Best Survival Games 2022

Looking for new survival crafting games to get lost in? We've got you covered with the best survival games to play in 2022!

Every year, a new batch of indie survival games releases with hopes of recreating the success and popularity of games like Minecraft, Subnautica, Rust, and the like.

In many cases, these games fail to catch on while others end up standing out for their unique setting, visual style, and gameplay elements.

In this list, we’ll highlight the best survival games to play in 2022, including the best new survival games on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.

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 survival games!

Related:Best Open-World Games 2022Best Sandbox Games On PC 2022Best Base Building Games On PC

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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.

The game features RPG-style progression as well as unique building mechanics that allow you to construct your own Viking longhouses and fill them with all sorts of furniture and defenses.

While it has a relatively steep difficulty curve, you can lessen the challenge by playing with friends on the same server.

ARK is arguably the most complex open-world survival game on the market and, depending on who you ask, either plays great or terribly bad.

Regardless of where you fall, ARK’s ambitious design cannot be overstated; from a wide variety of crafting materials and building tools to online co-op and monster taming, ARK has it all.

In it, you set out to explore a huge map dominated by futuristic technology and dinosaurs that can be hunted or used for transportation, extra storage, and protection.

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.

If you enjoy the PvP survival games, then SCUM’s brutal reality show setup where the world’s toughest criminals throw down on a remote island will likely pique your interest.

In it, you and several other players battle to be the last man standing as you overcome a host of dangers such as mutated animals, deadly machines, and rogue military operatives.

Unique to SCUM is its metabolism system in which your character’s health and overall performance depend on the macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals you consume by eating.

This close attention to detail bleeds over to SCUM’s combat, with bullets and other projectiles taking into consideration things like wind, gravity, and distance.

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.

Volcanoids is a first-person open-world survival game set in a steampunk-inspired world where humanity and technology have intertwined.

You’re tasked with exploring a volcanic island aboard a steam-powered drillship that can travel beneath the surface of the world and acts as both a mobile base and factory.

As you traverse the world, you’ll have to deal with volcanic eruptions and attacks from mobs of robots that will try to flank your drillship from either side.

A recent update for Volcanoids introduced a customization system that lets players assign different paint jobs to their drillship for stylish steampunk traveling.

Subnautica: Below Zero is a follow-up to the hit first-person survival crafting game in which your spaceship crash-lands on an alien planet covered almost entirely in water.

After returning to the planet from the first game, your character discovers a new icy region on its surface and sets out to uncover all of its mysteries.

To make it out alive, you’ll have to rely on resources throughout the environment for crafting bases, submersibles, and weapons in addition to keeping your character fed and hydrated.

Similar to the original, Below Zero has an open-ended structure that lets you set your own goals, whether exploring the deepest corners of the ocean, constructing bases, or simply advancing the story.

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.

Based on the mythology of Conan the Barbarian, Conan Exiles is an open-world survival game that incorporates many tried and true game mechanics.

This includes managing your character’s health, food, and water consumption in addition to crafting and equipping them with clothing, tools, and weapons.

The game’s fantasy-inspired setting sees you facing off against dinosaurs, dragons, and otherworldly monsters that require a great deal of preparation to bring down.

There’s close attention to detail regarding your character’s identity, including a robust character creator, religious belief system, and level-based progression.

Raft drops players in a never-ending ocean where they’ll have to deal with powerful currents and a deadly shark.

Your vessel starts out small, consisting of just a few planks of wood that can be expanded by using a metal hook tool to reel in junk and other debris floating in the water.

The game gives you the freedom to set your own goals and combine different materials to create a variety of furniture, tools, weapons, and power sources for your character and raft.

This results in a satisfying loop where players are constantly going back and forth between expanding their base, collecting resources, and striking the shark before it causes trouble.

Set during the 19th century where a new Ice Age has plunged the world into darkness, Frostpunk puts you in charge of a colony that relies on steam-powered machines to stay alive.

To ensure your people survive, you’ll have to manage dwindling resources while earning your citizens’ trust and harnessing a myriad of retro-futuristic tech inspired by the steampunk genre.

There are also random in-game events that require you to make tough decisions that will impact your villagers’ quality of life and overall morale, both negatively and positively.

If you end up enjoying time with the game, make sure to keep an eye out for the upcoming sequel Frostpunk 2, currently in development by 11-bit studios.

They Are Billions is a steampunk-themed colony survival sim set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun flesh-eating zombies.

In it, players are tasked with guiding the last remaining humans as they fight to reclaim civilization from massive swarms of the living dead.

Included are two modes: Campaign, in which you defend colonies from the undead while researching new technologies, and Survival, which focuses on staying alive for as long as possible.

One of the game’s most unique features is the ability to pause the action and give yourself time to build new structures, issue orders to troops, or just catch your breath.

Another game that delivers on the zombie survival front is State of Decay 2, which builds upon its predecessor in pretty much every area.

In it, you’re tasked with growing and managing a team of survivors while venturing out into the world in search of resources to keep your community alive.

The game is focused on scavenging for supplies and fortifying your base to deal with in-game events such as zombie infestations.

Resources in each map are limited, forcing you to carefully decide what goals you want to achieve and which skills to invest in.

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.

Mechanica offers an open-world survival sandbox where players can create fortified bases, manufacturing operations, and more.

It differs from other games in its emphasis on programming and automation, allowing you to easily scale projects as you progress and acquire more resources.

However, exploring Mechanica’s post-apocalyptic map isn’t as easy as getting up and going since hostile robots will chase you down if they detect your presence.

Thankfully, there are a variety of traps and defenses that can be set up with custom parameters to catch trespassers before they catch you.

Rust­­­­ is a hardcore survival game developed by Facepunch Studios in which players spawn into an unforgiving open world as vulnerable “nakeds,” with nothing but a rock to their name.

Armed with this simple tool and your wits, you’ll have to scavenge for supplies, kill wild animals for food and clothing, and construct shelter away from prying eyes.

Surviving in Rust is a never-ending battle that will see you monitoring your character’s hunger, thirst, and body temperature, as well as keeping an eye out for other players.

Some will try to rob you, others will offer help, and many more will kill you on sight, so be careful and try to use each death as a learning experience.

If you’re looking for a single-player survival game with a story and challenging gameplay, then The Long Dark is worth checking out.

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 many other games on this list, it focuses on managing systems such as fatigue, hunger, and thirst along with combating hostile wildlife, namely wolves.

The Forest is a survival game with a deceptively simple setup in which you play as the seemingly sole survivor of a plane crash as he looks for his missing child in a strange wooded area.

However, things quickly ramp up as mutated creatures, mysterious wooden structures, and other weird objects start to cross your path.

From a gameplay perspective, the main focus is building shelter, creating makeshift weapons, and gathering resources from the wilderness.

The game can be played solo or online with friends, which can help reduce the grind and generally make the adventure more fun.

Next up is Darkwood, a tense indie survival horror game played from a top-down perspective.

In it, players take on the role of a silent protagonist stranded in a hostile wilderness teeming with threats both natural and supernatural.

The gameplay loop is structured around a continuous day/night cycle in which players explore and gather resources before hunkering down once it’s dark.

Your character’s ability to deal with external threats is rather limited, forcing you to get creative and sometimes rely on chance to survive through the night.

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.

Minecraft has evolved quite a bit since its alpha release in 2010, but at its core, remains one of the best survival crafting games around today.

It’s also responsible for influencing countless other survival games and popularizing an open-ended approach to sandbox exploration and progression.

Your goal is simply to survive Minecraft’s hostile world while exploring various villages, temples, and mines in search of natural resources.

Whether you’ve never played or it’s been a while, you’ll find plenty of welcoming players in the Minecraft community along with tons of great Minecraft PC mods to explore.

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Justin Fernandez
Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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