We’ll be updating this list in the future with new titles, so make sure to check back and let us know if we missed any of your favorite open-world games like DayZ.
Table of ContentsShow
First up on our list is DeadPoly, a zombie survival looter shooter with base building and crafting systems.
The main goal of the game is to survive in either a single-player, co-op, or online multiplayer server filled with undead enemies, precious resources, and weapons/armor.
Like DayZ, DeadPoly features a day/night cycle, proximity voice chat, and semi-realistic gunplay complete with different weapon calibers and physical projectiles.
While the graphics are a lot less realistic-looking than DayZ, it’s a great new alternative whose playerbase is still growing.
Deadside is another recently released hardcore multiplayer shooter that’s still finding its footing and takes place in a sprawling open world with limitless gameplay potential.
In it, players explore realistically rendered post-apocalyptic environments filled with both NPCs and other players gunning for the same resources and gear.
There aren’t any zombies to speak of but rather roaming bandits, security forces, cannibals, and the usual squads of enemy players.
Eventually, players will be able to access a vast sandbox spanning 225 sq. km of dense forests, abandoned settlements, roads, and rivers.
Dying Light 2
Platforms: Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Next up is Dying Light 2, a primarily single-player action RPG with a story-driven campaign that supports online co-op for up to four players.
In it, you and your friends play as free-running survivors navigating a vast open-world filled with flesh-hungry zombies and warring NPC factions.
Much like DayZ, the gameplay is focused on scavenging for resources, defending yourself from threats, and navigating the world as best as you can.
Dying Light 2 injects its own risk/reward by doubling XP and resources at night to encourage you to venture out and confront more aggressive enemies.
Platforms: Windows, PS4
Speaking of story-driven single-player games, Days Gone is a PlayStation first-party title that shares some similarities with DayZ.
In it, players take on the role of Deacon St. John, an outlaw biker on a mission to survive the horde of zombies called “Freakers” that now roam the Oregon wilderness.
Throughout his journey, Deacon encounters characters that offer to help expand his arsenal of traps and weapons as well as provide parts for his motorcycle.
The game also incorporates a crafting system, skill tree, and admittingly barebones faction system that affects the story depending on the player’s choices.
Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac
Project Zomboid is another open-world zombie survival game that’s been around for roughly the same amount of time as DayZ.
Players are dropped into the world as survivors and must loot houses, build defenses, and work tirelessly to prolong their inevitable death.
This is done by stockpiling resources, holding off a relentless horde of zombies, and working with other players on persistent servers.
The game features a host of systems designed with realism in mind, including fully simulated line of sight, real-time lighting, sound, and visibility mechanics.
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One
If you’ve been enjoying DayZ for some time now, there’s a good chance you’ll have fun playing a game like Fallout 76 as well.
Treated as a spin-off to Bethesda’s long-running RPG franchise, the game casts you as a survivor emerging from nuclear fallout shelters deep in the Appalachian Wasteland of West Virginia.
From there, players are free to carve out their own path to survival and try and rebuild civilization piece by piece with help from NPCs and other players.
Like DayZ, the game includes a base-building component complete with furniture, fortifications, resource generation, and more.
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Linux, Mac
Anyone searching for a free-to-play survival game like DayZ should consider checking out Unturned on either PC or console.
Best described as DayZ meets Minecraft, the game sees you working to survive in a harsh world with limited resources and aggressive zombies.
This is further amplified by Unturned’s day/night system, which causes enemies to become more hostile after dark and reduces player visibility.
The PvP aspect also adds a great deal of challenge and stakes as one wrong turn or move can cause you to lose all your gear to an enemy player.
State of Decay 2
Platforms: Windows, Xbox One
While not as unforgiving or realistic as DayZ, State of Decay has managed to make a name for itself in the zombie survival space.
The next entry in the series, State of Decay 3, isn’t due out for another year but in the meantime DayZ fans can pick up the original or even State of Decay 2 on PC and Xbox consoles.
In it, players are put in charge of managing a community of survivors and maintaining their base of operations by gathering resources, recruiting characters, and defending themselves from zombies.
Though the combat can feel a lot more basic and arcade-inspired compared to DayZ’s simulated ballistics, the game does a great job at keeping the stakes high with limited resources and permadeath.
Our next suggestion for DayZ players is Miscreated, an extremely detailed open-world survival crafting game that will put players’ skills to the ultimate test.
The game tasks you with exploring diverse environments in order to obtain food and water free from radiation by hunting, gathering, farming, and even stealing from other players.
It also includes extensive temperature and weather systems such as raging thunderstorms, heavy fog, blizzards, tornadoes, and volatile radiation storms that can affect your character’s stats.
Miscreated is similar to DayZ in that other players, mutant hordes, and aggressive wildlife will try to kill you unless you stand your ground using the game’s 100+ different weapons.
Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac
Looking for more hardcore multiplayer survival games like DayZ? Then make sure to check out Hurtworld, a competitive FPS game that focuses on gunplay and strategic map control.
In it, players brave the elements either alone or with friends while gathering resources, growing their settlement, and defending it from both human and AI enemies.
Along with base-building, the game features a robust crafting system that allows you to make tools, weapons, and clothing to keep your survivor in the fight.
There are also vehicles, various biomes and exotic resources to find, and in-game events tailored for skill-based PvP and PvE combat.
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Mac
This next recommendation needs no introduction seeing as it’s been around for about as long as DayZ and has an equally large playerbase.
Each game of Rust sees players spawning into an unforgiving open world as vulnerable “nakeds” on a beach with nothing but a rock to their name.
From there, it’s up to them to scavenge for supplies, kill wildlife for food and clothing, and build a fortified base to keep them safe from enemy players.
Like DayZ, survival is never guaranteed as hunger, thirst, and body temperature each play a role in your character’s ability to carry out tasks and stay alive.
If you’re craving more PvP survival games like DayZ, then SCUM’s brutal reality show setup where the world’s toughest criminals throw down on a remote island will likely hold your attention.
In it, you and other players compete to be the last man standing while overcoming challenging obstacles such as mutated wildlife, evil machines, and rogue military operatives.
SCUM also likes to get hyper-technical with its survival mechanics and features a unique metabolism system where health and other stats rely on consuming nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Like DayZ, the emphasis on realism spills over into combat complete with ballistics-based projectiles that take wind, gravity, and travel distance into consideration.
Platforms: Windows, Linux
While you won’t find any zombies in Valheim’s Viking-themed sandbox, there are plenty of otherworldly beasts to battle as you come to grips with the game’s systems.
Billed as a PvE-focused open-world survival crafting co-op game, it sees you and your friends exploring a vast primordial pool in the tenth Norse world.
Environments are teeming with untapped resources that must be harnessed to keep your Viking hero fed, well-rested, and safe from enemy attacks.
To this point, the game features a base-building system that sees you constructing longhouses and filling them with furniture, fortifications, and various workbenches for all your Viking needs.
7 Days to Die
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Linux, Mac
7 Days to Die is another classic zombie survival game that was released into Steam Early Access in 2013, the same year as DayZ.
It offers a satisfying mix of tower defense, role-playing, and survival gameplay with an emphasis on crafting tools and building shelter in a dynamic sandbox.
There’s also PvP combat, though your main concern is the zombie horde that grows in numbers and becomes increasingly powerful the further you progress in the game.
While 7 Days to Die isn’t updated as often as fans would like, there’s already a wealth of content to explore for new players picking it up for the first time.
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One
Last but not least, we recommend DayZ fans check out Hunt: Showdown for some more tense PvP battles that focus on gunplay and strategic map control.
Each match sees you taking on the role of a bounty hunter as you and a squad of players venture through the swampy environments of a monster-ridden Louisiana Bayou.
The goal is to hunt these creatures before the enemy team can by tracking the monsters, gathering resources, and preventing rival hunters from doing the same.
Successfully banishing monsters nets you some XP along with new rewards such as gear and cosmetics for your character.