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15 Games to Play if You Loved Subnautica

Games Like Subnautica

Finding a game like Subnautica can be tough; what other game does an underwater adventure quite like this game? And with a story as amazing to go with it? Well, as it turns out, there are actually quite a few options out there, as long as you’re willing to keep an open mind. Who knows, maybe you’ll love one of these fifteen games even more than Subnautica! Just kidding, that would be blasphemous. Anyway, let’s get into it, starting off with an obvious one:

1. Subnautica: Below Zero

Look, if you’re searching for games like Subnautica, this absolutely has to be on the top of your list because it literally is Subnautica! This sequel builds on everything good that Subnautica did by making it all that much better. How does it do that?

In Below Zero, you’re playing as a character who’s trying to find out what caused her sister’s death, and you’ll go to any depth to figure it out (pun intended). The underwater world has always been unforgiving and punishing, but this time, it’s that much more freezing and full of new mysteries to solve. One thing I personally would’ve loved in the original game was an opportunity to explore stuff outside the water, too.

Well, it looks like my wish has been fulfilled because you get plenty of that here, too! Combined with Below Zero’s new look to the environment and an all-new storyline, you’re going to have an absolute blast in this game as a Subnautica fan.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, MacOS, PlayStation 4 & 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S.

2. No Man’s Sky

Exploration is one of the best parts of Subnautica. Are you about to find one of the coolest secrets of the game or die a horrible underwater death? The thrill was unmatched! If you loved it as much as I did, then you’ll absolutely love No Man’s Sky, too.

No Man’s Sky got off to a rocky start, but its redemption arc has been one of the best I’ve ever seen in any game. The gameplay here is about you, being an astronaut that wakes up on a strange planet, remembering only that your spaceship is somewhere nearby and that you need to survive. Exploration, base-building, combat, trading, and survival are the name of the game here as you work your way to not only harvest the resources of your planet but of all those that are out there in the galaxy!

Oh, and if you were missing some co-op multiplayer action in Subnautica, No Man’s Sky has you covered there, too – you can play multiplayer with your friends so you can all work to survive together. With that set, you’re in for a procedurally generated adventure in No Man’s Sky that’ll get you a glimpse into the future of humankind unlike anything else out there.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, MacOS, PlayStation 4 & 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, iPad.

3. Astroneer

The cute art style of this game looks nothing like Subnautica, but at the same time feels so familiar to it, too. It’s strange but in a good way! Astroneer is an amazingly open-ended game that can be anything you really want it to be. As a Subnautica fan, you’re probably in for the exploration and thrill, and there’s tons of that here for you.

In Astroneer, you’re going to be playing a lot like No Man’s Sky, where you harvest resources to eventually level up and grow your base. Starting from rovers, you can transition to building generators and turbines and a whole self-sustaining base at one point!

The game asks a fair bit of commitment from you in the grind, but it rewards you with the satisfaction of having something that is truly unique and your own, which is the best part of this game for me. Plus, if you’re looking to put the thrills aside for a bit of a relaxing experience, Astroneer has that covered for you, too. If you’re open to broadening your horizons, this game and its freedom of gameplay will take you places you could seldom have dreamed of!

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, MacOS, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One.

4. Terraria

Terraria is to land what Subnautica is to the oceans. Full of diverse biomes, underground caves, and mysterious dungeons, there’s just so much to see here, and I’m only scratching the surface! There are endless hours to be spent just exploring the different environments and creatures in this game.

Exploration is fun, sure, but it’s not the only thing Subnautica did well – you also need rich lore and story, some crafting and survival, combat, and of course, building. Terraria has all of these things and so much more in its 2D world that’s been going through updates and improvements since 2011! Oh, and don’t get me started on the community mods; they pretty much make it a whole new game.

Combining all of these things together with a bit of a challenge in the gameplay makes Terraria a super fun and unique alternative to Subnautica. While it may not look or play very similarly, you’ll know you’re right at home in the genre and the overall feel of this game. If you’re still not convinced, though, maybe the next alternative might finally get you over the fence.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows.

5. Minecraft

Minecraft is that game. It pretty much needs no introduction, but I do need to tell you why it’s perfect for you as a Subnautica enjoyer. At this point, we all know Minecraft is about, well, mining and crafting! But like the cover of any book, there’s more to it than just that.

Minecraft may seem simple on the surface, but the depth it goes to with its questing, adventure, crafting, and survival is actually insane. Combined with the thousands of mods it has at this point, it’s a game that’s just packed to the brim with content and will even run on your grandma’s Pentium 4.

As a Subnautica fan, you’ll love the sense of exploration here and the survival elements because there’s always one thing or another lurking just around the corner to destroy you. From zombies to skeletons to creepers and more, there’s a lot you have to look out for in your hunt for diamonds and the Nether realm. Subnautica was nothing if not an amazing story and adventure without ultra-realistic graphics, and Minecraft is a game that shows just how good that combo can work in a slightly different genre.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux, Xbox One, Xbox X/S, PlayStation 4 & 5, Nintendo Switch.

6. Raft

Have you ever wanted to be alone and abandoned in a desolate place in the middle of the ocean? Well, this is your chance to be stuck in exactly a place like that on nothing but a raft! The entire world has succumbed to climate change as the glaciers and ice caps have all melted, so land is a thing of the past.

With society having made their own floating cities that keep them safe from the perils of the ocean, you’re not so lucky since you wake up on the makeshift raft with nothing but your wits and a few tools with you. Your goal, now, is to survive in the ocean against attacks from sea creatures while also finding resources to upgrade your raft. Eventually, you go from surviving to thriving as your raft becomes fancier and you become self-sufficient!

If the best part of Subnautica for you was the ocean and the exploration, Raft puts a survival and crafting spin on things that make it really fun to play. Plus, it’s a mixture of both, being on water but not under it, so there’s a unique perspective there – the best of both worlds!

Platforms: Microsoft Windows.

7. Don’t Starve Together

Winter is coming, and this might be the only game where this statement is almost scarier than the time they said in Game of Thrones! Don’t Starve Together is an adventure survival game where you’re dropped into a procedurally generated land and have to, well, survive.

Being able to choose from a bunch of unique characters, each being strong in one thing and weak in another, you get to play the adventure out the way you think you can do it best. There isn’t much of a storyline to explore here like Subnautica; think of this game as more like Minecraft but with a twist! There are a ton of different enemies that you’ll have to either fight or run from, including some that manifest only as hallucinations due to your mind being in the dark too long.

It’s a nuanced and, once you start, a really challenging game to play, too. Coming from Subnautica, you’ll love the sense of exploration and crafting that this game has, along with its really unique gameplay mechanics that I haven’t really seen anywhere else. Oh, and you can play it co-op with friends (hence the ‘together’), which makes things that much easier and more fun.

Platform: Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Android, iOS.

8. Valheim

It’s been a long time coming, but like Baldur’s Gate 3, Valheim finally released a short while ago, and it’s everything the player base hoped it would be! We’ve got another action survival game on our hands here that’s all about you and a bunch of friends playing as wannabe heroes who really, really want to get into Valhalla.

Like anything in life, that objective doesn’t come easily. Starting off with pretty much nothing, you’ll be exploring around for resources and foraging while trying to avoid enemies that are, of course, lurking around every corner to hunt you! With the resources you do get, you’ll be building a basic gamer shack with nothing but a bed in it, and soon you’ll upgrade it to the stronghold it was always meant to be.

What’s unique here is the leveling system; you get new skills you level up, and you get better at surviving as you keep an eye on both hunger and stamina. Add to that the option of farming, fishing, crafting, and combat, and you’ve got an absolute treat of a game for Subnautica fans in Valheim!

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Xbox One/Series X/S.

9. Rust

Exploring, fighting, and surviving, that’s the name of the game, not just in Subnautica, but Rust, too! In the same vein as Valheim, this game is multiplayer with about a hundred other players in the same server as you, all fighting to survive and eventually become dominant in the land.

Death comes at you quick in this game – in the form of dangerous wild animals, hunger, or a band of other players with AK-47s that want to make you their slave or just kill you for loot (assuming you have any). Everything is either contested or about to be contested, and your job is to either find a nice cozy corner away from the conflict or pick up arms to be the winner in it all. Both things are equally fun!

When you move on from just surviving, Rust offers you a lot – base building, crafting, boating, and even flying around to see the map faster and find out what your next move should be. Doing all that alongside a hundred other players, some of which are allied together, makes things every bit as complex as they are fun! If you haven’t yet tried it out, this game is a perfect on-land experience after playing Subnautica.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, MacOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One.

10. Stranded Deep

Not every procedurally generated game works, but this one goes hard. The thing that struck me most about this game, at least initially, was the realism of its graphics – talk about immersion! Stranded Deep is about a story of survival after a plane crash in the middle of the ocean.

Starting off, you’re in the ocean, and your goal is to find land. Once you do find land, it becomes your safe haven and your base – you’ll be building your home and also creating a raft that you can use to explore the endless waters. One of the biggest ironies of the world is that we can’t drink saltwater, and that’s particularly true in this game because you’re always thirsty, and all around you is saltwater.

As you explore for resources and survive at the same time, you’ll come face to face with a ton of dangers and find out what mysteries the world of Stranded Deep is hiding from you. Coming from Subnautica, this is another one of those amphibian adventures that takes you to the best of both worlds. Oh, and I almost forgot, this game lets you play local co-op like the olden days, which is another huge plus if you’re looking for a game like that!

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One.

11. The Forest

So far, we’ve talked about survival games where the only horror is running out of food, getting mauled by an animal, or maybe getting shot. That’s certainly not a fun time, but when you compare it to the cannibals that are out to make you a set of very rare human steak in The Forest, things become that much scarier. It becomes a bit better when you play it with friends, though, since it has multiplayer.

The premise here is a lot like Stranded Deep because you’ve survived a plane crash, but this time it happened in a forest. Now, all you have is the little loot you’ve gotten from bags and resources around the plane, and you’re out to survive in the forest, where there are dangers behind every tree and bush. With a ton of gore to complement it, The Forest puts you through the test as you explore, craft, build, and fight your way to surviving this treacherous place.

Oh, and if the cannibals weren’t bad enough, wait till you hear that those guys are just the tip of the iceberg! Yup, there’s worse stuff in store, so you better be prepared. Thankfully, you can kind of take the game at your own pace, so you can do that thing where you level yourself up twice as much as required for a quest in an RPG and then just obliterate any obstacles. Play the way you want as long as you survive!

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4.

12. ARK: Survival Evolved

Man, these origin stories just keep getting wilder and wilder – with ARK, you’re stranded in a wild land that’s full of dinosaurs and other menacing prehistoric creatures! ARK: Survival Evolved really has evolved the art of surviving because to make it out alive in this unforgiving world, you’re going to need to tame your own dinosaur.

I’m sorry, what? You heard me, taming your own creature and riding it around the map is the best way to explore and also make sure you’ve got some sort of defense against the environment here that will literally eat you alive otherwise. Exploration is a big part of ARK, but so is base-building. You can only carry so much on your own, and even with your creature, so you’re going to need a nice and safe base that you can rest in and create a bunch of chests to keep all of your stuff.

As a Subnautica fan, you’ll love the emphasis on survival here and the usual exploration, crafting, building, etc., but the best part will have to be the new experience of playing this game. Not only is it an adventure on land, it’s also about taming dinosaurs! It just doesn’t get any cooler than that. Unless there’s a game with space-dinos. Maybe that could do it. Also, ARK has multiplayer too, so you and your buddy can tame your dinosaurs together and help each other survive in this desolate world.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, iOS, Android, Stadia.

13. ABZU

That’s enough of terrestrial adventures, I think; it’s time to go back underwater. With this entry, we’ve got another game that’s about you being stranded in the ocean, and you’ve got nowhere to go but down. That sounds grim, but there’s hope still, as you’re about to find out:

After you wake up floating on the ocean, you’re going to start exploring your surroundings to see what’s what. Things you’ll find can range from anything between ruins and technology and so much more, and it’s all unique! Another thing Subnautica fans are sure to appreciate is the fact that this game has a pretty decent story to follow, which is part of what made our favorite game so great in the first place.

Now, you’ll definitely get to explore in Abzu, but don’t expect it to be as free as Subnautica was – you’re going to be following a storyline, and that’s the part that gets the most emphasis here. Combined with the game’s relaxing art style and overall gameplay, Abzu is an experience unlike any other and is a perfect new adventure after Subnautica.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch.

14. Days Gone

Days Gone, on the surface, is nothing like Subnautica. A motorbike, zombies, a post-apocalyptic world, it really is a pretty new thing for Subnautica fans but hear me out. The reason this game is a good alternative for you is the emphasis on survival, an amazing story, and of course, exploration.

The plot goes like this: The apocalyptic pandemic has turned everyone into a zombie except you and a couple others. Well, among those is your character’s wife. Possibly. You’re not sure, but you can’t just let it remain a mystery, so finding her becomes the purpose of your life, and you’re off! On your journey, you’ll encounter tons of threats, mostly in the form of zombies, and you’ll have to avoid them all while keeping yourself well-fed.

If you’re looking to broaden your horizons, this game is about as far as you can go from Subnautica while still keeping the elements of survival and exploration within your reach. The game is also entirely single-player, but like Subnautica, there’s enough content here to make sure there’s never a dull moment. Think you can survive?

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4.

15. ICARUS

ICARUS is a prime example of a game that takes static elements and combines them with a procedurally generated world that makes for one of the most dynamic environments ever! This game is a PvE, meaning you can team up with a bunch of friends in co-op multiplayer to take this game on together and survive.

As a Subnautica fan, you’ll find that survival isn’t in the way you’d expect – you’re not stranded here; you’re actually pretty safe in your ship that’s just chilling in orbit around the devastated planet. When you’re going to be surviving is during the contracts and quests you undertake with your team to go and explore the planet, finding out what really happened to it. Oh, and you’re working against the clock the whole time, so you better make it quick!

When you successfully complete a mission, you get to upgrade your skills and gear. That sounds nice, you’re going to be better at surviving, but the enemies scale up, too, and you’re back to being on equal (or worse) footing. Some might see that as a bummer, but I think that’s just the challenge of the game – are you up for it?

Platforms: Microsoft Windows.

More from Us

Check out some of our related guides below.

With that, we’ve wrapped up this adventure from sea to land to even space for a brief moment. Subnautica is an amazing game and truly unique in a lot of things it does, but these fifteen games make sure they keep the core elements of what makes it so great and put their own spin on things. Which of these do you have your eyes on next? Let me know in the comments. Until next time, good luck, and have fun with all your games!

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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