• Crafting mechanics in survival games offer players a varied gameplay experience and high replayability value.
  • Smalland: Survive The Wilds, Stranded Deep, Subnautica, The Long Dark, Valheim, Grounded, and Green Hell are all notable survival games with intricate crafting elements.
  • These games challenge players to battle against harsh environments, craft tools and structures, and overcome various threats to survive and thrive.

The survival genre has established itself as one of the most popular in gaming, with crafting mechanics becoming increasingly complex as players and developers alike seek to push the boundaries of creativity within their respective games. Whether in futuristic and fantasy scenarios or grounded in brutal realism, it seems that any setting is viable for a survival-crafting experience, leading many more AAA studios to implement versions of these mechanics into their games.


Meta Quest: 6 Best Virtual Reality Survival Games, Ranked

There are a lot of good survival games for virtual reality on the Meta Quest. Here’s a look at some of the best.

Whether it’s creating makeshift weaponry from junk found throughout the map or crafting masterful architectural wonders within a game engine, the freedom afforded to players by these mechanics can lead to a varied gameplay experience and offer a replayability value that isn’t found in other genres. While oftentimes difficult, these games can be equally rewarding once the crafting features have been fully mastered.

1 Smalland: Survive The Wilds

Fantasy Game Where Players Battle With Insects And The Elements

Smalland Owl

Smalland: Survive the Wilds
December 7, 2023

Merge Games Limited


Merge Games’ Smalland: Survive The Wilds has shown a lot of promise since its early access release in March 2023, with crafting playing a central role in the game’s survival mechanics. As a small, fairy-like creature, players must battle against insects and harsh elements as they seek to complete the various quests given to them by characters in the game world.

As well as being able to craft weapons and tools, players are also able to ride insects and create winged armor to fly around the map, which can be one of the game’s greatest features. Players will also be forced to build bases to rest properly and survive the storms that occasionally sweep “The Land of the Small.”

2 Stranded Deep

Players Must Craft To Survive While Stranded On A Desert Island

Refined Knife Stranded Deep

Stranded Deep
April 21, 2020

Beam Team Games


Stranded Deep is a survival game set on a remote island in which players must use the limited resources available to them to craft a variety of tools, weapons, and equipment as they seek to survive against various threats both above and below the water.


10 Best Survival Games Set In Open Waters

Survival games set in jungles, deserts, and tundra are common, but there aren’t many set on the open sea. These games help solve that issue.

As the survivor of a plane crash, players can feel immersed in the game’s detailed environment as they catch crabs, fight sharks, and build rafts. There is also an additional editorial mode that enables players to create and play their own custom environments.

3 Subnautica

A Futuristic Adventure Set Underwater With Crafting As A Central Mechanic

Subnautica sea monster in front of player

January 23, 2018

Survival Horror

Another game heavily centered around survival in the water is Unknown Worlds Entertainment’s Subnautica series. Set in a distant future, players crash land on a water planet and must scavenge the wreckage as well as use the environment to craft survival equipment and bases, all the while uncovering more mysteries about what led to the crash and what else might be on the planet itself.

In addition to managing oxygen, food, and water consumption, players will have to keep their nerve as they come up against a multitude of strange and terrifying sea creatures, including the dreaded Leviathans, which stalk the deeper waters.

4 The Long Dark

An Early Pioneer Of The Genre With Harsh Survival Elements

A house in The Long Dark in the snow as the sun sets and a fire burns in front

The Long Dark
August 1, 2017

Hinterland Studio

Survival Horror

The Long Dark is an intriguing survival-adventure game that is notoriously difficult to survive in. As well as a gripping story, the game features in-depth survival mechanics as players seek food and shelter from the bitter cold outside.


7 Best Survival Games Set In Cold Climates, Ranked

Survival games are typically set in a harsh environment, but few settings pose a greater challenge than cold climates where food and water are scarce.

Initially released in 2017, the game is considered to be a major pioneer in the survival genre and introduced many mechanics that became stalwart features of the genre thereafter. Rather than facing waves of enemies, the main obstacle to be overcome here is simple human fragility. If players wish to survive the Canadian wilderness, crafting is essential to make tools and ward off the elements.

5 Valheim

Norse-Inspired Mythological Open World Game With Extensive Crafting Options

Valheim Hildir trader camp

February 2, 2021

Iron Gate AB

Sandbox , Survival

Although technically still in Early Access, the popular Viking-themed crafting and adventure game Valheim is one of the most-played games in the genre, offering players an endless variety of content in a mystical and majestic game world.

Crafting is a huge element of the game, with everything from survival tools right up to grand structures and even entire towns being craftable by the player. Some players have taken these mechanics to impressive heights, constructing outstanding works of art within the game that can impress even those who have never played it for themselves.

6 Grounded

Unique And Light-Hearted Survival Game With An Immersive World

Fighting enemies in Grounded

September 27, 2022
Survival Horror , RPG

As a shrunken school child in a science experiment gone wrong, players in Grounded will have to craft and scavenge if they hope to survive in a highly vibrant garden setting filled with interesting creatures and mysteries.


6 Best FPS Survival Games

The FPS survival game genre has exploded in recent years, with tons of great games hitting the market. Here’s a look at some of the best.

Developers Obsidian Entertainment, also responsible for titles such as The Outer Worlds, continually works to update the game with fresh content, and the variety of tools and items within the game allows for a range of completely different playstyles when it comes to combating enemies and crafting the implements that players need to survive.

7 Green Hell

Brutally Realistic Survival Game Set In The Amazon Jungle

The players arm, which has a gash in it, reaching out over a lake in the rainforest in Green Hell

Green Hell
September 5, 2019

Creepy Jar


There are few games offering a more brutal survival experience than Green Hell. Set deep within the heart of the Amazon rainforest, players must utilize every second to stay efficient and make use of every ounce of energy available to them.


10 Best Stealth Survival Games

These games mix survival and stealth to great effect.

In addition to hunting, collecting drinking water, and ayahuasca, players must also combat insanity and use the surrounding environment to craft tools and structures, which will be essential when attempting to survive in such grueling circumstances.


10 Best Survival Games Set In Hot Climates, Ranked

While a trip to the tropics sound nice, these survival games task players with enduring these searingly hot climates and the beasts that live in them.


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