In recent years, the popularity of survival games has skyrocketed. Examples abound on the Steam charts, including recent hard-core survival simulators and vintage survival horror titles. We’ve compiled the top survival games to assist any perplexed explorers in deciding which emergent storylines and unexpected adventures to go on. There is a ton of wonderful survival games available, most of them incomplete Early Access projects, but there is also a ton of shoddy cash-ins. We’ll help you narrow your search to the best options, much like a survivor searching through empty cabinets for beans.
Our recommendations will point you in the direction of the (not so) safe pastures of the greatest survival games on PC if you have the fortitude to outlive experiences like the scary The Long Dark or the aquatic beauty of Subnautica. Get ready to experience misery and a lot of suffering in these exciting survival adventures, whether you enjoy enduring the horrors of war or the new generation of hunger and illness management games.
Table of contents
- Left to survive
- Crsed: FOAD
- Don’t Starve
- This War of Mine
- ARK: Survival Evolved
- Conan Exiles
Left to Survive
Well, take a look at that — the word “survive” is right there in the title of this game. What does this situation mean in terms of survival? Stuck on a remote island? In a nuclear wasteland, scavenging? Foraging in the past? No. In the video game Left to Survive, you fight zombies in a city’s ruins while gathering supplies for a tiny settlement.
This free-to-play game has a good deal of diversity to offer. In addition to helicopter raid levels where you battle humans in other settlements, there are on-rails shooter sections where zombies try to attack you. After gathering resources from these levels, you can then cultivate and manage your own settlement. Finally, if you enjoy multiplayer games, you can also try out the PvP mode. It has a lot to offer for being free and is undoubtedly a survival game.
When players continued returning to this free-to-play battle royale, which originally began out as Cuisine Royale—a satire of PUBG—it became clear that Dark flow Software had discovered something that is largely lacking in the battle royale gaming genre: lighthearted enjoyment.
Crsed: FOAD still revolves around surviving to the finish and outlasting a large number of opponents, but now you have to dig around for baking dishes and colanders to shield your meaty parts from approaching gunshots.
Recent upgrades have embraced the silliness, adjusting the melee fight, introducing new champions, a new area, flamethrowers, mortars, and motorboats. Additionally, you may now fire from moving vehicles and use daily challenges or hidden missions to unlock and enhance your heroes.
Don’t Starve mainly emphasises crafting to get along in life, and you spend a lot of time gathering resources, just like in a crafting game. But unlike Rust and Minecraft, this independent game is focused on the tools and contraptions you can build, not building dwellings. Before ancient marvels and the practice of magic can take their place, the Science Machine and Alchemy Engine will become your closest allies. Similar to Minecraft, Don’t Starve gleefully embraces the bizarre and mystifying, and is all the more fun for it.
The thought of having to survive on your own is the most terrifying. Don’t Starve force you to do just that because it is a completely lonely experience. The beautiful Tim Burton-style 2D visuals and the assortment of completely strange animals that are hiding in this sepia-toned environment serve to thankfully counteract the terrifying thought of having to fend for oneself in the wild. Numerous ludicrous monsters, such as werepigs, beargers, deerclopses, and others, prowl the countryside in an effort to make your life miserable.
Don’t Starve Together, one of the finest co-op games on PC, allows you to play with a friend if all of this sounds fantastic but you don’t want to collect twigs and dry grass alone.
This War of Mine
Nothing compares to the terrifying 2D experience, despite how stressful some survival games might be. This War of Mine provides a very unique kind of survival, as you’ll discover in our review. It shows a group of individuals attempting to survive in their war-torn nation. It’s a game of painful choices with life-or-death repercussions as you’re trapped in a besieged house, held down by snipers, and attacked by other survivors who want to steal what you’ve uncovered. Few war simulations actually address this aspect of the battle.
Your randomly selected survivors all have backstories that provide them with survival skills. Former firefighters are more physically fit and powerful, whereas former chefs can now feed the hungry. However, going out into the world to obtain the supplies you need, like food, medication, and scrap to create beds, might put you in contact with people who are eager to murder you. Additionally, converting a victim into a killer results in suffering, sadness, and-if left untreated-suicide.
It’s a grim existence, and sometimes what seems like the apparent right choice at the moment can have terrible results. Everyone will probably be dead before you get there, and the conclusion of the conflict feels like a pipe dream all the time. But this is a must-play if you believe you can survive under such trying conditions.
Minecraft is your best option if you’re looking for the greatest crafting survival game available. It appears like someone made the decision at some point that the only ways to survive were through torturous punishment, sluggish advancement, and murdering everybody who isn’t you. However, there was Minecraft, a delightful, colourful, and inventive survival sandbox game, before the huge survival blow-out on Steam. Although there are dragons, skeletons, spiders, and zombies that will devour your face, at least with Minecraft skins you always end up blocky and adorable. Nobody would object if a cartoon monster ate them for breakfast.
However, the method you survive in Minecraft is totally up to you, which is more crucial. You may create a complex castle and engage in a game of defence to fight off the nocturnal critters. Alternately, you may create thrilling weapons and explore the world’s most perilous regions, testing your mettle and your metal. The globe is essentially limitless and is teeming with incredible natural beauties screaming to be discovered. You’ll be OK as long as you sometimes remember to eat.
We sometimes forget that the vanilla Survival Mode is just as thrilling in its own unique way because we spend so much time focusing on the game’s creative aspects, including its numerous Minecraft mods, Minecraft maps, and Minecraft seeds, as well as all the other incredible possibilities out there. And don’t let us stop you if you truly want to create an automated mining manufacturing line in Survival Mode. Just watch out for the creepers who could throw a wrench in your plans.
You and up to nine other Vikings must construct shelter, scrounge for food, and gradually increase your strength before venturing out in pursuit of magnificent combat after being abandoned in the Norse wilderness with nothing but a loincloth and your wits. You start off in relatively safe meadows, but the randomly created wilds have a variety of biomes with increasing complexity; trust us, you don’t want to accidentally wander into the plains before you’re ready.
Each of Valheim’s biomes has a spectacular boss that, after you find it, summon it, and vanquish it, you may use to advance to the next zone by unlocking resources and abilities. Build a strong home base since you’ll also invite progressively powerful raids, and don’t forget the chimney, or you’ll die from smoke inhalation before that giant blue troll does.
ARK: Survival Evolved
Not only is Ark the finest dinosaur survival game available, but it’s also perhaps the best dinosaur game ever created. After all, dinosaurs are the best thing ever. It is a survival game that completely fits the mould: you must pound trees to collect wood, use wood to build a shelter, kill animals to find food, and eventually perish because you neglected to drink enough water. However, Ark deviates from the conventional survival game structure by introducing leathery leviathans who desire to both hunt and devour you, but which you can also tame and ride with some effort. In addition, mega tribes are engaged in cold warfare as they compete for world control. In a survival game, skilled builders push the boundaries of creation. Years of playtime are amassed by committed players.
Ark is a rock-solid company. Although the survival aspects of the game may be familiar to you, they serve as the foundation for its more ambitious aspects (and a strong Ark mod scene). Your character has numbers akin to those in an RPG, and you can go out into the environment to look for sci-fi mysteries, which gives you a bit more motivation to play than just “keep alive.” Other survival games rely on you being content with making it through the night, but Studio Wildcard offers you long-term goals like “tame and ride a T-Rex,” which makes playing Ark rewarding.
Many other survival experiences struggle with this, but the Ark provides a genuine feeling of development and objectives that makes your time there seem worthwhile. Additionally, if you’re having trouble with the sci-fi-themed expansion of the game, our advice for Ark: Aberration should be helpful. The first half of the two-part Genesis expansion, which was released in February, is heavily focused on exploring simulative landscapes that are home to volcanoes, freezing mountains, and extensive underwater biomes. It will be intriguing to see what fresh content will be in Ark 2, which is on the horizon and features none other than Vin Diesel.
Scum is starting out in Steam Early Access like many of the survival games on this list, which implies two things: the game is still fairly buggy, and there are tonnes of features that have yet to be implemented. But even at this early stage, this realistic survival game set in an island jail with tight security has a lot to offer.
Its extremely meticulous metabolic system, which turns Scum into a type of simulation game that completely records what you eat, drink, and defecate, sets it apart from its competitors. If you consume far more calories than you are burning off, you will gain weight; if you consume fewer calories than you are burning off, you will feel exhausted and eventually lose weight.
However, the situation is much more complicated than that. You must also pay attention to your vitamin levels, stomach, gut, bladder, and colon volume, as well as the amount of time your body needs to process the food you consume. The thirst and hunger systems in other survival games pale in comparison to Scum. A fitter character deals more melee damage, runs quicker, and has better weapon handling than their anorexic or overweight counterparts, so there are benefits to taking care of your physique as well.
The end result is a survival game where living is more significant than gathering a collection of high-quality military equipment. Although you still have endgame objectives such as exploring high-security locations, increasing your supply of firearms, and experimenting with PvP once you’ve learned how to take care of your body. If you need assistance with any of those, see our list of the best Scum hints. If that isn’t quite enough, there are also some excellent Scum admin commands available to you.
This shambling undead treat is still among the top survival and zombie games. It is, in other words, the supreme zombie survival game. With little crafting to speak of and no goals other than surviving, DayZ could even be among the leanest virtual survivors by today’s standards. Food and water are necessary, and failing to pay attention to your symptoms when you become unwell might soon result in your death. Walking without shoes can cut and infect your feet, and receiving the wrong type of blood transfusion will cause you to permanently lose your bearings.
You’ll reach DayZ’s finest feature, exploration if you’re comfortable with fending against illness, body functions, and zombies that periodically phase through barriers. With the cities and villages scattered over the landscape, Bohemia has successfully conveyed the Eastern Bloc mood of the wasteland that is Chernarus. DayZ’s forests feel more like real, living things than artificial imitations, and the wilderness has a genuine sense of remoteness.
It’s best played with a companion or two; imagine a disastrous camping vacation. And by “horribly wrong,” we refer to being taken hostage by a gang of robbers who will force-feed you bleach and flee with your can opener. Therefore, proceed with care.
Given the enormous popularity of games like DayZ, it was just a matter of time until a licensed IP chose to try the survival genre. Conan Exiles, which takes inspiration from one of the top PC games available right now, Dark Souls 3, throws you into the Hyborian Age as everyone’s favourite barbarian tries to duff people up and escape death.
Grow crops, establish towns, and club foes to death. However, Conan has a unique selling point that none of his rivals can match: human sacrifice. If you can drag someone to an altar and murder them, you may ask the gods for their favour and tip the scales in your favour. Conan Exiles stands out from the crowd because of its original premise.
So, here’s a list of the top survival games. Let us know which one of these survival games you enjoyed the most.
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