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Stardew Valley’s long-anticipated 1.6 update breaks own Steam records

Highly anticipated: Stardew Valley has remained popular since its initial release in 2016, but this week’s 1.6 update has sparked more interest in the game than ever before. Its massive changelog describes several added features, lists dozens of adjustments, and confirms a fan theory.

Stardew Valley version 1.6 is now available on PC. The enormous patch – the first since December 2021 – introduces a long list of changes and has propelled the game’s player count to an all-time high.

SteamDB notes that 147,612 people played Stardew Valley on Steam in the hours following the 1.6 update, eclipsing the previous high of 94,000 in 2021 and more than doubling the 64,000 who played it at launch.

As of writing, Stardew Valley sits firmly among the top 10 best-selling and most-played games on Steam, ahead of Apex Legends and Grand Theft Auto V. The numbers don’t include players on GOG, the Microsoft Store, and Game Pass, so Stardew Valley’s real peak player count might exceed 150,000. The Game Pass version hasn’t received the patch yet but will likely get it soon.

Chief among the changes in the 1.6 update is a new major festiva, a three-day event in the spring called the Desert Festival. Additionally, two small fishing festivals and a summer environmental event have been introduced.

Another significant addition is a new type of farm – the Meadowlands Farm – which features blue grass and starts players with a coop and two chickens. Furthermore, players can now own more than one pet, advanced players can access a new end-game skill system, and NPCs have received hundreds of new lines of dialogue.

The changelog also includes dozens of new crops, decorations, and other items to help players enhance their farms. One small adjustment confirms what some players have long suspected – that harvesting from left to right was faster than the opposite direction – a quirk that the update has fixed. The complete log contains spoilers, so new players should probably avoid reading it.

Stardew Valley creator Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone also warned players that version 1.6 will likely break many mods due to its significant changes. He suggests starting the patched game without mods, but a checklist enables players to search through over 1,000 mods that support 1.6.

ConcernedApe hasn’t indicated when Stardew Valley 1.6 will come to consoles and mobile platforms.

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