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I’ve Been Obsessed With Stardew Valley: Here’s Why

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

I am by no means a gamer, but when I have free time over breaks, I love playing video games. This spring break was no exception. With Stardew Valley’s 1.16 update having been released, much of my time has been spent playing this game.

For those of you who don’t know, Stardew Valley is a popular indie farming simulator game. Modeled after a game called Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley starts with the Player Character (that’s you) inheriting their grandfather’s farm after he has passed away. In the time that follows, you can design your farm, befriend the local villagers, fight monsters, and earn riches all throughout the valley.

I’ve been a fan of Stardew Valley for a few years now. It’s one of my favorite cozy cooperative video games to play with my girlfriend while our relationship has been long distance. I’ll admit, I fell out of the habit of playing it once my classes picked up. But with the new 1.16 update, I’m back into it as strong as ever.

This new update adds a lot of amazing new features, one of which is increased multiplayer capacity. While Stardew Valley allowed up to four players in one game prior to this update, 1.16 doubled that amount, now allowing up to eight players in one game. This makes Stardew Valley one of the best modern games in terms of long-distance multiplayer capacity that we have access to. It’s the perfect game to play with your friends, especially if you’re living far away from each other (which is what I’ve been doing with my hometown friends).

Furthermore, 1.16 added more and more content for players of the game. One of the most compelling new features is Mastery, which allows you to progress your skills past the levels that the base game allows. This is a great new feature for people like me who have been playing the game for a long time and already have a lot of experience and supplies. This gives those experienced players something new to find in a game that’s already so familiar to them. The ability of games to adapt and give new features to players who have already experienced most of the content is one of the things that keeps video games going strong.

And for the new players, there’s plenty of new content that you can see even without any prior experience in the game. Books, now added to the game, allow you to gain new powers or experience in certain skills to change your power in the game. Further, there are new crops, new pets, new dialogue for non-player characters, three new festivals (in-game events) and more. 

Basically, if you haven’t played Stardew Valley, you definitely should. It’s the perfect game, either to play by yourself or with a group of friends. With this new update, and hopefully more on the way, it’s a game that will stand the test of time.

Jessica is a first year English major at UCLA. She loves both reading and writing, having even published her debut novel "The World Above the Waves" in 2022. When she isn't delving into literature, you can find her playing d&d, listening to music, or wherever either her twin sister or girlfriend are. She's so excited to be a part of the Her Campus team.