There are many types of simulation games that you can play on your Mac right now – from playing as the manager of a sports team to renovating houses, to driving across Europe in an 18-wheeler to complete large cargo deliveries, the variety is vast, and a surprising number of simulation games are supported for macOS. We’ve prepared a list of the most interesting, well-liked, and popular of those games that you can see down below. After that, we’ve also included a couple of gaming titles that are unavailable for native play on Mac computers, but you can still play them on Mac by streaming them via cloud gaming platforms such as Boosteroid and GeForce Now.
Best Simulation Games for Mac in 2022
The Sims 4
Price: $19.99 (Steam)
Like its predecessors, The Sims 4, the latest title in the Sims franchise, is a game that lets you simulate the lives of different people and control their day-to-day activities, which is why the game is often referred to as a social simulation. A major part of the game is also the ability to build and furnish the homes of your Sims (the simulated persons that you control in the game). For many, the home-building and furnishing is the most appealing and enjoyable part of the game – there’s even a dedicated Build mode that lets you create your dream home from scratch. In addition to it, there’s also a Create-a-Sim mode, a Live mode, and more. However, it must be said that a lot of the mods and other content for the Sims 4 is locked behind many DLCs, which has driven a lot of players away from the game.
Even though it is a simulation game, the Sims 4 doesn’t take itself too seriously and includes a lot of humor and silliness, which keep the tone of the game lighthearted and playful.
Overall, the Sims 4 is a fun and well-polished game that’s not overly complex and is a good option if you simply want to unwind, but bear in mind that its base version, without any of the DLCs, may feel a bit empty and bare-bones (especially compared to The Sims 3), so you may either need to get some DLCs or, preferably in our opinion, install some fan-made mods for the game.
Price: $24.99 (Steam)
If you like the house-building and furnishing part of The Sims 4 but want it to be more complex, advanced, realistic, and offer a more “hands-on” perspective, then House Flipper should scratch that specific itch in your gamer self. House Flipper is all about renovating run-down houses and then selling them at a profit. Its simple premise, however, hides a deep ocean of tools, materials, equipment, and techniques that would allow you to turn even the most decrepit of buildings into somebody’s dream home. Tear down walls, fix broken pipes, rewire the entire place, and even exterminate any vermin that have certainly infested it – you get to do all that and more while keeping a close eye on your budget, lest you end up spending more on repairs than what you could afford. It is a very well-realized game and good-looking game with extreme care to every detail that you could think of.
The only significant downside that we could think of is that updates to the game tend to cause the users’ saves to get deleted. Other than that, House Flipper is a very good simulation game that is both fun, and relaxing, yet offers a lot of depth and has very high replay value.
Euro Truck Simulator 2
Price: $19.99 (Steam)
Who would have thought that driving a fully-loaded 18-wheeler for hours on end could be this relaxing? Euro Truck Simulator 2 is all about making long-distance deliveries with a large truck and slowly building up your delivery empire. You start out as a worker for a company until you save enough money to buy a truck, and thus start your own firm. From then on, it’s all about hard work and on-time deliveries with intact cargo to earn more money and eventually hire drivers (controlled by the game’s AI) to work for you. The company management part of the game isn’t all too complex, yet it offers just enough to keep everything believable and challenging. The main appeal of the game, however, is the driving itself.
Since we are talking about a simulator that lets you drive large trucks, expect all the challenges associated with it. Driving a truck is no easy thing and the game does a good job of representing that. However, after a couple of hours of getting used to the controls and handling of your truck, driving starts to become easier until, eventually, it becomes pleasant and even relaxing.
If you are into this type of game, Euro Truck Simulator 2 should prove to be a very calming and laid-back experience to help you unwind after a long day. Of course, frustration could arise at times, as it should, but overall, this is a game that won’t get on your nerves so long as you are prepared to get the hang of driving a truck.
One last note, for a game released a decade ago, it has held up surprisingly well in terms of graphics, which only amplifies the pleasure derived from driving through its beautiful landscapes.
Football Manager 2022
Price: $54.99 (Steam)
Football Manager 2022 is a sports simulation game, but one very different from more conventional football/soccer simulation titles that most players are used to (e.g. FIFA and PES). Instead of focusing on real-time control of a football team during matches, as its name would suggest, Football Manager 2022 is all about managing the team itself – its players, trainers, other staff, training regimes, contracts, training facilities, finances, PR, and more. The actual matches are only a small part of the game – a part in which you do not directly take part. One of your jobs in this game is to do everything within your power to make sure that your team is physically, mentally, strategically, and tactically prepared for its games, but once a match arrives, all you get to do is sit back and watch how that match plays out based on the work you’ve done prior to it.
Clearly, Football Manager 2022 isn’t a game for everyone, but for the niche group of people who enjoy the process management and preparation more than the actual sport, this game has a lot to offer with its vast array of features that you get to control and things you need to look after in order to ensure the well-being of your team.
Price: $30.00 (Steam)
Factorio is basically a game about conveyor belts and industrial production. The premise of this 2D game is really simple – your spaceship has crashed into an alien planet that you know nothing about and your sole goal is to build a rocket that will launch you back into space. The way to do that is by first building up and expanding a factory through which you will gradually gather the resources and develop the technology required to leave the planet. At the same time, the native species of the planet eventually get alerted to your presence and begin attacking you – understandable behavior considering you’re slowly but surely turning their habitat into a wasteland.
In Factorio, you basically play as an industrial magnate who has little to no regard for the environment in the pursuit of his goals. You will start seeing the effects that your ever-growing factory has on nature, but you will simply not care – it’s all about expanding and making your production bigger and more efficient, while also making sure that the factory is protected by turrets from any hostile natives that may (will) attack it.
The actual gameplay combines implements elements of RTS strategy games and tower defense games, but at its core, Factorio is a game that simulates the work of a sci-fi factory in a highly entertaining way. Of course, do not expect realism. What you should expect, instead, is the opportunity to create a living, breathing, self-sustaining factory up to a point where you aren’t sure how and why that factory is functioning, and that is something beautiful.
Farming Simulator 22
Price: $49.99 (Steam)
Farming Simulator 22, you are the owner of a farm and your goal is to sow new crops, take care of them, and then harvest them to earn money that will allow you to expand and develop your farm. Saying it like that may sound simple, but Farming Simulator 22 is anything but a simple game. It covers pretty much any aspect related to managing a farm that you could think of. You will get to drive the heavy machinery required for sowing, growing, and harvesting, but you will also need to carefully manage your land, equipment, and finances for your farm to prosper.
One important addition in Farming Simulator 22 that was present in the previous games of this franchise only through fan-made mods is the seasons-cycles. With this game, you will also need to take into account the current season and carefully plan around its weather to make sure that you are planting each culture at the right time so that it would yield a good harvest. This new addition to the Farming Simulator series introduces a strategic element to the game and brings the experience of playing it even closer to its real-life counterpart of being a farmer.
Ultimately, Farming Simulator 22, even more so than titles on this list, is a rather relaxing game, where you can move at your own pace and aren’t required to do anything in particular. There’s no end goal – if you want, you can try to create the most prosperous and profitable farm you can, but you can also keep everything on a small scale and just enjoy the process of farming – it is all up to you as the game gives you the freedom to choose what you want to do.
Price: $34.99 (Steam)
RimWorld is a 2D sci-fi game that simulates the experience of managing a colony on an alien planet. Its premise is very similar to that of Factorio – the spaceship of the colonists you play as has crashed onto a procedurally generated planet and now needs to survive while also building a new spaceship that will take them into space and back home. Unlike Factorio, however, here the focus is on managing the colony and the well-being of its inhabitants and while gathering resources and building a spaceship is still a part of the game, it is not as pronounced as in the other title.
Before starting a new game, you are required to choose one out of three AI storytellers. Your choice here will influence what random events are most likely to take place during your playthrough and the frequency at which they will occur. Some players may find some storytellers more forgiving than others, but in general, there’s no clear difficulty distinction between them, so it’s mainly a matter of preference which one you pick.
A central part of the gameplay in RimWorld is the colony’s inhabitants, their unique traits, behavioral patterns, and their contribution to the colony and their interactions with it and with one another. The game uses random generation to give you a diverse community of colonists, some of which may be assets to the colony’s well-being, while others may be an absolute liability. Your job is to capitalize on those assets while mitigating the liabilities in your attempts to ensure that the colony survives long enough for its members to leave the hostile planet they’ve found themselves on.
As a game, RimWorld feels like a combination of a simulation and an RPG due to its variety of different characters. It is an interesting and well-thought-out and put-together game, but it’s also one of the more difficult and hectic titles on this list, so if you are looking for a more relaxed experience, you will probably not find it here.
Best Simulation Games for Mac in 2022 with Cloud Gaming
Price: $29.99 (Steam)
What if someone combined the overall premise of Factorio with the first-person perspective, crafting mechanics, and modern graphics of a more traditional survival game, such as ARK: Survival Evolved. Satisfactory answers that question by putting the player on an alien planet with nothing but a couple of tools that they need to use to explore the land, gather its resources, and build machinery that would speed up the entire process and make it more efficient. While progressing through the game, you are given different short-term tasks, such as producing a certain product or machine, in order to unlock the next tier of technology. This type of short-term goal is a good way of keeping the player grounded and preventing them from getting overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff you could build and research in this game, while also helping them stay on course with what they are doing.
Using a first-person perspective often robs the player of being able to see the bigger picture, and requires them to keep mental tabs on their whole operation, especially once it starts growing in scale. Once you get to a certain level, you will need to make sure that everything is as streamlined as possible, or else you may find it quite difficult to manage your entire factory all by yourself. If you do not want to manage everything on your own, the game also offers a co-op mode with up to 4 players.
For the map design, the game uses a hand-crafted map rather than a procedurally-generated one, which means that the map would be the same every time. Some players may not like this as it could take away from the replayability value of the game, but the map itself is beautifully designed and has plenty of space so that it would take a while before you get bored with it.
To sum up, Satisfactory is a very cool game that mixes together elements from several other gaming genres to deliver an experience that is both unique, yet familiar and should be appealing to a lot of different types of players.
Satisfactory is available in the gaming library of the Boosteroid game streaming platform, so you can use this platform to play the game on your Mac.
TheHunter: Call of the Wild
Price: $19.99 (Steam)
TheHunter: Call of the Wild is a first-person hunting simulation in which the player can choose from 9 large maps that represent different animal habitats, in which you must hunt down 40 animal species in the most humane way possible. To successfully track down and hunt each animal, you will need to take into account factors such as how much noise you are making, how close you are to the animal, and even the direction of the wind, which could give away your scent and cause the anima to run away. In order to find the animals that you’re hunting, you must pay attention to the tracks they leave on the ground and follow them and once you find the specific animal, you must have good aim so that you hit a vital part of the animal and take it out in one shot. If an animal survives, it could run away and some would even charge at you (lions, bears, bison, etc.). Each animal behaves in a manner that’s faithful to its real-life counterpart, making the game more immersive and also requiring the player to carefully plan their approach to hunting it.
TheHunter: Call of the Wild offers a wide selection of weapons and equipment that you can use in your hunts, which adds variety to the game and allows the player to choose their own personal play style.
Overall, this is another one of those laid-back and relaxing games that can help you unwind with its beautiful landscapes and slower-paced gameplay. There could be some tense moments, especially if an angry grizzly bear is attacking you, but, for the most part, TheHunter: Call of the Wild is a calm and pleasant experience.
To play TheHunter: Call of the Wild on Mac, we recommend trying the Boosteroid cloud gaming platform.
Price: $19.99 (Steam)
Space Engineers is a sandbox crafting and building game with survival elements incorporated into it. In the game, you get to explore different planets, mine their resources, use those resources to build bases, and even create your own spaceships, while simultaneously managing the energy levels of each type of equipment that you use.
At first, the game can be a bit overwhelming with the sheer number of things you can do in it – it offers very in-depth and complex building and resource management mechanics, especially when it comes to building spaceships.
On the other hand, however, its survival elements are rather bare-bones – all you need to keep an eye out for is your oxygen levels and the energy levels of your suit and base, and the first of these two won’t be a problem on oxygen-rich planets. Then again, Space Engineers is much less about survival and much more about the process of building and creating and then traveling across an entire solar system.
In terms of gameplay modes, there are two single-player modes: Survival and Creative, with the former, basically being a God mode where you get unlimited resources, instant building, and where your character cannot die. There are also different multiplayer modes, such as co-op, competitive, custom modes, and also the two single-player modes brought to multiplayer.
Space Engineers is a very feature-rich game with lots of opportunities to be creative, but it requires some getting used to. It may not lean too heavily on realism compared to some other games from this list, but it certainly makes up for it with its sheer scale and the amount of stuff it allows you to do.
You can play Space Engineers on your Mac with the help of GeForce Now.