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Stardew Valley mod recommendations

Here are the mods I recommend. These are all compatible with the latest versions of SMAPI and Stardew Valley on Linux/macOS/Windows. See the player's guide to using mods if you're interested.

Quality of life

I think the best mods are those which improve the game while maintaining its balance, lore, and style.

  • AutoGate
    Gates open automatically when you approach and close behind you.

  • Better Sprinklers Plus
    Customise the sprinkler radius, with a proportional change to their cost. If you're willing to mine all the ores you'll need, that makes the basic sprinklers useful early in the game and lets you do more than just watering crops every day.

  • Billboard Anywhere
    View the calendar and daily quest anywhere. See upcoming birthdays and festivals without needing to walk to the nearest calendar.

  • Chests Anywhere
    Access, label, and categorise your chests from anywhere (with optional balanced mode). Makes inventory management less of a chore — you can have multiple organised chests and sort things away without walking around trying to find which chest is which.

  • Data Layers
    Toggle an overlay to see live bee house / Junimo hut / scarecrow / sprinkler coverage, hidden paths and warp points, and more. Very useful when laying out your crops.

  • Fast Animations
    Makes the routine player animations (breaking geodes, eating, drinking, etc) almost instant.

  • Generic Mod Config Menu
    Edit mod options in-game without needing to manually edit config.json files, for the many mods which support it.

  • Horse Flute Anywhere
    You'll often find you left your horse across town, or the horse can't pass through a narrow path. This mod eliminates horse location management as a game mechanic; just play the flute from anywhere and he'll come running teleport to you.

  • Lookup Anything
    Point at almost anything, and press a button to see information about it. This helps you decide whether an item is worth keeping (e.g. it shows what bundles/recipes/achievements you still need it for), plan your crops (e.g. it tells you when a crop will be ready), manage trees (e.g. it tells you whether something is blocking their growth), see what gifts an NPC likes, etc. Has an option to only show gift tastes you've discovered in-game.

  • Loved Labels (unofficial update)
    Point at a farm animal and it'll show whether you've pet them today, without needing to check them manually.

  • NPC Map Locations
    NPCs move around a lot, and it can be frustrating to find them when you need to talk to them. This mod shows their locations on your map.

  • Pony Weight Loss Program
    Lets the horse pass anywhere you can. This eliminates a common annoyance where the horse can't pass through narrow paths.

  • Quick Glance
    Press a button to zoom out and view the surrounding area, and release it to return to normal. This lets you quickly get your bearing, look for nearby forage, etc.

  • Rented Tools (unofficial update)
    While Clint is upgrading one of your tools, he'll let you rent an old one he has until yours is ready.

  • Self Service (unofficial update)
    When you enter a shop and the shopkeeper isn't behind the counter, you can still buy from them.

  • Skip Intro
    Skips the starting splash screens and (optionally) the title screen. It's only a few seconds each time, but you won't be able to go back once you're used to this mod.

  • Tillable Ground
    Lets you plant crops (and grass) on the grassy portions of the farm map.

  • Toddlers Like Parents
    Your children will look a bit like your spouse (instead of the default generic children). You can optionally customize the clothing they wear too.

Late game

These mods are best used later in the game, once you've already played for a while with the vanilla mechanics.

  • Automate
    When you're tired of manually working each machine, this opens a whole new gameplay mechanic. Place a chest next to a machine (like a furnace or crystalarium), and the machine will pull raw items from the chest and push processed items into it. Connect multiple machines with a chest to create factories.

  • Deep Woods
    Adds an explorable, procedurally-generated forest area to the game with many secrets and resources.

  • Tractor Mod
    Buy a tractor from Robin to make managing large farms much easier. The tractor lets you quickly clear debris, plant/fertilise/water/harvest crops, etc.

Content Patcher

These mods visually tweak the game using Content Patcher.

  • Fixed Mouse House
    Give the hat mouse a less broken-down house.

  • Natural Clock
    Change the Gold Clock to fit in better the game style and look a bit less ostentatious.

  • Rustic Traveling Cart
    Change the traveling cart to better fit the game style and look a bit less silly.

For mod testing

These mods are useful for mod developers.

  • CJB Cheats Menu
    Adds many useful utilities like teleporting, changing the time, building instantly, making machines finish instantly, etc.

  • CJB Item Spawner
    Lets you instantly spawn any item in the game.

  • Debug Mode
    Press a button to show debug info like the tile coordinate under the cursor, and enable the game's debug features like teleporting.

  • Fast Travel
    Fast travel to any named location on the map by clicking it. Immensely useful when testing to avoid needing to walk everywhere.

  • Instant Pets and Farm Caves
    Preconfigure which pet and farm cave you want, so you won't see the unskippable cutscenes from Demetrius and Marnie when testing saves.

  • Lookup Anything
    Enable ShowDataMiningFields and EnableTileLookups in its config.json, point at almost anything in the game, and press F1 to see all the hidden data about it.

  • Noclip Mode
    Enable noclip at the press of a button, letting you walk through anything (even map boundaries). Useful to quickly accessing places you haven't unlocked for testing, or taking shortcuts to where you need to go.

More mods

Want more suggestions? Take a look at the most endorsed mods on Nexus. (You can check to know whether a SMAPI mod is compatible with the latest versions.)

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I think Automatic Gates is fixed now, at least, I have been using it for a while with no issues, and all the bugs reported seem to be before the most recent update.

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@echangda The original AutoGate mod that's based on is now updated, and I prefer simpler mods for this list, so I readded AutoGate to the list instead. Thanks for following up though!

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ghost commented Apr 5, 2022

Hi, really appreciate this list. Unfortunately, there seems to be an issue with the Billboards Anywhere mod, for me the buttons show up on the menu but do nothing when clicked. A quick look on the Nexus page under Posts shows this is an issue that seems to be widespread. Whilst some people have managed to enable the buttons by setting UI and general zoom to the same levels as a workaround, for others it still doesn't work regardless of adjustments.

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@MononymousM Thanks for reporting it! I just sent the author a pull request which should fix that.

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Could I suggest adding my time based mod for Quality of life? Gives you more time each day and puts the clock into seconds. Also has an optional light override which manages brightness each second, rather than using fixed times.

Also quick glance for foraging, mines, fishing spots and finding npcs around town

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@adverserath Thanks for the suggestions!

  • Casual Life significantly changes the game balance though, so it wouldn't match the criteria for that list.
  • Quick Glance could definitely be useful for new players. This list doesn't include mods which use Harmony though, since that makes the game (and interactions with other mods they may want to install) more fragile. It looks like the mod is just initializing Harmony and not using it, so I could add that one to the list if you remove the Harmony usage.

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adverserath commented May 30, 2022

That's fair. Just checked my code on Quick Glance; I'd left harmony loaded from the template I use as it's all driven from SMAPI events and isn't actually used.
I've just fixed it in v1.0.6, no longer lists with game code patching.

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I added Quick Glance to the list. Thanks for the great mod!

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Hey, seems like Better Sprinkles has some bugs and hasn't been updated in a while.
Someone made a sort of unofficial update here:

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@Drovak007 Thanks! I updated the list to suggest the new version.

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Hey, I made a new version of the Rented Tools mod and I changed some things like it not always giving you the lowest tier tool but actually a tier of tool which can still be useful in the late game.
It can be found here
It's fully open source as you can see on my profile/on the mod page.
I thought maybe it would be a good alternative to the one that currently exists as I do plan on maintaining this mod!

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