Anyone who’s played Stardew Valley no doubt has strong opinions on the bachelors and bachelorettes. This is serious business, folks. When you leave the oppressive life of a corporate wage-slave to find new meaning in nature and community, you can’t just botch it up by marrying some loser. Every marriage candidate has something to offer, and choosing a spouse could very well be the hardest part of your playthrough.
Lucky for you, help is on the way. Just like we ranked the Stardew bachelors, it’s time to compare each of the Stardew Valley bachelorettes, looking at both their pros and cons. While I won’t be spoiling any major heart events from these characters, I will talk vaguely about their overall character arcs. I will also note that this list is nothing more than my own personal opinion — at the end of the day, it’s not something to be taken too seriously, and each bachelorette is great in their own ways.
And, of course, if ladies aren’t your style, we’ve also ranked the Stardew Valley bachelors
6 – Haley
For the record, I actually like Haley. She’s kind of that stereotypical rude, vain, pretty girl at the beginning, and of course, as you get to know her better, that facade melts away to reveal someone who’s actually more down-to-earth. It’s fun talking to her in the early game and not being able to anticipate whether or not she’ll be a total jerk, and it’s equally as fun once her responses start becoming warmer. Haley is a character who changes quite a bit, and the end result is someone who’s perfectly acceptable as a spouse.
As a character, I like Haley more than some of the other candidates, but she doesn’t make a very strong case for marriage. Her entire character is basically defined by being a crabby, selfish ice queen who transitions into someone more grounded. That’s fine and all, Haley, but when you’re measured up against five other candidates who are just inherently more interesting, you end up in last place on the list.
Ultimately, Haley isn’t last because she’s mean. A lot of people are (understandably) put off by her rudeness in the early game, but we’re gauging characters by where they are at the end of your journey, not the beginning. Haley has a lovely transformation; it’s just that the transformed Haley isn’t that much more compelling than the other candidates in this list. If you’ve got a thing for smokin’ blondes, go right ahead. But if not, maybe consider dating around a little more.
5 – Maru
Let us be perfectly clear that Maru is awesome. She’s cute, she’s sweet, she has a healthy family life, and she’s pretty much a genius. You go, girl. On paper, she’s easily one of the most marriageable candidates on this list. But to be honest, it felt kind of wrong to marry Maru, because it seems like a crime to take someone with such a brilliant mind, and close so many doors that their future could hold.
Calling Maru a genius is an understatement. She’s, like, a super-genius, and you’ll find out why in her heart events. This is a girl that should be submitting job applications to NASA, not raising chickens. And in her dialogue, it’s clear that Maru has high ambitions. Given that there are other bachelorettes on the block available for the taking, it just feels like the right choice to let Maru have as much autonomy as she needs to pursue her ambitions.
I would maybe feel differently about Maru if she were older and independent, but Maru is one of the youngest bachelorettes. For someone who’s just entering into young adulthood with such lofty dreams and talents, perhaps it’s best to let Maru breathe for a little bit and discover what path she wants to take in life, instead of settling down before she even moves out of her parents’ house.
4 – Emily
Emily, for most players, will be all-or-nothing. Once you get to know her, she’ll reveal that she has an extremely unique personality — and you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it. As for me, I’m not really here for it.
Emily’s all about meditation and mystical energies and psychedelic dancing and being one with the universe and world — all interesting stuff, but it’s a little too much sometimes, y’know? If you’re not pickin’ up what she’s puttin’ down, Emily’s groovy way of life may not be to your taste. And we all know that Clint is going to woo her anyway, right? …Right? Anyone?
I do appreciate Emily as a character. She is a compassionate soul, and she has a zest for life. She’s the type of partner with whom you’ll never be bored. If you’re picking up what she’s putting down, she’s a total catch. But if her energy just doesn’t resonate with you, it’s hard to see her as a more appealing option than the others. Like I said, all or nothing.
3 – Abigail
Abigail is one of my favorite characters in the game. She’s a lot of fun, always has interesting dialogue, and she has a nice design. For many players, she’s the go-to wife material before the other gals even get a chance. Abigail has all the perfect little quirks that appeal to many a gamer who finds themselves playing Stardew Valley — and that’s kind of my beef with her.
Abigail, through and through, is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, as in, she seems to be engineered to play to the stereotypical preferences of gamer dudes. She’s adventurous and outgoing, but also, like, so nerdy because she has a SNES in her room! She’s cool, but also, like, so quirky because she likes to dye her hair! She likes to pick up a sword and fight monsters with you, but she’s also, like, so deep because she likes to watch the waves as she ponders life. Abby is a great character, but it definitely feels like she checks off all the boxes on the “cool, alternative gamer girl” checklist.
Don’t get me wrong. Abby is super cool, she has a fun personality, and like I said, she’s one of my favorites. I wouldn’t blame anyone who picks her as their Stardew partner. It’s just, for the purposes of being a wife, she feels a little too engineered for my tastes. And aside from that, I’m getting some Maru vibes from her. Abigail is aggressively unique and still fresh into her beginning years of young adulthood — I’d feel kind of guilty denying her the opportunity to move out and experience the world a little more before she settles down.
2 – Penny
Let’s just reiterate that when I’m looking for a Stardew Valley bachelorette, I’m playing the long game. I’m looking for someone who can be a good long-term partner I’m looking for someone who knows what she wants in life, who’s ready to make the sacrifices that come along with settling down, who will be a good mother to children and a loving partner.
Penny, while not perfect, meets those attributes in spades. Penny is unflinchingly sweet and precious. She’s not exactly bursting with confidence, but she has those altruistic qualities that endure for a lifetime, and. she’s oh-so-sweet when she trusts you enough to let you in. She’s also a proven expert with children, sacrificing enormous amounts of her time to be a good educator and role model to the town’s two young children, Vincent and Jas. She also a cycle breaker, proving in her actions that you don’t have to be the heir of your parents’ bad tendencies. Penny is sweet, wise, and strong.
So yeah, there’s no doubt that Penny would make a great partner. The downside? She’s just kind of, well, boring. While she has many great qualities you’d look for in a lifetime partner, you can’t help but think you’d probably have more fun with someone like Abigail or Emily. Penny does love to read, so that’s a plus, but an adventurous person she is not.
1 – Leah
If you think Leah is undeserving of the top spot, well, you’re just objectively wrong, and that’s okay. It happens to everyone. Seriously though, Leah is the bomb. Out of all the candidates, she has the most perfect ratio of pleasant personality, unique quirks, life experience, and independence. The whole shebang, folks.
In your interactions with Leah, she is never anything but kind and sweet (provided you’re not a total a-hole). Not only that, but in her heart events, you’ll find that there are specific reasons why she came to the valley — reasons which are very relatable to your little ex-Joja Stardew farmer, who is also on a journey of self-discovery. It’s overwhelmingly clear that Leah knows things. She knows who she is and what she wants from life, and she’s a woman who had already found herself before you had even met her — her heart events just showcase further growth.
Leah’s empathy and good nature ensure that she will be a loving partner and mother, but she also has enough interests — such as her passion for art — to keep things interesting in the long run. She has a sufficiently spicy personality when the occasion demands it, and a taste for good-natured fun. Overall, Leah is the clear winner of the bachelorettes, and I will fight you on that. But not really.
Who is your favorite Stardew bachelorette? Is this list totally and egregiously wrong? Sound out your opinion in the comments!