14 votes

Recommend chill/background games for my second monitor?

Sometimes I like to multitask while I'm having a chill. Basically I'm looking for a game that doesn't require my full attention so that I can play while I'm watching youtube or a stream. Lately I've been playing Stellaris on easier difficulties to scratch this itch, but even on minimum time settings a Stellaris game takes multiple hours. Something with a 30-60 minute gameplay loop would be perfect.

Thanks for your suggestions!

16 comments

  1. [3]
    Toric
    Link
    Hardspace shipbreaker has been my go to game for watching a stream with. It requires some visual attention, though, so it depends on how closely you are watching the stream. The game is broken up...

    Hardspace shipbreaker has been my go to game for watching a stream with. It requires some visual attention, though, so it depends on how closely you are watching the stream. The game is broken up into roughly 15 minute 'shifts', which is nice. Vicera cleanup detail would fall in a similar vein.

    Other then that, DorfRomantik, mini metro, and mini motorways are relaxing puzzle games that are turn based (in dorfromantiks case) or are easily paused.

    Rail Route is another really relaxing game, though it does require the occasional think, such as when building new things. Think of it more as having stretches that dont demand attention with the occasional time where it wants your attention badly. Of course, if the time it wants attention isnt a good time, you can pause it till you have a 3-5 sec break in the stream.

    Also, any turn based strategy games or colony builders can be good for streams for the same reason. Simply pause/dont take your turn till you have a few secs.

    8 votes
    1. vord
      Link Parent
      Seconding DorfRomantik. It's a great little open-ended puzzle. Possibly the chillest game in existence, though there's decent odds it will suck you in away from whatever else you were intending to...

      Seconding DorfRomantik. It's a great little open-ended puzzle. Possibly the chillest game in existence, though there's decent odds it will suck you in away from whatever else you were intending to pay attention to.

      Not being realtime means sessions last as long as you want them to, from 1 minute to 6 hours.

      It's one of my go-to's on the Steam Deck.

      3 votes
    2. a_s_k
      Link Parent
      Love the look of shipbreaker, I had my eye on it before release but it kind of fell off my radar. I'll have to pick it up and see how it works for me!

      Love the look of shipbreaker, I had my eye on it before release but it kind of fell off my radar. I'll have to pick it up and see how it works for me!

      3 votes
  2. Pistos
    Link
    Kind of an odd suggestion, but: Elite: Dangerous has some activities that can be multitasked with. In particular, hauling cargo from point A to point B. Quite a bit of this endeavour is letting...

    Kind of an odd suggestion, but: Elite: Dangerous has some activities that can be multitasked with. In particular, hauling cargo from point A to point B. Quite a bit of this endeavour is letting autopilot or hyperjump do its thing, and just waiting, with no input required from the player. You only steer occasionally, or instruct the navigation system where to go.

    Cities: Skylines could work, too, with liberal use of pausing.

    6 votes
  3. [3]
    hungariantoast
    Link
    Using a mod, I like to set RimWorld to run at half or one-third speed and just leave it going in the background. I also do something similar with Dwarf Fortress, limiting the FPS to ten so the...

    Using a mod, I like to set RimWorld to run at half or one-third speed and just leave it going in the background.

    I also do something similar with Dwarf Fortress, limiting the FPS to ten so the game runs pretty slow and I can just ignore it while the dwarves toil.

    In either case, I'll usually check on the game every fifteen minutes or so to see how things are progressing and add any new orders if needed. It's actually very relaxing to play these games "passively" and I wish they both had better support for this playing this way.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      a_s_k
      Link Parent
      This seems like it could work. I've never played Rimworld, how long does a playthrough take?

      This seems like it could work. I've never played Rimworld, how long does a playthrough take?

      2 votes
      1. Fal
        Link Parent
        As long as you want it to, really. Most people set a goal for themselves and work through it, but there are a couple ways to 'win' that might take quite a while depending on things like player...

        As long as you want it to, really. Most people set a goal for themselves and work through it, but there are a couple ways to 'win' that might take quite a while depending on things like player skill, difficulty, and whether or not you're rushing towards those win conditions.

        1 vote
  4. Nepenthaceae
    Link
    Oh man, I love to multi-thread my brain: (These first three games are on mobile as well.) Cookie Clicker is really low effort, but thematically fantastic! IdleOn can do the job just by itself, you...

    Oh man, I love to multi-thread my brain:

    (These first three games are on mobile as well.)

    Cookie Clicker is really low effort, but thematically fantastic!

    IdleOn can do the job just by itself, you unlock more and more characters to keep track of. Pretty soon you'll be trying to manage them all and their skills/buffs/stats in your brain.

    For some heavy braindead-ness I turn to skilling in osrs. The way the skills are integrated into each other can keep my brain calculating for hours on end to plan my "adventure".

    When I'm more in a passive building mood I play factorio (usually without biters, or in peacefull mode.) or any of the Anno games.

    Sometimes, I like to switch it up, and play a full-attention game, but with the sound (or just the music) muted and have the video on the side (I shuffle all the sitcoms plus some animated series. I've seen them alll, just like to listen.) Then, Risk of Rain 2 is a really fun one, although it should really be played with sound and (incredible Synth) music the first..... 100 runs or so.

    If all else fails, any incremental, clicking, idle, ascending-type game will do the trick.

    • Clicker Heroes (1 and 2)

    • Mr. Mine

    • Leafblower Revolution

    • Realm Grinders

    • Egg inc. gets a special mention.

    If you really get the hang of it, you can play them all at the same time! More or less.... xD

    5 votes
  5. [2]
    gco
    Link
    Great suggestions already in this topic, I'll add The Battle for Wesnoth. It's a turn based strategy game and you can do either skirmishes or one of the many campaigns. Game time should work with...

    Great suggestions already in this topic, I'll add The Battle for Wesnoth. It's a turn based strategy game and you can do either skirmishes or one of the many campaigns. Game time should work with your boundaries too.

    3 votes
    1. Akir
      Link Parent
      It’s been forever since I have heard anyone mention Wesnoth. I’m more of a fan of ASC. What other games let you play via email!

      It’s been forever since I have heard anyone mention Wesnoth.

      I’m more of a fan of ASC. What other games let you play via email!

      1 vote
  6. csos95
    Link
    The truck simulator games fill this niche very well for me. You can pick routes that are long or short to fill however much time you want and the driving outside of cities (the majority of the...

    The truck simulator games fill this niche very well for me.
    You can pick routes that are long or short to fill however much time you want and the driving outside of cities (the majority of the play time) requires very little of your attention.
    When you get to the destination you can even choose to not manually drop off the cargo (you get a bonus for doing it yourself) and that takes care of the small part where you need to really focus.

    2 votes
  7. skybrian
    Link
    I'm still playing Compact Conflict which is Risk-like game that you can play in a few minutes. At this point, on hardest settings, I win more than half of the time, and when I don't it's usually...

    I'm still playing Compact Conflict which is Risk-like game that you can play in a few minutes.

    At this point, on hardest settings, I win more than half of the time, and when I don't it's usually because I started in a "middle" position that results in multiple opponents attacking at once. But somehow I still find it fun to play occasionally.

    1 vote
  8. Thrabalen
    Link
    The Sims 4 is a good one, if you're okay with pausing things (or the chaos that ensues when you don't) Turn-based strategy games are highly recommended (with Master of Orion 2, Lord of Rigel, and...

    The Sims 4 is a good one, if you're okay with pausing things (or the chaos that ensues when you don't)
    Turn-based strategy games are highly recommended (with Master of Orion 2, Lord of Rigel, and Interstellar Space: Genesis being my personal favorites)
    Some mobile games work for this, and I prefer them on the PC, so I'd recommend Bluestacks to emulate.

  9. kfwyre
    Link
    Geo and its sequel Galactic Mining Corp are enjoyable, mindless, time-filler games. I played through both of them relatively recently while watching documentaries and listening to audiobooks. Also...

    Geo and its sequel Galactic Mining Corp are enjoyable, mindless, time-filler games.

    I played through both of them relatively recently while watching documentaries and listening to audiobooks.

    Also Plantera is a cute little idle game.

  10. rich_27
    Link
    ΔV: Rings of Saturn is a great game that might scratch the itch. You pilot a mining ship going into the rings of Saturn to find ore. You can only go out for so long before filling up and needing...

    ΔV: Rings of Saturn is a great game that might scratch the itch. You pilot a mining ship going into the rings of Saturn to find ore. You can only go out for so long before filling up and needing to go back. It's pretty manual to begin with, but once you get enough cash for some decent autopilot and guidance computers, you don't need to pay too much attention whilst flying. Might work out nicely!

  11. Omnicrola
    Link
    If you're a fan of boardgames, BGA is a great thing to have running in the background. They have a very long list of games, all the ones I've played so far have been well implemented. You can play...

    If you're a fan of boardgames, BGA is a great thing to have running in the background. They have a very long list of games, all the ones I've played so far have been well implemented.

    You can play in real-time (with turns being timed and taking <2 min or so), or you can play async, where turns can take up to 2 days. I play async with a group of IRL friends, and we all have it running in a tab or on our phones and take our turns in between work tasks. Currently I am participating in Roll for the Galaxy, Potion Explosion, and just finished a game of 7 Wonders.