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Everything new in the Stardew Valley 1.6 update

Fabulous farming, festivals, and friends
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The Stardew Valley 1.6 update is just around the corner, and the farm-sim’s creator Eric Barone teased a bit about what to expect in the latest free expansion. New festivals, deeper relationships, more skills – there’s still a lot going on in Stardew Valley, almost a decade after the game launched. Barone is holding back some surprises, though if you're hoping for new locations outside the valley, you probably shouldn't.

We've outlined what to expect from Stardew Valley 1.6 below, including its release date and what kind of festivals to expect.

Stardew Valley 1.6 release date

Stardew Valley 1.6 should release on March 19, 2024. Barone said he’s still working hard on polishing some features in the update, so it’s possible that, if he runs into trouble, the release date could be pushed back.

Stardew 1.6 will launch first on PC, so if you play on Switch or other consoles, expect some delays.

What’s new in the Stardew Valley 1.6 update?

One of Stardew 1.6’s big draws is a major new festival, and it’s accompanied by two smaller ones. Barone hasn’t let slip what these are or even when they fall in the year, but any special event is worth celebrating in Stardew. There’s some debate in the Stardew community over what counts as a mini-festival, but the general idea is that mini-festivals don’t end when you leave and don’t block a specific area. Following those qualifiers, mini-festivals would include events such as birthday celebrations and the night market.

Slightly more vague is the inclusion of “new endgame content” that expands on each skill area – farming, mining, and the rest. Barone didn’t give any indication about what those endgame activities might be, though, or whether expanding your skill areas will unlock new blueprints or other items as they do when you rank up at earlier levels. There are new crafting recipes and items, though.

A Stardew Valley farmer walking along a pier at night, as boats sail past with lights strung up between them

Expect more festivities that breathe new life into the valley

Elsewhere in the Stardew 1.6 update, villagers finally have appropriate clothing for winter, and they each have dozens of new dialogue lines that shake up your relationships a bit. There’s a new farm type, more rewards for completing billboard quests, and expanded multiplayer that lets you play with up to eight people instead of just four.

Barone also promised “more secrets,” which has Stardew fans feverishly speculating about everything from new characters to whole new zones. A raccoon in one teaser has some people thinking Prairie Island might make an appearance, though Barone also mentioned in one interview with Polygon that Stardew 1.6 focuses on the valley’s core areas.

He also said this is just scratching the surface of the update and mentioned there's a lot more to Stardew 1.6 than he shared in the brief little content roadmap.