Animal Crossing took the world by storm with its latest game, New Horizons. In fact, the game continues to break sales records months after its release. With its cute graphics, unique characters, and peaceful atmosphere, it’s no wonder so many players love it. However, we know that not everybody can play this fun game, which is why you’ll have to look for alternative games like Animal Crossing.
In this list, we’ve curated several games for PC, mobile, and more that have the elements of Animal Crossing we love.
What Is Animal Crossing?
Animal Crossing is a life simulation game from Nintendo. Throughout the series, your character somehow ends up indebted to Tom Nook. To pay it off, you do side-gigs around the island such as fishing and catching tarantulas. You get to interact with island villagers, craft, garden, and fish. Additionally, you can visit your friends’ islands and even send gifts to each other. If you want to learn more about what you can do in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, check out our guide for more tips.
The game comes exclusively in the Nintendo Switch. It can be hard to get your hands on New Horizons if you don’t own the console. Or, you just might be looking for new Switch games in the same vein. Whatever it may be, there are a few games like Animal Crossing you can play as alternatives.
Games Like Animal Crossing You Can Play
My Time at Portia
Availability: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
My Time at Portia is a post-apocalyptic life sim game focused on rebuilding the town of Portia. Like Animal Crossing, you must interact with the villagers and take on commissions. Thanks to your inheritance of your father’s workshop, you can restore the town to its former glory. In Portia, there is a wide world you can explore. You can befriend the town villagers and even animals. In exchange, they can eventually help you with your quests. There are also dungeons and caves to mine and fight for resources.
The best part of the game is feeling a sense of accomplishment with everything you build. Every quest you fulfill goes into beautifying Portia, and the villagers cheer you on the whole time. With a wholesome atmosphere and lovable characters, it’s one of the best games like Animal Crossing out there.
Availability: PC, Android, iOS, PS4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch
Stardew Valley is a classic farming sim that gamers love. But to say that it’s simply a farming game is an understatement. Stardew Valley offers that inexplicable peace of planting virtual crops, as well as the excitement of adventure. In the game, you inherit and manage your grandfather’s farm. While you do so, you also discover and unearth the mysteries of Pelican Town.
Here, you can mine, craft, befriend and/or date townspeople, and fight monsters. Not only that, but there are certain storylines that play out through the game. There are lots of Stardew Valley mods you can play with to make the game even more fun. If you’re looking to socialize, you can opt for Stardew Valley Multiplayer to play with friends or to make new ones.
A Short Hike
If you’re looking for a short and sweet game, A Short Hike is for you. In A Short Hike, you play as a bird named Claire who needs to reach the top of the mountain. To build up the courage to climb that high, you need to collect feathers all over the island.
While you collect feathers, you get to meet cute cartoon animals, go fishing, find treasure, and more. Players have described the game as the lovechild of Animal Crossing and Breath of the Wild. The game sends an encouraging message that you can do absolutely anything. Claire meets many characters that struggle with their self-worth and imposter syndrome. As she encourages them to be more confident, she realizes that she has what it takes to reach the top, too. There is no real hurry in the game, so you can take your sweet time exploring and interacting.
There are a number of feathers scattered across the island. This means your journey to the top will be different each time you play. Although it’s a short game, it’s definitely something you will want to come back to again and again.
It’s not hard to love the characters in Animal Crossing. And if that’s something you don’t want to miss out on, check out Garden Paws. This game lets you befriend cute woodland creatures and propagate your farm. You also get to explore a large island and go on a multitude of quests for the villagers. There is even a fun mini-game where you get to manage a shop and sell items to island residents.
The game comes in seasons, with a total of over 500 hours of gameplay. Even though there’s a lot to do, you can go at your own pace and feel productive to boot. If you want to play with friends, you can do so with the multiplayer feature. All in all, it’s a great Animal Crossing alternative with characters you’ll adore.
For those without a Switch but want the Animal Crossing experience, you might want to see Hokko Life. This independent game feels exactly like Animal Crossing. Everything, from the cute avatar and customizable furniture to the adorable animals, screams Animal Crossing. Many players dubbed it the Animal Crossing for PC. In Hokko Life, you get to escape to a small town called Hokko. Here you’ll meet many cute anthropomorphic creatures and help them design the neighborhood.
You can cultivate your own garden and craft multiple items to help you beautify your surroundings. Like Animal Crossing, you can even decorate your own clothes and have villagers wear them! Plus, the customization options offer far more than what you can do in Animal Crossing. As of writing, Hokko Life has not yet been released. You can add it to your Steam wishlist for now, but pretty soon you may want to learn how to download Steam games.
Availability: PC, PS4, Xbox
On paper, Doom Eternal may not seem similar to any of the games like Animal Crossing. This fantasy FPS game doesn’t have relaxed gameplay or talking animals. But because Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons share a release date, many fans got creative. This resulted in a very wholesome, internet-spawned friendship between Isabelle and Doomguy.
Aside from this unlikely friendship, Doom Eternal shares more with New Horizons than you might think. Like Animal Crossing, your character has to explore a new world and interact with fun characters. Granted, it is set in outer space, and you fight more characters than you befriend. Still, if you’re looking for something a bit more intense and action-packed, you can never go wrong with Doom Eternal.
Availability: PC, Android, iOS
Graveyard Keeper often feels like Stardew Valley’s spooky cousin. In the game, you get to play as the manager of a graveyard. A donkey-driven cart arrives to deliver the dead, and you get to embalm and bury them. You can arrange flowers on their gravesite and manage the churchyard as well. As you manage the graves, you unlock a lot of great crafting options. There may be a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, you will be playing non-stop.
You can explore the town and interact with the townspeople. Aside from its classic pixel-style graphics, there are a lot of things that make this game charming. Ghosts will visit your house, and you can talk to the donkey that delivers the dead. Not to mention, you can burn witches at the stake and sell corpse parts at the black market. It’s the perfect game to play if you want a farming sim with a creepy edge.
If becoming mayor is part of Animal Crossing’s appeal for you, check out Littlewood. In this colorful and adorable game, you must rebuild a town plagued by an evil wizard. You have total control over terraforming the town and managing the villagers. You can also fish, collect fruit, and chop wood to craft items.
As the mayor, you get to decorate houses for the villagers and design town landscapes. Aside from the town, you can explore new locales to get materials for crafts. There are also many lovable characters that you can interact with, as well as a great storyline. There may not be as many cute animals, but with the amazing graphics, you won’t notice. Just don’t let all that power get into your head.
In this wholesome game, you end up in a town filled with spooky but friendly monsters. There are also plenty of unique features that make the game fun. For instance, it is a video game within a video game. Ignoring how meta that is, this allows the game to give you fun easter eggs you can use. In-game glitches give you access to secret rooms and power-ups.
This endearing game is filled with quirky characters you will fall in love with. In a gentle approach reminiscent of Undertale, you slowly realize that these monsters are simply misunderstood. Village Monsters also has that peaceful quality that makes games like Animal Crossing so great.
Availability: PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch
As its namesake suggests, Forager is a cute, pixel-art game about foraging. You start on a small island and learn how to mine resources and craft items. Eventually, you will expand your island and discover new ones. There, you can fight monsters and interact with new and interesting things.
The game is a bit slow-paced at first, and you will have to do a lot of waiting for resources. But once you get over the initial learning curve, you will expand your island left and right very quickly. Like Animal Crossing, there are many things you can craft in Forager. You can also sell the items you craft to earn more money for supplies. Forager is all about building your skillset. And the more you level up, the more skills you unlock. All in all, it’s a colorful idle game with more to offer than you could ever hope for.
Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles
Availability: PC, PS4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch
Yonder is an open-world adventure game where you explore the vast world of Gemea. You play as a shipwrecked character that ends up on the island. The island has a number of environments you can play through, including beaches and snow-capped mountains. You must help the islanders defeat the Murk plaguing their villages, as well as fixing the ship, the Cloud Catcher.
The game is largely driven by gathering resources and crafting. You can also harvest crops, fish, mine, and farm. It has a very zen and relaxed gameplay, which is perfect for unwinding. You also get to meet a number of adorable sprites to help you along the way. This is the perfect game like Animal Crossing for those who seek adventure.
Availability: Nintendo 3DS
Fantasy Life is a fantasy RPG filled with great characters and settings. Like Animal Crossing, you arrive at a new town and explore new things. Set in Reveria, you get the opportunity to choose between the 12 jobs. From there, you dedicate your life (or your gameplay) to fulfilling these roles and becoming a hero.
The game is more fast-paced than many on this list, but you end up with a feeling of accomplishment with each completed task. Like many classic fantasy RPGs, you can become a paladin, mercenary, archer, and more! With each career path you take, you must answer to the respective faction in the town. But, as the player, you can switch to any role you like at any time.
You will get lost in the beautiful town of Reveria and its many memorable characters. With great art style and gameplay from the makers of the Professor Layton series, it’s one of the best games like Animal Crossing you won’t forget.
Doraemon: Story of Seasons
Availability: PC, Nintendo Switch
This game starring everyone’s favorite cat robot, set in a beloved game franchise, will have you feeling nostalgic. In this cute game, Doraemon and the gang all end up in a farm thanks to a time warp. To get out, they must befriend the townspeople and help manage the farm.
Doraemon: Story of Seasons has beautiful, storybook-like graphics. There is also a rich story in the backdrop of your favorite farming sim. You get to explore beautiful locales and meet the interesting characters you love. Created by the developers of Harvest Moon, this a great game like Animal Crossing you must check out.
Although the block-like graphics may remind you of Minecraft, this is a farming sim that bears only a few similarities. In Staxel, you get to enjoy peaceful village life with your neighbors. You can play on your own or with your friends with the multiplayer setting. It will introduce you to various NPCs that may need help with tasks around town. You can find lost items or even build houses for new residents.
Like Minecraft and Animal Crossing, this is largely centered on crafting items and establishments. There is no limit to what you can do on Staxel. But that may be where the Minecraft similarities end. Because unlike many games on this list, you don’t have to fight any monsters. Instead, you can focus on cultivating your crops and living your best life.
Availability: Android, iOS
A quaint village life amongst cute, anthropomorphic neighbors sounds like a dream. In Happy Street, you play as a fox sailing on a hot air balloon and landing in a new town. Happy Street is one of the best games like Animal Crossing for your mobile devices. Here, you get acquainted with interesting characters like Pepin the Globetrotter, and more.
This simple game creates the perfect environment for you to unwind and enjoy. With cute 2D graphics and lovable animal friends, this mobile game will win your heart. You can build your town from the ground up and expand your community. The animals even make the charming unintelligible noises like characters in Animal Crossing. You can visit friend’s towns or just vibe to the game’s adorable soundtrack.
Availability: Android, iOS
Developed as an alternative to Pet Society, this game will hit you with so much nostalgia. Just like the old Facebook game, you care for a pet that you can customize. You can even decorate the home they live in with cute furniture. If you explore, you can visit friends’ pets and leave each other thoughtful gifts as you visit.
You can even buy and collect the artwork in the game. Except instead of a museum, it’s going straight to your house. In Pet Paradise, you have a virtual pet to keep you company at all times. It’s a cute and fun game that you don’t want to miss out on.
Little Dragons Cafe
Availability: PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch
Get ready to live out your How to Train Your Dragon dreams with this game from the makers of Harvest Moon. This relaxing, slow-paced game stars two twins that run a cafe left by their mother. An old wizard appears to tell them that to save their mother, they must raise a little dragon.
As you collect and farm more ingredients, you get to learn delicious new recipes you’ll want to recreate in real life. You also get to play fun minigames to cook, with every win gaining you more customers. Aside from the fun games and cute dragons, Little Dragons Cafe follows an endearing story that will melt your heart.
The Sims 4
Availability: PC, PS4, Xbox, Wii
Paying taxes is only fun in video games. And if the odd side-gigs in Animal Crossing have you wishing for a stable career, Sims 4 is your game. The Sims 4 is a classic life sim enjoyed by people of all ages. The premise of the game may seem quite simple — you create a character, design a house, and live life as you would normally. And yet the game is brimming with quirky characters and scenarios. Where else can you say that you go to the same gym as the Grim Reaper?
You can pursue a career path, sharpen your skills, and be the best in your field. Or, you could always use some Sims 4 cheats so you never have to work a day in your life again. The best part? You won’t have to worry about Tom Nook getting any of your hard-earned money.
Availability: PC, PS4
Mutazione is one of the best indie games like Animal Crossing. Here, you play as Kai, who moves to an island full of mutants to care for her estranged grandfather. If you like gardening and meeting unique creatures, you’ll enjoy Mutazione. In this quiet and beautiful game, you will find a heartwarming story and uniquely crafted gameplay.
Like Animal Crossing, you need to do several tasks for the townspeople. The more you learn about the creatures that inhabit the town, the more Kai can bond with her grandfather. Not only that but walking around the island will help you collect seeds that produce specific melodies. Combining these plants will help you create your own songs and tunes.
Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Availability: Nintendo Switch
This Switch remake of the classic 1993 game does not disappoint. In Link’s Awakening, Link gets washed away to the shores of Koholint Island. There, you must help him solve puzzles and perform side quests. The gameplay in Link’s Awakening isn’t as complex as newer Zelda games like Breath of the Wild. This gives it a more relaxed feel, which works great if you’re looking for something similar to Animal Crossing.
That said, you might have no trouble breezing through it if you’re a seasoned Zelda player. But it’s still worth checking out. While it remains loyal to the original GameBoy game, Nintendo gives it an adorable makeover perfect for today’s young gamers. All in all, it’s a fun adventure game for old and new fans alike.