Stardew Valley has been topping the charts for simulation games since its debut in 2016. As with most indie hits, the game blew up practically overnight, taking the world by storm with its adorable retro graphics and in-depth, varied gameplay. Multiplayer for Stardew Valley launched in 2018 with the 1.3 update of the game on desktop and followed shortly for other platforms.
The update was much anticipated by the community, who were more than thrilled to be able to play the game with their friends.
As with most multiplayer launches, of course, play was locked to a single platform, and players on different platforms could not join the same game.
Fans of Stardew Valley have asked for cross-platform play for many years. So, is Stardew Valley cross-platform in 2022?
Is Stardew Valley Cross-Platform?
Stardew Valley is not cross-platform. Although multiplayer is available on desktop, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and mobile, they do not support cross-platform. Also, there doesn’t seem to be any plans to introduce cross-platform play to the game in the future.
|Platform||Cross-platform (different platforms)||Multiplayer (same platform)|
With the big release of Stardew Valley 1.5 in December 2021, fans saw many big improvements to the game, but cross-platform was not one of them.
Still, the passionate fans of Stardew Valley were determined to play the game together one way or another.
One particularly dedicated Redditor and his partner decided to set up the game side-by-side, with a monitor playing the Steam version and another monitor playing the docked Nintendo Switch version of the game, so that they could still play side-by-side.
Solutions like this are relatively common in the community, as most players don’t want to have to buy an entirely new version of the game just to play together.
Why Cross-Play on Stardew Valley is Unlikley
The important thing to remember about Stardew Valley is that it is primarily a one-man development team.
Eric Barone, also known as Concerned Ape, created the game single-handedly, and although he has amassed a small development team and the support of studio Chucklefish, the primary development and building of the game still comes down almost solely on his shoulders.
With that, it’s also important to recognize that cross-play is difficult to set up under any circumstances.
It requires a high level of technical hurdle-jumping, as Barone noted when asked about the possibility on Twitter, as well as legal negotiation between platforms to account for.
While Barone has stated he would like to add cross-play to Stardew Valley, it remains to be a developer’s dream rather than a set plan of action.
Beyond that, after the 1.5 update to Stardew Valley, Barone’s attention is primarily on the development of his new game, Haunted Chocolatier, which is set to be just as detail-rich as Stardew from release.
Because of this, he likely has not had the time, energy, or resources to spare for looking into cross-play.
Can You Play Stardew Valley Multiplayer Cross-Platform?
Stardew Valley does have a multiplayer mode where up to four players can operate on the same farm.
Unfortunately, this is still platform-locked. In order to play together, all players in a particular cooperative game must be on the same platform.
How Do You Play Stardew Valley Multiplayer?
To play Stardew Valley in multiplayer mode, you have two options:
- You can begin a new farm from the Co-Op menu on the main Stardew Valley game screen, and invite players to join you from there.
- You can build a cabin in a single-player farm, open the farm to multiplayer mode from the menu, and invite players to join you from there.
Starting a new Stardew Valley Co-Op game. Screenshot by the author.
Multiplayer farms have the ability to either pool money or keep separate banks, and players are each free to progress the game on their own.
Though there are some shared actions – for instance, the community center’s bundles can only be completed once, and players get only one grange display at the Stardew Valley fair. Players may marry NPCs or each other.
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