Video Games Similar to Stardew Valley

Are you the person who relaxes after a long day by playing shooters?
Or do you prefer cozy simulation games such as Stardew Valley?

Statistics show that at least 1.5 million people choose the second option daily by playing games like Stardew Valley. But what is the phenomenon of this game, and how did one unexpected indie success pave the way to hundreds of similar projects? 

TOP GAMES like Stardew Valley by game art, design and style
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The best RPG games like Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is a farming simulator game developed by Eric Barone. The main story of the game begins with inheriting the dilapidated farm of the player character’s grandfather in a place known as Stardew Valley.

From the first thought, it even may sound like a typical horror game, but it’s not. This simulator is open-ended, allowing players to grow crops, raise livestock, fish, cook, mine, forage, and socialize with the townspeople, including the ability to marry and have children. You can even play and farm together with your friends which is one of the best features of the game. 

Sounds so cozy and innocent, right? There are no hyperrealistic characters, extra unique mechanics, and upending details.

So, why games like Stardew Valley, even not farming, are so popular

RPG Stardew Valley is still quite popular, even five years after its release date

Why RPGs like Stardew Valley Are So Popular?

You may think: “There definitely must be an explanation why the usual farming simulator has been cited as one of the greatest video games of all time and inspired thousands of indie developers to create their projects”. And yes, it is!

  • 1

    One of the most relaxing game

    This game provides an experience, perfect if players try to escape from the stresses and problems of real life to cozy games like Stardew Valley. The simple, pixelated 2D game art and calming music are the best decisions if you want a soothing atmosphere.

  • 2

    Open-Ended gameplay

    As we've mentioned before, such games offer a wide range of activities, including farming, fishing, mining, and building relationships. Due to the vast variety of things to do, players can pursue their interests and create their own special unique experiences.

  • 3

    Character customization and storytelling

    For a lot of people, the opportunity to customize their characters and build relationships with the in-game NPCs is enough to play the game every day.

    But characters in Stardew Valley are on the next level! Well-written and diverse, all characters there have their own stories and personalities, which makes the game very deep and engaging.

  • 4

    Nostalgia and retro appeal

    As the game followed the path of many indie games and was inspired by the Story of Seasons series, pixel art style and simple mechanics evoke a sense of nostalgia for classic video games.

    For the people who miss the charm of older gaming aesthetics, new games like Stardew Valley are the best helpers.

  • 5

    Regular updates and developer engagement

    Stardew Valley has only one developer and his name is Eric Barone.
    He's actively engaging with the community, providing regular updates and new content.

    It's not a surprise that his ongoing support is one of the most important reasons why players stay invested in the game over an extended period.

  • 6

    Accessibility

    Maybe not one of the most important reasons but games like Stardew Valley are accessible to a wide audience due to their low system requirements and availability on multiple platforms. 

  • 7

    Positive community and modding support

    In return to other genres, the community of simulators similar to Stardew Valley is known for its positivity and support.

    Additionally, the game allows modding, enabling players to add custom content and extend the game's longevity.

Of course, these are not all the reasons. Every person who plays games like Stardew Valley has their opinion.

We’ve mentioned 7 of the most popular explanations for the popularity of such simulators, but about several of them would like to talk in detail. 

Farming Virtual Reality Experiences in Games

Virtual Farming Experience

It’s difficult to say how things turned out like this, but many people started to enjoy having the virtual farming experience. Maybe all of us are tired of the fast lifestyle and routine typical problems without any diversity.

Anyway, games like Stardew Valley, My Time at Portia, and others, offer players a unique way to simulate the joys and challenges of running a farm. 

Maybe, after we’ve told you about StardewValley’s success, even we will create a farming simulator (who knows ;)). But before that let us share with you the key aspects of the excellent farming experience.

  • Farming simplicity: virtual farming games often simplify the farming processes, making them enjoyable to a wide range of players. Tasks like in Minecraft such as planting crops, watering them, and harvesting are streamlined to be engaging without overwhelming players.

  • Seasonal changes: many farming multiplayer games like Stardew Valley incorporate seasonal changes, affecting the growth of crops and making the gameplay more interesting. Players should think beforehand about how to adapt their strategies based on the in-game seasons.

  • Day-night cycle: farming games typically have a day-night cycle, with activities changing based on the time of day. Due to that, players must effectively allocate their limited in-game hours and build an individual strategy.
Farm with a variety of crops and animals, Stardew Valley's stylized art

Characters and Relaxing Gameplay

It’s not a secret that the combination of well-developed characters and relaxing gameplay is a powerful formula for the success and popularity of various games. Especially if the talk is about RPG and simulation genres.

One of the most significant reasons for Stardew Valley’s success are its outstanding characters. Usually, games with rich, well-written characters form emotional connections with real people. If game developers add engaging storylines, background histories, and character development, gamers feel a huge sense of attachment and start caring about the well-being of these characters.

But if we’re talking about games like Stardew Valley, here, unforgettable characters are combined with relaxing design and gameplay. This is the pattern: the more invested players are in the characters and their stories, the more they enjoy spending time in the video game environments, exploring and interacting with the fictional world.

town square in a game with shops and villagers, characters in Stardew Valley

Talking about relaxing gameplay: it provides an escape from the stresses of daily life. When coupled with characters that players care about, this escape becomes even more fulfilling, offering a chance to unwind and temporarily detach from real-world pressures.

Identifying Key Features

Games like Stardew Valley would’ve never been so popular without unique cozy mechanics every gamer adores.

Now, we’ll explain the most important aspects of their awesomeness and why people like them so much.

  • 1

    Crop Cultivation

    One of the most engaging mechanics is crop cultivation. Players can plant, grow, and harvest crops on their virtual farm. But the process is a little bit more interesting: players should prepare the soil, plant seeds, water, and fertilizer, and then harvest the crops.

  • 2

    Crop Variety

    In return to Minecraft, new games like Stardew Valley offer a diverse selection of crops that players can cultivate. Each crop has different growth requirements, harvest times, and potential profits, which is very important for the strategic depth.

  • 3

    Animal Husbandry

    For several years, gamers have enjoyed playing titles where they can raise animals on their farm, such as chickens, cows, sheep, and pigs. Also, players do tasks like feeding, watering, grooming, and collecting resources from the animals, such as eggs or milk.

  • 4

    Animal Care Mechanics

    Such games are perfect for boosting the feeling of responsibility for the well-being of their animals, including providing appropriate shelter, food, and medical care.

    This feature often involves managing resources, such as feed and water, as well as addressing any health or behavior issues that arise.

  • 5

    Social Interactions

    One more very important feature is social interaction.

    Players can interact with other characters in the game world, including fellow farmers, townspeople, and merchants. Due to this feature, gamers can build relationships, form friendships, and engage in social activities within the game.

  • 6

    Events and Festivals

    We can’t forget about special events and festivals in games, similar to Stardew Valley.

    These events often feature unique activities, competitions, and rewards, providing players with additional engagement and enjoyment.

Pixelated 'Stardew Valley' farm layout scene with characters engaging in various activities, things to do in Stardew Valley

Multiplayer Farming Experiences

Good farming games include all the features we’ve already mentioned about. But in the best games like Stardew Valley, there is always a multiplayer or cooperative mode.

Cooperative farming gameplay is so good because it pushes players to work together and manage a shared farm, pooling their efforts to cultivate crops, raise animals, and maintain the farm’s operations. 

By using cooperative mode, players have the opportunity to join forces with friends, family members, or other players online to embark on their farming journey together.

Actually, playing cozy games together helps a lot with improving relationships! Also, every player feels valued because they contribute to the farm’s success by performing various tasks and responsibilities.

As a result, cooperative farming gameplay offers a unique social experience, allowing players to bond over shared objectives and achievements.

Whether it’s collaborating on major farm projects, participating in seasonal events and festivals, or simply enjoying the farm life together, co-op games like Stardew Valley create opportunities for camaraderie and friendship.

Okay, we’ve discussed cooperative games.
But what about multiplayer? What is the difference between them?

In multiplayer games like Stardew Valley, players can join the same game world simultaneously, often with the option to interact with each other, visit each other’s farms, and participate in activities together. In co-op mode, players share a single farm, working together to manage its operations, make decisions, and achieve shared objectives.

As a small surprise for us, we’ve prepared a small table with popular online communities for farming and simulation games. Enjoy ;)

Online Community
Description
Link
Reddit - Stardew Valley
Discussion, sharing of tips, tricks, fan art, and community events related to Stardew Valley.
r/StardewValley
Discord - Farming Simulator Community
A Discord server that offers channels for gameplay discussion, modding support, multiplayer matchmaking, and general chat among players.
Farming Simulator
Steam Community - Farm Together
The Steam Community hub where players can find discussions, guides, announcements, and community-created content such as mods and custom farm designs.
Farm Together
Official Farming Simulator Forums
The official forums for the Farming Simulator series provide a platform for players to discuss the game, share mods, report issues, and participate in community events organized by the developers.
English Forum: Farming Simulator
Facebook Groups - Farming Games Community
Different Facebook groups where players can connect with others, share gameplay experiences, seek advice, and discover new games or updates in the genre.
Farming Games Communities
Back view of a character in 'Stardew Valley' looking at a vibrant farm scene on a computer monitor, showcasing 'Stardew Valley storyline' elements

Games with Similar Art

Not so many games have a charming pixel 2D game environment design and character development similar to Stardew Valley. But we’ve found 5 interesting and popular titles with the same awesome art and design.

A long-running series of farming simulation games known for its cute characters, colorful environments, and relaxing gameplay. Titles like Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town and Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life have charming pixel art visuals similar to Stardew Valley.

A spin-off of the Harvest Moon series, Rune Factory combines farming simulation with action RPG elements. Games like Rune Factory 4 and Rune Factory 5 also have vibrant pixel art graphics and a whimsical atmosphere.

A darkly humorous simulation game where players manage a medieval graveyard. Despite its morbid theme, Graveyard Keeper has interesting pixel art visuals and quirky characters that evoke the same cozy feeling as Stardew Valley.

A sandbox simulation RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world where players restore a neglected workshop and build relationships with the townsfolk.

My Time at Portia has colorful, cartoonish graphics and a similar focus on farming, crafting, and socializing.

A unique blend of action RPG and shopkeeping simulation where players explore dungeons for loot and manage a shop in a quaint village. Moonlighter’s pixel art style is reminiscent of classic 16-bit games and shares a cozy, nostalgic vibe with Stardew Valley.

Illustration of a 'Stardew Valley' farm at sunrise, a character facing the field, hinting at the tranquil life as part of Stardew Valley hints and tricks

Games with Similar Style

Okay, about art and design, we’ve discussed. What about games with a similar style that are perfect if you like Stardew Valley and other farming simulators? Usually, you can guess games with the same style by use of similar 3D or 2D isometric character sprites, ideas, and concepts. But not in this case! Here’s one more list of the best games like Stardew Valley for you!

Staxel combines farming, crafting, and village life in a voxel-based world. Players can grow crops, raise animals, build and decorate their farms, and interact with quirky NPCs, much like in Stardew Valley.

In Farm Together, players manage their farms, growing crops, raising animals, and customizing their land. The game has very cute and colorful graphics and supports multiplayer, allowing friends to work together on the same farm.

Slime Rancher combines farming with exploration in a mysterious world. Players capture and raise adorable slimes, harvest resources, and expand their ranch while uncovering the mysteries of the Far, Far Range.

In this game, players become the caretakers of spirits on their journey to the afterlife. The game showcases beautiful hand-drawn visuals, heartfelt storytelling, and management mechanics as players build and customize a boat to ferry their passengers.

The gameplay of Forager is very addictive with elements of farming, crafting, exploration, and combat. Players gather resources, build structures, and uncover secrets in a colorful, retro-inspired world.

Games with art similar to Stardew Valley, and farming RPG Games from our outsourcing game art studio
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Hidden Gems in the Genre: Including Our Games

As an icing on the top, we want to talk about real diamonds in the world of farming simulators.

For those, who enjoy games like Stardew Valley, even not farming, a lot, this is the GOAT list among others.

  • 1

    The Ranchers by RetroStyleGames

    This game, created with the use of our excellent animation studio services, artists, designers, and developers, has construction elements that allow players to develop their ranches.

    By crafting machines and objects, players can develop a lot of various strategies, while resource optimization and ranch management allow players to make important decisions.

  • 2

    Windscape

    A lesser-known indie game that blends farming simulation with action-adventure elements.

    Players explore a handcrafted world, gather resources, and build their farms while embarking on quests and battling enemies.

  • 3

    Kynseed

    Developed by PixelCount Studios, Kynseed is an awesome farming RPG with a unique twist.

    Players inherit a magical farm and must manage it through generations, dealing with dynamic events, relationships, and the passage of time.

  • 4

    Atomicrops

    This indie game combines farming simulation with roguelike elements and twin-stick shooter mechanics. Players cultivate crops, defend their farms from mutant pests, and woo potential partners in a post-apocalyptic world.

  • 5

    Nira

    Nira is a pixel art farming and exploration game set in a procedurally generated world. Players gather resources, farm, and craft while uncovering the secrets of the island they inhabit.

Niche Market Offerings

Wow, you want even more games like Stardew Valley? Excellent, because we have three more outstanding titles with unexpected plots, gameplay, and mechanics ;)

It is a niche offering for players interested in genetics, evolution, and artificial life simulation.

Players can create and evolve organisms in a procedurally generated world, with farming mechanics intertwined with biological experimentation.

RimWorld is not strictly a farming simulation. However, it offers a niche appeal to players interested in colony management with survival game art and gameplay. Players must build and manage a colony on an alien planet, dealing with farming, resource management, and social dynamics.

Atomic Society targets players interested in post-apocalyptic scenarios and city-building game art and mechanics. Players must rebuild society in a world ravaged by nuclear war, making decisions about resource allocation, law enforcement, and community management.

Mobile Farming Simulations

When the farming simulation genre seized the gaming world, it seamlessly started to enter all the possible platforms from the PC to mobile devices.

Yet so far, a lot of PC games like Stardew Valley still are available only on one platform. However, talented and professional developers all around the world created games specifically for mobile devices. In these games, players also take on the role of a farmer and are tasked with managing various aspects of a virtual farm.

Best Free Games Like Stardew Valley for Mobile, Cozy barn scene with a farmer and animals, farming activities
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5 Notable Mobile Farming Games

There are a lot of outstanding mobile games like Stardew Valley, but we’ve decided to mention only 5 of the most popular these days:

  • Hay Day

Developed by Supercell, Hay Day is one of the most popular farming simulation games on mobile devices. Players can grow crops, raise animals, and expand their farms while interacting with friends and neighbors.

  • Farming Simulator 20

The mobile version of the popular Farming Simulator franchise, this game allows players to operate realistic farming machinery, cultivate crops, and manage their farm in detailed 3D environments.

  • FarmVille 2: Country Escape

A mobile version of the classic Facebook game, FarmVille 2: Country Escape allows players to build and manage their farm, complete quests, and trade goods with friends.

  • Township

Township combines farming simulation with city-building mechanics. Players can grow crops, process raw materials, and trade goods to develop their town and expand its infrastructure.

  • Pocket Harvest

This game is well-known for its distinctive farming experience with retro-inspired pixel art style and intuitive game UI/UX design.

Pocket Harvest allows players to manage their farms, grow crops, and expand their agricultural empire.

Most notable android and ios games like stardew valley

Mobile vs Console vs PC

A lot of people can’t choose between these 3 main bosses. For your convenience, we’ve created a comparative table of the 3 platforms: mobile, console, and PC.

Feature
Mobile Gaming
Console Gaming
PC Gaming
Accessibility
Highly accessible; playable on smartphones and tabletsRequires dedicated console hardwareRequires a desktop or laptop computer
Performance
Limited by mobile device specificationsDedicated hardware optimized for gaming; superior performanceVaries depending on hardware; can achieve high performance
Input Controls
Touchscreen controlsDedicated controllers with tactile feedbackKeyboard and mouse, gamepads, joysticks, and other peripherals
Gaming Experience
Often casual and pick-up-and-play; shorter play sessionsEngaging experiences with high-definition graphics and soundHighly customizable; diverse library of games
Social Features
Integration with social networks; multiplayer often online-onlyBuilt-in online multiplayer, voice chat, and community featuresOnline multiplayer, and social features through gaming platforms

Of course, every platform has its pros and cons. For example, mobile gaming with its Android and iOS games requires optimization for various screen sizes and device specifications, while console gaming involves adapting to specific hardware configurations and integrating with platform-specific features.

PC gaming offers a diverse ecosystem with a wide range of hardware configurations and software platforms, requiring developers to cater to different user preferences and gaming environments.

Porting of games like Stardew Valley

But it’s important to remember that due to game porting services, you can enjoy your favorite farming simulation on all the platforms whether it’s PC or mobile.

Game Modding and Customization

One of the favorite parts of a lot of gamers, game modding and customization play a very significant role in enhancing the gaming experience. These 2 features allow players to tailor their gameplay to their preferences and extend the lifespan of games.

Often, mods introduce new content such as characters, weapons, quests, and game mechanics, enriching the gameplay experience beyond what the base game offers.

Also, modders can address bugs, glitches, and balancing issues in games by creating patches or tweaks, improving the overall stability and fairness of the game.

And the most important: mods allow players to customize various aspects of the game, including graphics, user interface, controls, and difficulty settings, catering to individual preferences and playstyles.

Players stands outside a farmhouse that has been redesigned to be covered in flowers, Stardew Valley mods and customization

In return, customization options allow players to personalize their gaming experience by choosing character appearances, outfits, or customization features for in-game avatars. Also, customization options provide flexibility in gameplay, such as adjusting difficulty settings, enabling or disabling specific features, or modifying game rules to suit individual preferences.

Also, games with robust customization options often foster vibrant communities, with players sharing their creations and participating in contests.

Analyzing Player Reviews

We’ve told you so many things about games, their features, and mechanics. But what about the main aspect: players?

Analyzing player reviews of farming games, we can see several common themes in positive feedback, which often influence game development strategies both historically and in plans.

  • 1

    Engaging gameplay

    Positive reviews often highlight the engaging and addictive nature of the farming simulations’ gameplay.

    Players adore the variety of activities available, such as farming, crafting, and interacting with NPCs, which provide hours of entertainment.

  • 2

    Charming aesthetics

    Many players praise the charming art style, vibrant colors, and whimsical atmosphere of farming games. The visuals create a cozy and welcoming environment that encourages players to explore and invest in the game world.

  • 3

    Relaxing experience

    Positive reviews often mention the relaxing and therapeutic qualities of farming games.

    Players enjoy the opportunity to escape from the stresses of daily life and unwind while tending to their virtual farms and engaging in leisurely activities.

Looking forward, a large amount of positive reviews continue to shape game development by serving as valuable insights into player expectations, desires, and trends.

Developers often leverage positive feedback to guide the direction of their games, foster community engagement, and maintain a loyal player base over time.