11 Relaxing Games like Stardew Valley

Image credit: Lazy Bear Games

Stardew Valley is an extremely popular game because of its relaxing gameplay, interesting characters, and its ability to make grinding feel fun and addicting. The game is a praiseworthy passion project painstakingly crafted for four years by one developer, ConcernedApe (Eric Barone).

There are many gameplay mechanics that games like Stardew Valley fun. There’s the core farming element, chill fishing minigame, light mining and combat, and building meaningful relationships with characters.

Stardew Valley also uses sandbox elements where it’s up to you to find your fun. A player’s farm is an extension of their imagination, and there are many tools to customize it to their liking.

This list features 11 relaxing games like Stardew Valley, which are amazing alternatives if you need a break from your farm. Some are other great games in the same genre, while others capture a specific element of Stardew Valley; either way, they’re all suitable for those who like their games free of stress.

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town

Available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Microsoft Windows

Regardless of copyright laws and corporate drama, Story of Seasons fundamentally belongs to the iconic Harvest Moon franchise. Games like Stardew Valley take great inspiration from the Harvest Moon games—which are still worth playing today.

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.

The environment is rich with resources and there are many ways to turn a profit. You can forage and fish for food, mine for minerals, and work on your crops and livestock. The relatively straightforward game drip feeds more content as you progress through the seasons.

As expected, Pioneers of Olive Town lets you mingle with the local townsfolk and learn their stories. You can give them their favorite gifts to strengthen your bond, letting you learn more about them. If you like someone enough, you can even date and marry them.

Pioneers of Olive Town doesn’t have any complicated mechanics to make the game challenging. 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 content into your game.

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. My Time at Portia is an interesting title when comparing it to games like Stardew Valley, since it introduces new ideas yet keeps it familiar and, most of all, 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 their 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.

The local villagers will constantly need your help, so it’s a good idea to check on them often for any quests. Whether it’s giving them an item or taking down an enemy, these goals have a worthwhile unlockable waiting for you.

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 are there are many goals in this game. You won’t be bored finding activities yet won’t feel pressured to complete them immediately, keeping the relaxing tone expected in games like Stardew Valley.

Slime Rancher

Available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch

The 12 Best Games Like Slime Rancher

Slime Rancher is a first-person adventure game where you’ll catch, feed, and breed slimes. It is a cute and charming exploration-focused farm simulator, which emphasizes the livestock portion from games like Stardew Valley.

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 you’re out exploring, don’t forget to collect different items to feed your slimes. Feeding them their favorite foods increases their production, which lets you turn a bigger profit. Your money can be used to upgrade your ranch’s structures and tools.

There’s also light combat in the game, either from hostile slimes found in the world or your slimes that became aggressive. You have to deal with this threat immediately, as they can devour the other slimes on the ranch.

Overall, it’s a simple and relaxing game that features cute slimes that compel you to take good care of them. Slime Rancher is a great alternative to games like Stardew Valley who want to bond more with their livestock.

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 featuring no combat. It’s definitely a relaxing experience where you can focus on collecting, farming, exploring, and engaging in its immersive trading system.

Play as someone who crashed their ship and became stranded on a mystical island called Gemea. However, this paradise is threatened by mysterious fog that’s 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 to their needs.

Games like Stardew Valley are inherently relaxing, and Yonder is a breath of fresh air in an area of violent video games.

Core Keeper

Available on Microsoft Windows and Linux

Core Keeper is a top-down survival sandbox that tasks you to survive in a procedurally generated underground cavern system. While the core gameplay is quite similar to games like Stardew Valley, the twist is that you’re doing all of the expected activities for your own survival.

You and up to seven other players are a group of explorers who get drawn underground after interacting with an ancient relic. You’ll have to navigate through your basic needs like hunger gathering and processing resources.

Core Keeper gives you many options 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 is a hit for players who want to build, collect, and socialize.

You’ll assume control as a villager who moves into 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 currency, crafting recipes, and unlockables.

New Horizons emphasizes its social aspect as well, both with the NPC villagers and with real people. Just as with games 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.

Spiritfarer

Available on Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, iOS, and Android

Spiritfarer

Spiritfarer is a lovely management simulator featuring detailed animation. It’s a casual, slow-paced game about accepting death, enjoying every moment, regrets, and learning to say goodbye.

Assume control the brand new Spiritfarer, Stella, whose task is to lead spirits to the afterlife on her mystical boat. You’ll be accompanied by your loyal cat Daffodil, who will help you in your cause.

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 then 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 like Stardew Valley. It’s a deeply emotional game, and the game will tug at your heartstrings every time they’re ready to move on.

Forager

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 or incremental 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. Don’t worry about the number of choices since it’s encouraged to learn everything eventually.

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 is in the same vein; however, you’ll be duly rewarded if you can be as efficient as you can be.

Forager can be hectic, or it could be a casual game like Stardew Valley. It is up to the player to decide how they want to experience the game.

Minecraft

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

Games like Stardew Valley lure players into their immersive world with the promise of freedom. Minecraft is simply 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, etc, is unique to your world, 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 settlement, fight monsters, or mine for minerals, you’ll decide what you want to do.

Minecraft’s iconic polygonal and pixelated art style is easy to comprehend for anyone. Its simplicity is also functional, as the signature block-by-block texture lets you build to your exact specifications.

Minecraft can scale to your craziest idea or give life to a relaxing hideout. The game is great when you’re alone and even better with friends.

Dragon Quest Builders 2

Available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, and Xbox One

For good reasons, Dragon Quest is one of the most popular JRPGs in the world. 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. At the end of the day, you’ll still explore, gather resources, fight monsters, and, most importantly, build to your heart’s content.

While they are sandbox titles, games like Stardew Valley hover a soft goal for the players to work toward however they see fit. Dragon Quest Builders 2 is filled with 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 great game for those looking for games like Stardew Valley.

Graveyard Keeper

Available on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, iOS, and Android

Graveyard Keeper prides itself as the “most inaccurate medieval cemetery management sim.” It’s a morbid twist on games like Stardew Valley, 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 be transported into a medieval fantasy world where you’re tasked with maintaining the town’s church and cemetery.

Just as expected with games like Stardew Valley, the plot given to you is a fixer-upper that requires your efforts to maintain and run it. Instead of tending plants and animals, you’ll be taking care of graves and bodies 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.

Graveyard Keeper is a much better game if you decide to purchase all of its available DLCs, which all add fun mechanics, questlines, and characters to the game.

For example, the fourth expansion, “Better Save Soul” lets you investigate the past sins of corpses. Another essential DLC, “Stranger Sins” adds a tavern management business simulator where you’re in charge of producing and selling provisions to your customers.

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