Aug 13, 2023

Best Mini

Here are the best mini-games in Stardew Valley, ranked!

ConcernedApe has proven time and time again that he has some insane game development know-how, as is evidenced by his creating a slew of mini-games (some of which could stand on their own) within the larger game. Oh yeah, and did we mention he did literally everything all by himself? Stardew Valley is remembered as a classic game because there is so much attention to detail in its design, even down to the mini-games.

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A well-designed mini-game can further enhance a game we already love, and Stardew Valley is packed full of them. From shoot-em-up arcade games to a virtual Easter Egg hunt, there’s always a mini-game right around the corner to stave off the mid-game grind.

The Darts mini-game is a more recent addition to Stardew Valley, as it’s only available to play in the Pirate Cove of Ginger Island when the pirates are present.

It’s a simple game, and a staple usually found in saloons and pubs, which means it fits right into the rest of the Stardew mini-game canon. If you manage to win at Darts three games in a row, you’ll also receive a golden walnut, which is of course one of the best prizes in the game.

If you’re a fan of in-game gambling, CalicoJack is for you. Located in the Casino in the Calico Desert, this game is a slightly simplified version of BlackJack.

There’s also more than one way to play — there’s a low-stakes game to bet 100 Qi coins, but there’s also a high-stakes game for the adventurous souls to bet 1000 Qi coins. The goal is to earn exactly 21 points over a series of two hands of cards, and if the player exceeds that point total, the dealer wins.

The Slot Machine is both simple and exactly what you’d expect. You bet either 10 or 100 Qi coins and then try to match as many of the symbols as you can like a traditional slot machine. Plus, if you match some of the more valuable symbols, you win back a greater percentage of your bet.

Related: Stardew Valley: Hidden Tricks The Game Doesn't Tell You

It’s not exactly reinventing the wheel here, but if you want to have some mindless fun and maybe win some cash in the Casino, the Slot Machine is always a solid choice.

The Egg Hunt is one of the best seasonal events in the game, and regardless of how many times you win it, it’s hard not to get competitive every time. It’s a blast to frantically run around and find new egg-hiding spots you haven’t seen before, and some players even map out the most optimum routes so that you’re a surefire to win.

What they’re actually celebrating during this holiday in Stardew Valley is a bit unclear, but don’t forget to catch your photo-op in the bunny standee before you head out on your hunt.

One of the staples of the Stardew Valley Fair during Fall, the Spinning Wheel has been a controversial mini-game in the fandom. The setup is simple — bet on a color, orange or green, and the wheel will spin and land on one of those colors.

The thing is, the code controlling the spin almost always lands on the green. This doesn’t make it the best from a gameplay standpoint, but what makes it really worthwhile is that you can easily use it to buy all of the seasonal items you could ever want.

The Slingshot in Stardew can easily fall by the wayside in comparison to some of the flashier swords, but if you’re a fan of this small, ranged weapon, then the Slingshot Mini-Game is definitely for you.

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All you have to do is nail as many of the moving targets as you can in an allotted amount of time, a tale as old as time for FPS players. It’s a simple, short mini-game, but it proves yet again that shooting is always fun in video games.

There are a lot of fishing mini-games out there, but Stardew Valley’s is easily one of the best. It’s skill-based and a bit difficult, while at the same time making for a relaxing way to spend some downtime.

On top of the regular fishing you can do throughout the game, there are also two other festival events that use the fishing mechanic as part of a mini-game — the Stardew Valley Fair in the Fall, and the Festival of Ice in Winter.

Journey of the Prairie King is one of two arcade games that players can try their hand at in the saloon, and beating its final boss isn’t for the faint of heart. This charming little shoot-em-up is the perfect respite from your chores on the farm.

The game consists of three different stages, each of which has its own enemies, levels, and final bosses. It can take a while to beat if top-down shooters aren’t usually your thing, but if you can tough it out, you’ll be rewarded with your very own home console version of the game.

Junimo Kart is the second arcade game in the saloon, only accessible by receiving a key when you reach the bottom of the mines. The game requires you to jump over obstacles as you move along mine cart tracks (with an adorable little Junimo in tow) and has two modes: Progress and Endless.

Similar to Journey of the Prairie King, if you beat all six stages of the game, you will be awarded a home console in the mail. Junimo Kart is extremely impressive as a mini-game because it’s honestly something you might buy on Steam as a standalone title.

Next: Stardew Valley: Rarest Events, Ranked

Noelle is a writer and narrative designer with a passion for interactive storytelling. While she has worked as a games journalist for nearly five years, she has also worked as a game developer for franchises like The Last of Us and The Walking Dead. She even gave a TEDx Talk about video game storytelling while she was in college!Her favorite game genres include roguelikes, choice-based adventure games, and farming/community simulators. She lives in Los Angeles with her two feline fur babies, Deku and Bakugo.