Stardew Valley is an amazing game and it’s no surprise that it has sold tens of millions of copies across multiple platforms. While this game has a reputation for having relatively few problems or issues, no game or platform is perfect. If you’re looking forward to planting the biggest pumpkin patch for fall harvest or finally getting that last upgrade on a farm or barn, the last thing you want is the game to start lagging, stuttering, or even crashing.
After all, Stardew is supposed to be the epitome of a game that is relaxing!
Seeing any version of this game lagging or crashing is the polar opposite of that. The good news is that most common problems that could cause lagging, stuttering, frame drops, or crashing have been figured out and there are fixes to most of them.
Stardew isn’t a resource heavy game to run, which means unless you’re running a 15 year old dying computer it shouldn’t be a hardware question. So with that said, whether you’re on phone, video game console, or PC, we’ll give you the answers you need to get over these problems so you can get back to enjoying Stardew Valley!
Why Does Stardew Valley Lag and Crash?
There are actually multiple reasons why Stardew Valley could be lagging and crashing on your machine. These reasons can differ based on a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the platform that you’re playing on so let’s dive into it one by one.
We’ll start with the general reasons why your game of Stardew is struggling and what can be done to fix it.
Stardew Valley Lags Because of Improperly Installed Files
This is one of the most common issues that happens across a variety of platforms. Sometimes this is because of an initial problem with installation, but more often it’s when there’s an update and not all the updated files have been properly integrated into your version of the game.
Sometimes the installation problems, especially with an update, happens because of a different program on your computer or system. In particular the Microsoft XNA Framework 4.0 is notorious for causing issues with Stardew Valley running properly, especially with lagging or dropping frame.
Check Microsoft XNA Framework 4.0
The lagging and dropping of frames can often be traced back to this on PC. Looking for this program on the PC and running the system’s tools for scanning and fixing the program is often enough to get everything rolling again.
Sometimes doing this fix also requires then uninstalling then re-installing the game, but the far majority of the time when this is the issue at the heart of the matter, this will fix it.
If you’re not familiar with how to do this, a good step-by-step technical guide for how to fix this is found here.
Task Manager Fixes for Stardew Stuttering
If you have ever asked yourself “Why does Stardew Valley keep lagging?” or “Why does Stardew Valley keep crashing?” there are a series of technical fixes that really tech-savvy players have figured out that seem to have a virtually 100% success rate as long as everything else is working with your PC.
First fixes for the game lagging:
- Turn the v-sync on and off to see if that alone was enough to work
- Go into Task Manager and set the game from normal priority up to high priority
These are pretty easy to do, which can solve some Stardew Valley running issues, especially when stuttering is an issue. Assuming you’ve tried these the next step is to go set affinity and see if that solves the problem.
Since this is a bit technical for many gamers, here’s the step by step solution for fixing Stardew Valley’s stuttering on PC, including pictures.
Step 1: Open your task manager.
This is the simple old CTRL+ALT+Delete but then instead of sitting on the processes, move over to the details tab, which is highlighted in the screenshot below.
Step 2: Hit the details tab.
The details tab should have a long list of programs like the list in the screenshot below. To fix your Stardew game you’ll need to scroll down while the game is running on your laptop or PC.
Step 3: Scroll down until you actually find the Stardew Valley.exe file (game must be running) and right click on it.
Highlighted below, the files should be in alphabetical order and you should see a little chicken icon by the name of the file that controls your version of Stardew.
Step 4: Click on Set Affinity.
Right click on the listed Stardew.exe file. This will bring up a small number of potential commands (as shown in the screenshot below). You want to pick the highlighted one: the one marked “Set affinity.”
Step 5: Uncheck CPU 0.
After clicking on processor affinity, a box will come up showing a variety of checkmarks and commands. Uncheck the one that says CPU 0 and then hit OK. My copy of Stardew Valley is working fine (once I went from 13 files down to 7), so I didn’t, but that would be the last step. This gets the game running on another core and almost always gets your version of Stardew running smoothly again.
That’s it. Check on how the game runs and you should be good going into your next farm. No more stuttering or other issues – but this is with the all-important caveat of assuming you haven’t radically altered the files with mods as those can interfere with how smoothly the game runs.
The one negative to this method if it’s the only fix you can find is that many times it needs to be repeated every time you fire it up to stop Stardew from lagging, otherwise it might go back to earlier problems. But it’s a small price to pay compared to dropped frames. This is a great Stardew fix that lets you play the game smoothly.
Which brings us to the next part…
Mods Are Making Game Files Unstable
Mods are a great addition to many games and I love the fact that so many games are now open to being modded by fans. Stardew Valley in particular has a huge legion of fans who are also very capable modders and have created a remarkable number of commonly used mods.
However, any added code always has the potential to cause problems. This goes with regularly added updates, much less unofficial additions from mods.
The moment you add a new mod there is potential for the game to become more unstable, and mods that work for some players without issue might cause trouble for you. Different operating systems, computers, and other programs can all act with that new code differently, so look at turning off mods to test if one in particular seems to be causing lagging or stuttering.
Also keep in mind that the more mods you have in Stardew Valley, the more active pieces of extra coding you have working at once and the more likely you are to have issues.
Try to limit the number of Stardew mods you have playing at once to help ensure yourself a smooth playing experience.
You Have Too Many Open Game Files
This is most common on PCs and Macs versus Stardew on the Switch, PS4, or Xbox. I ran across this after getting more than 8 saved files. At that point the game would take a very long time to load, though they tended to play fine.
At 12+ the loading times take even longer, and sometimes in between cut scenes or when moving from one section of the map to another there would be some delay or hesitation.
Once I deleted some of the older game files I didn’t play anymore, these problems went away.
You’re Playing On An Older Version of the Game
This shouldn’t be an issue as upgrades tend to come automatically on most systems, but is you are somehow playing with an older version, 1.3 was known to have some issues with lagging and stuttering, and some people found the same thing when they upgraded from 1.3 to 1.4.
Generally, this has not been a common issue with version 1.5 and on, but with some older versions this could be an issue.
The Internet Connection on a Multiplayer Host Is Weak
Multiple upgrades have made multiplayer Stardew a much smoother process than it used to be with much less crashing, lagging, or other potential issues. However, there are still consistently more issues with multiplayer than there are with single player.
A big one with multiplayer is if the host player has Internet issues of any kind. Keep in mind that in this case it’s upload, not download, so the internet could have been “fine” all day for normal use but not be great with upload speeds.
If the upload speed is too low or inconsistent, that could explain slowness, lagging, or other potential issues.
Stardew Crashing/Lagging FAQ
Why is Stardew crashing on iOS?
First, make sure app refresh is turned off. This has been known to cause lagging or other sluggish gameplay performance issues. If this is turned off then try a soft reset. If that fails then uninstalling and reinstalling the game to solve any problems. Finally, to fix Stardew issues on ios look at your phone’s total memory and make sure you’re not pushing the limits.
Why is Stardew crashing on Switch?
There shouldn’t be any consistent crashes on Switch anymore, but the old problem with Stardew Valley crashing on Switch came from putting an essential tool in a chest overnight instead of having it in your inventory. If your game crashes when you sleep some version of this error might be the culprit. Make sure to have all essential tools in your inventory before sleeping each night and see if that takes care of it.
Why is Stardew crashing on PS4?
Generally, this only pops up with multiplayer. However, if the code CE-34878-0 comes up, it’s a multiplayer issue that is in the process of being patched.
Why is Stardew Crashing on Mac?
This is usually due to issues that have already been addressed in this article. Looking at the settings of how the game is running and adjusting the loading and the preferences goes a long way to making sure the game runs smoothly. On the Mac, pay special attention to the XNA Framework as that is a common cause to Stardew problems on a Mac computer.
There are many reasons why you might be running into problems with lagging, freezing, or crashing when playing Stardew Valley, but if you follow all the advice given here you should be able to track down the main problem and get it sorted out so whatever platform you’re on you’ll be able to jump into your farm in Pelican Town and farm away on your favorite files!
Other Stardew Valley Articles You May Enjoy
- Why am I waking up with half energy in Stardew Valley?
- How do I find Ectoplasm in Stardew Valley?
- Stardew Valley Rare Seeds
- How do lightning rods work in Stardew Valley?
- Is Stardew Valley Cross Platform?
Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.