Fishing docks with colorful boats and vendor docked at it and lights strung up
Image via Concerned Ape on Steam

Stardew Valley 1.6’s Best Gameplay Changes (So Far)

The Stardew Valley 1.6 update is everything we've wanted and more! Check out some of the best new features.

Even when I thought Stardew Valley couldn’t get any better, this update takes the cake. There is no shortage of new content added to the game, but fans have been waiting a long time for some of them. Here are some of the very best gameplay changes in Stardew Valley 1.6.

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Best New Features in Stardew Valley 1.6

Stardew Valley 1.6 brought tons of new content and changes to the game, including overall fixes and improvements to the well-loved world. Not only will we get new crops to plant, but other items and features that I personally have been dying to see.

Meadowlands Farm

If you’ve been playing Stardew Valley for a long time, you’ve probably started over a lot and tried every starting farm location available. Well, you finally have something fresh to try with a brand new farm location — Meadowlands.

Meadowlands farm layout with farmhouse on the right and a gated area with a chicken coop on the left
Screenshot by GameSkinny

The Meadowlands is a fantastic new choice for a farm location. It has bluegrass, a large wooded area, and, best of all, a chicken coop that comes with two chickens immediately upon starting up the game. Even though the area is not great for crop growth, you can make fast income by selling eggs.

I don’t know about you, but one of the most significant factors in farm locations for me is space to build and decorate. If you clear out all the trees, you have a lot of land that is all connected and perfect for farm extensions.

Eight-Player Multiplayer

Stardew Valley is even more fun when you can bring friends along. Working on a farm requires lots of work, and the more friends you have, the more you can get done. In 1.6, you’ll be able to invite even more players to your Valley!

Host farm menu with character creation and options for 7 starting cabins
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Before the update, you could invite up to three other friends (for a total of four players) in one world. With this update, PC players can now play up to eight players simultaneously, all staying on the same farm. Imagine what you could do with that many players working together, collecting items for bundles, gardening, or working the mine.

This works as an online multiplayer, not a split-screen. Currently, it’s only available for PCs. However, it could be added to Switch and consoles later.

Gifting Pets

Don’t get me wrong, I love pets, but the pets (like cats and dogs) in Stardew Valley didn’t have much of a purpose besides just looking cute. That changes in the new update! Pets can now give you gifts as you form a relationship with them.

Two images are divided by a white barrier. Player standing next to an grey and black dog with a heart and player standing next to an orange cat with a heart
Image by GameSkinny

You can now have multiple pets at once and keep track of them via the menu’s new Animals tab. Just like you earned hearts with livestock animals, you can now earn hearts with your cat or dog. The hearts will begin to fill up as you pet them every day. As you grow your friendship, they will give you random gifts. These can be any type of harvestable item, which can definitely come in handy and make the pets more useful in general.

Tent Kits

I can’t tell you how often I’ve been caught out at 2 am, especially when working hard to descend into the mines. It’s always a pain to lose those precious resources and not have full energy the next day, which is why one of my favorite new features is tents.

Tent and campsite near the mines
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Tent Kits allow you to craft a one-time use tent to camp anywhere outside in the Valley. This works just like going to bed, but you don’t have to make a mad dash back to the farm. This is particularly handy for mining, allowing you to set up camp right outside and then continue working hard first thing.

You can unlock the crafting recipe for Tent Kits at Foraging Level 8, or if you’ve made it to Ginger Island, you can find three of them in a lootable package. It will cost some materials to make: 10 Hardwood, 25 Fiber, and 1 Cloth, so make sure to save some for your camping excursions.

Movable Buildings

Being able to move your farmhouse may seem like a minuscule addition compared to some of Stardew Valley‘s other new features, but it’s an accessibility option I’ve desperately wanted.

Farmhouse move option through Robin. Farmhouse is highlighted in green allowing you to pick it up and move it to an empty spot
Screenshot by GameSkinny

The farmhouse is always in the same spot every time you start a new game, no matter what location you choose. This can be annoying, especially if you want to organize your farm buildings in a particular layout. Thankfully, you can now speak to Robin about moving the farmhouse and pet bowls anytime. You can move them to any clear space on your farmland, just like you choose a spot for a new farm building, so you can switch things up and create a unique space.

Heavy Furnace

Smelting down your ores into bars is one of the most important parts of gaining crafting materials and progressing in Stardew Valley. One of the features I’ve been wanting to see was a way to smelt more than one bar at a time, and my wishes came true in this update.

Outside of the Blacksmith shop with heavy equipment
Screenshot by GameSkinny

The Heavy Furnace is now an option for crafting. It can smelt multiple pieces of ore at once and occasionally give you bonus bars, so you don’t have to create an army of furnaces to get the job done efficiently. While it will take more materials to make a Heavy Furnace, it is well worth it, so you don’t have to wait as long for the process to finish.

More Home Renovations

If you’re big on the role-playing and renovation aspects of Stardew Valley, more home renovation options go hand in hand with being able to move your farmhouse. You’ll love all these new options for your home.

Robin dialogue with option to upgrade the farmhouse
Screenshot by GameSkinny

After upgrading your house with the kitchen and bedroom expansions, you can now speak to Robin about further renovations. Four new options exist: a dining room, an attic, a cubby, and an expanded corner room. If you didn’t think you had enough space before, adding all these will turn your little farmhouse into a farm mansion and allow endless decorating opportunities. It’s a roleplayer’s dream!

Prize Machine

Lewis has really been holding out on us. We’ve attended all the festivals and won all the competitions, but the prizes are just not cutting it. Well, it’s time to make a pit stop at Lewis’ house to check out his brand-new Prize Machine.

A slot machine like menu with option to insert tickets for a chance to spin and win a reward
Screenshot by GameSkinny

The Prize Machine allows you to insert tickets to earn special random rewards. You get these tickets from completing quests, special orders, and repeated wins at festivals. I love the idea of a Prize Machine because it makes the special orders and quests more valuable and festivals even more worth participating in. You never know what you might get, so save up your tickets and give it a shot!

Text Signs

Not everyone may be as excited about Text Signs as I am, but if you’re big on organization, you may have been waiting for this one for a long time.

Crafting menu with option to craft Text Signs for 25 wood
Screenshot by GameSkinny

We’ve been stuck using posts with icons on them to remind us what we have stored in our chests or to label things appropriately around our farms. However, we can finally start labeling them more specifically with text signs. Alternatively, you can use them to leave little notes for your friends.

These are just a few of the amazing changes that stuck out to us, but there are so many more features to uncover in this expansive update. Stay tuned to GameSkinny’s Stardew Valley guides hub for more content on the 1.6 update, like Will Stardew Valley Mods Work with Update 1.6?

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Abby Smith
Abby Smith is a super nerd and video game fanatic who grew up playing games on a variety of platforms. Since graduating, she has worked in the online journalism field for over three years. She likes to spend her free time binge-watching Netflix, reading all genres of novels, and playing all the best new video games. She is currently a full-time Staff Writer for GameSkinny, and as an alumni from Full Sail University, also enjoys dabbling in creative writing such as short stories, scripts, and comics on the side.