If you’re into relaxing life sims, then you’ve probably already picked up Stardew Valley. The 2016 blockbuster took the internet by storm, and it remains a favourite of thousands of gamers worldwide. Since its initial release on PC, Stardew Valley has expanded to be compatible with macOS, PS4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch, as well as mobile platforms. But some hardcore fans will tell you that the best way to play the game is on a PC - they say this because of the modding community.
Stardew Valley has one of the most active, dedicated modding communities in PC gaming today, even though the game doesn’t have a Steam workshop. There are thousands of mods available - mods for changing the game’s aesthetics, mods for adding new content like NPCs and locations, and even mods for changing the way the game works. This last category is home to quite a few mods for quality-of-life (QOL).
Stardew Valley already has a great QOL experience, but there are some gaps that people have chosen to fill with mods. Some mods just change a tiny thing about the game’s experience, but they can greatly change how you feel while you play.
How Do I Find and Install Mods?
Mods can be found on a lot of different places around the Internet, but the most common place to find mods for Stardew Valley is Nexus Mods. For this article, this website is where the mods we reference can be found. We’re not going to go into a full tutorial for modding here, but our previous guide Stardew Valley mods will give you everything you need to start installing and enjoying mods.
The Top 15 QOL Mods for Stardew Valley
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for - we’ve curated a list of the top 15 best QOL mods for Stardew Valley.
Creator(s): jwdred. Download
You moved to Stardew Valley for a low-tech, rural lifestyle - however, that lifestyle can sometimes be incredibly inconvenient. If you’ve ever gone down to Pierre’s only to discover that it’s Wednesday, or gone to Marnie’s to buy animals only to find her standing idly in front of her microwave instead of at her shop desk, then this mod might ease some of your frustrations.
PelicanFiber is the online shopping solution to Stardew Valley retail woes. Just open the menu, click the shop you want, and give those slippery shopkeepers your money whether the shop is open or not. Though this mod feels a little bit like cheating if you’re a new player, it could be the high-tech upgrade a veteran player is looking for.
14. Auto Animal Doors
Creator(s): Aaron Taggart. Download
If you’re anything like us, then you love all of your little pixel farm animals and want to give them the best lives possible. Unfortunately for players of the vanilla game, that means making time to open and close the doors to their homes every. single. day. If you can’t be bothered with this menial task, then this mod has answered your prayers. It does exactly what it says on the tin - it automatically opens and closes the doors on your barns and coops in the mornings and evenings. Doesn’t it feel nice to have a few extra seconds to stalk your romantic interest?
13. Range Display
Creator(s): CatCattyCat. Download
Sprinklers are some of the best, most sought after items in Stardew Valley. After all, they free you from the gruelling task of individually watering your crops every morning. But placing them can be difficult - how do you know if all of your crops are in range? Enter CatCattyCat’s excellent Range Display Mod. The concept is simple - it displays the range on any sprinkler that you hover your cursor over, ensuring that all of your plants remain happily watered.
12. Simple Crop Label
Creator(s): TheMusketeer. Download
This one is as simple as they come, but it adds an important service nonetheless. Often, we have trouble remembering what crops we planted, and what we picked yesterday and should replant. And the seeds are sometimes...ambiguous looking. Simple Crop Label lets you mouse over the seed and know exactly what crop it is for easy, breezy farming.
11. Jump Over
This is another simple mod that can add a lot of ease to any farming experience. Organized farmers always want to utilize fences to keep their farm packaged into neat little areas, but there’s a problem - those fences also prevent you from walking wherever you want. Enter spacechase0’s Jump Over mod - letting you jump your own fences and save valuable time.
10. Better Ranching
Creator(s): Urbanyeti. Download
Ranching is one of the best parts of Stardew Valley - you get to take care of cute little pixel animals and make a ton of money selling eggs, milk, wool, and the vast number of artisan goods that can be made from those products. But the thing is, the animals have no way of telling you whether they’re ready to be milked or need their daily petting.
Modder Urbanyeti decided to help us out on that front, creating a mod that adds indicators for animals that need to be milked or petted. Now Bessie is always happy because she can tell us what she needs!
9. Always On Server for Multiplayer
Creator(s): funny-snek, Zuberii. Download
When the multiplayer update dropped in 2018, we were all over the moon. Farming with friends? Fantastic! But that excitement was dampened a little when it was discovered that the host of the server had to be active for anyone else to play. Scheduling can be hard, and what if you all want to co-exist on a server without everyone present at all times?
Modders funny-snek and Zubertii have created this handy little mod, which allows the multiplayer server to remain active even when the host is not present. Now you can make way more progress together!
8. Teh’s Fishing Overhaul
Creator(s): TehPers. Download
In the world of Stardew Valley, you either love the fishing minigame or hate it - there’s no in between. And unfortunately for those who can’t stand it, fishing is required to unlock a lot of the game’s achievements. Enter modder TehPers, who has overhauled the fishing minigame for us to make it a little less insufferable.
We liked this fishing mod in particular because it doesn’t just let you skip the minigame or make it insanely easy to beat it - instead, it adds different factors and mechanics that can make fishing a little more pleasant and fun. No cheats, just a little extra fun.
Creator(s): Pathoschild. Download
Stardew Valley has a wealth of machines that you can build to produce resources - machines for smelting metal, recycling waste, producing seeds, and a whole lot more. The problem that most late-game farmers face is that they have a lot of machines and a lot of resources, but they have to put the resources into those machines and collect the result by hand. No one has that time, and most probably don’t bother.
Those who want to bother can download Pathoschild’s insanely helpful Automate mod, which allows you to arrange machines in a similar manner that you can arrange things in Minecraft - you set up perpetual reactions that load resources and collect products, completely without your involvement. Imagine how much time you can save!
6. Mobile Phone
Creator(s): aedenthorn. Download
Again, you moved to Stardew Valley for a simple, rural lifestyle. You want to commune with nature and get back to your roots. We get it; it’s a pleasant way to live life. But the game ignores one tiny detail - you’re originally from the city. Why the heck don’t you have a phone??
If you want a phone, modder aedenthorn has your back. This excellent mod allows you to call NPCs and receive calls from them - with some shopkeeps like Robin, you can even use your phone to request services. The phone also lets you fulfil the requirement of speaking to each NPC every day and repeat heart events should you so choose. Fancy!
5. Daily Tasks Report
Creator(s): GuiNoya, Yesst. Download
In the early game, your daily tasks are pretty simple. Water your 15 crops, pet your dog, and maybe pet the two chickens you’ve managed to buy from Marnie. But as the game goes on, the list of daily tasks just gets longer and longer. And it gets hard to keep track of - which animals have been petted? Which crops got watered? Did I check my crab pots?
Take all of the remembering work off of your plate with this simple, elegant task manager. It keeps an eye on all of your activities, and the ones you might have forgotten.
4. Lookup Anything
Creator(s): Pathoschild. Download
If you really want to get into Stardew Valley, you’ll quickly discover that it’s almost impossible to remember all of the details. What gifts does Abigail like? What’s the drop rate on that rare artefact you’re trying to find? It goes on and on. Most of us have a tab (or two, or ten) perpetually dedicated to the wiki just to keep things in check.
Close those tabs, because Pathoschild has come to our rescue with the Lookup anything mod. It’s simple - hover over the object you want to learn about and hit F1 - the mod instantly delivers an overlay containing the info you wanted. My life is so much better now.
3. Chests Anywhere
Creator(s): Pathoschild. Download
Ah, chests. They allow us to hoard all of the resources and items that we collect on our travels through Stardew Valley, and we are grateful. Except when we’re out giving gifts to NPCs, and we realize that they’re all in the chest. At home.
Enter Pathoschild’s Chests Anywhere mod, allowing you to cosmically reach into the chests on your farm and access them from wherever you are. No more running all over the valley because you forgot something!
2. Tractor Mod
Creator(s): Pathoschild. Download
Farming is hard; you knew that when you moved to Pelican Town. And the locals insist on doing everything the old fashioned way - hoes, scythes, and watering cans only. Until you install the Tractor Mod.
The tractor allows you to do pretty much everything that you would accomplish with your tools, but three times as fast while sitting on a cute pixel tractor. What’s not to like?
1. NPC Map Locations
Creator(s): Pathoschild, Bouhm. Download
This does exactly what it says it does, and it is a game-changer. How many times have you accepted what seems like an easy board request, only to discover that the NPC that requested it has seemingly phased to another dimension? No more - with the NPC Map Locations mod, you can see exactly where everyone is so you don’t have to search for them constantly. Sure, it seems a little creepy, but Harvey should have known to be available when he asked for that potato.
And there you have it! The best QOL mods for Stardew Valley. Be sure to check out our other article on mods that add game content for even more fun!