Stardew Valley has been out for a few years now, and many have mastered it. There’s no real ending, but at some point, many players feel like they’ve done everything there is to do and created the ultimate farm in the process. While it’s still fun to start a new game to either enjoy new content or experience those early years again, after awhile, this too becomes repetitive. This is where mods can help. If you find yourself making millions in your first year and want a challenge, here are some mods that’ll make the game harder even for veteran players.
But first, there is a program that will make installing Stardew mods much smoother: SMAPI. It’s a simple mod loader for the game that works with all PC versions. And when installing mods, remember to follow the instructions and back up your files.
This mod does exactly what it says: it makes the Community Center Bundles harder to complete. Completing each of them also yields better individual rewards. Bundles will require more variety of items to complete. For example, a normal Spring Crops Bundle in the Pantry requires one Parsnip, Green Bean, Cauliflower and Potato — an easy task. With this mod, the new Bundle requires five of all crops grown in the Spring, including flowers.
The number of items required can also be tailored to make it more difficult. Five items is the standard for the regular difficulty, but there is a hard mode and two other settings for two item mods which add more to the game. More items means more to collect and care for, which can also make the game harder if you want to go that route. Overall, this mod is a great choice to slow your Stardew progression.
Want to make the days go by faster or slower? That’s what “Time Multiplier” is for. With it, you can alter how long it takes time to pass in Stardew Valley. A shorter day means less time to accomplish tasks, and this can really put your farm’s organization and time management to the test.
It’s a simple mod that can be changed easily and saves to each farm, so you don’t have to worry about it affecting all of your saves. This mod works with multiplayer too as long as the host is using it.
If you’ve mastered Skull Cavern or are just craving more combat, this mod will deliver. “Deepwoods” adds a mysterious and beautiful dungeon to the Secret Woods area of the forest. The creator specifically says it’s intended to be explored late game, meaning it’s ideal for experienced players looking for a challenge.
Unlike the mines, players will find wood as the main resource in Deepwoods along with fruit trees and rare or new mysterious items. Monsters aren’t the only dangers lurking in the forest. There are special events, and it’s possible to get lost in the forest too. This mod is compatible with multiplayer, but it is in beta so remember to back up your save.
This mod gets a lot of love in the Stardew community and for good reason. It’s basically an expansion to the main game that gets updates regularly, making it an exceptional mod on its own. It includes some features to make the game harder too. It adds a configuration file that can be easily altered.
“Stardew Valley Expanded” contains options to make construction and upgrades more expensive and require more resources, lower profits from your farm, alter crafting recipes and make monsters harder. It works with multiplayer too, just make sure everyone has it installed. Because this mod is so popular, it’s been made compatible with several others, meaning you can layer other difficulty mods over this one for a brutal Stardew Valley experience.
There is a way to make the game slightly more challenging without mods, but it requires starting a new farm. If you make a new game through the co-op menu, you’ll have access to additional settings. This includes the ability to set your profit margins. You can then play the game in single player, but with the altered difficulty in how much money you’ll make.
It might not add as much challenge as mods, but it’s a simple way to change your gameplay. Plus, since multiplayer is available on all platforms except mobile, this option can be enjoyed by non-PC players.
If you're a Stardew Valley veteran looking for a challenge, you can take your idyllic farm life to a new level of difficulty with mods.