Top 8 Most Realistic Survival Games

Who said computer games can’t help you improve your prepping skills? In fact, there are realistic survival games you can play. Some games put you in an Amazon jungle or an isolated island. Other games put you in a snowy tundra or a dense forest. Not only are there games that put you in a real-life scenario, but there are also games that let you manage a group of survivors or a colony.
Although computer games do not put you in a real-life scenario of survival, it does a good job of simulating that survival experience you want. Not only is it a good survival simulator but it also gives you a good amount of knowledge about the things you have to do for survival.
It’s really hard to plan out your outdoor survival activities. Especially when you have a job that requires much of your time. You also have to worry about preparations. The most likely preparations you would make would be your gear & equipment, location, and availability. Realistic survival games really help a lot when you don’t have the time to make the necessary preparations for your outdoor excursions.
To help you choose what realistic survival games to play, we searched for the best games out there. We narrowed down our choices to 8 and ranked them according to how realistic they are. Specifically how it simulates real-life survival scenario. We’ve excluded zombie and alien survival games as they are on a different list.

The Top 8 Most Realistic Survival Games

8) Don’t Starve Together

Don't Starve Together among the realistic survival games

About The Game

Don’t Starve Together is an open-world survival indie game made by Klei Entertainment. It’s a standalone multiplayer expansion of Don’t Starve.
Although the game contains mythical creatures and might be far off a realistic survival scenario, it’s gameplay is why this game made it on the Most Realistic Survival Games list.
The game is a 2D-cartoon graphics game. It gives the vibe of a Tim Burton movie with its artwork and music. If you’re more into 3D heavy graphics game then you might not like this game’s presentation.


The game mechanics are really simple. Survive. In order to survive, you gather resources to be able to craft items and structures you can use.
 don't starve together realistic survival games gameplay
The game has many unique characters, each with its own unique playstyle and ability. Therefore, each game you play isn’t boring but unique depending on what character you chose.
What I really like about this game is that when you are gathering resources, there are things that you should keep in mind. These are your Health, Hunger, and Sanity. In fact, these things you should keep in mind is why this game made it on this list. Specifically, because the game only gives you a small inventory space. The game also starves you very quickly thus you need to have a good amount of food reserves in your inventory. Moreover, the food you gather also expires and will affect your health if you eat it. This puts a lot of pressure on you to gather and manage your resources. Hence, The title Don’t Starve.
When it goes dark, you would have to build a campfire. Because if you don’t, your sanity meter will go up quickly. This will cause imaginary monsters to come up that will affect your health.
In multiplayer mode, you can either play co-op or versus. In co-op, you and your friends work together in order to finish the game. While in versus you have to fight against each other and be the survivor of the game. This is a great game to play with your friends or family.

Final Thoughts

Although the game is cartoonish and lacks the real-life environment element. The game’s difficulty in gathering and managing resource while taking care of your health, hunger, and sanity is why it made number 8 on the Most Realistic Survival Games.

7) Impact Winter

impact winter realistic survival games

About The Gameabout impact winter 7th realistic survival games

Impact Winter is an indie survival simulation game developed by Mojo Bones and published by BANDAI NAMCO.
After a devastating asteroid collision, the world is now buried deep in snowfall. You play as Jacob Solomon, a leader of a group of survivors. A mysterious radio transmission claims that in 30 days help is coming. Now as the leader, you must keep your companions alive until rescue comes.


The game only lets you play as Jacob but the other survivors have unique crafting skills. As the leader of the group, you must utilize their skills for the survival of your group. Each survivor has an energy, warmth, hunger, thirst, and morale meter which you must always keep in check in order for them to survive. You spend most of your time gathering resources. The other survivors don’t act on their own and you need to command them in order for them to do a task. Because of this, managing your time spent gathering resource is important. You might find the other survivors dead due to freezing or hunger as a result of you venturing out too long.

Final Thoughts

The game has had bad reviews on steam because of many bugs and long loading times. While it may be true, recent patches have fixed most of the bugs and loading time and have had recent positive reviews. Overall this game ranked 7th in the most realistic survival games because of gathering resources and managing other survivors. It’s a great game to play especially if you want to simulate managing and leading a group of survivors.
impact winter final thoughts realistic survival games

6) Firewatch

firewatch realistic survival games

About The Game

Firewatch is a game developed by Campo Santo. It’s a single-player first-person adventure mystery indie game set in the Wyoming wilderness.
The game is set in 1989. Your name is Henry who works as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Your job is to look after the wilderness from smoke and keep it safe. The only contact you have is through a handheld radio with your supervisor, Delilah. You’ll spend out the entire summer and divided by days throughout the game.
The graphics of the game is simply breathtaking. It really feels like you’re in the Wyoming wilderness. Although there is the absence of wildlife most of the time in the game.

Gameplayfirewatch gameplay realistic survival games

The game is mostly about adult interactions and doing tasks given to you by Delilah.  It’s mostly story-driven and not at all about survival. It also deals with adult issues and how adults handle them. You will spend the entire game exploring the wilderness and keeping it safe. There is a map and a navigation compass which means you won’t really on a minimap to guide you. This helps simulate the real-life wilderness as in reality you’re only means of navigation is a compass.

Final Thoughts

firewatch final thoughts realistic survival games

Although the game isn’t about survival, it sure does help you out a lot. Especially on the mental side. You might find yourself alone in an environment. This perfectly simulates that feeling as you explore the Wyoming wilderness by yourself. There is also your interaction with Delilah. This also helps simulate how you converse with adults especially when survival time comes or if you’re just out in the wild with other people. The story and human interaction are why I ranked this game 6th on the most realistic survival games.

5) Rust

rust realistic survival games

About The Game

Rust is an open-world survival multiplayer game developed by FacePunch Studios. It also has a crafting mechanics. The game is like a combination of Minecraft and PUBG.
The only goal on Rust is to SURVIVE. There are many challenges that you will face. For example, there are meters that measure your hunger, thirst, and coldness. Plus the other players you will encounter on the map will make it really difficult.

Gameplayrust gameplay realistic survival games

The game is a mixture of survival and crafting. You start off with a rock and a torch which you can use to gather and craft for more advanced tools and resources. Thou, you need advanced blueprint in order to craft advanced tools.
You also have to build a fire and shelter. You hunt for animals in order to eat their meat. Creating an alliance with other players will also help ensure your survival.

Final Thoughts

The mixture of survival, building, and crafting is a great combination for a game. Although there is a large amount of review about how toxic the community is. It’s always a given when playing on a Player versus Player game. If you want to relax and enjoy the game, you should play it with your friends. The mixture of survival and PvP is why this game landed 5th on the Most Realistic Survival Games.
rust final thoughts realistic survival games

4) Stranded Deep

stranded deep realistic survival games

About The Game

Stranded Deep is an open world survival adventure game developed by Beam Team Games.
You take on the role of a plane crash survivor stranded somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Use any means necessary to survive. Within the map, you will face life-threatening scenarios every time you play the game.

Gameplaystranded deep gameplay realistic survival games

You will mostly be scavenging shipwrecks for any items you can use, gathering resources, and explore areas. The game really simulates a shipwrecked survivor except that you will be hopping on many islands to gather resources.
The game also lets you manage hunger, thirst, blood, and health. This helps simulate that real-life survival environment.

Final Thoughts

It accurately reenacts survival scenarios for a realistic survival game. There are many things that you can do and difficult scenarios that you will have to repeat the game over and over again because you’ll constantly die. However, as you progress longer in the game you may find it repetitive and boring. The real-life survival scenarios presented to you and the game mechanics is why this game is 4th on the most realistic survival games.

3) The Long Dark

About The Game

The Long Dark is an open world exploration survival game developed by Hinterland Studio Inc.
The game focuses on solo play and has a story mode. You play as Will Mackenzie, a bush pilot whose plane crashed deep in the Northern Canadian tundra after a mysterious flash of light in the sky. You’re separated from your companion, Dr. Astrid Greenwood. Your goal is to survive the harsh tundra all while looking for Astrid.
The game has five episodes, with the first two forming Season 1.

Gameplaythe long dark gameplay realistic survival games

The game has 3 modes you can play. First, is the story mode or Wintermute, second is the survival mode, and last is the challenge mode.
The story mode focuses more on the story and will give you more direction of how the game will turn out.
The survival mode is more of a sandbox mode and lets you decide how the game will go depending on your interactions.
Challenge mode offers objectives that you must accomplish. If you successfully complete a challenge mode, it will unlock Feats that will provide long-term benefit in survival mode.
At the start of the game, there is a bit of mini-tutorial in order to teach you the basics but once it’s done the game gets really hard. The game does not spoon feed you and will only provide information and is up to you to find the answers
The game also features hunger, thirst, fatigue, and cold. You need to balance these out in order to keep the game going. Even all the actions you make will cost Calories. Therefore, managing your time and resource is really essential for your survival.
In survival mode, once you die it’s all over. Therefore, testing your decision-making skills. Every action you make will affect the outcome of the game.

Final Thoughts

the long dark final thoughts


The game is definitely a survival simulator. You would experience hunting, fishing, scavenging, and map navigation. You’ll also experience hostile wildlife like wolves that will try to eat you or die because of hypothermia. It’s because of this combined with the harsh Canadian tundra environment, and conditions & calorie meter is why this game ranked 3rd in the most realistic survival games.

2) The Forest

the forest realistic survival games

About The Game

The Forest is an open world survival horror game developed by Endnight Games.
You play as a plane crash survivor. After the crash, you witness the abduction of your son by a mutated cannibalistic tribe. You will find yourself surviving in the forest and battling the cannibals in order to survive and find your son.

Gameplaythe forest gameplay realistic survival games

The game features building, exploration, and crafting. Every tree and plants in the game can be of used to you. You would need to build a shelter to defend yourself against the cannibals.
You would have to explore in the day while defending yourself at night against the cannibals.
The cannibals in the game have a unique behavior. Their actions would depend on the environment. For example, if they are alone, it’s highly likely it won’t attack you. If they’re many, there’s a good chance they will attack you. They would also just follow you, scout you out in order to locate your base.

Final Thoughtsthe forest final thoughts realistic survival games

The atmosphere you get from the Forest is just too scary and will really give you goosebumps. You will also battle with your sanity if you also succumbed to cannibalism. The AI cannibals in the game are superb. It feels like a real-life scenario every time you encounter them. You would also have to monitor your health and would have to craft various items. The game gets harder the further you progress. This is why this game ranks 2nd in the Most Realistic Survival Games.

1) Green Hell

green hell realistic survival games

About The Game

Green Hell is an open world survival simulation game developed by Creepy Jar. It’s set in the uncharted Amazonian rainforest.
You’re left alone in the jungle and no resources at hand will have to rely on actual survival techniques. The goal is to survive and escape the jungle. You will only have a radio at hand with communication with your lover.


The game offers a realistic survival simulation. You have to use actual survival skills like starting fires, camp building, and animal trap constructions. Also, you have to make use and craft items to use as tools or weapons. You will also have to hunt or farm in order to produce food. Other real-life survival scenarios like wounds, disease, and other injuries play a part in this game.
The game is also set in an actual part of the Amazon rainforest. There is a huge density of plant and animal species within the map. The animals also retain their natural behavior. It’s a perfect simulation of an Amazon rainforest.
The game also implements condition meters which you will have to monitor. These are psychological and your physical condition. Both affect each other so you would have to constantly keep them in check.

Final Thoughts

The game’s real-life graphics and game mechanics really shine. The environment and situation you’re in affect your psychology. The weather also affects the environments ecosystem. Plus the environment will constantly change so you would have to adapt depending on the situation.
This game is almost a perfect simulation for a survival scenario. With its realistic graphics and gameplay is why this game is number 1 in the Most Realistic Survival Games.


This is my list of the most realistic survival games you can play right now. Although it may be realistic it will only help you gain knowledge and present you the scenarios you will face when you’re put in a real-life survival situation.
You also have to keep yourself in shape. Everything in the game requires physical energy. If you don’t have the physical capacity to do so, it will be really hard. You will also have to learn to do actual survival skills to be able to actually do it. If you don’t know where to start you can check out 5 prepper hobbies you should be into that will help teach you real survival skills.

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Written by Jake Obguia

I love the outdoor life! I grew up in a city and never went out that much. When I was 13 years old, we moved to the countryside. Right then, I found a lifestyle that I loved. I made friends with country boys and they taught me how to fish, raise livestock, pick fruits and plants without the aid of technology. I now enjoy exploring mountains, looking for majestic lakes or river to swim, and camping out.


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