Learn more about the top 15 Android survival games in the article below.
The best survival games on Android carefully balance reward with difficulty, keeping you on your toes without punishing you unnecessarily. From the sandbox adventures of Minecraft to the emotional punch that is Endling – Extinction is Forever, survival games are challenging experiences from start to finish.
We’ve rounded up the best survival games on the Play Store to save you the search. While these share much in common with our favorite adventure games, these are survival games foremost. As these games are suited for long sessions, we recommend settling in with one of the best Chromebooks.
1/ Endling – Extinction is Forever
Most survival games take place over long periods, gradually ramping up the difficulty as you become more experienced with the game. Endling – Extinction is Forever is a short survival game (4-5 hours), but its length belies the stunning experience within.
In Endling – Extinction is Forever, you’ll play as a fox shepherding her family through environmental disasters. It’s a powerful emotional journey, so if you want to play a meaningful survival game, you should try this one.
2/ Settlement Survival
Settlement Survival is a city-builder/survival game where you’ll lead a group of colonists to prosperity in the wild. It’s relatively easy-going as survival games go, but the threat of disaster looms ever over your head during gameplay.
In our hands-on with Settlement Survival, we praised the immersive survival city-builder, despite requiring a TapTap account and sluggish controls. There’s a lot to love here, so give this survival game a go (just be warned, it will suck you in for hours at a time!)
3/ Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition
Don’t Starve’s scratchy storybook visuals have an ominous tone to their quirky appearances. Awkwardly proportioned characters may look funny, but the dark side of the game is always just around the corner. While death is inevitable, you’ll gather food, scavenge resources, and keep your fire burning in a desperate attempt to stay alive.
Don’t Starve encourages exploration and experimentation. The grim storybook graphics create an atmosphere equal to the best horror games; the first time your fire goes out will send a shiver down your spine. But you’ll soon get to grips with the mechanics, and before you know it, you’ll be absorbed in the game’s excellent story.
Minecraft appears on many of our best Android game roundups for a good reason. It’s a game that lets players play how they want, whether they like to build peacefully or prefer to test the limits of their survival skills. But while there are plenty of ways to play the game, Survival mode is the best way to experience the popular sandbox game.
Minecraft’s Survival mode forces you to manage your hunger and fend off monsters to survive. You’ll die reasonably often, so make sure to store your valuable items safely at home. It’s a fantastic cooperative survival experience, so grab a friend to join you in your adventure.
5/ The Bonfire: Forsaken Lands
The Bonfire: Forsaken Lands is perfect for those who prefer a more casual survival game. While there are plenty of dangers ahead, and starvation is just a day away, the game’s slow pace lets you tackle problems at your own pace.
Good planning is essential for survival here, but you will quickly pick up the game’s mechanics. Note that while the game is free to download, it requires an in-app purchase of $3.99 to continue past Day 6.
6/ This War of Mine
This War of Mine is a hauntingly realistic game that forces us to face the realities of war. You manage a group of civilians hiding in a war-torn city, avoiding snipers and hostile scavengers to collect resources. It’s challenging, but knowing that you’re dealing with real-life situations is a grim acknowledgment of people’s struggles.
This War of Mine follows a day/night cycle. You’ll manage your shelter during the day and use the cover of the night to venture out for resources. Every decision has consequences, so carefully plan your next move to avoid disaster.
Crashlands is a cheerful survival RPG that conceals challenging game mechanics behind cartoons and humor. Your goal is to help galactic trucker Flux Dabes recover his packages after crash-landing on an alien planet. On your quest, you’ll fight monsters, level up, craft tools, and, most importantly, make new friends.
Crashlands incorporates helpful mechanics that help keep the focus on exploring and building. A self-sorting infinite inventory ensures quick access to the necessary tools, and base building is quick and easy. Try it out if you want a break from the endless lists of gritty, realistic survival games.
Terraria is a sandbox game that emphasizes exploration above all. Death is a minor inconvenience, as Terraria wants you to take your time and explore the world. Full of challenging bosses and more weapons than you can imagine, it’s ideal for those who like to discover new things in every playthrough. While you can ramp up the difficulty, it’s worth starting at an easier difficulty to see everything the game offers.
Terraria is an excellent choice for anyone who thinks Minecraft lacks content. There are no urgent missions, so take your time to craft weapons, build fantastic structures, and trade with NPCs for valuable items.
Survive is a modern take on the text-based adventure games of old. Rather than moving a character around the world, you will play the game by navigating menus and tapping buttons. It’s pretty refreshing; the survival experience is boiled down to its core essentials.
It’s perfect for people who enjoy a tough mental challenge, as dying in Survive is just one wrong decision away. The game can sometimes feel short on content, but the high difficulty bar and multiple endings will keep you coming back for more.
10/ Out There: Ω Edition
Out There pits you and your spaceship against the environment. There are no bad guys or monsters to contend with, just the capricious whims of alien worlds. It’s a roguelike, so once you die, it’s game over. Fortunately, a massive amount of content means no two playthroughs are the same.
Out There is a thoroughly immersive experience that brings the galaxy to life with extensive lore and various environments. It’s a fantastic choice if you want a survival game that isn’t just about killing things and love the feeling of escaping death by the skin of your teeth.
11/ Mini DAYZ
DAYZ is one of the most famous PC survival games, and Mini DAYZ is the top-down pixel equivalent for mobile. In Mini DAYZ, you are dropped into a wasteland populated by zombies and AI survivors. You’ll have to manage hunger and thirst, scavenge supplies, and build a sturdy base to survive.
Despite being offline, Mini DAYZ evokes all the original game’s themes. There are no objectives other than survival, but you’ll unlock more perks, upgrades, and achievements the longer you last. There is a sequel, but we don’t recommend it due to many bugs and gameplay issues.
12/ Tinker Island
Tinker Island’s gameplay mechanics are relatively simple, and once you start playing, you’ll realize it’s similar to Survive and text-based games. However, Tinker Island offers an easily digestible UI that clarifies what will happen next.
Tinker Island has a heavy emphasis on the story part of your game. It incorporates many RPG elements, so you’ll upgrade and manage the same set of survivors throughout the game. There’s plenty to discover, including monsters, puzzles, treasure, and more.
13/ Alien: Isolation
One of the scariest games around, Alien: Isolation, puts you at the mercy of the titular Alien as you explore a space station that’s fallen into chaos. While the game is scary enough to begin, the AI is what makes this game stand out.
Most survival games’ mechanics can be learned and exploited over time. In Alien: Isolation, you’ll have to adapt consistently to survive. The Alien learns from your actions, so you won’t be able to use the same trick repeatedly as it will start predicting it. For example, if you enjoy hiding in cupboards, the Alien will beeline straight for them each time. Play this if you find the other games on this list too easy.
Dysmantle is a relatively normal post-apocalyptic survival game with a twist. You can destroy (or dismantle) everything you see for the resources you’ll need to survive. Thankfully, there are no in-game purchases or daily rewards, just a one-time purchase that unlocks the entire game.
Dysmantle might not be the most innovative survival game, but it offers all the features you expect in a sleek, professional package. There are few glitches or bugs, and the game is challenging enough to be rewarding, not frustrating.
15/ Plague Inc.
Now I know what you’re thinking, isn’t Plague Inc. the opposite of a survival game? Well, for those who haven’t played it, survival depends on you wiping out the world. It’s a race against time as humans develop a cure that can wipe you out.
Of course, there’s also The Cure mode. This lets you race for survival as humans, attempting to develop the cure that can wipe out the growing disease. It’s a nice change from playing as the virus, with similar challenges to overcome.
There are plenty of more games to try on Android
If you enjoyed these survival games, we recommend trying out the Play Store’s best RPG games. While these don’t prioritize survival mechanics, they often have a lot in common.