Survival games have an easy mantra – Fight to stay alive. It’s not hard to understand. After all, humans are built to survive. Given how our minds are wired, it’s easy to see why we relate so easily with survival games and become so engrossed when playing them.
Our evident bias towards survival games has made them one of the more popular gaming genres and one that is highly sort after. To keep up with the demand, game developers are constantly pushing out new games. But, just because it's new doesn't mean it's worth your time.
If you’re looking for the best survival games for PC to keep you busy, here is a list of the some of the must-play options you should look into.
Rust started out as a clone for DayZ, but it has come of its own and players are warming up to the idea of starting with nothing other than a rock.
The player has to scavenge, hunt and kill animals to survive and defend themselves from other human players in this online multiplayer action-packed game.
You can gather materials from the wilderness and built your own hideout. There are plenty of areas for you to take cover from the shoot-on-sight kind of gamers.
Not all players will look to slash you to pieces. Some are nice enough to offer you a chance to team up and make it easier to survive as you look out for each other’s backs.
This unique setup probably fanned by the nudity in the game has seen Rust become the most played game on Steam and definitely a fan favourite.
You wouldn’t think there’s much worth fighting for when you’re staring down the ocean currents. But Subnautica and its dreamy underwater setting prove otherwise. It's a first-person survival game that focuses on underwater exploration.
Unlike other survival games where you’re always on alert and in fear of catching an arrow or a bullet from an enemy lurking in the shadows, this one has a more hopeful and relaxing feeling to it.
Your ship crash lands on an alien planet and you’re trapped. Your goal is to transform the new planet and make it your home. In addition to the pressure to find food and water, you also have to worry about oxygen which is where the game has a unique touch.
In your quest to find resources, you will also come across some valuable materials that you can use to expand your base, upgrade tools and craft submersibles for better exploration.
Why not also read: Best Turn Based Strategy Games for PC
The Long Dark
If you like your survival game with some chilling effects to it, you will love The Long Dark. Compared to other titles and themes of survival games you might have tried out or heard about, it’s easy to tell right off the bat there’s going to be creepy stuff with this one.
Paired together with the game’s harsh survival mechanics, there’s also a juicy storyline to keep you hooked.
The game is set up in Northern Canada where you get to trade zombies for bears and tropical island for snowdrifts.
You don't have to worry about creeping enemies but be wary of your surroundings. The elements are your biggest adversary. To survive, you have to always think about food, fire and water. There’s no doubt every single minute spent playing this game will be a nail-biting experience. And so, this game makes it on our list of best survival games for PC.
This War of Mine
You are part of a group of ordinary civilians living in a war-torn city. You have to survive amid the chaos and constant attacks.
This game paints a surreal image of real-life events that might occur and provides a desperate kind of feeling complete with the tough choice you have to make to keep yourself and other survivors healthy. The nights are tense and horrific and you spend days looking for food and supplies to support the survivors.
Not only is this a great survival game, but it also peels the curtains into the reality and harsh nature of war.
Frost Punk is considered one of the best PC survival games there is. But with so many games competing for the same title, it's hard to find one that entirely runs away with the title.
In this game, you have to survive in a frozen world. As if that’s not enough, you have a bunch of frost-bitten, hungry and mad at life people you have to look after.
Your goal is to build a functional city inside a crater filled with snow but has a massive coal furnace for heat. You also need to scavenge for food and hunt and be a source of hope to your people that you will make it and that there is hope.
If you're looking to challenge your mind and your problem-solving skills, this game is going to be an excellent one for you.
At first, Astroneer was nothing but a solid launch and would occasionally get hits from gamers. After years of improvements and updates, the game finally realised its potential.
Like in Subnautica, you also crash land on an alien planet. You’re tasked with finding resources to build your support and turn your new environment into your base complete with power, laboratories and vehicles.
It’s no easy task. But, to make it more manageable, you can make a team of up to four players and work together to realise your dream of a home far away from home.
You have to over the surface of the alien planet using self-made craft vehicles and mine the planet for resources. The most special thing about the game is that you have full range to charter your own destiny because the game is not scripted and doesn't have a storyline.
State of Decay 2
In this game, the challenge is bigger and better. You’re not only playing for your own survival but that of your community as well. Are you up to the challenge?
You have to find ways to survive a zombie apocalypse, find food, water, weapons and gear through all the mayhem. With multiple characters, you can leverage their unique abilities, but with more people, that also means the resources are limited.
You have to extensively traverse rural America sourcing for resources and you have to manage your community. However, you can have co-op partner join or leave your community.
Relive the worst calamities that can befall mankind and be the hope to a small number of survivors as you guide them through different obstacles to collect food, supplies and rebuild entire cities to guarantee the continuation of humanity.
Be a hero in another dimension with any one of these best survival games for PC. Rest assured you won’t have wasted your time playing anyone of them.