The best games like Rust will keep you on the edge of your seat as you never know what, or who may be lurking around the next corner.
Other than hardcore survival games like Rust, this level of tension can be found in both multiplayer shooters and PvP games in general.
In this list, we’ll highlight the best games like Rust on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch platforms.
Make sure to check back in the future for more recommendations for games similar to Rust!
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Platforms: Windows, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Linux
Our first recommendation for games like Rust is the Viking-themed survival game Valheim, which was originally released for PC in 2021.
In it, you assume control of one of Odin’s fallen warriors who drops into a Norse world and must survive by gathering resources, building shelter, and exploring biomes.
The game features RPG progression as well as unique building mechanics that let you build your own Viking longhouses, furniture, and defenses.
While it places a bigger emphasis on co-op and PvE than Rust, both games offer a steep difficulty curve to overcome, especially in the early game.
Platforms: Windows, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One
Next up on our list of the best survival games like Rust is Grounded, which comes courtesy of Obsidian Entertainment and Xbox.
In it, you play as a kid who ends up shrunk down to the size of an ant after science-experiment-gone-wrong.
Forced to survive in your own backyard, you’ll have to navigate tricky environments and keep a watchful eye for aggressive bugs such as spiders and ants.
Like Rust, one of your main objectives when getting started in Grounded is to find a safe place to sleep, which is much easier said than done.
Subnautica: Below Zero
Platforms: Windows, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Speaking of perilous settings, Subnautica: Below Zero is a follow-up to the hit open-world survival game and sees you returning to an alien world covered in water.
After stumbling upon an icy new biome, you’ll set out to unravel its many mysteries while crafting and expanding your arsenal of tools, bases, and submersibles.
Like Rust, the game is very open-ended when it comes to progression, allowing you to focus on the areas you enjoy most.
The only caveat is it doesn’t support multiplayer, though that shouldn’t be a problem considering Below Zero’s waters are already teeming with dangerous enemies.
7 Days to Die
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Mac, Linux
7 Days to Die is a zombie survival horror game that was originally released on Steam in 2013 and has been worked on ever since by developer The Fun Pimps.
Though some fans might be anxious for updates to speed up, anyone coming from Rust will have a ton of fun and new content to explore in 7 Days’ current state.
Gameplay combines elements of tower defense, RPG, and sandbox survival games with an emphasis on crafting tools and building shelters.
There’s a PvP component but the main source of combat comes from fighting zombies that become increasingly difficult the further you progress.
The Long Dark
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Linux, Mac
If you’re looking for a single-player survival game that will take as much time to master as Rust, then The Long Dark is a good alternative.
Set during a harsh Canadian winter, it casts you as a bush pilot whose plane crashes on a huge yet remote island.
To survive, you’ll have to venture out and find the rest of your party while braving a frozen wilderness designed to destroy you.
Like Rust, the game focuses on managing various systems such as fatigue, hunger, and thirst along with combating hostile wildlife, namely wolves.
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Linux, Mac
Next up is Stranded Deep, an open-world survival game that has your character surviving a deadly plane crash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Fighting for survival, you’ll have to scavenge any resources you can find on small islands and abandoned shipwrecks while making sure to avoid sea monsters.
Similar to Rust, you’re tasked with maintaining your character’s hunger and thirst as you gather materials and craft various rafts, bases, tools, and more.
Each world is procedurally generated, meaning no two are alike while still featuring an abundance of unique reefs, islands, and trenches to explore.
Mist is another single-player sandbox survival game in which players attempt to survive in a world plagued by zombies.
It features a robust building/crafting system that allows you to fortify bases to prevent enemies from getting inside as well as sprawling environments to explore.
There are also unique in-game events such as dense mist shrouding the entire map and making the infected more aggressive, forcing you to adapt to survive.
And just like in Rust, you can harness energy from generators and other electrical appliances to power your own machines.
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One
Anyone who’s played Rust will likely be familiar with DayZ, yet another survival game that incorporates zombies as well as PvP combat.
Some would argue it’s actually a lot more challenging than Rust due to the addition of undead enemies who are prone to attack when they hear noise.
This can add an extra layer of tension to shootouts with other players as you constantly have to scavenge for any supplies you can get your hands on.
Lastly, there are some great mods out there for DayZ that can help keep the game feeling fresh and bring the experience a lot closer to a game like Rust.
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Next is Green Hell, a first-person survival crafting game that sees you navigating a nightmarish Amazonian rainforest ripe with danger and horror.
Instead of competing with other players for drops like in Rust, you’ll have to deal with the rainforest’s native tribes who aren’t too welcoming of outsiders.
The only way to survive is to craft weapons and construct a shelter from the surrounding resources while hunting for your next meal.
Similar to Rust, Green Hell encourages curiosity and risk-taking by rewarding you with extra materials, upgrades, and lore for exploring new areas.
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android
Despite having drastically different graphics, Minecraft is an excellent alternative to Rust which has benefited from years of updates and refinements.
What’s more, it’s extremely flexible in terms of gameplay, allowing you to focus on building, exploring, PvP combat, and more by playing on modded servers.
Some servers take things even further by having full-fledged factions that will wage war with each other, not unlike Rust’s intense clan battles.
However, by default, your goal is to simply survive the game’s hostile world while exploring various villages, temples, and mines in search of natural resources.
Platforms: Windows, PS4
The Forest is another popular open-world survival game that takes place on a remote island filled with an assortment of terrors, namely grotesque cannibalistic mutants.
You play as a father whose son is kidnapped after their plane crashlands and must overcome every obstacle or challenge the island throws his way.
This includes building shelter, crafting makeshift tools, and arming yourself with weapons to ward off potential threats as you search for your son.
Similar to games like Rust, The Forest features a flexible crafting system that lets you construct bases wherever and however you want.
ARK: Survival Evolved
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android
Another sandbox survival game that needs no introduction is ARK: Survival Evolved, which mirrors many of the same gameplay elements as Rust.
In it, you explore a sprawling map littered with futuristic technology and dinosaurs that can be hunted as well as trained to provide transportation and protection.
There are also various resources to gather, such as wood and stone, that let you build simple huts before moving on to more advanced materials.
Like Rust, ARK’s world is filled with numerous threats such as giant megalodon sharks, anglerfish, manta rays, and of course, other players.
Raft is another co-op-driven survival game that takes place in a never-ending ocean where you and your friends will have to work together to stay alive.
You start with a small raft that’s effectively a few planks of wood and a metal hook attached to a rope that can be used to reel in junk and other objects in the water.
Similar to Rust, the game allows you to set your own goals and combine crafting materials gathered to create new furniture, tools, weapons, and power sources.
The challenge comes from trying to maintain and expand your mobile base while being hunted by a hungry shark that’s prone to biting off chunks of your raft.
No Man’s Sky
Platforms: Windows, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mac
Going from never-ending oceans to literal galaxies, No Man’s Sky is a space-faring survival game that drops you in a massive sandbox infinitely larger than any Rust map.
Gameplay mainly focuses on exploring different planets with unique ecosystems and resources that can aid you in your mission to get to the center of the galaxy.
Much like Rust, the game features a base-building component as well as several vehicles to make navigating expansive planets a lot easier.
Lastly, it’s a lot less structured and more open-ended, allowing you to focus on the activities you enjoy most, whether that’s exploration, base-building, trading, etc.
Escape from Tarkov
If you really enjoy the PvP survival aspects of Rust, then Escape from Tarkov might just be the perfect game for you.
In it, players engage in map-wide raids that see them fighting over precious items that can be used to improve characters’ stats and equipment.
Like Rust, the game includes several different maps as well as a satisfying blend of PvP and PvE survival that encourages different playstyles and approaches.
There are regular resets and updates to help keep the game feeling fresh and exciting, as well as a thriving community always coming up with new tactics and challenges.