With that said, separating the good from the bad ones can be challenging, considering the sheer number of titles available on Steam alone.
In this list, we’ll highlight the best base-building games on PC to play in 2022, including base-building survival games and creative building games.
We’ll be updating this list with new titles in the future, so make sure to check back and let us know if we missed any of your favorite base-builders!
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Our first recommendation is Noble Fates, a 3D fantasy-themed kingdom sim with unique AI-driven characters that can be controlled directly by the player.
In it, you set out to build, craft, farm, mine, hunt, and defend a growing colony of villagers as they live their lives and make new discoveries.
The game gives you the option to oversee your empire from the sky or take control of individual characters from a third-person POV.
The ability to shape each character’s story in real-time is a nice touch that’s further complemented by a robust set of building tools that are fun to explore.
Len’s Island is an open-world survival game that sees you carving out a new life for yourself on a beautiful island teeming with wonder.
Explore the island’s mysteries by dungeon crawling through caves, hiking through forests, and constructing homes and farms.
The game uses a streamlined, modular building system that will make even the most novice designers feel like seasoned builders.
When you’re not tending to crops or adding expansions to your humble abode, you’ll set out to meet different characters and battle enemies that may cross your path.
The Riftbreaker is a new base-building mech game released in 2022 by EXOR Studios in which you take on the role of a scientist/commando named Ashley.
Ashley is joined by her mech Mr. Riggs as the pair try to establish a settlement on an alien planet whose natural inhabitants aren’t too keen on visitors.
Alien creatures will frequently invade settlements, forcing Mr. Riggs to step into action and blast them away using his machine gun, rocket launcher, sword, and more.
Gameplay incorporates elements of survival, tower defense, and twin-stick shooters, with players having to gather resources while building and defending a network of bases across the planet’s surface.
HammerHelm is a fantasy-themed action-adventure game with town-building and RPG elements.
You play as a dwarf that decides to build their own town after they’re exiled from their underground community for believing dwarfs can live on the surface.
Fulfilling your role as leader, you’ll have to fight to keep your townspeople safe from enemies and fulfill their wishes by completing quests and crafting items.
The game features 45+ buildable structures ranging from farms and breweries to weapon-smiths and cooking stations, and 100+ craftable armor, weapons, and decor.
CryoFall is a sci-fi survival game that tasks you with rebuilding civilization on a mysterious planet with or without other players depending on your preference.
By default, the game takes a relaxed PvE approach with no competition, though you can easily turn it into a hostile PvP experience by joining different servers.
You’ll start with primitive tools and technology before working your way up through research to unlock space-age hardware and techniques to create a thriving community.
The game gives you the ability to collaborate on large-scale projects with other players, including industrial-sized factories, crop farms, vehicles, and massive bases.
Sharks are typically the kind of creatures we try to avoid at all costs, especially if you find yourself dropped in the middle of the ocean with just a few planks of wood.
In Raft, this nightmarish premise becomes a reality as you and your friends scramble to build a mobile fort using floating debris from the game’s shark-infested waters.
Armed with a retractable hook and a couple of blueprints to get you started, you’ll eventually create a sturdy ship that can withstand attacks and keep your crew alive.
Crafting new gear and stations allows you to reach new parts of the world and sleuth out the root of your sea-faring predicament.
What better a setting for building a cozy log cabin than a procedurally-generated purgatory for Vikings, complete with menacing trolls and sea monsters?
Valheim casts you as one of Odin’s fallen warriors whose soul ends up in the tenth Norse world, a sprawling primordial pool with untapped resources and unmeasured threats.
To survive, you’ll need to keep your Viking fed, well-rested, and safe from enemy raids by constructing tools, weapons, and fortified camps across each region.
We chose to highlight this game mainly for its refined building system which streamlines the process while still allowing for fine-tune adjustments.
Although it doesn’t offer as many in-game creation tools as either of those titles, you can build your own home called a ‘cornerstone.’
The game features an impressive number of character classes to level up and gain mastery over, in addition to cool late-game perks like ridable mounts and enhanced player customization.
When you consider the fact that Trove is free to play, the amount of content you get by default is pretty staggering.
No Man’s Sky
It’s been a bumpy ride for No Man’s Sky but the game is in a much better place nowadays than it was at launch.
Hello Games has spent the last four years adding requested features ranging from base building to online multiplayer and mod support, resulting in a resurgence of popularity.
It also helps that the game’s engine has been redesigned and upgraded over the years, ensuring it runs buttery smooth on just about any machine.
If you were a fan of the original concept but felt short-changed, you may want to give NMS another shot, even if to check out how it approaches base building.
Minecraft is a must-play for anyone who enjoys open-world survival games or simply building to their heart’s content.
Whether you want to build a massive castle where you’ll rule as a magical wizard or a makeshift rollercoaster for all your friends to ride, you can find a recipe for just about anything.
And when you run out of ideas in the vanilla game, you can always start experimenting with the best mods for Minecraft.
These allow you to visit new worlds, customize blocks, and craft all sorts of ridiculous items, including a jetpack to marvel at your architectural masterpieces from the heavens.
Ark: Survival Evolved
Ark is one of those games you either really love or really hate. It all comes down to a matter of personal preference and your tolerance for excessive grinding, griefing, and game-breaking bugs.
With that said, it injects some fresh ideas into the survival game genre, namely the ability to tame wild animals.
We’re talking slave dinosaurs that will let you ride them, carry your items, and defend both you and your base from predators.
While playing in PvP can be brutal, especially for new players, the single-player mode allows you to craft intricate fortresses without worrying about another person blowing it up.
What’s that you say? You actually like the idea of someone potentially destroying your base you spent countless hours gathering and refining resources to construct?
Although many of us would much rather play it safe, Rust is a game all about taking risks and learning to adapt to the hellish rules of an ungoverned society.
Starting out is an uphill battle that will probably take several attempts before you can manage to scout out a good location, set up camp, and build defenses without another player showing up to smite you.
However, once you get past the initial hurdles, you’ll be surprised by what you can build in this game using its robust crafting system.
Swinging the pendulum in the opposite direction, Satisfactory is a relaxing base-building game that emphasizes automated resource management.
Things start off small until you’re eventually drowning in conveyor belts and assembly lines to the point you forget you can actually make stuff with all your gathered resources.
There are many ways to put your materials to good use, from weapons and tools to buildings and vehicles that unlock new areas to reveal more creatures, resource types, and opportunities to explore.
Currently in Early Access on Steam, the game is well-supported by developer Coffee Stain Studios, who issues rolling updates based on player feedback.
Factorio is another base-building game centered on automating machines to gather and refine resources for your very own production paradise.
At first, you’ll have to manually chop trees, mine ores, and craft parts until you’ve conducted enough research to unlock automation.
Continue expanding and you’ll encounter new obstacles you had never even considered, such as local wildlife that isn’t too keen on you stripping away their homes.
Factorio’s progression system offers an assortment of upgrades to boost efficiency, harness alternative power sources, and program AI for your machines.
RimWorld features a near-perfect blend of base-building, survival, and strategy game mechanics with plenty of room for customization.
In it, you pick from several biomes before crash-landing with a team of colonists on a randomly generated alien planet.
Your colonists have physical and emotional needs that must be met in order for your community to flourish, including providing enough housing and expanding your base when necessary.
Its deeply-rewarding gameplay loop is further complemented by an AI-driven storyteller known for its hilariously morbid and ridiculous gameplay scenarios.
Oxygen Not Included
Oxygen Not Included is a challenging space survival sim that sees you commanding a space crew living beneath an alien planet’s surface.
Gameplay entails assigning crew members to different stations to keep things running, gathering resources to keep your colonists alive, and researching new technologies to improve your base.
With oxygen extremely scarce, the stakes are considerably high, and one lousy call can easily result in a large portion of your colony getting wiped from existence for good.
Temperatures can also rapidly rise or fall, pollution will start to build up quickly, and the mental states of your colonists are constantly in flux.
Prison Architect uses its correctional facility setting as a springboard for a host of intertwining gameplay systems, including base building.
As the architect of your prison, it’s up to you to design the layout, hire the staff, and manage the day-to-day lives of your inmates.
It’s not always easy, considering every guard and prisoner has distinct needs and character traits that affect their productivity and overall behavior.
Although the game provides a decent level of challenge, it never takes itself too seriously, allowing you to focus on the hilarity of its unscripted events.
Grounded offers a challenging survival sandbox experience set within a suburban backyard’s confines.
The only catch is, you’ve been shrunk down to the size of an ant, and pretty much everything wants to kill you.
One of your primary objectives in the game is to construct a base to rest your head at night, though finding safety in Grounded’s world isn’t that easy.
The game provides a host of options for building structures out of different materials, and you can set up shop just about anywhere, though we recommend avoiding any spiders.
Similar to No Man’s Sky, Astroneer offers a vibrant space sandbox to explore as you set out to colonize an alien planet.
The game features a unique crafting system that sees you creating a network of stations and power plants that can tether your character to provide oxygen as you explore the world.
What sets Astroneer apart from other base-building games is its Terrain Tool, which allows the wielder to bend the environment to their will.
This has many applications that can benefit traversal, production, and creativity; lastly, Astroneer is continually updated with new explorable planets, cosmetics, hazards, vehicles, and craftable items.
Subnautica sees your spaceship crash-landing on an alien planet covered almost entirely in water.
While searching for oxygen and food to keep you alive, you’ll encounter raw materials and sea creatures that can be used to upgrade tools, expand your base, and craft submersibles.
Searching through crash-sites reveals more about the strange planet and nets you valuable upgrades.
The game is pretty open-ended, allowing you to set your own goals and focus on doing what you want, whether it be exploring the deepest parts of the ocean or building the biggest underwater base you can.