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What type of Stardew Valley player are you?

Stardew Valley might be primarily known as a farming sim where you can also romance the village locals, but there’s way more to do than just plant crops. In fact, there is so much to do that it can sometimes be overwhelming to plan out your days. Do you go fishing or to the mines? Do you stay at home or explore a new island? The best part is that there are a lot of ways to play the game, and none of them are wrong. Some just might be more preferable than others.

The sim has also gotten a ton of updates since it first came out in 2016, including the recent 1.6 patch; these updates have spanned across all areas of the game. In addition, there have been plenty of community mods and online tools created, so overall, there are way more types of Stardew Valley players now then there were eight years ago. But which one are you?

The farming homebody

Image: ConcernedApe via Polygon

You’re the most standard kind of Stardew Valley player, and that’s not a bad thing. This is a farming sim, after all, so you’re going to take advantage of all you can do on your farm. You don’t choose any of the other farm types beyond the default one when starting a run, although the new Meadowlands Farm in the 1.6 update might be appealing. You’d rather spend each in-game day at home making products to sell or to use in recipes, but unfortunately, you do have to leave every once in a while. When you do leave, it’ll be for the mine, where you can get ore and other materials for machines, or you’ll take the bus outside Pelican Town for more potential crops. After a long day of farming, you’ll fall asleep at 8 p.m., cuddled up in front of the fire with your pet or significant other. You might not even have a partner, though, because why talk to people when you can talk to your plants instead?

The designer

While you love spending time at home, it’s not necessarily because you love to grow crops. It’s because you want to make your home look exactly how you want it to. In your game, farming is more akin to landscaping. You’ll spend a lot of your time laying out your farm for maximum visual appeal, and you’ll probably use a layout planner to do it. The best updates, according to you, are the ones that add more wallpaper or customization options for your home, but you might download a mod or two to unlock even more. Maybe you build out your Stardew world with themes from mods, or maybe you stick to an in-game catalog. If you ever decide you want an underwater-themed farm or a yard where it constantly looks like spring, you’ll find a way to do it. Putting furniture outside? It’s more likely than you think.

The fisherperson

A Stardew Valley character fishing in the ocean, while the Night Market is in session. Image: ConcernedApe via Polygon

Many of us here at Polygon are not big fans of Stardew Valley’s fishing. That’s not you, though. You love fishing in Stardew Valley. And good for you! We won’t judge; we’re too busy being impressed, actually. You love the challenge involved in constantly clicking your mouse or the button on your controller to painstakingly reel in a record-setting fish. You know exactly which fish will show up when you head down to a body of water, and if you somehow miss your chance, you have a fishing farm to catch even more. You’re the person the rest of us will call when we need to fish and just don’t want to. Join our game and help us, please.

The miner

Your character fighting slimes inside the mines by swinging your sword in Stardew Valley. Image: ConcernedApe

Stardew Valley is a mostly passive game, but that all changes when you go deeper into the mines on the edge of town. You love to head in with a pickaxe and a weapon to battle slimes and other creatures until you run out of food or it gets too late to stay awake. In the meantime, you’ll smash boulders and rocks to pick up as many shiny gems and minerals as you can carry, which you’ll then use to make your pickaxe even better for more mining. Sure, you don’t see much sunlight, but you wouldn’t have it any other way. Thankfully, you can still get some vitamin D at your Hill-top Farm, where you can go to town on some rocks whenever you don’t have the time to head to the mine.

The pillar of the community

Stardew Valley’s spring calendar, showing various birthdays and festival days Image: ConcernedApe via Polygon

Stardew Valley has a lot of NPCs it wants you to get to know — and you want to know all of them. You want to increase your heart rating with everybody, so you spend a lot of time figuring out the best gifts for each person, not to mention their daily schedules (either by looking it up online or standing creepily outside their home waiting for them to leave). You might even try courting a few different romantic partners. Regardless of whether you want to date multiple people at once or you just want to make Pam and Shane feel kinship with something outside of alcohol, the social aspects of Stardew are the most important part for you. You just want to be integrated into a small community where everybody knows everyone else’s birthdays.

The min-maxer

For many players, Stardew Valley is a casual pastime; there’s no time limit on completing major tasks (except for jobs from the bulletin board, of course), and you can take as many years as you want to buy every barn animal or convince your favorite NPC to marry you. However, if you’re all about efficiency, you might be the min-maxer. You’re the person who has the Stardew Valley wiki open in another tab so you have everybody’s favorite gifts on hand and know exactly when to head out to fish. You want to complete the Community Center in year 1, and you only grow starfruit and create starfruit wine on your farm to yield maximum profit. You took an Excel course online, and now you track everything via spreadsheets. Stardew Valley might be a game, but succeeding in it is your vocation.

The modder

Sophia’s farm, in Stardew Valley Expanded — this new character is introduced in the mod. Image: FlashShifter/Nexus Mods

All right, so you like — maybe even love — Stardew Valley, but playing for hundreds of hours across six major updates still isn’t enough. That’s where mods come in. You’ve perused and installed a personal cocktail of the many, many user-created mods for this game, some of which turn this farming sim into a whole new game. Don’t like the way it looks? You’ve got options — giving all the NPCs anime-styled portraits, for example. Need a feature the game doesn’t provide? Add a tractor to your farm. Did you run out of things to do, somehow? You don’t even worry about that — not when you can unlock all-new love interests, areas, animals, and, at the time of this writing, over 200 new character events in Stardew Valley Expanded.

The chaos agent

Some of the most fun you can have in a video game is to go against the expectations of developers and just do what you want. Since Stardew Valley is so big and offers so much for players to do, your preferred way to play is to run around like a mischief creature and, say, put Lewis’ purple shorts in the luau soup. You’re the chaos agent if you love seeing NPCs react in disgust when you dig through the garbage, or if you want to date everybody in town just to watch them all dump you at once. With new dialogue and features in update 1.6, like the ability to drink mayonnaise, there are even more boundaries to test.

The Stardew Stan

Maybe none of the above player types mean anything to you, and that’s all right! Maybe you’re not that into farming sims; maybe you’re not even that into other video games. For you, there’s something special about Stardew Valley. You just like opening up your most recent Stardew Valley save (you probably have a lot of them) and getting to work, whatever that may entail. It’s nice to return to Pelican Town and your farm to harvest crops, talk to friends both real and virtual, do in-game chores, and explore what the world has to offer this time around. You don’t care how you play; you just want to play. You might have a couple dozen hours or over 1,000, but it’s your favorite game even eight years after release, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

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