A farmer’s a farmer with crops and animals alone, but a farmer isn’t complete without friendship. Stardew Valley is a game that’s very much about kinship, and though you can more or less completely ignore the people of the Valley if you want you’ll be missing out on a huge portion of the game. This is where the Social tab comes into play.

Throughout Stardew Valley you’ll have the opportunity to speak to the inhabitants of Pelican Town, as well as a few fringe folks, and build relationships with them. Doing so will unlock special cut scenes at points in the game, revealing more about Pelican Town’s many personalities, and will earn you bonus items from those who like you most.


Everything related to relationships in Stardew Valley is depicted on the Social tab, which appears on your menu. Almost every NPC in the game appears on this menu (there are a few, like Marlon and Gunther, who do not) and all of them have a similar layout, consisting of the following:
  • Their name and portrait. Some of them will have ‘single’ written under their names; this is an indication that you can, eventually, woo this NPC. Ten of the NPCs can be romanced.
  • A row of hearts. This meter indicates the character’s affection for you. The more they like you, the more hearts get filled in.
  • A gift box with two squares beside it. This indicates the gifts you’ve given the NPC this week.
It’s a fairly simple setup, but a lot goes into relationships in Stardew Valley. Let’s break down the particulars and get you some friends.

Building Affection

There are, broadly, two ways to build affection with NPCs in Stardew Valley:
  • Giving gifts to an NPC
  • Completing quests for an NPC
There are occasional other ways to do this, but for the most part you’ll be appeasing NPCs through presents and tasks. We’ll look at both.


Everybody likes presents, right? That’s certainly true of the folks of Stardew Valley. They’re a materialistic bunch, and giving gifts is by and far the best, most reliable way to raise an NPCs affection for your farmer. Equip an item from your hotkeys, walk over to the NPC, and right click to give them the gift. Assuming they like what you’ve given them you’ll get a small bump to their affection score.

Are there caveats attached? Yooooou betcha:
  • Each NPC has their own likes and dislikes, and what appeases one person may drive another into rapturous glee - or horrified loathing. You need to learn what each NPC likes and dislikes, sometimes through trial and error, sometimes through speaking with them or other NPCs, to learn what they want most. It’s not always obvious. Give the wrong gift and you’ll lose affection with the NPC, so it pays to be careful.
  • You can only give one gift a day. There’s no bombarding someone with gifts until they marry you an hour later in this game.
  • Along the same lines, you can only give two gifts a week. If there are two green exes beside the person’s name on the Social tab, you’ll need to wait a few days before you can give them anything else.
  • Gifts given on birthdays grant you more of an affection boost, hence it’s wise to keep track of when someone’s birthday is fast approaching. Conversely, giving a poor gift on a birthday will do a great deal of damage to your relationship. Be careful. You can check birthdays by looking at the calendar outside Pierre’s shop, or by buying your own from the Carpenter’s Shop.
Despite the drawbacks, giving gifts remains the best way to build affection with any of the NPCs. Try to keep one or two premium items in your inventory at all times, just in case you run across someone you like and want to make them feel special.

Specific Likes for Bad-Mannered People

Every character in Stardew Valley has their own likes and dislikes, as mentioned above. I intend to create pages for each of the characters with greater detail on what they do and do not want to get as gifts, but here’s a quick rundown on a few things each NPC will respond favourably to getting:
  • Abigail - Amethyst, Pumpkin, Cheese, Honey
  • Alex - Complete Breakfast, Mayonnaise, Honey
  • Caroline - Corn, Diamond, Ruby, Honey, Cheese
  • Clint - Emerald, Ruby, Corn, Cheese, Mayonnaise
  • Demetrius - Strawberry, Grape, Amethyst, Blackberry
  • Dwarf - Diamond, Fire Quartz, Emerald, any of the Dwarven Artifacts
  • Elliott - Duck Feather, Amethyst, Corn, Grape
  • Emily - Emerald, Aquamarine, Jade, Amethyst
  • Evelyn - Diamond, Cheese, Corn, Daffodil
  • George - Cheese, Hot Pepper, Leek, Honey, Mayonnaise
  • Gus - Orange, Diamond, Cheese, Corn, Mayonnaise
  • Haley - Sunflower, Diamond, Ruby, Aquamarine, pretty much every foraged flower
  • Harvey - Grape Wine, Amethyst, Mayonnaise
  • Jas - Ice Cream, Amethyst, Pancakes
  • Jodi - Pancakes, Diamond, Pizza, Sashimi
  • Kent - Beer, Daffodil, Clam
  • Leah - Wine (every one I've tried works), Blackberry, Mayonnaise, Honey
  • Lewis - Hot Pepper, Cactus Fruit, Corn, Blueberry
  • Linus - Coconut, Cactus Fruit, Cheese, Honey, virtually every foraged food
  • Marnie - Diamond, Sweet Pea, Honet, Mayonnaise, Amaranth
  • Maru - Diamond, Cheese, Amethyst, Ruby, Topaz
  • Pam - Beer, Cactus Fruit, Blackberry, Emerald
  • Penny - Diamond, Emerald, Mayonnaise, Amethyst
  • Pierre - Sashimi, Eggplant, any Wine
  • Robin - Cheese, Pizza, Honey
  • Sam - Pizza, Cactus Fruit, Diamond, Cheese
  • Sandy - Any flowers from Stardew Valley (Daffodil, Sweet Pea, Crocus)
  • Sebastian - Void Egg, Quartz / Fire Quartz, Sashimi
  • Shane - Beer, Hot Pepper, Corn, any Milk
  • Vincent - Grape, Ice Cream, Daffodil, Clam
  • Willy - Diamond, Pumpkin, fish in general (the rarer, the better - the best response I got was to a Catfish)
  • Wizard - Solar / Void Essence, Diamond, Emerald


Besides outright bribery, you can make people like you by doing their dirty work for them. There are two ways to get quests in Stardew Valley:
  • Check your mailbox regularly. A mail icon will appear above your mailbox if there’s a letter waiting for you, and most letters relate to a quest from one of the NPCs. Completing the quest will earn you some money, and, most of the time, a bump in affection.
  • Perform tasks from the bulletin board outside Pierre’s General Store. A small exclamation mark will indicate that a quest is ready. These are timed quests, so you’ll generally have one or two days to complete the tasks allotted. Not always feasible, but a good way to build affection nonetheless.

The effects of good relationships with NPCs may have the following consequences:
  • You’ll get special cut scenes that tell you more about one or more NPCs, so long as you arrive at the right places at the right times.
  • NPCs will send you items in the mail, both physical and things like cooking recipes.
  • NPCs will also sometimes give you items during the cut scenes mentioned above.
  • Some Festivals (primarily the Flower Festival) allow you to interact uniquely with NPCs who like you. This only applies to the bachelors / bachelorettes.
  • Get enough affection and you can get married!


Ready to take it to the next step? You can! Marriage is both happy and functional in Stardew Valley, as your fiance can help you on the farm. You have some things to do before you can tie the knot, however. Let's have a look at the process.
  • Before you marry someone you'll need a larger home. Upgrade your house via the Carpenter's Shop so it has a double bed and a kitchen (10,000 gold, 400 Wood).
  • Next you need to propose your romantic intentions. Get one of the bachelors / bachelorettes to eight hearts' worth of affection, then head to Pierre's. You can buy a Bouquet from him for 100 gold, and it will only appear at eight hearts. Take this to the object of your desire and gift it to them. (This Bouquet does not count as a normal present, so you can do this even after giving them a normal gift.) A small Bouquet icon will appear beside the villager's name on your Social tab.
  • Keep bumping your relationship with your beloved upward. You need to get it to ten hearts to trigger the next step. Presumably you already know what they like by now.
  • Now you need to wait for a rainy day. Once the rain is coming down (you can't do this in Winter, obviously), head to the beach and look for an old man among the tidal pools (you’ll need 300 Wood to build a bridge over there). He'll sell you a Mermaid’s Pendant for 5,000 gold. Note that he will not sell this before you’re ready for marriage.
  • Present the Pendant to your girl / boyfriend. You'll become engaged, and three days later you'll be married. Yaaaay!
Once you marry a villager they will move onto your farm, creating a small side room next to the bedroom that relates to their interests. Husbands and wives have twelve affection points instead of the normal ten, and if you keep them happy with gifts and gestures they'll reciprocate by completing chores around the farm before you wake up - fixing fences, watering crops, feeding animals, that sort of thing.

All done? Not quite. The final step of marriage is baby. Once you've reached a high enough affection with your spouse you will randomly be asked, upon going to bed, if you'd like to have / adopt a baby. If you agree a baby will appear in your house fourteen days later, and will mature into a toddler a while after that. You can have two children. Though named and active, these kids don't do a whole lot besides wander about and look adorable.