Farm With Others in Stardew Valley's Multiplayer Beta on PC
The upcoming multiplayer mode for hit indie game/farming simulator Stardew Valley has been in talks for a little while now, with no real news on when we could expect it. Thankfully that's now changed, as the multiplayer mode has officially entered public beta with the inclusion of Update 1.3. Developer ConcernedApe has expressed that this update features new single-player content as well, but they aren't going to reveal what that is till a later date. For the most part, though, this update is multiplayer-centric and largely focuses on all the new things this means for Stardew Valley.
First, however, is the process of opting into the beta. It's currently available now only for players who have the Steam version on PC, but it will also be coming to players on GOG here in the next few days. As for those who can play it right now, the process of opting in isn't too complicated. Because this is a public beta, the safe thing to do is backup your save file, which ConcernedApe details how to do in the release blog post. After doing this, simply go to Stardew Valley in your Steam library, right-click, and choose Properties. This will bring you to a pop-up window with multiple tabs. The tab you want will be 'Betas'. In here will be an area to type, and you'll need to enter the code 'jumpingjunimos' and check it. Select 'Beta' in the drop-down menu above and Steam will begin the download.
The second step, after opting in, is actually preparing your game to be ready for multiplayer. If you have an existing game going already, you'll have to build cabins for each individual player you plan on inviting in, with a maximum of 4 players in a session. Cabins are relatively inexpensive too. Once all players are in the game, things change a little bit. For one, opening the menu doesn't pause the game. All players can assist in a large variety of world activities, and the updates to it, as well as your farm and money, are all shared between players. Relationships, inventories, and skills all remain separate, however. Despite that, there's even a feature that lets you marry another player, for those interested. Once an in-game day winds down and it's time to hit the hay, all players will have to be in bed in their cabins and all have to confirm before it will progress to the next day, so keep this in mind.
As of right now, there's no actual date on when we can expect the multiplayer to exit beta and officially apply to the game proper, but depending how this public testing goes, we may see it sooner rather than later. There also hasn't been any word on the console versions getting a beta test, so chances are it will remain PC exclusive until it's done. Publisher Chucklefish's comments about the finalized multiplayer update coming to consoles after first hitting PC supports this. Interestingly, console players will be receiving the update in a set order, with Switch players getting it first, followed by Xbox One and PlayStation 4. If you've yet to get addicted to the world of Stardew Valley, you can play the game on a huge variety of platforms. Currently, it's available for Windows PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PS Vita. Make sure to view the official blog post for all the details on the new update!