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Top 15 Games Like DayZ Players Need to Try

Games Like DayZ

DayZ has come a long way from when it was just a beloved mod in Arma 2 – it’s a standalone game and has been for ten years at this point. With all its ups and downs, DayZ fans just can’t help but love the game for what it is. Well, if you’re in the same boat, looking for new stuff out there just like it, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve got fifteen games here that’ll make you feel like you never left the chaotic comfort of playing DayZ, all while going on a whole new adventure in a different game. With that said, let’s get into it!

1. PUBG

Ah, PUBG. The game that more or less defined a whole genre of games for a while there. Some could argue that PUBG kinda fell off since its rise to glory in 2017, but a daily peak player base of 700,000 on Steam alone would like to argue otherwise.

Most of us are familiar with what this game is all about, but let’s recap why it’s also fun for you as a DayZ player. In a battle royale, survival is pretty much the core of the game, as you’re fighting to be the last one standing. In PUBG, you’re not going to be encountering any zombies, because you’re going to be running into tryhard campers hiding in the corner of a room of a random house with a shotgun instead.

While it’s no fun to be blasted in the back like that, PUBG is a super fun alternative for DayZ players who are really just looking for another survival game that doesn’t necessarily need to have zombies. Unlike other battle royales, PUBG also has the benefit of looking and playing out pretty similarly to DayZ, so you’ll feel right at home in this game, especially when you’re literally hiding in a house in the corner of a room with a shotgun.

Platforms: Windows, Android, iOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Stadia, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5.

2. Days Gone

Days Gone? More like DayZ Gone! Get it? Alright, I’m seeing myself out. Jokes aside, this game actually has a lot more in common with DayZ than just the name. To some extent, this game is like DayZ if it had a single-player mode with a storyline that’ll keep you glued to the screen. Speaking of, stay glued for a bit as we explore what makes the story so similar here.

In Days Gone, you’re playing as Deacon St. John, a biker who’s one of the only survivors left in a world that’s been taken over by a pandemic. As a biker, the best part of this game is probably the fact that you get to ride it around wherever you go! The not-so-good part? You’re going to be dodging and running away from Freakers most of the time that you’re riding your bike.

Alongside Freakers (the zombies in this game), you’re also always on the hunt for food and other resources, so you can just keep surviving and going on. One of your reasons for going on is that somewhere out there, your wife might still be alive, and you need to find her no matter what. If you’re itching for a game like DayZ that has a single-player focus, Days Gone is the perfect game for you.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4.

3. Rust

When it comes to multiplayer games like DayZ, I don’t think any game comes as close as Rust does. Rust is multiplayer survival defined it is the survival game, and there’s a reason it has earned all these accolades. In Rust, you and your friends can party together to join a server where you’re dropped into a forest and have to survive against not just the elements but other players too.

Now, depending on which server you join and what stage of the wipe it is, you might be going up against players that have already established themselves in the region and are kind of the mafia that controls it. You can avoid them pretty easily as long as you keep things lowkey and just focus on building your own stronghold. In the process, you’ll be harvesting resources, hunting for food, and building some sort of weapons to protect yourself from any possible raiders.

Rust is one of the best multiplayer survival games out there, and if you’re looking for something that goes on for a whole season, Rust is kind of the best game that does that. The journey from being a naked survivor running from potential hunters to being the hunter yourself is just unmatched by any other game.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, Xbox One, Mac operating systems.

4. Contagion

Contagion is a game for you to play with your DayZ buddies, as the focus of this game is all on co-op and teamwork strategy. Remember all the hilarious moments of attempting to coordinate with your friends that somehow always seem to end with all of you dying a horrible death? More of that! And, of course, it’s a survival multiplayer game, so you’re going to love that coming from DayZ.

In Contagion, you’ll still need to navigate a world filled with perilous creatures, but this time it’s in the form of zombies and other horrors. What sets Contagion apart, as I mentioned earlier, is its strong focus on cooperative gameplay – you and your friends will have to work together closely to stay alive. With realistic weapons, immersive environments, and a shared sense of urgency, the thrilling flavor of cooperative survival you get here is bound to keep you and your gamer buddies on your toes as you battle the undead hordes.

If you’re looking for something that’s more co-op and PvE rather than a pure multiplayer survival game, then Contagion is a zombie-hunting game unlike any other. Okay, there are actually many others out there, but Contagion is one of the closest games to DayZ, so it kinda wins the spot.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows.

5. Fallen Earth

Fallen Earth is a pretty unique game on its own – an FPS game that combines RPG elements with survival and more. What makes it a super fun game to play after DayZ, though, has to be the way its survival elements play out. Basically, you’re trying to stay alive in a hostile world full of mutants and other players who have found themselves in the same pickle as you, and there’s definitely not enough room in this town for all of you.

It’s an open-world post-apocalyptic MMORPG that shares similarities with DayZ, mainly in its dark, survival-focused gameplay. In Fallen Earth, you’ll explore a vast, desolate wasteland, scavenge for resources, craft items, and engage in both PvE and PvP encounters. The game’s rich narrative and extensive skill-based character development add depth to the experience.

DayZ is a survival game, sure, but what a lot of us love about it is the amount of freedom it offers us while we’re navigating its world of survival challenges. If you love that part of DayZ and also the occasional hilarious interactions that come bundled with any PvPvE game, then you’re going to love Fallen Earth!

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Classic Mac OS.

6. Stranded 2

Stranded 2 is a game that I’d consider a hidden gem because it almost always flies under the radar for a lot of gamers. If you’re willing to give it a shot, though, especially as a DayZ fan, then you might actually find that you love this game! The graphics in this single-player game definitely leave a lot to be desired, but it more than makes up for it with its gameplay and plot.

In this game, you’ll find yourself marooned on a beautifully crafted yet treacherous desert island. While the setting may be different from the post-apocalyptic world of DayZ, the core survival mechanics are very similar. You’ll need to scavenge for resources, create tools, build shelter, and confront the island’s wildlife to stay alive. The lush, tropical environment adds a unique twist to the survival genre, making for a vibrant and immersive, albeit a bit dated backdrop for your adventures.

Once you look past the graphics, Stranded 2 reveals itself as the gem of a game that it was and still is 16 years after its release. If survival is part of DayZ you loved the most; then you’ll be right at home in this game, all the way from initially finding yourself stuck on the desolate island to eventually making your way back!

Platforms: Microsoft Windows.

7. State of Decay

These pesky zombies just won’t go away! State of Decay is another game where the world has gone to complete heck and everyone is a zombie. Well, everyone but you. And a few others. Your objective, naturally, is to now survive the harsh world that you’ve been thrown into in this game. As far as DayZ players are concerned, it’s just another day at the office, really.

In the State of Decay, the thrill of survival takes center stage as you recruit a diverse group of survivors to thrive in your growing community while skilfully managing precious resources and forming alliances with fellow characters. What I really loved about this game, and is also pretty unique to it is that you can either continue the story as the devs wanted you to, or you can opt for a different adventure that makes sure your community stays safe.

Whichever route you choose, you’ll find yourself at an exhilarating crossroads, making decisions about whether to welcome newcomers from the outside world into your ever-expanding, resilient community. It’s a dynamic adventure where your choices shape the future, and you’ll always have to think twice, no matter how convincing the other survivors may be. The possibilities are endless with this game, just like they are with DayZ.

Platforms: Xbox 360; Xbox One; Microsoft Windows; Xbox Series X/S.

8. Infestation: The New Z

Infestation: The New Z(ombie?) is another multiplayer survival game that you can play with your friends against other people that are not so friendly. Hey, that’s a lot like the premise of DayZ! That’s precisely what earned it a spot on this list, but Infestation is a game that’s more than just a survival MMO.

In this game, at times, it’ll almost feel like you’re in a battle royale as you explore a free, open world where you’re supposed to survive against zombies. At the same time, though, you’re not alone, which is both a good and a bad thing. The good part is that you can bring friends along with you. The bad part is that the other players who are hunting you can bring their friends too, and they might have better gamer socks than your part. Quite the scuffle, huh?

If you’re looking for a different flavor of DayZ, then Infestation: The New Z is definitely a new zombie game you’ll want to look at. The whole premise of the game is pretty similar to your favorite game, and it’s also unique enough to where you won’t feel like you’re just playing a clone, which strikes the perfect balance of an alternative to any game.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows.

9. CastleMiner Z

There’s no apocalypse in this game, surprisingly, but you might have noticed the God forsaken alphabet in the name of the game. Yup, it’s Z. Now, when I say there’s no apocalypse, that’s because the world in CastleMiner Z has kinda always been that way, so you could definitely call it apocalyptic if this were to happen on Earth.

Instead, in CastleMiner Z, you’ll find yourself in a block-based world teeming with undead creatures and monstrous threats. Much like DayZ, survival is key, and you’ll need to scavenge for resources, craft weapons, and construct fortifications to fend off hordes of enemies. There’s also a cooperative multiplayer mode that lets you team up with friends for an added layer of excitement and complexity.

Admittedly, the visuals in this game are vastly different from DayZ, for better or for worse. That aside, the sense of danger, teamwork, and strategic survival elements in CastleMiner Z can be the fresh and entertaining take on the survival genre that you’ve been waiting for all this time, so it’s certainly worth giving it a shot.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360.

10. Dead Frontier

This game is going to take you way back if you’re an OG gamer. Now, I don’t mean OG as in playing Galaga on a CRT in the 80s; this game is from the era when browser games were all the rage. Having released in 2008, it’s a game that’ll make you feel all kinds of nostalgic while also getting a dose of what you love so much from DayZ.

Since it’s a browser game, you’ll have to make an account first. Once you’re all set up, it’s time to let your imagination run wild, as you’ll be creating your very own character from scratch! And when your character is made, you’ll find yourself in the heart of Fairview City, a post-apocalyptic playground teeming with zombies just waiting to be dealt with. Damn, that got dark fast, huh.

But fear not! In this thrilling adventure, you won’t be alone because you get to team up with other players online to take on those brain-eating monsters. Plus, you get to choose an occupation for your character, opening doors to resources that can be traded for cooler gear, like advanced weapons and top-notch armor. If you’ve been feeling the nostalgia bug lately, this might just be what you need to scratch that itch.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows.

11. Dead Island

Dead Island offers another co-op or single-player experience where zombies are the focus of the storyline. Oh, and the island, that’s a pretty big part of it too. As you’ve found yourself in this predicament, either alone or with a couple of buddies, your goal is to explore the island and find out what the heck actually happened here.

First and foremost, you have to prevent yourself from being eaten up by the zombies that are looking at you like they haven’t had a healthy meal in like 17 years (probably because they literally haven’t). By scavenging for makeshift weapons and whatever else you can find, you’re going to fend for yourself against these savages as you progress through the story.

Things aren’t all grim, because the devs very strategically chose a tropical resort as the location for the game. It doesn’t completely make up for the fact that it’s infested by zombies, but the pool is pretty nice. As a DayZ fan, you’ll love this game for its take on a zombie survivor game and the fact that you can play it co-op. Apart from that, it’s a story-based PvE game that’ll broaden your horizons like the zombies do their jaw.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One.

12. Dying Light

Dying Light is another single-player, story-focused game that takes place in a world where the pandemic has turned everyone into a zombie. Your standard affair so far until you learn how the game actually plays out, which is pretty much the sole reason for this game being loved by so many people.

Not to take away from the story of this game, but Dying Light’s gameplay mechanics are unlike any other survival game out there. You’re stranded in a massive city where you survive by running from zombies and killing the ones that really get in your way. And when I say running, I don’t mean pressing the Shift key to sprint, I’m talking about parkouring your way across rooftops and balconies and everything in between!

As you take advantage of every single environmental aid you can find to make your way across the city, all while unraveling the game’s engrossing storyline, you’ll be reminded of DayZ in subtle ways all throughout. The main appeal for DayZ players is definitely the survival and zombies, but you’ll also feel that the setting and overall look of the game are pretty similar, making for a great alternative.

Platforms: Linux, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One, macOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S.

13. Dead Rising 3

In Dead Rising 3, killing is the focus, and more or less nothing else. There’s a story, and there’s a whole bunch of lore that goes into the making of Dead Rising games, but you’re lying if you’re saying you play it for the plot. Yes, you got that reference right.

While it’s not set in the same realistic, post-apocalyptic world, Dead Rising 3 immerses you in a massive open-world environment overrun by hordes of zombies. Much like DayZ, resource management, creativity, and improvisation are key to surviving. You’ll have a vast array of weapons and tools that you can use to craft inventive and often hilarious ways to dispatch the undead, of which there are many.

The most fun to be had in Dead Rising 3 is when you bring your buddies along and play as a co-op party, taking on the hordes together. While you’re hacking, slashing, and blasting your way through the zombies in an almost therapeutic way is when the appeal of Dead Rising 3 really starts to shine. For DayZ players, it’s another co-op alternative that is more about fun than anything else.

Platforms: Xbox One, Microsoft Windows.

14. H1Z1: Just Survive

This game has the God-forsaken letter in its name too, but it surprisingly doesn’t actually have any zombies in it. Sort of. The game is set in a zombie apocalypse in a rural part of the US, but there have always been two modes that you can play: A battle royale mode and a zombie survival mode.

For this roundup, I’m going to focus on the battle royale mode because it’s this game’s claim-to-fame, and pretty much anyone who plays the game plays this mode in it. If you loved the survival part of DayZ, you’ll love H1Z1’s take on the battle royale genre. Right from the get-go, you’re in for some thrilling looting action as you compete with others for the best loot. If you’re a big fan of not dying in the first 30 seconds of a battle royale game, you can try staying away from the high-tier loot areas.

Once you’ve got your basic loot sorted, it’s time to become a real hunter. Other players are out there, and you can track them down for even better loot and, of course, the thrill of killing. However, if you’re one for playing it smart, you might prefer just laying low and avoiding the cloud of noxious gas as other people fight to the death, leaving fewer players for you to contest.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows.

15. Scum

This game stays as true to its name as possible with its gameplay – downright hilarious. There are things like keeping your cholesterol in check and sometimes getting spontaneous diarrhea right in the middle of a gunfight; can you imagine? Well, you don’t really have to because this game is definitely a reality, and it’s an amazingly fun one at that.

Like DayZ, Scum focuses a lot on realism, hence the cholesterol and diarrhea. You spawn into the world with nothing since you’re a prisoner. No, in fact, you’re scum, and it’s up to you to find stuff out there and craft things with it to survive. While crafting weapons, you’ll also realize that you need to craft food – the type that leads to a balanced diet. If there’s no balanced diet, you get fatter and unhealthier, and before you know it, you’re literally crapping your pants as you’re getting chased by a deadly mech.

Scum’s focus on realism is unlike anything else – immersive and just plain funny at times. If you loved the survival and realism of DayZ, Scum takes the best of that and adds unique elements to it that are just unheard of in the world of gaming. Honestly, if the part about the diarrhea doesn’t convince you to try this game, I don’t know what will at this point.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows.

And with that banger of a game, we’re going to be wrapping up this list of games like DayZ. From multiplayer to single-player to co-op PvE, there are a lot of options to choose from, and they all scratch that DayZ itch in a different way. So, what’s your poison going to be? Let me know what you think in the comments, I’ll be waiting to hear your thoughts. Until then, happy gaming!

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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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