The Stardew Valley multiplayer beta is now available for testing on PC via Steam according to a news post on the game's official website.
Stardew Valley had always planned to have multiplayer as a feature, but the game launched in February of 2016 without it. After some time, Chucklefish announced that they had begun the process of getting multiplayer functionality into the game. We last heard from lead developer ConcernedApe that it would be ready "in about a month" in early April, and now the feature is available for players to test out on the Steam platform.
Some precautions are advised before joining the beta on Steam. To start, players may want to back up their save files (located in %APPDATA%\StardewValley\Saves on Windows or ~/.config/StardewValley/Saves on Mac and Linux). Players can also elect to use their current save files in the test, and the developers kindly ask that players report any Version 1.2 saves that don't work as a bug via this forum thread.
To access the Stardew Valley multiplayer beta, you first must navigate to the game in your Steam library, right click on it, and select Properties. Click on the "Betas" tab, type jumpingjunimos into the "beta access code" text box, and press the Check Code button. Once it gives you the go-ahead, you can select the multiplayer beta from the drop-down.
GOG users will have to wait for access to the Stardew Valley multiplayer beta; it should be deployed to that particular digital distribution platform in a few days. Nintendo Switch players should be getting access to the feature at a later date, and PlayStation 4/Xbox One gamers will be the last ones to be able to play with one another. A timetable for the console release of the new patch has not yet been made available.
Once the beta has ironed out the last few bugs, multiplayer should be added to the game in short order. The beta doesn't just contain the new co-op gameplay - it also has new content that has been worked on by ConcernedApe to come out alongside this patch. Check out a thread on /r/StardewValley that lists some of the things the game's Reddit community has found so far. More details about the specifics on how the beta will work is in that news post, so be sure to check it out before giving things a spin!
Have you had a chance to try the Stardew Valley multiplayer beta? What are your thoughts on the feature so far? Let us know in the comments below!