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Stardew Valley co-op: How to start your farm with a friend in online and split screen multiplayer

Stardew Valley co-op
(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

Stardew Valley co-op now comes in two very different flavours since the latest update from ConcernedApe. The Stardew Valley 1.5 update which is now available on consoles and PC and adds what feels like an entirely new game, also brings split screen co-op to Pelican Town. This means that you and a like-minded farming friend can settle down together on the same sofa to work together on the ultimate agricultural metropolis. You head to the mines and we’ll stay here and plant more potatoes… 

Don’t worry though, nothing has changed from the original online Stardew Valley co-op experience. You can still host your farm online with cabins, make the most of the specific multiplayer farm map Four Corners, marry your fellow players, and enjoy all the new additions that come with the 1.5 update. Ostriches, anyone? Here’s everything you need to know about Stardew Valley co-op in both its forms. 

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How to play co-op online in Stardew Valley

There's two ways to play multiplayer in Stardew Valley; either with a brand new world, or with an existing world converted from a single-player save.

In order to start a brand new world, from the main menu, one player must select Co-op followed by Host. Decide on how many cabins you want for the number of players (up to four) and alter the other options to your liking, then you're good to go.

On the other hand, if you want to use your single-player world in a multiplayer game, you need to go to Robin the carpenter and build enough cabins for the amount of players you want to play with. When you have the right amount of cabins, you need to exit to the main menu, select Co-op, then select Load and choose the relevant save file.

For other players to actually join the game, the host needs to start the game then go to the settings. By default, all multiplayer worlds are closed to other players, so you need to open them up.

PC (Steam): If everyone you want to play with is playing through Steam, make sure you're friends with everyone first. Then your multiplayer game should appear in the list when your friends select "join".

PC (GOG Galaxy/Steam): If the above method doesn't work or you're playing on PC through GOG Galaxy, the host will be able to find an invite code in the game options. Other players can type in the same code on the join screen to connect.

PS4: Make sure you're all friends with one another on PSN, then you can connect to each others' games. PlayStation Plus is required.

Xbox One: Like on PS4, you all need to be friends on Xbox Live, then you can connect as long as everyone has Xbox Live Gold.

Nintendo Switch (Online): Just like on the other consoles, you can join the farms of people on your friends list via the join screen. You need a Nintendo Switch Online membership for this.

Nintendo Switch (Local): Enable local communications play and you can play with two Nintendo Switch consoles in the same household without a Nintendo Switch Online membership.

How to play split screen co-op in Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley co-op

(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

So you’ve found someone in the same house who shares the same passion for satisfying lines of mayonnaise machines. Well, starting up Stardew Valley in split screen co-op on PC and console is thankfully as easy as running out of grass in the middle of winter. There are two main ways to start. 

If you’ve already got an active farm save and want someone to join you, just like online multiplayer, you’ll need to head to Robin the Carpenter and ask her to build a cabin for your new player. Thankfully, unlike her many other projects, Robin will build this instantly so you don’t need to wait two in game days for the work. There’s a choice of three different styles of cabin and each one can be levelled up. 

Rustic stone cabin - 100g + 10 Stone
Beach hut cabin - 100g + 5 Wood + 10 Fiber
Log cabin - 100g + 10 Wood 

Now that you have a cabin for your new farming friend, you just need to activate split screen co-op in the settings. Go into your inventory menu, scroll along to the controller icon and scroll down to the multiplayer option. Here you can select ‘Start Local Co-op’ and your sofa buddy will be able to join in. 

Stardew Valley co-op

(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

If you’re starting a whole new farm, you can actually turn on the option for split screen multiplayer from the opening title. Just go to the Co-op option, select split screen and you can then go to ‘Host new farm.’ This will give you the chance to create a new farmer and it will automatically add an additional cabin which you can see on the left hand side. Here, you can select the profit margin to make sure you’re not making it too easy with there being two of you. You can also choose whether to keep your money as a shared pot or separate. We suggest keeping it shared as it means you can both go to the shop to spend your spoils on more seeds and there's no worrying about who can afford to go where. 

This won’t automatically start split screen though. Once you have loaded the farm up, you’ll still need to go into your inventory screen, scroll along to settings and then start the split screen session in the multiplayer option. It's time to get farming. Just remember to sleep, OK? 

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One of the resident guide writers around these parts, give me a game and I will write every "how to" I possibly can or die trying. The youngest member of the GamesRadar team, I have an unhealthy addiction to Football Manager, shouting at the TV as Manchester United slowly descend from greatness, and playing Pokemon Go on the bus to and from the office.