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Modding:Player Guide/Troubleshooting

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Player's guide to using mods SMAPI mascot.png

Did something go wrong with your game? This is the page for you. (This page isn't only for players who use mods!)

Common fixes

The basics

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Make sure you have Stardew Valley 1.5.2 or later.
    Click the "?" button on the title screen, and the version will appear in the bottom-left.
  3. Reset your content files.
  4. If you use SMAPI:
    1. Make sure you have the latest version of that.
      The SMAPI version is shown at the top of the SMAPI console window.
    2. Upload a log to the log parser, following the instructions on that page to find where your log is stored. It can help you diagnose common errors. Take a look at this annotated log for more information on how to read and understand your log.
    3. The very top of your log will show a list of all your mods that need to be updated. You can also use Mod Update Menu to keep track of your updates from the in-game menu. The first thing to try when you're having issues with mods is to update everything shown there, even if some of the mods seem to be working fine right now.
    4. If you've narrowed down the issue to a specific mod or group of mods, try performing a clean reinstall.
      1. Remove all folders for the mod that's causing the issue, making sure to check the mod page for a list of every folder that's included. (If you're downloading mods from Nexus, you can look under "Preview File Contents." On ModDrop, you can find that information under "Files" on the sidebar.)
      2. Redownload the mod and follow the installation instructions on the mod page. If you normally use a mod manager, reinstall the mod manually to make sure your issue wasn't caused by the mod manager placing files in the wrong locations.
  5. If you still get the error, look through the common issues on this page or ask for help!

Reset your content files

Many problems are caused by broken game files (especially if you use XNB mods). You can reset your game files to fix that. SMAPI mods won't be affected.

  1. See instructions for Steam or for GOG Galaxy.
  2. If you use SMAPI on Linux/Mac, reinstall SMAPI to fix the launcher.
more options 
If you don't want to reset all files, you have some other options.
Option 2: create retroactive backup to reset any file
If you installed XNB mods and want to reset one file you know is broken, you can just restore the original file. If you forgot to back it up, here's how to recover the original files without losing your modded ones:
  1. Copy your game's Content folder to Content-modded.
  2. Reset your game files (see instructions for Steam or for GOG Galaxy).
  3. Copy your (now reset) Content folder to Content-backup.
  4. Move Content-modded back to Content.
Now your content files are still modded, but you have a backup of the original files.
Option 3: troubleshoot XNB mods
If you installed XNB mods, you're not sure which caused the problem, and you don't want to remove all your XNB mods, here's how to figure out which one is causing the problem.
  1. Back up any XNB mods you want to keep.
  2. Reset your game files (see instructions for Steam or for GOG Galaxy). Any XNB mods will be removed, but SMAPI mods won't be affected.
  3. If you use SMAPI on Linux/Mac, reinstall SMAPI to fix the launcher.
  4. Launch the game to see if the problem is fixed.
  5. Reinstall your XNB mods one at a time. After each install, test the game to make sure the mod doesn't cause problems.
Caution: XNB mods (which replace your game files directly) are no longer recommended and can cause issues. Resetting your content files will remove XNB mods you installed. After doing so, consider using content packs instead.

Fix common problems

Game doesn't launch

The game doesn't open when you try to launch it. (If you use Steam, it might show 'running' for a few seconds.) Here are some common fixes:

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Make sure you have speakers or headphones plugged in. (They can be muted, but the game needs a working audio device.)
  3. If you play on Windows:
    1. Install (or reinstall) .NET Framework 4.5.2 and XNA Framework 4.0. You may need to remove .NET first.
    2. Restart your computer.
    3. Launch the game.
  4. If you play on Linux:
    1. Your default terminal might not be compatible. Try installing the xterm terminal.
  5. If that doesn't fix it:
    1. Install SMAPI (if you don't already have it).
    2. Launch the game.
    3. Ask for help and attach your SMAPI log.

Game freezes or crashes while opening

The game tries to open, but crashes before the title screen. Here are some common fixes:

  1. Try everything in the list above first.
  2. Delete your startup_preferences, found in %appdata%/StardewValley on Windows.
  3. Disable antivirus if using SMAPI.
  4. Disable any programs that intercept the game (like MSI AfterBurner or RivaTuner).
  5. If that doesn't fix it, follow the steps to ask for help.

Game audio doesn't play (Windows only)

Audio plays fine in your browser or other apps, but the game is silent. Here are some common fixes:

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Make sure the Windows mixer isn't muting the game.
  3. Make sure the in-game sound slider options aren't muted.
  4. Reinstall .NET Framework 4.5.2 and XNA Framework 4.0.

Save disappeared or doesn't load

See Saves#Troubleshooting.

Can't connect to another player in multiplayer

  1. Check that Stardew Valley is up to date and your save is loaded in co-op mode.
  2. Make sure you have enough cabins built for the number of players.
  3. Make sure everyone launches the game through Steam or GOG Galaxy (not a separate shortcut).
  4. Make sure the server is set to online in the game options.
  5. Turn firewalls and antivirus off for all players. If you have more than one antivirus, that's very likely the cause. Never use more than one antivirus at a time.
  6. Do a content reset for all players.
  7. Delete your startup_preferences (found in %appdata%/StardewValley on Windows or ~/.config/StardewValley on Linux/Mac).
  8. Restart all players' PCs.
  9. Restart all players' routers, and check for any updates for your router.
  10. If you don't see the 'enter invite code' option, your Steam name may have been flagged as inappropriate. Try changing it and re-launching the game.
  11. (Windows only) Try reinstalling .NET Framework 4.5.2 and XNA Framework 4.0 first and Visual C++ Redistributable Packages for Visual Studio 2013 if that fails.
  12. If you use mods and are getting a "version mismatch" error, check your log files for a line like [19:49:26 TRACE game] Starting server. Protocol version: and check whether the protocol version matches.

For console players, please try as many of the steps as you can (particularly the first three) and try power cycling your console. Please note that all consoles require their paid online service to play over the internet.

SMAPI files disappear or antivirus complains

Your antivirus might remove or report SMAPI/mod files. This is almost always a false positive, meaning the files don't contain a trojan.

How can I know if it's actually safe?
Nothing on the Internet is guaranteed, but SMAPI itself is most likely safe — you can check by reading the code, decompiling the download, or uploading it to VirusTotal.
For mods, you can check by decompiling them or uploading to VirusTotal too. Note that every file downloaded from Nexus Mods is scanned before it's available.
Why does this happen?
Antiviruses are usually concerned because...
  • The download is still new. In this case it didn't really detect anything, it's just worried because it's an unknown file. Antiviruses often show a fake trojan name like Trojan:Win32/Emali.A!cl for this. Antiviruses learn to allow it after enough users download it, but that resets for each release.
  • Antiviruses may check for certain patterns like accessing files or rewriting code, which are both things SMAPI mods do as part of their normal functionality (since changing the game is the whole point).
How can I install SMAPI or the mod if my antivirus flags it?
  • One option is to just wait a few days before downloading a new update (or a few weeks for a less popular mod). By then enough users should have downloaded it to reduce antivirus alerts.
  • If you've checked that it's safe above, another option is to...
    1. Temporarily disable your antivirus.
    2. Redownload and install SMAPI or the mod.
    3. Add an exception to your antivirus for the Stardew Valley folder (search online for your antivirus name with the words add folder exception for instructions).

SMAPI doesn't recognize controller (Steam only)

Common fixes:

  1. Launch the game through Steam.
  2. Windows only: make sure you set the launch options (see Launch SMAPI through Steam or GOG Galaxy in the Windows install guide), don't add SMAPI as a non-Steam game.
  3. If all else fails, you can use third-party software to add controller support. Suggested software:
last resort on Linux/Mac 

As a last resort on Linux or Mac, you can disable the SMAPI console window to fix this. You won't see update/error alerts unless you check the log, and your game won't launch after a crash until you delete the smapi-internal/StardewModdingAPI.crash.marker file. You should periodically check the log to make sure everything is working correctly. If you really want to do this:

  • Linux:
    1. Find your game folder.
    2. Open the StardewValley file (the one with no file extension) in a text editor.
    3. Remove the entire section under # open SMAPI in terminal (up to the next fi line).
    4. Find this text at the bottom:
      if [ $? -eq 127 ]; then
         $LAUNCHER --no-terminal

      And change it to this:

      $LAUNCHER --no-terminal
  • Mac:
    1. Find your game folder.
    2. Open the StardewValley file (the one with no file extension) in a text editor.
    3. Find this text:
      open -a Terminal ./StardewModdingAPI.bin.osx [email protected]

      And change it to this:

      ./StardewModdingAPI.bin.osx [email protected] 2>&1 > /dev/null
  • Windows: disabling the console window isn't possible.

You'll need to repeat this after updating SMAPI.

After updating to the latest versions, launching the game still shows an old SMAPI or game version

That usually means you have two copies of the game: one copy you updated, and another you're actually playing.

To check if that's the issue:

  1. Launch the SMAPI installer again, and note the "Game path" shown on the first screen:
    SMAPI installer path.png
  2. Launch the game with SMAPI, and note the "Mods go here" path shown at the top of the output:
    SMAPI mods path.png
  3. If the two paths are not identical (except for the /Mods part), then you have two game folders.

If you have multiple copies installed, the best solution is to only have one. To do that:

  1. Make a copy of your Mods folder somewhere else.
  2. Uninstall the game.
  3. Delete both folders you found above.
  4. Reinstall the game through Steam or GOG Galaxy.
  5. Reinstall SMAPI, which should now detect your single game path.
  6. Copy your mods back into the new game folder.
more options 
If having multiple copies of the game is deliberate, you can also copy the SMAPI installer into a subfolder of the game folder you want to update. When you run it, it'll detect the parent folder automatically and update that one.

Fix specific errors

"SMAPI can't find the game"

  • Make sure you're running StardewModdingAPI.exe in your game folder (see the install instructions).
  • Did you install SMAPI manually (not using the installer)? Make sure you copied the right files: internal/Windows for Windows, or internal/Mono for Linux/Mac.

"Skipped '...' because it doesn't have a manifest.json"

SMAPI couldn't find the manifest.json file for the mod in that folder. That usually means it's not a SMAPI mod, so it won't work from the Mods folder. See that mod's documentation for install instructions.

"missing executable" (Steam only)

Steam can't find the game launcher, usually because your Steam launch options are incorrect. Common fixes:

  • If you want to use SMAPI:
    make sure it's installed and your launch options are correct (see install guide).
  • If you're uninstalling SMAPI:
    1. In Steam, right-click Stardew Valley and choose Properties.
    2. Click the Set Launch Options button.
    3. Make sure the textbox is completely empty.

"looks like Mono isn't installed" (Linux/Mac only)

Mono is a framework needed by the installer and SMAPI to work correctly. Installing Mono and restarting your computer usually fixes this error.

On Mac, it might not work after installing Mono. If so:

  • Enter this command:
    ln -s /Library/Frameworks/Mono.framework/Versions/Current/bin/mono /usr/local/bin/mono
  • If that shows an error or it still doesn't work, you can install Homebrew and run brew install mono mono-libgdiplus in the Terminal app.

Could not load file or assembly

If the 'file or assembly' starts with Microsoft or System (like "FileNotFoundException: Could not load file or assembly 'System.[...]' or one of its dependencies"), something is wrong with the core frameworks used by the game.

  1. Common fixes:
    platform reinstall frameworks
    Windows reinstall .NET Framework 4.5.2 and XNA Framework 4.0 (those exact versions).
    Linux reinstall mono-complete.
    Mac reinstall Mono (either channel is fine).
  2. On Windows only, in rare cases that won't fix the issue. Unfortunately that's hard to fix since .NET Framework is part of Windows itself. In those cases you may need to perform a Windows reset (you can keep your files), or perform a clean reinstall of Windows. This is drastic, but should fix the issue.

Game freezes when loading a save (Mac only)

On Mac only, the game may freeze when you create or load a save; reinstalling Mono (either version) usually fixes that. If it doesn't, ask for help!

Game resolution changes when launched with SMAPI (Windows only)

Everything looks bigger/smaller if you launch the game with SMAPI. This is usually due to Windows DPI settings.

Common fix:

  1. Right-click on StardewModdingAPI.exe, go to Properties > Compatibility > Change High DPI settings, and keep it open.
  2. Right-click on StardewValley.exe, and go to Properties > Compatibility > Change High DPI settings.
  3. Change the DPI settings for StardewModdingAPI.exe so they match the ones for StardewValley.exe.

Fix other problems

Run the game without SMAPI by launching Stardew Valley.exe (on Windows) or StardewValley-original (on Linux/Mac) in your game folder.

Ask for help

See Modding:Help for how to get help!