Best factory simulation games, ranked

Simulators allow players to experience a different slice of life from the comfort of their own home. There are a variety of sub-genres that connect with simulation games, such as factory simulation, players manage and create their own factories, where they must successfully create products.

Related: Simulation games with the highest replay value

Commonly, these games are popular among fans of the feature known as automation. These factories are only run by other machines that players need to plan placement in order to have a working factory system. As a niche genre, there are only a few factory titles out there, but these are by far the best.

Updated May 27, 2023, by Megan Smith: Some of the best factory games players are interested in, like Factorio and Shapez, appeal to players for more than just the freedom to create their own factory lines. Many gamers fall in love with these factory games due to the logical side of them that forces a new factory owner to think through his choices.

In some of the best factory games, players might wonder how they could improve their factory’s efficiency through shorter work lines or overlapping certain seasons. That experimentation is why these games are some of the best.

13 Work Hard Hardly Working in Factory Idle City A player looking to make buildings in Factory Town Idle

As an idle game title, Factory Town Idle allows players to play a game and earn profit while barely needing to click a single button. Unlike other idle titles, Factory Town combines multiple genres into one, making it part clicker, part idle game, part builder, and part management title; giving players significantly more to engage with.

As an industrial city, it is up to the player to build different production buildings as well as houses for his workers to expand his city into a shiny industrial hub that will gradually bring in a lot of money for the player.

12 Alan’s Automation Workshop Solve Puzzles While Making a Profit A player making a metal heart in Alan's Automation Workshop

While not exactly a factory, Alan’s Automation Workshop is a brilliant simulation combined with the puzzle genre that allows players who appreciate the logical side of factory simulators to find new ways to solve customer problems through automation.

Players will be encouraged to test their new creations before trying to sell them to the customer, as new problems cause new solutions to be created, and as a rookie engineer, the player must explore his creativity to make a profit while finding the answers.

11 Start a business at the brewery – Prologue A player looking at a bag on a treadmill at the Beer Factory - Prologue

Simulation titles tend to allow players to experience an alternate life for themselves and Beer Factory intends to allow players to do just that by learning how to run their own beer business. As the name suggests, in this business and management simulator, players will run their own brewery, from purchasing the necessary ingredients to finding a place to sell them.

Related: Brewmaster: Beer Recipes to Try

Unfortunately, this is just the prologue to the full game that hasn’t been released yet, although the Beer Factory prologue alone has impressed many players who want to run their own factory that sells a variety of beers.

10 Mindustry gathers and defends A large conveyor belt system in Minddustry

As mentioned, the delight of factory games for many players is the ability to make elaborate conveyor belt systems that test the player’s ability to come up with creative routes for their factories to follow. In Mindustry, the player must use his mind not only to grow his factory in this open-ended management game, but also to defend it.

Mindustry is more than just a factory game as it also contains tower defense elements as the player must protect his conveyor belts from waves of enemies. Some of these assembly lines will be used to create the resources and units needed to defend the player’s factory, so finding the fastest way to do this is part of the fun in Mindustry.

9 Learning Factory makes cats happy again A cat waiting for resources at the Learning Factory

Another great factory game straight off the assembly line is Learning Factory, a game that tasks the player with deploying conveyor belts in intricate ways to manufacture and sell a variety of goods for adorable cats. As the game’s title suggests, players will need to keep learning new things if they want to file katopy in one of the best factory games of all time.

The Learning Factory takes manufacturing a Mars factory one step further, as players can analyze their sales data to see what they can improve, as well as finding ways to make the player’s factory more efficient. Above all, this is by far one of the most relaxing games on this list, as it takes the stress out of management.

8 Solve puzzles with Infinifactory A conveyor belt at Infinifactory

Factory simulator meets puzzle play with the Infinifactory as players build factories that assemble products needed by their alien masters in the Infinifactory. With its own campaign, players can explore the wonders of automation while experiencing an interesting story.

Related: Things That Make Farm Simulation Games So Successful

Players are building in hopes of solving their tasks to make products, this leads to some pretty crazy designs being created in hopes of making systems work. Players can take it a step further with Infinifactory’s sandbox mode, which allows players to create freely and truly push the boundaries of the block system.

7 Little Big Workshop is a small game with big goals Workers working on machines at Little Big Workshop

In this fantastic management game, players become the bosses of their own factory, which they build from humble beginnings. Players must manage their workers and the stations they build as they try to create the best products available.

Players don’t need to stress, as even as the factory starts to expand with more stations to create products that will need a lot more workers, Little Big Workshop is still fun to play. Part of the fun is the freedom factory owners are given to take their business in a direction they like, even though it’s important to make a living.

6 Become the captain of industry A variety of conveyor belts and machinery at Captain of Industry

Captain of Industry is a factory simulator with survival elements, landing on an abandoned island with a small crew, the player must build to survive. Planting crop fields, establishing housing, and finally creating efficient factories to refine these materials will not only help players grow their settlement, but also grow as an economic powerhouse.

Managing it all can seem daunting, but luckily, players can start small before gradually expanding the products they produce. As Captain of Industry is currently in Early Access, there is much more in store for players with each game update.

5 build cars through the production line: car factory simulation A variety of machines and conveyor belts working on the Production Line: Car Factory Simulation

Owning a business; especially an automaker, it can be very competitive. Production Line: Car Factory Simulator pushes the player’s entrepreneurial skills to their limits, in hopes of creating a successful car factory that dwarfs the rest of the competition.

Related: Perfect racing sims for beginners to the genre

Automation is key in this title, as players will want to strive to create an easy flow system that requires little intervention while creating cars quickly. Players will be constantly improving their factory blueprints from the early stages of their enterprise, which can slowly move to eventually a well-oiled system through hours of practice.

4 Expand in factory town A small town on the water's edge with transporters running through it in Factory Town

On the more unrealistic side, Factory Town relies on the player’s attempt to create a factory within a settlement living in the desert. With a combination of conveyor belts and steam-powered trains, players will eventually have enough stations set up to create a variety of resources to help their city thrive.

Similar to Infinifactory, players can work through eight different maps in the campaign, where they must complete a task. If they prefer the freedom of creating their own city, there’s also a sandbox mode to enjoy.

3 Simplicity is key at Shapez A conveyor belt showing that it needs a certain shape to unlock in Shapez

Shapez is a casual factory simulator with a simplistic art style that challenges the player to produce shapes through automation. It perfectly blends the simulation genre with puzzle elements as players must use their brains to figure out how to efficiently create complex shapes.

It also means that the game has set levels for the player to complete, and as it progresses, these levels become more difficult with the simulator requiring more complex shapes to complete. The map is described as infinitely expanding, and so these factories will gradually grow to make room for more complex shapes.

2 A Satisfactory Simulator A conveyor belt with resources leading to some machines in Satisfactory

Being able to walk in the wake of a player’s hard work is something factory sim fans want in a game. Satisfactory allows this to happen with its interpretation of what it means to be a factory sim through a first-person experience.

Not only that, but the open-world aspect of the game allows players to explore the planet to collect resources manually before designing complex transportation systems to mine the ore from the ground. Even better, players don’t have to experience factory life alone, as co-op is readily available in early access to compete or join forces to create the best factory possible.

1 Factorio is exactly what gamers want A train bringing resources to machines in Factorio

Receiving an overwhelmingly positive reaction from fans of the genre, Factorio is exactly what players want for a factory simulator game. Although the game takes place using 2D graphics with a top-down view, the game still matches the complexity of other titles that task the player with producing a wide range of products and resources.

In addition to creating the most efficient automated workforce out of machines, players will also need to consider how they will protect it, as the creatures often show up to put a wrench in the jobs. This makes for a fun gaming experience that many can’t get enough of.

More: Simulation games that have great worldbuilding

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.