How to Get into the Rune Factory Games

The Rune Factory games can get a bit odd, what with the fact that there are both numbered and unnumbered entries. People might wonder if certain titles are optional or if it is necessary to play them in a certain order. Especially since there are some recurring characters who pop up in multiple installments. The thing is that they are largely like the Final Fantasy series, in that you don’t have to play the Rune Factory games in any particular order. However, there are some guest characters that appear and might make playing certain ones in order more desirable.

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How to Play Rune Factory Games in Order

What are the Rune Factory games?

It’s honestly very simple. This is a Story of Seasons/Bokujou no Monogatari spin-off series. So there’s still the farming and daily life elements from those simulations. That also means you can develop relationships with characters. However, this is paired with action-RPG elements and dungeon-crawling, which can also be done alongside love interests in some entries.

Rune Factory Frontier

Which Rune Factory games you should absolutely play in order?

Guess what? There are only two that really feel like they need to be played one after the other. These are the original Rune Factory on the DS and Rune Factory Frontier for the Wii. This is because the first game introduces the protagonist Raguna and heroine Mist. The follow-up is a direct sequel in which Raguna sets up a new homestead in Trampoli while searching for a missing Mist and gets caught up in an endeavor to protect that town.

Rune Factory 5 games play in order

What if I do want to play mainline entries in order?

Well, in that case, following the numbered entries one-by-one works. Especially since you’ll see Rune Factory 2’s Barrett and Rune Factory 3’s Raven in Rune Factory 4, as an example of “guest” characters. Not to mention 4’s Doug and Margaret show up in 5.

  1. Rune Factory (DS)
  2. Rune Factory 2 (DS)
  3. Rune Factory 3 (DS) or Rune Factory Special (Switch, PC): Since the Special version involves additional features like the Hell difficulty and Newlywed mode, people might want to go with that one.
  4. Rune Factory 4 (3DS) or Rune Factory 4 Special (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC): Again, the Special version adds a new difficulty option and Newlywed mode, it might be the preferred one for a newcomer.
  5. Rune Factory 5 (Switch, PC)

Is there any Rune Factory game that doesn’t require any possible tie-ins to other entries?

Yup! That would be Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny. This is a self-contained story involving different characters, new elements like controlling both the male and female protagonists Aden and Sonja, and dealing with sunken islands. It’s available on the PS3 and Wii, though the Wii version is regarded as the better of the two.

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Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.