Stardew Valley, the beloved farming and life simulation game, is already a lovely and great game as it is. Still, you can make it even better with modding, especially if you know how to install Stardew Valley mods. Modding Stardew Valley may seem daunting for newcomers, but with the right guidance, it can be a straightforward and rewarding process.
Allow us to walk you through the steps of how to install Stardew Valley mods. In turn, you’ll get the ability to tailor your gameplay to your preferences, depending on which mods are available. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced player, this guide has something for everyone.
Safety first, back up your saves
Before diving into the world of modding, it’s essential to preserve your existing game progress. While mods can enhance your gaming experience, they can also introduce instability or conflicts that might affect the hard and tedious work in your saved games, whether it’s from mining or fishing. To back up your Stardew Valley saves, follow these steps:
- Launch Steam and locate Stardew Valley in your game library.
- Right-click on Stardew Valley and select “Properties.”
- In the Properties window, click on the “Local Files” tab.
- Find the “Backup game files” button and click it.
- Choose the default backup location provided by Steam, or select a custom location if you prefer.
With your game saves securely backed up, you can proceed to install mods without the fear of losing your progress.
Modding Stardew Valley primarily involves using the Stardew Modding API (SMAPI) to enhance the game. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:
Download & install SMAPI
- Visit the official SMAPI website and download the latest version of SMAPI by clicking the green download button.
- Once the download is complete, navigate to the folder where you saved the SMAPI installation file (usually the Downloads folder).
- Extract the contents of the SMAPI installation file by right-clicking it and selecting “Extract All” or using your preferred file extraction software.
- Open the newly extracted folder and choose the file that corresponds to your operating system (e.g., for Windows, select the “install on Windows.bat” file).
- A window will appear, prompting you to specify the Stardew Valley installation folder. If you have Stardew Valley on Steam, it should be automatically detected. If not, you can find the installation path by right-clicking Stardew Valley in your Steam library, selecting “Manage > Browse local files,” and copying the address from the address bar.
- Paste the Stardew Valley installation path into the SMAPI window.
- Confirm your selection by typing “1” and pressing Enter.
- SMAPI will now install into your game’s folder, ensuring compatibility with mods.
- Finally, copy the green text displayed in the SMAPI window (your install location followed by “SMAPI.exe %command%”) and paste it into the “Launch Options” of Stardew Valley in Steam’s properties. You can access the “Launch Options” for Stardew Valley by clicking on the cog or wheel icon on Steam and selecting Properties. You can see the Launch Options there.
Congratulations, you’ve successfully installed SMAPI, laying the foundation for modding Stardew Valley!
With SMAPI in place, you’re ready to install mods and customize your gameplay experience. Here’s how to do it:
- Choose the mods you want to install from reputable sources like Nexus Mods, the primary hub for Stardew Valley mods.
- Download the mod files to your computer. Keep in mind that some mods may have dependencies or requirements, so make sure to read the mod descriptions for any additional requirements.
- Locate your Stardew Valley installation folder, which you can find by right-clicking the game in Steam and selecting “Manage > Browse local files.”
- Inside the Stardew Valley installation folder, open the “Mods” folder.
- Unzip the downloaded mod files if they are in a compressed format.
- Drag and drop the unzipped mod folders into the “Mods” folder.
- Launch Stardew Valley via Steam, and your installed mods will be active in your game.
By following these steps, you can easily enhance your Stardew Valley experience with a variety of mods tailored to your preferences.
Using a mod manager
While manually installing mods is a viable option, using a mod manager can simplify the process and provide added convenience. Mod managers will handle the installation, activation, and deactivation of mods, making it easier to manage your modded gameplay and files.
Which Mod Manager Should You Use?
We recommend the use of two popular mod managers: Stardrop and ModDrop.
Stardrop is a user-friendly mod manager known for its simplicity and reliability. It also has good integration with Nexus Mod files. Here’s how to set it up and use it:
- Download Stardrop from Nexus Mods.
- Extract the Stardrop folder from the downloaded file to your preferred location.
- Run the Stardrop executable file to open the mod manager.
Stardrop offers excellent sorting functionality, supports multiple profiles, and facilitates mod downloading and updates. However, you’ll need to find mods on external websites like Nexus Mods since Stardrop doesn’t provide an in-app mod browsing feature.
With Stardrop installed, you can now just download the mods using the Mod Manager Download function in Nexus Mods. Stardrop also has SMAPI integration.
Installing Mods with Stardrop
Stardrop simplifies the process of installing mods. Here are two methods for adding mods using Stardrop:
Method 1: Semi-manual Installation
- Download the mod files (in zip format) from trusted sources like Nexus Mods.
- Open Stardrop and click on “File > Add Mod.”
- Browse to the location where you saved the mod’s zip file and select it.
Method 2: Importing mods from Nexus Mods
- Link your Nexus Mods account with Stardrop by navigating to “Nexus Mods > API Connection” within the Stardrop application and following the instructions provided.
- When browsing mods on the Nexus Mods website, click the “Vortex” button on the Stardew Valley mod page.
- The selected mod will be automatically sent to Stardrop and installed the next time you open the mod manager.
Using Stardrop, you can effortlessly manage and install mods while maintaining an organized and efficient modding experience.
ModDrop is another mod manager worth considering, particularly for its mod browsing capabilities. Follow these steps to set up and use ModDrop:
- Download ModDrop for Windows from the official website (currently, it’s in beta for MacOS and unavailable for Linux).
- Install ModDrop and launch the application.
- Create an account or log in using your ModDrop, Facebook, Google, or Twitch account.
- Once logged in, ModDrop will automatically detect your installed games.
ModDrop allows you to browse and download mods directly from its website, making it a more convenient option for mod discovery. It supports mods from both Nexus Mods and its own website.
While ModDrop’s interface may feel a bit cluttered compared to Stardrop, it excels in its mod download functionality. Moreover, it also lets you avoid firing up a browser to view the mods, possibly saving you some memory.
Installing Mods with ModDrop
ModDrop simplifies mod installation and browsing. Follow these steps to install mods using ModDrop:
- Launch the ModDrop application.
- Click on “Enable Downloads from Nexus” to enable mod downloads from Nexus Mods.
- Browse and select the mods you want to install directly from ModDrop’s interface.
- Click the “Vortex” button on Nexus Mods pages to add mods to your ModDrop library.
By following these instructions, you can conveniently install, activate, and manage Stardew Valley mods with ModDrop.
There you have it; that’s the bulk of the modding procedure for how to install Stardew Valley mods. The hardest part is actually setting up the game for modding capabilities. After that, it’s smooth sailing—or smooth farming.