It’s been a long time coming, but Stardew Valley is finally seeing some movement on the multiplayer front: The official blog has a post from Chucklefish Games, which was brought on by creator Eric Barone to work on localization, multiplayer, and ports.
“I’m here with an update for those of you who have been waiting so patiently for news on multiplayer!” writes the Chucklefish dev. “Now that we’ve pinned down the main technical issues, we know enough to feel confident describing the gameplay you can expect from it.”
Multiplayer will apparently consist of bringing a few friends in as “farmhands” in the main player’s game. Player-to-player marriage, multiplayer-relevant UI, and events and festivals are coming too, though local multiplayer and PvP are off the table.
“You won’t need to set up a server to run multiplayer. Friends can be invited onto the farm through Steam. The invite mechanism for non-Steam versions is TBD, but likely to be similar in most cases.”
Beta is expected on Steam by the end of the year, with the launch scheduled for early 2018.
Multiplayer was originally announced in May of last year, at the time planned for the game’s 1.1 patch last December, but obviously that didn’t happen. Since then, the game launched a boxed collector’s edition for Xbox One and PS4, with plans to launch on the Switch too.