There’s something innately relaxing about farming games like Stardew Valley. They let you take life at your own pace, where the only mission objective is to make a place your own in whatever way you see fit. It’s the reason why so many of us have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours playing Stardew Valley, which is arguably the best farming game you can play today.
Sometimes, though, you want to branch out and try something new – sow some new seeds, so to speak, while still getting that wholesome, cosy feeling you get from playing Stardew. That’s why we’ve come up with this list of the best games like Stardew Valley for farming and life sim fans looking to broaden their horizons. Whether it’s intense agriculture action you’re after or the moreishness of its gentle RPG elements, these are the best farming and life sim games like Stardew Valley you can play right now.
Of course, we should preface this by saying that the absolute bestest best games like Stardew Valley aren’t actually on PC. Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon and Rune Factory are arguably the closest Stardew-likes at the moment, and while you can, in fact, mod Stardew Valley to make it feel more like Animal Crossing, it’s still not quite the same as playing the real thing. Indeed, the only Harvest Moon game you can currently buy on PC is the rather average Harvest Moon: Light Of Hope, which just isn’t as satisfying to play as Back to Nature or Friends Of Mineral Town. There will be more games like Stardew Valley coming out later this year, though, including the very chill-looking Ooblets and Animal Crossing-alike Hokko Life, but these are still dated for a vague 2020 release.
Instead, we’ve focused on the absolute cream of the crop that you can buy right now for this list of the best farming games like Stardew Valley, and have picked seven of the best below.
Best games like Stardew Valley
Here are our best farming games like Stardew Valley at a glance. To read more about them, you can either click on the game in question, or just carry on scrolling to read the whole thing. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a completely different kind of game, then check out our list of the best PC games to play right now. Onwards!
My Time At Portia
If you’ve ever gazed longingly at your field of Stardew carrots and thought, “Gosh darnit, I wish these virtual veg patches were in another dimension, maaaaan,” then My Time At Portia is the Stardew-alike for you. Probably the closest like for like game for long-time Stardew veterans, this farming and town building sim has buckets of character to pull you into its familiar rhythms of planting, gathering resources and crafting new tools.
There’s a lot more to do than just sowing seeds, too. While there’s plenty to farming to get stuck in with here, My Time At Portia is primarily a town building game, and a lot of the commissions you’ll be undertaking involve constructing new items for your fellow townsfolk. You’ll find these in the wider, rather pretty post-apocalyptic world of Portia, as well as by hacking and slashing your way through its myriad of dungeons and monster-infested plains, adding a light RPG layer to the mix that helps bolster your character’s underlying stats – including that all important stamina bar to keep you farming and crafting for longer. Plus, who doesn’t like a game with cute wild llamas in it? If you’re after something pure and wholesome, My Time At Portia is for you.
Slime Rancher is one of the best management games on PC right now, and it’s also a great game for fans of Stardew Valley. Instead of growing veggies and milking cows, you’re rearing cute, bouncing slimes. There’s a bit of carrot sowing involved here and there, but the aim here is to fatten up your raucous army of gelatinous blobs and sell their ‘plorts’ (yes, poop) for as much cash as possible to expand your farm and feed more plorts into the money making machine.
It’s a bit more fast-paced than Stardew, as you’ll be spending most of your time away from your farm scavenging for resources and more exotic slimes. You’ll need to return often, though, as these googly-eyed terrors are constantly getting themselves into scrapes when you’re not around. Whether it’s bouncing out of their respective pens and escaping, or accidentally eating the plorts of other slimes and turning into all-consuming tar monsters, this is a farming game with a gooey, rebellious centre.
Despite its manic tendencies, though, it’s still a very approachable farming game that everyone can have a bit of fun with. It doesn’t get bogged down in the complexities of slime diets, pen conditions or anything else, for example, and all you need to do is make sure you scoop up that poop on a regular basis. Even if you do come home to find entire sections of your farm on fire, one look at their jiggling little faces makes everything better again.
A rather dark take on the Stardew Valley formula, Graveyard Keeper sees you take charge of a medieval cemetery. At first glance, it seems like there’s absolutely nothing wrong. You’re still growing little veg patches and crafting bits and bobs for your neighbours in the village, but then a skull starts barking orders at you and it all goes a bit supernatural.
As well as keeping the graves nice and clean, you’ll be performing autopsies, burying new deados when they arrive on the back of the village donkey cart, and maybe carving off the odd bits of flesh for a cheeky sandwich or five. It’s not all just about spending time with the dead, though. You’ll also need to fish, grow crops and explore the local dungeons and caves for new resources and alchemic materials. Yep, as well as being a farmer turned graveyard keeper, you can also dabble in a bit of alchemy on the side. Just watch out for that donkey, though, as he’ll be unionising and demanding ever more carrots per corpse before you know it!
Farming Simulator 19
One for the agricultural purists, Farming Simulator 19 is all about getting to grips with mother nature in the most accurate and authentic way possible. That means beautifully rendered crops, and equally beautifully rendered farming machinery to go with it, including the swankiest combine harvesters you ever did see.
Whereas other farming games on this list are all about creating efficient routines and automating a lot of the farming process, Farming Simulator 19 challenges you to both manage and work the land yourself, from buying the all important seeds, animals and equipment to driving the vehicles and handling all the dirty work. It’s also one of the only games on this list that has a co-op mode, too, allowing you to down tools and go horse-riding with your mates when you feel like getting away from it all. Heck, you can even do a bit of landscaping when you get a spare moment, too, creating hills, ditches, structures, roads and buildings to make everything just so. It might not look quite as cosy and wholesome as Stardew Valley, but these furrows run deep.
Kynseed is still in early access at the moment, but this RPG farming adventure from a couple of ex-Lionhead devs who worked on the Fable series has the makings of a great Stardew-like. Your farm’s quite a bit smaller than what you’re probably used to in Stardew Valley, but that’s partly because you’ll be spending most of your time exploring the village’s ancient woodlands and immersing yourself in its strange faery myths. Unsurprisingly, it’s got a big Fable-esque Albion vibe to it, and that is a very good thing indeed.
What will eventually set Kynseed apart from other farming life sims, though, is the ability to grow old, have children, and then assume the role of said offspring in a very similar way to current indie hack and slasher Children of Morta. Every action you take and decision you make will carry forward to each new generation, and the idea is that it will slowly create a lasting family legacy that will follow you through the game.
It’s still early days at the moment, though, and right now everyone’s stuck in a perpetual state of youthful childhood. Still, if developers PixelCount Studios can make good on their promises, this could be the Stardew-like to end all Stardew-likes.
Forager is a bit more fast-paced than some of the other farming games on this list, but if the main appeal of Stardew Valley is settling into its rhythms of collecting, building and crafting, then Forager will scratch several of those pixelated itches. It’s a 2D, lo-fi blend of idle game mechanics and active exploring, where you’ll constantly be to-ing and fro-ing between its various land masses hoovering up plants, cows, gold and more as you build more and more stuff to expand your foraging empire.
Everything you collect has one of three destinations. Most of it will get tipped into your furnace to help you pump out stuff even faster, but you’ll also be chucking some of it onto your anvil to craft new tools, and ringing the rest of it through your sewing machine so you can deck yourself out in ever stronger duds to fight the local monsters. The pace of it can be a bit relentless at times, but it’s also strangely hypnotic, too, combining the zen-like quality of a clicker game with Stardew’s soothing country-living.
As such, Forager probably isn’t something you’re going to sit down for hours and play in a single sitting (it opens in a window by default, encouraging you to have something else on the go while you’re waiting), but if the idea of delegating menial clicks to an army of robot pals sounds like your kind of Stardew detox jam, then this is the perfect diversion.
Speaking of delegating menial tasks to an army of robots, say hello to Autonauts. This is much more of a traditional farming game than Forager, but it shares a very similar goal: achieve a zen-like state of perfect automation in order to colonise and conquer as many strange new planets as you possibly can.
When you arrive on your first planet, for instance, you’ve got to make everything from scratch – and it really means everything, including your army of autonaut bots. The game starts out small, but even simple tasks have surprising depth to them. If you want to make a pie, for example, then you’ll need to make sure you’ve built a mill to ground your wheat into flour, fetched some fresh water from the river, and churned the milk you’ve, err… milked from your cows to turn it into butter, and that’s just to make the pastry! Then you’ll need a table to mix the pastry altogether, and for that you’ll need to chop down some trees to get logs. And so it goes on.
Autonauts isn’t just a farming and crafting game, though – it’s also a great introduction to the basics of coding, too, as you’ll need to program your autonauts to keep everything ticking over, whether it’s harvesting your grain and bringing it to the mill, or digging for clay so you can build a kiln that you can then use to make bricks, and use the bricks to make proper buildings… You get the idea. The best thing about Autonauts, though, is that you can do it all at your own pace. It may look cute on the outside, but beneath its cheerful exterior lies a deep, complex coloniser sim that’s right up there with the best games like Stardew Valley around.
Do you think we missed something? As always, consider writing an impassioned celebration of the game you love that isn’t here – you might convince others to give it a go. For more of our bestest best game lists, take your pick from:
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