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5 other survival games to play if you need a break from Palworld

Published Jan 28th, 2024 12:06PM EST
Palworld is the surprise hit of 2024.
Image: Pocketpair

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By the time you read this, there’s a chance that Palworld will have sold over 10 million copies. That is a stunning achievement for a game from an independent developer, but it goes to show just how voracious our collective appetite for survival games has become. The genre seemingly never stopped growing after Minecraft hit the scene more than a decade ago, and new entries are amassing millions of players with regularity.

But as impressive as Palworld’s success has been, it’s only a matter of time before you start to burn out on it (even if only for a few days). When that finally happens, here’s a list of five other great survival games to check out that offer a slightly different experience.

Enshrouded

Enshrouded is now in early access.
Enshrouded is now in early access. Image source: Keen Games GmbH

What it is: Enshrouded is not only the newest survival game on this list, having just launched in early access on January 24, but it’s also the most traditional. Players explore a fantasy world full of dangerous enemies and dark dungeons while leveling up and gathering materials. You’ll then use those materials to build a base, craft new weapons, and upgrade your tools.

How it’s different: What immediately stands out is its combat system. In many survival games, combat feels like an afterthought. That is not the case for Enshrouded. This is a true action RPG, and it puts a premium on dodging, blocking, parrying, and positioning in fights. If you’ve always wanted some Dark Souls in your survival game, Enshrouded is worth a look.

Where to download: Steam


Frostpunk

Frostpunk is now available on PC, PS5, and Xbox.
Frostpunk is now available on PC, PS5, and Xbox. Image source: 11 bit studios

What it is: Most survival games put you in control of a single character, but in Frostpunk, you’re in charge of an entire society. In this top-down city builder, you have to make increasingly difficult decisions to keep your people alive in a post-apocalyptic world. Manage the resources, enhance your infrastructure, and send citizens out on expeditions into the frozen wastelands of the planet to search for intel, supplies, and survivors.

How it’s different: Fans of Civilization, Age of Empires, or SimCity should feel right at home as Frostpunk mashes up strategy city-builders and survival games. If you’re sick of chopping down trees one by one and spending hours on a single wooden shack, the significantly grander scale of Frostpunk might be just the change of pace you need.

Where to download: Steam, Epic, GOG, Xbox Store, PS Store, Mac App Store


Raft

Raft is now available on PC.
Raft is now available on PC. Image source: Redbeet Interactive

What it is: As its name suggests, Raft is a survival game set on the ocean. When the game first starts, you’ll wake up on a raft with nothing but a plastic hook in your possession. Once you start reeling in debris, you’ll be able to craft new items and expand your raft into a floating home worth living in. But watch out for combative sea creatures along the way.

How it’s different: This is another fairly traditional survival game, but the setting is unique. While there are plenty of obstacles to overcome and dangers to face, sailing on the seas with your best friends could also be a low-key, relaxing experience.

Where to download: Steam


Terraria

Terraria is now available on PC, consoles, and mobile devices.
Terraria is now available on PC, consoles, and mobile devices. Image source: Re-Logic

What it is: Although “2D Minecraft” is an unfair oversimplification of Terraria, it also gives you a pretty good idea of what you’re in for if you play it. Dig into the depths in search of treasures and materials, build houses for yourself and your friends, craft gear to take on dozens of monsters, and go as far right or as far left as your heart desires.

How it’s different: First and foremost, it’s a 2D game, which means it will run on just about any electronic device you own. That 2D world makes the game much more manageable for a wider range of gamers, so if you’re not sure about convincing your friend to explore an enormous 3D open world with you, Terraria could be a good alternative.

Where to download: Steam, eShop, Xbox Store, PS Store, App Store, Google Play


V Rising

V Rising is now in early access.
V Rising is now in early access. Image source: Stunlock Studios

What it is: V Rising is an isometric action RPG along the lines of Diablo or Torchlight wearing a survival game’s clothes. You play as a vampire rebuilding their castle and hunting for humans to turn into servants while avoiding the sunlight, bandits, and supernatural beasts.

How it’s different: Much like Frostpunk, V Rising mashes up two beloved genres to spectacular effect. If you can’t get enough of games like Path of Exile, V Rising takes some of their very best elements but sprinkles in a healthy dose of crafting, exploration, and resource gathering that you wouldn’t normally get from your average isometric RPG.

Where to download: Steam

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.

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