My farms never look this good.

Stardew Valley now out for iOS and it’s pretty great

iOS, PS4/Vita, Xbox, Switch, PC/Mac/Linux •

I talked last week about my recurring addiction to Stardew Valley, the overly cute and surprisingly deep farming simulator that’s been the bee’s knees since it released on PC back in 2016. We knew it was coming out for iOS today but it actually popped up on the App Store last night giving me a little time to try it out while the family slept. It’s pretty great.

I’ve only just started dabbling in the iOS version but the changes made for touchscreen are enormous. This is an FTL-level touchscreen port that changed a lot to make it work with our fingers. Menus and dialogs are completely overhauled and movement is of the Diablo-style “click here and move there” version rather than a clunky virtual d-pad.

The biggest, and most revolutionary, change is in tool selection. You no longer need to click on your pickaxe to smash a rock, then switch to an axe to chop a log, then to your scythe to cut grass. Instead, the game switches automatically to whatever tool you need when you click on an obstacle. It makes clearing out your farm, planting seeds, and watering your plants so damn easy that I’m not sure I want to go back to my Mac or Switch version.

There are some strange UI limitations and bugs, however. I still can’t figure out how to select only one item from a stack to move it into a chest or rearrange in my inventory. I’ve done it, but I don’t know how and the method doesn’t seem to work every time. I’ve also had some bugs while talking with townsfolk, mainly those who want to sell me something. I was stuck in an endless loop with Clint the blacksmith that took me awhile to figure out how to escape (I had a reward in my journal which seemed to be causing the issue).

Still, those are few and far between. Everything else from the original game is here and pretty great. I haven’t tried combat yet, but that will happen later today. There’s an option for “auto-combat” in the settings, so we’ll see how that works.

If you’re a Stardew Valley fan and want to take it on the go, this is a no-brainer. If you’ve never hoed a row or grown your own kale in the Valley, then this feels like the best way to get your hands dirty, and not only because it’s half the price. Oh, and if you’re a long-time player on PC or Mac and don’t want to start a new farm, saves are transferrable between your laptop and iDevice as well.

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Notable Replies

  1. I like the game but I despise the controls. I’m ready for a virtual joystick. That isn’t necessarily ideal, either, but a) the touch-to-move means I have my finger/hand over half the screen nearly the whole time, and b) touching to move and touching to act are not good bedfellows. I’m not a fan of touching the place I want to go only to have my novice farmer decide to till the ground.

  2. I find that I touch and let her walk to the spot, so I don’t feel like I’m constantly hovering over the screen. I probably am, but it didn’t bother me enough to notice it, if that makes any sense.

    This isn’t happening to me at all. I find that I only till the ground if I have the hoe selected. The mobile version allows you to have nothing selected (unlike the PC, Switch version in which one of your bag slots is always “on”). I guess I’ve trained myself to simply deactivate everything when I walk around and I don’t have an issue with it. Also, even with “nothing” selected in my toolbar, I can still tap rocks or trees or crops and it will automatically use the proper tool. The only tools that don’t automatically trigger are the hoe and the scythe (the scythe will automatically trigger when I click on brush, but will not trigger when I click on grass or wheat…for that I have to actively select the scythe)

  3. It could absolutely be user error. I’ve not had a chance to devote a great deal of time to the game yet so I assume the controls will become more natural as I use them more.

  4. It definitely took me time to adjust and get used to their nuances. Fishing was driving me crazy, but now I got it and rarely go walking when I’d rather cast.

    I’ve been playing mainly on an iPad, so if you’re on a phone the smaller screen might make things a little more difficult.

  5. TouchArcade is reporting that the next update will have a bevy of new control options, so that’s great news for people like me who would like a joystick.

  6. After sinking another [redacted] hours into the game, I’m happy to look at new controller schemes as well. I do like the touch controls as they currently are, but there are some things with them that drive me nuts. Namely, that you can’t water a square you’ve already watered. So, when you make a mistake watering, it messes up your entire routine. Yes, the more I think about this, the more I realize I may have OCD that only presents itself inside the SV universe.

  7. Lol, you mirror my neuroses, which is why I’m excited for a joystick.

  8. Hardco says:

    Once I get to the bottom of this mine, I’ll start thinking about building this farm I hear so much about…

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