The best farming games aren't just for farmers. Nor are they for high-efficiency gamer gods of min-maxing and spreadsheets. If you're finding the pace of modern city life a little too fast and want to slow things right down out in the country, there are still games for you.
Finding the best farming games on Switch, PS4 or Xbox One to chill out with isn't quite as easy as packing a backpack and driving out into the boonies. But we'll be your spirit guide as we embark on this journey of relaxation and inner peace. Here's where to find the farming game for your tired bones.
The best farming games to chill out with
Some people play Stardew like it's another job. Of course, in the game's world you have literally just quit your office job and now need to make a living out on the land your grand-pappy left you. We're not quite as desperate for survival, and can take our time enjoying the sights and sounds of Pelican Valley. One-man development demon ConcernedApe has put so much love into this little town, and you can really choose whatever way you want to play. Head to the mines to blow off some steam on slimes, or while away the hours fishing on the beach. If you want to grow your fortune, we've got a list of the best crops for each season in Stardew Valley so don't get daunted by all the choice. Wake up, water, harvest, relax, and switch off that big brain of yours. You can even bring a friend in with you if you can bear to share paradise.
Get some more starter tips for Stardew Valley here, or start your adventure now on Switch, PC, PS4 or Xbox One.
If you prefer FPS games and aren't sure if you can fully adapt to the farming lifestyle, how about we try ranchin', pardner? Slime Rancher is an exploration game with a farm at your home base. You have a hoover that can suck up slimes from the wild and spit them back out again into pens. The slimes eat things and poop out gems that you can sell, or you can sort of breed them by making them eat each others' poop-gems and they turn into hybrid slimes? It's weird, but very fun. The world is relaxing to explore, and there are many secrets to find, like all the Gordo slime locations and slime keys that open doorways to other parts of the frontier! There is a night-day cycle but it's less strict or stressful than Stardew's so if that puts you off then come hang out while we shoot slimes into the air.
If you need any more help, we've got everything you need to know about Slime Rancher, or you get out there now on PS4, Xbox One, Steam and Epic Game Store on PC.
My Time At Portia
Enjoy crafting as much as you enjoy farming? My Time At Portia has a little bit of Minecraft in its bones, but is very much dedicated to letting you grow, harvest and wrangle your way to an achievable level of productivity. Also, MTAP is full of character and characters; there are plenty of NPCs that you can talk to and learn about when you're not toiling away on your pride and joy. On top of that, it's a simply gorgeous place to spend your time. Plenty of bold and pastel colors to soothe your eyes in the pastoral landscape, and as you might expect from a game inspired by the simple pleasure of Ghibli films, it's a faithful recreation of the relaxing countryside. The music will have you sleeping soundly, too.
My Time At Portia is out now on Nintendo Switch and PC.
If you don't think you have much time to relax, or if you can't handle a whole farm full of crops to keep alive, then Viridi is for you. Tasking you with looking after a few succulents (those tiny cacti that Instagram models seem to pave their apartments with), you can simply keep the game open in a second window, or on your mobile while you work. A small isle of peace and solitude to help you meditate on the little things in life that might be troubling you. The succulents grow in real-time, and can suffer from over or under-watering (but they're much more lenient than real succulents, so don't worry). But most importantly, the soundtrack is extremely soothing. There are more succulent types to buy in the store for a few cents, but you can make a very pretty basic terrarium for your snail friend to crawl around while you sing to him.
Viridi is available on iOS, Android and Steam.
Technically a mix of a farming game and a dungeon crawler, this Binding of Isaac-lite is more relaxing than you'd think. You're able to upgrade your gear to slowly deal with tougher enemies as the days go by, all the while selling monster bits you get from each of your forays into the dark. The wonderful soundtrack makes every evening when you return to your shop an even greater respite from your stress and worry. And then the sound of money dropping into your register during the busy shopping period the next morning is a sweeter music still. If you need to know exactly how much to sell items for in Moonlighter, don't worry about that either. We've got you, dog. Take it easy.
Moonlighter is out now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Now you know the best farming games on PS4, Switch or Xbox One to chill out with, get out there and don't let those worries get you down.