Ark Survival Evolved is the perfect example of a survival game. You start off on a shore, gathering resources, crafting essentials, taming dinosaurs, and interacting with other players in order to make ends meet. It can get menial and repetitive with all the crafting you do. So, take a break and check out 8 other games just like Ark.
Release Date: October 23, 2013
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox
If you were to slap Space and Survival games, you’d get Space Engineers. The goal, if there was one, would be to build, build and build. Kind of like Minecraft. Unlike Ark which features punishing boss battles that sap resources, Space Engineers is focused on building stations and spaceships.
While you’re given goals in Ark, Space Engineers is more so a sandbox game. You have to make your own story and swing with it. The multiplayer experience is okay. It has its fair share of flaws but if you’re a fan of pure survival-building games, you can’t go wrong with Space Engineers.
Release Date: January 30, 2017
Platforms: PlayStation, Xbox, Microsoft Windows
Conan Exiles is a decent interpretation of Robert E. Howard’s fictional works, but it’s decent at best. Dungeons are the biggest perk of the game, but they can be a hit or miss at times. The combat is largely unrefined, comparable to Ark, but the finicky camera that sometimes gets stuck is pretty annoying.
Crafting and Building are brutal. You have to piece together extensive amounts of resources to use in a complicated crafting system, something that Ark does a whole lot better. The boss designs are pretty good, though. It’s a decent game that falls flat playing solo, so you better have a few friends to play co-op.
7 Days To Die
Release Date: December 13, 2013
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, PlayStation, Xbox
Initially atrocious and in early access for the length of a whole high-school education, 7 Days to Die is finally worth considering. A survival zombie game by default, 7 Days to Die has the appeal of a visual novel with its handcrafted settings and locations in contrast to Ark’s procedurally generated seeds.
As the name suggests, you’re met with a horde of zombies on the 7th day, hell-bent on tearing down you and your base. So, it’s a grind of taking out zombies, fortifying your defenses and upgrading your gear till the next week rears its ugly head. The crafting system is simple and accessible, to say the least.
Whether it be solo or multiplayer, 7 Days to Die makes an epic comeback in terms of polish, replayability, building, and overall gameplay.
No Man’s Sky
Release Date: August 9, 2016
Platforms: PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, macOS, Microsoft Windows
We remember all the hype surrounding No Man’s Sky and it fell flat. Granted, it’s unrecognizable now. Unlike Ark, No Man’s Sky is massive, and it’s when you pop open the star map do you come to comprehend the sheer magnitude of the game. Worlds are procedurally generated just like Ark.
Building bases and crafting are streamlined. You’re given simple platforms and walls in the beginning, but as you master the basics, the crafting system keeps on giving back, allowing you to create complicated stations.
While combat is not a strong point of No Man’s Sky, just like in Ark’s case, it adds a bit to the survival element of the game, which rounds off the experience. Like Ark, No Man’s Sky rewards exploration, building, crafting, and combat. If you’re not a fan of Ark, chances are your fun might just wear thin.
Release Date: July 28, 2020
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation
Grounded takes a different turn in terms of its theme. You’ve been shrunken down to the size of a toy soldier and have to spend your days surviving harrowing wildlife in your own backyard. The crafting system is simple enough, like Ark that it doesn’t overbear you. You can erect gravity-defying shelters and structures with mere twigs and leaves.
But the enemy variety, their sound design, and their overall level of difficulty make Grounded one of the more challenging survival games out there. While the game is buggy, it can make for some surprising experiences with decent shock value. Imagine finding a Wolf Spider spawn on the fourth floor of your tower. You’ll likely soil yourself.
But Grounded features a static map in contrast to Ark’s procedurally generated maps. That isn’t to say that the assets and map design are boring. Due to your miniature size and the way you interact with the macroscopic world around you, it provides some fun moments.
Release Date: December 11, 2013
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Linux, Xbox, PlayStation, macOS, PlayStation
Rust features all the quips and tricks that we get to see in Ark, albeit with the absence of dinosaurs. With no set objective, Rust is survival of the fittest. You’ll meet the strangest people and even griefers. Starting out, you’ll naturally aim to befriend someone, but no one can be trusted in a Rust server.
Bases work as you’d expect from Ark. You craft essentials, build your base, and store essentials, and if God wills it, build a community with other Rust players. Gangs and factions might have all-out wars. It’s truly a wild west without the tumbleweed and sand.
Like Rust, Maps are procedurally generated. You start off butt-naked, craft your own weapons and gear, or if not, pick up a rock and loot a sleeping player to speed up the process.
Subnautica Below Zero
Release Date: January 30, 2019
Platforms: PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Unlike Ark, which doesn’t feature a streamlined story and takes a deeper interest in hidden lore, Subnautica: Below Zero evolves beyond its predecessor and goes for a story revolving around an explorer named Robin. This is a move that’s rare among survival games.
You crash land on an alien planet and relegate yourself to a cramped pod as a base station. The game loop is pretty straightforward just like Ark. You collect sea critters, cook food, gather resources, craft items, and unlock new recipes to further your progression.
As for the crafting system, it’s clean, simple, and engaging. You never feel overburdened with the cards you’re dealt with. But where it feels a bit taxing are the overly demanding hunger and thirst meters.
Release Date: May 30, 2014
Platforms: PlayStation, Microsoft Windows
The Forest has the appeal of Ark in some shape or forms whether it be presentation-wise or from a survival standpoint. While both games diverge when it comes to enemy types, PVE, and the presence of story, the crafting and shelter building seem somewhat familiar in both scenarios.
You crash onto an Island known as the Peninsula with virtually nothing to help you. And you go up against cannibals and mutants which are pretty scary to go up against in the earlier stages of the game. Good thing they can’t swim. And if you’re frustrated about the absence of a map or compass? Go luck finding them on your own.
Unlike Ark, The Forest is a Singleplayer game that you play alone, which raises the isolation and fear factor. If you liked Ark but want a more untamed and harrowing survival experience, The Forest tops the charts.
Ark is a good game but it’s not game-changing for that matter. But some of these 8 games like Ark do things differently and they’re definitely worth the salt.