Only one thing is better than relaxing with a farming or life sim after a long day: doing so on Steam Deck. You can game from anywhere, whether that’s from the comfort of your couch with a cup of tea or wrapped up in your sheets in bed. Pure bliss.
The Best Farming and Life Sims You Should Play on Steam Deck
Below are my favorite farming and life sim picks on Steam Deck. Note that while not all of these titles are Steam Deck Verified (meaning they’ve not been confirmed to run “perfectly” by Valve), they all work, and there are ways to play them without issues. A couple of them, like The Sims 4, require some tweaking, though.
I’ve not included Stardew Valley in this list as it’s the most obvious one!
Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life
Whether you’re new to Story of Seasons/Harvest Moon or a long-time fan, A Wonderful Life is a fantastic experience if you’re looking for something to chill with. While the format is similar to other farming games, the difference is that you age and follow your character throughout their entire life: you get married, have a child, grow old, and eventually pass away. It’s also set in an adorable valley with a set of diverse characters who are a delight to interact with.
If you’re a fan of old-school RPG pixel art graphics, then you’ll feel right at home with Kynseed. It offers all your usual farming sim gameplay, like planting crops, raising animals, and romancing the locals, but it also contains unique activities that give it that special charm. You fight monsters, run your own business, grow a garden, and much more.
Disney Dreamlight Valley
While still in Early Access at the time of writing, don’t let that put you off – it’s one of the best life/farming sims to date. And not just because it has Disney characters! After designing your very own character, you’re whisked to Dreamlight Valley, where you are tasked with restoring the village to its former glory by embarking on quests, crafting, farming, and more. Its relaxing gameplay makes it easy to sink hundreds of hours into (trust me on this one).
The Sims 4
Couldn’t talk about life simulators without adding this one to the list. Yes, you can play The Sims 4 on Steam Deck, though it takes some tinkering in Desktop Mode. Luckily for you, we have a guide on how to do just that; check out how to install EA Desktop App on Steam Deck.
It may be a while before you get used to the controls, but if you really want to play The Sims 4 from the comfort of your bed, it works, and it works pretty well.
Though Coral Island is another Early Access game with no official controller support, you can still play the game on Steam Deck with minimal issues. Set on a tropical island, you build your dream farm, get married, and do all of the typical farming sim stuff while trying to save the coral reef from dying out. You can dive, interact with sea creatures, and pick up trash in the ocean, making it one of the more unique life-sim gameplay loops.
To get the best Coral Island experience on Steam Deck, you will want to change the control layout in the menu. There are plenty of user-created button layouts to play around with, so while it’s not perfect, it’s definitely more than playable if you want to try it.