Stardew Valley will be offering players a multiplayer option in 2018 on PC, according to a news update from Chucklefish, the developers behind Stardew Valley.

The way multiplayer will work is that your friends can play as farmhands, with each having their own house on your property. Up to three friends can join one game at a time, letting four players be in one Stardew Valley game at one time.

“Farmhands can do almost anything the main player can do. They can farm, mine, fight, fish, forage, marry NPCs and take part in festivals. Each player has their own inventory. When a farmhand is not connected, their inventory can be managed through a chest in their cabin,” said Chucklefish developer tccoxon (has also worked on Starbound and Lenna’s Inception).

The host player, though, will be in charge of when everyone goes to sleep and when festivals begin and finish (mostly timing aspects of the game). Considering that friends in multiplayer could even marry if they wanted to, though, players seem to have a lot of room to do what they want in Stardew Valley.

Friend invites can be managed through Steam for PC versions. In the console versions of Stardew Valley, there will be a similar way to invite friends to your game (the multiplayer update for consoles will be available first on the Nintendo Switch after the PC update, then Chucklefish will update other console versions in the future).

The fact that a farming simulator like Stardew Valley is even offering multiplayer is unbelievable. As a fan of the Harvest Moon franchise since Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life came out on the GameCube, I never dreamt that a multiplayer function this deeply involved would come to a farming simulator (Harvest Moon games have had some aspects of multiplayer, but it isn’t as deeply involved as Stardew Valley‘s).

But, this multiplayer update may be getting more advanced soon enough. Along with this new multiplayer update, Chucklefish has thought about possibly adding a player to player marriage option at the request of fans.

“A lot of players have requested player-to-player marriage. It’s an idea we like a lot, and want to make available as a feature. Player-to-player marriage won’t use the mermaid pendant, but rather an alternative method that requires a similar amount of effort to wooing an NPC. We’re still working out what that will be,” said tccxon.

The new implementation of a multiplayer feature adds a unique twist to Stardew Valley when comparing it to other games in the same category like the Harvest Moon franchise. Now, with a possible player to player marriage update, Stardew Valley will totally differentiate themselves from other games by giving fans these numerous options to play the game however way you want to.

“Effort so far has been focused on overcoming the biggest technical hurdle: synchronizing multiple games over the Internet. Almost every source file has been touched, and 15,000 lines of code have been rewritten. Retrofitting multiplayer into a game that didn’t have it originally is notoriously hard,” said tccoxon about the difficulty of adding a multiplayer feature to Stardew Valley.

For now, the update with multiplayer will only be available on PC versions (Windows, Linux and Mac) in early 2018. Beta testing will begin at the end of this year for Steam users who own Stardew Valley.

Stardew Valley was released in February of 2016 and became a hit amongst gamers. The game currently has over 54,000 overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam and a score of 89 from critics on Metacritic. Also on Metacritic, the game ranked seven in Best PC Game of 2016, 27 in Most Discussed PC Game of 2016, and 10 in Most Shared PC Game of 2016, proving it’s popularity with fans.

Featured image via Flickr/BagoGames.