Gifting guide: for Friendship, Marriage, and Wealth


TL;DR See this guide for prioritizing gift items. Use Friday night at the Saloon, noon and 5:30 in the village square, the Wiki, or a mod to find villagers.

Gifting is particularly anti-natural for me (NOT my love language). Even friendship is not natural for me, much less in Stardew Valley, where I get so hectic I don't want to be bothered talking to the villagers or going out of my way to find them. I promise I am not scowling at them (well, maybe I am at some of them), but it's not why I came to Stardew Valley. And I'm going to marry you someday, Penny, but I have to run at the moment (*blows kiss*). But I eventually prioritize friendship, checking my hearts tab compulsively because...
  1. Practicing gifting is good for me IRL.
  2. Villagers give very good gifts in return, often the only way to move forward in the game is to increase your friendship with somebody.
  3. Villagers give good hints about the game.
  4. Friendship is fun (at least with some Villagers), and largesse is fun, you rich farmer, you.
  5. Friendship is the path to marriage, which is also fun.
When and where?
  1. Birthdays. Since birthday gifts are worth a perfect month (8 gifts) of normal gifting and three hearts for a gold quality (star) gift, it's arguably important to observe every one of them in the best way you can starting with a Parsnip on your very first Sunday to Lewis.
  2. At and after your first Luau on Summer 11. At the Luau, contributing a gold Cauliflower to the soup will give you 1/2 heart with every villager present, and after that it's not a bad time to start gifting in earnest. You can give normal gifts before then, but you should know that normal liked base quality gifts give you 1/5 heart each and ignoring villagers costs you 1/5 heart per month.
  3. Around noon and 5:30 p.m. in the village square and Friday night 6-9 at the Saloon. Villagers tend to move around the village square a lot at noon and 5:30 p.m. At the Saloon there are certain regulars every night, but there are extra people there on Friday nights from 6-9.
  4. Finding villagers can be frustrating. You may want to learn their habits, use a bit of logic, and keep notes. Or you can read the detailed schedule on the Wiki page for each villager to track them down reliably or install a mod (UI Info Suite and NPC Map Locations) that puts their location on the in-game Map. Be especially careful about Doctor appointments, aerobics, and Yoba worship. And some things just defy logic (Bus Stop Abigail).
  5. Feast of the Winter Star? It's worth five times a normal gift. But it's kind of late for all but the toughest villagers, and you never know who you are going to get. So it's probably kind of meh.
  6. Not otherwise at festivals. Talking there counts for friendship since v1.4 (1/4 of a loved gift, or as much as over 1-1/2 hearts total for talking to everybody), so do that, but gifting is not allowed. But you can gift at the Night Market.
  1. Preferences. On a birthday, a Loved gift is worth 2-1/2 hearts compared to 1-1/2 hearts for a Liked gift or 1/2 heart for a Neutral gift (see Wiki). Villagers' preferences are sometimes—but not always—kind of logical, fun, and obvious. You can have fun experimenting or wait for the game to reveal what people love. The heart tab of the menu keeps track of how everybody reacted to your gifts.
    The easiest (least confusing) way to determine gift preferences at the Wiki is to look up the item instead of the villager.
  2. Quality. Iridium gifts are worth 1.5 times the friendship of base quality gifts. That's the down side of gifting gems and cooked food.
  3. Prioritize the toughest gifts for the toughest villagers. This table helps you decide which villager you should save that Diamond, Pink Cake, or Rabbit's Foot for and what are the easiest gifts you can give each villager as you get richer.
  4. Rabbits. Of the universally loved gifts, Rabbit's Foot competes with Prismatic Shard for being the first you can reliably accumulate, and it's the only one that can be high Quality. If you want to gift Rabbit's Foot, you need most of a Deluxe Coop full of Rabbits, like 6 to 9 of them. Then you need to pet them every day and let them eat grass outside whenever possible. They will also give you Wool, which may displace Sheep in your farming plans. Having so many Iridium Rabbit's Foot that you can give them to somebody instead of scrounging for their personal optimum is kind of fun largesse, even if it lacks that personal touch.
  1. I don't have a careful guide for whom to prioritize. I just haphazardly and opportunistically gift them all to the maximum level by around Spring/Summer of Year 2. Maybe somebody else has a prioritized Who guide.
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As I've mentioned in other threads before, I'm baffled by the premise here. The easiest way to get max hearts with everyone is to simply talk to them every time you see them. Give them gifts on their birthday, no more, no less. (Except perhaps if you're trying to marry someone before the start of Winter Year 1, since there's no rain in Winter). I don't remember the exact timing of reaching max hearts with everyone but Kent and Leo (exceptions due to first encountering them much later than the others) but as I recall most characters didn't need a second birthday gift, so that would be well before the end of Year 2. I remember Kent was done right around the end of Year 2, since he didn't get a Loved gift until Qi's Kindness.

I could see a case for using gifts on Sandy, since one presumably doesn't visit the Desert all that often. And her Loved gifts are extremely plentiful and easy to come by. Similar reasoning could apply to Leo as well, later.

But the impression I get from this forum (and I don't mean to pick on your post in particular, Tom!) is that people run around giving NPCs gifts all the time. That's just nuts to me. 🤨 Talk to people. It really is that simple. For most NPCs it doesn't even take you out of your way, though for a few like Elliot who I hardly ever see during normal gameplay I did have to start making detours to chat with them.

Except after the island resort is open - at that point go by the wiki schedule, and look for the person on the island if they're not where they're supposed to be. Mostly relevant for Qi's Kindness, at that point.
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Except after the island resort is open - at that point go by the wiki schedule, and look for the person on the island if they're not where they're supposed to be. Mostly relevant for Qi's Kindness, at that point.
Well, I did say "the first you can reliably". :proud:

talk to them every time you see them
Good point, though this guide is specifically about Gifting. Four talks is as good as a loved gift; 100 talks = 8 hearts. I believe you that talking can work well too. What gifting does is put power into fewer interactions at the cost of possibly missing some information (especially if you never talk, even when gifting). Yeah. Talk!

Maybe a lot of us just don't get around much in Stardew Valley. :laugh::laugh:
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Awesome work, great resource! Thank you very much!

The toughest villagers for me are always those where:
a) They don't have loved gifts which are easily obtainable in iridium quality
b) They don't have loved gifts easily available before their first birthday
c) You meet them in a delayed fashion.

With that in mind, I always have to spend extra effort on the following:
Dwarf: No loved gifts are available in higher than baseline quality other than Rabbit's Foots, and you meet him in a delayed fashion, possibly learning how to talk to him and unlocking gift giving after his birthday, depending on your level of experience, the kind of save it is, etc.
Krobus: Another delayed meeting, and relatively limited gift options. Assuming you put effort into getting the kind of eggs he likes though eventually he's easy enough to raise, but he's always one of my lowest relationships.
Sandy: Just because she has a delayed meeting, her loved gifts are very easy to get however, eventually in large quantities of high quality.
Kent: Delayed start, then he springs himself on you with a sudden birthday, with limited gift options and no good loved options other than Rabbits Feet at above baseline quality. Getting the Community Center boost (if you wait long enough before completing it) is one of the only reasons he's not higher up, that and easily running into him regularly without going out of your way.
Pierre, Marnie, Jodi & Alex: Also no good loved gift options other than Rabbits Feet, but you can just ply them with eggs and they'll eventually come around.
Sebastian and Elliott: Just because they're antisocial and spend a fair amount of time behind locked doors, so you have to specifically target them until you get them up to 2 hearts, and they have somewhat late birthdays, and are off the beaten path as it were, at least for me.
Shane: Because he's a jerk, so it takes extra effort to actually want to interact with him early on XD

Plus the person who need not be mentioned, and any kids of course, those are the *last* ones to raise up to max hearts for sure.


Krobus loves Wild Horseradish. Easy peasy. Not sure why you say that's "relatively limited gift options".

Regarding both Krobus and the Dwarf - they never move, and the Dwarf is near a location one typically spends a lot of time in anyway. Like I've said before, just talk to them. For Krobus, that may be a bit of a detour on many days, but visiting town isn't all that rare so it shouldn't cost very much time.

Pierre is also very easy since one will typically visit his shop often to buy seeds etc. Take a couple extra seconds to go around the counter to talk to him. For Pierre's birthday, Linus sends me more Fried Calamari in the mail than I ever need for giving Pierre gifts.

Marnie and Jodi are fairly easy to talk to as one goes about one's business around town. And once you have a kitchen Jodi is trivial to provide loved gifts for (and a birthday of Fall 11 means one should probably expect to have the kitchen before there's any need to give her a gift). Marnie - similar, but fewer options. But Farmer's Lunch is about as easy as a cooked gift can get, and she also has a Fall birthday.

Agreed on Alex, Sebastian, and Elliot, I remember having to look up their schedules and make side trips just to chat with them regularly. And I 100% agree about Shane! 😛 Though once you've made a start with him he's basically self-gifting, the way he sends you pizza and pepper poppers in the mail.


Thanks for the helpful guide. I like the arguments you made here. I plan to use it soon. I have grand ideas for gifts for my family this Christmas. I found a great place to find gift boxes. When I saw this, I knew my dad's next gift would be right away. He prefers something special, so I prepared a gift box from I am sure that he will appreciate this gift one hundred percent because I like it very much and it is exciting. Personally, I would love to receive such a gift.
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