Five games like Stardew Valley

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A player stands outside of their home on their farm in Stardew Valley.

Looking for games like Stardew Valley? We can't blame you. The farming genre is kicking up a storm lately, and the popularity of ConcernedApe's indie classic is finally starting to bear fruit within the industry. 2022 and 2023 look set to be a bumper harvest, and we're all going to be eating good then. For now, though, here are five games released prior to 2022 that can scratch that itch.

Stardew Valley is a lovingly-crafted farming simulator with a dedicated fanbase, and you can see why. All it takes is a couple of hours on Stardew Valley to feel established and then be hooked; before you know it, you've sunk over 100 hours into creating the dream farm and filling out the Community Centre.

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Stardew Valley creator, Eric ‘ConcernedApe’ Barone, has promised that a spiritual successor, The Haunted Chocolatier, is on the horizon. Yet, when you’ve finally put Stardew Valley down and need something else just as comforting to pick up while we await this new creation, what should you play? We’ve suggested five games like Stardew Valley for you to take a look at.

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Story Of Seasons: Pioneers Of Olive Town

Plenty of players who have ever had an interest in farming simulators or have owned a Nintendo DS at some point will likely have heard of Harvest Moon. Harvest Moon was Stardew Valley before Stardew Valley was created, and it was great fun too, but with the game being from the nineties, it’s lost its magic somewhat. Fortunately for us fans of rearing farm animals and cultivating crops in one cosy game, the developers of Harvest Moon have since released the Story Of Seasons series.

A player watering the crops on their farm in Story Of Seasons: Pioneers Of Olive Town.

Story Of Seasons: Pioneers Of Olive Town is perhaps more laid back than Stardew Valley, but follows a similar story. Players will begin on a run-down farm, previously owned by their grandfather, and are tasked with fixing it up to create a bustling town. Along the way, there are plenty of charming NPC’s to seek help from, and cute animals to take care of too.

This is very much how Stardew Valley unfolds, but Story Of Seasons makes things 3D, introduces some nifty farming features, and has llamas. Who doesn’t want a farm with llamas? For those wanting the Stardew Valley experience but in 3D, Story Of Seasons: Pioneers Of Olive Town is just that.

A player attends a wedding ceremony in Kynseed.
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Kynseed

Kynseed is an indie game brought together by a bunch of developers who previously worked at Lionhead, specifically on the Fable series. The title takes on the same pixel art style that many love Stardew Valley for, but makes things a little more detailed. Additionally, time in Kynseed goes a lot faster, too, as you’ll quickly learn.

Just like Stardew Valley, you’ll still do a lot of farming in Kynseed, but you’ll have further opportunities as the game develops: setting up shops, having children, getting married, and ultimately, passing away. Passing away isn’t the end of Kynseed though, as you simply reincarnate through the lives of your children, continuing to be able to tend to your adventure in this faery-tale world full of secrets.

Inspired by British folklore, Kynseed is more than just a game that is similar to Stardew Valley. It offers its own unique experience too as you liaise with goddesses and battle creatures to keep your Kynseed story afloat. There are various obscure maladies, artifacts and events to discover. These aspects add a fantastical – almost magical – feeling to Kynseed that develops on the cosy and satisfying experience that Stardew Valley provides. This makes it the perfect game for those who love Stardew Valley, but simply want more.

Players and animals in Minecraft.

Minecraft

Minecraft is perhaps one of the most versatile and diverse survival games out there, with players choosing whether they want a peaceful experience or to go head-to-head in combat with the Ender Dragon. Additionally, for those of us playing on PC, there is a wealth of mods we can install to make the Minecraft experience more personal to our tastes.

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Minecraft, in its raw form, can be a basic survival simulator for any player. Build your base, go mining, create a farm for food and take it from there. There are various modes to alternate between and settings to adjust to make the base experience of Minecraft suited to you.

In creative mode or by turning off monsters, players can choose to get artistic by focusing on building magnificent monuments, or they can choose to have an even more peaceful experience and instead may explore to their heart’s content. With the Cliffs & Caves updates during 2021 too, Mojang are continually finding ways to improve the base game for every player.

Players of Minecraft can create a harmonious paradise to develop a farm in, with an army of axolotls defending them if they feel that way inclined (I do). The choice is entirely your own, and with a mod pack such as Farming Valley installed, players can completely develop a village or town for themselves that functions just like Stardew Valley, but in the Minecraft universe.

A player base built on land in Terraria.

Terraria

Terraria is a change of pace from Stardew Valley, but certainly shares similar mechanics to that and to Minecraft. As a sandbox-survival game, players of Terraria will not only dig, explore, and build, but they will fight too. However, it’s up to players which they’d rather pursue more, be it combat, mining for materials, or city-building.

Terraria, like Stardew Valley, is also 2D in perspective and offers a similar comforting feeling to that of Stardew despite looking a little intimidating at first. Arguably, Terraria can often feel better when playing with friends.

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For a Stardew Valley-like hit that you can play with multiple friends at once, Terraria is the game to go for. Friends who prefer combat can tackle that, while those of us who prefer farming and building can focus on gathering resources and creating homes.

The control is yours when playing Terraria, which is what gives simulators like this, Minecraft and Stardew Valley their magic (and addictiveness). For those wanting an experience with a little more action and more multiplayer options, it’s definitely worth investing in Terraria.

A player sat on a tree stump on their island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Animal Crossing New Horizons

For some handheld goodness that is undeniably fun, albeit time-consuming, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the game to go to. The title is a Nintendo Switch exclusive, so it isn’t available for those of us who play on PC or other consoles; if you have a Switch of your own, or can swipe someone’s for a short while, be sure to give New Horizons a go.

For those unfamiliar with the prolific Nintendo series, you are in charge of your own island in New Horizons, fulfilling certain tasks and crafting items to ultimately acquire the perfect paradise for you and your animal residents.

Like Stardew Valley, New Horizons encourages players to sink hours into the game to achieve this, but this time feels very much worthwhile overall. With a relaxing soundtrack and an island getaway, New Horizons brings comfort to many players, just as Stardew Valley does.

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The game can feel intimidating to those who haven’t approached it before, especially having seen how dedicated some players are to their islands. However, we’re here to say that Animal Crossing: New Horizons is nothing to be scared of… The 31 million copies sold worldwide argue that too!

Whenever Stardew Valley burnout comes along, or you feel as though you’ve simply exhausted your farming capabilities on the title, there are a lot more games to try. These are just a handful of the adventures you can go on, all of which have their own distinct features suited to different players.

Whether you need more action, or want to spend more time crafting the perfect place of comfort, each game provides the same feeling and satisfaction that Stardew Valley is praised for but in their own unique ways.