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ConcernedApe and Chucklefish Studios announced that the multiplayer beta for Stardew Valley has currently gone live. The update allows gamers to finally take their farming antics beyond the single-player confinements, and embrace the chaos and fun that comes with playing with multiple people.
While the game is also available on other digital distribution services as well, such as GOG.com, the multiplayer beta is limited to the Steam version of the game. You'll need to pop open the client, head to the library entry for Stardew Valley, click on "Properties," and then move over to the tab for the beta. You'll be able to opt into the beta by using the password "jumpingjunimos."
This will opt you into the multiplayer beta for the game, which will allow you to share your farming instance with other players online.
This is a beta, so you may want to make a backup copy of your saved game, similar to installing mods for games like Starbound. Installing the wrong kind of mod can most certainly ruin your experience. Once you have a backup copy of your saved game stored away safely somewhere, you can then boot up Stardew Valley and load up your old farm. Yes, you can actually import your single-player game into the multiplayer game, very similar to Re-Logic's Terraria or Mojang's Minecraft.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind. For one thing, before you can properly do anything in multiplayer you'll need to make a few changes to your farm. It's nothing serious like overhauling it and having all your goods subsidized by the government. It's a lot less draconian than that, but it does involve subsidized cabins. You'll need to place several cabins on your farm's property. This is essential because it's required for other players to stay when they log into your game. You'll need three cabins on your property, which will allow a total of four players to participate in the multiplayer session.
You can setup sessions for Stardew Valley with invitations to friends using invite codes, or you can have it setup where only people on your GOG or Steam friends list can see your server.
If you're in a game session and you want a friend to join you, simply have them right click your name in the friends list and click on "Join Game" while a LAN game has been setup.
There are a few other caveats to keep in mind as well, such as the fact that in multiplayer games all players share gold, world updates, and farm growth. Skills, NPC relationships and inventories are kept separate between all four players, though.
Also, if you plan on taking a nap in order to progress the game into the next day, you'll all need to hop into bed and confirm through the dialogue option to proceed into the next day. You'll also all have to be in the same area if you want to participate in the game's festivals.
Once the multiplayer is all ironed out, it will also appear in the Nintendo Switch version of Stardew Valley, followed by the Xbox One and PS4.