Slime Rancher 2 is finally here, and it’s brought all the colorful, cute, chaotic adventuring that I could ever want. On the surface, Slime Rancher 2 could be seen as a relaxing, open-world creature collector. You’re placed on a new island filled with different types of slimes, crops, and minerals to collect, and have nothing but time on your hands as you mosey on through rainbow fields. But I know all too well the chaos that lies behind the eyes of those innocent-looking slimes.
After a long day, I decided to unwind by playing a little bit of Slime Rancher 2. The soothing music, ethereal lighting, and radiant world of the slimes were so enchanting that I completely lost myself as I travelled from the mythic and ancient Southern Ruins to the coral-filled Northan Beaches. It wasn’t until a few nights had passed in the game that I decided to return to my home and offload everything I had collected on my journey. Walking through the rainbow fields, I found myself in front of the grand and beautiful glass conservatory that I call home. Inside I had everything I could ever need, from cubeberry trees and little vegetable patches to all the pens in which I kept my slimes. It was a little patch of heaven.
The next thing I knew, my home, crop fields, and pens were overrun by hungry, angry, and destructive slimes. Most had jumped their enclosure walls and were looking for anything and everything to eat. I used to keep chickens in my garden, but the cat-like Tabby Slimes made short work of them. Then I saw the Tarr Slimes – abandoned blobs that turn monstrous when they are neglected and left to munch on the poop of other slimes. They began to devour poor little slimes and multiply at rates beyond control. Before I could get them out of my home, they started to explode; at that point, I lost all hope.
You can’t blame the slimes though. They were hungry, understimulated, and kept in horrid conditions. It’s my fault for not being a responsible pet owner.
Happy slime, happy life
In any open-world game, it’s easy to get distracted. Slime Rancher 2 is no different. There is always a new slime to collect or crystal cave to explore and mine. There are seemingly endless types of slimes to collect, especially when you can breed hybrids yourself. But you can’t simply Ash Ketchum your way through Slime Rancher 2; it isn’t about catching them all.
The way to a happy slime is the same as it is with any pet. You have to look after them. Certain slimes will only eat specific crops. For example, the Phosphor Slime’s favorite food is a cubeberry. But while the nocturnal slime is easy to come by at night, the cubeberry isn’t. So if you want to keep them happy and fed, you either need to build up stock or plant a cubeberry tree back at your farm.
Building the right kind of pen for each slime is also extremely important. Cotton Slimes act like rabbits and can jump incredibly high, so the only way to keep them put is by placing a net over their enclosure. Next, there’s the Tabby Slime. Like a cat or a fox, if they get out, they’ll kill most of your hens before you can say ‘I feel like chicken tonight’. So, close it in with high walls. Finally, sunlight is lethal to Phosphor Slimes. Without a UV-proof pen, they won’t make it through the day.
The final and most crucial warning I will give you is to be aware of Tarr Slimes. These sluggish monstrosities transform from Largo Slimes (the biggest slimes) when they eat another slime's poop, otherwise known as plorts. I had naively placed all the big slimes together because my tired brain thought “big means same”. It does not. This plan literally exploded in my face.
Every day is a learning day.
Trial and error
I won’t lie, watching all my slimes in a chaotic jailbreak punctuated by self-combustion was mighty distressing. The worst part is I wasn’t the one who suffered: I can rebuild and recapture the slimes I need. But those poor little slimes got the worst of it. I still feel bad about my Phosphor Slimes that disintegrated under the harsh sun.
But those early mistakes shaped me into the proud, responsible slime owner I am today. Now I only collect new slimes when I have the resources to take care of them. Coupled with the limited plots of land on which I can build slime enclosures, it means I don’t have a massive collection at the moment. But that’s a good thing. Not only does it focus my aims as I play, but it avoids a technical problem of the original game. In the first Slime Rancher the game would glitch and lag every time you filled a pen to the brim. With your population controlled by the risk of poop-eating, self-combusting, and carnivorous slimes, more really is less in Slime Rancher 2.
After all the mess and mistakes, I feel like I’m doing it right. Good things take time, and Slime Rancher 2 encourages this. Ultimately, slowly collecting slimes is much more rewarding and relaxing than just harvesting them all straight out of the gate.
I now understand that the only way I can enjoy walking through the slime-filled rainbow fields is if I respect and take care of its inhabitants first. I only wish I could see my Phosphor Slimes one last time.
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Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications.
Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.