Stardew Valley is an incredible game that has a devout following of fans even 8+ years after its release. An homage to the original Harvest Moon life-sim games, most gamers agree that Stardew Valley far surpassed the original games that inspired it and took the Farm/Life Sim genre to an entirely new level.
Many new players fall in love with the game in year one and two of gameplay but then the panicked thought happens: Is there a time limit to Stardew Valley? What if I don’t have time to do everything I want?
Considering how much joy in this game comes from being able to do your own thing and not feel rushed, this can be a terrifying thought.
The good news is that there is no time limit to Stardew Valley. While there is a special event on day one of year three with your grandfather’s ghost judging your farm, this has no practical effect on gameplay. You can run on one file of Stardew Valley for an infinite number of years without issue because there is no time limit to the game.
This doesn’t mean you should necessarily ignore the calendar completely. Let’s take a deeper dive into how time works in Stardew Valley.
The 2-Year Time Limit in Stardew Valley (Grandpa’s Judgement)
The closest thing to a time limit in Stardew Valley is the meeting with your character’s deceased grandfather’s ghost on the first day of year three or the last night of year two, however you want to count it. This is where you get a good, bad, or neutral response based on all the things you’ve done.
It’s not hard to get a good response. As long as you cleaned up any of the farm, grew crops, fished a little, met people, worked on the community center, etc. there are so many ways to get points just from doing what the game has you do anyway.
This is the closest thing to a “Main Storyline Ending” that the game has, but it hardly stops you from continuing. Especially for those of us who have been slow on picking up the 1.5 and later content and have yet to unlock all the secrets of Ginger Island or get that tricky completionist achievement.
So what happens after this judgement? Day 1 Spring of Year 3. The seasons go on, and so does your farm as long as you want to play that file!
Redo Grandpa’s Judgement
So what happens if you’re not completely satisfied with your score after three years? Don’t worry about it – you can actually have a re-do! Just place a diamond at Grandpa’s Shrine after you’ve done more on the farm and Grandpa will appear once again either the following day or sometimes on the first day of the next season.
At that point you get graded again so if you missed out on that great grade the first time through, it just takes one diamond from the Crystalarium for redo!
Endless Time After Year 2
The seasons keep on going with no changes in Stardew Valley after the judgement at the end of year two. Because of this you can take your time in Stardew Valley. Not only that, but you should. This is a game where “play your own game” is the definition of good advice and what makes it so great.
Since there is endless time after the end of year 2 event you can just keep playing. At that point Stardew Valley goes on forever on a repeated yearly loop. In fact, you can find YouTube videos of 10, 50, or even 100 year old farm files.
So if anyone asks you “Does Stardew Valley ever end?” the answer is no. Stardew Valley technically goes on forever.
In my eyes this is a great idea as it brings home the stress-free aspect of the game that so many of us gamers love. You can play Stardew Valley at your own pace because there’s always more time and any events or festivals you miss will always come back around next year.
Seasonal Time Limits in Stardew Valley
The closest thing to in-game time limits in Stardew Valley involve events and crops. Keep an eye on crop growing times because unless specifically stated, crops grown one season die in the next. This is a problem if you don’t pay a lot of attention.
Other that, the biggest thing to look at are Community Center bundles. While there is no official timeline for this, many of us love the benefits and want to get it finished as quickly as possible. Considering how many needed items are seasonal in nature, it’s important to keep an eye on these early so you’re not forced to wait a year to complete a bundle.
Especially if that bundle unlocks the Greenhouse or Bus!
So basically keep an eye out for these things, but realize there’s nothing that’s unfixable.
- Special festivals/events
- Crop growing times
- Community center completion
Stardew Valley: Play at Your Own Pace
One of the strengths of Stardew Valley is that you get to play your own game, at your own pace, pursuing new goals (or not) as you see fit. Some of us love going for the massive farm to get the gold pouring in, some of us socialize daily, some of us speedrun the mines, and sometimes I just forage to my heart’s content and design mazes with trees and fences because, why not?
Play at your your own pace and enjoy the ride!
Feel free to check out our Stardew Valley Beginner’s Guide we did as an episode of Unqualified Experts:
There’s a reason that after so many more amazing games created in this genre and years of games trying to one up it that the excitement over new Stardew Valley updates is still as high as ever. This is an amazing game that lets you do most things without any regard to time, so decide on what you love about it most and go through without apology.
Stardew Valley FAQ
How long is a day in Stardew Valley in real time?
A full day in Stardew valley is exactly 774 seconds, which comes out to 12.9 minutes per day.
How long is a month in Stardew Valley in real time?
In real-time a month/season in Stardew Valley is 361 minutes 12 seconds, or roughly 6 hours, 1 minute, 12 seconds. This does not include pause screens, conversations, or other actions that temporarily stop time in-game.
How long is a year in Stardew Valley in real time?
A year in Stardew Valley is 1,444 minutes 48 seconds. This comes out to 24 hours, 4 minutes, and 48 seconds.
How many years can you go in Stardew Valley?
You can go as many years as you want in Stardew Valley! There is no hard end to the game so there’s always another year!
When does Stardew Valley end?
Stardew Valley does not have a hard ending, as of the most recent update. The closest you come is the beginning of year three when Grandpa’s ghost comes to you from the shrine to judge your farm. You’re allowed to enjoy your farm as long as you want even after that!
Can you play Stardew Valley at your own pace?
Not only can you, but we highly recommend that is exactly how you play! SV is an amazing game that gives players the freedom to play as they wish.
Other Stardew Valley Articles You May Love
- How to Feed Chickens Stardew Valley
- Trees Stardew Valley
- Best Games Like Stardew Valley
- Stardrop Fruit in Stardew Valley
- ConcernedApe New Game
- Fences Stardew Valley
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.