The best open world survival games

The open world and survival genres go hand in hand. Open world survival games throw you into a vast world with little to start with and expect you to survive as long as possible. Along the way, there may be objectives and missions, but it is possible to get off course and do whatever you want.


Related: The Best Base Building Games, Ranked

New games are created all the time, so you might have a hard time finding the best of the best in open-world survival. Here, we are going to go over some of the best open world survival games out there. These games cover a wide variety of topics and sub-genres, so you’re sure to find a game you like.

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10 Minecraft

promotional art for minecraft

We can’t have a list of open world survival games without talking about Minecraft; This is one of the most iconic games out there. Minecraft fully embraces the open world and continues with millions (yes, millions) of blocks.

There are no set goals in Minecraft. All you need to do is survive, but the rest of the game is up to you. Do you want to create a beautiful mansion? Go for it! Not really a big fan of building big? That’s good too! You can grab some supplies and spend several days exploring the vast world around you.

9 valheim

a valheim base with many structures and a river

Valheim provides a bit more structure than Minecraft. In this game, you are a viking in a huge world full of enemies who want to see you dead. As you explore, there are various biome-specific bosses that you can defeat to gain new powers.

There is a general feeling of progression in Valheim, but you can also use your creativity to make impressive Viking structures. One server can hold up to ten people, allowing you to live your Viking dream with friends.

8 limit star

A screenshot showing the Starbound colony in space

In Starbound, you can live out your space explorer fantasy. With seven races to choose from, you’ll be able to navigate the galaxy in your customized ship, visit populated planets, recruit crew members, and even create your own colony.

Along the way, you can play through a campaign and complete dungeons. Of course, your path is up to you. If completing this story doesn’t interest you, you can definitely distract yourself and make an underground mega colony.

7 Astronaut

Astroneer base on the surface of a planet

Whereas Starbound throws you into a vast universe, Astroneer places you on a planet to begin with. In this brilliant game, there is no combat. Instead of fighting your way through alien planets, your goal is to explore and visit new planets.

Related: The best survival games for beginners

Astroneer can get quite technical as you’ll need to collect a variety of items to help you craft new items. The sound effects are incredibly satisfying, and when combined with the lack of combat, make for a relaxing experience.

6 Oxide

A player is armed in the middle of a desolate swamp-like area with a broken windmill.

Rust is an open world survival game that thrives when played with other people. Your goal is to survive, which is pretty simple, right? Rust is one of the most difficult survival games out there. If the harsh environment doesn’t kill you, another player will.

If you manage to stay alive, you can build and strengthen your base. Rust is almost a decade old, and throughout this time there have been tons of updates bringing you new and updated content.

5 don’t starve

don't starve wilson running from two spiders with an ax

Don’t be fooled by Don’t Starve’s simple 2D graphics. This game throws you into the wilderness with virtually no help. Instead of having some starting elements or directions, it has nothing. How you survive in the world is entirely up to you, as there is no direct path.

Don’t Starve is a single player game, but luckily, you can also play Don’t Starve Together. This is a multiplayer version of the game, which allows you to team up with friends and survive together in the wild.

4 zombie project

zombies trying to cross a white fence

It makes sense that a zombie game would also be an open world survival game. In Project Zomboid, your goal may be to stay alive, but death is inevitable. Every time you die, you start as a new character. This may seem obvious, but there is a catch.

Your corpse will turn into a new zombie, which can then come and kill you. This also means that your old zombie self may have valuable loot that allows you to get it back. He Solo tries not to die again while you’re at it!

3 Grounded

Three grounded characters running down a dirt hill

What if Honey I Shrunk the Kids was a video game? This is exactly what Grounded is. In this game, you have been reduced to the size of an ant. Set in the vast world of the backyard, you must survive and discover the mystery behind why you are so small.

Related: Grounded: Things Beginners Should Do First

Since you are small, even small insects can be threatening. Fortunately, those with arachnophobia have nothing to fear! With Arachnophobia Mode, spiders essentially become bubbles, losing all the qualities that make them scary.

2 terrariums

terraria player and npcs in three different houses

Graphically, Terraria looks a lot like Starbound. While both are open-world survival games, Terraria is a bit more grounded. In the 2D world of Terraria, you can mine all you want, exploring the secrets of the planet you are on.

Along the way, you will meet a variety of NPCs that can join you. By building houses, NPCs will move and provide services. You can focus on building an epic base for your NPCs, as well as exploring the depths of the world and defeating the huge list of bosses.

1 no man’s sky

No Man's Sky Interceptor Update Cover

Finally, we have No Man’s Sky. This game is set in a procedurally generated universe filled with an impressive number of planets to explore. In fact, there are 18 quintillion planets on each world.

While playing the game, you can do almost anything you want. There is a main story, but along the way, you can explore planets, build a huge farm, or even become a ruthless fighter ready to take down anything that gets in your way.

Next: The Hardest Survival Games