The 13 best cozy games to chill out and vibe with

In no particular order

The best cozy games have more than just good video game vibes and some nice colors. They tell meaningful stories or let you express your creativity and maybe even expand your horizons a little. Some of them aren’t any of that, but stand out by virtue of being weird.

We’ve picked out some of the best cozy games you can play on PC and console, from puzzlers and life-sims, to farming, ferrying, and photographing.


An Unpacking stage featuring a small room with a bed over a desk
Turning drudgery into a thoughtful puzzle / Witch Beam

There’s a lot to unpack in Unpacking, and not just literally. This lovely pixel art game seems like a calm puzzler on the surface, where you unpack boxes and decide where someone’s belongings go in their house. You’re also unpacking their life. Clothes come and go, favorite toys and games get left behind, and relationships blossom and fall apart. Environmental details set the scene just as much as the actual homes and apartments. At one point, the golden glow of a summer’s evening in childhood gets replaced by the stark reality of life and a cold brick wall outside the window of your shabby apartment.

Part of what makes Unpacking so memorable is its hands-off approach to the story. The woman’s belongings and surroundings tell a tale of their own, but you subconsciously end up filling in the gaps with your own experiences and interpretations, putting a bit of your own life story into the game as you go.

You can get Unpacking on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Series X|S, and PC via Windows and Steam.

Stardew Valley

A Stardew Valley character harvesting crops
We recommend investing in sprinklers / ConcernedApe

Stardew Valley helped spawn the cozy farm genre , and it's just as good as ever - even better, thanks to the big version 1.6 update. After the death of your grandfather, you move to Stardew Valley in the hopes of revitalizing his farm, making friends with the locals and building a new life or partnering with the local megacorporation and turning the village into a distribution center. 

Simple as it seems, adding a measure of choice in how you play a farm game was an important change for the genre, and it went further than just choosing between farmer and corporate servant. You could choose to specialize in crop types or manufacturing, build farms in unlikely places like on the beach, and even choose your own partner from every available candidate, something other farm games were reluctant to let you do until after Stardew.

Stardew Valley is available on all modern platforms, including mobile devices.

Disney Dreamlight Valley

A Dreamlight Valley character standing with Mirabel and Olaf
Gameloft's cozy crafting sim has more going on than you might think at first glance / Gameloft

A Disney life-sim sounds like a dream for followers of the famous mouse, but Disney Dreamlight Valley has more to offer than just saying hi to your favorite characters. You play as a sad adult who’s lost the joy of childhood, and as luck would have it, you wake up from a nap in a magical village with Merlin standing over you. The village suffered as time passed, too, and now your job is restoring it and helping build homes and lives for its residents – Mickey, Goofy, and Donald, but also more modern stars like Frozen’s Elsa, Moana, and Mirabel from Encanto.

You spend your days doing the usual life-sim activities – building homes, designing gardens, and supporting the local shop – but a touch of Disney fantasy elevates it from being a simple copy. Talking a walk with WALL-E or cheering Goofy up by cooking his favorite meal, with a recipe you learned from Ratatoiulle’s Remy no less adds a splash of irresistible charm to the mundane activities of daily life.

You can play Dreamlight Valley on console and PC.

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town

A Friends of Mineral Town character watering crops in summer
A shinier version of a classic farm-sim / XSeed/Marvelous

Harvest Moon: Back to Nature introduced the structure that Stardew Valley and pretty much every modern farm game follows, and the Friends of Mineral Town remake from XSeed and Marvelous perfects it.

You’ll move to the country and revive grandpa’s rundown farm, because what else would you do, meet classic friends like Mary the librarian and Bob the builder, and eventually become a fixture of the town with the partner of your choice. You can actually choose this time, too. Unlike in the original release, there are no gender barriers to who can fall in love with whom. Soft, reimagined graphics and a relocalized script from talented professionals Liz Bushouse and Derek Heemsbergen make this the definitive version of an all-time classic.

Friends of Mineral Town is available on console and PC. XSEED and Marvelous are also remaking the classic Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life, the farm game that ages with you, set for release in summer 2023.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing New Horizon's cover art
That workbench is gonna get a lot of use / Nintendo

Any Animal Crossing fits the cozy bill, if you have access to the hardware and manage to get a decently-priced copy of an older game, but New Horizons is the one that unleashed the series by giving you total control over your town.

This time, you decide to follow Tom Nook to an island getaway and build your home and, eventually, a charming town. Your neighbors are a varied bunch of lighthearted dogs, sporty chickens, grumpy monkeys, and snobby crocodiles just waiting for the right person – you, of course – to come along and brighten their day.

When you’re not socializing, you’re free to do whatever you want. Dig up fossils and donate them to the museum. Fish for fun and profit. Help a pigeon open a coffee shop, design your dream home, and eventually, get the tools to remake the island’s land and waterways in your image. New Horizons also has DLC that significantly expands your home design options and lets you run a small interior design boutique – not quite the DIY masterpiece that House Flipper 2 is, but it’s close.

New Horizons is a Nintendo Switch exclusive.


Spiritfarer's Stella purchasing items from a vendor
This raccoon shopkeeper is actually nice / ThunderLotus

Developer ThunderLotus billed Spiritfarer as a cozy game long before it launched in 2020, but it’s not your usual “build a new life” simulator. It’s more of a "what happens after someone else's life ends" situation. Spiritfarer is about dying, coming to terms with loss, and saying goodbye, and it's much less trite than it sounds. You play as Stella, a guide for the dead who welcomes them aboard her ship, makes them comfortable by building their ideal homes and making their favorite meals, and eventually helps them reach the point where they’re ready to leave this world behind. 

There’s no deadline, no pressure, and no rush to do anything, so if you just want to spend a few days fishing with your magical cat, that’s no problem. It is, as you’d expect, an emotional game with loss at its center, so bear that in mind before setting sail.

Spiritfarer is available on console and PC.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale

Chicory standing in a colorless forest with blobs of blue, orange, and green in the foreground
The world is your coloring book / Wishes Ultd/Finji

Like many indies and cozy games, Chicory: A Colorful Tale has something to say, but unlike most, it builds that message into every aspect of its story and world design. You’re the apprentice to a famous artist who accidentally gets hold of a magic paintbrush just in time to bring life and confidence back to the world. 

Chicory puts a lighthearted spin on Zelda-style adventuring and uses color and creativity to solve every puzzle. The world is literally a blank slate for you to paint and style as you see fit, and at the end of the day, Chicory, the apprentice, and you learn that everyone has a creative side, even if they can’t see it themselves.

Chicory is available on Switch, PC, and PS4 and PS5.

New Pokemon Snap

A Pichu and Grooky staring at a berry
Caught in the act / Nintendo

New Pokemon Snap is a different kind of Pokemon game. It puts you in a small pod, sends you into the wilderness, and asks you to take pictures of Pokemon. That’s it. You don’t even have to move the pod, and while a rather chatty professor will reward you for taking exceptionally good pictures, you’re free to snap whatever you want. 

New Pokemon Snap’s environments are lavishly detailed, much more so than in the series’ mainline games, and the development team at Bandai Namco packed in countless unique interactions between Pokemon and their environment for you to uncover. 

You might see clusters of Morelull glowing at night, watch a group of water Pokemon splash about and play with each other under a nearby waterfall, or almost forget to snap a shot when a friendly Pikachu waves at you. There’s a grading system and a rather annoying set of rules your professor follows, but you can just ignore him and snap whatever suits you.

New Pokemon Snap is another Switch exclusive.

PowerWash Simulator

A PowerWash Simulator train being hosed down
No thoughts, only clean / FuturLab

People say cleaning is therapeutic, and PowerWash Simulator proves it’s true, with the added bonus of not having to actually clean anything in real life. You run a small cleaning agency whose clients are a motley bunch, including your average businesspeople, owners of a UFO, and Heidegger from Final Fantasy 7. You have one goal: Clean up this town. 

Scrub down flying saucers, storefronts, Lara Croft’s mansion, and anything that looks like it needs a good shine. PowerWash developed a passionate speedrunning community, but at its heart, it’s just about chilling out and scrubbing some dirt with a giant hose.

You can get PowerWash Simulator on consoles and PC.

Bear and Breakfast

An animated bear standing in a cabin in the snowy woods
Every cabin is yours to decorate as you see fit / Gummy Cat

Bear and Breakfast asks the important question “what if you were an impossibly cute bear running an inn in the woods?” and then lets you find out for yourself. Hank the bear and his woodland critter friends are determined to restore their forest to its former glory after humans trashed it up. To do that, they need money, and to get money, they need tourists. 

They decide a comely shack in the woods would make a perfect bed and breakfast, so Hank sets to work building and renovating. You’re free to design the inn as you see fit, with lavish bathrooms, comfy beds, and whatever else you’d love to have in your own woodland retreat, but there’s a life outside the inn as well. Hank can help the local wildlife solve their problems, make friends, and even uncover a secret about their forest home

Bear and Breakfast is available on Switch and PC via Steam.

The Sims 4

A selection of Sims 4 Sims
The Sims 4 features extensive customization options as well / Maxis

The Sims is a more realistic take on cozy games than most of these, but the series’ low-pressure style and open-ended approach to letting you do almost anything makes it just as relaxing as any other. EA and Maxis let you start from scratch and create almost any scenario you can imagine, or you can pick from pre-defined stories if you need a helping hand. 

Whether you want to be a nefarious superspy with a soft spot for fine dining or a hard-working botanist who loves video games, every aspect of life and relationships is under your control – even more so if you use mods. You can also just leave life behind and build your dream home thanks to The Sims’ extensively detailed building mode.

The Sims 4 is free-to-play on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC - and not on Switch, despite the rumors. Sims 4 expansions, such as Seasons and Cats and Dogs, are paid. EA frequently runs sales on these, so check your preferred digital storefront on occasion to see what deals you can get.

Katamari Damacy Reroll

The Prince of All Cosmos creating a katamari
Nothing is sacred. Nothing is safe / Bandai Namco/Monkeycraft Co.

What do you do when the stars leave their home in the night sky? You roll pencils, garbage scraps, the cat, and the old lady next door into a ball and launch it into space – at least, that’s what you do in Katamari Damacy Reroll. This quirky puzzle game puts you in the shoes of the Prince of the Cosmos, come down to Earth to fix the night sky problem for his father, the capricious King of All Cosmos. His goal is making katamari of ever-increasing sizes, makeshift stars comprised of whatever you can bundle up into your ball. 

The bigger your star gets, the more things you can absorb into it. You might roll through a downtown area and grab up nearby buildings for one star, or roll around collecting eggs to make a swan constellation while a jazzy song about the sky plays in the background. It’s strangely relaxing and frequently just strange, in a good way.

Katamari Damacy Reroll is available on consoles and PC.

Sky: Children of the Light

Two Children of the Light characters watching the wind across a field
Sky puts harmony and togetherness at the center of all it does / thatgamecompany

Cozy typically doesn’t come to mind if someone mentions “online multiplayer game,” but Sky: Children of the Light from thatgamecompany and Journey creator Jenova Chen isn’t your typical online game. Instead of joining guilds, racking up elimination counts, or saving the world, you spend your time traveling through seven kingdoms of a magical realm, uncovering the mysteries of its beautiful world and learning to treat everything with compassion. 

Since kindness is at Sky’s core, communication options are limited to emotion icons and a few other modes of speaking, so you don’t have to worry about someone else ruining your fun.

You can play Sky on PC, Switch, mobile devices, and PS5.

Josh Broadwell