Low-key Building + Gathering Games for PS4 or Switch

(Borat voice) My wife loves scanning flora and fauna in No Man’s Sky, chopping wood and catching fish in Breath of the Wild, and lately, building elaborate cliffside villas in Fortnite’s PvE. She doesn’t enjoy combat and has trouble with precise two-stick aiming and evasion. She wasn’t wowed by Stardew Valley, which I thought she would love – I think 3D is still the way to go for her.

What are some fun 3D resource gathering and crafting games for PS4 or Switch that she’d enjoy? One cool thing about Fortnite is that as I advance and unlock new storm shield areas, she can drop into early-game areas where enemies aren’t a threat. Block-aesthetic stuff like Minecraft is a no, by the way.

I think your wife would really dig Slime Rancher. It’s not a game I’ve played myself but I’ve seen others play it. It seems super cute, very chill, and I don’t believe there’s any combat!

Plus there are lil slimes with Cat ears :3c


I too want suggestions! For Switch specifically.
I think Dragon Quest Builders might be a good option. It is a little blocky like Minecraft but has a better general aesthetic.
I’ve only played the demo though… 2 is coming out this year and will support co-op play, which is what I’m here for.

Slime Rancher look so nice! Looks like it’s hitting PS4 in September; I’ll keep my eye out.

Dragon Quest Builders is pretty close to what you’re describing

Steamworld Dig (sort of)

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Also Subnautica is very no man’s sky in that there’s things to scan, really pretty, ships ect.

Though I will admit there are areas in that game that scare the absolute crap outta me. Def wouldn’t recommend if you’re afraid of the horrors of the ocean like me.

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Others have highlighted these, but I’ll expound on them anyway.

I agree with Slime Rancher. Much like Stardew Valley, it spent a couple of weeks as my go-to game for playing on my lunch break while listening a podcast. Slime Rancher does have some brief moments of tension with the potential for a bit of shooting (water), but it’s mostly very chill.

Dragon Quest Builders seems like something that might fit your wife’s interests. It nails the Dragon Quest aesthetic which is lighthearted enough even in brief moments of combat. The combat is pretty simple (entirely melee, as I recall), and unlikely to prove too frustrating. You can also avoid much of the combat by just moving thoughtfully and evading when creatures do engage. This may be less relevant for those without nostalgia for the series, I found the music to be one of my favorite parts of Dragon Quest Builders.

Portal Knights might fit your criteria, though I have to say that it never really got its hooks in me. It’s got nice visuals and the little islands were fun to explore, but I never quite felt certain enough about putting down roots and creating a sense of ownership over a home area.

If the sprite-based graphics of Stardew was the only thing dampening her enjoyment, perhaps the 3D PS2 Harvest Moon games might be a better fit? They’re on sale currently on the PSN store and are playable on PS4.

People have mentioned Dragon Quest Builders, and not to say it’s not a great game, but I thought it was worth mentioning that I found the second chapter had a major difficulty spike that was extremely frustrating, to the point where I almost gave up on the game altogether. Your wife’s mileage may vary here obviously! :slight_smile:

Just so my comment isn’t entirely negative, I can confirm that both Subnautica and Slime Rancher are awesome and chill :slight_smile:

I’ll be watching this thread, as well, because my partner’s taste in games seems pretty similar. While she doesn’t have anything against combat, she doesn’t like feeling stressed out by games, so anything reaction-heavy or punishing is usually out. She tore through the Ninja Bee building games last generation (Keflings series, Akimi Village), but nothing’s really hooked her in the same way, since. I think she’d like DQB, but like @celadon, I’m also waiting for DQB 2 since it will be co-op.

Yonder hasn’t been mentioned, yet, and that might be a good fit. I haven’t played it, but from what I can gather, it sounds like a Fable game but without any combat. Exploring the map, doing fetch quests for people, and farming/fishing/crafting/cooking.

Super Motherload could also work if you want something co-op. I don’t think it’s super long or deep, but it’s a pretty casual digging game with a neat look and it has an actual story to keep you going. No building, though. Just mining and buying upgrades.

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Thanks! I’d forgotten about Yonder; when it came out the critical reception was fairly muted so it fell off my radar. I might give it a try with her this weekend. I’d be interested to hear if anybody on the forum has played it.

I’m also incredibly jazzed about Ooblets and Outer Wilds, two games that haven’t been mentioned yet.


Dragon Quest Builders is excelent, as mentioned above, but you say she’s not inty combat or the whole blocky deal and Builders has a lot of that. But worth a look in if she’s into the idea of a building game with a degree of responsibility about it, building for other people rather than soley for yourself.

I’d put my cents on the also aforementioned Slime Rancher, with the added advice that it’s worth not aiming for loads of slime pens. That gets a bit too stressful towards the end for me.

If you had an xbox 360 Viva Pinata is the greatest gift that Rare has brought to humanity. You just raise a garden with loads of adorable pinatas and plant species, plus there are loads of hidden pinata waiting to be discovered… In that same vein she might like Banjo and Kazooie Nuts and Bolts. Obviously they aren’t PS4 games but maybe they’d make as kick ass christmas gift while staying pretty cheap

I’ve played Yonder and yeah, it’s all about collecting materials, crafting things, and doing fetch quests.

I wasn’t aware of either of these before now, and they both look so up my alley!!

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I just played Yonder, I didn’t do much of the farm building layout. But its a chill walk around explore and look for cats game.

Abzu I’d add as a chill explore game think you scan some fish.

Yeah I would Abzulutely second this if it was more in line with OP’s request!

Me and a bestie played through that entire game together swapping controller back and forth and it’s both beautiful and fun as well as really chill for the vast majority of the game. Honestly so is Journey, and Flower even moreso, but I think the similarities between all these games made by some of the same people get at why it’s not quite an open world resource gathering/crafting game, I mean each of them has levels you complete and pass through that you CAN explore endlessly but the point is sort of once you’ve gathered all resources and explored/solved all puzzles you’re in a new area.

I think there are definitely itches those games scratch for me, but the sort of itch that I have for exploring vast worlds and building neat things in them isn’t ever scratched by those games.

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I didn’t think of this game when this topic first came up, but after watching my kid play Lego Worlds for an hour yesterday, it seems like it could be a good fit. It also has co-op, which I didn’t realize when I bought it for him, but is definitely a pleasant surprise.

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