Survival games have been getting bigger, better, and more brutal for years now.

Great survival games usually share the same characteristics. They have good crafting systems, realistic character needs like food and shelter, the ability to hunt and fight, and, more often than not, beautiful (and often scary) areas to explore.

If you’re on the hunt for a solid survival game on the Xbox, there are tons to choose from.

Are you looking for something hardcore and unforgiving? Something unusual and unsettling? A game set in a jungle or even on an alien planet? We’ve handpicked the best of the best for this article.

Here are the 22 best survival games for Xbox Series X|S to check out today.


GenreSurvival, open world, sandbox
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthFinishing the main story content takes around 89 hours and doing a 100% completionist run with every achievement will take you up to 344 hours
DeveloperMojang/Microsoft Studios
Release date20th September 2017
Co-op Cross-platform, online supports 8 players, local supports 4 players

Minecraft originally came out in 2011 and it remains a tried-and-true, classic survival game. 

Starting off with nothing and spawning on a randomly generated map, it’s up to you to construct tools and weapons, build a shelter and fend off dangerous enemies like giant spiders and the iconic creepers. 

Minecraft’s blocky art style is unique and quickly grows on you.

For those looking for less of a challenge, or who just want to play with the extensive building capabilities, Minecraft has multiple settings, making it a great choice for young kids

But it isn’t just for kids. Worlds can also be shared with others, making for an awesome multiplayer Xbox experience.


GenreSurvival, sci-fi, horror, open world
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthMain storyline takes about 20-30 hours to complete, a full completionist run with all achievements can take 50-55 hours to complete
DeveloperUnknown Worlds, Grip Games, and Panic Button
Release date4th December 2018
Co-opNo, single player

Subnautica and its sequel, Subnautica: Sub Zero are, in a word, gorgeous. 

After suffering a devastating crash on an aquatic alien planet, it’s up to you to fight for survival until you can be rescued. This open-world, sandbox-like survival game will stun you with the beauty of its world, and then promptly murder you with its monsters and crushing depths.

You’re in for hours of entertainment with this game. Trying to stay alive while uncovering the secrets of your new alien home will keep you busy for ages, and there are plenty of mysteries that will unravel as you explore.

Subnautica has a steep learning curve and unforgiving sea life, but offers beautiful visuals and top notch atmosphere. It stands out from the crowd of other survival games on the Xbox series X / S by a mile.

The Long Dark

GenreSurvival, action-adventure, simulation, strategy
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthMain storyline can take 20 hours roughly, but a full completionist run with every achievement can take well over 200 hours
DeveloperHinterland Studio Inc.
Release date1st August 2017
Co-opNo, single player

The Long Dark is an adventure survival game set in the wintry, snow-bound depths of Canada.

When a strange electromagnetic phenomenon saps the electricity and drives the local animals mad, you must find a way to keep from freezing to death, or even from being eaten by packs of roving wolves.

Will you hunker down in an abandoned ice fishing shack, climb to the top of a fire-spotting tower, or simply wander in search of fuel and frozen deer carcasses?

With a sandbox-like survival mode and a well-written, episodic story mode, The Long Dark has something to offer just about everyone.

Surviving Mars

GenreSimulation, strategy, survival
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthMain storyline takes roughly 20 hours but a full completionist run with every achievement would take well over 120 hours
DeveloperHaemimont Games
Release date15th March 2018
Co-opNo, single player only

Surviving Mars is not your traditional survival game, but combines the fight for survival with the mechanics of a city-builder.

Using drones, you’ll construct the first colony on Mars and start producing water, air, electricity and even food. Take a giant leap for mankind by populating your colony with specialists, scientists and laborers. 

Do what you can to protect your dome-shielded populace from massive disasters like dust storms and meteor showers. It’s a harsh environment and you’ll need to plan accordingly.

With a growing number of expansion packs available for Surviving Mars, you can grow and alter your gaming experience. Your colonists can even bring their pets!

Surviving the Aftermath

GenreSimulation, survival, strategy
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthMain story takes just about 16 hours to complete and a full 100% completion run will take you roughly 28 hours to finish up
DeveloperIceflake Studios Oy
Release date16th October 2019
Co-opNo, single player only

Surviving the Aftermath is similar to Surviving Mars, in that it is also a survival city-builder, except it takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth.  

Plagued by electromagnetic storms, fallout, and actual plagues, you must lead your plucky band of survivors to build a better tomorrow.

You will need to send out specialists to explore ruins across the wasteland and bring back precious resources.

You’ll also have to fight bandits outside your city walls and then take the fight where they live, completing quests for powerful rewards.  

Surviving the Aftermath leans closer to the traditional idea of a survival game, but will also appeal to city builder fans.

ARK: Survival Evolved

ark survival evolved
GenreAction-adventure, survival, RPG, shooter
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthIt can take up to 70 hours to complete the main stoyrline in ARK: Survival Evolved and a whopping 700+ hours to complete everything in the game for a completionist run
DeveloperStudio Wildcard
Release date29th August 2017
Co-opCross-platform, online supports up to 70, local supports 2

ARK: Survival Evolved is an open-world survival game with a twist: dinosaurs. 

After you wash up on a mysterious island, naked, cold and starving, you must craft, fight and build your way to a better life.

The best part, undoubtedly, is hunting and taming dinosaurs to add to your tribe. Once tamed, you can command your dinosaurs to fight, or even ride them around. Your dinosaurs will continue to eat and level up, even when you’re not with them. 

Offering options for both PvE and PvP servers, ARK also allows you to take your dinosaurs into battle against other survivors. It’s one of the most unique Xbox survival games around.


How to Stop Grass From Growing in Grounded
GenreAction-adventure, RPG, survival
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthRoughly 20 hours for the main storyline and up to 85hours for a 100% run
DeveloperObsidian Entertainment
Release date27th September 2022
Co-opLocal co-op multiplayer for up to 4 players, cross-platform supported and unique Shared Worlds feature so progress is not lost even without the host playing

Grounded is a survival game with an incredibly unique concept.

In Grounded, you play as a child who becomes tiny – Honey, I Shrunk the Kids style – and must survive getting lost in a back yard. 

Jungles of blades of grass, giant spiders, mammoth bugs and other dangers await in this sandbox survival game fit for all ages. 

Offering crafting, base building and online co-op play, Grounded is fun for the whole family.

Conan Exiles

GenreAction-adventure, MMO, open world, survival
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthThe main storyline in this game takes 30 hours or so to beat, and a 100% completionist run would take you just about 120 hours to finish
Release date8th May 2018
Co-opCo-op or persistent online multiplayer available

Set in the lands of Conan the Barbarian, Conan Exiles offers an MMO survival game experience with an ancient twist.

This open world game is heavy on combat, which feels suitable for a barbarian warlord.

You will need to craft weapons and tools, deal with the game’s unpredictable weather, hunt and grow food. 

Conan Exiles offers mounts to tame and ride into battle on, and expansive base building options. 

You can create a clan and rule Exile lands, make offerings to the gods and claim their power for your own.

With single player, co-op and online PvP options, Conan Exiles has a mode for everyone.

State of Decay 2

GenreAction-adventure, RPG, survival
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthThe main storyline can take anywhere from 15-17 hours to complete and a full, 100% completionist run will take roughly 115 hours to finish up
DeveloperUndead Labs
Release date22nd May 2018
Co-opCross-platform supported, online, supports 2 to 4 players

State of Decay 2 is an open world, sandbox survival game set in a classic post-apocalyptic world swarming with zombies.

Using a plethora of weapons, defend yourself from zombie onslaughts while building up a community of characters with unique skills. Collect resources and allies, gather food and deal with shifting seasons and weather.  

Continuing what the previous game started, State of Decay 2 allows players to build a base and defend it from several different breeds of zombie, including the massive and brutal Juggernaut class.

Manage, craft, fortify and fight your way through one of the best zombie survival games on the Xbox.

Fallout 4

GenreRPG, open world, survival
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthThe main storyline takes 28 hours on average to complete and a full, 100% completionist run can take 160-170 hours to finish up
DeveloperBethesda Game Studios
Release date10th November 2015
Co-opNo, single player only

Despite being well-known for being an awesome open-world RPG, Fallout 4 also offers a challenging survival mode.  

Unlike other Fallout 4 game modes, in survival mode fast travel is totally disabled, save points are few and far between, and players have to keep an eye on things like hunger, thirst and exhaustion. 

Adding to your problems, illness and injury require a doctor or specific treatment to heal.  

Even if you’ve already beaten Fallout 4, you haven’t played the game quite like this. Transform your favorite post-apocalyptic RPG into a survival game today.

Stranded Deep

GenreSurvival, action-adventure, simulation
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthThe main story takes about 20 hours to wrap up and a completionist run takes 40
DeveloperFun Labs
Release date21st April 2020
Co-op Online, support 2 players

Stranded Deep is an aqueous survival game. 

After surviving a plane crash, you must find a way to make it in the Pacific ocean until help comes. You’ll need to discover deserted islands, build a shelter and find food.  

Offering a robust skill tree and crafting options, Stranded Deep allows you to build rafts and crude sails, explore underwater and island environments and even hunt sharks. 

With dangers like starvation and exposure, you’ll have your hands full trying to keep yourself alive in gorgeous tropical surroundings. This is one of the most impressive survival games on the Xbox and it’s worth picking up today.


GenreAction-adventure, sandbox, survival
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthThe main story takes 50 hours on average to finish but completely finishing the game can take you well over 200 hours in total
DeveloperDR Studios
Release date14th November 2014
Co-opOnline and local, supports 2-8 players

Terraria is a 2D side-scrolling survival game with thousands of craftable items.

With procedurally generated worlds, online co-op and PvP, the game is never the same each time you play. 

Similar to Minecraft, you begin Terraria with nothing but the clothes on your back and you must craft even the most basic tools. A couple hours later, you’ll find yourself harvesting valuable resources and building vast strongholds.

Terraria offers a unique visual experience and game play you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. It’s an absolute gem.

Green Hell

GenreSurvival, action-adventure, simulation
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthThe main storyline takes 20 hours on average to finish and a full completionist run can take between 30-32 hours to finish
DeveloperCreepy Jar
Release date9th June 2021
Co-opOnline co-op, supports 2-4 players

In Green Hell, you find yourself in the Amazon rainforest, surrounded by the splendor and danger of thick jungle. You’ll need to learn and use realistic survival techniques to craft tools and build shelters. 

Completely cut off from the outside world, you’re left to fend for yourself against jungle animals, the threat of illness, and even your own mind. With no memory of how you arrived, you must unravel your past and discover how you became stranded. 

Full of unforgiving challenges, Green Hell is an engaging survival game in a fresh setting.


GenreRPG, action-adventure, survival
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthThe main story takes 10 hours or so to complete, and a full, 100% completionist run takes just under 20 hours to finish up
DeveloperThe Game Bakers
Release date3rd December 2020
Co-opLocal co-op, supports 2-4 players

Haven is not your average survival game. 

Here, you play as either Yu or Kai, two lovers who crash-land on an uninhabited planet in search of a place to be free. 

You can switch between either character, or play both with local co-op.  

While you explore your new home, you also need to collect crafting ingredients to make equipment, food and medicine.

You will also spend time getting to know the two characters while they get to know each other and discover the secrets hidden in the distant ruins.

The art in Haven is lovely and the gameplay is smooth and enjoyable. 

The battle system is somewhat unusual, but well-developed. 

While Haven doesn’t offer a classic survival game experience, it has a lot to offer fans of the genre.


GenreShooter, action-adventure, RPG, open world, survival
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthMain storyline takes 53-55 hours to finish and completing the game entirely can take you roughly 40 hours
DeveloperBohemia Interactive a.s.
Release date27th March 2019
Co-opOnline co-op multiplayer, supports up to 60 players

Of all the zombie survival games listed here, DayZ is probably the most unforgiving.

If you die in this game, you lose everything. There are no checkpoints.

Boasting a large map and games that can host up to 60 players, DayZ also advertises a world of unscripted alliances and betrayals. It also has well-developed hunting, gathering, and crafting systems. 

It’s unclear which are more dangerous; the zombie hordes or the other players on your server. The human element means that each playthrough is unique and exciting.

The Flame in the Flood

GenreAction-adventure, survival, roguelike
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthThe main story takes 8 hours or so to finish, and a full completionist run can take anywhere from 40-60 hours to complete
DeveloperThe Molasses Flood
Release date24th February 2016
Co-opNo, single player only

In The Flame in the Flood, you play as a little girl and her dog trying to make their way through a procedurally generated river full of danger and obstacles.

What makes this survival game unique is its roguelike format. 

Unlike many other survival games, The Flame in the Flood encourages you to evade enemies rather than fight them. 

You’ll need to collect resources and craft tools, but most importantly, you’ll also need to keep ahead of the oncoming, rising waters and avoid threats as you navigate.

7 Days to Die

7 days to die
GenreSurvival horror, action-adventure
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthThe main storyline takes just under 60 hours to complete and a 100% completionist run would take 400-500 hours to complete depending on your speed
DeveloperThe Fun Pimps / Iron Galaxy
Release date1st July 2016
Co-opOnline and local multiplayer, up to 4 players supported

7 Days to Die advertises itself as the best modern zombie survival game.

With a vast, immersive world, multitude of crafting and base building options and a well-tuned fighting system, the producers may well be right.  

Boasting 800 items and 1300 blocks to build with, 7 Days to Die allows players to create forts or fortify ruins. 

With options for LAN or online PvP play, you can raid other player’s forts or go the co-op route and build a new world together.  

Providing a lush, complex world and a variety of different enemies to battle, 7 Days to Die offers one of the best survival experiences on the Xbox.

Don’t Starve

GenreSurvival, action-adventure
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthThe main story takes 30 hours or so to complete but a complete 100% run of this game could take you anywhere from 100-115 hours to complete
DeveloperKlei Entertainment / Blitworks
Release date13th September 2017
Co-opOnline and local, 2-6 depending on the mode

The very premise of Don’t Starve is the bedrock of the survival genre: don’t starve. 

Choose any one of a number of odd characters, each with a unique skill or trait, and you will be let loose in a creepy wilderness, where the most important goals are keeping your sanity, building a fire to fight off the darkness and getting a meal in your stomach. 

With a large library of objects for you to craft and collect and a plethora of monstrous creatures to deal with, Don’t Starve has a lot to offer.

Add the absolute smorgasbord of expansions available for Don’t Starve, including a multiplayer version, and you’ll be up to your eyeballs in 2D entertainment with a Wednesday Addams aesthetic.


GenreAction-adventure, sandbox, survival
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthMain story takes roughly 20-22 hours to finish and a completionist run can take you between 60-68 hours to finish up
DeveloperSystem Era Softworks
Release date6th February 2019
Co-opCross-platform, online, supports 2-4 players

Astroneer is a sandbox, exploration based survival game set in the 25th century.

Focusing on interplanetary exploration, Astroneer boasts a base building system that allows players to construct below ground as well as above.

Another feature is sculptable planetary terrain. Creating your own tunnels and caves has never been so easy.

With multiple planets to traverse and explore and several different biomes, Astroneer offers an exciting experience lasting as long as your imagination holds out.


GenreStrategy, simulation, survival
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthMain story takes roughly 22 hours to complete and a full 100% run can take anywhere from 32 to 35 hours
DeveloperUnicube & Team17 Digital Ltd.
Release date15th March 2016
Co-opNo, single player only

In Sheltered, you and your family fight for survival in the midst of an apocalyptic wasteland. Hiding in an underground bunker, you must build defenses against roving bands of bandits and also the radiation that poisons the surface.  

Sheltered offers up a lot of classic survival game tropes, packaged in a neat pixelated style.

You will need to arm and outfit members of your group to help them explore the wastes and scavenge for supplies safely.

If you fix your broken RV, you can expand your territory. If you build a water collector, you will no longer have to depend on rainwater to fill your toilet tanks and sate your thirst.

With a survival mode and some exciting challenge modes, Sheltered gives you a little extra bang for your buck. It’s one of the best Xbox survival games around right now.

No Man’s Sky

GenreAction-adventure, RPG, simulation, survival
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthThe main storyline takes about 30 hours to finish but finishing the entire game can take well over 150 hours, with some players recording times of 2000+ hours
DeveloperHello Games
Release date24th July 2018
Co-op Cross-platform, online co-op mutliplayer, supports 2-4 players

Bouncing back from a legendarily rocky launch, No Man’s Sky offers a new take on the off-world survival game. 

Rather than giving you a limited space to explore and build in, No Man’s Sky has generated an entire universe complete with whole galaxies for players to traverse.

The original intent of No Man’s Sky was to produce a universe that every player could explore and build in, and over the course of many updates, the game has finally begun to deliver. 

Fix and upgrade your spaceship, discover new planets and species, or duke it out with other players for glory and riches. No Man’s Sky leaves the direction of your journey totally up to you.

Kingdom: Two Crowns

GenreAction-adventure, simulation, survival, strategy
Buy fromThe official Xbox store
LengthMain story takes 28-30 hours to finish and a full, 100% completionist run will take 67-70 hours depending on your speed
DeveloperStumpy Studios, Fury Studios, Coatsink
Release date11th December 2018
Co-opLocal co-op, supports 2 players

Kingdom: Two Crowns is another non-traditional survival game.

Playing as an exiled King or Queen, you must establish your new kingdom, recruit workers, grow food, build battlements and fight off evil shadowy monsters bent on stealing your crown. 

Can you gather enough resources before winter comes and makes farming impossible? The more time that passes, the more dangerous your enemies become.

Kingdom offers a beautiful, pixelated 2D side-scrolling world.

With multiple islands to tame and multiple modes, such as Shogun, Deadlands and Norselands, offering varied mechanics and visual styles there are many ways to enjoy this unique survival game.