A Stardew Valley modder has released a new mod that will allow the player to customize their villagers individually, along with changing their portraits and sprites to be more gender neutral.
The mod has been created by a user named “sqbr” and is called “Androgynous Villagers”. Here is the info on the mod page:
This mod has the option to change the sprite and portrait art for all the villagers and some background characters to be more androgynous, including beach outfits. Leah can be a wheelchair user, and Marnie, Jas and Elliott can have darker colouring. There’s also a few variants in the Variants folder from when I was experimenting with art styles, but you’ll have to edit those in yourself.
What counts as ‘androgynous’ is pretty subjective and context specific, but my goal was to create art that can be read as intended to be male, female, or ambiguous, within the limits of my ability as a pixel artist. So I generally removed things like curvy chests, beards, sharp jaws, makeup etc that are strongly associated with only men or women in conventional sprite art, even though in real life the gender associations are more complicated, and there’s no single ‘androgynous’ look.
I will definitely forget to update the screenshots to match any art changes, but will try and keep the first two screenshots of the base sprites and portraits up to date.
Androgynous Villagers makes it so that the character’s themselves look more androgynous, the portraits and sprites are changed to match this. It also comes with the tools to change character genders, pronouns, skin tones, and even, in the case of Leah, put her in a wheelchair or make her able-bodied.
Stardew Valley is a game in which players are allowed to experience the comfort of a simple farming life. This is your game and your world, and you should be able to experience it how you want to. That’s what makes modding these kinds of games so fantastic. That being said, I am still too busy modding Skyrim to fall down the Stardew Valley rabbit hole, but I encourage others to mod to their heart’s content.
The mod is currently available on the Nexus Mods website, and you can download it today.
Stardew Valley has been available since 2016 for Windows PC (via GOG, and Steam) Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Android, and iOS – as well as more recently on Xbox Game Pass. In case you missed it, you can find our review for Stardew Valley here (we highly recommend it!)