How does split-screen work in Stardew Valley?

Player with your friends at the same location.

Image via ConcernedApe (Eric Barone)

In a surprise announcement, Eric Barone, creator of Stardew Valley, shared that when the game’s update 1.5 releases, there’s a new option for players on consoles and PC to jump into a split-screen multiplayer. The news was shared in a tweet sent out on October 16, and Barone shared a few of the feature’s current constructions, such as that some hardware will only have two-player co-op, while others would be capable of managing four-player.

Multiplayer is not a new concept for Stardew valley players. It was first released in August 2018, but not when the game was initially released in 2016, though Barone had originally planned for the game to have a four-player multiplayer when he created it.

Barone’s tweet came with a screenshot showing split-screen in action. The screens are narrowed down to provide players the most information, but it’s a reduced experience, making sense as it must fit two players’ perspectives on a single screen. Although it doesn’t look like players lose too much in the split-screen experience. Also, there are a handful of easter eggs about update 1.5 in the screenshot, such as a telephone in the yard, new chests, and new slimes.

We don’t know which platforms will have two-person co-op, although we know the PC version will have a four-player split-screen mode. Based on Barone’s comments in the thread of the split-screen announcement, we also know that it’s a feature not coming to mobile devices, only consoles, and PC.

The split-screen feature will arrive alongside update 1.5, along with plenty of new features, such as new plants, trees, items, enemies in the caves, customization items, and many more things. Barone has not set a release date for the update but has been hinting at it for several months. Hopefully, we learn something more concrete before the end of 2020.