If you’re used to playing Stardew Valley on an home computer setup or tablet and then find yourself having to work off a new machine, and something doesn’t look right. You double check the settings, shrink the UI to the 75% minimum, and yet when you come back the screen is too, well squished.
There are multiple reasons why Stardew Valley can appear zoomed in. This can be from forgetting when you changed settings so long ago on that file that has 600+ hours on it, or there are a few other influences that can determine how much you can see on the screen. If you’re used to an optimized zoom out setting it can be a huge shock to start a new file.
If your game of Stardew Valley is too zoomed in or too zoomed out, the most likely culprit are the zoom level settings which can be changed under the control icon on the pause screen. Changing these settings fixes the problem in over 99% of cases.
That said, the type and size of monitor you have can also affect how zoomed in the game is. There is one very rare known bug that can cause issues with zoom, but the good news is that there is a fix for that, as well, though it gets a bit technical.
So let’s dive into optimizing your Stardew Valley graphics so the game looks the way you like it most.
Why Is Stardew Valley Zoomed In Too Much?
The settings start out with Stardew Valley zoomed in pretty heavily.
How to Zoom Out in Stardew Valley
This is an easy fix. To zoom out in Stardew Valley you want to hit pause (ESC on keyboard) and move to the tab that has a controller on it. This gives you access to all the mechanical settings you can change within the game.
Scroll down until you see the section on VSync and Zoom Level, just short of half way down (clearly shown in the screenshot below). The UI Scale controls the size of the info box in the top right hand corner and shrinking it means you still get the info it gives without covering up as much of the screen.
The Zoom Level affects what you see in the entire screen. Set both down to 75% to get the largest line of sight allowed.
So how much of a difference does this make? Take a look at Sam Elliott’s beach farm here on normal settings.
And then here is what the same exact Stardew Valley beach farm looks like zoomed out to 75% on both UI and overall Zoom levels. That is a much better view of the area on screen while you can still enjoy the specific beauty of Stardew’s graphics.
That is a huge difference, especially when looking around for forage while trying to make the most out of the limited time in every single day. This is the most common way to fix Stardew Valley feeling too zoomed in.
Why Can’t I Zoom Out as Much in Stardew as on My Computer?
The monitor you were using has blown out and now you’re forced to buy a new one. Or maybe you’ve moved to another computer and just can’t see what you used to. This is something that can actually happen with Stardew Valley, and I have the solution for you!
If you have done these steps but you still see way less of the farm than you’re used to, there’s a good chance the issue is that you got used to playing Stardew on a wide screen monitor. On many large widescreen monitors, and on 4K monitors, the zoom out is set way further back than originally intended.
This means if you moved from a 4K monitor or a widescreen to a more normal screen, you won’t be able to see the same amount of area. This is due to the age of the game, the settings, and while there are some workarounds depending on the issue, there’s a reason widescreen 4k monitors are the choice of Stardew Valley speed runners (though even many YouTubers admit they should be banned).
As an example Phil has a widescreen 4K monitor and plays zoomed out, and this screenshot is what he sees when he walks out on the stoop – which is a Stardew speed runner’s dream.
Why Is Stardew Valley Zoomed In Too Much?
The settings are almost always the reason that Stardew Valley is zoomed in too much. If you have changed the settings to zoom out and it still looks really close up, the issue with 4K/widescreen monitors being further back than intended is likely the solution to why things are different.
There are no known bugs or glitches for Stardew being zoomed in too much, though there are some known issues if the problem is the opposite: that you are zoomed out so far it’s hard to read anything, record, or see what’s going on.
How to Fix the Too Zoomed Out Error in Stardew Valley
There are some known errors that can happen when playing Stardew Valley on your computer from Steam. This is more common on certain desktop setups than laptop but it can happen with either. If the game is way too zoomed out, then the likely cause is either problems from installing mods or issues with display settings on the current setup.
Here’s the step-by-step instructions for fixing this issue.
- Scroll down to Stardew Valley in your library and right click on it
- Click “Properties”
- On the new pop up select “Brose local files”
- Right click on Stardew Valley.exe (look for the chicken icon)
- Click on properties
- Go to the tab marked “compatibility” and uncheck the box marked “Disable Full Screen Optimizations”
- Click “Change High DPI Settings” then uncheck both pre-checked boxes
- Click Ok on the DPI settings
- Click Apply
- This should fix it, however, if you installed some type of modding API, make sure to right-click on StardewModdingAPI.exe
- Click Properties
- Repeat steps 6-9 here.
That should take care of it if the issue is the known zoomed out error.
For some great picture tutorials of how to do this, check out this explanation.
Unqualified Experts Beginners Tips Video for Stardew Valley
Fortunately, Stardew Valley being too zoomed in or too zoomed out is a problem that is actually quite easy to solve most of the time. While certain monitors and setups will allow for a wider view than anything that’s possible on a smaller monitor, there are still steps to take to see as much as possible.
Stardew is a wonderful game and while the zoomed in close ups allow you to really enjoy moments that are just straight out beautiful (and this game has a lot of those moments). Follow the advice in this guide and you will have the perfect zoom settings for Stardew in no time!
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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.