Do you love a good farming sim game? The Switch is home to quite a few good ones, so 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 and Grow: Song of the Evertree 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 you want to use your green thumb in! All are tried and tested by our team!
Story of Seasons: 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.
Harvest Moon: One World
First of all, I have to point out that Harvest Moon: One World isn’t part of the long standing series of games that went on under the name Story of Seasons in the West some years ago. One World is the newest entry of the series Natsume brought to us in the West, same kind of gameplay, using the old name. It’s included in this list as it focuses on the same game idea and audience.
Is it as good as as Story of Seasons games? No it’s not. In comparison the world feels empty and the characters 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.
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town
Back in 2003 Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town came to the Nintendo GameBoy Advance and quickly became a fan favorite. Fast forward the 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 to more recent farming games.
Of course, the basic gameplay is still the same, that of the old Harvest Moon games. Still, might be a good one to go for while waiting for Pioneers of Olive Town. Want to know more? Here’s my review: Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town Review (Nintendo Switch)
Since the first days 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 the 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.
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.
Visiting and farming with friends is fun and works well in that it is pre-determined what you can do on your virtual friends farm. So 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 4 Special Edition
Rune Factory came to life as a spin-off series to the original Harvest Moon (Bokujou Monogatari) when it celebrated its 10-year anniversary. It had farming, tending animals and courtship but these games also had a good storyline and an RPG element. That’s what made them so unique. There had been several instalments of the series on DS and 3DS and two console games (Frontier and Tides of Destiny).
Now, the version on Switch is a port of the 3DS game. But due to not having dual screens to work with they had to do a near complete overhaul of the user interface. Plus, the Switch version features updated character models (as well as their 2D counterparts), upgraded animations and new Japanese voice acting.
Added to that, you can play in 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. Rune Factory 5 will be coming to the Switch as well, a brand new game. But if you’ve never played the Rune Factory game you’ll love it: it has the best of farming and crafting combined with the best of RPG!
Want to know more about Rune Factory games? I’ve written about it here.
Doraemon Story of Seasons
The first Story of Seasons game that hit the Switch was a marriage between Doraemon and a SoS game. It made for a different kind of farming game, and it was the first ever game about Doraemon in the West.
This charming and highly addictive farming simulation role-playing game is characterised by its pleasant watercolour art style and classic gameplay elements from past Story of Seasons games. Not just farming, but it’s also filled with gadgets and some mystery. Beth put her first thoughts about the game here.
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 or Stardew titles, 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.
Rune Factory 5 (and Rune Factory 4 Special)
To me, the series of Rune Factory combines the elements I’m looking for in a farming game in an excellent way. Fighting monsters in all forms that drop useful items to craft with, that can be tamed to help you out on the farm or to fight at your side. Sure, you need to farm crops to get money and to cook recipes and craft things. But it’s not your only component, so if you don’t feel like farming you can also go out and bash some monsters. Makes for more variety.
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 kind of assignments. Think requests like bring in especially rowdy monsters, catching a certain fish, shipping a certain kind of vegetable to making 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.
Same goes for Rune Factory 4 Special, a remake of the 3DS game that is available on the Switch. Though I have to admit that the graphics and eye for detail in Rune Factory 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.
I have so many hours into Stardew valley both on my Switch and pc, I had to reintroduce myself to my family. Time flies when I’m playing it.
Lol, I know what you mean! I bet my husbands thinks back on the day that I first got into my daughters Animal Crossing Wild World and wishes he had persuaded me back then to not buy myself a copy and a DS! It all led to a time consuming hobby and this lovely site too!
I love all of the farming games and I get so involved in it that I forget all about time sometimes.
Yeah, that happens to me too. It’s such a happy little world at times! Did we miss any of your favorite ones on the list?