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When Stardew Valley first released, it was hailed as a pleasantly wholesome video game by reviewers and gamers alike. Players were surprised by the relaxed gameplay that, when combined with the calming soundtrack and endearing art style, provided a satisfyingly peaceful experience for players to unwind to. Even with Stardew Valley’s go-at-your-own-pace nature, the game didn’t fail to appeal to the more ambitious crowd either; dedicated players could easily find themselves kept very busy by their farm’s many “responsibilities,” which ranged from managing crops to caring for animals.

Of course, as is the case with every good single-player game, it didn’t take long at all before players began clamoring for a cooperative mode. It’s human nature, after all, to want to share positive experiences with our friends and family, and it’s hard to deny that Stardew Valley fits into that category.

Fortunately for these fans, a developer post on the game’s website announced that the functionality for a cooperative mode isn’t only in development – it now has a release date as well (sort of).

“We currently expect to be able to start a beta test at the end of the year for Steam users to help us test the game. Mod authors will be encouraged to update their mods during this beta period. Then, in early 2018 we will release it as the 1.3 patch on Windows, Mac, and Linux.”

The post went into further detail about the mode’s expected experience. Evidently, an NPC named Robin will offer to build three cabins on the player’s farm. These cabins will provide a home for up to three players, who can then “do almost anything the main player can do.” This includes farming, mining, fighting, fishing, and even marrying NPCs. The only thing these farmhands won’t be able to do is decide when to sleep, when to start and end festivals, and some key story-integral choices.

Via the Stardew Valley website.

Stardew Valley’s multiplayer mode will run through Steam, and will not require players to host their own servers. How the mode will function for non-Steam versions has yet to be determined, although the post reads that it will “be similar in most cases.”

It will be awhile yet before the cooperative mode is completed and available for players. According to the developers, there’s still quite a lot of work remaining; the cabins need to be implemented, new user interfaces and menus have to be added, and the functionality for events and multiplayer relationships will need to be included into the game. Even after all that, everything must be tested for bugs and optimized appropriately.

Still, Stardew Valley’s cooperative mode is definitely something to look forward to. The game is currently available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC for $14.99 – and speaking of consoles, the patch will be rolled out to all systems, “starting with the Nintendo Switch.”

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