Plantera Deluxe (Switch eShop)

Plantera Deluxe is an incremental little game that puts you in charge of garden which you tend periodically. The game saw release on both 3DS and Wii U, and while the Switch 'Deluxe' version version doesn't add a whole lot, the base game is just as addictive as ever. Obviously, its mobile, casual clicker nature isn't as deep as the other winners above and below, but if you're after something to really unwind with and the others all seem like too much hard work, Plantera will keep your green finger(s) occupied.

Lonesome Village (Switch eShop)

Lonesome Village takes elements of life-sim legends and a large handful of Zelda references and wraps them together in very cute packaging. It may not have the richest narrative, but it will absorb and soothe you – even in its short playtime. Barring a few drawbacks with player experience, specifically around menu navigation, this game offers up some good wholesome fun without the sweaty button-mashing of combat. If you’re puzzling over a new cosy game to play, Lonesome Village just might be your solution.

Disney Dreamlight Valley (Switch eShop)

Disney Dreamlight Valley is a frictionless, relaxing spin on life sims that manages to remain heartwarming and charming. Dreamlight Valley’s unique identity relies heavily on fresh interactions with your in-game friends, and developer Gameloft will be adding to and supporting it with regular updates to keep the Night Thorns from creeping back in — which will be essential for the game's longevity.

However, what arrived at launch was surprisingly touching and thoughtful right off the bat, cleverly playing on the nostalgia of anyone who's ever counted themselves a Disney fan. Let's hope it keeps on growing.

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Potion Permit (Switch)

Potion Permit makes an effort to implement engaging minigame mechanics through potion brewing and patient diagnosis, but outside of that, a lack of challenge and a feeling of repetition means it struggles to stand out in the vast field of life sims. Still, it presents a fun and enchanting experience which gets a massive shot in the arm from excellent presentation in both the audio and visual departments.

Potion Permit fits the bill for something to pick up now and then and pass a few hours, then, and there are certainly enough quests for you to sink your teeth into and keep you entertained for a while, even if it's not as catching as the very best in the genre.

Harvestella (Switch)

Harvestella could be described as a high-end 'good' game, if that makes sense. Its performance issues and rather simplistic mechanics hold it back from being great, but its quest design, dungeon exploration, and successful fusion of very distinct gameplay mechanics make it quite compelling all the same. The $60 price tag feels a little high for what’s on offer here, but this is absolutely a title that we’d recommend farm sim fans buy when the inevitable sales start to crop up. Harvestella may not be a challenger to Stardew Valley’s crown, but it does enough to distinguish itself as a worthwhile experience anyway.

Eastward: Octopia (Switch eShop)

A standalone DLC expansion which really could/should have been a standalone release, Eastward: Octopia may not bring many new ideas to a crowded genre, but this is an impressively well-executed expansion that nicely ticks all the boxes for a satisfying and relaxing farm sim. Although it has some rougher edges, the decent gameplay variety, interesting story, gorgeous visuals, and surprising amount of content all come together to make this one an easy recommendation to any fans of the original Eastward. Even for those of you who fell off your playthrough of the original for one reason or another, we’d encourage you to consider coming back for Octopia—this is a much better-paced game and, some performance issues aside, it’s lost none of the charm that made the original so popular.

Fae Farm (Switch)

A gloriously thoughtful and beautiful farming game that's packed to the brim with details and charm, Fae Farm is unfortunately let down by its lacklustre NPCs and social dynamics. But with the rest of the game being so enticing, we're almost willing to let it slide. A handful of bugs, a bit of a grind, and a sinfully boring spouse can't quite take the shine off this wonderful, whimsical world that's full of things to do and discover.

Stardew Valley (Switch eShop)

One of the breakout indie hits of the last decade, to call Stardew Valley a 'farm sim' doesn't quite capture the depth and complexity of its remarkable pixel world. Taking inspiration from nearly all of the other series in this list (and others besides), Stardew has grown over time with patches and updates only making it more impressive. It's a time sink, to be sure, but that's what you came here for, right? If you're looking to escape to a world you can fashion to your liking and feel proud of at the end of the day, Stardew Valley is up there with the very best of them on Switch, or any platform.

Played any other life and/or farming sims on Switch? Think we've missed something? We'll be keeping this list up-to-date with new candidates as they crop up, but let us know your favourites in the comments.

This article is one of our Switch Essentials guides which cover a wide variety of genres, including the Best Switch FPS Games, the Best Switch RPGs, the Best Switch Games For Kids, the Best Switch Couch Co-Op Games and the Best Switch Fitness and Exercise Games. We can also help out hunting down the Best Switch Horror Games, the Best Switch Racing Games, the Best Switch Action-RPGs, the Best Nintendo Switch Roguelikes, Roguelites and Run-Based Games, the Best Free Switch Games, the Best Remakes And Remasters, the Best Switch Music And Rhythm Games, Best Feel-Good Switch Games, Best Switch Open-World Games, Best Switch Soulslike Games, Best LGBTQ+ Switch Games, and even Games to Play After You've Finished Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Whatever your favourite genre, we've got you covered: Strategy Games, Metroidvanias, Puzzle Games, Party Games, Online Multiplayer Games, Local Wireless Multiplayer Games, Shmups, Twin-Stick Shooters, Visual Novels, Kart Racers, Fighting Games, Football Games, Funny Games, Golf Games, 'Walking Sims' And Narrative Games, Switch Games For Lovers And Lonely Hearts, Detective Games, Hidden Gems, 2D Platformers, 3D Platformers, Puzzle Platformers, Tabletop Mode Games, Run and Gun Games, LEGO Games, Sports Games, Survival Games, Beat 'Em Ups, Camera Games, Chill Games, Family Games, Retro-Inspired Games, Short Games, Card Games and Deck-Builders, and Life Sims And Farming Games.

Still hungry for more? Elsewhere we look at Wholesome Games, TATE Mode Games, Flight Sim and Space Combat, Point and Click Adventure Games, and the Best Switch Exclusives, as well as Every Arcade Archives Game, Every ACA Neo Geo Game, Every SEGA AGES Game On Switch, plus the Best Switch Ports, Best Wii U-To-Switch Ports, Best Switch Collections And Compilations, Best Cheap Switch Games, Best Switch Demos, Games That Are Better On Switch OLED, Switch Games Under $10, $20, $50, and Switch games with the Best Soundtracks and the Best Graphics. Phew!

If you're looking for the best Switch games regardless of genre, our reader-voted selection of the Best Nintendo Switch Games should help you out, and you can also find the Best Nintendo Switch Games of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. And finally, if you're interested in other Nintendo consoles and retro games, check out the Best Game Boy Games, Best GBC Games, Best GBA Games, Best Nintendo DS Games, Best Nintendo 3DS Games, Best NES Games, Best SNES Games, Best N64 Games, Best GameCube Games, and Best Wii Games, and Best Wii U Games, as well as Every Available Nintendo Switch Online Retro Game, and ranked lists of Every Nintendo Switch Online NES, SNES, N64 and Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Game.