Best Survival Games on Steam featured image - The Gamerian

15 Best Survival Games on Steam 2023

Survival games have become increasingly popular in recent years, with players seeking out the challenge and excitement of trying to stay alive in a harsh, unforgiving environment. Steam, one of the largest digital distribution platforms for video games, offers a wide variety of survival games for players to choose from.

That said, if you are new to this survival game genre, chances are, you might feel kinda clueless searching for the best survival games on Steam to purchase and start playing. 

No worries – we will explore some of the best Steam survival games, including fun and free survival games on Steam, as well as top-rated indie survival games to get you going on endless hours of fun! If you want to get playing right away, we highly recommend Don’t Starve!

Must-Play Best Survival Games on Steam

Don’t Starve – Editor’s Pick

Don’t Starve - Best Survival Game on Steam - The Gamerian

Don’t Starve is a top-down survival game with a quirky, Tim Burton-esque art style that challenges players to navigate a strange, dangerous world filled with monsters and supernatural phenomena while trying to avoid starvation and insanity. 

The game’s premise is simple: you take on the role of Wilson, a scientist who finds himself trapped in a mysterious world filled with strange creatures and dangerous environments. Players must explore the game’s randomly generated maps, gather resources (you will find yourself in good company with Chester the Storage Box), craft items, and build shelter while avoiding deadly traps and hostile creatures. One of the best open world survival games on Steam, the game features both a single-player and multiplayer mode, allowing players to team up with friends to survive together.

One of the most unique features of Don’t Starve is its crafting system, which allows players to combine various resources to create new items and structures. Players must also manage their hunger, sanity, and health levels, which can be depleted by hunger, darkness, and other environmental factors.

With its distinctive art style, creative crafting system, and challenging gameplay mechanics, Don’t Starve has earned its place as one of the best indie survival games available on Steam. We are totally in love and invested with the whole game – this is highly recommended on our list!

The Forest

The Forest - Best Survival Game on Steam - The Gamerian

Developed by Endnight Games, The Forest is a first-person Steam survival game set on a deserted island filled with dangerous creatures and cannibalistic tribes. Players must scavenge for resources, build shelters, and craft weapons to survive. 

Among the most unique feature of “The Forest” is its AI system, which creates a dynamic and realistic environment. The game’s AI system enables the creatures to learn and adapt to the player’s actions, making each encounter unique and unpredictable. 

The game also has a day and night cycle, with the nighttime being the most dangerous period due to the presence of hostile creatures that are more aggressive and difficult to defeat.

The game’s visuals are impressive, with detailed and realistic environments that bring the island to life. The game also features a haunting soundtrack and sound design, which adds to the game’s eerie atmosphere. The Forest received a pretty high rating on Steam, so this is a good survival game to consider in your list.

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ARK: Survival Evolved

ARK: Survival Evolved - Top-Rated Survival Game on Steam - The Gamerian

Huge fan of dinosaurs? Then ARK: Survival Evolved might be your thing! It is a dinosaur-themed survival game that lets players tame and ride prehistoric beasts while trying to survive in a dangerous, ever-changing world, so you can definitely go yee-hahh in style as you try to stay alive in the world.

One of the most unique features of “ARK: Survival Evolved” is its emphasis on taming and breeding prehistoric creatures. Players can capture and tame a wide variety of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals, using them for transportation, combat, and resource gathering. The game also features a complex breeding system, allowing players to breed animals with desirable traits to create stronger and more useful creatures.

The game’s environment is also impressive, with a vast and diverse island to explore. The game’s weather system adds a layer of realism, with players needing to prepare for harsh weather conditions such as heatwaves, cold snaps, and thunderstorms.

In addition to the game’s survival mechanics, “ARK: Survival Evolved” also features a complex crafting system, allowing players to create weapons, tools, and structures to help them survive and thrive on the island. The game also features a robust player progression system, allowing players to level up and unlock new skills and abilities, making it one of the top-rated survival games around.


Rust - Best Multiplayer Survival Game on Steam - The Gamerian

Rust is another popular multiplayer survival game that puts players in a harsh, unforgiving, post-apocalyptic world filled with other players who are just as desperate to survive. 

The game allows players to form clans and build bases, which can be raided by other players. Featuring an extensive crafting system, players can craft weapons, tools, and structures to help them survive and dominate their environment.

Rust’s environment is procedurally generated, creating a new and unique world for each playthrough. The game’s weather system also adds a layer of realism, with players needing to prepare for harsh weather conditions such as snowstorms and radiation storms.

It can be quite challenging as other players can attack and loot your base at any time. This creates a tense and thrilling gameplay experience, with players needing to constantly watch their backs and be prepared for the worst.

Rust has earned a reputation for being one of the most challenging and punishing best multiplayer survival games available on Steam – it features a harsh death penalty, with players losing all of their gear upon death. This can be especially devastating in multiplayer games, where other players can loot your body and steal your resources.

But if that doesn’t scare you, then we’d say go ahead and get it!


Subnautica - Best Steam Survival Game - The Gamerian

A critically acclaimed survival game developed by Unknown Worlds Entertainment in 2018, Subnautica is a great underwater survival game that features beautiful graphics, a compelling story, and a variety of dangerous creatures to encounter. 

The game features a unique blend of survival, exploration, and sci-fi elements, making it a fan favorite among survival game enthusiasts. The player must explore the ocean depths, gather resources, and build underwater habitats while avoiding deadly predators and environmental hazards.

Players must also manage their hunger, thirst, and oxygen levels, which can be depleted by performing actions such as swimming, fighting, and exploring. The game’s crafting system allows players to create a variety of tools, equipment, and vehicles, from underwater vehicles to survival equipment.

In addition to its single-player mode, the game also offers a survival mode, allowing players to test their skills and compete against other players. The game also features a creative mode, allowing players to explore and build without worrying about the game’s survival mechanics. 

We think this game is worth playing for its unique, immersive atmosphere so it’s not surprising it has earned its place as one of the best survival games available on Steam.

Best Free Survival Games on Steam


Unturned - Best Free Survival Game on Steam - The Gamerian

For those looking for good free survival games on Steam, Unturned is a great option. The game’s premise centers around a zombie apocalypse that has left the world in ruins, and the player must survive in a post-apocalyptic world filled with danger and chaos.

This free-to-play survival game features a blocky, cartoonish art style reminiscent of Minecraft, and it is free-to-play, making it accessible to a wide audience. The player must scavenge for resources, build shelter, and craft weapons and tools to survive in a world overrun by zombies and other dangerous creatures.

The game has several modes, including a single-player mode, a cooperative mode, and a player-versus-player mode. In the single-player mode, players must survive on their own, scavenging for resources, and avoiding zombies. In the cooperative mode, players can team up with friends to survive and build a base together. In the player-versus-player mode, players can compete against each other to be the last one standing.

Overall, Unturned is a fun and engaging survival game that offers a unique take on the zombie apocalypse genre. With its blocky graphics, diverse crafting system, and active player community, Unturned has earned its place as one of the best free survival games available on Steam.


Muck - Best Free Survival Game on Steam - The Gamerian

A free survival game developed by Dani and released in 2021 for PC, Muck is about survival in a procedurally generated world filled with monsters and resources to collect. Featuring fast-paced and action-packed gameplay, there are a variety of monsters to fight and a variety of weapons to use, with players needing to constantly gather resources and upgrade their equipment to survive. The game also features a leveling system, allowing players to unlock new skills and abilities as they progress.

Muck‘s graphics are also noteworthy, with a colorful and cartoonish art style that adds to the game’s overall charm. You can play this in multiplayer mode by teaming up with friends to survive together. The game’s multiplayer mode can be played online or locally, adding to the game’s replayability.

The game’s developer has also been actively updating and adding new content to the game, including new weapons, monsters, and areas to explore. This dedication to post-release support has made Muck a popular choice among survival game fans when it comes to best free survival games on Steam.

Project: Playtime

Project: Playtime - Best Free Survival Game on Steam - The Gamerian

Are you looking for an exciting survival game on Steam that will have you hooked from the first moment? Look no further than Project: Playtime! Released in 2022, this new thrilling open-world survival adventure is guaranteed to keep gamers on their toes as they battle against nature, other survivors and the mysterious creatures known as Procs.

Players must scavenge for supplies and build their own fortresses, while also competing in a range of team-based minigames. With its stunning graphics, dynamic weather system and challenging puzzles, Project: Playtime is one of highly-rated, best survival games available on Steam. 

Project: Playtime offers players a unique blend of intense tactical combat, building and base management systems and creative problem-solving that will keep them enthralled.

Best Indie Survival Games on Steam

The Long Dark

The Long Dark - Best Indie Survival Game on Steam - The Gamerian

The Long Dark is a survival game set in the Canadian wilderness after a mysterious geomagnetic disaster has caused a worldwide blackout, leaving the protagonist stranded and alone. The game’s stunning visuals, challenging gameplay, and immersive storyline have earned it a loyal following among survival game enthusiasts.

This another best survival game on Steam features both a story mode and a sandbox mode, each offering its unique challenges and objectives. In the story mode, players take on the role of Will Mackenzie, a pilot who becomes stranded in the wilderness after a plane crash. In the sandbox mode, players create their character and set out to survive in a randomly generated map.

The Long Dark is an outstanding survival game that offers a challenging and immersive experience for players who enjoy survival crafting games. With its detailed crafting system, dynamic weather patterns, and hauntingly beautiful soundtrack, “The Long Dark” stands out as one of the best indie survival games available on Steam.

This War of Mine

This War of Mine - Best War Survival Game on Steam - The Gamerian

A popular survival game set in a war-torn city, This War of Mine‘s premise centers around survival during a wartime siege, from the perspective of civilians rather than soldiers, focusing on the emotional toll of war on civilians. The game’s characters are not soldiers, but rather ordinary people struggling to survive in a city under siege. 

Players must manage the physical and emotional needs of their characters, such as hunger, fatigue, and depression. The game’s events and storylines are based on real-life wartime events. Not only that but the graphics and sound design are also impressive, with a hand-drawn art style and haunting musical score, adding to the game’s emotional impact.

Deemed to be one of the best Steam survival games, This War of Mine offers a unique perspective on the horrors of war and the human cost of conflict, so do give this one a try if you enjoy war settings.

Green Hell

Green Hell - Best Realistic Survival Game on Steam - The Gamerian

Green Hell is developed by Creepy Jar and released in 2019 for PC. This survival game is set in the Amazon rainforest where players must contend with deadly animals, diseases, and harsh weather conditions. With huge emphasis on realism and survival mechanics, the game features a detailed crafting system and a challenging difficulty curve that will keep players on their toes.

We find the game’s environment to be impressive, with a dense and lush Amazon rainforest to explore. The game’s graphics are particularly impressive, with detailed flora and fauna that help to create a truly immersive experience. 

The game also features a story mode, which follows the player’s character as they try to survive and uncover the mystery of their missing partner. Its multiplayer mode is also noteworthy, allowing players to team up with friends to survive together in the Amazon rainforest.

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Other Noteworthy Steam Survival Games

7 Days to Die

7 Days to Die - Popular Zombie Survival Game on Steam - The Gamerian

7 Days to Die is a popular zombie survival game available on Steam that offers both single-player and multiplayer modes. Players must scavenge for resources, build bases, and defend themselves against hordes of zombies and other players. With a large open world to explore and a deep crafting system, 7 Days to Die offers a challenging and rewarding survival experience that keeps players coming back for more.

Stranded Deep

Stranded Deep - Popular Survival Game on Steam - The Gamerian

Stranded Deep is another popular survival game set on a desert island where players must gather resources, build shelter, and explore the surrounding ocean to find a way to escape. The game features beautiful graphics and a dynamic weather system that can make survival even more challenging. Players must also fend off dangerous animals and other hazards while trying to survive on the island.


Raft - Free Fun Survival Game on Steam - The Gamerian

Raft is a fun survival game on Steam that lets players navigate a vast ocean on a raft, scavenging for resources and fending off sharks and other dangers. The game features a fun, cartoonish art style and a simple crafting system that makes it easy to jump in and start playing. Players must expand their raft, gather resources, and fend off sea creatures while trying to survive in the open ocean (not a fan personally, but hey, each to their own choice of survival games).

What’s Your Favorite Survival Game on Steam?

Survival games can offer an immersive and unique experience that is hard to find in other genres of video games. From crafting, building and surviving to fighting in post-apocalyptic wastelands or exploring remote islands, these Steam survival games have something for everyone. 

Whether you are looking for a story-driven survival game or just a fun sandbox experience, there is sure to be a survival game on Steam for you. So why not explore the vast library of available titles and try one out today?

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