Stardew Valley: 10 Tips for Romancing a Marriage Candidate

One of the most important mechanics in Stardew Valley is friendship, giving you the ability to become close with the residents of Pelican Town and, if the spark is there, eventually dating and marrying one of them. No matter who you choose to pursue, you’ll need to do a few things to ensure your chosen bachelor or bachelorette falls for you in the right way.

There are a few things you can do to sweep your crush off their feet, from giving them gifts to having regular friendly conversations. Here are some tips to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success in the dating world.

10 Don’t Do Things They Don’t Like

As in real life, the most important part of pursuing your potential partner is to not do things they don’t like. No matter how many nice things you do for someone, the moment you do something to really tick them off, you’ll risk losing them.

In Stardew, it’s pretty easy to avoid doing things your romance candidate of choice might hate. Don’t give them gifts they don’t like, don’t ignore them, don’t rummage through their trash while in their sightlines, and don’t hit them with your slingshot. It’s pretty straightforward!

9 Talk to Them Every Day

Sometimes, when you’re in love, it’s harder to not constantly bug the person. Luckily, Stardew Valley rewards you for being a bit clingy. Whether it’s a platonic friendship or a potential romance, the game is programmed in a way that the villagers like it when you talk to them every day.

You can only talk to them a limited number of times in a day, of course, so you can’t go overboard. But, you get friendship points each day you talk to them, and you lose them when you don’t.

8 Grow Their Favorite Crop

Many of the potential romance candidates have a loved or liked gift that is an easily-grown crop, so it’s very wise to grow that crop in bulk to provide you with an almost endless supply of gifts. This can even be maintained after marriage.

For example, Shane loves hot peppers, and they’re easily grown from a crop that keeps producing after its first harvest. If you’re looking to romance Shane, throwing down a few pepper plants in your greenhouse (or your farm during summer) is a surefire way to make sure you always have a gift for him.

7 Don’t Date Other People

This is pretty self-explanatory, but don’t date other people, or your crush might not like it. Toward the beginning, you’re welcome to date as many of the marriage candidates as you like, but if you start to get serious with one of them, you might want to start distancing yourself from the others.

As of one of the game’s updates, you will get in serious trouble if the candidates find out you’ve been two-timing them (or three-timing, or four-timing, etc). If you date all six candidates of the same gender, you’ll get a cutscene where they confront you as a group and if you’re not carrying a rabbit’s foot, they’ll refuse to speak to you for a couple of weeks.

Additionally, giving a gift to another marriage candidate after marriage will make your spouse very jealous. You can start a polyamorous situation if you like, but be careful not to step on anyone’s toes!

6 Keep Chests Near Their Homes

This is a tip that many have used to their advantage, but isn’t as obvious as the other entries on this list. Since each villager has a set of loved and liked gifts, it’s wise to keep a chest containing these items near their home or somewhere they frequent often.

This way, you always have easy access to a gift for your potential love. Just make sure you don’t put it in any of the NPCs’ paths, as they’ll plow through it and it’ll be destroyed.

5 Do Favors

Every so often, a notice will be posted on the bulletin board in front of Pierre’s store. These notices can contain requests by a random villager asking for an item or service, typically with a stated cash reward. However, these will also give friendship points if you complete them.

Luckily, the 12 marriage candidates will ask favors as well. This is a great opportunity to earn some easy friendship points with your potential love. This batch of friendship points is almost double what you get for giving them a loved gift.

4 Learn Their Schedule

You won’t be able to woo your love if you can’t find them! Luckily, each of the NPCs has a set schedule that they follow each day. The schedule is affected by things like events, inclement weather, and the current season, but they’re pretty easy to track or find online.

Some of the marriage candidates are a bit easier. For example, Leah and Shane spend a lot of time at the saloon, while others like Penny and Maru can be a bit harder to find sometimes.

3 Dance With Them

On the 24th day of spring every year, the Flower Dance takes place. The various bachelors and bachelorettes will pair up and perform a traditional spring dance. If you’ve obtained four hearts with someone, you can ask them to dance. If you choose to dance with them, you’ll receive an entire friendship heart as a result.

Typically, you’ll be unable to do this in the first year, as it’s very hard to level up friendship with someone to four hearts this quickly, but it’s not impossible. Starting in Year 2, though, it should be easy-peasy.

2 Take Them to a Movie

After completing all of the Community Center bundles or purchasing all of the Joja upgrades, you may still be unwed. Luckily, you can unlock a new feature that will help get you to that level with your future spouse.

Build the Movie Theater by completing the hidden last bundle or by purchasing it from Joja (depending on which route you took), and you can start taking NPCs to a movie. They each have films they like and don’t like, and bringing them to one they prefer will give you some friendship points. You can also buy them a theater snack, and if they like it, they’ll warm up to you even quicker.

1 Get Ready for Marriage!

This isn’t necessary for love, but it is for marriage. You’ll need to pursue some infrastructure upgrades if you plan to get married. First, you’ll need to make sure your house is upgraded to a particular level — if you haven’t built a kitchen with the first upgrade from Robin’s shop, don’t even think of proposing, because you won’t be able to get married.

Second, the broken bridge on the east side of the beach needs to be repaired. You can’t get across to the other side where you need to go to purchase the Mermaid’s Pendant if the bridge is out. This item is required to propose to your love. Make sure you’ve completed these infrastructure projects, and you’re ready. Grab the Mermaid’s Pendant, propose to your partner, and celebrate. Congratulations!

NEXT: Stardew Valley 10 Story Mods You Should Try

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Michael is a journalist with several years of experience writing about video games, television, and social issues. He loves indie platformers, Pokémon, and Hack ‘n Slashers.

Currently playing: Cities: Skylines, Hyrule Warriors, and Stardew Valley.

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