Stardew Valley became a sensation when it was released in 2016 and quickly conquered Steam’s charts to become one of the most played games of the year.

The critics’ response was equally impressive. In fact, Stardew Valley’s Mac version easily earned a spot among our top simulation games for Mac. But instead of enjoying the success, developer ConcernedApe continues to work hard on his game.

In case you haven’t head, Stardew Valley is a charming farming simulation that lets you build and manage your very own farm.

What’s new with Stardew Valley? Developed for Mac by Chucklefish (the team behind Starbound), Stardew Valley just received a huge free update, its long-awaited Multiplayer update. Along with tons of new content and improvements, you can finally play the game in co-op with up to 3 friends!

You can read more about it below.

Considered by many as one of the best indies ever created, Stardew Valley is indeed an excellent simulation game that everyone should try.

Our score: ★★★★★


$14.99┊Humble Bundle


First things first, is the game any good?

Stardew Valley is a pixelated farming simulator about a boy who inherits a farm from his grandfather. From there, the boy will have to learn how to care for it and bring it back to greatness.

You could easily discard it as simply a PC version of the Harvest Moon games, but the game doesn’t stop there. Stardew Valley gives players more control over the design of their farms, the kinds of animals and crops to raise, and also introduces more interesting NPCs.

The incredible story of one man, four years, and fame

Stardew Valley is a good game, no doubt. But what I found truly fascinating is the story behind it. The game was quietly developed by one man over the course of four years.

From there, the game quickly earned a spot among Steam’s top-selling games. It has a subreddit with over 200,000 subscribers and glowing reviews from both the press and gamers:

Stardew Valley Mac Metacritic

An already great game improved

Since the game was released, it continues to receive top-notch support in the form of free updates. The latest to date is the Multiplayer update and includes:

  • 4 Player Farming – Invite 1-3 players to join you as ‘farmhands’ via Steam and/or LAN.
  • Work Together – Work together to achieve common goals such as farming, mining, fighting, fishing, foraging and festival participation.
  • Scalable Difficulty – Scale the profit margin of produce sold to change the difficulty level of a multiplayer farm.
  • Multiplayer Marriage – Farmhands can choose to woo Pelican Town’s NPCs, or craft a wedding ring to propose to a fellow Player.
  • Chat Box & Custom Emojis – Communicate using the new chatbox feature with colored text and nearly 200 custom Stardew Valley emojis.

And every single one of these features supports macOS. Stardew Valley is the perfect example of a Mac port done right. The game is absolutely the same on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

But the question remains: Can you run it?

Into simulation games? These are our favorites:

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Release date201520142016
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Our rating★★★★★
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MMOGA

Humble Bundle


Stardew Valley Mac requirements

These are Stardew Valley minimum system requirements:

  • OS: macOS 10.10+
  • Processor: 2 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 256 MB video memory, OpenGL 2
  • Storage: 500 MB available space

Just by looking at the requirements, we know this should be an easy game to run. But why stop here? We test it on several Macs to give you a definitive answer.

Stardew Valley mac simulation games

Into Simulation games? These are our favorites:

Game★ Best OverallBest for MacBookBest Value
GenreCity-builderLife simulationRPG simulation
Release date201520142016
Metascore

85

70

89

Our rating★★★★★
Full Review
★★★★☆
Full Review
★★★★★
Full Review
Requirements

High

Low

Low

Check Price

Humble Bundle

MMOGA

Humble Bundle


The Test: Can you play Stardew Valley on Mac?

To evaluate how well Stardew Valley runs, we test it on the following machines:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016): 2.0 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, Intel Iris Graphics 540 (1.5GB)
  • iMac (5K, 27-inch, Late 2014): 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, AMD Radeon R9 M290X (2GB)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2013): 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM, Intel Iris 5100 (1.5GB)

Why these machines? We aim to have the most varied stable of testing machines. This way, there will always be a machine that, at the very least, somewhat resembles the Mac you have at home. It could be a:

  • A high-end Mac (like our 2014 iMac).
  • A recent entry-level Mac (like our 2016 MacBook Pro).
  • An older Mac (like our 2013 MacBook Pro).

These are the settings we used with the help of our in-house FPS counter, Count It, for a fixed duration of 5 minutes:

  • 2560×1600 resolution
  • High Lighting Quality
  • 100% Zoom Level

Stardew Valley Mac settings

Why these settings? We usually test games at 1280×800 resolution (we have to give older MacBooks a chance!), but given how lightweight Stardew Valley is, we decided to go with a much higher (and therefore, demanding) resolution.


The Results: An easy game to run, as expected!

Our real-world results confirmed our initial impression:

Stardew Valley Mac benchmark results

The game locks frame-rates to a maximum of 60 per second. This is why all machines scored the same results.

As a reminder, this is how we describe the different levels of performance:

  • Below 20 FPS: Unplayable: Laggy gameplay, full of stutters and slowdowns.
  • 20-30 FPS: Borderline: Can be OK in slow-paced games. Still, not optimal.
  • 30-45 FPS: Playable: Acceptable for most (most gaming consoles do this).
  • 45-60 FPS: Smooth: Fluid gameplay, with no perceivable stutters.
  • 60+ FPS: Very Smooth: For hardcore and professional players, a luxury for most.

We usually aim for 30 FPS, because 30 FPS is enough to guarantee a smooth and fluid experience for most.

Can my Mac run Stardew Valley?

In case this is not clear yet, most Macs should be able to run Stardew Valley. Even our older models managed to pull off 60 frames per second (FPS), the fastest possible performance. 

The three of our machines did the maximum 60 frames per second when testing the game with our default 1280×800 resolution. That’s we decided to test the game at a much higher resolution to push our older Mac to limits. That never happened…

Stardew Valley Mac featured

Unless your Mac is 15 years old and doesn’t support Intel processors, you should be able to run this game…

Can you play Stardew Valley on a MacBook Pro?

This might be the easiest Mac performance review we’ve done so far. After all, this was to be expected from a pixelated retro-looking game.

Both our MacBook Pros handled Stardew Valley without breaking a sweat. The same should be expected from a MacBook Air. And in case you find yourself with somewhat limited performance, you can always lower the game’s resolution to something more forgiving than 2560×1660…

Bottom line: Stardew Valley is a perfect game for MacBook owners: It’s both great and extremely easy to run on even the oldest MacBooks out there.

PS: These are our favorite accessories for playing/testing games on Mac!

Game★ Best MouseBest ControllerBest eGPU
Why we love it?The G502 is Logitech's most accurate gaming mouse yet. Plus, it has a plethora of buttons and a killer design.The official PS4 controller just works on Mac. It's wireless, it's precise, it has an excellent grip and it's durable.The Razer Core X turns your MacBook or Mac Mini into a killer gaming machine by adding external graphics support.
Mac compatible?
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PriceFrom $56From $39.99From $299.99
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Download Stardew Valley for Mac

If you’re into simulation games or simply wonder why everyone loves Stardew Valley so much, you can grab a copy from most digital stores.

By the way, Humble Bundle’s version includes all the nice Steam features you’d expect, such as Steam cloud saves and the ability to play the game on Windows, Mac, and Linux:

Considered by many as one of the best indies ever created, Stardew Valley is indeed an excellent simulation game that everyone should try.

Our score: ★★★★★


$14.99┊Humble Bundle

Stardew Valley Mac review
Stardew Valley Mac Review: Can you run it? 1

Considered by many as one of the best indies ever created, Stardew Valley is indeed an excellent simulation game everyone should try. On top of that, this is a lightweight game with low system requirements that can be enjoyed by virtually everyone, including users with older MacBooks.

Editor's Rating:
5

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