Does Stardew Valley stop after 3 years?

Hey there! Terry here, your friendly tech geek and data analyst. As an avid Stardew Valley player with over 500 hours logged, I‘m often asked if the game just ends after the big Year 3 evaluation. Well, let me give you the inside scoop!

What happens at Year 3?

The first day of Year 3 triggers a special event where the ghost of your grandfather appears on the farm. Basically, he judges how much progress you‘ve made in restoring the old family homestead.

Several factors go into grandpa‘s evaluation:

  • Money earned – At least 50,000g
  • Items shipped – At least 300
  • Friendships – At least 8 people at 10+ hearts
  • Completions – Either the community center bundles or Joja warehouse
  • Skills – Fishing, Foraging, Mining, Combat and Farming at level 6+

Based on your performance across these areas, up to 4 candles will light up on grandpa‘s shrine. Lighting all 4 candles unlocks the statue of perfection, giving you access to end-game content.

But even if you score poorly, the game doesn‘t end after Year 3. You can keep playing indefinitely to keep improving the farm!

Now, let‘s look at what you can do post-evaluation…

Can you "finish" Stardew Valley?

While there‘s no credits roll or definitive end, you can work towards completing all major milestones in Stardew Valley:

  • Community center – Finish all bundles
  • Museum collection – Donate every artifact and specimen
  • Relationships – Max out hearts for all villagers
  • Achievements – Complete every achievement
  • Monster Eradication Goals – Slay all monster types
  • Skills – Reach level 10 in all skills
  • Cooking – Craft every cooking recipe
  • Crafting – Create every craftable item
  • Fishing – Catch every fish

The game tracks overall progress against these goals with the perfection tracker. Get it to 100%, and you‘ll have completed virtually everything substantial in the game.

But the open-ended nature of Stardew means you can keep building out your farm and relationships indefinitely!

What can you do after completing everything?

Even after hitting 100% perfection, there are plenty of things left to occupy your time in Stardew Valley:

  • Decorating – Design your farm buildings and home with furnishings
  • Optimization – Maximize profit through crops, artisan goods etc.
  • Relationships – Maintain loved statuses with thoughtful gifts
  • Achievements – Complete additional achievement milestones
  • Challenges – Set new goals like having kids or amassing wealth

And if you want a fresh experience, just start a new farm! Different farm maps and spouses will give you new opportunities.

So there‘s really no limit to how much you can get out of Stardew Valley. It‘s an incredibly deep game.

By the numbers: Scope of content

Let‘s break down just how much there is to do in Stardew Valley:

  • 28 eligible bachelors/bachelorettes to marry
  • 330 cooking recipes to learn
  • 134 fish across 25 locations to catch
  • 112 mining levels with over 500 item types to dig up
  • 10 skills to level up, each going to level 10
  • 90 achievements with advanced goals to complete
  • 161 items that can be crafted/cooked
  • 113 monster eradication goals across 60 monster types

And that‘s not even getting into holiday events, the new 1.5 update content, and more!

Suffice to say, Stardew Valley is an almost bottomless well of content and objectives. You could play for hundreds of hours and still have new things left to accomplish.

Final thoughts

At its core, Stardew Valley is a peaceful, open-ended farming life simulator. The lack of a "game over" end credits sequence opens up so many possibilities.

Sure, Year 3 brings a major milestone in Grandpa‘s evaluation. But you can keep playing as long as you want after that!

With so many villagers to befriend, fish to catch, and skills to improve – you‘ll never run out of things to do. It‘s a game that can be played forever, and that freedom is part of what makes Stardew Valley such a joy.

So rest assured, fellow farmer – the adventure definitely does not stop after Year 3! There are always more crops to grow and relationships to build in the valley.

Let me know if you have any other Stardew Valley questions! I could talk farming sims all day.

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