How to Add Mods to Stardew Valley on the Steam Deck

Stardew Valley is one of the best games to play on the Steam Deck, but users unfamiliar with Linux might find it difficult to add mods to the game on their handheld gaming device. Luckily, it’s not that difficult with the help of a handy guide.

Stardew Valley is an excellent game which is further improved with the help of mods. That’s right, whether they’re just added to improve the user interface or completely transform the game with something like Stardew Valley Expanded, user-created content can drastically improve the gaming experience.

The relatively small file size, endless replayability and controller friendliness make Stardew Valley an ideal download for the Steam Deck and some are just not willing to go back and play the vanilla version of the game. Installing mods on the Steam Deck should be largely familiar to those who’ve done it on Windows or Mac, but there are a few differences when it comes to setup. Here’s how.

How to Install and Use SMAPI on Steam Deck to Play Stardew Valley with Mods

On all computers, SMAPI is the standard. The main difference is how the installation works on Linux compared to other operating systems. Not only that, but Steam Deck newcomers may not even know how to access the Linux desktop in the first place.

This walkthrough will help you get things up and running. This is most easily done with a keyboard and mouse connected through a USB-C hub or dock, although it can still be done using the Steam Deck controls in other ways.

  1. Install a browser like Firefox or Chrome on the Steam Deck
  2. Press the “STEAM” button, select “Power” and then select “Switch to Desktop”
  3. Open the browser in Linux
  4. Go to SMAPI.io, click “Download SMAPI” and select “Direct Download”
  5. Extract the .ZIP file that includes the SMAPI installer
  6. Open extracted folder
  7. Press CTRL + ALT + T on the keyboard to bring up a terminal window
  8. Drag and drop the “Install to linux.sh” file into the terminal window
  9. Left-click in the terminal window, then press Enter
  10. Follow the prompts to install SMAPI, which will add a new folder named “Mods” to Stardew Valley’s local files (see below for details)
  11. Log in to Nexus Mods and download the mods you want to use in Stardew Valley
  12. Mods will be downloaded as a .ZIP file. Extract them to the “Mods” folder in Stardew Valley Local Files

Both Windows and Mac users will be happy to know that the regular version of Steam comes pre-installed on the Steam Deck and works exactly the same as on Linux. Just open Steam from the desktop, click on the Library tab, then search for Stardew Valley in the left bar. Right-click on it, select “Properties”, then select “Local Files”, then finally press the “Browse” button.

This opens the Stardew Valley folder, giving you easy access to the file you need to add as well as the mod folder in case mods need to be updated or removed.

Users who have already tricked out their Stardew Valley experience on PC or Mac can copy and paste their mods to a USB flash drive and simply move them into Steam Deck via a USB-C hub or dock. Another option is to use a website that allows file transfers, like Google Drive.

It’s worth noting that adding mods to Stardew Valley dramatically increases the time it takes to launch the game. This is the case on both PC and Steam Deck, but it’s much more noticeable on Steam Deck. It’s not such a difficult process that users should avoid it, because the best Stardew Valley mods are well worth the wait.

Can you play Stardew Valley Expanded on Steam Deck?

The Steam Deck supports Stardew Valley mods, which means you can play Stardew Valley Expanded on the Steam Deck.

Stardew Valley Expanded adds a significant amount of new content to the game. This includes new items, new heart events, new NPCs, new friends, and even additional romance options. Familiar characters like Gunther and Marlon are now friendly, while other non-interactive NPCs like the ginger-haired cashier at JojaMart are now characters in their own right. This is in addition to a whole bunch of brand new content.

Stardew Valley Expanded adds enough new content to make it worth reinstalling the game for, even after completing a deep read. The only problem is that it requires a long list of other mods to support it, which means it takes a bit of effort to pull off. But that effort is well worth it for any Stardew Valley fan.

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