Top 10 Survival Games
In this article we are providing you top 10 survival games of 2020 for PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. Are you tough enough to survive in these survival MMOs and games?
Survival games have a very special appeal. They always demand that you do not lose and survive by all possible means. They reward your skill with wonderful surroundings to explore and the opportunity to build your own base.
We are providing here the list of top 10 survival games for 2020. The list is a personal list of the author. The survival games can be played in multiplayer or co-op. You will also find single player titles. Free survival games are not included.
Most of our featured games have a buy-2-play model, so they cost money
#1. Ark: Survival Evolved
Developer / Publisher: Studio Wildcard
Release: August 29, 2017
Platforms: Windows (PC), PS4, Xbox One
What is Ark about?
In Ark Survival Evolved you land on a desert island full of dinosaurs, naked and without any tools. You have to survive and learn more and more technologies, tame dinosaurs and build futuristic equipment.
Your goal is to climb the volcano in the middle and defeat the final boss in it. In order to gain access, you have to fight a number of exciting boss fights that bring you a step closer to your goal.
Main Features of Ark Survival Evolved
Unique boss fights with great mechanics that represent tough challenges
- Dinosaurs in all designs and sizes for fighting, collecting or even building on them
- A comprehensive skill system in which you can let off steam and learn all kinds of recipes
The survival aspect of Ark:
Surviving in Ark is not as easy as in many other games. Food and drinks are fairly light and can be found almost everywhere. Even the first tools can be crafted easily.
However, the dinosaurs do not differentiate whether you are an experienced survivor or a naked man who has just washed ashore. Especially carnivores like the famous T-Rex like to make survival a tough job for newbies.
Despite the technical difficulties of Ark, the game has a huge community and is one of the most popular games on Steam. Alone it may be a little boring, but exploring the colorful and detailed world with friends is really a great experience. You just have to get used to the fact that the character empties his bowel every few minutes with an unappetizing sound…
Developer / Publisher: Bohemia Interactive
Release: December 13, 2018
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
What is DayZ about?
DayZ is a classic zombie survival game. A virus infects the population of a post-Soviet state and turns them into infected ones that attack survivors. You belong to the latter because you are immune to the virus.
DayZ is an open-world sandbox in which your only real goal is to survive. How you do that is up to you. You can fight your way through the wild, graze the remaining resources from ghost towns, or rob other players.
DayZ received a major update in December 2019 with the second new Livonia card and the first DLC ever. The update has attracted tons of new players. On Steam alone, the number of average players rose from 8,699 in November 2019 to 14,471 in mid-January 2020 (via steamcharts ).
Main Features of DayZ
- A huge open world (163 to 230 km² depending on the map) based on real locations
- Authentic gunplay and close combat
- Different survival mechanics like hunting, crafting, diseases and injuries
- Many freedoms with the possibilities to also modify the game through the tools of the developers (e.g. via Steam Workshop)
The survival aspect of DayZ:
The features mentioned like illnesses and injuries make it really difficult to survive in DayZ. These effects prevent you from looking for the necessary resources, some of which you need to get rid of these effects at all.
Getting started is particularly difficult. Once you have survived for a while and you know how everything works or a stock of important things, it becomes increasingly easier.
Who is DayZ for?
DayZ is aimed at fans of classic horror and zombie survival games. It is dark and dreary, plays in a desolate world and really challenges the players. The new update brings with it a new forest environment. If you like games like Left4Dead, but prefer to experience it in an open world or want to see how one of the first successful survival games plays, you should take a look at DayZ. At best, you should already have a little idea of the genre, because DayZ is really hard.
After a long development, which is not finished even after the release, DayZ is getting bigger and obviously also more successful. The new updates inspire the players and attract thousands. Despite initial difficulties, the developers stay tuned and ensure that new content is always coming. DayZ is a classic survival game for players who have fallen in love with the genre. Although it is a multiplayer with 60 players per card, the size can mean that you will not see anyone for hours.
#3. Conan Exiles
Developer / Publisher: Funcom
Release: May 8, 2019
Platforms: Windows (PC), PS4, Xbox One
What is Conan Exiles about?
Conan Exiles mercilessly throws you into an inhospitable desert after the legendary Conan, the barbarian, himself knocked you off the cross, to whom you were left to die for some crimes.
You have been put on a bracelet that binds you to the cursed land and kills you should you try to leave it. You fight your way through dungeons and different areas such as swamps and volcanoes to learn in a long, detailed story how you can take off and escape the bracelet through the “journey” .
Main Features of Conan Exiles
A fascinating combat system with different fighting styles for many types of weapons and mounted combat
- A rough and unfriendly world for adults, where everything and everyone wants to kill you
- A deep story told by NPCs, tablets and the world itself
- The possibility of building structures of different races from the Conan universe using DLCs
- It doesn’t take itself too seriously and has a rough sense of humor for adults
The survival aspect of Conan Exiles:
If you want to survive in Conan Exiles, you have to put in a lot of effort. You will find water quite early, but water points are rare and rarer to find later. You can find food everywhere, but it does not necessarily fill you well and can make you sick if you eat it raw.
In addition, the world itself wants to kill you. In addition to giant scorpions and human NPC tribes, you have to adapt your clothes and even your buildings to the weather. Heat, cold and sandstorms make life difficult for you all the time.
Who is Conan Exiles for?
Conan Exiles is primarily aimed at adult players who like it hard and are not stuck before a tough start. Even fans of Conan, the barbarian, get a lot delivered here. Conan Exiles is not easy and one of the trickiest survival games on the market. The realistic and brutal world is open to explorers and fighters alike. Even role players can find groups to play on private servers.
The ultimate survival game for adults is Conan Exiles. It forgives only a few mistakes, so it is quite demanding, but it rewarded perseverance with great stories, a lively world and first-class combat and construction options. Conan just detests weaklings.
#4. Fallout 76
Developer / Publisher: Bethesda
Release: November 14, 2018
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
What is Fallout 76 about?
Fallout 76 takes place after a fictional nuclear war in which the world was almost destroyed. You play a survivor who was housed in a so-called “vault”, a huge bunker.
Your Vault 76 has now been opened as one of the first and you have the task of rebuilding America. You start in West Virginia, in the Appalachia area where Fallout 76 is set.
Main Features of Fallout 76
A lovingly designed, detailed world that can be explored for hours
- A strange sense of humor that distinguishes the game from other members of the genus and in some very bizarre places shows
- Equipment modifications and perks allow character customization that is refreshingly comprehensive for the survival genre
- A friendly community that also likes to help newbies often
The survival aspect of Fallout 76:
Surviving in the wasteland is fairly easy. If you pay a little attention to your water and food supply and don’t allow yourself to be exposed to too much radiation, you will usually find enough food. Only getting started can be a bit difficult since there are still no skills that make it easier to find food and water. In the later course of the game, however, this is much easier.
Who is Fallout 76 for?
Fallout 76 in particular is great fun for explorers. The world is one of the best features of the game and has a lot to offer if you are willing to look around. Single players with an urge to explore will get their money’s worth, but group players can also have fun with friends.
Despite some mistakes, Fallout 76 offers a huge, beautiful post-war world in which there are an incredible number of things to discover. The post-apocalyptic scenario is implemented in a Fallout-specific way that ridicules many things and can create bizarre situations. Many hours of fun and discovery are certain.
Release: April 03, 2019 (Early Access)
What is Cryofall about?
In Cryofall, you play the survivor of a crash landing on an alien planet, on which you are now somehow fighting for your survival. Together with others – or against them – you explore the foreign environment, build a safe haven and find out what actually happened on the planet.
Main Features of Cryofall
You play in a 2D look that reminds a little of Stardew Valley, only with better textures.
- In addition, there is a crisp difficulty and the advantages for which the German publisher Daedalic is known.
- Cryofall tells a story that you are slowly playing for and puts you in a great atmosphere in the setting of the crash landing on an alien planet.
The survival aspect of Cryofall:
In addition to standard challenges such as hunger, thirst and injuries, Cryofall offers another system that makes your survival easier or more difficult: implants. You have the opportunity to strengthen yourself with implants. However, these can also break – which results in a debuff that lowers your life points and disrupts the function of the implant.
Who is Cryofall for?
Cryofall is a bit like Stardew Valley meets Rust with a small stake in Rimworld. If you are a fan of one of these games and want to try survival, you should definitely check out Cryofall. Even those who like grind, PvP and crafting can confidently resort to Cryofall.
Cryofall is a game that you put a lot of time into, but you can also play it as a game in between. The simple graphics do not overwhelm even newcomers, but the level of difficulty ensures that challenges remain in the long run. Only the aspects of the grind, the optics and the PvP should divide the spirits here.
#6. No man’s sky
Developer / Publisher: Hello Games
Release: August 12, 2016
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
What is No Man’s Sky about?
In No Man’s Sky you have a huge world in space where you can discover, craft and tinker with your spaceship over 18 trillion planets and unknown species.
No Man’s Sky is something like the epitome of an “open world” and since the NEXT update has even supported a multiplayer aspect that has made the game even bigger. Meanwhile , the game is even closer to an MMO .
Main Features of No Man’s Sky
A huge world that almost never ends and in which there is always something new to discover
- Detailed environments and beautiful graphics that invite you to admire
- Your own spaceship and even pets
The survival aspect of No Man’s Sky:
In No Man’s Sky, survival focuses particularly on the comprehensive crafting system. You are always looking for new materials that you can get from anywhere. However, if you steal from NPCs or overexploit, you have the space police on your neck .
In addition, the weather makes you struggling. Most planets have a different climate that you have to adapt to. Proper clothing, spacesuits and equipment that needs to be well maintained are key here.
No Man’s Sky has become a really good survival multiplayer and is currently developing more and more into a survival MMO. The huge world can also be explored on its own and offers enough content both solo and in groups for months and possibly years to discover it.
#7. The Forest
Developer / Publisher: Endnight Games
Release: April 30, 2018
Platforms: PC, PS4
What is The Forest?
In The Forest you crashed on a plane on a desert island and are now looking for your son Timmy. Your ultimate goal is to survive so that you can save your son at all.
Unlike most survival MMOs, The Forest builds on individual game sessions in which you experience a story and pursue a task.
Main Features of The Forest
- Dreadful, disfigured enemies that could have come from a first-class horror film
- A story with different ends that are influenced by your decisions
- Unique horror elements that give survival a certain thrill
The survival aspect of The Forest:
In The Forest, the other living creatures and creatures from the forest make life difficult for you. You have to eat and drink too, but the roaming creatures are always the more dangerous factor.
The Survival Aspect of The Forest
The Forest is primarily aimed at horror fans who want to feel fear and panic as a constant companion in a game. The convincing atmosphere and unique creatures such as savages, who wear masks from human faces, still chase stubborn players through the marrow. The Forest doesn’t catch you with ever long construction sessions, but with gripping action and a foreseeable end to the story. The game is aimed at an adult community.
The Forest is unique among survival games due to its horror setting and the story, the end of which you can determine. With each pass, new, cruel details about the world can be discovered, which ensure a high replay value.
Developer: Redbeet Interactive
Publisher: Axolot Games
Release: May 23, 2018
What is raft?
Raft, as the name suggests, plays on a raft. You start on a small raft in the middle of the ocean and float over the water, supplying yourself with flotsam to build and survive.
The challenge with raft is to still make progress due to the constantly prevailing limitations. Due to the limited construction options, rafting requires a lot of planning and skill.
Main Features of raft
- Reverse game principle: Instead of dominating the world, you have to try not to be dominated yourself
- You have to create the possibilities that are available to you yourself
- The vast ocean you explore makes raft unique. You have no other option but to be on the road all the time if you don’t want to die.
- The only one of our survival games where you always have your house with you and the resources come to you instead of having to keep coming back.
The survival aspect of raft:
You can’t really control how well you can survive. Except through marksmanship with your hook, you do not determine how well you get on food and water. Only during dives you have to be careful not to be eaten by sharks who also like to nibble on the raft.
Who is raft suitable for?
Anyone who plays raft should be willing to think carefully about every step. Raft is a game for planners and strategists. Whether alone or in a group, you have to keep an eye on what you need and what is most important at the moment due to the confined space. Clear goals and tasks are a must for every player.
Since the resources and islands come to you in raft instead of the other way round, raft is a special survival game. You can’t really explore much except the world below you by diving. Raft thus offers an experience that should also be something completely new for experienced survival players.
Developer / Publisher: Facepunch Studios
Release: February 2018
Platforms: Windows (PC), MacOS X, Linux; from 2020 also PS4 and Xbox One
What is rust?
Rust has no real history. You land naked on a beach, only equipped with a stone as a weapon and tool, and you should survive. To do this, you mine various resources; loot abandoned buildings and evades stronger players.
Rust is a classic PvP survival game in which other players pose your greatest danger.
Main Features of Rust Game
- A simple game principle that everyone gets along with quickly
- Every part of the building and every weapon is a clear step forward that will bring you closer to your goals
- Special vehicles such as hot air balloons and boats , which provide Rust with a unique feature
- A large, active and slightly wacky community
The survival aspect of Rust:
Hunger, thirst and cold are your constant opponents in Rust, but will rarely kill you. The real danger comes from other players. When you die, it’s usually through a bullet or hatchet, not an empty stomach. You can easily provide water and food if you have a fortified base and no longer have to stray.
Who is Rust suitable for?
Definitely for PvP enthusiasts. You should only play Rust if you like to shoot all kinds of weapons at others and have no problem dying more often. Rust is especially fun in larger teams, because survival in the long run is almost impossible. Clan fights ensure constant action. If you don’t want to mess with other players again and again, you should stay away from Rust.
If you bite through the difficult start and survive for a while, you will quickly sink many hours in Rust. Especially with a clan or friends who promise protection, Rust offers many opportunities to let off steam, whether in PvP, with cool weapons or simply with construction and exploration. In late 2018 and early 2019, Rust suddenly had record numbers on Steam . It is particularly worthwhile to have a look inside. Rust will also be released for PS4 and Xbox One in 2020.
Developer: Gamepires, Croteam
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Release: August 29, 2018 (Early Access)
What is SCUM?
SCUM is a virtual game show in which convicted criminals are packed on a zombie-infested island to amuse viewers to see what is going to happen.
SCUM plays like Art Simulation, in which you are released as an inmate on an island in order to survive – or not. You end up with nothing but a device that always measures your body functions.
Main Features of SCUM
- Realistic needs create a much more nerve-wracking feeling of survival. You have to take care of your energy and nutrient balance .
- A glory system shows how big your reputation is with the audience and gives you access to certain skills (like spawn points)
- Physical fitness is a key feature in SCUM. Those who eat poorly and move little are at a disadvantage compared to other players.
The survival aspect of SCUM:
SCUM has probably the most sophisticated survival aspect of all survival games. You have to pay attention to what you eat and how much. The more you make an effort, the more energy you need. If you do not eat a balanced diet, it takes longer to get rid of what you have eaten and is therefore an easy target (yes, you have to go to the toilet).
You always have to find the right food, not just any food, and food is already rare anyway. Survival is really hard in SCUM.
Who is SCUM for?
SCUM is a game for ambitious players who are looking for tough challenges. Survival is hard, progress is even harder, and it takes a while to be reasonably safe. SCUM is best for small groups of players who like it really hard. SCUM is tough and requires good team play. There should also be a high tolerance to frustration. Single players, on the other hand, are pretty stuck in SCUM.
Don’t expect an extended story at SCUM. Even if you are constantly fighting for your survival, there is not much to do. You have no other goal but to survive – after all, that’s the point of the show. This aspect is implemented in a first-class manner.