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Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley 1.6 Returning Player Guide

Posted on by justin
(Estimated Read Time: 11 minutes)
Stardew Valley 1.6 is finally here! This latest patch to the much-loved farm and life simulation title is a content-rich update that adds a ton of new features, items, gameplay mechanics, and more to the game. If you stopped playing and want to return to farm life because of this patch, here's our guide for returning players for Stardew Valley 1.6.

Stardew Valley 1.6 Overview: What's New in the Latest Update?

Stardew Valley 1.6 Returning Players Guide A new farm, new NPC dialogues, more pets, and more festivals and events; these additions are only the tip of the iceberg for Stardew Valley 1.6. Returning players will find new content, gameplay optimizations, bug fixes, and more from this new patch. So, without further ado, here’s an overview of the new elements you’ll find in Stardew Valley with Update 1.6.

New Festivals and Events

Returning players to Stardew Valley 1.6 can experience three new festivals and one new event. The event is a new environmental scenario that only happens in summer. The three new festivals are the Desert Festival, Trout Derby, and SquidFest. The Trout Derby and SquidFest are two new mini-fishing festivals in Stardew Valley. As for the Desert Festival, it happens in Spring 15 to 17, and players can enjoy the Races. A winning bet lets the player earn an exclusive currency, which can be exchanged for items like a Mystery Box, food items, and decorations.

Meadowlands Farm

Before Update 1.6, new players can choose among seven different farm types. Now, there’s a new farm layout called the Meadowlands Farm. Note that each farm type has its pros and cons, and the Meadowlands Farm is no exception to that rule. For its advantages, players start the game with a Coop and two chickens. Plus, the entire area is rich with chewy blue grass that grazing animals love. However, the Meadowlands Farm generally lacks other resource-gathering points. For instance, foraging for items can be more challenging here than in the Forest Farm. Additionally, it doesn’t have many stone and ore nodes, unlike the Hill-top Farm.

Mastery System

Stardew Valley 1.6 adds a new mechanic called the Mastery System. Players can unlock this system by visiting a secret room in Cindersap Forest. Here, look for a door with a note underneath Leah’s house. Once unlocked, players can earn Mastery Points by reaching the maximum levels of specific skills, namely Farming, Mining, Foraging, Fishing, and Combat. Upon reaching Rank 10 on any of these skills, visit the secret door to start earning Mastery Points for that skill. Earning these points allows you to enhance that skill even further than the maximum level.

New Dialogues

Perhaps you already knew what each NPC was going to say before you stopped playing Stardew Valley. As you return with Update 1.6, many NPCs now have extra dialogues. These new NPC conversations can appear in different scenarios. Some examples include gift-giving scenes, flower dance invitations, and marrying an NPC.

Multiple Pets

New Stardew Valley players typically choose their preferred pet at the start of the game. However, each player was limited to owning one pet before Update 1.6. Now, you can have more pets on your farm, but you must first gain maximum hearts with your first pet before unlocking this feature. Additionally, earning hearts from pets can sometimes reward you with gifts.

The Bookseller

As its name implies, the Bookseller is a shop that sells books. However, this merchant doesn’t place a permanent stall in Stardew Valley. Instead, he’ll appear twice every season on random dates. Thankfully, you can check the in-game calendar to know which date he’ll arrive in town. The Bookseller trades items for your character to read. This NPC’s stock generally includes the following books:
  • Monster Compendium
  • Book of Stars
  • Stardew Valley Almanac
  • Bait and Bobber
  • Woodcutter’s Weekly
  • Mining Monthly
  • Combat Quarterly

Mystery Boxes

The new Mystery Boxes are like Geodes. However, players won’t be getting ores or rare minerals from these containers. Instead, each Mystery Box may contain the following items:
  • Hardwood
  • Pepper Seeds
  • Wheat Seeds
  • Coffee
  • Lobster Bisque
  • Deluxe Speed-Gro
  • Quality Fertilizer
Note: Talk to the Blacksmith to open a Mystery Box.

New Crops

Are you tired of selling the same crops repeatedly? Stardew Valley 1.6 adds new crops to its library, including carrots, broccoli, powder melons, and summer squashes. Note that you can't purchase the seeds for these crops at the store. So, you must explore the game's map to find these seeds before you can start cultivating these plants.

Tons of New Items

Returning players to Stardew Valley 1.6 will also find a plethora of new items to discover, gather, own, and use. Some of these items are the following (as mentioned in the official patch notes):
  • Big Chest, which is almost double the size of a regular chest. It can also be placed "onto" a regular chest to upgrade it.
  • Dehydrator, which turns fruit into dried fruit and mushrooms into dried mushrooms.
  • Mushroom Log, which produces mushrooms and interacts with nearby trees.
  • Bait Maker, which can produce fish-specific baits.
  • Heavy Furnace, which can process more bars at a time and yield bonus bars.
  • Fish Smoker produces smoked fish, doubling the value of the fish. You get one by default when starting a new Riverlands farm.
  • Text Signs, which can be written on.
  • Anvil, which allows you to re-roll trinkets.
  • Mini-Forge, which acts as a Dwarvish Forge.
  • Statue Of Blessings, which grants a random blessing each day.
  • Statue Of The Dwarf King, which allows you to select one of two mining buffs for the day.
  • Tent Kits, which allow you to build a tent that can be slept in for one night.
  • Treasure Totems, which spawn a ring of diggable spots.
  • Mystic Seeds grow a unique tree that can be tapped.
  • Mystic Syrup, a valuable tapper product.
  • Deluxe Bait, gets fish biting faster than regular bait.
  • Challenge Bait, which allows for up to 3 fish to be caught at once, but loses 1 each time a fish leaves the bobber bar.
  • Deluxe Worm Bin, which upgrades the regular worm bin to produce deluxe bait.
  • 19 unique Books Of Power, which grant special perks.
  • Skill Books, which grant experience in a skill.
  • Book Of Stars, which grants experience in all skills.
  • Moss, a new resource type which grows on old trees.
  • Mixed Flower Seeds.
  • Sonar Bobber, which shows the fish on your line before you catch it.
  • Raisins, which have a special use.
  • Sea Jelly, River Jelly, and Cave Jelly, a new item that you can fish.
  • 7 Trinkets, which grant powers related to combat.
  • Red, Purple, and Green fireworks.
  • Stardrop Tea, which makes an excellent gift for anyone.
  • 25 new hats.
  • 280 new furnitures.
  • New unique furniture catalogues, which contain themed furniture sets.
  • 41 new floor styles.
  • 24 new wallpaper styles.
  • Golden Animal Crackers.
  • Mannequins, which can be dressed.
  • Spouse Portraits which can be purchased after reaching 14 hearts.
  • Butterfly Powder, which allows you to remove pets…
  • Blue Grass Starter.
  • Moss Soup.
  • Secret items.

Visual Improvements

Aside from the new additions, the latest update for the game Stardew Valley brings many visual enhancements to the game. These changes include the addition of waterfalls, holiday decorations, pathstones, and jack-o-lanterns. Additionally, the update adds a new rare ambient critter, rare summer butterfly variants, and an uncommon little brown bird variant. The world map has also been redrawn to better match the in-game locations. Boat journey textures are now seasonal, and the bus stop has a wider map to prevent black bars on the sides of the screen. Plus, riverbanks and lakeshores in certain areas have been smoothed out. You’ll find more of these visual enhancements when you return to Stardew Valley.

Quality-of-Life Improvements

Perhaps you’ve been playing Stardew Valley for dozens of hours before stopping. At that point, you became an expert on the ins and outs of the game. However, Update 1.6 includes various quality-of-life enhancements to make your time in the valley even better than before. For instance, you can now “strafe” while charging the hoe or watering can. Doing so allows you to reposition the tool and prevent hitting areas accidentally. Also, refilling the slingshot is now easier by right-clicking it (as long as it’s the same ammo type). You can now also add torches on sprinklers, increasing your farm’s real estate. Additionally, various loading times have been shortened, including the mini-obelisk warp sequence. There are also additional keybinds you can use to streamline certain commands. These new controls are the following:
  • Press Shift + Right-click to throw an item on the toolbar and erase it from the inventory.
  • Press the Y or N keyboard keys to confirm or cancel the “Leave Festival” confirmation box.
  • Hold Left Shift + Left Ctrl + 1 to purchase a stack of 999 of a specific item from a shop.
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