If you've already broken your life of quiet solitude in Stardew Valley by inviting pals to your homestead in the multiplayer beta, what the hey, invite everyone you know. Two mods let farmers go beyond the four-player limit, each offering a slightly different take on mass farming. One lets you have as many farm hands as you please, working the soil but not living the life with a cabin of their own. The other requires cabins for all, turning your farm into a cute little Butlins for you and your buds.
The Ultiplayer mod by Platonymous lets the host invite as many pals as they please, but "Farmhands don't get a cabin, unless there happens to be a free cabin." So a bit less pally and a bit more business-y. Back to work, peasants.
On the other hand, the Unlimited Players mod by "Armitxes" also removes Stardew Valley's hard cap on multiplayer farmers and cabins but requires you to build a cabin for each other player. Turn your farm into a little community for everyone to live in peace, harmony, and toil. Armitxes does note that they might remove the cabin requirement, or at least let you build a load at once, but for now you'll need to house your workers.
Whichever you pick, you'll need the SMAPI mod loader to play. Only hosts need to have the mod set up, mind.
Both of these mods are still in testing, and Ultiplayer in particular warns that its farms could get busted and wiped. Stardew Valley's multiplayer is itself still in beta too, of course. There is potential for much wonk. But if you want to have a load of friends milling around your farm and adventuring together, that is now an option.
Stardew Valley's multiplayer does seem lovely, offering a different pace of life as other real live people join in, and especially start chatting. As Jay Castello told us:
"But where the game becomes electric is when your farmers are using a third-party voice chat. Without the level of concentration needed in other games, it allows for a calmer rhythm of conversation, interspersed with only the occasional cooperation needed to keep a farm running smoothly. But it also sets up a feel-good space where players aren’t under pressure, with no concerns about winning or losing. Combine that with the inherent comedy of another human-controlled player sprinting into view, barging past NPCs, with a vegetable held triumphantly over their head, and it explains just how much (and how hard) I ended up laughing throughout the two in-game seasons I barrelled through."
Ta to cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer for pointing out Unlimited Players.