Every new feature confirmed for the big Stardew Valley update dropping this week

A screenshot of Stardew Valley
(Image credit: Concerned Ape)

The cozy farming sim Stardew Valley is getting one of its biggest updates to date on PC on March 19. It includes so many fixes, improvements, and updates that developer Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone suggests fans should start a fresh save file just "to see everything in context." But what exactly does the highly anticipated update 1.6 entail? 

To drum up excitement, Barone's posting on X a patch note line every day in the week leading up to update 1.6's release, giving players an idea of the small but impactful tweaks to expect. And in the process, he's confirmed a long-running conspiracy theory about the game's harvesting mechanic, promised a fix that should make combat easier, and teased a new "honeymoon period" for Stardew Valley newlyweds. While initially announced in April 2023, update 1.6 has since ballooned in size and is now a much larger update than what was originally planned, Barone announced in January

Here are the patch notes revealed so far: 

  • Cutting down a fruit tree now yields the appropriate fruit sapling. If the tree is mature (ie the fruit quality is > basic), it will yield a sapling with the same quality as its fruit. The higher the quality, the faster the sapling will mature when replanted.
  • Fixed bug where it was faster to harvest left-to-right than right-to-left.
  • Extended the area of effect of downward facing melee attacks.
  • Reduced the amount of time you need to push against a pet before they start shaking and then let you pass through them (1.5 - .75 seconds).
  • Spouses now have a seven-day "honeymoon" period after marriage which prevents them from laying in bed all day due to being upset. 

For years, players have suspected that harvesting crops from right to left was noticeably slower than harvesting crops from left to right, but the discrepancy had never been addressed by Barone or in previous patch notes. With update 1.6, Barone not only confirmed that this bug has been in "Stardew Valley" since launch, but it will soon be patched out. 

"The left-facing harvest animation was 100ms longer than it should’ve been,” said Barone on X. Now harvesting will be the same speed for players regardless of their direction; that is, the update will let players pick the fruits of their labor in both directions “equally fast” rather than “equally slow," he clarified.  

Barone is also using this latest update as an excuse to address a long-running issue he's had with "Stardew Valley's" combat.

"Ever notice that swinging the sword downward put you at a big disadvantage?" Barone wrote. "It's always bugged me, but I had tuned it that way so that the area of effect would match the visual. For 1.6, I decided that game feel is way more important than precise visual accuracy."

Another big change Barone's teased so far is that saplings created when players cut down trees will grow faster based on the quality of the fruit from the felled tree. Update 1.6 will also add a "honeymoon" period after marriage for the game's 12 bachelors and bachelorettes. During this seven-day period, your new husband or wife can't be so depressed that they sulk in bed all day—something that typically happens when your spouse has abysmally low approval. The goal of this tweak seems to be to avoid a specific gameplay oddity that's mystified players when their spouse of only a few days was already having second thoughts about getting hitched. 

If you're looking for more great titles to play like "Stardew Valley," be sure to check out our round-up of the best Switch games and best PC games

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.