Do you love a good farming sim game? The Switch is home to several good ones, so it’s time to look at the best farming games on Nintendo Switch!
Now I haven’t included games that may have a bit of a farming in the gameplay. When looking online I see games mentioned that might have a small element where you can sow a crop or two, but in my book, that’s not a farming game. In a farming game, tending to your farm is one of the main staples of the game. So, games like My Time at Portia, Summer in Mara, Grow: Song of the Evertree and Everdream Valley aren’t included. But we also have a Best of Simulation list; you can certainly find them there!
The games are listed in no particular order, so check out which is the one that you want to try your hand at. All are tried and tested by our team!
For every game, a link to the physical game, if available, is added. Of course, all of them can be bought in the eShop in digital form as well. And do you like our work? Consider joining us as a Patron!
Fae Farm resembles many simulation games like Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley and Disney Dreamlight Valley. But it mainly reminds us of My Sims (Wii and DS Game). Phoenix Labs seems to have taken some aspects of all those games, rolled them all together, and come up with Fae Farm.
Farming, bug catching, fishing, crafting and animal care have all been implemented well in Fae Farm with a drop of magic added to it when the Fae’s come into play. Exploration is a big thing to keep it interesting too. There is certainly plenty to keep you busy. The game looks beautiful, and it’s pretty chill. However, I’d look elsewhere if you’re into the romance side of simulation games and looking for relationships with NPCs. The NPCs don’t offer much and feel wooden, which is a pity.
Fae Farm is definitely worth a look if you’re a cosy game and farm sim fan. Just make sure you have ample time, as the gameplay and especially the crafting can be very addictive. We have a full review for you here, and a guide to get you started here.
Story of Seasons Games
Several Story of Seasons games have now found their way to the Switch. A title that was developed with the Switch in mind, and some remakes of older titles that fit right in. Let’s take a look!
SoS Pioneers of Olive Town
The brand new title that has been developed especially for the Nintendo Switch, and I can tell you, Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town, has all the important elements accounted for. There’s farming with a wide range of different crops and seeds, you can take care of animals, there’s mining and fishing, you can craft items in Makers, there’s a huge town with many people to befriend or romance, and it wouldn’t be called Pioneers if there wasn’t a lot to explore too.
Plus, a nice little feature is added in the form of the Sprite Village and the various special areas you can visit there. Finally, there is some online gameplay added into the mix, though I do feel that could have been fleshed out some more.
Overall, a very complete package that will sometimes leave you wishing for more hours in the day, in real life and in the game. There’s so much to do that Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is not only a farming simulation game but also a management game. The only way to let the farm thrive and have time for all the other activities is to plan ahead and make use of your little factory of Makers and recipes for crafting as best you can.
Truly the Best of the Best! And if you want some tips on how to play, find our guide here. And if you want to buy the game physically, you can find it at Amazon!
SoS: Friends of Mineral Town
Back in 2003, Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town came to the Nintendo GameBoy Advance and quickly became a fan favourite. Fast forward time to 2020, and a remake of this game combined with its successor, More Friends of Mineral Town, comes to the Nintendo Switch.
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town follows the story of both these older games and has updated it to the current gaming age. It brings new graphics, a choice to play as a boy or a girl and a choice between the older style avatar or the newer, chibi-fied cutesy farmers. The entire game has had a graphic overhaul, bringing it up to date with more recent farming games.
Of course, the basic gameplay is still the same as that of the old Harvest Moon games. Want to know more? Here’s my review: Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town Review (Nintendo Switch)
Added to that, we have guides up for the game as well. And if you want to buy the game in physical form, you can find it here:
SoS: A Wonderful Life
The former GameCube game, first released in 2003, had an entire overhaul and was released on the Nintendo Switch. With updated visuals, additional marriage candidates, new animals, seasonal events, and a wide array of gameplay improvements, it almost turned out to be a new game.
STORY of SEASONS: A Wonderful Life tells the story of a farmer’s life without much fluff. At first, there isn’t a huge variety of crops, fish and things to dig up. Your focus is on trying to make the farm profitable and socializing with the people in the valley. The game progresses in chapters, with new things added in each chapter. Because you marry and have a child, your family expands. Meanwhile, the other people in the valley get older, too and have their own stories to tell.
Soil quality is important, for example, and sometimes crops just wilt without any indication. The quality of milk is important too, and not constant over the seasons, and you can influence it by breeding your cow after a certain time. The management part of the game is deep, maybe even deeper than later Story of Seasons games.
Find our review here.
Natsume’s Harvest Moon
Ever since the breakup with Marvelous, Natsume has been making their own Harvest Moon games. It started out on the 3DS but has also reached the Switch. You can clearly see the learning curve and how the games get better and better. Harvest Moon: One World was the first to land on the Switch, and though it’s nice, it must be said that the next one, Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos, is quite superior.
Harvest Moon: One World
Compared to the sequel mentioned below, the world in One World feels empty, and the characters are a bit flat. The dating scene could use some sprucing up, too. But judged on its own by this farming simulation fan, I can honestly say I enjoyed it when I reviewed it.
The developers tried out some novel ideas, like the Expando-Farm. And not having to bother with scrolling through your pocket for the right tool is a nice idea, too: the game always does the right action at the right time. There’s an excellent range of various crops and a new way to get your seeds. The farming itself really felt fresh to me, and that is why Harvest Moon: One World is included in the list. Want to know more? you can find my review here, and our guide to get you started is here. You can only get the digital game at Amazon and in the Nintendo eShop of course.
Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos
Out recently, and definitely the best Harvest Moon game on Switch. Dare I say it? Maybe, after 50 hours of gameplay, I think it’s a serious contender for Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town. Graphically it doesn’t look as good, but it’s amazing when it comes to the abundance of crops, flowers, fish to catch and animals to tame. There is so much to explore; the world is such a huge place, and you can place your farm in many different places using the Expando-Farm, like in the first game.
The start of the game is a bit slow, but after that, it really flies and will keep you busy for many, many hours to come. Want to know more? My review is here, and the guide for the game is here. You can buy the physical game here at Amazon.
Since the first day this game appeared on Steam, it has been a firm fan favourite. It does feel like an old-day Harvest Moon, with retro graphics included. So, when you love Harvest Moon, check out Stardew Valley. On top of all the good gameplay we love in HM, they have thrown in everything and the kitchen sink! Not just farming, but side questing too, finding stuff for people, making things, a wizard to make things interesting, mining..too much to mention really.
Compared to Harvest Moon or Story of Seasons games, Stardew Valley adds an RPG element to the farming and dating aspect. Plus, in Stardew Valley has more options for gender, ethnicity, and overall appearance. And you can marry just whomever you want!
Want to know a little more about the game? Find it here.
Of course, Stardew Valley is available as a digital download here. Fangamer has brought the physical game to market, which you can buy at Amazon, but be prepared to pay a higher price than for the digital game.
Ready for a new adventure? A luscious green haven that waits for you as you are dropped in your grandparents’ care for the Summer. They own the farm, but they have been away from it for some time too, and now there’s a lot of garbage everywhere, the animals are roaming free, and the crop beds are gone. It’s your job to lend a helping hand (your grandparents aren’t getting any younger) and build the farm back to its former glory.
Different from other farming games is the fact that you tend the farm and explore the world by daytime, and inhabit the various farmland creatures through your dreams at night. And the activities on the farm, like milking cows and training your dog, are done through minigames.
In Farm Together, you get a plot of land and plenty of seeds to make a beautiful farm out of it. Expand it to make a huge farm that extends further than the eye can see. Unlock new items to place on your farm, unlock animals and even more seeds. Go with the seasons, and pore all your creativity in the game as it is very much about how the farm looks as well.
Visiting and farming with friends is fun and works well in that it is pre-determined what you can do on your virtual friend’s farm. So, there are no mishaps with accidentally pulling out crops or such.
When I reviewed the game, it reminded me of HayDay, the mobile game that I sunk many, many hours into over the past years. Farm Together has the same addictive vibe as HayDay but better, without the need for micro-transactions and a much, much more vast playing field.
My review for the game is here: Review Farm Together
Rune Factory was originally a spin-off game of Harvest Moon/ Story of Seasons: the farming and socializing ingredients were still there, but now fighting and crafting were added into the mix.
This made each Rune Factory game an absolute must-have for me when the first game arrived in 2006. Subtitled “A Fantasy Harvest Moon” made one other addition to the gaming mix clear, too: magic was involved. Not only does the protagonist have HP (an energy bar) to keep an eye on, but you also have to manage your RP (Rune Points), which you need for using a tool, casting magic, cooking, crafting and more.
The first games were released on the 3DS, but Rune Factory 3 and 4 have a remake on the Switch. And Rune Factory 5 is brand-new. Let’s take a look.
Rune Factory 3 Special
Rune Factory 3 Special delivers a wonderful combination of all the elements that make farming/crafting RPG so great. And even though the game is basically 14 years old, the remake holds up well. Maybe even better, as the farming part is harder. A summer storm can just as easily obliterate all your crops and leave you broke.
The interaction with the villagers is good. No inane answers that never vary. They respond to protagonist Micah according to his actions. The Newlywed modes add a lot of content, and if you want to try your hand at really hard gaming, you can unlock the Hell mode, too.
The monsters that you find in the dungeons aren’t just there to be beaten. They can also help you with your chores on the farm. An Elefun is great for watering your crops, and a Woolly not only gives you wool but can also clear your fields of rubble and weeds.
Lastly, you can also take them with you in battle. Another special way to get help in battle is by using special seeds, like the Jack Magic Seed and the Sword Magic Seed. Put them on the ground, and they will immediately grow into a big pumpkin that can munch away on the enemy. Or an intricate-looking plant that is a sword at the same time.
Rune Factory 4 Special Edition
Like Rune Factory 3 Special, this game is a Switch port of the 3DS game. The game had an update and like in RF3, there’s now a Newly Wed Mode, where you marry your in-game partner and play together, focusing on your newlywed life. Plus, there are even new scenarios to enjoy with each character in the game. Basically, you will find the same gameplay as in Rune Factory 3, but with a new storyline.
Rune Factory 5
In Rune Factory 5 you wake up near the sleepy small town of Rigbarth and immediately find yourself in the middle of a threatening situation. A little girl called Hina needs rescuing, and being the hero you are, you immediately spring to action and save the day.
Welcomed into Rigbarth, you join the organisation SEED as a ranger. The town isn’t as peaceful as it seemed at first glance; mysterious events are unfolding, affecting the runes that govern the balance between humanity and nature. So you’ve got your work cut out for you, keeping the monsters back from Rigbarth’s borders.
You take up the duty of running the farm near the SEED Outpost and doing all kinds of assignments. Think of requests like bringing in especially rowdy monsters, catching a certain fish, or shipping a certain kind of vegetable to make some dish. Even without an overarching storyline, it kept my little YvoCaro busy for many weeks in the game.
What makes Rune Factory 5 great is that there is so much to do, and you can choose if you want to take it slow or race through the storyline. If you want to put your heart into farming, or only do the minimum and fight monsters or pursue romance in Rigbarth.
However, I have to admit that the graphics and eye for detail in Rune Factory 3 and 4 Special are superior to those in Rune Factory 5! Want to know more? Here’s my full review, and here’s a guide to get you going.
Staxel is a relaxing crafting game. There are no enemy threats; it’s just you, the farm and a town with friendly NPCs. There are no stressful challenges. This is a game you can play at a smooth pace that suits you, which may be just the ticket after one of those hard days at the office. The graphics are bright and colourful with a familiar voxel design. It’s family-friendly and incredibly cheerful.
If you are looking for a relaxing game to sink hours into, then Staxel is worth adding to your gaming library. It surely is a good entry point for gamers new to this genre, but if you are used to playing the big Story of Seasons titles or Stardew Valley, then you might have to get used to Staxel. It might not be enough to pull gamers away whose hearts are fully invested in those other competitors. What Staxel does, it does with sunshine and smiles which is something many of us sure need these days.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin
A game that wasn’t on top of my mind when making this list is Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin. But readers have assured met that the game takes its rice farming seriously. Not only are Sakuna’s stats tied closely to her rice harvest, but the game makes a point of simulating rice planting about as true to real life as possible. This means getting fertilizer just the right combination of nutrients so that the soil is just the right quality. Space out the seeds, make sure you keep pests and weeds at bay. Harvest the stalks at just the right time, and extract the rice grains from them.
There’s fighting demons, there’s exploration in finding the right materails and lots more to do. But the farming of rice is at the core of the game. We have a review for the game here, and if you want to buy it, check here on Amazon.