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How to Complete ‘A Winter Mystery’ Quest in Stardew Valley

How to Complete ‘A Winter Mystery’ Quest in Stardew Valley

Winter in Stardew Valley is not just about cozy fires and festive decorations. Tucked within the season is ‘A Winter Mystery’ quest, a challenge that adds another layer to your farming experience. For those eager to tackle this puzzle head-on, our guide offers a clear, step-by-step walkthrough. Equip your winter gear, and let’s dive into how to unravel this chilly mystery.

How to Trigger the Quest

Shadowy Figure outside bus stop Stardew Valley
Shadowy Figure Outside of the Bus Stop

Unlike other quests in Stardew Valley, which are often sent in the mail, “A Winter Mystery” is triggered by a chance encounter with the ‘Shadowy Figure.’

To stumble upon this elusive character, one must simply head towards the Bus Stop during Winter. Timing is key; the encounter is set to occur between the hours of 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. As players approach the area during this window, a unique cutscene plays out, showcasing a Shadowy Figure. He’ll be surprised at your presence and rush off, prompting you to follow him.

How to Complete the Quest

Finding the Shadowy Figure near the playground Stardew Valley
Discovering the Shadowy Figure’s Hiding Spot

“A Winter Mystery” is one of the easiest quests to complete. Players simply have to seek out the Shadowy Figure, who’s hiding within the winter landscape.

Step One:

Step 1 to Finding the Shadowy Figure Stardew Valley

From the bus stop, head East towards The Village.

Step Two:

Step 2 to Finding the Shadowy Figure Stardew Valley

Before you enter the township center, take the Northern path until you reach the playground outside the Community Center.

Step Three:

Step 3 to Finding the Shadowy Figure Stardew Valley

Head Right from the playground until you come across a cluster of bushes

Step Four:

Step 4 to Finding the Shadowy Figure Stardew Valley

One bush in particular will have a trail of footprints leading to it. Interact with this one and the shadowy figure will pop out. Upon being discovered, he hands over a Magnifying Glass, marking the conclusion of the Winter Mystery quest.

Significance of the Magnifying Glass

Recieving the Magnifying Glass, Stardew Valley
Receiving the Magnifying Glass

The Magnifying Glass, though unconventional compared to the standard reward of gold, holds greater significance as it lets players decipher secret notes.

Once players obtain this tool, it goes straight into their wallet. Reading these Secret Notes elevates gameplay by unveiling insights about Pelican Town’s residents, exposing hidden treasures, and solving intricate puzzles.

Types of Secret Notes

Player with secret note in Stardew Valley
Player With Secret Note Stardew Valley

Villager’s Favourite Items

Secret Note 1 Stardew Valley
Secret Note 1

Many notes are shopping lists or diary pages from Villagers, which often reveal their specific likes.

For instance, Secret Note 1 is a page from Abigail’s diary where she lists things she loves: “the smell of carved pumpkin, keeping an amethyst under my pillow, chocolate cake, the thrill of spicy eel, and the comfort of Mom’s blackberry cobbler.”

Such notes are crucial for players as they offer direct insights into the gifts that villagers would appreciate most. While Abigail’s preferences are just one example, there are numerous other notes revealing similar information for other villagers, making the gift-giving aspect of the game more strategic and rewarding.


Secret Note 15 Stardew Valley
Secret Note 15

Secret Notes in Stardew Valley also come in the form of riddles, challenging players to decipher clues and uncover hidden rewards.

A prime example is Secret Note 15. This cryptic message guides players towards a valuable Pearl and instructs them on how to obtain it. The note reads, “Mermaid Show: 1-5-4-2-3.” To make sense of this, players should visit the Night Market and head to the boat on the far right to watch the Mermaid Show. Post-show, they can engage in the shell game, using the sequence provided in the note as a guide.


Secret Note 19 Stardew Valley
Secret Note 19

Similar to the riddle notes are those that contain maps. These visual guides, while echoing the riddles, lean more on spatial understanding and often lead players to buried treasures.

A notable example is Secret Note 19. This note provides a sketch, hinting at a location in Pelican Town. By interpreting the visual cues and following the depicted path, players can discover a hidden spot where Mayor Lewis’s golden statue is buried. Such map-based notes add a treasure-hunt dimension to the gameplay, encouraging players to engage with their surroundings in a more detailed and observant manner.

Read More: Secret Note 19 Walkthrough and Solution


Secret Note 22 Stardew Valley
Secret Note 22

Secret Notes in Stardew Valley can also serve as prompts for quests, such as what might trigger one or locations a player might have to bring an item to.

One such note that initiates a quest is Secret Note 22. Addressed personally to the player, the note reads, “Greetings, (player’s name)… Have you found my ‘secret’ in the dark tunnel? I look forward to meeting you!” This cryptic message hints at an objective in the dark tunnel and is the player’s starting point for “The Mysterious Qi” quest. Investigating further, players will find that delivering a battery pack within this tunnel sets events in motion.


Secret Note 11 Stardew Valley
Secret Note 11

Stardew Valley also sprinkles in Secret Notes that, at first glance, might seem devoid of clear purpose or actionable information.

These notes often serve as pieces of character, adding depth and flavor to the game’s world. For instance, Secret Note 11 doesn’t offer any text, hints, tips, or quests. Instead, it simply contains a charming photo, capturing a candid moment of Marnie as a child. Such notes remind players of the rich and layered life within Pelican Town, emphasizing the game’s attention to detail and the nuances of its characters and stories, even in the absence of direct gameplay implications.

How to Find Secret Notes

Chopping Wood Stardew Valley
Chopping Wood For Secret Notes

Secret Notes can be found scattered across various activities in the game, ensuring players remain engaged and observant in multiple aspects of their farm life.

  1. Farming and Foraging: While tilling the soil, chopping down trees, or simply foraging around, there’s a chance players will stumble upon a Secret Note.
  2. Mining: Delving deep into the mines not only fetches valuable ores and gems but can also yield Secret Notes.
  3. Fishing: Sometimes, while fishing, instead of a fish or trash, players might reel in one of these enigmatic notes.
  4. Monsters: Battling monsters in the mines or other combat areas occasionally results in them dropping a Secret Note upon defeat.
  5. Artifact Spots: These are locations in Stardew Valley where the player can dig up items. They’re represented by worm-like creatures wriggling in the ground and are most common during Winter. Digging these spots with a hoe might reveal a Secret Note.

Chance of Finding Secret Notes

Activity Chance
Getting Rid of Weeds0.9%
Killing Monsters3.3%
Chopping Trees 0.5%
Fishing8% (to replace trash)
Artifact Spots 11%
Mining Stone 0.75%
Resource Clumps 5%
Giant Crop100%
Chances of Finding a Secret Note from Various Activities

Read More: Secret Note 20 Walkthrough and Solution