There are currently three Game Modes in which to play Slime Rancher, which is selectable when making a new game file.
Once selected, the game file cannot be changed under normal circumstances; to switch Game Modes you will need to create an entirely new file.
The Slime Rancher Demo is a free version of the game that was released with Update 1.0.0, and currently remains on Update 1.3.1b. It has all the features of the standard game up until Update 1.3.1 including endgame content, but the gameplay is limited to 60 real-time minutes and any saved games cannot be accessed once created until the full game is purchased.
Adventure Mode is the standard game mode that has full access to the game. Adventure Mode makes up a majority of the game's story, mostly presented through Hobson notes, NPC interactions, Loading Screen Texts, and Starmail.
- Plort values at the Plort Market rise and fall on a day-to-day basis, partially influenced by how many you've sold previously.
- Starmail functions as normal, introducing the Range Exchange NPCs from Days 1-6.
- Casey regularly contacts Beatrix via Starmail. Their starmail must be read before they will send the next one. More are sent as the player opens Slime Gates.
- Getting knocked out advances time for 12+ hours and the player respawns back at The Ranch. A select few items from the inventory are found at the beach of The Docks.
- The 7Zee Rewards Club unlocks at day 7, allowing for exclusive rewards for more long-term ranching.
- The player can unlock The Lab and dabble in Slime Science.
Adventure Mode can be "beaten" by triggering the end credits sequence. The player will not lose their progress upon doing so and can continue playing the game for as long as desired afterward. To trigger the credits sequence, the final Hobson Note in the large temple building in the northernmost area of The Glass Desert must be read, and the final Starmail from Casey titled Another tour must be read; a minimum of five slime gates be opened for this to occur and all of Casey's Starmails must be opened. Post-credits, Hobson will get in contact via Starmail which unlocks The Vaults.
Casual Mode is a modified version of Adventure Mode where The Tarr does not appear in any form, due to Largo Slimes no longer eating plorts to induce the transformation into a Tarr in this mode. Feral Slimes are also less aggressive, and will not perform their Area of Effect buttstomp.
Because Tarr do not spawn in Casual Mode, Tarr related Achievements cannot be achieved in this mode, and its Slimepedia entry is already unlocked.
The two Tarr related Achievements are:
- Once Bitten, Twice...Bitten (Hold onto a Tarr for 15 seconds)
- Best of the Worst (Put a Tarr on the #1 Slime Stage)
Main article: Rush Mode
Rush Mode is a special game mode where the player has three days - which can be extended to five through Range Exchange trades - to earn as many Newbucks as possible, using any means at their disposal.
It is the successor to Five Day Rush.
Main article: VR Playground
VR Playground is free DLC content available on Steam. Unlike the other modes, it is not selected on the New Game screen, but is instead ran as a launch option through Steam with an Oculus or VIVE. It features maps based on locations from the main game.
- 1.2.1 - Added an intro animation to the start of Rush Mode.
- Added a pinch of pizzazz to the end animation for Rush Mode. (it’s much more than a pinch tbh)
- 1.2.0 - Five Day Rush is now Rush Mode.
- 1.2.0b - Fixed bug where certain gold gordos (not pointing any fingers here) in Rush Mode could “forget” how many gingers they'd eaten after you left the game.
- 1.1.0 - Casual Mode is implemented.
- 0.3.0 - A new game mode has been added, the 5-Day Rush (the standard experience is now ‘Adventure’) where ranchers try to collect as many newbucks as possible over the course of 5 days.
- 0.3.0c - Fix reversed list of most profitable plorts in 5-day-rush.