Friendship in Stardew Valley [Explained]: Sources & Uses

Stardew Valley is incredibly versatile and fascinating in the things it offers you to explore. The game is massive, and knowing everything about it can be pretty tricky! 

All About Friendship in Stardew Valley
All About Friendship in Stardew Valley

However, having a good understanding of its main offerings is vital for an enjoyable experience.

Keeping that in mind – Friendship is one of the core mechanics of Stardew Valley.

Suppose you want the best Stardew Valley experience. 

In that case, you’ll have to remain actively engaged with the locals and keep a good friendship level in the game.

This is essential not only for gameplay but also for some significant aspects, such as the progression of the main storyline.

Friendship is also a vital factor if you intend to date or marry any of the eligible residents of Pelican Town.

Besides, it’s a great way to keep receiving gifts from the townsfolk and getting to know more about their lives.

Even with your farm animals, a good friendship level is vital if you want to receive higher quality products faster frequently.

As such, Friendship is a crucial aspect of Stardew Valley. In this guide, I’ll tell you everything there is to know about it – from my personal experience!

How Does The Friendship System in Stardew Valley Work?

Friendship has a points system associated with it which shows your friendship level with any villager at any given point in time. Hearts represent your Friendship with villagers.

Under normal circumstances, a villager has 10 Hearts worth of Friendship that you can attain. 

Your social info button shows this friendship meter under each villager’s character. 

The friendship level you have with a character dictates the different possible scenarios you can explore with them. 

Once you reach 8 hearts with any villager, for example, you can propose to them to start dating them!

Advantages

There are many reasons for you to become friends with the residents of Stardew Valley.

Firstly, you can propose marriage once you’ve reached enough hearts with an eligible resident of Stardew Valley! (I’ll explain this further on in the guide)

Once you become friends with a Villager, they’ll occasionally send you gifts through your mailbox!

Furthermore, you’ll unlock secret dialogues and events which are unique to each character.

Although it’s dependent on the character itself, these events usually occur at every two heart levels progressed and are called “Heart Events” (2,4,6,8 and so on).

You’re also allowed to enter the bedroom of characters with whom you have at least 2 hearts worth of Friendship. 

This also gives you better insight into their likes, dislikes, and life.

Friendship can increase to 2,749 points for non-marriage candidates (1 less than 11 hearts). It can go even further for marriage-eligible characters!

You can increase Friendship with the villagers through several different actions. The table below gives better insight into this:

Actions That Increase FriendshipActions That Decrease Friendship
Talking to the villager (1 time per day)Giving them gifts they dislike or hate
Giving neutral, liked, and loved giftsSearching through the garbage in front of the villager
Completing a “Help Wanted” questHitting them with any projectiles
Taking them to the Movie TheaterMaking specific choices in heart events
Purchasing snacks for them at the Movie TheaterNot talking to the villager daily
Completing the maximum 2 gifts/- week criteria
Making specific choices during their heart events

How Does The Heart System Work?

How Does The Heart System Work in Stardew Valley
How Does The Heart System Work

Your heart level with a villager is indicative of your friendship. A higher heart level translates to greater friendship between yourself and the character and is displayed on a menu in the info tab. Your current heart level with villagers also determine the execution of different heart-events and other special interactions.

The heart system indicates the level of Friendship you have with any villager. 

These hearts can be viewed by hovering over the small circle on a character portrait or through your info tab.

A single heart is worth 250 points and can increase and decrease depending upon your actions. You can view this point system in greater detail on the Stardew Valley Wiki.

The system allows you to progress up to 10 hearts with non-marriage candidates. In contrast, it can go up to 14 hearts for the character you marry.

Note, however, that the heart meter for villagers eligible for dating and marriage stops at 8 hearts and the last 2 hearts become greyed out. 

You won’t be able to continue this progression unless you offer them a bouquet and officially start dating!

Lastly, as previously explained, you’ll be able to experience unique cutscenes that differ for each character, known as “Heart Events.” 

This will usually happen at each 2,4,6,8 and 10 heart milestones with different villagers. You’ll have to ensure specific circumstances for these to happen.

How Does Gifting Work in Stardew Valley? 

Gifts are excellent and the primary method of increasing your Friendship with villagers.

If you’ve been playing Stardew Valley for more than an hour, you’ll have noticed that most of the items in the game can be presented as gifts to the locals. 

Each character has a set of gifts they love, like, neutral to, dislike, or hate. 

If you give them loved, liked, or neutral gifts – your Friendship and hearts with the character increase. 

In contrast, presenting a disliked or hated gift reduces these stats associated with that character.

Additionally, giving a character a gift on their birthday increases the Friendship gained by 8 times!

The table below better explains how characters respond to different types of gifts.

Gift PreferenceFriendship GainedFriendship Gained On Birthday
Loved+80+640
Like+45+360
Neutral+20+160
Dislike-20-160
Hate-40-320

How Many Gifts can you Give To Villagers?

How Many Gifts Do You Have To Give To Villagers in Stardew Valley
How Many Gifts Do You Have To Give To Villagers

There isn’t an exact number of gifts you must give to a Villager. Obviously – the more, the better.

The type and quantity of gifts you’d prefer to invest in a character are ultimately up to you. 

However, I’d recommend you to save up and present the character with their most loved gift.

This will allow you to progress the friendship meter extremely fast without using too much of your resources on the same character.

In the case of the number of gifts, you must give a character to get maximum friendship points; the answer has a lot of variations.

The amount of Friendship and hearts you eventually get depends upon the gift you’re giving and how often you’re presenting the character with it. 

If you strictly give gifts that are loved and don’t miss out on any single chance, you can attain 10 hearts with a villager through ~35 gifts. 

This doesn’t consider any other sources of friendship and character birthdays. If you add those up, you can quickly increase your heart level with villagers.

How Many Gifts Per Day Can You hand out?

Stardew Valley How Many Gifts Can You Give Per Day in Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley How Many Gifts Can You Give Per Day

You can only gift 1 item per day to any Villager. No matter the scenario, giving more than 1 item on the same day is impossible. 

If you try to gift more than one item daily, a message box shows that you’ve already given a gift to that villager for the day.

Additionally, you can only gift 2 items per week to any villager. This limit resets every Sunday. 

If you’ve already given the maximum of 2 gifts for one week, trying to provide another one will again display the error message as with the previous scenario.

There’s only one exception to this rule: a character’s birthday. If a character has a birthday, you can give them 3 gifts for that week. 

The 2 that you usually can, and one additional gift for their birthday.

Remember that this does not apply to the 1 per day limit and remains as is.

Does Quality Matter For Gifts?

Yes! The quality of the item you give to a villager as a gift dictates the number of friendship points you receive. 

Different qualities have an additional multiplier associated with them, with higher qualities having a higher multiplier.

A simple formula that calculates friendship points is – Event Multiplier x Preference x Quality Multiplier.

The event multiplier on regular days is 1. Preference refers to whether the item is loved, liked, neutral, disliked, or hated by the villager. 

The values for these can be seen in the first table. Items of standard quality have a quality multiplier of 1. 

Silver, Gold, and Iridium quality items have 1.1, 1.25, and 1.5x multiplier values, respectively.

The table below better represents these values:

Gift QualityQuality Multiplier
Iridium1.5x (+50%)
Gold1.25x (+25%)
Silver1.1x (+10%)
Normal1x

Can You Lose Hearts?

Similar to how you can gain hearts by doing different things, performing specific actions can reduce your friendship points in Stardew Valley.

Any of the following actions will decrease your friendship points with villagers:

  • Giving them gifts they dislike or hate
  • Hitting the villager with a Slingshot
  • Not greeting the villager daily
  • Making negative choices in their heart event.
  • Searching through the garbage within 7 tiles of the villager

Friendship Decay

Additionally, friendship levels can decay over time if you don’t interact with the villagers often. 

This decay stops once you reach 10 hearts with the individual; however, below that, it keeps active.

For ordinary residents of Stardew Valley, the decay rate is -2 friendship points per day.

This decay rate increases to -10 per day for any individuals you are dating (have given a bouquet to)

In your spouse’s case, this decay never stops – even after reaching 14 hearts. Furthermore, in this case, the decay rate is further increased to -20 per day!

How Do You Stop Your Hearts Going Down?

You can avoid friendship decay by talking to the villager once per day. It’s as simple as that! If you greet them daily, the decay won’t occur.

You can also give them a gift they like/love which will increase friendship points substantially so that the normal friendship decay won’t be relevant at all!

What Do Grey Hearts Mean in Stardew Valley?

Grey hearts indicate that you cannot increase your friendship level beyond this limit at that given point in time. 

This is mainly seen for bachelors/bachelorettes once you successfully attain an 8-heart friendship level with them. 

The last 2 hearts are blocked off (greyed out) and can only be obtained if you present the individual with a bouquet.

This causes you to start dating officially and opens up the 2 grey hearts as possible friendship levels.

How Many Hearts Until You Can Date Someone?

You’ll need at least 8 hearts worth of Friendship with a character to start dating them.

Once you reach that level, you can propose to them using the Bouquet item. 

If the character is at 8 hearts, they’ll accept the bouquet, and you’ll officially start dating each other.

Once you’re dating a character, you unlock additional message boxes and events with them. 

Your status in the socials tab will also reflect that you’ve started dating each other.

What is a Bouquet?

What is a Bouquet in Stardew Valley
What is a Bouquet

The bouquet is a unique item in the game that becomes available at Pierre’s General Store once you reach an 8-heart friendship with a marriage-eligible character.

As explained in the previous heading, the last 2 hearts of bachelors and bachelorettes become greyed out once you reach an 8-heart friendship with them. 

To unlock the last 2 hearts, you’ll have to present them with a bouquet. The bouquet indicates that you two have officially started dating!

The bouquet increases your friendship points by 25. It changes the villager’s status to girlfriend or boyfriend in your socials tab.

If you present a bouquet to a villager with whom you don’t have an 8-heart friendship level or the character isn’t an eligible candidate, an error message box appears. 

As a result, the bouquet won’t be accepted.

Furthermore, giving someone a bouquet and consequently dating them is the only method in Stardew Valley to get married to the individual eventually.

Can You Get 10 Hearts With Everyone?

Stardew Valley Can You Get 10 Hearts With Everyone
Stardew Valley Can You Get 10 Hearts With Everyone

Stardew Valley allows you to attain a 10-heart friendship level with all the villagers. It might be considered unethical, but it’s possible.

You can get 10 hearts with ordinary villagers just how you usually would. Keep talking to them, present gifts and don’t miss out on special events.

On the other hand, increasing your friendship level beyond 8 hearts for marriage-eligible villagers requires dating them by presenting a bouquet.

Although you can date multiple individuals simultaneously, it’s not the most ethical thing to do. 

You’ll eventually get caught in the group 10 heart event, causing you to lose friendship points.

Regardless, it’s still a technical possibility, and you can re-gain the hearts you lose in the 10-heart event. Thus, you’ll eventually be able to reach maximum (10) hearts with everyone!

How Do You Get 10 Hearts With Everyone?

There isn’t any particular method that allows you to magically obtain 10-heart friendships with everyone in Stardew Valley.

You’ll have to increase your Friendship with each villager until it eventually reaches the maximum limit. 

You can do this through the methods described in the guide above.

(Note that you’ll have to give a bouquet to bachelors and bachelorettes to advance your friendship level with them beyond 8 hearts).

Can You Get 10 Hearts With Everyone Without Dating?

Stardew Valley Can You Get 10 Hearts With Everyone Without Dating
Stardew Valley Can You Get 10 Hearts With Everyone Without Dating

The simple answer here is no. You can’t attain 10-heart friendships with everyone without dating.

As I’ve already explained, you’ll have no problem getting NPCs who aren’t marriage candidates up to 10 hearts.

In contrast, potential marriage candidates’ villagers stop friendship progression at the 8-hearts level. 

The last 2 hearts become greyed out and cannot be accessed unless you present the character with a bouquet.

The bouquet is an item that’s indicative of the fact that you’ve now started dating the individual.

Thus, it won’t be possible for you to get a 10-heart friendship with everyone in the game unless you start dating them!

How Long Does It Take To Attain 10 Hearts With Everyone?

The answer to this depends on how frequently you interact with the villagers, the quality and type of gifts you give them, and the choices you make in their heart events.

If done correctly, you can get 10 heart friendship levels with everyone within your first in-game year in Stardew Valley!

This can be done even sooner if you don’t miss out on any opportunities of receiving friendship points with an individual.

To make the best use of your time, always give the most loved gift to a villager and use the iridium quality of that item, if applicable. 

Never miss out on character birthdays or special events, as these are incredibly useful in racking up a ton of hearts!

Can You Lose 10 Hearts in Stardew Valley?

It isn’t possible to lose 10 hearts worth of Friendship in the game.

Once you reach the 10 hearts friendship level with a character, a Stardrop will appear on their character portrait. 

This indicates that you’ve reached the maximum possible Friendship with them – which will never decay.

You have no reason to worry about talking to them or giving them additional gifts.

Once you reach maximum Friendship with a villager, your friendship points never go down. 

Technically, you could go on ignoring this character forever now, and you’ll still never lose your Friendship with them!

Is It Possible To Have 14 Hearts With Everyone?

In the current game version, you can’t attain a 14-heart friendship level with more than one character.

Typically, you cannot increase Friendship with a character beyond 10 hearts. The only possible method of increasing it to 14 is marrying them.

Once you marry an eligible villager, the last 4 hearts in the friendship meter are unlocked and can be progressed.

Since you can only have one spouse at a time, you can’t have 14-heart relationships with multiple characters – and for a good reason!

How Many Hearts Until You Can Marry?

The previous heading might’ve made this self-explanatory for you. Still, it takes at least 10 hearts worth of Friendship for you to be able to marry another character.

If you try to propose without fulfilling this condition, the character will decline your marriage proposal. Ouch!

However, you should remember that there are some additional requirements along with the heart meter for you to marry an NPC successfully.

These include obtaining a Mermaid Pendant and purchasing the correct house upgrade from Robin – among others.

What Are Heart Events?

Heart events are unique cutscenes exclusive to each character in Stardew Valley. Sometimes, they can also feature multiple characters within the same heart event.

Heart events generally occur every time you get 2,4,6,8 or 10 heart friendship levels with a character. 

These are significant aspects of character and story-building. In most heart events, you’ll be presented with a scenario and have to decide.

There’s usually a negative, positive, and neutral outcome.

Your choice in a heart event can increase or decrease your friendship level with the character, depending on what you do. 

It can also remain unaffected if you choose the neutral option.

(Note that certain conditions have to be fulfilled, depending on the heart event, for it to trigger)

Can You Miss a Heart Event?

You can miss out on a heart even in Stardew Valley.

As I’ve already mentioned, certain conditions must be met to have a heart event occur. If these conditions are not fulfilled, the heart event might never happen, and you’ll miss out on it!

Additionally, some heart events are time-sensitive and require you to be present in a specific place. If you don’t get there in time, the heart event won’t trigger.

Missing a heart event can be a significant problem because these events aren’t recurring. If you don’t see them the first time, you’ll never get to see them!

Some heart events, however, have fundamental requirements that you can fulfill unknowingly. 

This causes them to trigger automatically and lets you experience the event without any hassle.

What is the Group 10 Heart Event?

The group 10-heart event is a unique heart event with many requirements for you to complete! 

The event occurs if you’ve raised friendship levels to 10-hearts with all bachelors and bachelorettes in the game. 

This indicates that you’ve started dating multiple characters at the same time.

The event itself is hilarious and features all the characters bundled together, discussing how you, the player, have been dating all of them together. 

The event triggers separately for bachelors and bachelorettes as follows.

Bachelorettes

For bachelorettes, the event will trigger the next time you enter Emily/Hayley’s house if you’ve given all of the bachelorettes a bouquet. 

All of these characters will be gathered around Emily/Hayley’s table. They would be discussing how you’ve been cheating on them.

Once you enter, they will express their sorrow and pity for you!

Bachelors

This heart event has the exact requirements as the previous ones for it to trigger for the bachelor’s as well. It also has the same outcome.

The only change here is that this time, it’ll occur in the Stardrop Saloon and will be limited to the bachelor characters.

Regardless of what you say in both these scenarios, all the characters will become mad at you and refuse to talk/accept gifts from you for the following week.

After one week, however, they’ll start accepting gifts and return to normal behavior. 

This will allow you to increase your friendship level with them again eventually!

(Note that the group 10-heart event only triggers once per each game file)

Do You Have To Pet Your Animals?

Do You Have To Pet Your Animals in Stardew Valley
Do You Have To Pet Your Animals in Stardew Valley

The friendship system isn’t limited to humans only. Any animals you purchase will also have a heart meter associated with them, which you can view by opening the animal’s info.

When you first purchase/breed the animal, it’ll start with an empty friendship meter.

The value of each heart in this meter varies animal-to-animal. 

For example, Cows will have a different total capacity of possible friendship points compared to Pigs.

You might think having a good friendship level with your farm animals isn’t essential, but that is entirely false.

Although your animals can’t gift you items, a high friendship level will increase their chances of producing higher-quality animal products.

Additionally, some animals, such as Pigs, will increase the frequency with which they provide you with their produce depending upon your friendship level.

Do Animals Lose Hearts?

Do Animals Lose Hearts in Stardew Valley
Do Animals Lose Hearts

Just like human characters, animals also have a decay system connected to them.

Additionally, specific actions such as not feeding and petting them will also cause them to lose their friendship points and, in turn, hearts with you.

Although the exact values vary from animal to animal, generally, all animals will lose friendship points if you starve, don’t pet them, or leave them outside the farm overnight.

Additionally, animals will produce lower-quality items if they become too unhappy with you.

Unlike humans, the decay rate for your farm animals always remains active and can never be entirely stopped. 

However, the value of the decay rate decreases as you go towards higher heart values.

In simple terms, the higher your Friendship with an animal, the slower its Friendship will decay.

Suppose you’ve read this far, congratulations! You’re now aware of everything there is to know about Friendship in Stardew Valley!

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