Welcome to our comprehensive guide on what makes a survival game! Survival games are a popular genre that has captured the hearts of gamers worldwide. These games put players in the shoes of a character who must struggle to survive in a harsh environment, facing challenges such as hunger, thirst, and dangerous creatures. In this guide, we will explore the key elements that make a game a survival game, and take a look at some examples of popular survival games. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or a newcomer to the genre, this guide has something for everyone. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of survival games!
Understanding the Basics of Survival Games
Definition of Survival Games
Survival games are a unique genre of video games that place the player in a challenging environment where they must struggle to survive against various obstacles and threats. These games typically involve resource management, exploration, and combat, and often require players to make difficult decisions in order to stay alive.
Characteristics of Survival Games
One of the key characteristics of survival games is the emphasis on survival as the primary objective. This means that players must gather resources, build shelter, and fend off threats in order to stay alive as long as possible. Another characteristic is the sense of danger and urgency, as players must constantly be on the lookout for potential dangers and make quick decisions in order to stay alive.
Examples of Survival Games
There are many examples of survival games, ranging from classic titles like “The Oregon Trail” to modern games like “Don’t Starve” and “Rust”. These games often take place in harsh environments such as deserts, forests, or post-apocalyptic landscapes, and require players to use their wits and resources to survive. Some survival games also incorporate elements of other genres, such as exploration, combat, or even base-building.
Resource management is a crucial aspect of survival games. Players must gather and manage resources such as food, water, and materials to survive. The scarcity of resources adds a layer of challenge and realism to the game. Players must make strategic decisions about how to allocate their resources, whether to prioritize short-term survival needs or long-term goals. Resource management also involves preserving resources for future use, such as storing food or crafting tools.
Combat and Defense
Combat and defense mechanics are essential in survival games, especially those set in hostile environments. Players must defend themselves against threats such as predators, other players, or hostile factions. Combat mechanics typically involve weapons, armor, and tactics. Players must learn how to use weapons effectively, how to avoid being hit, and how to take cover. Defense mechanics involve building shelters, setting traps, and fortifying positions to protect against attacks.
Exploration and Navigation
Exploration and navigation are key components of survival games. Players must explore the game world to find resources, discover new locations, and uncover secrets. Navigation mechanics involve using maps, compasses, and other tools to navigate the environment. Exploration also involves risk, as players may encounter dangerous creatures or hostile players. To survive, players must weigh the risks and rewards of exploring new areas.
Overall, gameplay mechanics in survival games are designed to create a sense of challenge and immersion. Resource management, combat and defense, and exploration and navigation are all interconnected aspects of the game that require players to make strategic decisions and use their wits to survive.
Types of Survival Games
Open-World Survival Games
Open-world survival games are a subgenre of survival games that offer players a vast, open environment to explore and survive in. These games often have a large open world, with few boundaries or loading screens, and allow players to freely roam and interact with the environment.
Examples of Open-World Survival Games
Examples of open-world survival games include the popular game “The Forest,” which is set in a dense, procedurally generated forest, and “Rust,” which is set in a post-apocalyptic world. Other examples include “DayZ,” “Don’t Starve,” and “H1Z1.”
Pros and Cons of Open-World Survival Games
One of the main advantages of open-world survival games is the sense of freedom they offer players. With a large, open world to explore, players can choose their own path and make their own decisions about how to survive. This can be especially appealing to players who enjoy exploration and discovery.
However, open-world survival games can also have some drawbacks. One potential downside is that the vast, open world can be overwhelming for some players, who may feel lost or unsure of what to do next. Additionally, the lack of boundaries and loading screens can sometimes lead to technical issues, such as slow performance or crashes.
Another potential disadvantage of open-world survival games is that they can be less focused than other types of survival games. With so much to explore and do, it can be easy for players to get distracted and lose sight of their main goals. This can make it difficult for players to feel a sense of progress or accomplishment, as they may feel like they are constantly starting over.
Overall, open-world survival games can be a great choice for players who enjoy exploration and discovery, but they may not be the best fit for players who prefer a more focused, structured experience.
Survival-focused games are a subgenre of video games that emphasize the player’s struggle to survive in a hostile environment. These games often involve a combination of exploration, resource management, and combat, as players must scavenge for food, water, and other essential resources while avoiding danger.
Examples of Survival-Focused Games
There are many examples of survival-focused games, both old and new. Some of the most popular include:
- The Oregon Trail (1971)
- The Legend of Zelda (1986)
- Dark Souls (2011)
- Don’t Starve (2013)
- The Forest (2014)
- Rust (2013)
- State of Decay 2 (2018)
Pros and Cons of Survival-Focused Games
Like any genre, survival-focused games have their own set of pros and cons.
- Survival-focused games often have a high replayability factor, as players can try different strategies and approaches to survival.
- These games can be very challenging, providing a sense of accomplishment when players successfully navigate a difficult situation.
- Survival-focused games often have a strong sense of immersion, as players must carefully manage their resources and make difficult decisions to stay alive.
- These games can be very punishing, with harsh penalties for mistakes or oversights.
- Some survival-focused games can be very grindy, requiring players to spend a lot of time gathering resources or performing repetitive tasks.
- Some players may find the survival mechanics frustrating or tedious, detracting from the overall enjoyment of the game.
MMO Survival Games
Examples of MMO Survival Games
Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) survival games are a subgenre of survival games that are played online with thousands of players simultaneously. These games often require players to gather resources, build shelter, and fight against other players or monsters to survive. Some examples of MMO survival games include:
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG): This game drops players onto an island where they must scavenge for weapons and equipment while trying to eliminate other players to be the last one standing.
- The Forest: This game puts players in a dense forest where they must gather resources, build shelter, and fend off monsters to survive.
- Don’t Starve Together: This game requires players to gather resources, craft items, and build shelter to survive in a harsh wilderness.
Pros and Cons of MMO Survival Games
One of the main advantages of MMO survival games is the social aspect. Players can team up with others to complete tasks and survive together. Additionally, these games often have a sense of progression as players unlock new items and abilities. However, MMO survival games can also be challenging for players who prefer a more solitary experience. The need to compete with other players can be overwhelming for some, and the focus on multiplayer elements can detract from the survival aspects of the game.
Tips for Playing Survival Games
Basic Survival Skills
Food and Water
In any survival game, players must find ways to sustain themselves. This includes obtaining food and water to keep their character alive. In most games, players must hunt for animals or gather fruits and vegetables to sustain themselves. Players may also need to find sources of clean water, such as rivers or springs, to avoid dehydration.
Shelter is another crucial aspect of survival in a game. Players must find a way to protect themselves from the elements, such as rain, snow, and extreme temperatures. This may involve building a shelter, finding a cave, or even just seeking out a patch of shade. Without proper shelter, players may suffer from hypothermia or heatstroke, which can be deadly.
Clothing is also essential for survival in a game. Players must dress appropriately for the environment, including wearing warm clothing in cold weather and protective gear in hostile environments. Clothing can also provide protection against attacks from other players or creatures. For example, armor may protect against physical attacks, while a helmet may protect against head injuries.
Finally, medical treatment is crucial for survival in a game. Players must know how to treat injuries and illnesses, such as wounds, infections, and dehydration. This may involve using first aid kits, finding medicinal plants, or even performing surgery in some cases. Without proper medical treatment, players may suffer permanent damage or even death.
Advanced Survival Techniques
Crafting is a crucial aspect of survival games, as it allows players to create items and tools that can help them survive in the game world. Crafting involves gathering resources and combining them to create new items. Players must carefully manage their resources and choose which items to craft based on their current needs and goals. Some examples of craftable items include weapons, armor, shelter, and food.
Hunting and Gathering
Hunting and gathering is another important aspect of survival games. Players must explore the game world to find food, water, and other resources. This involves hunting wild animals for meat and hides, gathering fruits, vegetables, and other edible plants, and scavenging for scrap metal and other useful materials. Players must also be aware of their surroundings and avoid dangerous predators and other hazards.
Building and Defense
Building and defense are critical skills for survival in many survival games. Players must construct shelter to protect themselves from the elements and to store resources. They must also fortify their base to defend against other players or hostile creatures. Building and defense involve a combination of resource management, strategic planning, and construction skills. Players must choose the right materials and build the right structures to meet their needs and protect themselves.
Social interaction is an important aspect of many survival games. Players may choose to cooperate with each other or compete for resources. They may form alliances or engage in PvP combat. Social interaction involves communication, negotiation, and strategic decision-making. Players must navigate complex social dynamics and build relationships with other players to survive and thrive in the game world.
Popular Survival Games
Minecraft is a sandbox survival game that was first released in 2011. The game is set in a blocky 3D world where players must gather resources, build shelter, and fend off monsters to survive. The game is divided into two main modes: Survival and Creative. In Survival mode, players must gather resources and build shelter to survive, while in Creative mode, players have unlimited resources and can focus on building whatever they desire.
Minecraft has been a commercial success, selling over 200 million copies across all platforms. The game has received widespread critical acclaim and has won numerous awards, including several Game of the Year awards.
Tips and Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks to help players survive in Minecraft:
- Start by building a shelter as soon as possible. This will protect you from monsters and the elements.
- Use resources like wood and stone to build a furnace and craft tools and weapons.
- Try to conserve resources by recycling items that can no longer be used.
- Avoid getting lost by marking your way back to your base with a trail of torches or other markers.
- Don’t be afraid to explore, but be cautious and avoid dangerous areas if possible.
Don’t Starve is a popular survival game developed by Klei Entertainment. The game is set in a harsh wilderness where the player must survive as long as possible. The player must gather resources, craft tools and weapons, and build shelter to survive. The game features a unique art style and a vast open world to explore.
One of the key features of Don’t Starve is its focus on survival mechanics. The player must constantly monitor their hunger, thirst, and health, and take steps to maintain them. This includes foraging for food, finding water sources, and treating injuries. The game also features a day-night cycle, which affects gameplay and adds an extra layer of challenge.
Another notable aspect of Don’t Starve is its randomly generated world. Each new game presents a unique set of challenges, with different biomes, weather patterns, and wildlife. This adds a high level of replayability to the game, as players must adapt to new environments and strategies.
Don’t Starve has received widespread critical acclaim since its release in 2013. Reviewers have praised its unique art style, challenging gameplay, and vast open world. The game has won numerous awards, including the Gamescom Best PC Game award and the SXSW Best New Game award.
For players looking to survive as long as possible in Don’t Starve, there are several tips and tricks to keep in mind. These include:
- Always keep an eye on your hunger, thirst, and health levels, and take steps to maintain them.
- Use fire to keep warm and cook food, which will help you survive longer.
- Craft tools and weapons to defend yourself against wildlife and other threats.
- Explore the world and gather resources, but be careful and avoid danger when possible.
- Take advantage of the day-night cycle to plan your activities and avoid danger.
- Learn from your mistakes and adjust your strategy as needed.
Rust is a popular survival game that was released in 2018. It is developed by Facepunch Studios and published by Double Eleven. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world where players must survive against the harsh environment and other players. The game’s objective is to survive as long as possible and build a thriving community.
In Rust, players start with nothing and must gather resources to build shelter, tools, and weapons. The game features a day-night cycle, where during the day, players can explore the environment and gather resources, while at night, they must defend themselves against hostile creatures and other players.
The game also features a player-versus-player (PvP) element, where players can attack and kill each other to gain resources and power. However, the game also encourages cooperation, as players can join forces to build structures and defend against threats.
Rust has received positive reviews from critics and players alike. The game’s unique blend of survival and PvP gameplay has been praised for its depth and complexity. The game’s graphics and sound design have also been praised for their immersion and realism.
However, the game has also been criticized for its steep learning curve and difficulty, which can be off-putting for some players. The game’s harsh environment and punishing difficulty have also been criticized for being too unforgiving and frustrating.
Here are some tips and tricks to help players survive in Rust:
- Start by gathering resources and building shelter to protect yourself from the environment and other players.
- Prioritize building a fire to keep warm and cook food, as well as a workbench to craft tools and weapons.
- Explore the environment during the day to gather resources and scout for potential threats.
- Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for other players, as they can be both helpful and dangerous.
- Join a clan or community to share resources and knowledge with other players, and to have a better chance of survival.
The Forest is a survival horror game developed by Endnight Games. The game is set on a mysterious island where the player is stranded after a plane crash. The player must survive against the dangers of the island, including mutated creatures and harsh weather conditions. The game is played from a first-person perspective and features a day-night cycle, which affects gameplay.
The player must gather resources, build shelter, and craft weapons to defend themselves against the creatures. The island is full of secrets, and the player must explore to uncover them. The game also features a multiplayer mode, where players can work together to survive.
The Forest received positive reviews from critics, who praised its immersive gameplay and terrifying atmosphere. The game was also praised for its procedurally generated environments, which added replayability. However, some critics found the game’s controls to be clunky and the combat to be shallow.
- Always keep an eye on your hunger, thirst, and temperature. These factors can affect your health and well-being.
- Build a shelter as soon as possible. This will protect you from the elements and provide a safe place to rest.
- Be careful when exploring the island. Use stealth to avoid attracting attention from creatures, and always have a weapon ready.
- The island is full of secrets, so don’t be afraid to explore and investigate your surroundings. You may find useful resources or uncover clues to the island’s mysteries.
- The multiplayer mode can be a great way to team up with friends and increase your chances of survival. Just be sure to communicate and work together.
State of Decay 2
State of Decay 2 is a survival game developed by Undead Labs that puts players in the role of a survivor in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. The game is set in an open-world environment where players must scavenge for resources, build shelter, and defend themselves against hordes of undead.
One of the key features of State of Decay 2 is its emphasis on community building. Players can form alliances with other survivors and work together to establish safehouses, share resources, and fend off attacks from zombies and other hostile factions.
The game also includes a day-night cycle, which affects gameplay in several ways. During the day, players can venture out to scavenge for supplies and explore the environment, while at night, zombies become more aggressive and players must be more cautious.
State of Decay 2 received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised its engaging storyline, immersive gameplay, and improved graphics compared to its predecessor. Many players also appreciated the addition of multiplayer features, which allowed them to team up with friends and tackle the challenges of the post-apocalyptic world together.
However, some players criticized the game for its bugs and technical issues, which could affect gameplay and spoil the overall experience.
Here are some tips and tricks to help players survive in State of Decay 2:
- Scavenge for resources regularly to keep your character’s health and stamina up.
- Build a strong base with good defenses to protect yourself from zombie attacks and other threats.
- Use the environment to your advantage, such as barricading doors and windows to prevent zombies from getting in.
- Be mindful of your inventory and only carry what you need, as carrying too much weight can slow you down and make you more vulnerable to attacks.
- Try to conserve ammunition by using melee weapons when possible and only shooting when necessary.
- Use the radio to call for help if you get overwhelmed by zombies or other threats.
- Don’t be afraid to scavenge from other players’ bases, but be prepared to defend yourself if they come looking for revenge.
The Long Dark
The Long Dark is a survival simulation game developed by Hinterland Games. It is set in a post-apocalyptic Canadian wilderness, where the player must survive as long as possible against the harsh environment and limited resources. The game features a unique blend of survival mechanics, exploration, and storytelling.
In The Long Dark, players must gather resources, build shelters, and manage their hunger, thirst, and warmth levels to survive. The game features a day-night cycle, where players must plan their activities according to the time of day and weather conditions. The player’s character starts with limited resources and must scavenge for food, water, and other supplies to extend their survival.
The game also features a story mode, where players follow the journey of a pilot stranded in the wilderness after a mysterious event causes the collapse of modern civilization. The story mode provides context and motivation for the player’s survival efforts, as they uncover the secrets of the past and try to find a way to escape.
The Long Dark has received critical acclaim for its immersive gameplay, stunning visuals, and hauntingly beautiful soundtrack. The game has won several awards, including the Best Game Direction award at the 2014 Game Developers Conference.
Players praise the game for its realistic survival mechanics, challenging gameplay, and sense of atmosphere. The game’s story mode has also been well-received, with players appreciating the emotional weight and narrative depth.
To survive in The Long Dark, players must be resourceful and adaptable. Here are some tips and tricks to help players extend their survival:
- Conserve resources by only using essential items when necessary.
- Build a shelter to protect against the elements and to store resources.
- Monitor hunger, thirst, and warmth levels and adjust the player’s actions accordingly.
- Explore the environment to find resources and avoid danger.
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
- Use the map and compass to navigate the environment and avoid getting lost.
- Look for clues and story hints to uncover the mysteries of the wilderness.
Terraria is a popular survival game that has captured the hearts of many gamers worldwide. The game was released in 2011 and has since become a cult classic. It is developed by Re-Logic and published by 505 Games. The game is available on various platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo.
In Terraria, players are stranded on a procedurally generated 2D world filled with monsters, treasures, and challenges. The objective of the game is to survive as long as possible and progress through the game by defeating monsters, exploring new areas, and gathering resources. The game has a sandbox-style gameplay, which means that players have the freedom to explore and play the game however they want.
The game has a day-night cycle, and players must manage their resources and equipment to survive in the different environments. Players can build structures, craft weapons and tools, and create clothing to protect themselves from the elements and enemies. The game also features multiplayer mode, which allows players to team up and explore the world together.
Terraria has received critical acclaim for its unique gameplay, beautiful art style, and vast content. The game has won several awards, including the Best Mobile Game at the Game Developers Choice Awards and the Best Independent Game at the Spike Video Game Awards. The game has also been praised for its replayability and the amount of content it offers.
To survive in Terraria, players must manage their resources carefully and prioritize their actions. Some tips and tricks to help players survive include:
- Building a shelter early on to protect from monsters and the environment
- Crafting a good weapon and armor to defeat monsters and protect oneself
- Exploring the world and collecting resources to progress through the game
- Using the environment to your advantage, such as using traps to defeat monsters or using water to extinguish fires
- Joining a multiplayer game to team up with other players and share resources
Overall, Terraria is a must-play survival game that offers a unique and challenging experience for players. Its vast content, beautiful art style, and sandbox-style gameplay make it a standout in the genre.
Recommendations for Survival Game Fans
If you’re a fan of survival games, then you know that there’s nothing quite like the rush of adrenaline that comes with trying to stay alive in a hostile environment. From the intense action of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to the more relaxed pace of Don’t Starve, there’s a survival game out there for everyone. But if you’re looking for something new to try, then check out our top recommendations:
- The Forest: This game combines survival gameplay with a creepy horror atmosphere, as you try to survive on a mysterious island filled with dangerous creatures.
- Subnautica: Dive into the depths of an alien ocean and explore a vast underwater world in this survival game that’s perfect for fans of exploration and adventure.
- Gris: This beautifully-animated game follows a young girl named Gris as she navigates a dark and dangerous world, fighting off monsters and uncovering secrets along the way.
Future of Survival Games
As the survival game genre continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative and exciting games in the future. Some trends that we’re likely to see include:
- More focus on survival mechanics: As players continue to demand more realistic and challenging survival experiences, game developers will likely continue to focus on creating games that are all about survival, rather than just including it as a side mechanic.
- Greater emphasis on exploration: With the success of games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Assassin’s Creed Origins, we can expect to see more survival games that encourage players to explore vast, open worlds.
- Integration of new technologies: As virtual reality and augmented reality become more mainstream, we can expect to see survival games that incorporate these technologies, creating even more immersive experiences for players.
No matter what the future holds, one thing is certain: survival games are here to stay. With their mix of intense action, challenging gameplay, and immersive worlds, they offer a unique gaming experience that’s unlike any other.
1. What is a survival game?
A survival game is a type of video game that emphasizes survival as the primary gameplay mechanic. Players must gather resources, craft tools, and manage their health and hunger to survive in a hostile environment.
2. What are some examples of survival games?
Some examples of survival games include Minecraft, The Forest, Rust, Don’t Starve, and State of Decay.
3. What makes a game a survival game?
A game is considered a survival game if it requires players to manage their resources, health, and hunger in order to survive in a challenging environment. The game must also provide players with a sense of urgency and danger, as survival is the primary goal.
4. How do survival games differ from other genres?
Survival games differ from other genres in that they focus on survival as the primary gameplay mechanic. In contrast, other genres may focus on combat, exploration, or puzzle-solving as the primary gameplay mechanic.
5. What are some key elements of survival games?
Some key elements of survival games include resource management, crafting, exploration, danger, and survival. Players must gather resources, craft tools, and manage their health and hunger in order to survive in a hostile environment. The game must also provide players with a sense of danger and urgency, as survival is the primary goal.
6. What are some challenges of survival games?
Some challenges of survival games include managing resources, avoiding danger, and staying healthy. Players must gather resources, craft tools, and manage their health and hunger in order to survive in a hostile environment. The game must also provide players with a sense of danger and urgency, as survival is the primary goal.
7. What are some tips for playing survival games?
Some tips for playing survival games include gathering resources, crafting tools, and managing health and hunger. Players must also be aware of their surroundings and avoid danger in order to survive in a hostile environment. The game must also provide players with a sense of danger and urgency, as survival is the primary goal.