1.2 billion people regularly play video games.
Survival games are among the most popular genres at the moment. But with so many developers wanting their slice of this $91.5 billion industry, it can be hard to spot the real gems.
Don’t worry, we have your back. Read on for the ten best survival games you just have to check out.
1. Ark – Survival Evolved
If you’ve ever wanted to ride a dinosaur with your friends, then this is the game for you.
This game is about scavenging for food and resources and braving the elements, all in a world full of dangerous beasts and dinosaurs. You will make allies or enemies of other players.
Join tribes and work together to survive on official supported online servers, or wage war against other tribes. You can also play solo or host a small multiplayer game for you and your friends.
In Ark you will need to keep track of many resources which will deplete over time. These include thirst, hunger, cold exposure, etc.
You’ll need to make clothing to avoid cold exposure. You will also need to hunt animals to provide food your yourself and/or your tribe. Make sure you stay near a water source too to avoid dehydration.
As you progress you will unlock new resource items and schematics which will make survival easier. Don’t get complacent though, as there are many powerful bosses to stumble into and dangerous caves to explore.
If you like the strong multiplayer feel and the focus on first-person survival that Ark presents, then you might want to try Rust.
Rust takes these elements and adds a greater focus on player interaction. You can join games hosted by Facepunch, or players with their own dedicated servers.
You’re much more likely to find allies or foes in this game and joining a clan highly increases your chance of survival.
Rust features an extensive crafting tree. This allows you to go from running around the wilderness naked to wielding military grade weapons.
While you are surviving the elements, the main goal to reach and get loot from random air drops. With a highly focused player-player interaction design, stealing the resources of other clans is vital.
Another interesting feature of the game is your presence is persistent. You will need to ensure that you log off in a safe hiding spot.
Hopefully, you will log off in your base, with other players still online to protect you!
3. The Long Dark
This game is a thoughtful first-person survival game. You play a crash-landed pilot who has to survive in the Canadian wilderness after a global catastrophe.
The game follows a full night/day cycle and the weather changes randomly. Keep an eye on the weather each time you go outside so you don’t die of exposure!
As you struggle to survive, you will need to watch your resource meters while looking for survival supplies. The goal is to survive as long as possible, hunter-gathering and using the resources around you.
You can hunt wildlife like deer for food, but be aware of animals. Wolves and bears which pose a real danger. The tools you use will degrade over time, and you will need to be careful with their use. Choices need to be made about what to repair as a priority.
Saving only works when a player enters a building, gets injured, sleep or passing time, meaning you have to make careful decisions. If you die, this results in perma-death and the whole game save file will be deleted.
Minecraft has made the headlines for the amazing structures created in creator mode. It has even been on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum! But you might not know it actually has a surprisingly deep and difficult survival mode.
Survival mode adds resource meters and requires that you keep safe from creepers and zombies at night.
There are specific resources you will need to gather to make stronger mining tools to dig faster and deeper. This then allows you to mine more resources to make better armor and weapons to survive longer.
There is very little structure to the gameplay. This gives the player a variety of options for how they want to progress and to choose their own goals.
The only real structured aim to the game is to reach a realm called The End and slay the Ender Dragon. How you get there is up to you.
With 144 million copies sold, you know you are in good company.
Think Minecraft survival mode, but 2D. Made by Indie developers Re-Logic, this survival game It can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be and adds a lot of choice for the player. If you’re looking to play with others, this game is great too as it allows you to play with up to 8 other people.
It starts out with you needing to build a little house to create a shelter from monsters that will hunt you at night.
Once you do this and your basic needs are met, you will explore the map and find more dangerous areas to explore. These can be found above ground, or deep under it as you mine for resources.
The game offers a ‘soft-core’ mode, with no penalties upon death and a “medium-core” mode which resets your inventory on death. It also offers a “hardcore” mode which will permanently delete your character upon death.
When completing special conditions you will unlock powerful boss fights. You can also discover hidden locked temples which you will need to learn to breach to explore them. There is even a second part of the game which unlocks after you beat the main boss!
If you’ve already played and enjoyed Terraria, then Starbound could be for you. Imagine Terarria but in space.
With some of the same developers working on the game, it functions in a similar way. This time though there is more objective-based, directed game-play.
Once you have repaired your spaceship, you can head off to different planets to get different resources.
You will also learn more about the universe by collecting clues. These clues give a little information about the different civilizations that used to live on the planets you explore.
Your spaceship will function as a safe refuge from the dangerous beasts on the planets. To build the crafting stations and objects you need to progress, you will need to make a safe camp down on a planet.
You will be able to port from your ship or other planets to this base directly. You won’t find defending your base the difficult part, but rather exploring the planets.
The further you progress, the further you explore, and the more hostile and hazardous the planets become. The true challenge comes from making it back to base alive!
7. State of Decay – YOSE
State of Decay is an action-adventure horror based zombie survival game. Set in the fictional Trumbull Valley, you play as a store clerk who returns from a fishing trip to discover he is in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.
The player’s leadership skills will be put to the test against problems including reducing resources, base defense, group morale. This game combines a variety of elements from shooters, role-playing, and strategy games.
As the leader of your band of survivors, you need to work to ensure the group’s survival. You will have a choice of locations to build your base, and later, options to improve it.
Only food can grow at the base, things like materials and ammo can be found out scavenging or trading with other survivors. You can interact with players outside your group too, helping them and even recruiting them.
Zombies are the main threat. They respawn infinitely unless an outpost is established. They are also attracted to noise and can move almost as quickly as the player. You can confront them, sneak past them or use items as a distraction to lure them away.
In this game, there are no human enemies, only the zombies.
In this open world survival game, you will explore the seas of Planet 45 4546B. Your character is the survivor of a crashed spaceship called the Aurora.
There is a story-line to follow, but your main aim is to explore the planet and survive the dangers the ocean world presents. You will collect resources to build bases and tools. You will also construct submersible which allows you to explore the ocean and interact with wildlife.
The game contains a day and night cycle which affects the environment and gameplay. In the main ‘survival mode’ you will also need to look after your base stats such as hunger, thirst, and oxygen.
The game contains a few more mod options including hardcore, where if you die you can’t respawn. There is also ‘freedom mode’ where stats like hunger and thirst are turned off.
With so many game options, you can play as hard or as easy as you like!
9. Sunless Sea
If you’re looking for something a little stranger, Sunless Sea could be for you. This game is a strange and disturbing 2D survival game set in the world of Unterzee. It is an underground sea, dotted with island civilizations and underwater monsters that are only ever half-seen.
You will command a ship and travel from port to port. Here you need to run missions for the island communities which will boost your stats and earn you money.
You can also set a goal for your character which will depend on the type of character and their ambitions. Some to choose from include finding out what happened to your dead father or just becoming wealthy.
As you journey, you’ll gain companions who will boost your character stats in different ways. These stats will help in combat and sailing.
They will also help you learn more about the world you are in though, and various places within it. It will also help when finding out more about the various companions you meet too.
You will not only fight sea monsters. To fulfill your character’s ambitions, you will need to outfit your ship correctly.
10. Don’t Starve/ Don’t Starve Together
For those looking for a more solo adventure, Don’t Starve offers just that. Alone in the wilderness, you will find yourself controlling one of a variety of characters.
The player is stranded in the woods and needs to forage for food to survive. On top of this, you need to fend off attacks from unknown, mysterious sources that come out at night.
You will need to avoid hunger and injury, and even stay sane. Being alone in the woods can start to play tricks and unravel the mind!
To stay sane, you will need to have your character do nice things like eating unspoiled food. Avoid interactions with “cursed objects” and definitely don’t eat the monster parts!
Though it might sound weird, the game doesn’t progress until you’ve died. Once dead, you will win experience points which scale to how many days you survived.
To progress the game, you use your experience points earned to unlock new characters to play. They will each come with different unique traits and abilities.
If you’re looking for a more multiplayer experience but enjoy the premise of the game, it has a co-op version called Don’t Starve Together. It adds new modes and player vs player options. This includes when a player dies, they become a ghost to drain the sanity of the remaining players.
So how long will you survive?
The Best Survival Games
There are no shortage of quality survival games out there. Our list of the best survival games caters to all sorts of tastes.
Whether you want to fight off zombies, explore the deepest depths, or just test yourself against nature, there is a game on our list for you.
If you want to have your say about any of these games, or think we’ve missed your favorite off, contact us. We’d be glad to hear your thoughts!