Eight years after launching, Stardew Valley just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Update 1.6 arrived yesterday, with enough changes that the patch notes are 7308 words long. It bumps the farm-o-life sim’s co-op player limit to eight, adds hundreds of new items, opens up a new progression system for “powerful perks and items”, adds new events, lets you drink mayonnaise, and so much more that. Best of all, it lets you have more pets. New pets. Pets wearing hats.

Update 1.6 is out now for Windows, Mac, and Linux editions of Stardew Valley, and is just “waiting for a new build to go through” before it goes live on Game Pass. If you don’t yet have time to settle down with a cup of cocoa to read the full 7308 words of the Stardew Valley update 1.6 changelog, here, let’s pick out some points. Farmers, fighters, explorers, and lovers might point to changes like this as highlights:

  • Added a “mastery” system, accessed via a new area, which grants powerful perks and items…
  • Added many new NPC dialogues.
  • Added four new crops (carrots, summer squash, broccoli, and powdermelon) which can’t be purchased at the store, and two new giant crops.
  • Added a world map for Ginger Island, visible when visiting the island.
  • Festivals now have map and dialogue changes every second year (except the night market and desert festival).
  • Added a big tree, with a quest line which ultimately gives you some new neighbors.
  • You can now have up to 8 players on PC.
  • Many improvements for multiplayer performance and stability.
  • NPCs now shove chests out of their way instead of destroying them.

Some might say the absolute horror of these first two points are grossly outweighed by the final one, making this sour treat the best change, while real sickos might be most thrilled by chugging the goop:

  • You can now drink mayonnaise and jelly, and eat pickles.

Me, I know these are the best changes:

  • Added two new cat and dog breeds.
  • You can now get multiple pets (after getting max hearts with your starter pet).
  • Pets that love you will sometimes give you gifts.
  • You can now build pet bowls in Robin’s shop, with three variants.
  • Added turtle pets.
  • Reduced the amount of time you need to push against a pet before they start shaking and then let you pass through them (1.5 → .75 seconds).
  • You can now place hats on cats and dogs.

And after that, patch 1.6.1 brings a few tiny quick fixes. All this and creator Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone still has a whole new game in the works, Haunted Chocolatier.

ConcernedApe noted that loads of mods are already updated for 1.6, though he has recommended giving the new update a try without mods first. Get a good sense of what the game is now, yeah? If you’d rather stick with the old version or mods that aren’t updated yet, v1.5.6 is still available archived as a public Steam branch.

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