It’s been almost a year and a half since indie hit Stardew Valley was released, but, at long last, details about the game’s upcoming multiplayer mode have arrived. Multiplayer will be online only and will be handled entirely through Steam, with a similar way to invite players planned for non-Steam versions of the game, rather than requiring the host to set up a server. Players who join a friend’s game will become farmhands. Each player will have their own inventory, which can be managed “through a chest in their cabin” when they are not connected, meaning that their items will never be completely inaccessible. They will largely be able to act as the main player does, with a few restrictions; farmhands will not be able to choose when to sleep, when to start or end festivals, “whether to side with Joja,” and so on.
Marriage between players is a feature that is being considered, and will require “a similar amount of effort to wooing an NPC,” but the finer details of such a system have yet to be decided. However, it is noted that it “won’t use the mermaid pendant.”
A Steam-exclusive multiplayer Beta test is set to begin “at the end of the year.” Following the Beta test, multiplayer will be released as part of patch 1.3 in early 2018.