Stardew Valley is already one of the best farming simulations around, and mods only make it better. There’s so much content in the vanilla game that you don’t really need to add anything, but some additions are just too good to pass up. Whether you’re a fan of caring for your animals, romancing the townsfolk, or just putting together cute outfits, there are probably a dozen mods that can make life on your farm a little better. Some offer minor changes, while others add hundreds of hours of content to the game. Here are the top 15 best mods for Stardew Valley in 2023, in no particular order.
TimeSpeed by cantorsdust allows you to mess with one of the most basic elements of the game: time. With this mod installed, you can speed up, slow down, or even stop time. You can set this up to occur automatically or at the push of a button and customize what locations it affects. Do you love mining but hate how the hours race by underground? Tell the clock to stop when you’re down there breaking stones. You’ll never miss another passing train again.
14. Elle’s New Horses
Elle’s New Horses offers 31 new and improved horse replacements, including an optional saddle in 20 colors. Like other recolor and skin mods, there’s nothing revolutionary here, and there doesn’t need to be. If all you’re looking for is some high-quality aesthetic reworkings for your horse, Elle’s New Horses is one of the best Stardew Valley mods. From Appaloosa and Pinto to Roan and Prismatic, there’s a skin here for every horse lover.
13. Automatic Gates
The Automatic Gates mod by ScheKaa causes gates to automatically open when you approach and close when you walk away. Note that gates don’t automatically open for animals, so you don’t have to worry about your animals strolling away when you aren’t looking. This may seem like an insignificant change, but if you’ve played hundreds or thousands of hours and are sick of opening and closing fences, it’s pretty great. The mod also allows multiple options to tailor it to your preferences.
12. Elle’s Seasonal Buildings
Elle’s Seasonal Buildings offers seasonal replacements for all the buildings on your farm. It includes options for several popular map recolors, so if you’ve already done some tweaking to the in-game color, this may be the best fit you’ll find. Mods like this are proof that the best Stardew Valley mods don’t have to offer massive gameplay overhauls, even in 2023. It also offers eight different styles of farmhouse, ranging from stained glass and manor to cabin and cottage.
11. Ridgeside Village
Ridgeside Village by Rafseazz may be one of the most ambitious mods for the game. It adds a new location, items, shops, festivals, quests, and over 50 NPCs. It’s a huge amount of content and adds quite a few hours to the game. If you’re looking for a major addition to shake up your gameplay, this is a good one to consider. Though the additions are non-canonical, they fit well with vanilla, so if you care about the lore, you’ll probably be happy.
10. Elle’s New Barn Animals
Elle’s New Barn Animals adds new skins for cows, goats, pigs, and sheep. If you love the game’s animals, but you’re tired of looking at the same old sprites, this is one of the best Stardew Valley mods. It even includes deer and alpaca skins if you want to change things up a bit. Though the difference is only skin deep, swapping deer and alpaca in for cows and sheep can be enough to make a boring farm interesting again.
9. Better Ranching
Milking cows, shearing sheep, and petting your farmyard friends is a bit easier with the Better Ranching mod by Urbanyeti. This mod prevents your milking and shearing attempts from failing, and it adds an indicator of when pets and animals can be petted, milked, or sheared. The indicator isn’t really necessary when you only have one or two animals, but if you’re running a sprawling ranch, this QoL change is amazing.
8. Skip Fishing Minigame
Every player enjoys something different about Stardew Valley. For some, it’s mining; for others, it’s romance. Many enjoy the game’s fishing minigame and will gladly spend their afternoons at the ocean or river, fighting for a catch. Others struggle with this minigame, however, or just want to get the day’s catch and move on. Whatever the case, the Skip Fishing Minigame mod by DewMods allows you to do just that.
7. Seasonal Outfits – Slightly Cuter Aesthetic
Poltergeister’s Seasonal Outfits – Slightly Cuter Aesthetic mod overhauls all character sprites and portraits to be, well, slightly cuter. Will this help your turnip empire make more money? Absolutely not. What it will do is make every conversation and encounter a tiny bit more kawaii. A huge part of the charm of Stardew Valley and similar games is its cute and cozy vibes, and this mod feeds into them perfectly.
6. Winter Grass
Are you sick of all the grass dying as soon as snow hits your farm? The Winter Grass mod by Cat allows grass to survive into the cold season, making it one of the best mods for Stardew Valley. New grass still won’t grow during winter by default to keep things a bit balanced. Still, any grass left from fall will still be there. Having a resource like this stick around is great, but it’s also just nice aesthetically. Whether you’re looking for profits for pastoral charm, try Winter Grass.
Automate by Pathoschild brings a bit of modern convenience to your rural work. With this mod installed, when you place a chest next to a machine, such as a furnace, the machine will automatically pull raw items from the chest and push processed items into it. It’s not exactly Factorio, but it’s probably the closest you’ll get. If you’re in the mid or late-game and have made processing raw resources a big part of your day, Automate is a great way to get your schedule under control.
4. Tractor Mod
The Tractor mod by Pathoschild does what you’d expect, adding a ridable tractor to the game. Considering how many farming sims are out there, it’s surprising that this isn’t a more common feature. If you’re tired of walking everywhere on your farm and want to get horsepower from something other than just your horse, try this mod. You can even build a Tractor Garage so you’re new farm equipment doesn’t get left out in the elements. Is a tractor really necessary? No, but once you have one, it’s hard to picture life without it.
3. Lookup Anything
The Lookup Anything mod by Pathoschild solves a problem that every farmer faces now and then: not having enough information. Trying to pick out a gift for a villager but don’t have their favorites memorized? Now you can look it up. Curious about how much longer your wooden fences will last before you have to replace them? Now you can look it up. It’s a simple premise that’s well-executed, and the amount of additional info it gives you can be invaluable during a hard winter when time and money are short. Never give someone an eel they hate again.
2. CJB Item Spawner
Like in other farming and crafting sims, one of the best things about Stardew Valley is the huge number of items and resources you can collect. Whether it’s the milk from your cows, the crops in your fields, or the ore you drag home from the mines, there’s always something new and valuable to fill your pockets with. Getting these items is sometimes easier said than done, however. If you don’t feel like grinding for diamonds or other valuables, you can just use the CJB Item Spawner instead. This convenient mod lets you drop as many items as you want right at your feet.
1. Stardew Valley Expanded
Stardew Valley Expanded is arguably the best mod ever made for the game. This mod by FlashShifter adds a huge amount of new content to the base experience. These additions range from new NPCs and locations to new fish, crops, events, and even music. All of it is designed to fit naturally in with the vanilla game, so if all you’re looking for is the classic Stardew Valley experience, this mod is the best way to enhance it. It’s astounding how well most of the content fits, and once you’ve gotten used to the new NPCs, quests, and other content, it’s hard to go back to the base game.
Stardew Valley is available on Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.