Stardew Valley is famous for having a relaxing gameplay style, interesting characters, and somewhat grindy content that never feels annoying to play through. It’s a praiseworthy passion project that comes from a solo developer and has a dedicated fanbase.
If you’re a fan of the chilled side of gaming and are on the hunt for more games with sandbox and farming elements, you’ll be happy to know there’s plenty of other games to suit Stardew Valley fans. We’ve handpicked the best of the best for this article, including some from the same genre and others that go outside of the box.
Here are 11 relaxing games like Stardew Valley to check out today.
Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town
Available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Microsoft Windows
Story of Seasons is part of the iconic Harvest Moon franchise. Stardew Valley takes great inspiration from the Harvest Moon games, and these games are worth picking up and playing if you haven’t already.
The story begins when your character decides to leave the big city and move into Olive Town, founded by their grandfather. Victor, the town’s mayor, offers you the task of rebuilding and maintaining a beat-down farm.
From there, you can mingle with townsfolk, mine for minerals, fish and forage, and work on maintaining your crops and livestock. There’s a great seasonal system in this game which drip feeds more content to you as you progress.
Pioneers of Olive Town doesn’t have any complicated mechanics or challenging gameplay to contend with. It is purely a relaxing game you can pick up for the joy of farming. Additionally, it also includes an expansion pass if you’re looking to invite more villagers and introduce even more content into your game.
If you’re a fan of Switch games with a cottagecore vibe, Olive Town is a worthwhile title to sit and play through today.
My Time at Portia
Available on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS
My Time at Portia is a 3D farming simulator with action-RPG elements. It’s interesting to compare it to Stardew Valley, since it introduces lots of new ideas yet keeps it feeling familiar and, most importantly of all, utterly relaxing.
My Time at Portia has an interesting setting for a farming simulator game, since it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world after the end of civilization. You’ll play as the child of a renowned builder who inherits a workshop.
As a builder, you’ll have to assist townsfolk, rebuild society, and expand Portia to be a bastion for humanity. You’ll do this by assisting in maintaining the population through farming and building, or through protecting them from dangers by fighting enemies in dangerous dungeons. You’ll also need to take on quests from villagers.
Furthermore, you can befriend and learn about these quirky and striking villagers. You could even play minigames or challenge them to a friendly duel!
Progress feels great and there are many goals in this game. You won’t run out of things to do, yet there’s no time pressure or urgency to any of the tasks. My Time at Portia manages to maintain the relaxing tone expected of games like Stardew Valley perfectly
Available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch
Slime Rancher is a first-person adventure game where you catch, feed, and breed Slimes. It is a cute and charming exploration-focused farm simulator
You play as a brand new rancher named Beatrix LeBeau, who moves to a planet called Far Far Range. As a Slime Rancher, she’s tasked with taking over the ranch abandoned by the previous owner.
The core gameplay revolves around the cute Slimes, which have different species and characteristics. You’ll have to find these Slimes in the massive open world and use your vacuum backpack to transport them.
While exploring, you’ll also run into interesting items and potentially hostile Slimes. Collect items to feed to your Slimes, and stay on your guard if there are hostiles nearby. There is a light combat element to this game, where you need to deal with threats so that they don’t damage the Slimes on your ranch.
Overall, it’s a simple and relaxing game that features cute Slimes that compel you to take good care of them. Games like Slime Rancher are a natural fit for Stardew fans.
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles
Available on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a laid-back open world adventure game with no combat. It’s a relaxing experience where you can focus on collecting, farming, exploring, and trading.
You play as someone who survives a shipwreck and finds themselves stuck on an island called Gemea. A mysterious fog is threatening Gemea and slowly polluting the island’s ecology, wildlife, and inhabitants.
There’s a main quest to follow in Yonder and captivating side quests to take on. These will take you across the world’s eight unique biomes, such as a beautiful beach.
A standout feature for Yonder is its in-depth crafting and trading system. There are different trader guilds spread across the island. They have different prices for their goods and products that make sense based on who and where they are.
Games similar to Stardew Valley are inherently soothing, and Yonder is a breath of fresh air in an area of violent video games.
Available on Microsoft Windows and Linux
Core Keeper is a top-down survival sandbox that tasks you with surviving in a procedurally generated underground cavern system. While the core gameplay is quite similar to Stardew Valley, the twist is that you’re trying to survive the elements.
You and up to seven other players make up a group of explorers who find themselves underground after interacting with an ancient relic. You’ll have to manage your basic needs like hunger by gathering and processing resources.
Core Keeper gives you many options to make this hostile subterranean area feel like home. You can craft tools and basic buildings, fish, garden, and mine for precious minerals. The game gives you an extensive skill system, leaving it up to you to invest your points accordingly.
The game is surprisingly massive, but you’ll discover that slowly. You’ll painstakingly cleave a path through the terrain, discovering new biomes, enemies, and even powerful bosses.
Core Keeper has tons of activities to keep you busy surviving. It’s especially fun with more friends as you can divide tasks and cover more ground. It’s up to you whether you want to explore and fight, or bunker down and create a thriving base.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Exclusive on Nintendo Switch
Animal Crossing is one of the first games that comes to mind when thinking about relaxing games like Stardew Valley. This real-time life simulation game features endearing anthropomorphic animals and is a hit for players who want to build, collect, and socialize.
You’ll play as a villager who moves to a deserted island. From humble beginnings, you’ll build up the island to become a thriving community. The best part about this task is that you’re free to pursue whatever task appeals to you the most.
New Horizons gives you a refreshing amount of freedom to landscape your entire island. You’ll have the tools to level the ground and reroute bodies of water to handcraft the island paradise of your dreams down to its last details.
If you want a guided experience, New Horizons has tons of assigned tasks and milestones to complete. Successfully doing these activities rewards players with currency, crafting recipes, and unlockables.
New Horizons emphasizes its social aspect as well, both with the NPC villagers and with real people. Just like Stardew Valley, it doesn’t shy away from slow but steady progress. It’s one of the best farming games on Nintendo Switch, especially for those who like to take their time.
Available on Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, iOS, and Android
Spiritfarer is a lovely management simulator featuring detailed animation. It’s a casual, slow-paced game about accepting death, enjoying every moment, and learning to say goodbye.
You assume control as the brand new Spiritfarer, Stella, whose task is to lead spirits to the afterlife on her mystical boat. You’ll have your loyal cat Daffodil for company.
Spiritfarer sees you sailing to different places with your boat, searching for reluctant spirits to accept their journey. If you can convince them to be a passenger on your boat, you’ll do everything in your power to get them ready to pass.
You’ll build them accommodations in your ship suited to their likings. You’ll also befriend them, learn their stories, and play a few minigames with them. Eventually, they’ll be comfortable enough to cross over to the afterlife.
Spiritfarer is a fantastic game for players who love building meaningful relationships in games with a Stardew Valley vibe. It’s a deeply emotional game, and the game will tug at your heartstrings every time a spirit is ready to move on.
Available on Microsoft Windows, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, and Android
Forager is an open-world action-adventure game where you’ll expand your world by buying plots of land. The game shares core elements with idle games, where you can craft structures that will passively do the work for you.
The game begins with your character stuck on a tiny secluded island armed with only a pickaxe. You’ll have to use natural resources and craft basic structures to help process raw materials or create more complicated items.
Forager contains an overwhelming amount of branching options to improve your island. These range from learning to create complex structures or learning a new skill.
The game also shares elements from some of the best Zelda-like games, as some islands can spawn dungeons with combat encounters punctuated with a boss battle. In Forager, upgrading your tools also means preparing for battle.
On the surface, Stardew Valley is a relaxing game that doesn’t require you to fully maximize every second of your day. Forager feels mostly the same; however, you’ll be duly rewarded for efficiency and creative thinking. It’s a truly unique game.
Available on Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, iPadOS, Xbox 370, Raspberry PI, Windows Phone, PlayStation 3, Fire OS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Apple TV, tvOS, Nintendo Switch, and New Nintendo 3DS
Minecraft is an outstanding sandbox game where the game remains as fun and timeless as your imagination.
Minecraft randomizes your world and gives you complete freedom to explore it. Every biome, structure, village outpost, enemy, and mob is unique to your game, which makes every new world a joy to explore.
There are so many activities to do in Minecraft, and it’s completely dependent on your pace. Whether you want to explore, build a village of your own, fight monsters, or mine for minerals, you can decide what you want to do.
Minecraft’s iconic polygonal art style is accessible yet it can still be incredibly beautiful, especially when looking at community builds and servers. Its simplicity is also functional, as the signature block-by-block texture lets you build to your exact specifications.
Dragon Quest Builders 2
Available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, and Xbox One
Dragon Quest is one of the most popular JRPGs in the world, and with good reason. Dragon Quest Builders 2 is the sequel to the action-adventure sandbox spinoff title of the beloved franchise.
Dragon Quest Builders 2 introduces many quality-of-life improvements to its predecessor. If you loved the first game, you’d most likely enjoy all the improvements in the sequel. For newcomers, skipping the first game and hopping on the sequel is perfectly valid.
As for the gameplay itself, Dragon Quest Builders 2 shares many similarities to Minecraft. However, it’s also a JRPG at heart so expect it to lean more into those elements. You can still explore, gather resources, fight monsters, and, most importantly, build to your heart’s content.
While they are sandbox titles, games similar to Stardew Valley often have a soft goal for the players to work towards however they see fit. Dragon Quest Builders 2 is full of many quests of that nature. For instance, it’s up to you how you’ll complete the many side missions given by the NPCs.
Dragon Quest Builders 2 has an expansive toolset for you to create whatever you want. Furthermore, you’ll unlock more content as you progress through the game. Accessible, in-depth, and addicting, Dragon Quest Builders is a delight to play through.
Available on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, iOS, and Android
Graveyard Keeper prides itself on being the “most inaccurate medieval cemetery management sim.” It’s a morbid twist on sandbox games, as you’ll be thrust into a world of the undead, ethical conundrums, and ruthless capitalism.
You’ll take control of a person who recently passed away from a car crash. After the tragedy, you’ll find yourself in a medieval world where you’re tasked with maintaining the town’s church and cemetery. The plot given to you is a fixer-upper that requires effort to run. Instead of tending plants and animals, you’ll be taking care of graves to turn a profit.
There are many activities to do inside and outside your humble cemetery that will keep you busy. Graveyard Keeper’s features a complex crafting system that lets you create anything you need.
Of course, there’s also a bustling town filled with interesting characters and situations dripping with dark humor. Befriending and helping these NPCs is pivotal in order to create a portal going back to your original world.
If you’re a Stardew fan who doesn’t mind exploring games with a slightly darker feel to them, a game like Graveyard Keeper is sure to keep you occupied.