[Top 20] Best Survival Games for PC

Best Survival Games for PC

Sometimes it's either you or them...

Ever heard of a Survival Game? Who are we kidding? Of course you have! With seemingly limitless amounts of games of this genre being released over the years, they all have one thing in common: Survive.

What are the main characteristics of a Survival Game?

  • The need to be sustained with food/drink
  • Base building and crafting
  • Open world design
  • Lack of objectives (Most the time) 
  • Steep learning curves 
  • Multiplayer, normally large servers
  • Grinding gameplay

Despite these shared similarities, you can be assured you will have a completely unique experience when loading up each of these games, as they all have something different to offer a would-be survivor. 

What makes a Survival Game different to other genres is the difficulty in simply keeping your character alive. Some games allow you to eat and drink for a health boost, others let you build bases in open sandboxes; Survival Games are built with all these features in mind, with only some exceptions to the rule. 

There are many things to love about Survival Games, but what we love the most is the unpredictable nature of the cause of your next, inevitable demise. Maybe you’re unable to find food and starve, or perhaps you’ll end up on the menu of some of the resident wildlife! 

This unpredictability ensures you can never fully relax. Even when you’re geared to the teeth with the best loot after hours of grinding, your game over screen can appear at any moment. 

Read on to hear our 20 Best Survival Games on PC. Hopefully we can convince you to give some of these a try!


20. Enshrouded

Quick! while he’s not looking! 


Have you ever wanted to build your very own castle? How about taking on some titanic beasts with friends in a fantasy setting? Enshrouded has you covered. In this massive, magic filled world you design your character from the ground up, and write your own story in the land of Embervale. 

As is the norm with Survival Games, you start out with nothing but the clothes on your back; but after looting, hunting and crafting in this vast, vibrant land, you can build a kingdom from scratch, just the way you’ve always wanted it. You know you want to! 

Enshrouded adds a grappling hook and a glider to the mix, turning the process of travelling, which in some open world games can feel tedious, into a fun, faster way of going about your adventures. 

Having a fully fleshed out RPG system really sets Enshrouded apart from the competition, as you’re rewarded for putting the time into levelling up your hero, and upgrading your Flame Level, which allows you to survive longer in the deadly ‘Shroud’.

Enshrouded First Impressions "Is It Worth Playing?"


19. Pacific Drive

I told you we shouldn’t have taken that shortcut…


If you thought you were in for a relaxing, scenic drive along the Pacific Northwest, think again! Sat behind the steering wheel, you need to traverse through the dangers and mysteries of ‘The Zone’. 

Pacific Drive mixes up the survival formula by essentially making your humble station wagon the main character. You’ll need to make regular repairs and upgrades to your vehicle to increase your chances of surviving when out in this dangerous, yet intriguing world.

One quick cruise around this open world will expose you to the dangerous anomalies and extreme weather conditions around every corner, and encourage you to keep your vehicle maintained with parts you find along your travels. Don’t forget, cars have feelings too!

Despite the risks of leaving the safety of your garage, you’ll be eager to set out for a spin to explore, and find out the secrets of this well crafted and detailed world. If you like driving and mystery, this is the game for you!

Pacific Drive | Launch Trailer


18. Sons of the Forest

Fending off cannibals has never looked better! 


Sure, you’re pitted against feral, murderous cannibals, but just take in those views!  The follow up to 2014’s The Forest ramps up the graphics, the combat, and also more of a story this time around, on our mission to find the whereabouts of a missing family. 

When you’re being left alone by the resident hooligans, you’re ‘free’ to build your home however you want, using the intuitive, easy to use building system. Cutting down trees is always satisfying as you find the perfect spot to set up your base. 

You can be joined by up to seven other players as you explore the island, and if you dare, explore the pitch back caves that contain some of the more horrifying mutants that wouldn’t look out of place in The Thing. 

Staying on the island of Site 2 isn’t for the faint hearted, but thanks to the deadly arsenal of weaponry, and the introduction of a glider ensures you'll have fun for the duration of your visit!

Sons Of The Forest Trailer


17. Rust

Three, two, one, charge!


Rust is one of the most well known and most played Survival Games of all time, and for good reason! Spawn in completely naked, and grind your way from the bottom, straight to the top. That is, if you live long enough!  

Keep yourself alive by looting, and hunting the wildlife. Once you have been fed and watered, it’s time to gear up. Do you visit the locals and try to team up, or go at it alone and trust your chances? Keep in mind that maybe your neighbours might want what you have, and you’ve just taken it right to their doorstep! 

Base building and the inevitable raids that follow is where Rust really shines. After spending hours building your base, you’ll eventually find yourself inside and under attack, which is a tense experience, whether they’re armed with a simple axe, or worse case, explosives. 

There’s a lot to love about Rust, but what we love is how well it blends all the mechanics together; with fun gameplay, easy building and crafting, and vehicles that make travelling a treat. Once you’re flying a helicopter, you’ll know you’ve made it!

Rust - Official Trailer


16. Ark: Survival Ascended

Just a man with a rocket launcher, riding a raptor…Nothing to see here


Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? That’s right, no-one! The latest instalment of the dinosaur taming Survival series Ark, comes back with a bang, now running on Unreal Engine 5; and it looks great! 

Now coming with prettier graphics, better dinosaur AI, and the addition of community mods. These improvements make a noticeable change, and really bring the world to life. 

Ark: Survival Ascended comes with the usual Survival tropes of hunting for food and building a base once you have collected enough resources. Ark does all of this well, but the best part of the game is, of course, the dinosaurs! 

Once you’ve set your eyes on your chosen dinosaur, or other creature that you would like to have as a pet, you can attempt to tame it. Once it is tamed (If you’ve not been eaten in the process!), you can now ride the beast as your trusty steed! 

Attacking other players' bases while mounted on a T Rex creates moments of chaos that can’t be matched anywhere else, and the improvements over Ark's predecessor makes this the ultimate dinosaur simulator on the market!

 ARK: Survival Ascended Launch Trailer


15. Dayz 

Come on guys, let’s talk about this! 


You’ve just spent the last few hours looting, and gathering resources for your expedition inland. Suddenly you notice a sound behind you. Before you can react, there’s the game over screen. Sigh, we’ve got a long walk from the beach again. 

Few games can match how unfair Dayz can feel at times, but that’s why we love it! You’re thrown into the 225 Km2  map of Chernarus with the only goal to survive. 

It’s completely up to you how you decide to play. You can take the survival route: hunting and fishing to keep yourself sustained, and setting up camps in the wilderness. Alternatively, you can take the more sinister option, and murder and take whatever you want from the other survivors. The choice is yours. 

Once you’re all geared up, you can build your own base to keep your well earned loot safe. Just beware, once located by other players, your home will have a target on its back, and it’ll only be a matter of time before someone attempts to raid you! 

There are many ways to meet your demise in Dayz: From illnesses, not so friendly wildlife, to other murderous players. You can never fully let your guard down, and this means you’re on the edge of your seat at all times!

DayZ Teaser


14. Project Zomboid

I think we might have a bit of a zombie problem here…


Only one thing is guaranteed in the world of Project Zomboid: you will die. How this happens is up to you and the choices that you make. Whether by starvation, illness, or the more likely zombie onslaughts, your death is an inevitability.

What this isometric Survival Game lacks in looks, it makes up for in charm. It may look like a simple, old school flash game on surface level, but this survival experience is anything but; with a rich RPG system that lets you build your character to your preferred playstyle. 

Before loading in, you create your character, choosing their skills and traits which they obtained before the zombie outbreak. These skills include: Fitness, strength, agility, melee, and ranged, among others; and these increase as you survive and wonder through the apocalypse. 

Once you die, you lose all your progress and need to start from the beginning all over again. Although this may sound tedious, the near unlimited ways that you can play means no two playthroughs will ever be the same, and by this point you’ll be too addicted to stop playing anyway!

Project Zomboid Trailer - This Is How I Died


13. RimWorld 

Thought you were getting off this rock? Think again​


If you haven't already played this one, where have you been? This addictive Survival Simulator has you lead your group of colonists on an alien planet, with the ultimate goal of building a spaceship to escape. Though, you might need to put those plans on hold for a while…

Before you start your new colony in RimWorld, you must choose an AI Storyteller. These directors control ‘random’ events that affect your survivors, and really keep the game fresh and dynamic. The clear choice is Randy Random, who won’t think twice about ruining all the hard work you’ve put in!

Once your party has arrived, it’s now your job to keep them not just alive, but happy, too. Our colonists are a sophisticated bunch, so won’t take kindly to sleeping without a bed, or eating their food on the ground. 

Setting your base up in a warm tropical climate will make growing crops easier, but diseases will be more likely to plague your population and food.If you opt for a freezing environment, food stores will last much longer, but below zero temperatures don’t make for happy workers. 

If anything can happen, it will happen in Rimworld. Every playthrough is completely unique, and this zany Story Generator will throw every twist and turn at you to ensure you never leave this inhospitable planet.

RimWorld - Biotech trailer


 12. Fallout 76

That’s right. We’ve got power armour, and there’s nothing you can do about it!


Wandering through a post-apocalyptic world can sometimes feel lonely. Why not bring some friends? Fallout 76 takes the usual well crafted, detailed, open world experiences we’re used to seeing in Bethesda games, and adds some multiplayer madness to the mix. 

You’ll exit Vault 76, and enter the fallout-ridden, yet scenic land known as Appalachia. Take care when leaving, as the radiation has hideously mutated everything that wasn’t fortunate enough to be in a vault when the bombs dropped; and mutated animals have a taste for vault dwellers! 

Being able to experience Fallout in a multiplayer setting really adds to the fun that you can have. Teaming up for the task of collecting launch codes, and launching a nuke is easier as a squad, and watching the resulting inferno together is the icing on the cake. 

Bethesda has kept the game fresh with consistent updates and expansions, meaning it’s always a good time to give this one a try, whether you’re an old or a new player; Appalachia is waiting!

Fallout 76 – Official Trailer


11. Terraria

Nobody upset the giant worm!


Welcome to the procedurally generated world of Terraria. Sure, it may look pretty, but come nighttime, you’ll be cowering behind your freshly built walls! 

Everything in Terraria is destructible, meaning you can change the world around you however you want. Collect resources as you go so you can build your ideal home that will attract friendly NPC’s, and keep hostile creatures out when night falls. 

Once you’ve got a feel for the game, you should head underground. Here you will find some of the better loot, though the risks are higher, with an abundance of monsters out to kill you, and more than happy to keep some of your hard earned coins! 

Terraria also contains a multiplayer mode, which is the star of the show. Looting, exploring, and discovering the secrets of this land is better experienced with friends or strangers alike. Just remember to bring a torch when you go underground!

Good. Bad. I'm the Guy with the YoYo: The Terraria 1.3 Official Trailer


10. Valheim

Damn Rudolf, you got ugly!


Being a viking can be tough work, especially when you’re trying to prove your worth to Odin. In Valheim, a player finds themselves in the procedurally generated afterworld of the Tenth World; where you will find a plethora of mythological monsters waiting for you…

Valheim perfectly combines RPG and survival elements together. Cutting down trees increases your woodcutting skills, and also gives you the necessary wood for making fires, and hunting animals will give you meat for cooking at the same time as levelling up your weapons. 

Bring along some friends (up to 9 others per server), summon, and attempt to defeat some of the legendary bosses, which drop some of the best loot in the game. Or you can live a more peaceful viking existence, and simply just build your own settlement to make your own. 

What makes Valheim so special, is that every action you take, will have an opposite reaction. By killing a boss dragon, you may have caused its remaining brood to attack your base on occasion. Similarly, if you get too greedy with mining, you may kill off the local flora.

Valheim: Hearth & Home Cinematic Trailer


9. The Forest

Let this be a warning!


The original cannibal Survival Game, The Forest crash lands our unfortunate protagonist into a vast forest, with the goal of finding our son who has since gone missing since our plane went down. 

You’ll be able to find some supplies in the wreckage which will get you started, but you’ll need to acclimatise to your new neighbourhood, in this deceptively peaceful forest,and build yourself a shelter, using the satisfying and intuitive building system. 

As you take care of your chores, like hunting, cooking, and building; you might get a funny feeling that you’re being watched. You’re right. Mutated cannibals will observe your comings and goings, and as time goes on they’ll become more bold and reckless… 

Before long you’ll notice your new neighbours are constantly watching you, and waiting for a perfect moment to strike. Your peaceful tasks around your base now become a nerve wracking process, watching behind you at all times. 

Depending on your nerve, going into the deep, dark caves can make or break this game, as the pitch black requires a light source at all times. Running directly into a hideous, misshapen mutant that you spotted too late can be a truly terrifying experience. 

The Forest Trailer 4


8. The Last of Us Part 1

Burn baby, burn!


The same incredible, story-driven adventure. Now better! Play as Joel, and lead the rebellious Ellie through a post-apocalypse USA, trying to avoid the dangers that seemingly lie round every corner. The remake brings this genre defining game to the next generation.

As you progress through this brilliantly paced adventure, you have to fight (or sneak) your way past vicious enemies, both mutated and human alike, and keep yourself and your companions alive. 

Dodge this!


The moment you get too careless when sneaking past a clicker, throws you into a tense fight for your life, that will really test your skills and your patience. You need to use all your wits and weapons at your disposal to survive these vicious encounters. 

You won’t feel lacking from The Last of Us being a single-player only experience. The story and characters will have you gripped from the start to the finish, and the smooth gameplay will keep you glued to your keyboard.

The Last of Us Part I: Gameplay | Bill's Town



One moment, you’re getting warm by the fire, next, you’re dead


In SCUM, you are a prisoner, and quite literally dropped into an island owned by the sinister TEC1 corporation. You’re here for the entertainment of viewers who want nothing more than to watch you meet a grisly end!

SCUM island is filled with many things that want to kill you. Hordes of zombies inhabit the island, deadly mechs can be found in military locations, and most importantly, other players will be wandering and won’t think twice about taking out the competition.  

This Survival Game will challenge you in more ways than one. The survival elements of SCUM are incredibly detailed and in depth. Food is broken down into real-world parts: carbs, fats, proteins, and vitamins. You’ll need to find good sources of nutrition to keep yourself alive. 

What separates SCUM from other Survival games is how much of a genuine threat the zombies are. Alert one zombie to your presence and it’ll bring a horde down on your location, and they can smash their way through doors and jump through windows, so hiding is rarely an option!

SCUM - 2 year Anniversary | Evolution of SCUM 2018-2020


6. Conan Exiles

Someone call pest control!


In the world seen in Conan the Barbarian, you write your own history the way you want it. In Conan Exiles, if you don’t make your character an Arnold Schwarzenegger look-alike, what are you even doing?

In Conan Exiles, you choose a religion to follow when making your character. These all give different perks and items for the player to use. Best of all, once you have levelled up your altar, you can summon an avatar of your chosen god, and control them for a brief time.

Back off if you don’t want your blood added to the rest!


Exploration is the aim of the game, as there are many unique and diverse biomes for you to explore in this well crafted world. You can choose to do this by yourself in singleplayer, together with friends in cooperative, or the option we would recommend: Full blown multiplayer. 

Combat really shines in this Survival Game, with tight controls and fun foes to fight. Whether you’re battling human enemies, or multiple legged insectoid monstrosities; you’ll be having a fun time hacking and slashing away!

Conan Exiles - Cinematic Trailer


5. Grounded

Yeah…We’re gonna nope right out of this one!


Ever wished Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was made into a game? Us neither, but we’re damn pleased Grounded exists!

If you thought a spider in the bathtub was scary enough, imagine now you’re small enough to be caught in its web! In Grounded, all the cute, innocent insects you normally find in your garden are now out to eat you and your shrunken friends.

No, I don't think he wants to be petted!


There’s an intriguing story to follow here, where you must figure out how you became this size, and how to get back to normality. You recruit the help of a charming, but equally amnesia affected robot helper named BURG.L. 

The interesting story and premise, combined with refined survival elements such as hunting, crafting, and base building really make this game one of a kind, and worth playing for even people who don’t normally play Survival Games.

Grounded Official 1.0 Full Release Trailer


4. 7 Days to Die

Hey zombie! Meet electricity!


As part of the first wave of Survival Games, 7 Days to Die has been going strong for over 10 years. We personally love it, and it proves there’s life in the old dog yet! 

Pick from your choice of 4 different weather condition biomes, and make your new home. Using a block base building system, you’re able to build just about anything, and you’re only limited by your own imagination.

The real meat and potatoes is in the name of the Game…Every 7 days you will be assaulted by a massive zombie horde, which essentially turns your survival experience into a zombie tower defence game. Traps and turrets are your friends here. 

These hordes can be an intense ordeal. Zombies make good use of the fully destructible environments, and waste no time tearing your base down to get to you. It’s a moment of pure relief when the horde lets up, and the sun rises.

'7 Days to Die' Launch Trailer


3. Albion Online

No fair! No fire tornadoes allowed!


If you’re looking for something different, look no further than Albion online. This MMORPG lets you craft your own story in the massive world of Albion. Immerse yourself in this fantastical medieval world, and say goodbye to your freetime!  

A unique feature of Albion Online is that your character's stats are directly linked to your clothes and equipment. Bored of playing as a warrior? That’s ok! Just switch out your armour and sword for a robe and a staff, and voilá, you’re now a magician!

Only one of us is walking away from here, pal


What makes Albion truly worth your time is the sense of community. As you travel through the many hubs and areas of interest, you’ll see hundreds of other players in this alive and vibrant land. A player driven economy means that all items have been crafted and traded by the players themselves. 

You can play Albion Online however you want, with a huge mix of PVP and PVE events to choose from. You can go at it alone through the dungeons and duels, or you can join a guild and take part in massive fantasy sieges.

Albion Online | Tell Your Story


2. V Rising

No, of course the neighbours won’t question the massive coffin


Vampire games are already a rare breed (Too rare if you ask us), so you survival game fans are spoiled with this one! V Rising brilliantly adds vampiric elements into the survival formula, and makes a truly one of a kind game. 

You wake up after being asleep for hundreds of years. Obviously, that long a slumber would leave anyone hungry, but in this case, that’s a hunger for blood! With you being a vampire, you need to keep topped up with blood, otherwise you will weaken and eventually die.

Different blood types will give the player different buffs and bonuses. But what you really want is Blood Essence. This lovely crimson stuff comes in three types, and is used in crafting and for upgrading and maintaining your Castle once it has been built. 

Alpha Wolf, meet Apex Predator!


As a creature of the night, sunlight isn’t your friend. With a day-night cycle, you must plan your adventures wisely, as being stuck out in the sunlight will drain your health till you’re a pile of ash. If you do find yourself out in the sun, look for the shade! 

What stands out in V Rising is the combat. Action feels tight and responsive, and it’s always a treat when you overcome crowds of enemies. Playing with friends is even better, as you team up to battle some of the more challenging bosses of the regions. 

V Rising - Gameplay Trailer


1. Stranded: Alien Dawn

You think they’re friendly?


Crash land on an alien planet with four unlucky survivors, and turn this harsh, unwelcoming land into a home (Raise your hand if this sounds familiar!).Stranded: Alien Dawn treads familiar grounds, but sets itself apart with great mechanics and pretty graphics. 

Observe the world around you to discover the properties of plant and animal life. This will be important if you want to find out what flora and fauna can be eaten, and what to avoid. Once you learn and name an edible plant, it can now be planted and grown. 

Harvest the land around you to gather resources. First thing you’ll want to do is build a humble shelter for your colonists. Your first shelter might not look like much, but it’s home. Keeping your settlers happy is just as important as keeping them alive.

Each survivor has their own unique set of skills and personalities. Someone with combat experience will protect, and train the others when you are attacked by hostile, native beasts. But you will also need people who understand how to build, and having positive characters will ensure everyone stays happy. 

As you can see, this is a complex game with so many layers to uncover. Learning these mechanics is what makes Stranded: Alien Dawn so satisfying to play. You need to try it for yourself!

Stranded: Alien Dawn Launch Trailer


We for sure will have missed some from the list, but we think you love these ones! We’d love to hear what’s your favourite Survival Game, and if it made the list. Share your thoughts down in the comments!

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Hi! My name is Alex, and I have been gaming since 1999, having amazing virtual moments from Sony's first console to Microsoft's latest.
Gamer Since: 1999
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: The Hunter: Call of the Wild
Top 3 Favorite Games:Metro 2033, Fallout: New Vegas, DayZ

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