Stardew Valley has a lot of different things that players have to account for in order to maximize the production of their farms, but the choice between befriending, romancing, and marrying NPCs isn’t necessarily one of them. While players might look for edges in the many granular interactions found in the game, it may be difficult to find an objective answer to the question of “who is the best spouse in Stardew Valley?”
Though Stardew Valley is officially a farming simulator, a big part of growing crops and raising livestock is interacting with the friendly citizens of Pelican Town. Players can give items such as fruits, eggs, wine, and beer to increase their friendship levels with NPCs and unlock new possibilities.
This opens up new cutscenes under certain conditions, developing the characters and showing how they relate to one another. The trouble is that once these cutscenes are complete, there isn’t really much left to distinguish between an NPC that loves you and an NPC that you’ve barely ever interacted with.
This applies to spouses in Stardew Valley as well, with only minimal difference between them.
Who is the best spouse in Stardew Valley?
Shane may technically be the best spouse in Stardew Valley.
This isn’t because he does anything special, though. Spouses in Stardew Valley are functionally identical, with the only difference being that they will no longer send gifts through the mail and instead give items directly to the player.
The big edge that Shane has on other romanceable NPCs is that he’s very easy to earn hearts with. Players can quickly and affordably raise him to maximum friendship by giving him beer, hot peppers, pizza, and pepper poppers. Hot peppers are easily and quickly grown in the summer. Beer, pizza, and pepper poppers are all purchasable from the Stardrop Saloon. This has actually resulted in the creation of a speedrunning category revolving around marrying Shane, with some impressive records already established.
On top of that, it’s easy to track Shane’s location as he is often at the saloon in the evening and works at JojaMart during the day. He can be caught leaving his home each morning if players quickly exit their farm out of the southern entrance.
Does it matter who you marry in Stardew Valley?
No, it doesn’t ultimately matter who the player marries in Stardew Valley.
The benefits and mechanics of marriage are the same regardless of which potential spouse the player marries. No NPC is going to do anything differently than any other NPC once married.
Regardless, players should try and marry an NPC as quickly as possible. The player’s spouse has a chance to perform various chores such as watering crops and mending fences. This is especially valuable early on when players need to scramble to get as much done as possible.