How to Download and Install Stardew Valley Mods

Stardew Valley is well known for its immense gameplay, so might find yourself feeling burnt out after completing everything the base game offers you. But what if we told you that there was an infinite amount of new and exciting things for you to do in Stardew Valley?

Stardew Valley has a dedicated modding community that is constantly creating unique content for this beloved indie farming sim. While the idea of modding your game may seem overwhelming at first, it is actually very simple.


In this guide, we will teach you how to install and run mods on Stardew Valley using SMAPI, so you can kick the burnout and keep playing your favorite farming sim.

What Are Mods?

Video game mods are modifications to the game made by users. They are made for fans, by fans to provide the game with more replay value.

There are hundreds of mods available for Stardew Valley. Some are aesthetic mods that change the way your game looks, while others add entirely new content and almost act like fan-made DLC packs for video games.

What Will I Need to Install Mods for Stardew Valley?

There are several ways to download and install mods in Stardew Valley, but the most common method is using SMAPI (Stardew Modding API). This program is specifically designed for Stardew Valley, making it a very user-friendly experience.

You will also require the Content Patcher mod and a Nexus account. Nexus is the website where you will find SMAPI, Content Patcher, and any other mods you might like to install.

How to Install SMAPI

Step one on your quest to mod Stardew Valley is to download and install SMAPI onto your PC. Here’s how:

  1. Search for SMAPI in Nexus.
  2. Open SMAPI and head to the files tab.
  3. Select manual download from SMAPI’s main files.
  4. Here you will be prompted to sign in to your Nexus account. If you haven’t created an account already, do so now.
  5. Once you have downloaded SMAPI, locate your Stardew Valley game file in file explorer.
  6. Open your downloads in another window, and right-click on your SMAPI zip file.
  7. Select extract all.
  8. Head back to your Stardew Valley game file, right-click on the file name, and select copy address as text.
  9. Paste this into the text box in the extract all window. This will relocate SMAPI into your Stardew Valley game folder.
  10. Open the SMAPI installer folder and launch it with whatever operating system you are using.
  11. A black pop-up box will appear, prompting you to enter 1 to confirm SMAPI’s relocation.
  12. Enter 1 again to install.

If you run Stardew Valley through Steam, you need to redirect the game’s launch options. Once SMAPI has successfully downloaded, it will provide you with the code you need to do this.

  1. Copy the code provided in the black pop-up box.
  2. Head to Stardew Valley in Steam.
  3. Right-click on the game and press properties.
  4. In the general settings, you will find the launch options. Paste the code here.

You will know everything has been installed properly if the black box that appears when you launch the game shows all white text. SMAPI is extremely user-friendly and will let you know if anything has gone wrong with the installation of your mods.

Some mods require other mods to be installed first in order for them to work. If this is the case, broken mods will appear in red writing in the black pop-up box when you launch the game.

If there are other mods required, SMAPI will provide you with the download link to install them. Similarly, if a mod requires an update, SMAPI will provide you with the link so you don’t have to find it yourself.

How to Install Content Patcher

Now that you have successfully installed SMAPI it’s time for step two of your quest to mod Stardew Valley, which is to download and install Content Patcher.

  1. Find Content Patcher by typing it in the search bar in Nexus.
  2. Download and install it using the same process as before.
  3. Head back to the Stardew Valley game file on your computer. You will see that a brand-new mod file has been added.
  4. Open the Content Patcher zip file, right-click on the file name, and select extract all.
  5. Copy the file destination of the mod folder by right-clicking the file name and selecting copy address as text.
  6. Paste it into the text box.

Content Patcher is the first and most important mod you need, as no other mods will work without it. Content Patcher lets you make changes to the game’s data without corrupting it.

It’s Modding Time!

Now that SMAPI and Content Patcher have been installed, you are free to start adding other mods. The best place to find mods for Stardew Valley is on Nexus. Nexus is has mods for over 1500 games, including numerous mods for Stardew Valley, so you will be able to find anything you need there.

To find Stardew Valley mods, head to Nexus and type “Stardew Valley” in the search bar. This will filter all of the mods related to Stardew Valley. Now, all that’s left for you to do is browse through them all and download whatever ones speak to you.

Since Content Patcher is a mod in itself, you can follow the same instructions you used to install Content Patcher to download and install other mods. Just download the zip files and ensure you extract them into the mods folder.

There are a couple of other things you might need to look out for when downloading and installing mods. The first is making sure that your mods are compatible with the latest Stardew Valley updates. If a mod was created a long time ago, it might not work with the new updates.

As we mentioned earlier, some mods require others to be installed. You can check if this is the case in the mod’s main files section if you would rather avoid error messages.

Below the main files, you will notice a section labeled optional files where you can find suggestions for similar mods that you might be interested in.

Keep Playing Stardew Valley to Infinity and Beyond

If you have been feeling like you’ve exhausted Stardew Valley, modding is a great way to reinvigorate your playthrough. By adding more content, characters, and even maps, you can keep playing your favorite games without having to worry about burnout.

Modding your games may seem intimidating at first, but it is one of many great tools to get even more out of your simulation games when they are starting to feel a little old.

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