It's no secret co-op multiplayer is eventually coming to Stardew Valley
. It was announced
long before the game even released. However, with a small development team — it was a one-man team before the success of the game allowed ConcernedApe to hire help — these additions take serious time. Despite it still being a ways off, developer ConcernedApe has discussed how it will work in a recent blog post, as well as a timeline in which players can expect it.
The multiplayer looks to be up to four players with Robin offering up to build up to three extra cabins when you start your game. According to ConcernedApe, "each cabin will house a farmhand, controlled by one of your friends." Multiplayer is online only and ConcernedApe notes that "local multiplayer, split-screen and PVP are not planned at this point."
Even though the three extra farmhands are not the main player, they'll have quite a bit of freedom around town. If you want to see how it'll look, screenshots were also released showcasing multiple players taking on tasks like gardening, fishing and more, which can be seen throughout the article. How having multiple players will work was discussed further:
Farmhands can do almost anything the main player can do. They can farm, mine, fight, fish, forage, marry NPCs and take part in festivals. Each player has their own inventory. When a farmhand is not connected, their inventory can be managed through a chest in their cabin.
Certain decisions can be made only by the main player: when to sleep, when to start and end festivals, and whether to side with Joja, for instance.
Player-to-player marriage — as opposed to getting hitched with an NPC — will also be added. The developer says "player-to-player marriage won’t use the mermaid pendant, but rather an alternative method that requires a similar amount of effort to wooing an NPC." The final details are still being worked on. ConcernedApe cited a few other facets that are being worked on in the time leading up to multiplayer's launch:
- Implementing the farmhand cabins
- UI and menus
- Events and festivals
- Multiplayer NPC relationships
- Polish, testing and optimisation
Unfortunately for players looking forward to multiplayer, it is still quite a ways off. The current timeline is for Steam players to test a beta version "at the end of this year." In early 2018 it will be released as a finalized patch on PC. Following that, it will trickle down to consoles with Nintendo Switch being the first platform to receive multiplayer, most likely as part of their agreement with Nintendo. With the size and scope of the update, ConcernedApe warns that "it will take a while to roll out to each platform."