13 Best Games Like Rust For Survival Fans

Are there other games like Rust out there? The Facepunch Studios1 survival shooter is addicting, complex, and fun. However, you may be looking for alternatives with…a nicer community.

There could be other reasons, though. After all, survival fans are akin to trying out another sandbox, survival, or realistic shooters out there. Let’s then look at the top X best games like Rust we found.

Selecting Games Like Rust

games like rust
Rust debuted in December 2013.

Rust is a survival multiplayer-only title. You dive into a large open-world map with up to 20-players online. Here, your goal is simply surviving, and to that end, you can craft gear, equipment, and structures.

The setting delivers the following ingredients for a memorable playtime: 

  • Crafting: The crafting system is comprehensive and vast. You can make helicopters, power grids, ammo, medkits, weapons, and everything in between.
  • Base building: Naturally, you can create bases with your resources. Here’re where you store your loot, so defenses are important. 
  • Blueprints: You need Blueprints to craft items. You obtain a Blueprint by placing an object you can’t currently craft on the Research Table, alongside a certain amount of scrap. 
  • Online looting: You can gather natural resources from the world, as well as ammo, gear, and supplies from enemy NPCs and other players.
  • Offline raids: Other players can raid your loot whenever you store it, even if you’re offline.
  • Safe zones: There’re safe zones in the world, like the Outpost. Here, characters can simply hang out, use crafting benches, and talk to one another freely. 
  • Punishing PvP: The entire map is PvP-ready. If someone kills you, you may lose everything you care about. Because you may never tell friend from foe, it’s as punishing as PvP shooters come. 
  • Clans: You can join clans to improve your survival. Clans will protect your bases from raids. 
  • Combat: Rust offers FPS with firearms, bows, and similar. However, there’re various bullet types (like high-velocity and explosive) to add more diversity. 
  • Thirst and hunger: These are core systems in Rust. Bars on the user interface indicate levels of Hunger and Hydration. When the bars drop to a certain level, you lose health. Naturally, players need cooked meals and water to survive. 
  • Damage: There’re several damage types in Rust. The effectiveness of each damage depends on the enemy’s armor. Damage types are: bite, blunt, bullet, cold, electric, explosive, fall, heat, radiation, and stab (bleeding). 
  • Mods: Lastly, Rust’s developers allow mods to create custom servers to tweak the experience to their liking.

Overall, we’re looking for the kind of games Rust fans would like and even love. This means choosing titles with similar elements as above. Bear in mind our choices are both offline and online.

Games Like Rust

Escape From Tarkov

Escape From Tarkov
Escape From Tarkov is not available on Steam.
  • Developer: Battlestate Games
  • Publisher: Battlestate Games
  • Release Date:  July 2017
  • Platform: Windows

Our opening choice is Escape from Tarkov, as there’s no other obvious choice. It’s the single most punishing multiplayer survival PvP game there is. Moreover, it has a plethora of realistic and complex mechanics to test your patience.

In summary, Tarkov is about 30-minute raids. You create an avatar and go in 30 minutes raids on Tarkov. There, you loot as much as you can and go back to your offline hideout, where you can store your loot safely. There’re various maps, and each supports about 7 players plus many enemy NPCs; anyone could kill you and end up with everything you’re carrying.

As you go in and out of the dangerous mission, you progress your characters in localized skills. It means using an SMG raises your SMG skill three, or crafting items increases your craft. It’s a vast character progression system that’s hard to grow. And, sadly, your character has a “memory,” another skill that dictates how low or fast he forgets his skills.

Back in the offline hideout, you can craft gear, water, and medkits for your next mission. Consider the game has localized damage, and thus you need particular medical items for each type of damage. Lastly, if you don’t like any of this, you can play as part of the NPC faction and simply oppose enemy players on the maps.


valheim games like rust
Valheim is a co-op RPG sandbox.
  • Developer: Iron Gate Studio
  • Publisher: Coffe Stain Publishing
  • Release Date:  February 2021 (Early Access)
  • Platform: Windows

Valheim creators wanted to create a game like Rust but in a fictional Viking universe. Therefore, Viking combines the features from the FPS with original lore for a casual MMO experience.

You play as a Valhalla Guardian, a warrior in the nordic purgatory world. Your task is defeating the old Odin enemies, so order prevails on the otherworld. Because you’re the warrior, you play with a dodge-parry-block-attack system akin to games like Dark Souls.

The setting opens a co-op survival online RPG. The emphasis is on PvE, combat, loot, and character progression. In essence, the game encourages players to defeat bosses at a party to progress to higher-level areas. Loot and resources are obviously better in these higher-level areas.

Your journey begins alone and unarmed. You play on a persistent world, with a tenacious character, through dangerous adventures from that point onwards. You can explore, gather resources, craft, and PvP, PvE. Lastly, all of this happens in a vast, procedurally-generated open world.

Ark: Survival Evolved

ark survival evolved
Ark: Survival Evolved is one of the most popular survival games available.
  • Developer: Studio Wildcard
  • Publisher: Studio Wildcard
  • Release Date: August 2017
  • Platform: Linux, Windows, macOS, PS4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia

While Rust is a fight-or-flight scenario, Ark: Survival Evolved is about fighting for power. That said, it’s also a survival shooter with similar mechanics. It even allows mods and custom-made servers.

On Ark, you create a character and enter a map you select. As usual, you start naked and, from there on out, it’s up to you what to do. Over time, you’ll be flying a helicopter while launching primitive rockets. And by overtime, I mean after months worth of grinding.

In summary, there’re dinosaurs and other animals on the island, as well as natural resources. You can gather resources from both to craft shelters, bases, supplies, and gear. Gear goes from primitive weapons like spears all the way up to modern firearms. Additionally, you can tame dinosaurs, so they work with you.

Another similarity to Rust is the offline raiding. You build a base and place defenses and store your loot. However, other players can raid you (joining clans can help you). Even so, on Ark, your characters level up, so, eventually, you become strong enough to raid other players by yourself.

The Forest

the forest games like rust
  • Developer: Endnight Games
  • Publisher: Endnight Games
  • Release Date:  April 2018
  • Platform: Windows, PS4

The Forest is an immersive survival game that focuses on co-op PvE rather than PvP. 

The setting is a rich rainforest. You, the protagonist, are the survivor of a plane crash. You start with your bare hands, and the goal is surviving the land and learning to use the environment to your will. That means chopping threes, starting fires, building camps, creating shelters, crafting gear, and more. 

However, the title combines horror, crafting, and combat into its open world. Cannibals and mutants are living on the mysterious island. They are hard to deal with, but you can get stronger as the game progresses by finding better gear. Yet, The Forest is an online-only experience, so it doesn’t save data offline.

Last but not least, the title offers a surprisingly interesting story. IT’s an uncommon feature for the genre, and it was more than enough to capture a plethora of loyal fans. 


Minecraft games like rust
Minecraft is the ultimate sandbox game.
  • Developer: Mojang AB
  • Publisher: Mojang
  • Release Date:  November 2011
  • Platform: Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, iPadOS, Fire OS, tvOS, Apple TV, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS3, PS4, PSVita, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS

Minecraft is not exactly a punishing PvP game, but we certainly believe the block builder influenced FacePunch’s hit title.

On Minecraft, you play on a large open-world in two distinct game modes. In the “Creative Mode,” players have an infinite amount of HP and materials. The idea is to put your creativity to the test and build as many structures as you can.

The other game mode is “survival.” You start with a simple tool that you can use to gather simple materials. You also have limited HP, and dangerous creatures like zombies and giant spiders may attack you at night. The goal is to survive in the world by building a shelter, and you’ll need to use your simple tool to grow your crafting and resource gathering skills from scratch.

Over time, Minecraft becomes a full-on sandbox game. You gather what you want and craft anything, from sky-high roller coasters to bows and arrows. Other players may join your server as well, either online or locally. Together, you may build better things or explore an endless open-world, dungeons, and portals to another dimension for loot and combat. 

The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Series – S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

stalkte calll of pripyat
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is a classic FPS series.
  • Developer:
    GSC Game World
  • Publisher:
    GSC Game World
  • Release Date:  February 2010
  • Platform: Windows

The S.T.A.L.K.E.R series practically invented the formula of survival shooters. If you’re looking for an offline, stress-free option, the franchise’s third entry is your best bet.

The game happens in the area around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. According to the game’s lore, a second explosion occurred after the historical nuclear blast. You play as a Stalker, a scavenger of the so-called “The Zone,” looking for artifacts holding supernatural psionic powers.

The FPS combat is challenging, and the maps are terrifying. Its story pushes you to manage radiation, hunger, thirst, sleep, radiation damage, scarcer ammo and supplies, mutants, and rivaling factions to survive Zone incursions.

Call of Pripyat is their best entry yet. You play as Major Alexander Degtyarev. He’s a former Stalker who became a government official, and he’s on a quest to find missing military operatives in the zone. Along the journey, he finds out dangerous “emissions,” psionic bursts, are creating havoc in the area.

Metroid Series – Metro: Exodus

metro exodus games like rust
Metro: Exodus is one of the most successful games of the last-gen console generation.
  • Developer: 4A Games
  • Publisher: Deep Silver
  • Release Date:  February 2019
  • Platform:  PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows, Linux, Google Stadia, Amazon Luna

Like S.T.A.L.K.E.R, the Metro series is at the top of the single-player survival campaigns. If you’re a fan of relative genres, you can’t miss their latest entry, Metro: Exodus. Simply put, it’s a masterful showcase of what immersive FPS games should be. 

Metro: Exodus is a sandbox survival shooter. The story follows the hero, Artyom, on a journey above the surface. He’s to find a safe place in a post-apocalyptic world. Here, all of the mechanics happen in real-time, from seeing the map to crafting for a smooth immersion without any user interfaces. Needless to say, there’re no map markers. 

But then, there’s another outstanding element, enemy AI. Enemies are clever, tough, and strategic. They react to your actions, weapons, and behaviors. Moreover, a dynamic system changes enemy spawn according to what you do, where you sleep, buy, and similar. All of this forces the player to explore the world carefully and silently. 

Lastly, the crafting system is key but limited. Resources include weapon parts, chemicals, and metals. You can create ammo, health packs, weapon mods, and all-important mask filters for your gas mask. Bear in mind, though, resources are scarce, and the world is fierce. 

Mist Survival

mist survival games like rust
Mist Survival is an Early Access game.
  • Developer: Dimension 32 Entertainment
  • Publisher: Dimension 32 Entertainment
  • Release Date:  August 23018 (Early Access)
  • Platform:  Windows

Mist is a single-player sandbox survival game. Here, the player survives a world full of zombies, akin to the original DayZ formula. Moreover, it has solid building mechanics, great survival features, and a derelict open-world to explore. Overall, it’s an ideal choice for those who like the survival aspect of Rust. 

The survival mechanics are comprehensive. It includes solid crafting, base building, a huge open-world, dynamic weather, day & night cycle, animal husbandry, sickness, wounds, stealth, driving, and traps. Besides that, you can explore a large world with villages, forests, a small town, a military camp, and various secrets. 

Lore-wise, players are immune to the outbreak. Then, they must survive the crisis by finding food and shelter. Bandits, infected NPCs, and wildlife are the enemies. 

Lastly, a dense mist may cover the map at any time. The smoke introduces dynamic events like zombie hordes. Bear in mind this is an Early Access Game, so it still has some bugs and missing features. Particularly, early buyers are asking for a multiplayer component. 


raft games like rust
Raft’s PvP servers are silly, fun, and casual.
  • Developer: Redbeet Interactive
  • Publisher:  Axolot Games
  • Release Date:  May 2018 (Early Access)
  • Platform:  Windows

Raft is all about building a raft, and rafts can be multiple stories high. The crafting system, though, is very similar to Rust. Moreover, it’s a multiplayer game that allows you to work by yourself, work with others, or work against others.

However, the main experience offers co-op raft building. You’re stranded in the sea, and the goal is gathering debris to build a raft and create supplies. You start with a hook, alone and with no land inside. From here on out, you’re to find a way to survive.

If you play with your friends, the other players join your Raft to build and survive, but you won’t see any other rafts on the server. On PvP servers, you and other players join a single raft and poke each other until death.

Overall, Raft is about building a home in the middle of the ocean. You can fish, gather debris, research, navigate, dive, and fight against the dangers in the sea. Moreover, you can craft equipment, crop plots, weapons, and more.

The Long Dark

the long dark
The Lone Dark is a single-player survival game.
  • Developer:  Hinterland Studio
  • Publisher:  Hinterland Studio
  • Release Date: August 2017
  • Platform:  Windows, macOS, Linux, SteamOS, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

The Long Dark is another survival game. After a long Early Access period, it debuted to modest success and positive critics. Moreover, the leading performer is Jennifer Hale, who was the voice for female Commander Shepard.

This game introduces a dangerous tundra map. The setting delivers a tough but rewarding experience for survival shooter fans. See, everything could go wrong in the frozen wilds. The game uses the stage for unique exploration and survival mechanics.

The title challenges players to think, explore, and find a way to survive. Resources are scarce, the wilderness is hostile, and the cold claims all lives. It’s a single-player experience, though, and there’re two modes (Story and Survival). Either mode requires managing hunger, cold, thirst, sickness, frostbite, fatigue, and resources.

The story comes through five episodes with animations, dialogue, and music. However, you can also play the free-form Survival Mode for a sandbox experience. Neither mode has any map markers or guides, and survival has a permadeath mechanic. The world is the same on both as well, a Canadian tundra 50km2 vast. Here, you can hunt, fish, lay traps, scavenge food, and survive the hostile weather and wildlife.

Scrap Mechanic

scrap mechanic
Scrap Mechanic supports 5 players per server.
  • Developer:   Axolot Games
  • Publisher:  Axolot Games
  • Release Date: January 2016 (Early Access) 
  • Platform:  Windows

Scrap Mechanic debuted as a 9. However, as it’s still in Early Access, it keeps changing and evolving. Currently, it also has a Survival game mode. Another option is “Creative Mode,” akin to Minecraft’s alternative. Lastly, there’s the “Challenge Mode” for fair trials and challenges.

The survival mode has players spawn in a strange world. You play as a spacecraft survivor stranded in a mysterious place. Here, you’ll need to collect materials, resources, and food to survive. The world is open and dynamically generated. Moreover, it’s full of treasures, enemies, and dangerous machines.

Nevertheless, Either mode thrives on Scrap’s cartoony aesthetics, bright colors, and intuitive mechanics. It’s a nice break from the complex and frustrating experiences games like Rust offer. See, other players are your allies, and they help you build machines and bases, explore the world, and fight against evil robots.

Overall, Scrap Mechanics offers a powerful creation engine. As a result, the game opens up amazing adventure opportunities. It’s about using your wit and creativity to craft your way out of trouble and use the environment to your advantage.


Fortnite is a free-to-play battle royale.
  • Developer:   Epic Games
  • Publisher:   Epic Games
  • Release Date: January 2016 (Early Access) 
  • Platform: Windows, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Android

Fortnite is another obvious choice, but we had to include it for those who haven’t tried that one out. After all, it’s the most popular multiplayer shooter out there for a reason.

The Epic Games’ massive hit is about a cartoony, silly, and casual FPS. It’s a battle royale where players parachute down to an island where they gather, loot, and fight against other players until a single survivor remains.

Rust players will find Fortnite’s mix of crafting and shooting familiar. In essence, Fortnite characters can create walls, roofs, floors, and stairs on the fly. These structures protect players from enemy shots, so combat often relies on building faster to take the high ground.

Other than that, the game offers a PvE single-player experience, vast free and premium customization options, and plenty of social features and events.


dayz games like rust
  • Developer:   Bohemia Interactive
  • Publisher:   Bohemia Interactive
  • Release Date: December 2018, 2013 (Early Access), 2013 (mod)
  • Platform: Windows, Xbox One, PS4

When Rust debuted in 2013, the enemy NPCs were zombies. It means the survival mechanics revolved around zombie hordes. Therefore, most fans thought of it as a DayZ copy, a 2013 Arma 2 mod.

Developers completely removed zombies in 2015, yet DayZ debuted in 2018 as a fully-fledged game. This is perhaps the original open-world survival game. The single goal was staying alive on maps with up to 60 players. The common enemy is zombies, but players may work with or against you. On top of that, the weather is erratic, the wildlife is dangerous, and the day/night cycle brings pitch-black nights full of terrors.

It’s also a punishing game. There’re no checkpoints, so you lose everything when you die. On top of that, the game includes various survival mechanics. These include looting, scavenging, scarce resources, crafting, base building, thirst, hunger, and more. Resource management is key, and because resources are scarce, other players may betray you for a single water bottle.

Overall, it’s an unpredictable game, where other players face the same threats as you on a 230km2 map. The reason we left it behind is due to its current state. DayZ receives constant complaints from players due to bugs, performance issues, and rampant hackers. It’s a shame, as DayZ is otherwise a banger, a survival shooter classic.

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