Stardew Valley is an incredibly rare type of game. Playing it is like getting a hug. Few others manage to encompass such a profound meaning while maintaining strong and compelling gameplay. At times, after endless hours of farming, fishing, and mining, you are bound to feel somewhat alone, despite the fleshed-out NPC variety.

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That's when you grab a friend and start a brand new adventure. Stardew Valley in Co-Op is comparable to the single-player-only in terms of game mechanics. At its core, however, it is a wholly different experience, whose value lies in the beauty of sharing time together.

10 Cleaning The Land More Effectively

Two players starting a fresh save in Stardew Valley.

The best way to play Co-Op is to start a new farm with someone. Don't worry about your Year 5 single player save, you would have little to do if a friend joins you well into the end-game. Naturally, upon receiving the keys to your cottage, you and your farmhand have to get to work and tidy up the property.

That can take ages to do alone. Your house is literally in the middle of an overgrown forest. Depending on which starting farm layout you choose, pulling weeds and chopping wood can prove to be an endless task. If you never played Co-Op, you immediately notice how much easier life is with a buddy.

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9 No More Endless Days Of Watering

Three players doing various activities on the farm.

One of the most time consuming early-game tasks is watering crops. The more seeds you plant at the beginning of the season, the less free time you have thereafter. That is, unless you set up an automated sprinkler system or get a hold of an iridium watering can. Both options are out of the question at the beginning of the game.

No matter how fast you might be, or which watering can you upgrade to, taking care of your crops is always faster with someone's help. Besides this added efficiency bonus, it's fun to be around someone who actually does work alongside you.

8 Gathering A Surplus Of Food And Resources

A player foraging spring onions in the Cinder Snap Forest

Stamina is key in Stardew Valley. As you accumulate hours and hours of gameplay, your character becomes more resistant to tasks that drain that precious energy bar. However, keeping your strength up requires some clever foraging, until you have a kitchen and plenty of ingredients to cook the best recipes. A farmhand is invaluable when it comes to stacking up provisions.

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Gathering resources like berries and mushrooms gives you access to a sustainable replenishment of stamina. Moreover, obtaining any type of material, like wood or stone, is undoubtedly easier and less cost-intensive with someone's help.

7 Gain Access To A Wealth Of Skills And Professions

A view of a player's skill tree in Stardew Valley

Character progress is tied to branching paths that split up in patters of twos. You can either be a tiller or a rancher, and then gain access to mutually exclusive sets of skills. To put it in practical terms, you would need four players in total to gain access to every single profession in the game.

Some unlockable perks are more useful than others, but you don't need to get every single one. Nevertheless, two players can really broaden the farm's horizons in terms of profitability. For example, you could maximize both crop and animal produce selling values with just two players.

6 Go On Exhilarating Fishing Competitions

The winter fishing competition that takes place once a year in the forest.

Fishing is one of the best activities in the game. Few farming simulators manage to nail the same feeling of satisfaction you get from finally catching any of the legendary fish. If you want to make the experience even better, compete with a farmhand to reel in the hardest and most profitable catches in the game.

There are two main benefits to be gained from this activity. The first is glory, along with bragging rights. The second, most important, one is the amount of money the farm makes from a considerable haul of high quality fish. Whoever makes the most money at the end of the day, gets to skip watering crops in the morning.

5 Obtaining Even More Help On The Farm

The wedding event in the game.

You might already know that getting married in Stardew Valley comes with certain benefits, including a Stardrop. In practical terms, although it might be sweet or funny, it's best not to get married to your friend. NPC spouses come to live with you on your farm, and they help around quite a bit: they might feed the animals, water some crops, or even repair fences, among other things.

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The more players live on your farm, the more spouses can tag along and help out with chores. If you are concerned about maximum efficiency, you want to make sure you keep this in mind, since it's an especially useful benefit unique to Co-Op.

4 Take Advantage Of Luck In Multiple Ways

The TV announces the daily luck stat.

Luck is the most important stat in the game. You should always take advantage of the best effects for high luck, whenever possible. Finding a Prismatic Shard is almost impossible unless you jump into the Skull Cavern right away in the morning, after the TV announces that the spirits are completely on your side.

The luck modifier that changes daily applies to every player in the game. That means everyone has the same base luck. If you are desperate to catch a special fish or find a specific artifact, it's much easier to do so when you and your farmhand use both of your luck stats in conjunction. Otherwise you can split up — after all, you can't do everything by yourself in a single day.

3 Complete Bundles With Less Difficulty

The crafts room bundle in the Community Center.

Completing the various bundles in the community center can prove extremely difficult. One mistake can cost you dearly, and you might have to wait a whole in-game year to gain access to certain seasonal drops.

If you play with a friend, you don't have to do it all yourself. One of you might take care of the daily chores while the other goes to fish an octopus, which can only be caught until 1 p.m. in the Summer (and is required in the remixed bundles).

2 Go Deeper Than Ever In The Skull Cavern

A player reaches an increadibly deep level in the Skull cavern.

Mining is far more enjoyable in Co-Op. The Skull Cavern is the place where Stardew Valley turns its dial to the max and becomes an adventure game. Naturally, it's even better to explore the dangers of Calico Desert with a friend in tow.

Realistically, if you were to bring a friend with you on a mining expedition, and both of you make sure to bring plenty of bombs and foods, you can easily reach and surpass level 100. Raiding the Skull Cavern is a must when playing Co-Op.

1 Sharing And Caring Forms Meaningful Bonds

Four players riding their horses in the forest.

Ultimately, too many games are about winning. Shooters like Call Of Duty practically demand you to be more skilled than others, if you want to enjoy the experience. Sports games are literally only about getting more points than your adversary, by outplaying them. Stardew Valley completely turns the tables around, and is proof of how it's much more fun to share something rather than compete.

The best memories in games are made when you feel like you are having a good time with your pals. Everything else is really irrelevant. Stardew Valley provides the perfect space to just kick back and relax with your friends.

NEXT: Stardew Valley: 15 Profitable Items You Shouldn't Sell 

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