Video games aren’t just entertainment – a whopping 89% of American gamers say that playing video games provides stress relief. Any video game can provide much needed relaxation and social connection, but cozy games are a genre particularly well-suited for unwinding.
Cozy games have been around for as long as video games have, but they’ve recently spiked in popularity. Some developers consider cozy games an offshoot of life sim games, which date clear back to 1985’s Little Computer People. This genre of game often includes cute or child-like characters, nurturing or creative in-game activities, and socializing with non-playable characters (NPCs) or other humans (or both)... and notably, does not include violence. As cozy games continue to evolve, many of them have also adopted a retro pixel-art style or stunning, atmospheric graphics.
The Nintendo Switch has made a name for itself as the cozy game platform of choice, but there are plenty of cozy games available for PC gamers and Steam deck users as well.
We’ve pulled together our favorite cozy games on Steam, including:
And more. So let’s get to it!
Overwhelmingly Positive (98%) | Single Player | $9.99
Do you love the satisfaction of an order boxing video on TikTok? Maybe you’ve thought about opening an Etsy shop yourself, or you just have fond memories of dressing up paper dolls on Girl Go Games.
Sticky Business is a store sim game that puts you in control of your own sticker shop without the real life overhead of starting a business. Put your own unique spin on your sticker designs – make them cat themed, witchy, or whatever you’d like. The products you create will attract different customers, and you’ll get to learn about their stories as you pack their orders.
Overwhelmingly Positive (98%) | Single Player / Co-Op | $14.99
There are plenty of farming sims in the world of cozy games, but Stardew Valley reigns supreme. Developed by one-man dev team ConcernedApe, Stardew Valley contains an impressive amount of content and stories that tug at your heartstrings.
Playing as the Farmer, you inherit a plot of land from your grandfather and leave your soulless job in the city to start anew in Stardew Valley. As you transform the overgrown plot of land into a successful farm, you’ll meet and build relationships with the inhabitants of the valley. With over 30 characters to meet (and 12 of them eligible bachelors and bachelorettes), there are no shortage of ways to play. Go fishing, explore the caves, restore the community center, and even uncover some magic.
For fans of Stardew Valley, ConcernedApe also announced that a new game called Haunted Chocolatier is in the works. There’s no definitive release timeline yet, but rumors suggest that the game will be launched sometime in 2025.
Overwhelmingly Positive (97%) | Single Player | $14.99
Some of the most popular video games of all time are 2D platform games – think about the success of old school games like Mario Bros. 3, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow. Hollow Knight is the next generation of 2D games, bringing gorgeous, hand-drawn graphics into the mix.
In Hollow Knight, you’ll forge your way through a vast, ruined kingdom of insects and heroes. Cozy gamers will love the beautiful backdrops and adorable characters, as well as exploring twisting caverns, befriending bizarre bugs, and and battling spooky creatures.
Overwhelmingly Positive (96%) | Single Player | $14.99
We’ve all experienced grief at one point or another. We all know how that sadness can make the world seem a little bit bleaker, can drain the color out of everyday life. Gris is a story about healing.
Gris herself is a hopeful young girl who is journeying through her own sorrow. As the game progresses, Gris’s dress and environment change to reflect her growing clarity and ability. A “serene and evocative experience, free of danger, frustration, and death,” Gris makes for an almost meditative cozy gaming experience.
With simple controls, light puzzles, platforming sequences, and optional skill-based challenges, Gris is accessible to anyone, regardless of their gaming skill or spoken language. Plus, it’s absolutely beautiful – the delicate illustrations won the game the Outstanding Visual Style Award from Steam when it was released in 2019.
Overwhelmingly Positive (95%) | Single Player | $14.99
Who says cozy games can’t be spooky, too? Strange Horticulture is a game about collecting and cataloging powerful plants… and what you choose to do with your newfound knowledge. Will you pet your cat, consult a coven, or join a cult? The choice is yours. As you progress through the game, the townsfolk of Undermere will visit your shop, and you’ll begin to piece together the town’s mysterious history, stretching back hundreds of years.
An Independent Games Festival Finalist for Excellence in Design, Strange Horticulture has received top marks from casual and professional reviewers across the board.
Overwhelmingly Positive (95%) | Single Player / Online Co-op | $19.99
Tired of playing the same old farming sims? Dinkum takes the fun to an island inspired by the Australian outback. Collect resources, build your town, and play online with friends! In online co-op, your friends can join you in shopping, fishing, racing emus, and even fighting alligators.
The 3D graphics and focus on crops gives us big Animal Crossing: New Horizons vibes – so if you want to get in on the fun without shelling out a few hundred dollars for a Nintendo Switch, Dinkum is a great option.
Overwhelmingly Positive (95%) | Single Player | $12.99
Behind the Frame is a video game for anyone who has ever wanted to step inside Spirited Away or My Neighbor Totoro. This vivid, interactive fiction story follows an aspiring artist working on the final piece for her gallery submission. Enjoying your coffee and breakfast will immerse you in the world as you seek out the colors that will bring your paintings to life. Unravel the mystery of your brusque neighbor and fend off his pesky cat as you delve into the story.
Behind the Frame raked in several awards when it was released in 2021, including Best Overall Game from Asia Game Awards, and was also nominated for Excellence in Visual Art at the 2022 Independent Games Festival.
Overwhelmingly Positive (95%) | Single Player / Local Co-Op | $29.99
Death might not sound like the ideal focus for a cozy game, but hear us out. Spiritfarer is a game that allows players to explore the beautiful hand-drawn world, care for spirit friends, and ferry them to the afterlife. Considered one of the Best Games of 2020 by critics, the heartwarming game includes farming, mining, crafting, and cooking.
The Farewell Edition here includes the base game as well as all three of the major content updates that have been released.
Overwhelmingly Positive (95%) | Single Player | $14.99
What could be cozier than drifting off to sleep? Melatonin blends dream and reality, exploring the relationship between where our mind wanders when we sleep and the experiences we have during the day. The hand-drawn game is cast in an aesthetic purple-infused pastel palette that is like a relaxing spritz of lavender for your senses.
With plenty of assist options, practice mode, hard mode, and even a level editor, Melatonin is perfect for gamers of every experience level.
Overwhelmingly Positive (95%) | Single Player | $19.99
If you haven’t yet met Ori, allow me to introduce you. Ori is a young orphan living in the dying forest of Nibel. In Ori and the Blind Forest, our hero must find the courage to conquer dark enemies and save Nibel. It is a story about love, courage, sacrifice, and hope that you won’t soon forget. This visually stunning game features hand-painted animation and a fully orchestrated score that accents the emotional depth of the narrative.
Can’t get enough of Ori’s adventures? The sequel Ori and the Will of the Wisps (also earning overwhelmingly positive reviews) is a critically acclaimed masterpiece released in 2020.
Very Positive (95%) | Single Player | $24.99
The Wild at Heart invites you to join two young runaways as they unravel the secrets of a mysterious realm full of quirky creatures and centuries of lore. Looking at the ball capped protagonist and the magical forest he explores, I can’t help but feel like this game is what it would be like to join Dipper Pines the world of Gravity Falls.
Very Positive (95%) | Single Player | $14.99
It’s no secret that food is much more than the stuff we shovel in our face so we don’t starve. It’s a way of communicating love, spending time with family and friends, and connecting generations. And that's what Venba is all about.
Play as an Indian mother who immigrated to Canada in the 1980s as she cooks with her family, restores lost recipes, and holds conversations about the things that mean most. An Official Selection of the 2022 Tribeca Festival, this short 1-2 hour foodie puzzle game teaches about authentic South Indian cuisine.
Very Positive (94%) | Single Player | $14.99
Spooky and slow-paced, The Longing follows a lonely Shade serving the King of a once-great underground kingdom. The King has fallen into a 400 day sleep to regain his powers and (hopefully) restore his kingdom.
Once you begin, the clock starts counting down. Choose to exit the game entirely or explore your subterranean space – either way, the game is over in 400 days. Collect items to decorate your underground room, or just wander. The walking pace is slow, but there’s no need to hurry through the vast hand-drawn cave, time-based puzzles, and atmospheric dungeon synth soundtrack.
Very Positive (94%) | Single Player / Couch Co-Op | $14.99
Travellers Rest is a one-person passion project by Isolated Games. In this tavern management game you can brew your own beer, build relationships, and transform your run-down tavern into the hottest spot around.
Very Positive (93% Positive) | Single Player | $19.99
Whytchwood brings the world of your favorite bedtime stories to life like you’ve never seen it before. Play as a witch of the woods as you explore the countryside and collect magical ingredients for your spells. Solve puzzles, defeat monsters, and pass judgment upon the inhabitants of the land.
Very Positive (92%) | Single Player | $19.99
Unpacking your stuff is a key part of many of life’s big moments: settling into your college dorm, moving in with a partner, buying a home to start a family. And that’s what Unpacking is all about. As you move through the part decoration game, part block-fitting puzzle experience, you’ll uncover clues about the life you’re unpacking.
Very Positive (89%) | Single Player | $14.99
If your idea of cozy is crackling campfires and friendly ghosts, Cozy Grove is the game for you. Playing as a Spirit Scout, you’ll spend your days finding secrets around the island and befriending the local ghosts. With a little time (and a lot of crafting), you’ll bring the color back to Cozy Grove.
The 40+ hour campaign is full of side quests, mini games, and unforgettable stories. Since it is synced to real world time, you’ll find 30-40 minutes of quest content per day. After that you can decorate and explore to your heart’s content.
Very Positive (89%) | Single Player | $14.99
Everyday life, gamified. A Little to the Left is a dream come true for the Monicas of the world. With over 75+ messes to tidy into aesthetically pleasing arrangements, A Little to the Left is hours of fun. But keep an eye out for the cat – that mischievous companion has a way of creating chaos.
Very Positive (87%) | Single Player / Online Co-Op | $24.99
If you’ve ever wished you could combine your favorite farming sim and magic game, Sun Haven is for you. Adventure solo or with friends as you raise livestock, befriend townsfolk, and fight your way through monsters like the heroes of old.
Originally funded on Kickstarter, people have been excited about this cozy pixel graphic RPG since its inception.
Very Positive (87%) | Single Player | $14.99
What if melons were illegal? 🤔 Melon Journey sets out to answer that question in an adorable mystery game with a distinct cucumber melon-hued retro look. Cozy gamers will love the cute characters, the low-fi soundtrack, and the unforgettable stories you uncover as you meet characters of Hog Town.
Very Positive (86%) | Single Player | $19.99
Lake is a game about Meredith Weiss – a woman who takes a break from her big city career to deliver mail in her beautiful hometown of Providence Oaks. The iconic lake and quirky community make the game feel like stepping into the Pacific Northwest without leaving your sofa. And what Meredith does next? Well, that’s up to you.
Very Positive (86%) | Single Player | $19.99
Cat Cafe Manager is pretty much as cute as it sounds like. After inheriting your grandma’s cat cafe, you travel to the sleepy town of Caterwaul Way to build the cat cafe of your dreams. As you build your business, you’ll also collect kitties off the street and give them a cozy home.
Very Positive (84%) | Single Player / Co-Op | $14.99
Bread and Fred is a challenging co-op platformer. That’s right – it’s actually designed to be played with two people, whether they’re sitting with you on the couch or connecting from far away with online play. Tethered together by a rope, you’ll work together to scale walls, swing to platforms, and make it through snowy mountain passes.
Can’t find a player two? Don’t worry – in single player mode you’ll strap yourself to a rock (his name is Jeff) to jump, climb, and swing your way through the levels.
Very Positive (81%) | Single Player / Couch Co-op | $19.99
Wouldn’t it be nice to live the life of a garden honeybee? In Bee Simulator, you can get a taste of the sweet life. Gather pollen, protect your hive from dangerous wasps, and dance to communicate with your fellow bees. In a realistic environment designed to look like Central Park, you’ll have an A+ bee experience in this award-winning indie game.
New cozy games are always hitting the market. These games aren’t available on Steam yet (even for preorder), but we’re looking forward to seeing them on Steam in the near future:
Super intense gaming can be fun, but sometimes it’s nice to kick back, relax, and play a cozy game. We hope you’ve found your new favorite comfort game on this list, but if you’re still looking, you can always check out the Cozy tag on Steam for the latest trending games. Happy gaming!