12 Best Survival Adventure Games Like The Forest
Four years after its debut, The Forest remains one of the most popular survival/craft games. That time might be enough to test all of its systems, though. You could be looking for something else.
We’ve compiled the best games like The Forest you could play after Eric LeBlanc is behind. The horror, the adventure, and the action may continue on newer and older games available for all consoles.
Selecting Games Like The Forest
We believe you’d like games featuring a mix or a twist of The Forest’s main elements:
- The Forest is an open-world survival adventure and survival crafting game in a terrifying forest full of cannibals and dangerous wildlife.
- Gathering resources to build and craft is essential. Crafting is easy to understand but still fairly deep.
- Players need to manage survival stats such as hunger, thirds, diseases, and weather conditions. Similarly, a day & night cycle will determine your survival, as the night is long and full of terrors.
- Lastly, The Forest has a story-driven plotline. It’s about returning to civilization, and players can follow it in single-player or co-op (up to eight players online).
Games Like The Forest
- Developer: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
- Publisher: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
- Release Date: January 2018
- Platform:Windows, macOS, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch
Your spaceship crashed on an alien oceanic planet, and all you have left is whatever you find in the pod. Welcome to Subnautica, an open-world survival adventure / survival-craft title.
The goal is escaping the planet, which requires exploring the ocean for the resources you need. And as you explore, you’ll uncover the planet’s secrets and the events that took you there.
The crafting and survival mechanics are vast. You make machinery, weapons, bases, and gear as you manage depth, pressure, and oxygen. Additionally, there’s a day-night cycle, and the most dangerous aquatic predators come out at night.
Dying Light 2: Stay Human
- Developer: Techland
- Publisher: Techland
- Release Date: February 2022
- Platform:PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch, Windows
You’re Aiden, a messenger looking for your sister in a post-apocalyptic world. The journey takes you to Villedor on an open-world action-adventure RPG with choices and skill-based combat. It’s a fully-fledged game coming from a reputed indie studio.
The survival aspect comes from managing your scrap and resources. You roam the land to pick up items you need to craft weapons, ammo, grenades, healing items, and similar. These items are scarce, and zombies are plentiful, but you may play in co-op to raid the most dangerous places.
Lastly, it’s a story-driven game where your choices decide the fate of the surviving factions. The combat is the highlight, though. You dodge, parry, attack in melee, use throwables, kick, shoot arrows, and use parkour abilities. And you can upgrade your skills as the story moves on.
- Developer: The Indie Stone
- Publisher: The Indie Stone
- Release Date: November 2013 (Early Access)
- Platform:Windows, macOS, Linux
Project Zomboid is a zambox…I mean, sandbox and open-world zombie-infested game. You play in a post-apocalyptic world with isometric graphics. The goal is to survive for as long as possible. Like The Forest, it allows a co-op with 4 players online.
The gameplay comes through drop-down menus and interfaces. You have to survive a zombie-ridden area in Knox Country, Kentucky, currently in quarantine. Alternatively, a free-form sandbox mode allows you to customize various difficulty presets.
Either way, you create a character and customize its appearance, occupation, and traits. Then, engage in a highly interactive world while you manage stress, fatigue, boredom, and hunger. You can also loot, set up a fortress, craft weapons, cook, and gather resources from the wild.
- Developer: Creepy Jar
- Publisher: Creepy Jar
- Release Date: September 2019
- Platform:Windows, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One
You survived a plane crash, but you’re lost in the Amazon forest. Your goal is to find the way back to society, and learn what you need to survive. That is what Green Hell offers, which is identical to The Forest on the surface
However, Green Hell is a punishing realistic sim. Resources are scarce and the crafting system is limited. The simplest wound can slowly chip at the character’s sanity and health and leave you hopeless of finding a cure.
Lastly, enemies are wild animals, the weather, and tropical illnesses. Meanwhile, the voice of a loved one over an old radio guides you back home to deliver a dark and emotional story.
- Developer: Iron Gate Studio
- Publisher: Coffee Stain Publishing
- Release Date: February 2021 (Early Access)
Valheim sets itself apart from other survival games by delivering stellar combat. Its combat can feel as smooth as Souls-like games by using blocks, parries, dodges, light attacks, heavy attacks, and ranged attacks. Because of its combat, Valheim is an action-adventure open-world game with crafting and sandbox features.
Here, You’re a Guardian in Valhalla, a servant of Odin, with the task of maintaining order in the afterlife. There’s no focus on the story, though. Instead, you can explore the world to gather resources, progress skill threes, craft, gear, trade, and loot.
As for character progression, you gain skills depending on what you do. So, if you cook, you progress your cooking skills. Or, if you shoot a bow, you can improve your bow skills. The progress carries on single-player, and co-op as well. You can play Valheim on dedicated servers with up to 10 people.
- Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
- Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
- Release Date: July 2020
- Platform:Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series
Grounded is another story-driven RPG action-adventure survival title. You play as a shrunk group of kids in a vast backyard. Here, you explore, build a shelter, and survive offline or co-op.
There’re various kinds of insects in the backyard, and they react to your actions. Some, like the spiders, are your enemies. Others are a source of food and other resources.
Your base is the game’s hub, the place where you’ll return while you complete the mission of going back home. There’s also a simple combat system, skills, gear progression, and choices to make.
Ark: Survival Evolved
- Developer: Studio Wildcard
- Publisher: Studio Wildcard
- Release Date: August 2017
- Platform:Windows, macOS, Linux, SteamOS, PS4, Xbox One, Android, iOS
Ark: Survival Evolved is a straightforward open-world first-person survival game. You choose a server, create a character, choose a map, and select a map area. That’s because the maps are easier on the starting positions but become more challenging the further away you go.
You start naked on an island and the goal is harvesting resources from nature and animals. You can use these resources to craft structures and bases and explore the farthest places for the best loot. Better resources will allow you to progress up the tech trees.
On top of the wildlife, you’ll also suffer hunger, fatigue, thirst, weather conditions, and more. All of your actions cost food, water, and fatigue. Moreover, you can play offline, or online on servers with up to 100 people.
No Man’s Sky
- Developer: Hello Game
- Publisher: Hello Game
- Release Date: August 2016
- Platform:Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS5
No Man’s Sky is a sci-fi open-world sandbox game. It features a procedurally-generated galaxy with endless stars and planets to visit. You hop on your ship, fly off without any loading screens, and then land on any planet, asteroid, derelict ship, and more.
You can explore these places for the sights, wildlife, and resources. You can mine almost anything you see if you have the right tools. Then, you can use these resources to improve your ship or gear and construct bases and weapons. The crafting system is complex.
There’re also enemy NPCs in the game, just not as many. Sometimes, you could find derelict fighters and rebels for third-person combat on foot or ship. Other than that, No Man’s Sky is fairly relaxing, and you can play alone or on servers with up to 32 people.
- Developer: Klei Entertainment
- Publisher: Klei Entertainment
- Release Date: April 2013
- Platform:Windows, PS3, PS4, PSVita, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, macOS X, Linux, iOS, Android
Don’t Starve is a story-driven survival video game. You play as Wilson, a scientist lost in a dark and surreal parallel world. Your goal is to survive until you get back home on a gameplay that mixes sandbox and questing.
The gameplay loop is about exploring, hiding, fighting, and crafting in a world reminiscent of Tim Burton’s movies. “The Constant” is full of monsters trying to eat you. So, you must manage his health pool, hunger, and mental health.
The game’s mechanics are complex because there’re no instructions. You have to learn about crafting, magic, combat, enemies, and tools by yourself. And if you don’t want to be by yourself, you can buy the co-op expansion, Don’t Starve Together.
- Developer: Facepunch Studios, Double Eleven
- Publisher: Facepunch Studios
- Release Date: February 2018
- Platform:Windows, macOS, Xbox One, PS4
Choose a server with up to 60 people, enter the island, and use your rock to harvest your first resources. You may go from zero to anti-hero in a game where players can loot your stashes even if you’re offline.
Rust is a first-person survival game with a persistent world. You defend yourself from other NPCs, animals, and players. Combat is punishing as it includes weapon recoil, bullet calculation, heavy damage, and multiple types of healing items.
Lastly, just like Subnautica, the developers constantly upgrade and update the game. There’ve been over 300 updates to add more loot, recipes, safe zones, enemies, and more.
- Developer: Funcom
- Publisher: Funcom
- Release Date:May 2018
- Platform:Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series
Conan Exiles is a popular MMO game that mixes survival mechanics with action adventure. You play in the lands of Conan (the famous barbarian) as an exiled warrior, learning how to survive in a cruel world. You’re to forge your clan’s legacy to reclaim your place in the Exiled Lands.
The experience is an open-world sandbox with skill-based combat. You can play alone, with strangers, or with your friends to build a home or create a shared city. You must survive the cold, explore dungeons for loot, progress your character, and participate in team-based PvP siege battles.
Aside from building, combat includes skills, melee weapons, siege weapons, and ranged weapons. There’re also PvP systems, co-op, a large world to explore, main quests, side quests, and trading. Lastly, managing survival includes eating, drinking, and going to shelters to protect yourself from sandstorms.
- Developer: Redbeet Interactive
- Publisher: Axolot Games
- Release Date: May 2018 (Early Access)
You’re on a raft, alone or with up to 8 people. The gameplay loop is simple: build a bigger raft, and survive as long as you can. Ocean trash, animals, and natural resources you find on the island are your crafting loot.
This is an open-world survival craft adventure with an oceanic setting. That brings special issues such as having to build refrigeration systems for the food, fending off sharks, and fighting against thirst and the sun.
Lastly, you can use debris to build multi-store rafts, weapons, and the tools you need to process and store your raw resources.
- Developer: Stunlock Studios
- Publisher: Stunlock Studios
- Release Date: March 2022 (Early Access)
- Platform: Windows
You’re a Vampire lord in an isometric world that mixes Diablo combat with crafting and building. You must hunt, regain your strength, rebuild your castle, and rise as a vampire lord.
The game features a gothic open world with loot, monsters, and bosses. You can hunt solo or travel with up to 10 people. At night, you can hunt and loot. During the day, you should be beneath a roof, crafting and building. Alternatively, you can raid others’ castles for their loot.
The game’s combat is the highlight, though. It uses a WASD controller scheme, and you have to aim your skills, dodge projectiles, combine weapons with spells, and unlock skills as you progress.