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Here’s a secret: I love virtual horse games. I’ve tried out several of them over time. They can be greatly entertaining (and sometimes, addictive).
Online horse games sound like something for small children, but plenty of adults play them. Sometimes they are horse lovers who can’t have horses, sometimes it’s just a way to entertain ourselves with a cellphone when you’re bored.
Whatever the motivation, some of these horse breeding and ranch games are just plain fun!
Here are the best virtual and online horse games:
1. Horse Isle
Horse Isle is a free online horse game that offers a 2D experience of a unique horse world. Your character travels across islands and explores forests and ruins. They can capture wild horses, sell them, and buy them.
There is a crafting system, and players can fulfill quests to earn money to buy items, horses, and pets. More than that, you can interact with other players. The game is free to play, but users can pay for subscriptions, which give them unique features such as ranch owning.
There are also different gameplay modes, including one where your horses don’t die (but you can’t breed them, either).
Horse Isle offers a very interesting experience. But, be aware this is a Flash game. Thus, it may be incompatible with devices that have no Flash support.
2. Star Stable
Included in our best horse games list, Star Stable is an MMO game all about horses. A fully-fleshed 3D environment comparable to those of other popular MMOs, the goal of Star Stable is to raise your own horses, ride them, complete quests, compete in events, and much more.
You can only play for free up until level 5, after which you’ll need to pay to continue exploring the world. The game offers both monthly, trimestral, and one-time payment subscriptions, so it’s up to the player to decide what fits their needs best.
The Star Stable virtual ranch game is available both for PC and Mac (it requires a download) and has two extra apps for iOS and Android, so you’re never too far from the action.
3. Horse Haven: World Adventures
Unlike other games in this list, Ubisoft’s Horse Haven: World Adventures only comes as an app on your phone.
This virtual horse ranch game boasts polished graphics, with animated horses and beautifully crafted environments. It’s a village building game, not unlike Farmville and others of the sort, where your goal is to take care of ranches (ranches in the US, France, England, and Germany), breed horses, and feed and care for them.
While it isn’t the most realistic online horse game, it’s definitely one of the most visually attractive.
There are steeplechasing minigames, actual farming for produce you’ll turn into their feed (some not really recommended for horses, but it is just a game), and a tack shop where you can customize your horses.
As you grow in levels, you unlock more functionalities and ranches, as well as new horse breeds you can raise. Other than existing horse breeds, you may also breed constellation and mythical horses for extra specialness. The questions game might seem silly until you realize it actually does ask some rather difficult questions.
Like in other farming games, you can connect with other players through Facebook, visit their ranch, breed your horses to their horses, and ask for their help to build things and water your crops.
From time to time, this game may be a lot less complex than others in this list, but it’s definitely an enjoyable, casual experience.
Howrse is a French online horse game and app that quickly became a classic. Created in 2006, in Howrse you take care of horses, breed, and show them as you would in the real world. You may own an equestrian centre and breeding farm, as well as items that make your horse extra special.
This browser game may sound like Horseland at first, but it’s more fine-tuned and closer to the real aspects of horse management.
In Howrse, you take care of your horse as you would in reality. Horses train, play, and show. They must be fed, groomed, and watered. Each activity takes time out of your horse’s day, as well as its energy, health, and morale. Once all activities are done for the day, you can bed your horse down, just to start another day.
The upside of Howrse is that it’s not a very time-consuming game. As your horses have actual daily limits on what they can do, unless you use aging points (acquired with passes, which in turn demand real money), it doesn’t take very long for a casual player to manage their horses.
The downside is that many of the more unique and interesting features, such as customization, are behind a paywall. Certain items can only be bought with passes and passes you buy with real money. Still, the game is enjoyable and easy to play.
5. My Stable
My Stable follows in the footsteps of Howrse and other simulation virtual horse games such as Horseland. You create a horse, which will be your very first in the new stable you will manage.
In this game, you’ll buy tack, care for your horses (including feeding and grooming) or hire staff to do so for you, raise, breed, and show them.
While it’s similar to Howrse in execution, this ranch game is a lot simpler and less involved. Still, it makes for a fun, casual experience for a horse lover without much time to invest in raising virtual horses.
6. Horse Academy
Horse Academy is an online game where you raise, breed, and compete with your horses and your friends. You can build your farm and create horses virtually in any fashion you like, both in realistic and nonrealistic ways.
Whether you want a rainbow unicorn zebra or just your average bay, it’s up to you. There are several ways to unlock new breeds, so it’s an ongoing challenge to find them all.
The horses evolve over time as you compete against your friends and the community. As a very active and quite impressive community, there’s no shortage of what you can do in this game.
7. My Horse
My Horse is an online horse breeding game where you care for, raise, and compete with your horses. You begin with one, and from there you can breed more. Unlike most horse games, My Horse isn’t as focused on the “farming” aspects so much as on interaction with the horse.
It’s far more realistic than most, as you need to groom, feed and train your horse, all on a 3D environment, and also compete with them — a task that requires skill and timing, not just button mashing or draw of the luck.
This game is available on iOS, Android, and Facebook and is free to download, with optional in-game purchases.
These are some of the virtual horse games I personally played and enjoyed. There are several out there, including racing games, dress-up games, running a horse or horse breeding company, and many, many more. From MMOs to simple Flash apps, there is a lot of options out there.
Also, check out the best horse games for Pc and consoles.