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Best Farming Sim Games For Beginners

The farming simulator genre is one that is gaining popularity. Passing your time by planting, tending, and harvesting crops can be a great way to relax. Many fans find the predictability soothing and love seeing their farm grow. However, not all farming titles are equal and some can get complex, fast.


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There are many games or franchises which have a sideline that involves farming and fishing such as Animal Crossing. While these can offer a more variable farming experience, the focus here is on games where farming is the primary aim or at least plays a more central role in the game. If you want to start your own farming adventure here are the best games for newcomers to the genre.

Updated on March 31, 2024, by Sanyam Jain: With the passage of time, it’s no surprise that the farming sim genre has gotten some new beloved additions across all platforms, and this list has been updated to reflect a few of these.


Coral Island

Petting Your Dog on Coral Island


Coral Island

Released
October 11, 2022

Developer(s)
Stairway Games

Coral Island is currently still in early access and is already shaping up to be a great addition to the farming simulator genre. It takes inspiration from a range of other titles and pulls different aspects of the genre together in a somehow unique package. Growing crops, raising animals and building a farmhouse are all here, alongside an intriguing story.

Familiar enough to feel easy to grasp and comforting to play, Coral Island also brings a lot of diversity, some interesting festivals and a few surprises. It’s easy to grasp and yet you’ll continue to discover new things, even hours and hours into the game. It offers a lot of content at a pace that’s very beginner friendly.

Animal Crossing New Horizons

An Animal Crossing: New Horizons villager standing next to a small field of pumpkins.

  • Released: March 2020
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch


While Animal Crossing New Horizons is more of a life sim than a farming sim, updates have added enough crops that we’re counting it. While you could always harvest different fruits and grow flowers, the games farming elements have grown over time – pun absolutely intended. Everything is easy to understand and satisfying to do.

On your very own island you can now grow wheat, carrots, tomatoes and pumpkins. Just make sure you don’t forget to sell any turnips you have before Sunday! This most valuable of vegetables won’t keep long.

Rune Factory 5

High-level crops in Rune Factory 5

Rune Factory 5 is more complex than many games on this list, thanks to its RPG elements. However, it still involves a lot of farming sim elements and simply adds the extras on top. You’ll still be able to grow, tend and harvest crops, as well as socialize with your neighbours.


The additional elements here come in the form of a storyline that sees you battle and tame wild monsters, with help from the townsfolk, in order to defend the town. Don’t worry though, the game is still pretty newcomer friendly and doesn’t feel too overwhelming.

Dinkum

Dinkum holding blue moon butterfly

  • Released: July 2022
  • Developer: James Bendon
  • Platforms: PC

Looking to play Animal Crossing but don’t own a Nintendo Switch? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Dinkum is a beautiful Life Sim game that you can download and play through Steam, and it has an easy-going story at the start. However, once you get past the tutorial, you can decide what you want to do next.


Instead of having a village when you start playing the game, Dinkum makes you build one by convincing different visitors to stay and making them a house. While you’re trying to do all this, it also gives you an infinite area to plant and grow crops as much as you want.

Farmville 3

Farmville 3 farm layout with fields and buildings

  • Released: November 2021
  • Developer: Zynga
  • Platforms: iOS, Android

Farmville 3 is a popular free to play mobile title so it does have in-app purchases. However, it also offers a quick dive into a relaxing farming experience for anyone who wants to play on mobile. You can also enjoy the game without sinking a fortune into it. The design is perfect for dipping in and out through the day between other tasks and is ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to spend hours setting things up.


The main focus is farming and raising animals then using the crops and products they yield to craft items that can be sold in a variety of ways. There are also group co-op events and limited time challenges to keep things fresh.

Harvest Moon: One World

Harvest Moon One World A character tending to their farm

Harvest Moon: One World

Released
March 2, 2021

Developer(s)
Natsume

Harvest Moon: One World takes the franchise back to its roots as a farming simulator. After a few strange spinoffs, including Harvest Moon Mad Dash, you’ll find yourself back in the fields as you seek the Harvest Goddess, who has gone missing. There are five different areas to explore, and you’ll need to visit them all to find out what happened to her. Along the way you’ll meet villagers you can romance and of course you’ll also have crops to tend and animals to keep.

The Harvest Moon farming mechanics are simple, and the storyline offers an engaging sideline while you explore everything the world has to offer. This combination marks a return to form for the long-running franchise.


Doraemon: Story Of Seasons

  • Released: June 2019
  • Developers: Marvelous, Brownies Inc.
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC

This game is a cross-over between the Japanese manga Doraemon and the Story of Seasons games, which spun off from Harvest Moon. However, even players who don’t know a thing about either series can enjoy this relaxing farming title.

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There is a storyline that plays out and if you keep following through the simple tasks you’ll soon learn about the town, its inhabitants, and how to tend the farm you’re put in charge of. It’s ideal for newcomers as you begin to start building your farm quite early but the pace is very relaxed. While it can feel slow, that makes it perfect for beginners.


You are also given a huge amount of space to work with, and your farm will, in time, become pretty expansive. The mechanics are simple, the graphics are cute, and the town is a great place to explore. The RPG elements also bring more structure to the experience making it enjoyable and engaging.

Minecraft

villager standing on farm area next to a composter

  • Released: November 2011
  • Developers: Mojang Studios, Xbox Game Studios
  • Platforms: PC, Mac, Xbox 360 / One / Series X / Series S, PlayStation 3 / 4 / 5, Wii U, 3DS, Switch, PS Vita, iOS, Android

While farming isn’t a primary focus of Minecraft we couldn’t ignore the classic sandbox title, especially since it’s so easily available on multiple platforms. The different platforms have slightly different versions but the core mechanics of the game remain the same, including the ability to farm.


The beauty of farming in Minecraft is that it isn’t all just the same. Some crops grow from themselves, while others grow from seeds. There are also crops that grow from a central point and some that only grow in certain conditions. This means that while farming is one aspect of the game it has more to learn and master, which is great for those looking for a challenge that isn’t too complex.

Staxel

Stxel a player tending crops as animals look on

  • Released: January 2018
  • Developer: Plukit
  • Platforms: PC, Mac

When you first look at Staxel you’ll get some distinctly Minecraft vibes from the setting. However, it is far more farming focused than Mojang’s sandbox title with restoring a farm being your primary goal. This means that for some it can be preferable.


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The mechanics are simple, the game enjoyable, and there are places to explore outside of your farm making it perfect for a newcomer. If you want time out from the farm you can take up a hobby, complete a collection, and help in other areas of the town. There’s also a multiplayer option that allows you to work the fields together with friends.

Staxel offers a great sandbox world in which you can not only build and grow, but you can also invite others to join you in the adventure meaning help is easily on hand.

My Time At Portia

My Time At Portia player overlooking their farm as items craft

My Time at Portia

Released
January 15, 2019

Developer(s)
Pathea Games

In My Time At Portia your entire focus is on restoring the workshop and farm left to you by your Pa. You’ll need to grow and harvest resources in order to fulfill commissions and earn money to grow your business.


Raising animals and tending crops are a key part of restoring the workshop and learning how to craft everything the townspeople need. Your role is important and gives your farm more purpose as you become a key part of this cute and quirky post-apocalyptic land.

Stardew Valley

stardew valley farm with crops and a well

Stardew Valley

Released
February 26, 2016

Developer(s)
ConcernedApe

No list of farming simulators would be complete without indie darling Stardew Valley. The reviews speak for themselves, and thanks to updates, the game continues to provide new things to keep players occupied.

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Stardew Valley combines farming simulation with RPG elements in a manner similar to Story of Seasons. However, it also contains flexibility rarely seen in the genre. There are several different farm maps to choose from and here you’ll rebuild your grandfather’s farm. You can also play multiplayer, getting help from a friend.


It can take a little longer to figure out the game than some titles, but that’s mostly due to its depth. If you keep going the basics are easy to pick up and there is a wealth of information out there if you get stuck on the more complex aspects. This means even if you hit a block you can easily get past it and the absorbing and enjoyable experience makes this title a must-play.

Littlewood

A town and residents standing by a farm in Littlewood

  • Released: June 2019
  • Developer: Sean Young
  • Platforms: PC, Mac

This farming RPG is clearly inspired by Stardew Valley, yet adds a different spin to proceedings. You’ll wake up in a village you apparently saved from certain doom, you just don’t remember how. Now you’ll need to relearn your building and farming skills quickly so you can work with the inhabitants of Littlewood to rebuild.


There’s a big focus on community in this game as you build not just for you but for the village as whole. This comes with a large amount of free will. The backstory is just that, backstory, and you are free to build the town’s future however you like, without being tied into a plot.

The Farming Simulator Franchise

  • Latest Release: Farming Simulator 22 – November 21
  • Developer: GIANTS Software
  • Platforms: PC, Mac, Xbox 360 / One / Series X / Series S, PlayStation 3 / 4 / 5, 3DS, Switch, PS Vita, iOS, Android, Kindle, Stadia

For those looking for a true farming experience then the Farming Simulator franchise really is the best option, despite not being the most newcomer-friendly. It offers a realistic farming experience that focuses itself firmly in reality. While most other options thrive in cute cartoon environments, Farming Simulator thrives in dirt and rain.


The franchise has been around for years and as such doesn’t offer much help to those getting into it late. However, despite this, the very basics of crops are quite easy to pick up, and if you’re willing to give it time, you’ll find that a very in-depth simulation experience awaits.

This choice is for newcomers who are seeking realism over anything else. The pace is very slow, but the process is realistic. While it won’t draw you in quickly, if you want a realistic farming experience then this is the choice for you, just stick with it.

Farm Manager 2021

Farm Manager 2021 Tractor in some fields

  • Released: May 2021
  • Developers: Cleversan Software, Cleversan Games, ConsoleWay
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One


Farm Manager 2021 also offers a realistic version of farming but puts you in charge of logistics, rather than labour. You’ll need to plan out the best crops to plant, the best time to expand and keep on top of animal and staff welfare. You’ll manage farming, animal care, building, and staff.

Farm Manager lets you look at farming from a new perspective, offering a management simulation experience that focuses on building and running a working farm. You’ll even need to take into account the changing weather as you make your plans.

Slime Rancher

Slime Rancher Slime Hovering

  • Released: January 2016
  • Developer: Monomi Park
  • Platforms: PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch

Slime Rancher may seem like an odd choice for a farming sim, but it has all the mechanics of other games in the genre โ€” along with a unique concept. You’ll collect different slimes and bring them back to your ranch where you look after them before collecting the items they drop, called Plorts. You’ll also need to grow crops and raise livestock to keep the Slimes well-fed and happy.


The world around you is quirky and interesting, while the mechanics of raising slimes and then collecting their Plorts are easy to grasp for newcomers. You also get to harvest carrots by sucking them up using a giant gun. What’s not to love?

The setting won’t be to everyone’s taste but provides a great alternative to traditional farming simulators. It combines enough farming mechanics to feel like it belongs in the genre with some other unique aspects that make it stand out from the crowd.

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