Simulation games on Android let you experience everything from running a farm to building a city. There’s a massive variety out there, and while some are the best games on Android, it’s still hard to know which one you should play.
We’ve saved you the effort and brought you this list of the best simulation games on Android. These are immersive experiences, so grab a pair of the top noise-canceling earbuds to ensure your experience isn’t interrupted by pesky real-life interruptions.
1 Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is an incredibly popular game, bringing elements from classic farming simulators like Harvest Moon into an original, modern game. On the surface, it seems like a reasonably straightforward farming sim; it starts you off nice and slow, instructing you to plant and water a handful of parsnips. But Stardew Valley could be better described as a community simulator. As you complete your tasks and meet the valley’s residents, you’ll find yourself drawn into the tiny community’s complex web of relationships, dreams, and challenges.
Stardew Valley is a brilliant game packed with magic, monsters, and surprisingly resilient plants. It might sound ridiculous, but the Stardew Valley community feels real.
2 Game Dev Tycoon
Playing video games is fun, but we often forget how much toil goes on behind the scenes. While Game Dev Tycoon offers a charmingly simplistic view of game development, it doesn’t pull any punches when telling you how terrible your game is.
Developing a game in Game Dev Tycoon involves selecting which features you want your game to include and deciding how much dev time should go into each. After your game is released, you’ll be subjected to a brutally honest set of reviews, wherein you’ll learn the ultimate truth of all creative projects: sometimes, people will just hate it. In that, Game Dev Tycoon is the most realistic simulation on this list.
3 Goat Simulator
To those who haven’t heard of this underground smash hit, Goat Simulator is a simulator in the loosest possible sense. It’s more of an RPG, but it’s a fun parody of simulation and RPG games, regardless.
In an alternate universe, goats have the power of gods and the desire for destruction. Goat Simulator provides a realistic view into the life of these goats, letting you bounce, tumble, and headbutt your way through myriad animate and inanimate objects. Earn in-game points for smashing things, and earn imaginary points for discovering all the deliberately ignored bugs.
4 Rollercoaster Tycoon Classic
Rollercoaster Tycoon Classic is an Android port of the first two games in the Rollercoaster Tycoon series. Released in 1999 and 2002, respectively, these games are complex simulators in which you’re tasked with creating a successful rollercoaster park. Not only will you build safe and fun rollercoasters (veteran players may be laughing at the word “safe” here), but you must carefully manage your guests’ happiness to ensure the park’s financial success.
This Android port is a brilliant introduction to the series, streamlining the dated interface into a significantly more user-friendly experience. Old-school players won’t be disappointed, either.
5 My Time at Portia
My Time at Portia is a similar simulation experience as Stardew Valley. Tasked with becoming the top builder in town, you’ll alternate constructing items in your workshop with romancing NPCs and dueling against enemies. Unlike Stardew Valley, it’s a fully 3D world that offers up a significantly larger area to explore. It’s another great pick for those who enjoy community simulators.
6 Fallout Shelter
Fallout Shelter might seem to be a cheap spin-off of the Fallout franchise at first blush, but under the hood is a brilliant simulation game. You are handed control of a group of nuclear apocalypse survivors and tasked with keeping them alive. You must manage jobs, defenses, repopulation, and expansion to ensure your vault-dwellers lead happy and fruitful lives. Don’t be put off by its cheap appearance: it’s a shining gem in the muddy sea of free-to-play games.
7 GRID Autosport
Of all the sub-genres of simulation games, racing sims suffer the most on mobile platforms. It isn’t easy to immerse yourself in the twists and turns of a high-speed racetrack when all you have is a touchscreen. Grabbing one of our favorite Android controllers is essential, but most games still struggle to capture an authentic experience.
Grid Autosport solves this problem by creating a challenging racing game that seeks to capture the feel of racing rather than accurately reproducing the motions. A range of customization options means you can tweak the racing experience to find what works best for you.
8 Settlement Survival
Settlement Survival is an immersive city builder that, as the name suggests, introduces survival mechanics into the mix. You’ll have to manage shelter, food, and warmth for your citizens to grow from a humble camp into a thriving city.
The survival elements aren’t particularly challenging, but add a particular urgency to your actions. Settlement Survival is perfect if you enjoy city builders but get lost in sandbox gameplay. We recommend picking up Settlement Survival on one of the top Android tablets, as its UI can feel cluttered on phones.
9 Sid Meier’s Railroads
Sid Meier’s Railroads is an iconic tycoon game brilliantly ported to mobile by Feral Interactive. While fans of modern tycoon games may find Railroads’ gameplay simplistic, it’s easily one of the best tycoon games you’ll find on the Play Store.
Part of what makes this landmark tycoon game great is the ease with which it plays on mobile. Playing on phones is comfortable, and the straightforward gameplay makes it easy to pick up and put down.
10 Pocket City 2
Pocket City 2 is the sequel to the successful Pocket City, and it improves in nearly every aspect. Day-night cycles, dynamic seasons, and a sandbox mode are all exciting features, but the third-person mode will grab your attention. After creating an avatar, you can roam free around your time, driving cars, flying planes, riding bikes, or just walking from place to place. It’s a great way to explore your time and help you visualize what’s around you.
Pocket City might not be Android’s most complex city builder, but it’s easily one of the best. It’s complex enough to keep you immersed, but it doesn’t bombard you with overwhelming amounts of information.
There’s a simulation game for everything
Simulation games can cross into every genre, meaning there’s something here for everyone. This list should help you find your perfect game, but if you’re looking for something a little more exciting, try one of the best strategy games on Android.