Most farming simulations inspired by the Bokujo Monogatari/Story of Seasons line offer an opportunity to connect with the virtual people around you. There are citizens to befriend, bachelors and bachelorettes to woe, and perhaps even an opportunity to have a couple kids. Stardew Valley continues that tradition, though things feel a little more natural and fleshed out here. Interactions have a little more depth to them, making everything feel more meaningful.
I already went over a few of the Stardew Valley secrets you can learn after befriending characters. Everyone gets their opportunity to shine in this game, not just the ones who’d eventually want to marry your avatar. While other farming simulations might have had minor events to help you get to know the other characters, the special moments offer more interactions in Stardew Valley. You feel like getting to be someone’s best friend isn’t only about getting into their house late at night or sneaking into their room. You get to discover more about them as a person, and that’s great.
This sort of appeal appears in the romances as well. To the Story of Seasons’ series credit, the game has started offering more depth in recent entries, allowing characters to “date” before marriage. But Stardew Valley goes a little further. Sometimes, when just talking with a bachelor or bachelorette on the street, you’ll be given the opportunity to “engage” in a conversation with multiple responses. When a heart event occurs after raising affection to a certain point, you’ll enter into a dialogue. You’ll be able to choose multiple responses to your boyfriend or girlfriend’s queries.
Even better, choosing a “bad” answer doesn’t necessarily mean the character will like you any less. It only results in a slightly different reaction and response. I liked that I didn’t feel like I had to play a part when getting to know another character. I could be me and see how that conversation would go. It felt more real.
The only part of the relationships that’s unattractive is the jealousy. Yes, your Stardew Valley mate can get jealous. Here’s how that works. Bouquets help get marriage candidates past eight hearts in the game. To get someone to be your best friend, you have to reach ten hearts. Hence, you have to give them the bouquets Pierre sells. However, your spouse gets jealous if you give someone else those flowers after you’re married. While realistic, it’s almost like the game is making you feel guilty for trying to complete a natural goal.
But anyway, on to some Stardew Valley relationship and gift-giving tips. First off, fruit is great. Almost everybody loves fruit. Pierre hated it when I gave him an apple, but everyone else is absolutely delighted to get the fruit from my orchard. Aside from that straggler, people have been pleased with produce. Also, everybody seems to love all of the gems I get from the mines except for, you guessed it, Pierre. (Come on, dude! I’m giving you good stuff!) People seemed pretty okay with potatoes and eggs too, if it’s your first season and you’re looking for something to appease them. You can give gifts twice a week, so always make sure you have something for the people you like.
Also, try to talk to everyone every day. It’s a small boost, but it does make them happy. Ignoring them actually gradually damages the relationship. Most people will be passed when walking through town. Stopping by Gus’ bar after five is another good way to improve relations fast.
As for marriage, remember to get the first house upgrade, become best friends with the bachelor or bachelorette you like best, and offer up 300 wood to repair a small bridge on the beach. You need to present the man or woman you love with a Mermaid Pendant to propose. This is only sold by a man standing in the rain on the east side of the beach on a rainy day in spring, summer, and fall. It’ll cost 5,000 gold.
Finally, don’t forget the Stardew Valley Community Center bundles. The quests on the Bulletin Board ask for items that Demetrious, Emily, Gus, Marnie, and the Wizard wanted years ago. If you take the time to complete all of these, everyone in town who isn’t a bachelor or bachelorette will like you more. Exactly how much, I don’t know. (I haven’t finished the Community Center bundles yet.) But know that buying a Joja Mart membership will eliminate the Community Center and start the Joja Community Development Project, which has no friendship benefit.
Stardew Valley is immediately available for Windows PCs.