Developer Chucklefish have given an update on their upcoming multiplayer patch for Stardew Valley and it seems to be on track for a 2018 release.
Speaking in a blog post, a developer working on the game outlined what players can expect from the multiplayer experience. Shortly after beginning the game, Robin will offer to build up to 3 cabins on the farm, each containing a farmhand which can be controlled by a friend. farmhands have access to almost all of the same abilities as the main player, with their own inventories and more. Certain decisions can only be made by the main player however such as sleep and when to start and end festivals.
The dev went on to outline the difficulties the team have faced adding multiplayer to Stardew Valley stating “Effort so far has been focused on overcoming the biggest technical hurdle: synchronising multiple games over the Internet. Almost every source file has been touched, and 15,000 lines of code have been rewritten. Retrofitting multiplayer into a game that didn’t have it originally is notoriously hard.”
Stardew Valley was released for Microsoft Windows in February 2016, with ports for OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One released later that year. A port for Nintendo Switch is also in development and is expected to be released in 2017.