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The best cozy Switch games in 2022

Cute characters play on a beach in Animal Crossing, one of the best cozy Switch games
(Image credit: Nintendo)

The best cozy Switch games are the perfect antidote to the stressful games like Elden Ring, and Nintendo Switch is an ideal console on which to play these games. These games are all about relaxing, letting you sit back, and taking things a little more slowly. These are games designed to destress and raise a smile, often with friends. There's no better console than Switch to play them on.

In our list of cozy games on Nintendo Switch you'll find no frustrating bosses, no level grinding, no impossible difficulty spikes – just grab a blanket and a peppermint tea and sink into the soothing rhythms of these adorable and relaxing games. 

The Nintendo Switch is perfect for calm, intimate gaming and the lightweight console was made for snuggling up on the couch or laying in bed. If you're looking for an upgrade then why not keep an eye on these deals for the Switch OLED, or if you want to wait until the newest Switch model comes out, we have all the latest deals and news for the Switch Pro to keep you in the know.

The best cozy Switch games available now

A character stands on a bridge in Animal Cross, one of the best cozy games on Switch

(Image credit: Nintendo)

01. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

The great-grandma of all cozy Switch games

Specifications

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Players: 1-8
Accessibility: Large font sizes, reaction-time not critical, no dependence on colour identifying

Reasons to buy

+
Delightful characters
+
Loads of activities
+
A true collect-a-thon

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive DLC

We can't talk about cozy games for Switch without mentioning the series that arguably started it all. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the fifth game in Nintendo's life-sim series, and it has everything fans loved about the games since the first one was released back in 2001.

You play as a human character who has moved to a village – in New Horizon it's a tropical island - inhabited by friendly anthropomorphic animals. Your time is spent doing laid-back activities, like fishing, fossil hunting, bug catching, and getting to know the locals. The best thing about Animal Crossing: New Horizons is that it's a family-friendly game made for all age groups, so anyone and everyone can play it knowing that they're going to have a great time.

A screen of a small pink character burping, one of the best cozy games on Switch

(Image credit: Nintendo)

02. Kirby and the Forgotten Land

The best cozy game for animation fans

Specifications

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Players: 1-2
Accessibility: TBC

Reasons to buy

+
Colourful and vibrant world
+
Play with a friend
+
Loveable characters

Reasons to avoid

-
Could be a little manic

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is the latest game from Nintendo to grab our attention, and it's only available on Switch. Is it cozy? Yes, just look at the visual style – cute colourful characters abound and there's a gentle nature to the adventure of Kirby's exploration of this fantasy land.

It can get a little wild as you will need to battle other creatures, but when that combat involves sucking them up and burping them out in a comical manner it's hardly stressful. If the action does get too tense, you can pass the pad or call in a friend to help out.

A pixel art village scene in the game Stardew Valley, one of the best cozy Switch games

(Image credit: ConcernedApe / Eric Barone)

03. Stardew Valley

The best cozy Switch game for farm fans

Specifications

Publisher: ConcernedApe
Developer: ConcernedApe
Players: 1-4
Accessibility: Button remapping, colourblind friendly, play without hearing

Reasons to buy

+
Run and manage your own farm
+
A fun small-town story
+
Plenty to do and experience

Reasons to avoid

-
Can feel overwhelming

This slice-of-life sim lets you live the life of a hard-working farmer. You get to plant, water, and harvest your crops whilst slowly growing a thriving farm that you can happily live off. The act of farming is one of nurturing. Crops will take days to grow so looking after your seedlings by watering them every day and scaring crows away is all about patience and persistence.

Getting into the daily rhythms of farming life might seem overwhelming at first, but when you collect your bumper crop of produce it's a satisfying feeling like no other. Together with exploring the neighbouring town and getting to know the community - there's a lot to do. 

A female character in glasses from the game Life is Strange: True Colors

(Image credit: Square Enix)

04. Life is Strange: True Colors

The best cozy Switch game for narrative design

Specifications

Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Deck Nine Games
Players: 1
: Button remapping, text size adjustment Pros

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic and emotional story
+
Make choices and change the world
+
Endearing characters and music

Reasons to avoid

-
It gets very teary

Life is Strange: True Colors is the latest edition in developer Deck Nine Games ingenious narrative series, and its emotional story ensures this is a cozy Switch game to snuggle up to. You play Alex Chen, a young woman with the secret ability to absorb and manipulate the strong emotions of others. This ability means she can see the colour of emotions, and it gives you a way to influence people.

When her brother dies in a so-called accident, Alex Chen investigates. But what could have been a cheesy Scooby-Doo adventure is in fact a mature and emotional exploration of friendships and small town secrets. Oh, okay, there's a bit of Scooby-Doo fun to True Colors, too.

A cute creature plays on a pink beach in one of the best cozy games on Switch

(Image credit: Nintendo)

05. New Pokémon Snap

Collect creatures in one of the best cozy Switch games

Specifications

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Players: 1
Accessibility: Subtitles, motion aiming, controller remapping

Reasons to buy

+
Cool photography mechanic
+
Pokémon in the wild
+
Nostalgic throwback

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be repetitive

A sequel to the 1999 Nintendo 64 game, New Pokémon Snap is a laid-back photography adventure about snapping cute Pokémon in their natural habitats. This revival is similar to its predecessor in that it's still an on-rails snap-a-thon in an island setting, but there's so much more to do and so many more Pokémon to capture. 

Each course can be played during the daytime or nighttime and there are also the serene Illumia stages where you get to focus on one Pokémon in their majestic Illumia form. With hidden secrets dispersed around the biomes and learning the tricks to get each critter to pose differently, it's a relaxing photography game with some lovely scenery.

A screen from Minecraft, one of the best cozy games on Switch

(Image credit: 4J Studios Ltd. / Microsoft Studios)

06. Minecraft

A cozy Switch game for fans of crafting

Specifications

Publisher: Mojang / Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: Mojang
Players: 1
Accessibility: Difficulty selection, size and colour font options, wordless gameplay

Reasons to buy

+
A chilled, relaxing soundtrack
+
Easy and engaging crafting
+
A peaceful world to explore

Reasons to avoid

-
Peaceful mode lacks features

Minecraft is known for its deadly mobs and survival gameplay, but did you know that it also has a 'peaceful' game mode? Playing Minecraft in this mode means that no enemies will spawn, leaving you to craft and build in quiet serenity. With no time pressure or story driving you forward, you're free to sink into Minecraft's soothing block-building rhythms. 

Crafting is super simple and exploring the blocky landscape is incredibly relaxing, particularly cave diving now there aren't any dangers lurking around every corner. Minecraft's community is also incredibly active so if you're after some inspiration for cottagecore houses or aesthetic fairytale builds then the community has your back. 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch Lite

(Image credit: Nintendo)

07. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The cozy Switch game for fans of vast open worlds

Specifications

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Players: 1
Accessibility: Option for the hearing impaired, some buttons can be remapped

Reasons to buy

+
A huge world to explore
+
Play and explore at your leisure  
+
Months of gameplay

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be overwhelming

Okay, so we've put one of the best games in history mid-way down our list, but that's because Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be a little stressful at times. This game has its share of tense battles, boss fights and tricky puzzles. But Breath of the Wild can be played in a cozy way too.

The games vast open world is a joy to explore, and the fine-crafted difficulty enables you to easy into the Zelda map and never feel too put upon. You can also play at your own pace, exploring the map at your leisure and taking your time to see all this world has to offer. When played at a slower pace, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be very cozy indeed.

A screen from Yoshi's Crafted World, one of the best cozy Switch games

(Image credit: Nintendo)

08. Yoshi's Crafted World

The cozy Switch game for platform gamers

Specifications

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Good-Feel
Players: 1-2
Accessibility: Adjustable captions, low visibility mode

Reasons to buy

+
Cute and colourful visuals style
+
Well-paced platform co-op play

Reasons to avoid

-
Works best with a friend

Yoshi's Crafted World takes you to a 2.5D world where everything is made from fuzzy, cozy materials – it's a crafted world after all. The soft felt and wool world is a wonderful place to play in, and best still you can team-up with a friend to experience the quirky sights together.

While this is a platform game, a genre renowned for being tough and hard on the nerves, Yoshi's Crafted World is actually a nicely placed and easy-to-play game that places fun above punishing platforms. With a friend it gets easier too, particularly if you choose a partner who's willing to do all the hard work.

A character throws a bomb at a creature in this cozy Switch game

(Image credit: Nintendo)
Replay a Nintendo classic in this cozy game for Switch

Specifications

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Players: 1
Accessibility: Large text, remap controls

Reasons to buy

+
The classic remade on Switch
+
Clean, colourful art direction

Reasons to avoid

-
It's old, so don't expect Breath of the Wild

The retro-modern design of Legend of Zelda: LInk's Awakening makes this game look like a moving toy world. It's tilt-shift perspective is effective and engaging. LInk's Awakening is absolutely one of the best cozy games for Switch. This is a remake of the classic game released for Nintendo Gameboy in 1993, and as such as a simple and nostalgic approach to game design.

This is not to say its basic, this is after all a Zelda game and comes with all of the building blocks you'd expect from such a game – puzzles, exploration, dungeons, loot, gadgets and smart enemies all feature. But as a Gameboy title at heart Link's Awakening has a simple structure, it's progress is direct and so makes for a relaxing and rewarding adventure.

A screen from The Lion King, one of the best cozy Switch games

(Image credit: Nighthawk Interactive)

10. Disney Classic Games Collection: The Jungle Book, Aladdin, & The Lion King

The best cozy Switch game for retro fans

Specifications

Publisher: Nighthawk Interactive
Developer: Various / Nighthawk Interactive
Players: 1
Accessibility: 1080P graphics and enhancements, rewind option, custom filters

Reasons to buy

+
Three classic 16 bit Disney games
+
Bonus play modes

Reasons to avoid

-
Relies on nostaligia

Play three classic 16-bit era games on your Switch with Disney Classic Games Collection: The Jungle Book, Aladdin, & The Lion King. These are three classic 2D platforming games from the days of the Super Nintendo and Mega Drive. What could  be a more cozy Switch game than a trip down memory lane?

The games are good examples of the kind of platform titles that made headlines in the 1990s. They manage to capture the feel of the Disney animation of the time too, with some great little touches that evoke the key scenes from the films. The collection contains a nice rewind feature that enables you to wind back time and try again if you misjudge a jump, and a music shuffle player means you can listen to the classic songs at your pleasure.

Vertex Week 2022, all you need to know

(Image credit: Future)

Want to know more about game art and development? Don’t miss Vertex Week 2022, the ultimate virtual event for the digital art community. Spider's Jehanne Rousseau will be discussing the use of historic references in new game SteelRising, plus talks and tutorials from leading concept artists working in video games.

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Rachel Watts
Freelance writer

Rachel is part of the PLAY magazine squad where she writes about PS4, PS5, and PSVR games. She has previous experience in the world of PC and laptop gaming from her time at PC Gamer. When she's not taking hundreds of screenshots of the latest indie darling, you can find her nurturing her parsnip empire in Stardew Valley and planning an axolotl uprising in Minecraft.

With contributions from