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15 best Android survival games
Survival games are some of the most popular on mobile. It’s also one of the few where the primary mechanic is in the name. You have to survive. Players usually set up a base, craft various things, create defenses from outside threats, find food, and, sometimes, make friends. There are a lot of different takes on the base gameplay mechanics. Most survival games have a distinctive survival feel but manage to remain reasonably separate from one another. Here are the best survival games for Android.
We also have a full list of the best battle royale games. They aren’t hardcore survival games, but do have survival elements. We also recommend Out There: Ω Edition (Google Play). It’s excellent, but it hasn’t been updated in a few years. This War of Mine (Google Play) is also good, despite its crash bug issues.
The best survival games for Android
Alien: Isolation is a survival-horror game that takes place in the Alien universe. You play as Amanda Ripley, Ellen Ripley’s daughter, as she goes to a space station to solve the mystery of what happened to her mom. You show up underprepared and underequipped, and thus, the survival experience begins. There are a variety of items and resources to find to help you live through everything as you progress the story. This is an excellent game overall, and a faithful port of the original. The price is a bit high, but there are no in-app purchases to muck things up.
Ark: Survival Evolved
Price: Free to play / $4.99 per month / $39.99 per year
Ark: Survival Evolved is a survival adventure game with some city-building elements. Players establish a home base, build up their space, tame dinosaurs, and fend off marauding bandits and other bad things. You start out alone and unarmed and must build yourself up from basically nothing. That includes weapons, buildings, resources, and other stuff. The game is free to play with an optional subscription that gives players various benefits. There are also social elements to play with friends, a crafting system, and a bunch of land to explore. Plus, it’s one of the most graphically intense games on mobile so it should look outstanding on high-end screens.
Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead
Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead is one of those diamond in the rough survival games. It’s free and open-source with hundreds of contributors. You start out with nothing and try to survive in a randomly generated world. You have monstrosities to defeat, stuff to collect, and a human to protect. The graphics are retro style and the menu system is not great, but if you can get passed that, this is a surprisingly good game. There are also two versions. We linked to the one that is still actively updated. There’s another, older one that isn’t. You can go with either one.
Crashlands has so many different gaming elements that it boggles the mind. You’ll find RPG, survival, action, adventure, and even monster collecting. The game revolves around an intergalactic trucker who gets stranded on an alien planet. Your job is to fight bad guys, build a base, deliver your lost packages, and save the world from evil. It’s intensely deep, has over 500 items that you can craft, and you can even tame creatures to fight alongside you. You won’t die if you don’t do things like eating, so purists may not enjoy this one as much as others. However, creature hunting, item collecting, home building, and item crafting mechanics are all there and better than most other games. There is also cloud-saving support and achievements. It also comes at a decent price and is one of the most unique survival games out there. This one is also free via Google Play Pass if you have it.
Day R Survival
Price: Free to play
Day R Survival is another excellent freemium survival game. This one takes place in the USSR. It includes 2,700 locations on a huge map, tons of items to find, and a relatively decent survival experience. You have to stave off hunger, not get killed by zombies, and avoid radiation where possible. It also boasts an RPG progression system for skills like shelter, mechanics, chemistry, and other such things. It’s a surprisingly deep survival game for its price tag. This one should be fun for a while.
Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition and Shipwrecked
Price: $4.99 each
Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition is one of the more popular survival games. Your job is to survive and succeed in an unrelenting wilderness. Not doing so will result in your quick and untimely death. Like most games in the genre, you’ll have to collect resources, exploit your environment for your own gains, and do whatever it takes to live. The charm with this one involves the little extras and supernatural elements that set it apart from pure wilderness survival games. Shipwrecked is the second game in the series. It’s just as good as the first one. Most of the mechanics are the same, the only huge difference is the environment. Both games are $4.99 with no in-app purchases.
Doom & Destiny Worlds
Price: $4.99 with in-app purchases
Doom & Destiny Worlds is a light survival game mixed with an RPG. The graphics are SNES-era, so it hits the nostalgia button a bit for older gamers. You start out with a party affected by anmesia. From there, you gather resources, craft items, level up your party, and make your way through the game. The survival elements here are pretty light, but you can drown on your way to an island while exploring so it’s important to manage those types of things. Fans of the first two Doom & Destiny games have quite a few grips about it not playing like the first two games, but as a standalone survival RPG, it’s pretty good. We also recommend checking out classic combat mode, as it’s a little more traditional than the one you start with in-game.
Dysmantle is a survival game that follows the standard survival layout. You start with nothing and must gather resources and build your way into safety. This one is nice because you can break almost everything in the game to use as materials. There are also things to fight or run away from, a crafting system, and various tools to make your life easier. In terms of pure premise, this is a pretty standard survival game. However, the presentation is outstanding, and it’s definitely one of the easier recommendations we can make in this genre. This is one of the good ones, no doubt about it.
Forager is an interesting survival game. It’s a 2D, open-world game where you explore your surroundings, forage for supplies, take down enemies, and build up your base. This has a typical play style. You start with absolutely nothing and eventually wind up with all that you need to survive the game. This one also tosses in some extra elements, like puzzle solving, raid dungeons, and some RPG elements. It’s not much, but it helps keep the game feeling fresh. This one is a premium game at $7.99 with no in-app purchases. Our only gripe is the occasionally laggy and clunky controls.
Last Day on Earth: Survival
Price: Free to play
Last Day on Earth: Survival is one of the most popular survival games on mobile. You have to gather resources, steal stuff, craft stuff, and fight bad guys in order to stay alive. It also has shooter and zombie apocalypse elements. It also has a decent YouTube community for tips, tricks, and tutorials. This is a free-to-play game and players can buy advantages. However, and perhaps ironically, not buying anything makes it that much more difficult to survive stuff, and some players like the added challenge. It’s entertaining for what it is, but people who don’t like free-to-play games may not like it as much. The video below doesn’t have a thumbnail but it is the most recent trailer for the game.
Price: Free to play
LifeAfter is one of the newer survival games on the list. It plays like most post-apocalyptic survival games. A virus sweeps the planet and leaves most people dead or as monsters. You must survive the monster hoard, collect gear, craft stuff, and figure out ways to live. Players can craft safe houses, learn to tend wounds, and forage for food wherever they can. It’s all backed up with some decent graphics and controls. The game’s free-to-play mechanics can be a little stressful at times, but they’re mostly not a big deal.
Price: $6.99 with in-app purchases
Minecraft is one of the world’s most popular survival games on any platform. It’s also great for creative people and other stuff. Survival Mode is the epitome of what survival games should be. For those who don’t know, Minecraft puts you in a randomly generated world, and then you do whatever you want. You can build things, mine things, kill things, grow things, and do pretty much whatever you want. Microsoft made some big moves with Minecraft in 2016 and 2017. You can play this game with people on PC and Xbox One now. It’s one of the few cross-platform games for mobile, PC, and Xbox One.
Terraria (Google Play) is also an outstanding game that utilizes some of the same mechanics, albeit in a different way. You can’t go wrong with either one.
Prospector: Survival Rush
Price: Free to play
Prospector: Survival Rush is an entertaining survival game. It goes for the low-poly approach when it comes to graphics. Otherwise, it’s a life management-style survival game. You find water and resources, build up your base, and try to fend off attacks. The game lets real people raid your base, so there is an element of PvP as well. Some other game features include crafting as well as an in-game economy where you can buy and sell items to other players. You can even lay traps in your base that should alert you when you’re out of the game when people try to raid you. Like most games, it has its pros and cons, but it’s an overall good experience.
Price: Free to play
Rebel Inc technically isn’t a survival game but oh my goodness does it feel like one. You start the game as a leader and you try to stabilize a region torn apart by war. You have to rebuild the society, introduce things like clean water, and garner support from the locals. However, you also have to battle corruption, insurgent attacks, and a constant stream of things that need your attention and money. By the end of a round, it feels like a survival game even if its official genre is strategy-simulation. This one is hard and awesome. The game is free and you can get the pro version for $3.99. There are also in-game cheats and extras you can purchase with additional money as well. All things you purchase are permanent content and not consumable power-ups. This one is also really hard once you get to higher levels. Good luck!
Price: Free to play
The Wanderer is one of the most interesting survival games on mobile. It doesn’t make heavy use of complicated controls or graphics. Instead, you make decisions that impact how the game goes, and mostly watch how it plays out. You can do things like take in a wild dog to help you find supplies, but it needs food and water like you do, so there is a give and take. The game ramps up in difficulty as you play, but does so in a natural and good-feeling way. There are a ton of different things you can do in the game, down to picking locks and taking on quests to kill bandits. It’s quite good. Definitely a sleeper pick on this list.
If we missed any of the best survival games for Android, tell us about them in the comments. You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.