Created by Ludeon Studios, RimWorld is one of the best colony sim management games on PC.
It offers a near-perfect blend of base-building, survival, and strategy game mechanics complemented by an AI-driven storyteller that’s prone to generating hilariously morbid and downright ridiculous events.
Although RimWorld is the type of game you can play over and over again until the end of time, there are many other video games that explore similar ideas.
In this list, we’ll be recommending the best games like RimWorld to play in 2021. Make sure to check back as we continue to update this list with new titles in the future.
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Developer: Harpoon Games
Publisher: Harpoon Games
First Feudal casts you as a medieval feudal lord in charge of a running village with limited resources and a small population of peasants. The goal is to eventually turn your humble settlement into an imposing medieval castle that instantly strikes fear into your enemies.
Like RimWorld, a large portion of the game revolves around building structures, mining resources, and growing crops. However, things continue to open up until you eventually find yourself manufacturing equipment, trading with local merchants, conducting scientific research, and more.
As you progress, thieves and wild animals will try and swoop in and either rob your villagers blind or turn them into their next meal. It’s up to you to build defenses and form a local militia of the bravest NPCs your settlement has to offer.
Developer: Bay 12 Games
Publisher: Kitfox Games
Without a doubt the most complex colony management sim on this list, Dwarf Fortress is a lot less daunting for anyone who’s played RimWorld. The biggest obstacle will be getting past the game’s severely outdated UI and graphics in general.
Once you overcome that hurdle, things will start to fall into place, and you’ll soon find yourself obsessed with micromanaging every waking moment of your dwarves’ lives. Gameplay mainly revolves around two tasks: gathering resources and building fortresses.
Dwarves possess unique personalities and can even battle enemies using a robust combat system that includes limb targeting, aimed attacks, poison effects, and more. There are tons of guides and resources to help you in the event you get stuck, and the DF community is very welcoming of new players.
Judgment: Apocalypse Survival Simulation
If RimWorld’s sadistic AI storyteller isn’t dark enough for you, Judgment: Apocalypse Survival offers just the right amount of satanic rituals and colony management. In it, you’re put in charge of a group of campers who unintentionally escape a fiery apocalypse simply by being in the woods.
With that said, it’s only a matter of time until the demons turn up. The game features a visibility mechanic where monsters become increasingly drawn to your colony as it grows. To counteract this, you’ll have to research new stealth tactics and perform certain rituals to ward off foes.
Flourish too quickly, and the evil forces will come knocking on your door but take too long, and you may not last. Where Judgment separates itself from RimWorld is its emphasis on real-time tactics-based combat.
Songs of Syx
Developer: Gamatron AB
Publisher: Gamatron AB
Every RimWorld player has had their colony spiral into catastrophe after some random, seemingly insignificant event takes place. While this can be frustrating at times, it’s also a part of the game’s appeal and what makes each playthrough so unique.
Currently in Early Access on Steam, Songs of Syx is a city-builder that features a similar potential for disaster as you’re entrusted with growing a colony from the ground up. The game offers a myriad of complex mechanics that are modeled after the real-world.
This includes multiple races, cultures, deities, animals, a day and night system, climate and weather change, among many more. While villages are vulnerable to droughts, disease, pirates, and bandits, they can also benefit from new discoveries that allow you to expand your empire.
Oxygen Not Included
Developer: Klei Entertainment
Publisher: Klei Entertainment
If you enjoy the more challenging aspects of managing a colony in RimWorld, then OxygenNotIncluded may be more your style. It’s a brutally difficult survival game that sees you guiding a space crew as they try to live beneath the surface of an alien planet.
As its title suggests, oxygen is exceptionally scarce, meaning you’ll frequently have to take measures to maintain a steady supply of the stuff. Where things get tricky is the potential for disaster, as your colony is always at the mercy of its environment.
Temperatures can rapidly rise or fall, pollution can build up quickly, and the mental states of your colonists continuously change. While it may have a very different art style than RimWorld, both games feature over the top cartoony violence.
Developer: Bugbyte Ltd.
Publisher: Bugbyte Ltd.
SpaceHaven is a highly-detailed colony management sim set in the outer reaches of deep space. In it, you play as the leader of a ragtag crew of spacefarers in search of a new home for humanity’s dwindling population.
Similar to RimWorld, the game offers a lot of room for in-depth customization. You can build your spaceship tile-by-tile and decide the placement of every single door, wall, and hull should you crave control over such fine details.
Your crew depends on you for survival, demanding you pay attention to their needs and provide enough food, medicine, and oxygen. As you travel through space, you’ll encounter random scenarios such as alien invasions, derelict ships, and internal conflicts amongst crew members.
Developer: Wube Software Ltd.
Publisher: Wube Software Ltd.
Factorio is a resource management game that sees you converting untapped sandboxes into production paradises. At first, you’ll have to manually chop trees, mine ores, and craft parts for your machines. However, once you’ve conducted enough research to achieve automation, things quickly ramp up.
You’ll continue expanding your factories, and in the process, encounter new obstacles you had never considered, including the local wildlife that isn’t too keen on you stripping away their homes. They can attack your machines and leave your factories crippled without any defenses or weapons in place.
One of Factorio’s greatest strengths is its progression system, which offers a seemingly infinite number of upgrades to unlock. While many are geared towards maximizing production, they also explore solar power, oil refining, and artificial intelligence for your machines.
Developer: Haemimont Games
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Part city-builder part survival game, SurvivingMars sees you raising a Mars colony from infancy to adulthood. Your people require proper housing, factories to produce goods, and commercial buildings where scientists will research new technologies.
At the same time, the planet’s atmosphere is very unwelcoming of humans and will consistently throw new obstacles your way. Oxygen levels must be maintained, and water transported from deep below the surface to structures using an intricate pipe system.
Surviving Mars’ Colonists possess unique strengths and weaknesses that can negatively and positively impact your civilization’s growth. The AI can be a bit wonky compared to RimWorld’s but is still serviceable enough to warrant giving it a try.
Developer: Double Eleven, Introversion Software
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Build and managing your very own prison complex sounds like the type of setup RimWorld’s AI storyteller would come up with. Prison Architect uses its correctional facility setting as a springboard for a whole host of intertwining gameplay systems.
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.
Additionally, it takes a lot of money to run a prison, especially if you’re looking to turn a profit. 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.
Developer: Coffee Stain Studios
Publisher: Coffee Stain Publishing
Satisfactory is another base-building game like RimWorld but places a much bigger emphasis on combat and exploration. In it, you’re tasked with surviving an alien planet by building a self-sustaining network of machines to gather and refine materials for you.
Things start off small until you’re eventually drowning in conveyor belts and assembly lines. It’s easy to get consumed by the never-ending quest for 100% efficiency to the point you forget you can actually make stuff with all the resources you’ve gathered.
There are many ways to put your refined materials to good use, from weapons and tools to buildings and vehicles. Doing so will also allow you to access new areas in the open-world, revealing more creatures, resource types, and opportunities to explore.
Developer: Reconnect Software
Publisher: Reconnect Software
If you’re looking for a game like RimWorld with a sci-fi setting, then Starship Theory might appeal to you. In it, you’re tasked with managing a colony as it travels through the never-ending stretches of outer space.
It gives you the freedom to design and build your ship however you want, and various upgrades can increase your chances of survival. These can vary from outer shields that protect your ship’s exterior to advanced weaponry capable of decimating your enemies.
There’s also a trading system, resource gathering, and tons of opportunities to micromanage your space personnel. Each crewmate can be trained in agility, intelligence, engineering, and combat but require a decent amount of food and rest to perform their best.
Released into Steam Early Access, Kingdoms Reborn is a medieval city builder inspired by games like Banished, Anno, and Civilization. It offers challenging resource management gameplay that’s complemented by robust skill and upgrade trees.
You’ll be managing your people’s daily lives, sending them to work, making sure they eat and get enough rest to be productive members of society. The game uses procedural generation to create its open world and offers seven distinct biomes with unique flora and fauna.
In addition to single-player, an included multiplayer mode lets you work together or compete with friends. While it still has a ways to go in terms of features (as of now, there are no military units), the developer has provided a solid enough foundation to make it worth checking out in its current form.
King Under The Mountain
Developer: Rocket Jump Technology
Publisher: Rocket Jump Technology
King Under The Mountain is an upcoming settlement building game set in a living, breathing fantasy world. Like RimWorld, it tasks you with developing a small colony into a powerful kingdom by overcoming a variety of procedurally-generated obstacles and unscripted events.
The attention to detail in this game is truly remarkable. While most games in this category feature day/night cycles and weather systems, KUTM takes it a step further by factoring in sunlight and rainfall to determine the rate at which trees and plants grow.
Additionally, settlers have unique social and physical needs that have to be met in order to keep them happy and prevent mental breakdowns. Since every map is randomly generated from an initial large-numbered seed, every game is guaranteed to differ from the previous one.