backed up in case you ever need to uninstall a mod.
Stardew Valley ModManager (SDVMM)
SDVMM, a great community-made ModManager tool created by modder yuuki, is also available. This will assist you in installing and updating SMAPI as well as keeping track of all your mods.
Further, it allows you to easily activate and deactivate specific mods without having to completely remove the files, giving you more flexibility if you want to try something on this list out but may not want to keep it.
Content Patcher is a SMAPI mod that allows you to download content packs, which are similar to XNB mods in that they can change the game’s visuals or assets without requiring you to manually alter the XNB files.
SMAPI allows mods to be automatically updated, installed, and uninstalled, making it a far more reliable method of installing mods than replacing XNB files. The majority of XNB file mods have content pack counterparts.
SMAPI is required for mods that make significant changes to the game, such as changing events. It is an open source piece of software that allows the installation of DLL files and is maintained by the Stardew Valley modding community.
SMAPI can also assist you in managing your files by checking for new updates to your mods and rewriting any installed mods when an official Stardew Valley update changes any part of the game that affects your mods.
After you’ve installed SMAPI, all you need to do now is drop your files into the SMAPI mod folder and you’re ready to go.
Stardew Valley Mod Manager
Modder Yuuki has created a fantastic tool called the Stardew Valley Mod Manager, or SDVMM for short, if you like to keep your mods neat and organized. This allows you to manage SMAPI and keep track of all your mods.
Its best feature is the ability to turn mods on and off without deleting the files, which is useful if you’re indecisive like us and want to try out a half-dozen different grass mods.
Top 13 Best Stardew Valley Mods for 2022
So, let’s get to the meat of the matter: the mods themselves. There’s a ton of stuff to look through down below, with things like Japanese buildings, Grumpy Cat, and, well, diversity itself. Enjoy!
1. Stardew Valley Bear Mount Mod
Horses are nice and will happily transport you from point A to point B, but A to BEAR is a lot more fun for riding around Stardew Valley. You can now ride a brown bear, black bear, panda, or even a skeleton around Pelican Town thanks to this brilliant Bear Mount mod.
Further, it’ll even swap out the stable food for some honey that’s friendly to Winnie the Pooh. For this mod, you’ll need both the Content Patcher and SMAPI, and while it will automatically set itself as the brown bear, you can change it in the config.json file that will be generated.
You can even switch out your saddle and reins if you want to ride like a bear…
2. Stardew Valley Ghibli Critters Mod
Ghibli Critters from Sopholophagus is a lovely sprinkling of Soot Spritey charm if you want to add a touch of Princess Mononoke or My Neighbour Totoro to Pelican Town.
For this to work, you’ll need the most recent version of Content Patcher installed, but once you’ve added it to your Mods folder, it automatically replaces the wild critters with even cuter alternatives.
The new additions from 1.5 haven’t been modded yet, but sparrows have been replaced with the ridiculously cute Kodamas from Princess Mononoke, and Soot Sprites instead of frogs scurry away from harvested fiber.
If you see an owl, it will become No Face, and if you see a woodpecker, it will be Totoro staring back at you instead. This is a lovely subtle mod, but it’s also a major charm offender, especially if you’ve forgotten it’s there.
3. Stardew Valley Map Editor
The Map Editor, created by modder Adenthorn, allows you to play around and “easily make edits to a map in-game by copying and pasting any tile to another location on the map.” You can click on an existing tile before copying and pasting it to your desired location by starting the Stardew Valley map editor mod, which is assigned to the F10 key by default.
You can easily undo any changes if you don’t exit the editor mode first, and you can even experiment with custom tile changes. It’s a fantastic tool that makes laying out your farm a whole lot easier.
4. Seasonal Japanese Building
Sonreirblah’s mod expands on an earlier version by replacing the game’s standard rural-western farmhouses with fully-animated, seasonal buildings inspired by traditional Japanese architecture.
The buildings, which come complete with shji doors, paper lanterns, and ornate wooden roofs, will transform your entire town into a Japanese-style village in no time.
5. Perks for Married Life
The Perks of Being Married mod on Nexus Mods, created by Trent XV, adds a fun and useful new feature to the farming RPG: you can earn perks for getting married, which vary depending on who you marry in the game.
The list of perks offered by the mod is lengthy, and it appears that you’ll have to pick your partners carefully – each character will have something unique to offer.
6. Farm Extended
Farm Extended provides the standard farm benefits of all specialty farms to those of us who find it difficult to choose a farm type when starting a new farm. Dedicated areas for fishing, foraging, and mining, as well as fenced areas to keep animals from escaping, are all part of the expanded farm. Forkmaster, the modder, also added a minecart stop behind the farmhouse for direct access to other parts of town.
7. Stardew Aquarium
This unreasonably awesome mod adds an entire aquarium to the game, created by a talented group of modders. Fish you donate to the aquarium become exhibits that you can see for yourself, just like in Animal Crossing. The aquarium is located in a new beach area in Pelican Town that can be reached by train.
8. Stardew Valley New Barn Animals Mod
Search Nexus Mods for ‘Elle’s’ and you’ll find a slew of adorable creatures to replace your existing farm animals. Her New Barn Animals collection is especially noteworthy. Not only will you be able to trade in your existing cows, sheep, and goats for delightful deer and alpaca colors, but you’ll also be able to ditch the frankly hideous pig designs thanks to the 18 different skin options available. Piggos, I’m sorry, but it was a little too Animal Farm…
To get the most out of this mod, run it once and then close it again to create a config.json file in your Mods folder’s Elle’s Barn Animals folder. Open it in Notepad and replace the names with the names of the creatures and colors you want. The guides for each one are also included in the folder.
9. Stardew Valley Cheats Menu Mod
The Cheats Menu and Item Spawner by CJBok and Pathoschild are both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, they happily destroy everything that Stardew players have worked so hard for over hundreds of hours to earn; on the other hand, it’s nice to be able to skip straight to the end game with a fully functional farm and the ability to warp anywhere without any totems.
The Cheats Menu basically brings up a god mod when you press the ‘P’ key. You can now complete quests, gain infinite stamina and health, improve relationships, make machines work faster, and gift yourself 100,000G all at once, thanks to the game’s whimsical art style.
The Item Spawner, on the other hand, is equally enticing, as it can provide you with 999 of any resource or item you’ve ever desired, as well as some you’ve never heard of. We understand if you want to ignore these completely in order to protect your hard work, but they’re well-integrated mods.
10. Stardew Valley Automate Mod
If you’ve chosen the Artisan career path in Stardew Valley, there’s a good chance that lines of preserves jars, wine kegs, and mayonnaise machines are your favorite things. You’re probably sick of filling them all up and unloading them when everything is ready at the same time. The Automate mod is here to fulfill your Factorio-style fantasies.
Automate basically pulls resources from a chest next to a machine and then pushes all processed items back in as soon as it’s finished and ready to sell. You can keep piling in products to just one chest as long as machines are touching. If you’re worried about compromising your farm aesthetic, you can even use paths as connectors.
11. Stardew Valley Tractor Mod
This tractor add-on, another Pathoschild offering, is especially appealing if you’re guilty of allowing nature to reclaim an entire section of your farm. To construct the Tractor Garage, go to Robin and hand over 20 Iron Bars, 20 Iridium Bars, and 5 Battery Packs, just like the other buildings from the carpenter.
You’ll have to wait two nights as usual, but then you’ll be free to ride around on your tractor with whichever tool you want. An axe will easily destroy all the leaves and wood in your path, while a pickaxe will crumble the surrounding stone. Ignore the fact that it sounds identical to your horse…
12. Stardew Valley Chest Label System Mod
It’s the little things that matter, once again. If you’ve been playing Stardew for a long time, there’s a good chance you’ve accumulated quite a few chests. While the lethally expensive Qi Gem Junimo chests are all linked, the rest of us are stuck trying to remember what a red chest meant to us.
Mauricio Games’ Chest Label System takes away all of that stress by allowing you to name each chest separately. All you have to do is hover your mouse over the name to see what’s inside. However, if you’re just feeling lazy, this won’t stop you from dumping other items…
13. Attractive Standard Farm
This is yet another one of the excellent farm design Stardew Valley mods, but this time it’s all about the cuteness rather than the efficiency. On this farm map, you’ll find numerous designated crop fields of various sizes, as well as two or three lakes and a few places to hide buildings. Farmers who don’t care as much about maximizing profits can definitely benefit from this property.
These alternate textures can be seen in this farm image. Interestingly, flower Valley can be found under the “Visual Mods” tab.
The Bottom Line
Well, these are the best Stardew Valley mods for the month of November 2021. We hope these mods help you to enjoy the game more. If you liked this, don’t forget to check out our other best lists and also check out other Stardew Vally guides. Furthermore, if you have any questions or suggestions, please use the comment below to contact us.