As Massively OP is centered on the “massively” part of gaming, it makes sense that my first guide to survival games was focused on multiplayer titles. Similarly, The Survivalist will mostly (but not always!) concern itself with the multiplayer games in the survival genre. However, after researching this topic, I felt that not highlighting the single-player offerings would be a serious disservice to the genre. There are occasions when you want to test your survival mettle without the interference of other players; sometimes you just want to live or die on your own merits and not at the hands of someone elses decisions. Besides that, some of these titles — like Subnautica — offer an awesome premise you can’t get elsewhere.
Ready to survive on your own? Here’s a a taste of a number of games you can dive into when you want to scratch that survival itch in private.
For this list, the requirement of having to forage for food and water to survive has been waived, although some still have that feature. You’ll also find other similarities to the more massive multiplayer options, such as similar themes and topics. And just as many of the multiplayer games let you play as a single-player on a local client, some of these also offer co-op and multiplayer options. One glaring difference, however, is that many of these games have already actually launched!
Want to survive among dinos but not interested in dealing with Early Access? Here you go! In this game set inn Cretaceous times, players must battle prehistoric beasts as well as well as the elements. Has co-op and multiplayer.
A wilderness survival game with science as well as magic. The original is single-player and has an expansion pack: Don’t Starve: Reign of Giants. If you want to play with friends, go with Don’t Starve Together from our first guide.
Plane crash plus cannibalistic mutants equals a fight for survival! Players find themselves stranded in deep woods, but luckily ever tree can be c chopped down so there’s plenty of material to start building shelters and weapons with.
If you want to survive while out and about, here’s a mobile-only game. During the day you buy supplies for the night, then the goal is to sit there in the wilderness and survive until dawn breaks again. Threats include mosquitoes, bears, bats, acid rain, meteors, lightning, ghosts, zombies, and more. Can change your difficulty settings.
Would you survive the trek to safety if you were stranded in the wilderness? Give it a try in this mobile game. Can be played offline.
Billed as an “action-packed thriller with a survival twist” and packed with gore, nudity, and more. Players can eat live rats to gain health. A large tectonic disturbance spit western Tokyo off and made it an island covered by a menacing fog. When players die, their “death data” is sent to other player’s games where they become formidable opponents.
The Flame in the FloodFebruary 24, 2016Steam
Set mainly along a river, players will travel by foot and by raft to in order to forage for resources, explore, and craft — all while evading predators. Don’t stay still too long: Keeping ahead of the coming rains is also a must.
The Long DarkSteam
Focused on thinking and exploration in a world that suffered a geomagnetic disaster. Cold and wildlife are the biggest threats. Early Access is the sandbox mode without narrative, but episode one will launch story mode (and is included with EA purchase). Permadeath is a thing.
Sir, You Are Being HuntedSteam (Windows, OSX, and Linux)
A stealth game that procedurally generates the environment as you go, so each time you work your escape from these robot-infested islands is a unique experience. The tweed-wearing, murdering British aristocrat robots hunting you happen to also have robot hounds. Luckily, players have the disembodied voice of their butler, Walters, to help and offer advice. Now has multiplayer.
Much like the multiplayer Osiris: New Dawn, players find themselves crash-landed on an alien planet and are forced build a new life from scratch. Your particle-manipulating multitool and enviro-protec suit are your best friends. Features multiple biomes.
Dubbed a “minimalist adventure game,” players awake from cryostasis to discover they’ve crash landed in a sun-blasted alien wasteland. A short point and click adventure.
Focusing on space travel, players travel about an infinite expanse of procedurally generated space, discovering planets filled with aliens and adventure. Can land and explore the surfaces as well. Other players “share” the universe and will see what planets others have discovered and named on maps, but there is no player interaction at all.
Oxygen Not IncludedSteam
Instead of focusing on keeping yourself alive, you must manage an entire space colony, keeping everyone in it alive (and happy!) while building a subterranean base on an asteroid.
Instead of playing a human, players are animals fighting to survive in these two titles. In the original, players are a mother badger trying to protect her young. In the sequel, players are a lynx instead. Shelter 2 includes changing of weather and seasons. (Be grateful there aren’t actual player wolves hunting you down!)
Under the sea, under the sea… things are better down where it’s wetter under the sea! For players who want to submerge themselves in underwater adventures, this is the place. Explore life under the sea of an alien ocean world and unravel the mystery of the planet. Supports VR.
Die 2 NitePC
Dying Light: The FollowingSteam
Whether you want to roam a devastated city or the crumbling countryside, there are plenty of dangers to face, including nocturnal predators and a centuries-old cult. Can have co-op or multiplayer.
Multiple versions are available where players must unravel the mystery of the zombie outbreak while surviving said undead; can be marooned on a tropical island or stranded in California.
With an old SIMS style look and isometric view, players fish, fight, build, craft, farm, and more as they struggle to survive. Can host private servers with friends. Supports modding.
Survive the streets and underground canals of London when they are crawling with zombies. Humanity was ravaged by the terrifying disease and the infected want to gorge themselves on all living flesh. ZOMBI is same game but upgraded for next-gen consoles and PC. Permadeath.
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