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17 Games Like ARK: Survival Evolved That Will Take You on an Unforgettable Adventure

Games Like ARK

We all remember the first time we played ARK, there was nothing quite like it at the time, and it was really just the best implementation of the idea that it went for. Now, though, after spending countless hours in a virtual prehistoric world, battling dinosaurs, and building your own little Stone Age empire, I think we’re all feeling a little burnt out.

If that sounds like you, I’ve got you covered! This list is going to take you through seventeen games which will make you think, “Who needs dinosaurs when I can have this?!” From epic battles with mythical creatures to farming simulations that will make you question your life choices, these games will transport you to worlds so strange and absurd that you’ll forget all about T-Rexes and start chasing pixelated chickens instead. Okay, enough hype; let’s get into the first game on this list:

1. Subnautica: Below Zero

Subnautica: Below Zero

Subnautica, what a game. The original was one of the most highly regarded games I’ve ever seen, but they went and made a sequel that’s somehow even better? Released in 2019, Subnautica: Below Zero takes the brilliance of its predecessor and dives even deeper, offering you a gameplay experience you’re not going to forget for years to come. Oh, and for fans of ARK, there are a bunch of similarities that’ll convince you to finally give this gem a try, too!

Firstly, I loved that the game expands upon the stunning biomes of the original Subnautica, introducing an arctic environment that adds a whole new dimension to underwater exploration. It’s like venturing into a frozen wonderland beneath the waves, with each biome offering its own breathtaking beauty and secrets to uncover. Seriously, if I wasn’t so afraid of the sea (because I watched Titanic as a kid, don’t sea-shame me, okay), I’d give anything to just live in these places!

Apart from exploration, I also loved the survival mechanics that are super important in both Subnautica: Below Zero and ARK. In the icy world of Subnautica, you’re gonna need to manage your oxygen, food, and hydration while gathering resources to craft essential tools, equipment, and even vehicles. It’s a thrilling battle against the elements that always keep you on your toes, just like in ARK!

And that’s not all, no sir, there’s even more – the wildlife of Below Zero adds a layer of excitement that I never knew I needed but definitely did deserve. You’re gonna meet a bunch of unique and (sometimes) dangerous marine creatures, and you’ll be scanning them for valuable data and even potentially taming or utilizing them! I think that’s as much as you need to know as an ARK fan; this game is a perfect side-step from the dinosaur hunting adventure we’re so in love with – playable on PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Switch.

2. Space Engineers

Space Engineers

Space Engineers is like being the Elon Musk of the gaming world, where you become a master space architect. As the name suggests, you’re leaving Earth for outer space, and out here, it’s all about constructing mind-blowing spaceships, space stations, and planetary bases using your engineering prowess and an arsenal of cool tools. Just remember not to let your Oxygen drop too low because, you know, you kinda still need to breathe to survive!

Coming from ARK: Survival Evolved, a game where you’re more like a caveman MacGyver in the middle of Jurassic Park, you’ll feel at home with the focus on survival with Space Engineers. Apart from the base building and resource gathering, there are admittedly no dinosaur-aliens or the like to tame, but that’s replaced with hours and hours of engineering fun! Seriously, the depth that this game goes into really is deep, and it adds to the endless amount of creativity it inspires you to use.

This alternative is for those of us who still want a survival-based thriller game but wanna do it in a way that’s almost completely different from ARK. Trust me, as a fellow ARK enjoyer; you’re going to love what this game has in store for you – playable on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

3. 7 Days to Die

7 Days to Die

7 Days to Die is a heart-pounding rollercoaster ride of excitement, combining exploration, crafting, base-building, and intense combat in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by the undead. What’s it got to do with ARK, you ask? I’m glad you did!

In 7 Days to Die, you’ll find yourself immersed in a dynamically generated open world that’s as dangerous as it is thrilling, a setting we’re all too familiar with. Picture abandoned cities, eerie forests, and desolate wastelands teeming with hordes of flesh-hungry zombies. The constant sense of tension and the need for exploration will keep your adrenaline pumping, and your brown pants better be close by.

Crafting and base-building are key to your survival in this zombie-infested nightmare (sound familiar?). You’re gonna be spending a lot of time scavenging for resources, crafting weapons and tools, and fortifying your own stronghold to fend off the relentless undead. This is also where your creative freedom to design and strategize your defenses comes in and adds an exciting and immersive element to the gameplay.

Personally, though, I love the fact that survival is not just about crafting and building; you also need to manage your hunger, thirst, stamina, and health to stay alive alongside all of this. It sounds like a lot in the beginning, but when you’ve got all the mechanics down, it is one of the most fun survival experiences you’ll ever get in your gaming life! Plus, as an ARK fan, it’s easy to see the appeal of this alternative since it’s got so much of the same magic that we fell in love with all that time ago.

To play 7 Days to Die, you’ll need a PlayStation, Xbox, or PC.

4. Minecraft

Minecraft

Do I even need to explain a game as iconic as this? Base-building, resource gathering, exploration, survival, you name it, this game has it! And all packaged into a tiny little executable that would probably run on a Nokia 3310 if it had support.

Minecraft rarely needs an introduction, but for the uninitiated, you start off in a world with basically nothing, and you have to gather resources to survive against the creepers, spiders, hunger, and lots more. Along the way, you’ll be building a little settlement for yourself, a mine where you go on the hunt for diamonds, and some villagers nearby that you can trade with (just don’t burn them down, they’re peaceful folk).

It sounds basic, but there’s actually a whole campaign to play through here, too! I won’t spoil the end, but you should know that you can complete it pretty much as fast or as slow as you like! Minecraft gives you the freedom to live and die however you want (in the game, of course), and it makes sure to accommodate all kinds of players in its gameplay. Though on the surface, it may not seem like it’s that similar to ARK, you’ll have to play it to find out just what I mean and why it deserves a spot on this list. Minecraft is available on almost every platform imaginable, including PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, and Phone.

5. Radiation Island

Radiation Island

Radiation Island, my brave survivors, is like a wild expedition to a tropical disaster zone where science went haywire and unleashed all sorts of crazy creatures. Picture yourself stranded on this island, with no margaritas in sight but plenty of danger lurking around every corner. It’s a survival game with a twist, where exploration is the name of the game, and supernatural abilities are your secret weapon against the unexpected.

Unlike Ark: Survival Evolved, Radiation Island is all about uncovering the island’s mysteries while trying not to become lunch for mutant critters. You’ll scavenge for food, craft weapons, and defend yourself against not only wildlife but also supernatural foes. And let’s not forget the joy of having telekinesis and mind control powers to mess with stuff and confuse your enemies. It’s like being a sorcerer with a sunscreen addiction!

While Radiation Island and Ark share similarities like open-world exploration, base building, and resource gathering, the former focuses more on a solo adventure with its own supernatural spin.

6. Savage Lands

Savage Lands

Savage Lands is a pretty underrated game that prepares you for a frosty adventure giving you chills in all the right ways! What’s the big draw, you ask? Well, like ARK fans are accustomed to, Savage Lands isn’t for the faint of heart because it takes survival to a whole new level of freeze-your-nose-off intensity!

The gameplay revolves around survival and base-building, as you’d expect, with battles featuring face-offs against mythical creatures that make Bigfoot look like a friendly neighbor! You’ll also be fighting tooth and nail to avoid being turned into a human popsicle, so the stakes are as high as ever.

Now, why do I think this game is similar to Ark? There are a lot of shared genes between these two games, and I’ll highlight those by asking you to picture this: vast open worlds begging to be explored, crafting your way to survival, and gathering resources like a squirrel hoarding nuts for the winter. It’s pretty much ARK, but with a winter DLC … sort of, but you get what I’m saying.

Add to that Savage Lands’ own twist, and you’ve got an alternative to your favorite game that retains all the magic you love from ARK while still putting things through its unique perspective. You can play Savage Lands on PC only, usually quite discounted on Steam.

7. Far Cry Primal

Far Cry: Primal

Far Cry has been one of the longest-running game series that somehow continues to get better and better, and Primal is absolutely no exception to that. Plus, the primal nature of the survival adventure is a big plus for us ARK fans! You enter a wild world filled with ancient beasts like mammoths and saber-toothed tigers, and that’s only scratching the surface of what this game really has in store for you. I don’t know about you but show me some sick-looking ancient animals that I can hunt or befriend, and I’m sold!

In terms of gameplay, you’ll scavenge, craft, and build your way to Stone Age glory, using your well-honed Ark skills to conquer the untamed wilderness once again. The best part of this game for me is that it adds a prehistoric plotline and narrative goodness to the mix, so you can really get a taste of what it was like for our ancient ancestors!

On top of all this, Far Cry adds its ever-classic sense of humor that is as tasteful as it is funny and makes for an overall amazing game, especially for people who enjoy survival games. So, if you’re ready for a new primal adventure, you can play this game on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

8. Conan Exiles

Conan Exiles

Conan Exiles straight up throws you into its gritty adventure, where you’ll build epic fortresses, battle dangerous clans, and explore a land that makes the Ark’s island look like a day at the spa! That’s actually a pretty fitting way to think about this game, too, the more rugged and barbaric alter ego of Ark, complete with loincloths and epic sword fights.

Starting with the similarities, like Ark, you’ll still scavenge for resources, craft weapons, and build your own thriving settlements. Where Conan Exiles comes into its own is the way it takes combat to a whole new level of visceral satisfaction. Imagine wielding massive weapons and literally cleaving enemies in half like a true warrior straight out of an ’80s action flick!

Oh, and I almost forgot the multiplayer! Yup, just when you thought you got away from the troll teammates, it’s come back to haunt you (hopefully not). Just like Ark, Conan Exiles lets you team up with friends or engage in intense PvP battles. But instead of tribes, you’ll be part of savage clans, shouting war cries and challenging rivals to fight to the death. If that doesn’t sell you on the game, I don’t know what will! Conan Exiles is playable on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

9. The Forest

The Forest

The forest is a very … interesting game, to say the least. Let me summarize this game in a couple of neat steps!

Step 1: Wake up in a plane crash.

Step 2: Gather resources by chopping down trees, smashing rocks, and beating up creatures.

Step 3: Build a base using logs, sticks, and leaves.

Step 4: Fend off the locals, otherwise known as cannibals (you read that right).

Step 5: Tame creatures – adopt a pet lizard!

Step 6: Explore mysterious caves and encounter mutants.

Step 7: Monitor hunger, thirst, sanity, and temperature to survive!

There are plenty of similarities here with ARK, but they’re not the way you’d expect – you get to have a lizard as a pet! I don’t know if I even want one of those, but thanks, game! Jokes aside, the overall atmosphere of the game, combined with the survival and base-building gameplay here, will make sure you feel just at home as you play this after ARK.

The best part of The Forest, just like ARK, is that it’s co-op multiplayer, so you and your friends can all gather together to engage in dumb shenanigans together! For people that want a very similar game to ARK but not too similar, you absolutely can’t go wrong with this one – playable on PC and PlayStation.

10. Orion: Prelude

Orion: Prelude

Orion: Prelude, the game that surprisingly has nothing to do with the majestic Orion constellation, despite sharing its name! It’s like they just wanted to borrow some cosmic street cred or something, but hey, I’m not complaining; it’s a pretty cool name.

Now, picture this: you and your buddies, armed to the teeth, are dropped into a science fiction world where you have to fight off tons of dinosaurs. Yeah, you heard that right—dinosaurs! In space? Anything truly is possible with gaming! It’s like someone mashed up Jurassic Park with a futuristic shooting gallery, and who needs lasers and spaceships when you can blast away at T-Rexes instead?

Oh, and there’s more – you can also choose to battle against alien creatures because, you know, variety is the spice of life, which means you and your team can take on the dual threat of intergalactic invaders and dinosaurs. Talk about a multitasking challenge!

Now, when I compare this game to ARK: Survival Evolved, the first similarity that jumps out is that both games involve dinosaurs, but Orion Prelude takes a more, um, streamlined approach. Instead of building elaborate bases and taming dinos for a cozy prehistoric home, you’re thrown into chaotic multiplayer battles. It’s like someone on the dev team for Orion thought, “Hey, you know what’s missing in ARK? More guns and explosions!” You can find this game on PC only.

11. DayZ

DayZ

DayZ puts you straight in the thick of it; the moment you spawn, you find yourself in a post-Soviet wasteland, scavenging for supplies, struggling to survive, and fending off hordes of zombies and other players at the same time! As you’re tiptoeing through dilapidated towns, all you’re really hoping is to find some canned beans while keeping an eye out for hostile survivors who might want to use you as target practice. Talk about a hard-knock life!

Okay, so there’s a lot of survival run ’n gun gameplay here, but what similarities should you look forward to between this and ARK? Well, there’s the survival aspect that I just mentioned, but that’s also coupled with resource gathering and a sense of progression. Aaand that’s about it.

You see, in ARK, you can tame dinosaurs and build elaborate bases, creating your own prehistoric utopia. DayZ, on the other hand, is more about the gritty, dog-eat-dog world of survival, where human interaction can be just as deadly as the zombies themselves. DayZ does a lot of things uniquely, and the overall game is certainly its own thing, but you can rest assured that it won’t through you into unknown waters as an ARK fan. The game is playable on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

12. SCUM

SCUM

Ah, yes, SCUM. This game was one of the first I’ve seen in a long time that really made me go, “What in the name of God am I looking at…” You see, this game isn’t just about surviving the elements or avoiding zombies (although there are zombies, of course). No, no, SCUM takes things to the next level by simulating the most intricate details of human anatomy and bodily functions. Yep, that means what you think it means – you’ll be managing your character’s metabolism, monitoring their cholesterol levels, and even making sure they’re, uh, regular.

Apart from that, the gameplay lets you explore the vast world, scavenge for resources, hunt wildlife, build shelters, and engage in intense firefights with other players. Can you imagine being shot at by M4s and chased by a gang of savages, but your biggest problem is that your cholesterol is too high? Absolutely hilarious and thrilling!

Now, how does SCUM compare to ARK? Well, both games share the survival genre and an open-world setting, but that’s about where the similarities end. While ARK focuses on taming dinosaurs and building extravagant bases, you can tell that SCUM really dives into the nitty-gritty details of survival, health management, and realistic combat mechanics. Still, it’s the experience of a lifetime, and you absolutely have to try it – released for PC only.

13. Green Hell

Green Hell

Green Hell is a hidden gem of the survival genre that packs a punch and offers a unique alternative to ARK: Survival Evolved. To get a proper feel of what this game is like, picture yourself alone, surrounded by the lush and dangerous wilderness, fighting for your life at every turn. Congratulations, you’re now Bear Grylls! Except you might not survive regardless of your willingness to drink your own pee.

Right! What makes Green Hell stand out for me is its realistic approach, immersing you in a world where survival is paramount. No dinosaurs or fantastical creatures here; it’s all about the raw challenges of nature. That means you’ve got everything from deadly wildlife to treacherous diseases and environmental hazards; Green Hell tests your every skill and decision. Some people may be turned off by that, but for us ARK nerds, that’s where the excitement lies!

The immersion really goes a long way, too; you’ll have to treat wounds, manage hunger and thirst, and preserve your sanity amidst the relentless struggle. Green Hell brings the jungle to life like never before, pulling you deep into a psychological battle for survival. As an ARK fan, there are only a few games that’ll fulfill your quest for a thrilling survival adventure, and you can try this one out on your PlayStation, Xbox, PC, or Switch.

14. The Long Dark

The Long Dark

Imagine being stranded in the freezing Canadian wilderness after a global calamity. No, it’s not a vacation package gone wrong; it’s The Long Dark! This game throws realism at you like a snowball to the face, immersing you in the frigid world where nature is out to get you. There are no dinosaurs out to hunt you here; instead, you’re going to be saying hello to the challenges of extreme weather, limited supplies, and managing your hunger, thirst, warmth, and exhaustion. It’s everything you’d do on the show Survivor, except there’s no fame or money; you just gotta survive.

I personally loved the uniqueness of The Long Dark in the way it sets itself apart by shunning traditional narratives and zombie hordes. It’s just you, the quiet solitude of the wilderness, and the opportunity for some deep introspection. Oh, and just because there are no zombies doesn’t mean you’re safe; there are a lot of wolves out there that haven’t tasted human flesh in a while and would love to break their fast with you.

The similarities with ARK aren’t that many here; it’s mostly just the hardcore survival gameplay that carries over and puts you in a thrilling scenario where there are multiple things out to kill you. With that in mind, this’ll be perfect for those of you who want a game that is a bit further from the tree of ARK but still within the same park. To play The Long Dark, you can get it on PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Switch.

15. Rust

Rust

Ah, yes, Rust. I’ll never forget that one greentext I read about this game where someone spawned as naked on the beach, got kidnapped by some Afghans with AK-47s, and made to dance for them in order to survive. Truly the prime Rust experience in a nutshell!

Rust is not for the faint of heart; it spawns you with basically nothing on you, and your goal is to survive and (eventually) thrive in a server full of 100 other people that started the same way you did. There’s base building, there’s loot, and there are epic firefights with other players/clans to contest that loot and boy, does it get chaotic! There are a bunch of weapons to choose from, and you can strategize however you see fit, which is one of the best parts of this game.

In many ways, ARK and Rust are like distant cousins, sharing a family resemblance in the survival genre. Both games drop you into a merciless world where you’ll scavenge for resources, build bases, and defend yourself against other players. It’s like a chaotic dance party where everyone’s trying to outsmart, outgun, and outmaneuver each other! It’ll also make for one of the funniest yet most thrilling gaming experiences you’ve ever had – you can try it out on PC.

16. Raft

Raft

There’s never a good day to be stranded in the middle of the ocean with just a raft to keep you afloat, and in Raft, there’s never a good day. As you can guess, you find yourself stranded on a small raft in the middle of the vast ocean. Your mission? To survive and thrive in this watery world. As you float along, you’ll have to scavenge debris, expand your raft, and craft tools to gather resources and fend off the hungry sharks that circle beneath you. Yup, sharks! That’s what was missing from this horror show, and the devs made sure to add it, too!

Now, why am I drawing comparisons between this and ARK? Well, both games fall under the survival genre, and they share a few key elements that I think make them good alternatives to each other. In Raft, like ARK, you’ll need to gather resources, craft items and manage your hunger and thirst. Raft also has our beloved base-building mechanics, allowing you to expand your humble abode into a grand structure that you can truly call your own.

However, while ARK takes you to a prehistoric land filled with dinosaurs and fantastical creatures, Raft keeps things a little more…seaworthy. Instead of riding atop a T-Rex, you’ll be battling the perils of the open ocean, combating hunger, thirst, and, of course, the ever-menacing sharks. This is a summed-up version of the gameplay, and there are a lot of nuances in the game that I’ll leave for you to discover on your own. There’s a reason this game is loved by so many people – you can play it on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

17. No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky

We’re closing the list off with an absolute rollercoaster of a game! No Man’s Sky got off to one of the rockiest starts ever, with mostly everything that was promised initially being omitted from the launch version. With the hate it got, the game didn’t really go anywhere, but that’s when the comeback began.

To date, the devs have added everything and more to the game that they originally planned, and it’s become the great open-world (open universe, even) game that we all hoped it would be at launch. The gameplay involves exploring planets, each with its own enemies, geography, resources, and more. The game also includes a lot of base building, survival against the elements and enemies, and more, so it’s perfect for any ARK enjoyer to try out.

To play No Man’s Sky, you’ll need a PlayStation, PC, Xbox, or Switch. Trust me; you don’t wanna miss this one, especially if you can get a buddy to play it with you!

And that concludes it! I’ve traversed the gaming landscape to bring you seventeen alternatives that will keep you entertained for hours and hours on end with survival action. From the depths of Subnautica to the pixelated wonders of Minecraft, I hope I’ve gotten something for everyone, but still, if I’ve missed your favorite game, make sure to let me know. Until then, the journey awaits you, and I’ll see you there!

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Danish Javed

The Author Who Worked On This Article

Danish Javed

Obsessed with everything from Rainbow Six Siege and Valorant to Dota 2 and Rocket League, Danish is a competitive gamer at heart. Committed to creating exciting content about the latest trends in gaming, he is always on the lookout for the next big thing. Learn More

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