Increasingly, I find mods to be representative of gaming communities' ids; of their most fervent, unhinged desires. That in mind, the things Stardew Valley's community wants most in this world are better fishing, Undertale throwbacks, Final Fantasy characters and — yep — busty anime women. Despite only being out for a bit over a week, Steam farming sensation Stardew Valley already has a mountain of mods. Here are some of the best and, er, most telling ones I've come across so far. (To make installation easier, you'll want to grab the SDVMM, AKA the Stardew Valley Mod Manager.)
Easier (and harder) fishing
Stardew Valley's fishing is a pretty divisive subject. Some people, including game creator ConcernedApe, love it, while others find it to be a loathsome, fiddly waste of precious in-game time. Modder steffjes decided to cater to both crowds with easier and harder fishing mods. Zoryn, meanwhile, decided to cut the fishing minigame altogether. Using their mod, if you hook a fish, it's your to keep, cook or give to the guy or gal of your dreams, who, it turns out, hates fish and, by extension, you.
Do your gosh darn taxes
The Taxes mod, by bdawson1993, is one of the more ambitious Stardew Valley mods I've come across, because it seeks to add an entire new system to the game. It's still early, but the idea is that you have to account for taxes on your in-game goods. If you fail to do so, there will be "consequences". In short, you have to contend with a new challenge that fits into the game's fiction. Rad! I'll admit, however, that "I can't wait to pay taxes in a video game" is something I've never even considered saying and is, in fact, the personality test I've told my friends to administer if they suspect they're not dealing with the real me, but in fact a malevolent impersonator.
Animal Crossing dig spot
You know those worm-looking plots of ground in Stardew Valley that you can jab with a hoe to find buried treasure? Lechet's mod makes them look like the dig spots from Animal Crossing. Same basic principle, you know?
A different take on stamina
A couple mods I've found that (at least, theoretically) work well in conjunction are natfoth's Stamina Regen and Yoshify's Sprint feature. The latter lets you toggle on a faster run that drains stamina, while the former tweaks the stamina system so that you can regen over time by standing still.
There is, evidently, a decent amount of crossover between Stardew Valley fans and fans of indie RPG megalith Undertale. FinalMantasyX made a mod that replaces your dog with Annoying Dog, and keyten made a mod that turns your Stardew Valley house's interior into That Bedroom from the start of Undertale. Also, if you really want, you can replace your dog/cat with Tem. Just, please, don't play the song. Oh damn it, it's stuck in my head now. Never mind. Do whatever you want.
Final Fantasy Stardew
Hate regular ol' dogs and horses? Do you step onto your porch every morning and watch people walking their dogs and horses and think to yourself, "Goddamn all of you to pus-spewing hell for not being mystical JRPG creatures." Are you Jason Schreier? Then you'll be pleased to know that Alaswing released a mod that turns your dog into Red XIII from Final Fantasy VII, and NachoDevs released a mod that puts your horse out to pasture in favour of a Chocobo.
Of course somebody released a sexy mod. Of course they did. For Stardew Valley, it was AirplaneRandy with a bunch of cleavage. My question: where's the mod that replaces dudes' character portraits and sprites with perfectly chiselled abs and asses? (The closest I can find is toonyoza's anime-style bachelors.)
I'm including this one mostly because I personally find it hilarious. Modder Asdasdgfrw turned Stardew Valley's maniacal Joja Mart into Jojo Mart. Or at least, they did it for a character portrait. If you don't immediately get the joke, there is probably no point in me explaining it. (It's a Jojo's Bizarre Adventure reference.)