Carl's Guide to Stardew Valley

Gameplay Strategy and Farm Management

Stardew Valley: Making Friends

Gifts to Build Hearts and Make Relationships

Making friends in Stardew Valley is primarily a matter of talking to and giving gifts to the residents of Pelican Town and elsewhere in the game world. Making friends will teach your character new recipes and villagers will send gifts in the mail once they like you well enough. This can also lead to your character marrying a villager and them becoming your husband or wife. Stardew Valley does allow for same-sex marriage, for those interested.

Heart Meter

When you talk to a character, you can hover over the icon in the bottom right corner to see the amount of hearts you've built with them. Building hearts up takes time, due to the delays on gift giving and the fact that there is a little decay each day if you don't talk to them (or can't find them!). The heart meter will freeze at 10 if you can max it out - that villager will be a best friend and no longer need such attention. NPCs who are eligible for marriage - bachelors and bachelorettes - will have the meter freeze after 8 hearts and require a bouquet (engagement) to go further.

How to Make Friends in Stardew Valley: Talking and Gifts

Each villager in Stardew Valley can be given one gift per day, up to two per week (with birthdays as an exception and a chance at 3 gifts in one week). To give a gift simply put it on the bar and use the item while hovering over the villager. When they like what you've given them, you will build a portion of a heart, which indicates how well they like you. If they hate that item, it will result in a reduction, and not talking to them for a long time may also see those relationships decay. Talking to them one time per ten days will stop any decay and get the relationship back to where it was. By interacting with them more frequently, you can make gains by just talking to the villager on a regular basis.

Each of the NPCs in Stardew Valley have likes and dislikes, and gifts may be received in five ways: horrible, bad, neutral, good, and great, with dialog to go along with that reception. A neutral gift is worth about the same amount as talking to them each day, so it's not worthless, while a good or great one is worth over 2 or 4 days worth of visits. Just don't give them things they hate. These gifts give different point values, but so long as you stick to good or great (the best) gifts for that villager, you'll make progress and build up the friendship. Every heart level takes the same amount of effort, so it is not like leveling a skill.

Quests from the job board by Pierre's, gifting on birthdays, and gifts on holidays like the Feast of the Winter Star, where you are assigned a Secret Santa, give far more progress on building hearts so take advantage of those opportunities. Look at the calendar next to Pierre's to see when an NPC's birthday is during that season, and in the list of best gifts below.

The Social Tab

Press ESC to access the inventory screen. Head to the social tab (the heart) and note that it helps you keep track of who you've given gifts to each week (resets on Sunday). Up to two boxes may be checked, this helps you manage your gift-giving and keeps count. It will also show your current heart level with that villager. It's very handy when you want to build friendships with several NPCs at once for achievements or Grandpa's Evaluation at the start of the third year.

Marriage in Stardew Valley

Getting Married means getting to 10 hearts with one of the bachelors or bachelorettes below. You must first give them a bouquet, bought at Pierre's, once you reach 8 hearts with them - this unlocks the 9th and 10th hearts. You may give a bouquet to more than one NPC, as long as you are not yet married.

Getting Engaged means buying a Mermaid's Pendant for 5,000g and giving it to the villager once you've hit 10 hearts. Buying the pendant means going to the beach while it's raining and paying 5,000G to the old Mariner. To access the area you must have repaired the bridge for 500 wood. He only appears on rainy days, not snowy, and you can't buy it until you're eligible to propose so you can't snag it early to use for later. Since you need a double bed to propose, you have to upgrade the house at least once.

Marriage takes place 3 days after giving them the Mermaid's Pendant. If you continue to build relations with your spouse, you can have kids (with the final house upgrade). Your spouse will help out a little around the farm, and passing 12 hearts will result in your spouse giving you a Stardrop sometime at random, which increases maximum energy. This is easy to achieve, as you can give your husband or wife a gift every day as opposed to twice a week.

Marriage Candidates

Male Villagers you can MarryFemales You Can Marry

See below for things your potential spouse likes and dislikes in order to build the heart requirements to get married!

Summing it Up: Be Consistent

Because of how all of this works, it is good to start earlier rather than later if you want your character to get married, or to have many friends who teach them cooking recipes. It takes time and some dedication to get a character to 10 hearts, but mercifully you can stop at that point. Talk to them every day regardless of you having a gift for them. Learn where you normally find each NPC, and they'll usually be around there though everyone has a schedule. Sometimes it's best to catch them early when you know where they live. Farming up a favorite type of produce is one of the most reliable ways to build relationships, as you can have a gift they love and give it 2x every week. Given there are 16 weeks in a year and one birthday, you could have a good gift twice a week for each villager by making 32 of something like like and regularly delivering it.

List of Gifts Most NPCs Like

A villager may 'love' these items, but should not hate them. Some love them and are noted in the bigger list below. This isn't perfect but should set you in a direction. Look for the name of the NPC you're trying to befriend with Control + F to see if they appear below in the list of generally liked items as well as their main entry in the big list.

List of Gifts Each Villager Likes and Loves

VillagerBirthdayGood GiftsBest Gifts
AbigailFal 13Likes Blueberry, Crocus, Sweet Pea, TulipLoves Amethyst, Blackberry Cobbler, Chocolate Cake, Pufferfish, Pumpkin, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Spicy Eel
AlexSum 13Likes Corn, Crocus, Eggs (not Void Egg) Green Bean, Kale, Sweet Pea, Parsnip, Potato, TulipLoves Complete Breakfast, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Salmon Dinner
CarolineWin 7Likes Blue Jazz, Corn, Crocus, Eggplant, Fairy Rose, Parsnip, Radish, Tomato Loves Fish Taco, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Summer Spangle
ClintWin 26Likes Copper Bar, Iron Bar, Parsnip, TomatoLoves Aquamarine, Artichoke Dip, Emerald, Fiddlehead Risotto, Gold Bar, Iridium Bar, Omni Geode, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Ruby
DemetriusSum 19Likes Corn, Hot Pepper, Parsnip, Purple MushroomLoves Bean Hotpot, Ice Cream, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Rice Pudding, Strawberry
DwarfSum 22Likes Dwarf Scroll I-IV, Dwarvish Helm, Dwarf GadgetLoves Amethyst, Aquamarine, Emerald, Jade, Omni Geode, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Ruby, Topaz
ElliottFal 5Likes Octopus, Parsnip, Squid, TulipLoves Crab Cakes, Duck Feather, Lobster, Pomegranate, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Tom Kha Soup
EmilySpr 27Likes Crocus, Daffodil, ParsnipLoves Amethyst, Aquamarine, Cloth, Emerald, Jade, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Ruby, Survival Burger, Wool
EvelynWin 20Likes Baked Fish, Crocus, Daffodil, Summer Spangle, Sweet PeaLoves Beets, Chocolate Cake, Diamond, Fairy Rose, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Stuffing, Tulip
GeorgeFal 24Likes DaffodilLoves Fried Mushroom, Lee, Rabbit's Foot
GusSum 8Likes Cauliflower, Kale, Parsnip, Potato, TulipLoves Diamond, Escargot, Fish Taco, Orange, Rabbit's Foot
HaleySpr 14Likes Crocus, Daffodil, Sweet Pea, TulipLoves Coconut, Fruit Salad, Pink Cake, Rabbit's Foot, Sunflower
HarveyWin 14Likes Blackberry, Blueberry, Bok Choy, Corn, Daffodil, Duck Egg, Duck Feather, Goat Milk, Grape, Melon, Parsnip, Potato, Purple Mushroom, Strawberry, Wild PlumLoves Coffee, Lobster Bisque, Pickles, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Super Meal, Truffle Oil, Wine
JasSum 4Likes Coconut, Crocus, Daffodil, Sweet Pea, TulipLoves Fairy Rose, Pink Cake, Plum Pudding, Rabbit's Foot
JodiFal 11Likes Eggs, Milk, Fruits (not Spice Berry), Parsnip, Sweet PeaLoves Chocolate Cake, Crispy Bass, Diamond, Eggplant Parmesan, Fried Eel, Pancakes, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Vegetable Medley
KentSpr 4Likes Daffodil, Eggs (not void), Fruits, Parsnip, Sweet PeaLoves Fiddlehead Risotto, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Roasted Hazelnuts
KrobusWin 1Likes Gold Bars (never cooked foods)Loves Diamond, Iridium Bars, Pumpkin, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Void Eggs, Wild Horseradish
LeahWin 23Likes Chanterelle, Cheese, Common Mushroom, Crocus, Holly, MorelLoves Goat Cheese, Poppyseed Muffin, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Salad, Stir Fry, Vegetable Medley, Wine
LewisSpr 7Likes Blueberry, Cactus Fruit, Coconut, Corn, ParsnipLoves Autumn's Bounty, Glazed Yams, Hot Pepper, Rabbit's Foot
LinusWin 3Likes Chanterelle, Common Mushroom, Corn, Eggs, Fruits, Milk, VegetablesLoves Blueberry Tart, Cactus Fruit, Coconut, Dish of the Sea, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Yam
MarnieFal 18Likes Blue Jazz, Eggs (not Void), Corn, Garlic, Milk, Parsnip, Sweet PeaLoves Diamond, Farmer's Lunch, Pink Cake, Pumpkin Pie, Rabbit's Foot
MaruSum 10Likes Amaranth, Copper Bar, Crocus, Eggplant, Iron Bar, Parsnip, Sweet Pea, YamLoves Battery Pack, Cauliflower, Cheese Cauliflower, Diamond, Gold Bar, Iridium Bar, Miner's Treat, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Rhubarb Pie, Strawberry
PamSpr 18Likes Blackberry, Crocus, Milk, Sweet PeaLoves Beer, Cactus Fruit, Glazed Yams, Pale Ale, Parsnip Soup, Parsnip, Rabbit's Foot
PennyFal 2Likes Corn, Dandelion, Leek, Parsnip, Sweet Pea, Sunflower, Sweet Pea, TulipLoves Diamond, Emerald, Melon, Poppy, Red Plate, Roots Platter, Sandfish, Tom Kha Soup
PierreSpr 26Likes Blue Jazz, Cauliflower, Eggs, Eggplant, Green Beans, Parsnip, Potato, Sweet Pea, TulipLoves Fried Calamari, Rabbit's Foot
RobinFal 21Likes Blue Jazz, Crocus, Sweet Pea, TulipLoves Goat Cheese, Peach, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Spaghetti
SamSum 17Likes Joja Cola, EggLoves Cactus Fruit, Maple Bar, Pizza, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Tigerseye
SandyFal 15FruitLoves Crocus, Daffodil, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Sweet Pea
SebastianWin 10Likes Cauliflower, Parsnip, Potato, Pumpkin, TomatoLoves Frozen Tear, Obsidian, Pumpkin Soup, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Sashimi, Void Eggs
ShaneSpr 20Likes Blue Jazz, Corn, Eggs, Fairy Rose, Fruit, Green Bean, Sweet Pea Loves Beer, Hot Pepper, Pepper Poppers, Pizza, Rabbit's Foot
VincentSpr 10Likes Clam, Coconut, Crocus, DaffodilLoves Cranberry Candy, Grape, Pink Cake, Rabbit's Foot
WillySum 24Likes Gold Bar, Green Bean, Kale, Lingcod, Parsnip, Potato, Sweet Pea, Tiger Trout, TulipLoves Catfish, Diamond, Iridium Bar, Octopus, Pumpkin, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Sea Cucumber, Sturgeon
WizardWin 17Likes Amaranth, Blue Jazz, Esperite, Parsnip, Thunder EggLoves Purple Mushroom, Prismatic Shard, Rabbit's Foot, Solar Essence, Void Essence

Stardew Valley 1.1 Changes

Stardew Valley is now version 1.1, which comes with some significant changes. I have some updating to do as a result. Certain fruits (such as blueberries/cranberries) have had their sell prices reduced significantly to give players more reason to grow other produce. This makes tables with sales values wrong. I will fix them as soon as possible. You can see the full list of change notes here.

Stardew Guide Progress

My Stardew Valley Guide coverage has just begun as of July 8, 2016. I plan to put out pages regularly until I've covered most topics. For now I've completed guides on:

Skills & Unlocks New
Cows & Milk New
Gifts for Villagers (Hearts)
Combat New
The Skull Cavern New
The Desert New
Trees & Tappers New
Foraging New
The Secret Woods
Beginner's Guide New
Stardew Valley Tips
Crops to Grow for Bundles